*tap* *tap* Is this thing still on?
*brushes cobwebs* My, it's been a while, hasn't it? This place has grown quite dusty since the last time we posted an update. Don't worry though. *cough* We're still alive, and we're doing quite well. *hack* *wheeze*
*shuffles index cards* Anyway... today I come to you, as
Benevolent Dictator For Life Hazard Course Lead Developer, to announce an important announcement, of important importance: Over the last few months at the Hazard Course Dev Team, we've been busy being dead working to reach an enormous goal.
Like what, you ask? Well, for starters, several months ago we took a look at the "Release Date" listing on the right of this page.
Go ahead, take a look. I'll wait. It's right there. ==>
I'll tell you right now: That number is really scary. When we looked at it, we shuddered to ourselves, and immediately began to panic. When the dust finally settled, we picked ourselves up and took an oath: We would try our utmost to make that number a reality.
Over the past several months, we
enslaved committed ourselves to a series of aggressive milestones, each more ambitious than the last. We worked nonstop, tidying up rooms, fixing bugs, implementing gameplay mechanics, revising our script-- all in the name of one goal: Get the hell out of Alpha development stage. Achieve feature-completeness. Reach Beta.
And now, after all these months, it is with great happiness that I can finally tell you this: We did it.
The Black Mesa Hazard Course is now at the stage of development in which all planned features are implemented, and everything is in, or almost in, a near-finished state. All gameplay has been finalized. There are no more dev textures. The script is complete (thanks to JeffMOD), and will be shipped off to the Voice Acting team as soon as they give us the thumbs up and indicate that they're ready. At long last, the Hazard Course has finally entered Beta.
Behold, just a few of the many fruits of our labors:
Of course, we're not finished yet. From now on, our focus will be on polishing the mod, fleshing it out, and fixing bugs rather than experimenting with new features, thinking up new lines for the script, or rearranging rooms. There's still quite a ways to go, but I'm glad to report that we're definitely on track.
Okay, I hear the groans in the background. I get it. We all get it. Trust me, we're just as sick and tired of this long development cycle as you are. These past three years have taken a toll on all of us.
But I think the wait will be worth it. Our Hazard Course goes above and beyond what Black Mesa would have done if they'd decided to work on it themselves. Every time I fire up the latest build, I think to myself, "There's pretty much no way this kind of training level could have been a part of any game". Any sane development team would have fired anyone who attempted to pack this much stuff into "just" a game tutorial.
But we're not just any developers, and this is no longer "just" a game tutorial. We're the Hazard Course Development Team, and the mod really feels more like a whole new chapter in its own right. In a way, we were lucky that the Black Mesa team decided not to work on the Hazard Course. It gave us the opportunity to go all-out on it, instead of treating it as just one small part of an already enormous mod. I'm confident that you'll find that our Hazard Course is far more extensive than what it could have been, if the Black Mesa team hadn't decided to stop working on the Course themselves.
I'll see you guys next update. Until then, Have a very safe, and productive day.