So it begins again! A big, massive thank you to everyone who downloaded v1.11 of Surface Tension Uncut, and to the great community out there who've been playing and providing feedback on my work. It's been an amazing ride and I've enjoyed it tremendously.
It's been a long time since I released the "final" version of Surface Tension Uncut! Since then I've had a lot of time to take in the feedback from the community (particularly from watching lots of community videos on Youtube, and watching my friends play, both of which have been very useful tools for feedback!) I've also been improving my skills as a mapper mostly from working on On a Rail Uncut (which is still in development mind you, and set for the next release within a few weeks!)
So development is well underway on Surface Tension v2.0, incorporating a lot of the feedback from the community and redesigning some areas which needed some love. C2A5G will be the map seeing the most overhaul, particularly to the second half, where most of the outdoor areas have seen some form of redesign. A particular focus for this second version will be gameplay errors and flaws which I'm hoping to address.
The development timeline is that I predict I can release within 1 - 2 weeks (2 weeks at most). I've already done most of what I want to do on G, and the changes being made to H and I are much smaller in comparison.
Look below to see a changelog (which is a weird mix of current and predicted changes. I've pretty much finished G but H hasn't been started properly yet). Check back on the forum thread not he Black Mesa forums for more detailed, up-to-date information on the state of the project. I'm much more active there.
Current Changelog (with some predictions for future changes too)
- Improved optimization
- Improved sound coding (the volumes are better mixed, especially on the really loud sounds like Manta/Harrier flybys)
- Retouching of the car park exterior, making the decals less repetitive and adding more destruction.
- Added a third window to the top floor on the car park, allowing you to see out over the airstrip from the top floor of the car park.
- Slight reworking of the vent drop sequence, to make it look a bit less crap.
- Made the destruction around the explosive garage ambush look a bit cooler. The door now gets blown off and flies towards you, and the wall next to the explosion gets pretty destroyed now too.
- Made the jump from the car lift to the high window in the garage a bit easier. The model which Black Mesa has for car lifts has this weird lip which made jumping awkward. To offset this, I added a small clip brush to make jumping easier, put some shelves underneath the window (so if you miss you just drop onto the shelves and climb up from there), and made the lift itself more responsive to button presses.
- Some major aesthetic changes to the TOW Courtyard:
- Reworked the road layout to look less stupid.
- Completely redesigned the area to the side of the TOW Courtyard. The old area was a somewhat lackluster ugly looking mess of generators and composting towers. It's now been replaced by a small outdoor car park/loading dock which fits the theme of the area much better and looks really nice in comparison. It also doesn't obscure the view of the airstrip like the old one did.
- The building behind the TOW courtyard has been extended significantly and the weird extension which stuck out onto the road has been removed. The courtyard now feels a lot more spacious.
- Switched out the opaque fences in the TOW Courtyard by the garage for meshed ones. You can now see the garage properly!
- Overhaul of the 3D skybox. The vista is even better now, and the airstrip has been improved a fair bit.
- Changed the workings of the AGrunt ambush. They are now more spread out like they were in HL1, rather than all 4 rushing out at once.
- Recoded the sounds for the Harrier/Manta flybys (thanks Ulrik!) They were way too quiet before and due to the way I'd coded the subtitles, also sometimes broken.
- Large visual reworking of the area by the Helipad. One of the ugly silo buildings the road went into on the right has been switched out for a much more ST-like building which looks a lot better.
- Redesigned the helipad and the ramp leading up to it. Looks a tonne better now.
- Slight tinkering of the large battle by the helipad. LAV AI still needs some changing.
- Added a whole new section of explorable areas to the end of the map.
- More attempts to make the AGrunt who throws the Marine through the wall less stupid.
- Minor changes to the fight scene, but nothing serious. Attempts to make the AI slightly less dumb.
- Slight reworking of the bathroom scene. Someone pointed out on an LP that it makes no sense for the Snarks and the Zombies to get along perfectly fine UNTIL the player shows up. Will most likely just relocate the zombies to the bathroom and leave the Snarks in the hallway.
- Will rework the drop down pipe on the roof a little bit to make it less awkward for players to climb into.
- Will try and eradicate the "hop up" onto the pipe in the water tank but it's a weird bug and I don't know what causes it.
- Adding a metallic grate to the end of the satchel pipe, to explain why you can't shoot the Marine. It gets blown up when the satchel detonates.
- Tweak the exit to the pipe in the Gaswork's Janitor Closet. That was always really awkward and I should have changed it a long time ago.
- Make the janitor's closet slightly less crowded.
- Minor aesthetic and puzzle changes to the gasworks. Will include more visible destruction and more sensible pathing during the jumping puzzle.
- Tweak the second fight in the gasworks to account for the dumb AI.