The nineteenth of November might not be a date that many people think is significant, but it's of special importance to us. On this day ten years ago, Half-Life was unleashed on the world. In celebration, we've got lots of new media!
2008 has been a very eventful year for us. Making a 12+ hour game is a monumental task, but we're still powering ahead with development and making great progress. Our programmers have been hard at work overhauling and expanding the AI, and lots of our NPCs have been brought to life by our talented voice actors. Levels and chapters continue to be worked on and fine tuned, with large sections strung together and playable. We've also begun tackling the final content of the game, some of the most creative and technically challenging stuff we've had to do yet. And team members across the board continue to push the envelope and redefine what's possible in a Source game.
While known by some hardcore Black Mesa fans, we'd like to officially state that we've upgraded to the Orange Box build of the Source engine. We're also excited to announce that we've dropped Counter-Strike: Source as a requirement for Black Mesa, and from now on, the only thing you'll need to play the mod is a Steam account with any Source engine game installed! Black Mesa is now running completely off of our own content and base Source shared content, and we felt the vastly increased user base more then justified creating all the extra assets needed to make this switch.
We're all enjoying the new tools and technologies the Orange Box offers us, and are making heavy use of lots of exciting features. These include advanced particle effects, jigglebones, cinematic physics, combined maps, self-shadowing bump maps, dynamic shadows, and an entirely new graphical feature we're calling Procedural Terrain Displacement, showcased in some of the Surface Tension screenshots and wallpapers.
Our most recent round of community projects has ended and winners have been selected. More so than ever before there was an overwhelming response with hundreds and hundreds of entries! Make sure you check out our favorites! We'd like to thank all who participated, and encourage everyone to get involved in the new ones as well.
In other news, we've also recently parted ways with our long-time host GamerNode, who have graciously hosted both the website and discussion forums for the last two years. It was an amicable split between both parties, and we wish them all the best in the future.
And last but not least, the team worked very hard to get a trailer out along with all the other media. But as we've always done when faced with the choice, we decided to take a few extra days to polish it to a mirror shine before releasing it to the community. Be sure and look for that in the days ahead!
Here is just a sample of our new media, be sure to check our website for all the goods!