Christmas 2007 Black Mesa (Source) media release

black_mesa_source_1_thumb.jpgSeemingly recently renamed to plain old ‘Black Mesa’ rather than ‘Black Mesa: Source’, a whole stack o’ media was released several days ago that shows off more of the upcoming remake of Half-Life 1 for the Source engine. The level design section is by far the most interesting and freshest (at least half of the media on show is quite dated). I especially like how the areas as they appeared in Half-Life 1 is shown in the corner.

This game continues to intrigue me. First announced pretty much right after Half-Life 2 was released, it generated a lot of buzz and the prospect of being able to play a real remake of Half-Life 1 on a newer engine really got people excited. However, it slipped into a lull of information and apart from some rubbish media we didn’t see much of it for a very long time. Indeed, it was widely regarded as vapourware quite quickly. I guess people were expecting it to somehow be developed in a few months.

Black Mesa SourceInterest picked up again a couple of years later as more media began to roll out, with a quality standard far exceeding that seen earlier. At this point my faith turned from ‘pessimistic’ to ‘optimistic’, and I decided that this might actually be a really good mod after all. At the time, January 2007, I wrote a post about the trailer (Still great!).

Here we are almost a year later, and things still seem to be coming along nicely. It’s important to remember that this is an unpaid team of volunteers, but I do know a few of them through forums and there’s serious dedication to the job here. The results speak for themselves, with the many environments of Half-Life 1 lovingly remade and made visually more expansive now that engine technology allows it.

black_mesa_source_2_thumb.jpgHave a look at all the screenshots, and if that gets you in the mood be sure to check the trailer out again and listen to the soundtrack samples on their home page (very nice). They also now have an interesting development blog up that peeks into the design process. Some pretty useful stuff is already for people interested in game/level design themselves.

There’s still no clear indication of how long it’ll be until this thing is out, but the sheer amount of love and time being poured into it is clear and they deserve to have occasional exposure for it. The production values match that of a commercial game in most cases, and I know just from looking at the mappers involved that the experience of playing them will be just as compelling.

Make sure this stays on your radar!

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