Black Mesa Finally Coming to Steam.. with "new engine"?

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#1 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

Black Mesa will finally be coming to Steam, and Valve has given them permission to actually sell it. No details, it seems, of what kind of business deal is behind that, but it's pretty huge. There was also still be a fully-featured free version with the finished Xen levels, presumably still distributed as a mod. And, this is particularly interesting:

"Xen is still a ways off. Over the past year, we have spent a HUGE amount of time porting the game to a new engine and fixing hundreds of bugs. The work to port to the new engine was not because of the decision to go retail, this was work that had to be done to get Black Mesa onto Steam and support our future plans."

New engine? Had to be done to get on Steam and support future plans? My crazy idea, which is probably unlikely, but would be pretty awesome, is that Valve saw how good Black Mesa was, and has offered them a chance to become officially licensed, and port the game to Source 2, to be released as one of the engine's flagship games, shortly before, or alongside of, Half Life 3. That's totally not gonna happen, but a man can dream.

Full text of the Facebook post from the Black Mesa Team, and links to news sites about it, below.

HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY HALF-LIFE! We here at Black Mesa have some big news!

The Big News:

Last year, Black Mesa was one of the first Steam games to be Greenlit by you, our amazing fans. We've had quite a year since then, with a lot happening internally that we haven't been able to talk about... until now. Black Mesa has been given the opportunity to be sold as a retail product on Steam! This is an incredible honor - one we never expected - but also one we found hard to accept.

We never developed Black Mesa with money in mind. Our team is made up of average, hardworking people, and no one joined the team to make money. For us, Black Mesa is purely a labor of love. We believe this philosophy has significantly contributed to the overall quality and feel of the game.

Our decision to sell Black Mesa rests on two key points. One is we believe we can make the game even better by having full access to the Source engine. This lets us tackle and fix limitations instead of working around them. The second is because frankly, our team could really use the financial help.

The Plan:

Soon you'll see Black Mesa available on Steam for a relatively low price. But we aren't dropping all support for the free version. In fact shortly after the Steam release there will be a completely new free version of the game. We also plan to open source our maps and some game assets to the modding community!

Purchasing the Steam version of Black Mesa is more about supporting the team and our efforts than anything else. However, the Steam version will include features that the free version simply can not have. We will be paying careful attention to feedback, and you'll have a very real say in how the final game turns out.

Long-Term Plans and Xen:

We've been overwhelmed by fan anticipation for Xen, and we're excited so many people are eager to conclude the game. To be totally honest however, Xen is still a ways off. Over the past year, we have spent a HUGE amount of time porting the game to a new engine and fixing hundreds of bugs. The work to port to the new engine was not because of the decision to go retail, this was work that had to be done to get Black Mesa onto Steam and support our future plans.

So, please be patient with us as we work to make Xen a stunning and worthy conclusion to Black Mesa. Until Xen is completed, we have multiple interesting additions planned for the Steam version of Black Mesa, which we will announce later on down the road.

Thanks,

The Black Mesa Dev Team

Credit Black Mesa Team, via Facebook

http://www.pcgamesn.com/black-mesa-be-sold-through-steam-xen-still-ways

http://www.thesixthaxis.com/2013/11/19/black-mesa-getting-retail/

#2 Edited by MonsieurX (30006 posts) -

Still need to play this.

#3 Edited by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -
#4 Posted by MonsieurX (30006 posts) -

Already have millions of other games to finish up before :(

#5 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -
#6 Edited by with_teeth26 (6123 posts) -

It looked great on the source engine when I played it, seems odd they are going through the trouble to change it.

#7 Edited by Nanomage (2417 posts) -

Already have millions of other games to finish up before :(

You can always make room for the best remake ever of one of the all time greats.

#8 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

It looked great on the source engine when I played it, seems odd they are going through the trouble to change it.

Exactly. It was the best looking thing ever made in the Source engine, except for maybe the HL2 Cinematic Mod. That, combined with the fact that Valve is actually letting them sell it, is why I think Valve told them they could sell it on Steam, if they ported it to Source 2, so it can generate hype for the new engine, leading up to the release of HL3.

#9 Posted by with_teeth26 (6123 posts) -

The fact that they didn't specify which engine they are using is definitely very mysterious. I'd go through it again if its on Source 2 just to see how it looks.

#10 Edited by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@with_teeth26: True, they didn't specify, but when they announced it on the Black Mesa forums, someone asked if they were using a Valve engine, and the project lead replied with, "Do you think we’d have a license agreement with Valve if we were on another engine?" I think there might actually be a chance they've been allowed to use Source 2.

#11 Posted by TheShadowLord07 (22119 posts) -

I hope they tend to keep the original black mesa as freeware. I want to get into the half life series and this looks like the best place to start.

#12 Posted by uninspiredcup (8317 posts) -

I hope they tend to keep the original black mesa as freeware. I want to get into the half life series and this looks like the best place to start.

You seriously can't drop $5?

#13 Edited by TheShadowLord07 (22119 posts) -

I have other games to finish in the mean time plus I might might feel like wasted money if I didn't like the game.

I think i'll download it this month because I have 20 GB left to use. then if I like I'll the orange box.

#14 Posted by blangenakker (2295 posts) -

New engine? Let the speculation begin

#15 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@TheShadowLord07 said:

I hope they tend to keep the original black mesa as freeware. I want to get into the half life series and this looks like the best place to start.

You seriously can't drop $5?

Hasn't been any confirmation of what the price will be, just that it will be "relatively cheap". But, ShadowLord, yes, it's staying free, as well. The free mod version is still available, and it will stay available after the steam release. The Xen levels, when they're finished, will also be added into the free version. The Steam version is pretty much just an option to financially support them, if you choose to, and it will come with a few extra things that wouldn't be possible without steam integration (probably achievements, trading cards, perhaps an updated version of HL:Deathmatch, with Black Mesa assets/levels? That'd be sweet).

#16 Edited by TheShadowLord07 (22119 posts) -

@the_bi99man

so black mesa is not really done yet? any reason why the xen levels aren't in the game atm?

#17 Posted by biggest_loser (24046 posts) -

It would have been nice to have those bugs fixed when I played it. I'm not sure if I'd buy it since I've already played through it.

#18 Posted by TheLoneMortal (818 posts) -

@the_bi99man

so black mesa is not really done yet? any reason why the xen levels aren't in the game atm?

As mentioned in the facebook post above, they have spent a majority of the year porting the game over to a new engine and fixing a lot of the bugs.

#19 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@the_bi99man

so black mesa is not really done yet? any reason why the xen levels aren't in the game atm?

No, it's still missing the Xen levels, game ends when you jump in the portal to Xen. They weren't included in the original release because they just weren't ready, and the team figured that people had been waiting more than long enough already, and the rest of the game, up to that point, was ready to go. In the time since then, everyone assumed they were busy finishing up Xen, but apparently they've spent most of that time "porting the game to a new engine", which is being done at the request of Valve, and is part of their deal to get it on Steam as a retail product.

#20 Posted by LeftClick007 (76 posts) -

New engine? Let the speculation begin

Anyone got info on this "new" engine?

#21 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@leftclick007: As of right now, the only info on the new engine is what's mentioned in the Facebook post in the OP, and a confirmation from the devs on their forums, that it's a Valve engine. They say they've been given the opportunity to actually sell Black Mesa on Steam as a retail product, fully licensed and endorsed by Valve. Which is quite a rare thing to happen. And they said that the porting to the new engine was work that had to be done to get it on Steam, and support their future plans. My optimistic speculation, which I'm sure is shared by many others, is that Valve gave them Source 2, and is having them port Black Mesa to that for its Steam release, to be the engine's first flagship product, simultaneously building hype for the engine, and rebuilding hype for Half-Life, leading up to the eventual release of HL3. We can dream.

#22 Edited by LeftClick007 (76 posts) -

Ah, well that sounds awesome, cant wait to see what it looks like,I wonder how the new engine will handle multiplayer.

#23 Posted by PredatorRules (7811 posts) -

I'm lost interest in the series long time ago, they'll have to make something new in the series in gameplay or something to attract me again. 2004s' HL2 was long time ago...

#24 Edited by R4gn4r0k (16456 posts) -

@blangenakker said:

New engine? Let the speculation begin

Anyone got info on this "new" engine?

The newest source engine, as in the one CS:GO uses

Black Mesa was running on the Orange Box engine, an older version.

From their FAQ:

Which version of Source is used in the Mod?

The Orange Box version (Source SDK 2007, used in Half-Life 2: Episode Two) [3]. The 2009 SDK - or newer - is not being used because of a lack of custom shader support, among other reasons [4].

However, for the upcoming Steam release, Black Mesa is being ported to the Source 2013 engine, which supports Valve's SteamPipe modding API and can be run on Mac OS and Linux [5], although the Black Mesa Dev Team currently has no plan to support Mac and Linux natively [6].

Let the speculation end :P

#25 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@R4gn4r0k: Aw. That's too bad. Was really hoping this meant Source 2 was finally coming.

#26 Posted by AdamPA1006 (6419 posts) -

I have never played HL1, and have been waiting for this to get on Steam to try it out. I'll buy it if its less than $10, with they way they are talking it sounds like its gonna be $6.99 or something

#27 Edited by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@AdamPA1006: It might be that cheap, but seriously, even in its current, incomplete form, it's worth $40, easy. There's more content, and better content, at that, than the majority of $60, AAA titles.

#28 Posted by R4gn4r0k (16456 posts) -

@R4gn4r0k: Aw. That's too bad. Was really hoping this meant Source 2 was finally coming.

I'm sure Valve will show something next year, because as it stands they have no upcoming games.

@AdamPA1006: It might be that cheap, but seriously, even in its current, incomplete form, it's worth $40, easy. There's more content, and better content, at that, than the majority of $60, AAA titles.

Totally agree. This mod was made with love for Half Life, and it beats many games that were made purely to make lots of money. This is easily one of the best games I've played in years, even if its not even finished.