Showing 1-20 of 2,124 entries
Yes, Xen features LOTS of puzzles. It's packed full of different kinds of content.
Nov 19 @ 5:26am
In topic Is there a filthy casual mode?
Easy mode should be pretty darn easy, so I reckon you'll be okay if you play that!
The gibbing system was rewritten to be more performant, and to fix a huge variety of bugs that were present in the mod version. One or two things were left out, or optimised away.

The overall physics system is the same.
I'm not actually entirely sure why it's like that. It might be a mistake, I'm not really sure though.

But we'll do a balancing pass post-Xen to make sure the game has the right balance of ammo availability, I think the team mostly agrees that we're a bit too forgiving currently.
Nov 18 @ 2:13pm
In topic More news soon?
Just gonna head this off before it gets out of hand in any way whatsoever - Xen is not coming out tomorrow.
Nov 18 @ 2:10pm
In topic Can't Decompile any map with BSP Source
That's dependant on the guy who wrote BSPSource updating it to work with our new BSP format. I have no idea how easy/difficult a task that is.
Nov 18 @ 12:31pm
In topic More news soon?
Some stuff coming. Stay tuned!
Originally posted by Gordon Freeman:
Portal used the same effect for the Material Emancipation Grill its quite clear that Aperture also doesn't use combine tech. Its just recycled assets.

Not a deliberate attempt for a piece of lore.

Pointless thread mods please lock.


Just re-using a cool disintegration effect, no more no less.
Nov 10 @ 4:12am
In topic Plz read
We won't be doing that, sorry. The core gameplay of BMS is pretty much set in stone, at this point, pending any balance tweaks.
Originally posted by Cylixx:
What will actually boost sales will be, if Xen is any good or not.

They are rebuilding the worst parts of one of the greatest games ever. There will only ever be one recreation of HL1, and the one we are getting is intended to fix the most famous, fun killing issue that HL1 had - Xen itself. They are doing everything they can to make it perfect.

I really don't see what people are so angry about. I've been following BMS since it's announcement. I downloaded the first mod release on my 512kb connection. I have been waiting for so damned long.

But the whole time there have been dev logs, and client updates.

Sure it might not release.. that is possible, but there is literally no evidence to suggest that is the case. We know why Xen has taken so long - the devs have explained their creative process in the log. You can read everything dating back years. They have redesigned upon multiple stages because they felt something wasn't as good as it could be. This is exactly what Valve didn't have time or money to do with the origional Half-Life. Games very often release with ideas abandoned because of time and money constraints - this is one of the few cases where that isn't really an issue.

I'm just happy that they completed up to Lambda Core. That was 'the good' part of Half-Life that I remember best.

This is a pretty good summary of things, I feel.

There are mistakes we've made and factors within our control which could have made Xen go smoother, so please don't interpret what I say as an attempt to absolve us of some responsibility. However, one of the biggest reasons Xen has taken us so long is because we have adopted what we consider to be the "Valve mentality". We do not let up on designing a section of the game until it is fun, smooth, and works really well. We haven't settled for "good," or even "great," we've gone for the best we can possibly manage. Our post about the Xenian Swamp is one such example of that. That map went through probably...7 major revisions to get to where it is today. We never stopped until we were completely satisfied with it. And that's not to say we've been absurdly perfectionist either. We've been very cognisant of knowing when to call a section done. So I hope nobody tries to use that to attack us either! We have learned so much across this process and grown so much as a team. We're making some really good stuff!

The vision we release will be our vision realised, with very few compromises made. We think fans will appreciate that, even if they loathed the wait. I think our struggles will become apparent when you guys can play the finished product. We've gone beyond the extra mile. Xen is a very sizeable chunk of extremely high quality Half-Life content, which can be played/taken as its own unique episode AND ALSO as the awesome ending to our game. It's a cohesive and fleshed out product, unlike the disjointed original.

Whether you guys like it or not is indeed a separate question (though we're confident fans are going to love it), but the amount of love and effort that went into making it will be undeniable beyond a shadow of a doubt to anyone. The time taken will make a lot more sense. It's almost entirely original work in terms of the maps, and that's pretty exciting when you think about it. It's new Half-Life stuff!

I understand that, in essence, these are just words and it's not really tangible till you guys have something in your hands. To that I say, just hang on. There's things coming up on the horizon which will satisfy you, I reckon!
Nov 8 @ 1:51am
In topic What about New UI for Menu?
Language can be funny sometimes.

But yeah, by "eventual," I meant "at some undefined (to you) point in the future," not "possibly". The Xen release will definitely happen, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Stay tuned!
Nov 8 @ 1:50am
In topic Update and others
We will likely support Black Mesa for quite a long time, but also move on to some kind of original, new IP.
Nov 8 @ 1:50am
In topic Is Depth of Field Supported?
We do not support/use DOF in Black Mesa. As you said, the screen blur was a bug with godrays which has since been fixed.
Nov 7 @ 11:31am
In topic What about New UI for Menu?
The new UI ran into issue after issue after issue after issue. We have had it slated for every major update release since like...Content Update 3, believe it or not. We still have it planned for the eventual Xen release, may not make it to that either. We'll see!
They are not officially supported. They only existed to test basic network functionality. We likely won't add them in the future either, though I won't rule it out entirely.
Nov 5 @ 9:43am
In topic Possible Update Soon (Xen maybe)
I dunno, I quite like being THE CHON.

Originally posted by Johnny Johnny:
If you guys follow the Blocktober announcements. Xen looks really good and very much done. Many people are reckoning that Xen will be released on Half-Life’s 20th Anniversary (This Thursday).

Xen released on Thursday will be amazing nonetheless, but will we at least be given some more news about Xen on the 8th?

What do you guys think?:gordon:

Also many people say that there is a possible update on the 19th which could be Xen?

But I doubt it

Nothing on Thursday, I'm afraid. But more news to come!
Originally posted by Zaxx:
It's easy: Black Mesa failed as a mod project. Why you might ask? Because the release we are waiting for now is not a mod, it's a full game developed for the Source engine. The project needed to be its own thing and it needed to become a commercial product in order to be completed and I think even the devs themselves admitted that Xen would not be possible in the free mod format.

So the mod "died" in 2012, that's as far as they got with it.

That feels a bit like an exercise in pedantry, but I do agree with you. Xen would never have seen the light of day without the project going commercial. It wouldn't have even made it out the gate in a crippled, poorly designed form; let alone the beefy, awesome monster that it is today. It's as simple as that. So if you want to keep things as close to their definition as possible, I suppose what you say is true.
The best advice posted so far is to disable MSAA. It is an absolutely massive, outdated resource hog, and doesn't even work properly with our deferred renderer. In the future, we're going to be implementing alternative methods of AA. Disabling MSAA will give you significant boosts in framerates.

Originally posted by Hanzo Kanobo:
You guys are like dogs. You continue to nibble the bone instead of biting the hand that throws this bone.

My hardware like any other similar or more powerful hardware deserves more FPS in BMS. The engine is old, it has BIGGEST problems with multi-rendering and pre-loading/upliading system. Therefore, in the same places in game we can have different FPS. Until the developers fix it, many people will have lags.

I am quite satisfied with 30 fps in the test chamber, during the burning of tentacles, launching a rocket, etc. BUT WTF? 30 FPS in a damn office? with several tables, partition walls and chairs? WITHOUT ANY EFFECTS! IS IT CLEAR?

Different places in the game perform at different levels because Source is almost exclusively bottlenecked by how many different props it is rendering at once. It is extremely CPU intensive and will suffer the most when there are lots of props. Many other factors are borderline irrelevant to Source's performance. It's just how the older engines work - particularly in places with lots of physics props. This is why the office performs poorly. There are lots of individual physics props. One single prop with 1,000 tris performs ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE better than 1,000 props with 1 tri, despite the tricount being the same in both cases (1,000). Modern engines don't have this problem as much.

This is why CS:GO/Portal 2 doesn't have this problem, and will perform better for you. Firstly, they are much less "mesh-dense" than Black Mesa. They tend to use very few physics props. They also use more recent optimisation methods, such as static prop clustering, which is something we've used EXTENSIVELY throughout Xen. It's hard to go back and apply these changes retroactively, as the Earthbound sections were not built with these techniques in mind.

We will continue to make under the hood optimisations and fixes to our own engine changes, but, if you actually took the levels apart and looked at them in the editor, they're mostly about as well optimised as they can be. We make extensive use of all of Source's built in optimisation functions - hint brushes, areaportals, occluders, fade distances, culling entities as you progress - it's all there. We just push the engine a bit too far in general. We have several major optimisation passes planned in the future, however. It can be better.

Originally posted by Hanzo Kanobo:
It doesn't matter if I use MSAA or not. I learned that the essence of the problem is that in the Source Engine, the old material loading system (textures, landscape geometry, effects, etc.). The game loads all the material immediately and then does not unload anything extra. In normal games this problem doesn't exist, because it have normal loading and rendering of the environment.

If desired, it can possible re-made the rendering and algorithms for loading textures, models and landscape along with effects. And then the game will unload unnecessary materials in time and load necessary materials.

This is not possible. Unless you want Xen to be released in 2029. We looked into such a system back when we were considering implementing VR, but it's way, way, way out of scope, requiring substantial rewrites to the entire engine.
Originally posted by Olde:
In terms of graphical fidelity, Black Mesa is essentially irrelevant in the modern industry except inasmuch as it represents as far as the Source 1 engine can be taken. The most cutting edge updates to Source 1 are still inferior to Unreal 4. The only reason to play Black Mesa is to see Crowbar Collective's interpretation of the levels. Source is buggy. It's non-cooperative. It's borderline broken. It's not only outdated, it's wholly obsolete. CC have put themselves in a no-win situation. By taking so long, they've assured themselves that the final result won't be able to compare with modern games. And by relying on Source, they've also assured themselves that development will take a long time.

If this game were an original IP, I doubt most people would care. The fact that it is a remake/re-imagining of one of the most beloved FPS's is the main thing going for it. Take the Half-Life name and the Lambda symbols away from it and you get a merely graphically adequate, buggy, more or less generic retro shooter irrationally being still developed on an obsolete engine.

I think you're looking at this too black and white. The point of Black Mesa is to provide a Source Engine, modernised interpretation of Half-Life 1. We were NEVER going to compare with modern games, BMS didn't even compare with modern games when the mod came out in 2012. That ship long since sailed, it would have sailed in 2007 as well!

What would you do on our position? The options we have pursued at the best ones for our situation. Working on another engine is not an option. It absolutely never was. Finishing the game quicker is not an option (otherwise we would have done that, don't you think?).

I think (well, obviously I would) that representing the best that Source can achieve is still a worthy goal. We kind of view our game as Source 1's swan song. A fitting way to cap off a remake of the original.

Originally posted by Olde:
What that translates to is Crowbar Collective have real jobs to be doing, not putting their efforts into Black Mesa, a side gig that incidentally costs $20 and whose early access lifespan can be indefinitely extended because who cares, it's not their real job anyway.

I work on BMS full-time, as do many other members. Lots of team members have families to support and cannot do so on the money from BMS alone. That isn't really a fair criticism. It's in our financial interests to release Xen as soon as possible and make it as good as possible, too. Why wouldn't we?

This criticism upsets me slightly because, on a personal level, the reason I haven't found a proper, full-time, properly paying job is because I care deeply about BMS. A lot of the full-time team members are the same. It's for passion over anything else. I struggle for this game, so please don't assume we're not working hard or putting effort into this just because you think we've been too slow.

Originally posted by Geronimo:
Bigger projects have been done with the same size team while asking for a $20 price tag. If this was still a free mod I would accept such excuses Olde. But no they demand a price point and they deserve every bit of criticism until they finish the product they promised to deliver.

Every project is different. Criticise us, that's fine, but don't do so using what other teams have accomplished. Our circumstances are pretty much one-off as far as game development goes. I can't think of any comparable project.
Originally posted by Hanzo Kanobo:
Don't be an idiot, dude. What the f*ck is money? Just the fact of the 20th Anniversary date of this great game! Because it is a ROUND NUMBER! Xen should have come out this summer, but they decided to give themselves time for additional polishing. Just extend the release time to the anniversary date. But there were some new ideas that required even more time, and now I'm not sure that Xen will be released even this year. They miscalculated. New ideas are nice, but it always takes a lot of time.

upd: From a small area that we saw in HL1 at the time of the cascade resonance, they made a whole ecosystem of aliens with Xenian jungles and swamps. Xen can expand infinitely, it can take a lot of time. This is both bad and good.

There weren't any new ideas that have slowed us down, you just completely made it up. Our vision of Xen has been locked in stone for a very long time now. If anything, it's been cut down further over the last year than anything else.

Also, where's the "Xen should have come out this summer" come from? Did you just make that up too? Since we very, very badly missed our last promised release date we've been pretty careful not to give any other timeframes until we are 100% confident in ourselves beyond a shadow of a doubt. That includes this 20th Anniversary. We've never promised anything beyond a vague tease, and that vague tease will still come to fruition (not sure why people are so upset about us missing anything, given we haven't actually said anything directly on the topic yet).

Don't get too incensed over an anniversary and a round number. Xen will not be any less special whether it comes out at the 20th Anniversary or not. That comes from its quality and the love that's put into it.

Originally posted by Zaxx:
Bleeding out from crunch to finish BMS by the time HL1 is turning 20 so nostalgic excitement could boost the sales and give the game some extra visibility? That's not how they roll, they are not in this thing for the money.

The last 6 months of Black Mesa have been the crunchiest months the team has ever experienced. Our previous month was the most productive the team has ever been. We are doing extremely well.

Originally posted by NeMoS:
Give us a date, deadline, anything. In July we were told that Xen is in final stages. Then 4 months on quet time and few more screens so you still can sell some copies. Its the same information for over a yesr now - "We are close" ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥T
I bet there are many other players that bought this game as I did, so lot of copies has been sold and yet you can't finish it (even with money you got from us).
Give us back our money!

As others have said, go back and reread the news post. You were told exactly where each chapter stood. There will be further updates soon.
Showing 1-20 of 2,124 entries