Black Mesa Cascades Into Steam Early Access

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Black Mesa Cascades Into Steam Early Access

Black Mesa, the long-awaited Half-Life remake, is finally on Steam Early Access with classic Deathmatch maps.

Remember that mysterious countdown on the Black Mesa website? Well it's finally ended and as suspected, it was all about the Half-Life remake's new Steam launch. More specifically, it's an Early Access release while we wait for the Xen chapters - but the return of classic Half-Life Deathmatch should smooth that detail over.

For those who haven't been following Black Mesa, it began life as a mod project to bring Half-Life to the updated Source engine. Its creators first released the mod in 2012, which quickly gained Valve's attention and eventual permission for a full release. The team has since been hard at work porting Black Mesas to a new engine and updating the experience of the original mod.

Black Mesa currently includes 85% of Half-Life's single-player campaign, revised and updated for a smoother gameplay experience. It also features remakes of classic multiplayer maps - Bounce, Gasworks, Lambdabunker, Stalkyard, Subtransit and Undertow. Presumably the team will now turns its attention to the still-absent Xen levels, but considering many players never enjoyed them to begin with? This should prove a popular launch for Half-Life players of all stripes.

Source: Steam, via PC Gamer

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So far it seems like the exact same thing as the free version but with multiplayer, just now giving you an option to pay the devs via Steam (rahter than through direct donations). Of course now they're almost certainly going to only update the version on Steam now. Can't say I like this move, but they did say that they were hoping to release it for pay on Steam and were getting approval from Valve - although they also said they would update the free version too if that happened, guess we'll have to wait on that.

ShakerSilver:
So far it seems like the exact same thing as the free version but with multiplayer, just now giving you an option to pay the devs via Steam (rahter than through direct donations). Of course now they're almost certainly going to only update the version on Steam now. Can't say I like this move, but they did say that they were hoping to release it for pay on Steam and were getting approval from Valve - although they also said they would update the free version too if that happened, guess we'll have to wait on that.

Though I'd say Black Mesa devs definitely deserve to get paid for their effort.

ShakerSilver:
So far it seems like the exact same thing as the free version but with multiplayer, just now giving you an option to pay the devs via Steam (rahter than through direct donations). Of course now they're almost certainly going to only update the version on Steam now. Can't say I like this move, but they did say that they were hoping to release it for pay on Steam and were getting approval from Valve - although they also said they would update the free version too if that happened, guess we'll have to wait on that.

Scrap that "almost certain" - a dev straight up said that they're not going to bother with the free 2012 release anymore.
Some people say that means there will be a complete new free release instead of "just" an update, but it doesn't sound even remotely like that.
So, basically, you're supposed to pay now 20$ for patches or you stick with a broken, incomplete version.

MrPeanut:
Though I'd say Black Mesa devs definitely deserve to get paid for their effort.

They apparently only put effort into learning how to become greedy and falling back onto their words in the past two years. And that certainly doesn't deserve any payment.

Bindal:

ShakerSilver:
So far it seems like the exact same thing as the free version but with multiplayer, just now giving you an option to pay the devs via Steam (rahter than through direct donations). Of course now they're almost certainly going to only update the version on Steam now. Can't say I like this move, but they did say that they were hoping to release it for pay on Steam and were getting approval from Valve - although they also said they would update the free version too if that happened, guess we'll have to wait on that.

Scrap that "almost certain" - a dev straight up said that they're not going to bother with the free 2012 release anymore.
Some people say that means there will be a complete new free release instead of "just" an update, but it doesn't sound even remotely like that.
So, basically, you're supposed to pay now 20$ for patches or you stick with a broken, incomplete version.

MrPeanut:
Though I'd say Black Mesa devs definitely deserve to get paid for their effort.

They apparently only put effort into learning how to become greedy and falling back onto their words in the past two years. And that certainly doesn't deserve any payment.

Why should you get it for free?

MrPeanut:
Why should you get it for free?

Because they announced it up to a few hours ago that the free version would get the same support as the paid version?
I don't mind if there is a paid version that looks prettier and may even have the exclusive Multiplayer (because both I don't care about) but what I do care about is being lied to about 'ongoing support' which apparently never was going to happen.

Bindal:

MrPeanut:
Why should you get it for free?

Because they announced it up to a few hours ago that the free version would get the same support as the paid version?
I don't mind if there is a paid version that looks prettier and may even have the exclusive Multiplayer (because both I don't care about) but what I do care about is being lied to about 'ongoing support' which apparently never was going to happen.

Well, you should demand a refund, then.

Bindal:

MrPeanut:
Why should you get it for free?

Because they announced it up to a few hours ago that the free version would get the same support as the paid version?
I don't mind if there is a paid version that looks prettier and may even have the exclusive Multiplayer (because both I don't care about) but what I do care about is being lied to about 'ongoing support' which apparently never was going to happen.

An emotional response that has no bearing in the reality of Black Mesa's creation and release. Whether they lied or not, does not detract from the fact that they have put years of their lives into a mod/remake, for free. For those that still want to play the first half, as a huge demo of sorts, they still have the download up for free.

But in no way can they be condemned for seeking compensation for full access to their project - a project both endorsed by Valve, and one that has cost them a rather large portion of their lives to create. If you are truly offended towards an alleged lie, then you are free not to give them any of your money. Just do not feel justified in smearing their names for doing something perfectly rational and reasonable.

I see the drama is in full swing already.
I really won't blame them, they were making this thing for god knows how many years so they completely deserve it, but someone better make sure everyone on the team gets the proper cut.
And the free version is still out there if that is what you want.

You know.... BLack Mesa devs... we need to have some words. I get that this game is a big thing for you and I'm happy.. but seriously? Early Access? After how many years? YOU release the same thing in Early Access?

That... smacks of laziness. Rather than say, smend the time working on chuffing Xen and release a full reimagining for the steam Store... you do this? Really? Years later and this is what we get? For chuffs sakes you should be releasing Half Lif completly and Opposing Force or at the very least Blueshift.

And since this is Early Access I assume that it's gonna be at least a year before you get into full release so really.. this is unacceptable. I love your work but how many chuffin people were interested in your HL1 remake because of the chuffin multiplayer.

ShakerSilver:
So far it seems like the exact same thing as the free version but with multiplayer, just now giving you an option to pay the devs via Steam (rahter than through direct donations). Of course now they're almost certainly going to only update the version on Steam now. Can't say I like this move, but they did say that they were hoping to release it for pay on Steam and were getting approval from Valve - although they also said they would update the free version too if that happened, guess we'll have to wait on that.

From the Steam store page:

Heavily updated single player experience - The Black Mesa single player experience has greatly improved from the mod release; new visuals, new voice over, updated gameplay encounters, stability changes and more. Xen is not part of the Steam release of Black Mesa, but will included as a free update when it is ready.

As for Bindal's attitude: The Black Mesa development team doesn't owe you anything for free. Why does ongoing support for the 2012 version bother you so much? Did you invest much time or money in it? I can understand feeling left out or 'lied to' when a newer version of a game you've paid for comes around, but Black Mesa 2012 didn't cost a dime.
I've seen a lot of people complain that they've "waited all this time, only for it to be paid". Well gee, congrats on sitting on your ass for the last 10 years while these guys worked their asses off instead.

Concerning Xen: It's coming, but they want to make sure it's up to par with the rest of the top notch quality. The money gained from Early Access is supposed to go towards that.

EDIT:

MonsterCrit:
You know.... BLack Mesa devs... we need to have some words. I get that this game is a big thing for you and I'm happy.. but seriously? Early Access? After how many years? YOU release the same thing in Early Access?

That... smacks of laziness. Rather than say, smend the time working on chuffing Xen and release a full reimagining for the steam Store... you do this? Really? Years later and this is what we get? For chuffs sakes you should be releasing Half Lif completly and Opposing Force or at the very least Blueshift.

And since this is Early Access I assume that it's gonna be at least a year before you get into full release so really.. this is unacceptable. I love your work but how many chuffin people were interested in your HL1 remake because of the chuffin multiplayer.

Well, they're releasing it to Early Access so that they can finish Xen. The funds can hopefully speed up some of the development, instead of waiting another 5 years for Xen. Also, starting work on Op4/Blueshift would be a waste of time as there's already another mod team working on that: http://tripminestudios.com

Y'know, I really liked the first Half-Life. Hell, I won't lie, I'll definitely be buying this.
After full release
After it goes on sale for at least 50%
After I'm bored of everything else that I'm currently playing
After I forget I have it on my wishlist
After some other thing.

But I definitely plan on getting it....eventually.

MonsterCrit:
You know.... BLack Mesa devs... we need to have some words. I get that this game is a big thing for you and I'm happy.. but seriously? Early Access? After how many years? YOU release the same thing in Early Access?

That... smacks of laziness. Rather than say, smend the time working on chuffing Xen and release a full reimagining for the steam Store... you do this? Really? Years later and this is what we get? For chuffs sakes you should be releasing Half Lif completly and Opposing Force or at the very least Blueshift.

And since this is Early Access I assume that it's gonna be at least a year before you get into full release so really.. this is unacceptable. I love your work but how many chuffin people were interested in your HL1 remake because of the chuffin multiplayer.

It's in early access because they still haven't finished the Xen levels yet. I bet you people would be pretty damn pissed if they were releasing a full game with the last quarter of it slashed out to be added at a later time.

There are a few gripes I have with Black Mesa (Shitty music that doesn't fit at all, and a weak submachine gun), but going into early access isn't one of them.

Soviet Heavy:

MonsterCrit:
You know.... BLack Mesa devs... we need to have some words. I get that this game is a big thing for you and I'm happy.. but seriously? Early Access? After how many years? YOU release the same thing in Early Access?

That... smacks of laziness. Rather than say, smend the time working on chuffing Xen and release a full reimagining for the steam Store... you do this? Really? Years later and this is what we get? For chuffs sakes you should be releasing Half Lif completly and Opposing Force or at the very least Blueshift.

And since this is Early Access I assume that it's gonna be at least a year before you get into full release so really.. this is unacceptable. I love your work but how many chuffin people were interested in your HL1 remake because of the chuffin multiplayer.

It's in early access because they still haven't finished the Xen levels yet. I bet you people would be pretty damn pissed if they were releasing a full game with the last quarter of it slashed out to be added at a later time.

There are a few gripes I have with Black Mesa (Shitty music that doesn't fit at all, and a weak submachine gun), but going into early access isn't one of them.

MY point is that It's been like 2 years since I played Black Mesa. 2 years and I was fairly late to the party. 2 years later and they still haven't finished Xen... which you'd think would actually be easy since the Xen areas were more well, abstract, there wasn't much in the way inter connectivity that needed Outside the factory.

But instead of Xen they give us... Multiplayer maps?

Can someone explain to me how/why Valve is letting these guys re-make their game and charge for a remake of Deathmatch on Early Access?

I don't understand it at all, seems like this would fall under copyright infringement since they're selling it.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Can someone explain to me how/why Valve is letting these guys re-make their game and charge for a remake of Deathmatch on Early Access?

I don't understand it at all, seems like this would fall under copyright infringement since they're selling it.

It's only copyright infringement if the owner doesn't agree to let you use the IP.

Considering that this source mod fan remake of Valve's Half Life 1 is now being sold for money on Valve's own digital storefront, I think it's safe to say that Valve knows about it and have given them permission, turning this team from a bunch of fans working on a mod for fun into legitimate game developers.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Can someone explain to me how/why Valve is letting these guys re-make their game and charge for a remake of Deathmatch on Early Access?

I don't understand it at all, seems like this would fall under copyright infringement since they're selling it.

Because Valve approved the mod and has been supportive of the remake (Since they aren't interested in remaking it). By selling it on Steam, Valve also gets money from it.

It isn't copyright infringement because Valve gave them approval. Copyright infringement is using a copyright without approval of the Holder of said Copyright.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Can someone explain to me how/why Valve is letting these guys re-make their game and charge for a remake of Deathmatch on Early Access?

I don't understand it at all, seems like this would fall under copyright infringement since they're selling it.

No doubt Value is getting most of the money and they are getting just a small cut. Hell, Value should be paying THEM for remaking one of their most popular games so well with no time and effort on Value's part.

You know, I'd be forgiving if they actually gave a proper ETA on Xen, even if it's something like 2 years or such, maybe even a progress update on what's it's state currently, because saying "it's weird and hard" and "we don't know when" is doing more to piss me off than making me pay for your continued efforts. Oh, but there's multiplayer. The thing everyone wanted.

Then again, communication was never their strong suit, but after 10 years they really should have realised that making small production updates on only select things, while keeping mum and others, and keeping it all buried in their own forums guarantees that 95% of people won't know fucking anything you did in all those years.

Hell, I knew their plans, visited the forums, knew about their engine upgrades and had seen the MP maps and asset upgrades, and I still feel like they were fucking about for 3 years instead of making Xen, despite having some knowledge to the contrary. An in-depth enough description about what you are doing and why you are doing it on a platform that wasn't your own damn forum would have went a long way in making people understand what you are doing, instead of saying that you are doing whatever and not explaining anything properly.

Edit: Well rounded, regular updates put front and center, instead of being shoved in your forums would have helped as well.

Oh, and another thing that pissed me off back when they first said they were remaking HL:DM, was that they were willing to take the time and effort to remake the entire multiplayer of HL1 with quite a few of the maps, that's all fine and dandy, but remaking Hazard Course would take too much effort for not enough gain? Fuck right off.

They didn't even fix Surface Tension, despite acknowledging that that part of the game got fucked because the guy making it left the team AND hiring the guy that made a rough mod that fixed it, which everyone assumed would lead to them updating that part of the game. Is it fixed? Nope.

Again these types of things piling up without a proper response to them really puts the past 3 years (rather unfairly) in an unflattering light.

NLS:
As for Bindal's attitude: The Black Mesa development team doesn't owe you anything for free. Why does ongoing support for the 2012 version bother you so much? Did you invest much time or money in it? I can understand feeling left out or 'lied to' when a newer version of a game you've paid for comes around, but Black Mesa 2012 didn't cost a dime.
I've seen a lot of people complain that they've "waited all this time, only for it to be paid". Well gee, congrats on sitting on your ass for the last 10 years while these guys worked their asses off instead.

Well, then, how about straight from the devs themselves when they originally announced the paid version?
http://www.moddb.com/mods/black-mesa/news/happy-birthday-half-life
Or, if you don't want to read the entire newspost yourself, here is the straight quote:

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!

And today they came out, basically saying "Sorry, folks, we decided to be greedy and don't support the free version."
So, yeah, after this, they can go eff themselves, I am not paying a single cent for this bull.

Smooth Operator:
I see the drama is in full swing already.
I really won't blame them, they were making this thing for god knows how many years so they completely deserve it, but someone better make sure everyone on the team gets the proper cut.
And the free version is still out there if that is what you want.

Except the free version is now heavily outdated, still broken and won't get any updates anymore.

wow, this is the very first time i've thrown my hat into the "gamers are entitled babies" ring. not all of us, obviously. but yeah, people in this thread complaining about the paid version, complaining about the lack of support for the free version. wow.

if you want a free version, go code it yourself. what's that? you don't know how to make games? go learn. i know, it costs money to learn a skill, but luckily you'll be compensated after the fact when you release a passion project people actually want and you charge them... oh right, free. nevermind.

Bindal:
So, yeah, after this, they can go eff themselves, I am not paying a single cent for this bull.

I'm sure the loss of the money you were never going to spend in the first place will bring them to their knees and show them the error of their ways. I'm behind you 100%!

2HF:

Bindal:
So, yeah, after this, they can go eff themselves, I am not paying a single cent for this bull.

I'm sure the loss of the money you were never going to spend in the first place will bring them to their knees and show them the error of their ways. I'm behind you 100%!

Except I probably would've bought the paid version sometimes down the line (most likely around the time the whole thing was finished) and kept myself busy with the free version until then.
After this stunt? Nope. And I know enough people who think exactly the same as well as a few, who waited for my opinion before they purchase (which is now a giant 'don't')

martyrdrebel27:
wow, this is the very first time i've thrown my hat into the "gamers are entitled babies" ring. not all of us, obviously. but yeah, people in this thread complaining about the paid version, complaining about the lack of support for the free version. wow.

if you want a free version, go code it yourself. what's that? you don't know how to make games? go learn. i know, it costs money to learn a skill, but luckily you'll be compensated after the fact when you release a passion project people actually want and you charge them... oh right, free. nevermind.

And here is the prime-example of a grade A a-hole.
The devs stated until HOURS ago (shortly after the release of the paid version, specifically) that they would keep the free version updated - or rather, release a new one on similar terms of the paid one. They said that about two years ago and were ensuring the whole time that this plan didn't change. Until three hours ago, where the plan apparently DID change to "completely go back on what we promised the past two years and just get greedy".
This is not about wanting a free version, but wanting to get the support we were supposed to get for an already released, incomplete and free version - but never got.

The entitlement is strong in this thread...

Guys, the developers of this game owe you NOTHING. Your investment was whatever time you spent playing the game, some hard drive space and the download. You didn't shell out $50 for an unfinished game, you got it for free, from a team of modders doing a project for the fans with the costs coming out of their pockets, not yours. Now, if you buy the early access version and the promised Xen maps get scrapped or cancelled for whatever reason, then you have a case. But if you're going to complain because a game you downloaded for absolutely zero dollars isn't getting supported anymore, then you need to check your sense of entitlement.

Echoing @GTMippey

Can you get a more inflated sense of entitlement? They worked their asses off between jobs to pull this off. They originally thought they would make nothing, but now Valve has been gracious enough to allow them a meager profit for their very hard work.

If you're butthurt about the buggy version; you know what? It was fucking free!

And if you're mad that they're going back on what they initially said; you know what? It wasn't a legally binding contract. It was a statement of intent and they changed their minds.

So they are not legally nor morally obliged to maintain their original intent, and it costs you NOTHING personally. If you want someone to continue to pander to you, personally, free of charge forever well...that's not how the world works, bucko!

I played the free version once, was happy never thought about it again.

Bindal:
Well, then, how about straight from the devs themselves when they originally announced the paid version?
http://www.moddb.com/mods/black-mesa/news/happy-birthday-half-life
Or, if you don't want to read the entire newspost yourself, here is the straight quote:

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!

And today they came out, basically saying "Sorry, folks, we decided to be greedy and don't support the free version."
So, yeah, after this, they can go eff themselves, I am not paying a single cent for this bull.

Yeah, feel free to stomp around whining like a bitch that you're not getting ANOTHER triple-A grade product for free. Also, feel free to eat a mile of dick while you're at it.

The fact that people still spout "entitlement" these days as if it meant anything is astounding. Has no one heard of the difference between entitlement and self-entitlement, or did they buy the whole "gamer entitlement" thing pushed by the media so much that they also bought into their backwards grammar?

Had the devs been upfront about stopping support for the free version of the game once it was approved for sale on Steam then there wouldn't be much of a backlash against the move. The fact that they would spit in the face of the fans that supported them through their forums for so long by essentially lying to them for years is the real point of outrage here, not the simple fact that they're making money off of their work. I don't see the "entitlement" from gamers who want the people making games for them to upfront and honest with them.

Bindal:

MrPeanut:
Why should you get it for free?

Because they announced it up to a few hours ago that the free version would get the same support as the paid version?
I don't mind if there is a paid version that looks prettier and may even have the exclusive Multiplayer (because both I don't care about) but what I do care about is being lied to about 'ongoing support' which apparently never was going to happen.

Source? I've been looking all over their forums and can find nothing about them giving up the mod version.

ShakerSilver:
The fact that people still spout "entitlement" these days as if it meant anything is astounding. Has no one heard of the difference between entitlement and self-entitlement, or did they buy the whole "gamer entitlement" thing pushed by the media so much that they also bought into their backwards grammar?

Had the devs been upfront about stopping support for the free version of the game once it was approved for sale on Steam then there wouldn't be much of a backlash against the move. The fact that they would spit in the face of the fans that supported them through their forums for so long by essentially lying to them for years is the real point of outrage here, not the simple fact that they're making money off of their work. I don't see the "entitlement" from gamers who want the people making games for them to upfront and honest with them.

Oh shut the fuck up, dickhead, why dont YOU fucking try rebuilding a AAA game in the latest engine FOR FREE? It didnt take them 10 years because they were on RedTube jerkin' in, it took 10 years because it was A LOT OF FUCKING WORK. And now you and that fuckwit are gonna clutch your wallets and pearls, bitching and whining because they didn't give you ENOUGH free shit, man, go FUCK YOURSELF. Straight up, fold yourself in half and FUCK YOUR OWN FACE. People like you and Bindal give us all a bad name.

The selectiveness of gamer outrage rears it's ugly head once again, with the normal "when people I like do X it's OK, when people I don't like do it they are LITERALLY HITLERSATAN" formula.

AAA game has a single difference between the trailer/promised features and release? "BULLSHOTS! TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS! BOYCOTT! SUE! RUN THESE SCUM OUT OF THE INDUSTRY!"

Indies backpedal on a longstanding promise purely in the interest of profit? "OMG it's their game, they can do whatever they want stop being such whiny losers!"
Imma try this train of logic next time people start yowling about how EA murdered their cat or whatever and see how fast my inbox reaches hatemail capacity.

OT: I really hope they fix the SMG being shit and manage to make Xen less like pulling teeth, because with those two things and some bugfixing this would be the definitive HL1 experience. That said I have wayyy too many other games in the que for me to be excited about this announcement. Call me in 2020 when it leaves early access.

An inquiry, to people that are getting worked up about this:

How much time do you think each guy on the team has to spend on this a day? A week? A month?

Given that they've been doing this, for free, for years now, that would mean that either they're some weird offshoot of humans that don't need to eat, are robots, or are having to do this in the meager free time they have between actual jobs, family, friends, and other stuff that constitutes a normal life.

Fact is, if they get paid, they can afford to have some people spend more of their time and effort to complete it faster.

The imminently easier option - for YEARS, now - would be for them to say 'screw it. screw you. screw everyone' and just stop working on it. So the fact that everyone is getting so royally pissed that they DIDN'T bail out, but also had the gall to require payment for their ongoing work is sad.

Either way, whatever. Internet gunna mad.

War_Dyn27:

Bindal:

MrPeanut:
Why should you get it for free?

Because they announced it up to a few hours ago that the free version would get the same support as the paid version?
I don't mind if there is a paid version that looks prettier and may even have the exclusive Multiplayer (because both I don't care about) but what I do care about is being lied to about 'ongoing support' which apparently never was going to happen.

Source? I've been looking all over their forums and can find nothing about them giving up the mod version.

http://forums.blackmesasource.com/index.php/Thread/19095-Free-vs-Steam-version/?postID=591591#post591591
There, a clear statement that the free version is not supported anymore.

Bindal:

War_Dyn27:

Bindal:

Because they announced it up to a few hours ago that the free version would get the same support as the paid version?
I don't mind if there is a paid version that looks prettier and may even have the exclusive Multiplayer (because both I don't care about) but what I do care about is being lied to about 'ongoing support' which apparently never was going to happen.

Source? I've been looking all over their forums and can find nothing about them giving up the mod version.

http://forums.blackmesasource.com/index.php/Thread/19095-Free-vs-Steam-version/?postID=591591#post591591
There, a clear statement that the free version is not supported anymore.

No wonder I couldn't find it!

You said 'they were saying that the free version would be updated until a few hours ago' this post you linked is SIX MONTHS OLD!

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