Superbus Via Inscientiae

for Black Mesa

Gordon finds himself in the questionable territories of the Biodome Complex, but his goal of escaping Black Mesa remain the same.

Basic Details
  • Title: Superbus Via Inscientiae
  • Filename: bm-sp-superbus-via-inscientiae-v110.7z
  • Size : 42.60MB
  • Author: Kevin J. Rattman
  • Date Released: 05 September 2016
Author’s Notes

The following details are taken from the readme.txt, found in the archive

All music in the map were composed by Joel Nielsen.
Visit his website at http://www.joelnielsen.com/.

Changelog

– VERSION 1.1.0. (August 15th, 2016, RTSL Release) –

** VISUAL
* Cleaned up the cluttered face-oriented textures at the transit station. Also gave higher lightmap on certain textures there for more realistic lighting.
* Fixed decals being cut by a ventilation opening in C04 (Hazmat 01) Lab.
* Fixed a Barnacle’s skin is stuck on space between ceiling and the wall in the basement scene.
* Gave surrounding walls near the whiteboard a higher lightmap for more realistic lighting effect.
* Thinned the broken glass shatters in the security chambers.
* Fixed a health kit and a battery being stuck into the box in the second battle arena.

** GAMEPLAY
* Fixed NPC collision bug where NPCs can get stuck on top of a prop in the lobby scene (one with the X-Ray picture).
* Partially fixed a bug where grenade/satchel charges would not destroy explosives in the basement scene (by adding a hidden Tripmine).
* Alarm lights will no longer turn off when you face the XLC (Xenian Laser Cannon).
* The battle supplies will no longer spawn until the battle is initiated.
* The speedrun achievement “GONE IN TWENTY MINUTES!” is now renamed and reduced to 16 minutes. It also will now count time spent in the first decon chamber.

** COMBAT BALANCE
* Major difficulty balancing for the second battle scene – reworked the entire scene from the ground up. There are less marines and aliens participating in the battle. The combat should be much more easier for the first time players. But it is still challenging and you still might die if you are not careful.
* Added supplies in the corridor section for easier health/battery access during the second battle scene.
* Manning the turret machine gun will no longer spawn extra hordes of enemies.
* Scientists and Security Guards now have lower health hit points to accommodate lower difficulty. They now have 300 HP, 600 if players attained the achievement reward (prev: 400 and 800 respectively).
* The four turrets in the PSI chamber now have higher health hit points to make the battle easier. They now have 50 HP, 100 if players attained the achievement reward (prev: 40 and 80 respectively).
* Removed certain excessive ammunitions in the second battle scene and the XLC scene.
* Scientists and Security Guards no longer have a super-vision.
* More health supplies are now available in XLC scene.
* Partially fixed a bug where scientists would rush into the war-zone during the battle.
* The XLC has slightly more delay when firing (doubled). This should allow players to successfully dodge the laser if they are skilled enough, but it still shouldn’t be an easy target. The cannon fires at its default fire rate initially, but once player gets to a vantage point, it will start fire slower, allowing players to attack it more safely.
* PSI marine squad settings was revamped. There are less marines now.
* Houndeyes now may spawn in PSI chamber battle, replacing certain vortigaunts.
* Removed the Turret Redemption Squad in the XLC scene.
* Removed an Alien Grunt from OSI 08 Lab.
* Replaced the Assassin battle as it was proven to be too challenging for players. Now there are considerably weaker enemies.

– VERSION 1.0.0. (August 12th, 2016, BM Forum Release) –

* Initial Release.

Extra

* Contact me (the creator) at http://steamcommunity.com/id/KevinJRattman/
* Huge thanks to Joel Nielsen for letting me use his non-BM music on my map!

* Average expected playtime: 40 minutes.
* Number of edicts used: Over 2700!
* Speedrun record: About 18 minutes in hard mode, think you can beat it?
* Time spent making: Over 8 months, from Sunday, December 20th, 2015 to Friday, August 12th, 2016. However there was a long hiatus from Match to June, so the actual time spent is less. The majority of work was done from December to February, while the testing and bug fixing was done from July to August. I worked almost 9-to-5 during the very last minute of the development!

* This map is currently exclusively released both to the Black Mesa forum (forums.blackmesasource.com) and PlanetPhillip’s runthinkshootlive.com. I plan to upload the map on Black Mesa Steam Workshop in the future.
* For now, I, personally believe this map is very easy. So I do not think of making any walkthrough video. But well, if people find the map a bit too hard, or it seems like people are unable to pass through certain point or miss some achievements, I will consider making one.
* Please note that I made this map for my personal joy sorely. I did not even intend releasing it until the very last stage. Now, I tried my best to fix every bug possible, but, I’m not the best mapper out there. So being an inexperienced modder, I wasn’t able to tackle certain performance related bugs. So you may see one or two framedrops in certain parts of the map. I ironed out most of them though.
* The screenshots were taken in the early 2016, and therefore may not exactly depict the current version of the map, as I made various minor changes in the map since then. However, the basic layout and the general key-areas are all still there.
* No aliens nor scientists/security guards were actually harmed during the making of this map.

Gameplay FAQs

Q: I have a very crude sudden lag when starting the map for the first time, although it removes away itself. How do I fix this?
A: Exit the map (do so via “disconnect” console input) enter in console command “async_mode 1”, then load the map again.

Q: How the hell do I beat the marine/aliens battle while still having all the scientists/guards survive?!
A: Keep the scientists and the guard in the decontamination chamber and simply wait out until only one of them remains. Be careful not to draw attention too much.

Q: How do I successfully climb up a ladder while in a vent?
A: When you are on top of the ladder, press and hold these buttons in order: W, Ctrl, and Space bar.

Q: Why is there a ladder in a vent anyway?
A: It’s a game.

Q: Where are all the four levers for the turret controls?
A: Two are on the ground, and two are underwater. The ground ones are each located in front of the control panel and inside one of the 50 cal room. The underwater ones are each located to the right of the main entrance and near the health/suit chargers. I will tell you, though. You did not need to look for FAQ to know this, as I also have put in-game hints on where they are.

Q: Why the alien turrets don’t seem like being damaged by Tau Cannons / Gluon Guns?
A: The alien turrets are energy-based enemy. You wouldn’t kill a Charmander with a fire attack, no? Try using different weapons like bullets or explosives. If you run out of explosives, here’s a hint. Try backtrack up to where you seen the bullsquid in the decon chamber. Hopefully you’ll find a whiteboard with a hint written on it.

Q: What is the requirements for the speedrun achievement?
A: You must complete the level from the moment where the chapter title appears and up to the last vent crawling area with dead assassin in it. You must complete the course under twenty (20) minutes. When you pause the game, the timer will also pause. When you load a save file, the timer will reset to the state of the save file. For example, if you saved on the 5 minutes mark and load up on the 10 minutes mark, the timer resets back to 5 minutes.

Q: How do I complete certain achievements? They seem impossible!
A: They are possible.

Known Bugs

Bugs that are labeled as (game bug) means the bug is on the main game side, and therefore I cannot fix it. Crowbar Collective, #plsfix.

If you find any bugs, report them to me!

* AI – NPCs may think closed blast doors are open and will try go through.
* PERFORMANCE – Frame drops when ceiling turrets shoot at stuffs.
* VISUAL – During the flooded vent / PSI chamber area, the sun’s godrays may be seen through opaque textures underwater (game bug).
* VISUAL – Some portals do not have dynamic lighting (game bug – not consistent!).

Achievement List

There are total fifteen unique achievements that can be obtained in this map. Try to hunt them all! Note that certain achievements are mutually obtainable – obtaining one may disable the other.

If you do not want spoilers, stop reading here. Achievement details follows.

(01)ALONE WOLF
Let all 5 survivors perish.

(02)COMMODIOUS RESCUE SQUAD
Help all 5 survivors to the safety.

(03)TV SHY
Destroy 33 TVs in the map.

(04) YUKITO’S PLEASURE
Participate in the ARG.

(05) GONE IN SIXTEEN MINUTES!
Complete the level within 16 minutes.

(06 )REVOLVER OCELOT
Obtain the hidden, secret Revolver.

(07) FIX IT DENIZ
Find and use the broken computer at Doctor Hillard’s office.

(08) PRINCIPLES OF TURRET CONTROLS
Activate all 4 turrets in the P.S.I. chamber.

(09) TRUST NO ONE
Attack the friendly guys.

(10) 4 NON BLONDES SING…
What’s up here?

(11) NEVER GONNA LET YOU IN
Attempt to open locked doors.

(12) CHARGER DEFEATED
Destroy a health charger.

(13) HYPOCRITIC OATH
Let an unarmed poor civilian die.

(14) A REDEMPTION FROM HELL
”Kill” a zombified soldier.

(15) ACROSS THE BORDERWORLD
Obtain the hidden, secret Jump Module.

Gauge Users

Currently, Gauge cannot install Black Mesa releases.

Download Options

Download to your HDD [42.60MB]

Manual Installation Instructions

This map will NOT work for the free legacy version of Black Mesa. This map will ONLY work for the NEWEST version of STEAM Black Mesa (Surface Tension: Uncut update version).

If the map crashes with edict error, you must be running either free or older version of Black Mesa.

This map heavily relies on the new engine features available only on retail Black Mesa.

If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.
The video below contains full installation instructions.

  • If you don’t already have one, create a folder called “custom” in the “bms” folder of your Black Mesa retail installation folder.
  • Copy the SVI.vpk file into the “custom” folder
  • OPTIONAL FOR SUBTITLES: If you don’t already have one, create a “resources” folder in the “bms” folder of your Black Mesa retail installation folder.
  • Create “closecaption_english.dat” into the “resources” folder.
  • Open the “gameinfo.txt” file found in the “bms” folder with a TEXT EDITOR, not word processor.
  • Add “game+mod bms/custom/*” to the “// Black Mesa VPK files.” section if it is not there.
  • Launch Black Mesa
  • Open the console and type map bm_c2a4x and now press ENTER.

Videos

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

1024 x 576

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Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

8 recommendations, average score: 4.5 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.75 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 6 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: 0 Users
Manually: 6 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 0 Hours, 52 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 35 Mins by Hec
Longest: 1 Hours, 10 Mins by PlanetPhillip
Total Time Played: 5 Hours, 10 Mins
Jump to a review
Phillip says Play It!Play It Now!Play It Now!Maybe?Play It Now!Maybe?Play It Now!Personal Favourite

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17 Comments

  1. Phillip says Play It!

    This is fantastic. I nearly gave it a Personal Favourite but decided that it just wasn’t exciting enough to want to replay it, and that’s part of the criteria for a PF, for me at least.

    The design, layout and polish are superb, there is a gradual progression, both in terms of difficulty, weapons and enemies.

    I got stuck a few times, but part of that was not having played the game itself and part of it was my being a little dense – I certainly don’t hold it against the author.

    Playing on HARD is certainly a challenge and besides a section in the water which I switched back to normal for, I felt it was fair.

    If you decide to watch the video when it finally gets online, don’t worry too much about the 3 deaths very near the beginning!

    Even though I said I didn’t give it a PF because I wasn’t excited to replay it, I might because there are a couple of sections I want to try again with different tactics. Saving the NPCs and the handles for the ceiling turrets is another.

    SPOILERS
    There are 4 handles for each turret and I thought there was only one and it was a kinda of replayability thing – DOH!
    SPOILERS END

    The more I play BM maps, the more I realise that the houndeyes are terrifically tough. I need to deal with those first.

    In some sections, I felt the enemy spawning was a little over done, but maybe that’s due to playing on HARD.

    I highly recommend your playing this release as soon as you can and hope that more and more releases like this are made.

    Well Done Kevin – please make more!

    Go Play It Now!

  2. wow where are all the new black mesa maps are coming from all of a sudden 😉
    I’ll PLAY IT NOW as Phillip said

  3. Play It Now!

    Wow! What a surprising release of the first larger Black Mesa map to date.

    This must be the 1st release ever where you sit on it for more than 10 or 15 minutes. I believe I required 1 hour+ in order to finish it but also only because I was exploring every room and checking out every detail.

    Mapping wise this little map/mod truly knows to convince and you truly feel as this could’ve been a part of the official Black Mesa game. The facility itself feels alive and you get plenty of action to see. Be it the struggle of the marines to contain the situation and capturing you Gordon Freeman or simply your fellow colleagues fighting for their own survival. Unlike in previous Bms map releases we also finally get more usage of ambient sounds and the VOX speaker. Fantastic your ears are always entertained and so are your eyes.

    Game play wise the map was solid constructed. What I disliked a little bit about this release (played it on hard) is the over use of Aliens teleporting in. They on location spawned in such a quantity that it caused massive frame drops while that happened. And that’s just not good especially when you’re under fire while that happens. Sometimes lesser is more. In either case there are only 2 spots in the map where that happens so it’s okay and most of the time the map runs smooth.

    Another huge disappointment was the area colored in red alert lights near a ceiling turret. I had such massive frame drops that it truly disturbed the game flow. Might be the over use and particles in that area I can’t tell. But I hope the author of the map will address that in a future patch. Other than that it’s lovely made map and I didn’t experience any bugs. The end of the map was however rather disappointing considering how well all the rest of it was executed. Normally I’m not a fan of backtracking my way in Half-Life but in this case it was well executed and not boring or tiresome even. The map also has some good memorable moments in it.

    Story: The story is the plain old one we know and love. You Gordon Freeman stranded inside the Facility and attempting to escape the facility through the Bio Dome complex.

    Due to the prior mentioned frame drops and the bad ending – the fact that I had to manually create the folder structure myself in order to even be allowed and able to play it I wont rate this personal favorite if it weren’t for that it would be worth consideration.

    As for the 7zip. I suggest adding the files in folder format in the 7zip. Some people may have difficulties setting it properly up. As a dev there’s one unspoken rule. “Always expect the stupidity of people – always”. So make it as easy as possible for them. Not to mention when downloading something you wanna hop right into the action and don’t wanna spend another 5 minutes in some config files.

  4. Play It Now!

    A really enjoyable Black Mesa adventure. The environments were nicely setup and you had to think to progress. I really liked the turret area where you need to do your searching for something. There was lots of weaponry and ammo so you never felt like you were a at a disadvantage. I thought the enemy spawning was too much at times though but other than that this was great.

  5. RobosergTV

    Great! We need MORE BM mods!

    I fail to see the mod thread on the http://forums.blackmesasource.com, can anyone help me find it please?

      1. Thanks. Is there any possibility I can get notified when someone replies to me?

  6. Maybe?

    This map is a really good looking map. It makes good use of effects from Black Mesa and showcases them in a really cool manner. There are a few things to address however that if changed could make this map really fun to play.

    The first and main culprit of this map is combat. The combat is not very well done and needs to be adjusted. It always seemed cluttered and did not create fun game play. One many occasions, the player finds themselves facing up to 6 HECU marines. Gun combat should take place far apart from the NPC you are fighting. You should never be able to run straight up to marines of any kind. Also limit the amount of marines in an area. Don’t put 6 of them in an enclosed space. It makes the combat dull and frustrating. The same can be said about the vortigaunts. There was one point in the map were there were about 5 of them right in front of the player. Having more enemies in an area does not make the combat more fun. The alien turret gun was a good idea but one of the rooms in the corridor had a Grunt in it right at the door. The aim of the turret place was “Cross the corridor without dying” but then running into the grunt stole away from that immediately.

    The room with the mounted machine guns and the aliens spawning in was a good idea but not very well executed. As the “waves” became more frequent, it became less strategically and more “Spam” like. The aliens were spawning too quickly for the player to comprehend and then the door opened and the marines came out. I am aware there were the levers to turn on the turrets but I started the waves before I got the turrets on. To fix this, I would force the player to get the turrets online first and then have the waves begin. Or have less enemies spawning in and have a short break for 10 seconds or something for the player to restock on health.

    The achievements were a neat little touch in this map and some of them were really creative! This is something that I enjoyed and should definitely be kept in.

    The game play of the map was shaky. There were parts that were good like the Alien turret but other parts could be adjusted. The vent in the room of headcrabs could be made so as to draw the player’s eye. I did not like the part at the end were you had to go to the turbine room to then have to go all the way back, do more fighting to then pull a lever and go all the way back to the turbine room and jump across. That bit was my least favourite part of the map. It did not seem connected and it just wasn’t fun. I would just have the player progressing from there and maybe adding a part at the end after the turbine room to save the player going back and forth.
    Overall the map needs a bit of adjustment but it’s definitely heading in the right path.

    1. JamaicanDave

      I’ve given it a play through and I’m inclined to agree with Dolmo. I feel slightly bad considering how much work has clearly gone into this, but I’m torn between Maybe and Play It Later (leaning towards the former).

      I might sign up to give a full review and recommendation later, but in a nut shell I felt this map suffered from ‘too much’. Way too many pick ups, way too many enemies, too much detailing (yes that’s right too much detailing), all thrown at the player too quickly.

      I love atmosphere and exploration but in this case I just ended up bulldozing my way through the map. It might be my personal preference, but less really is more.

      That said, it’s an enjoyable map (except the vent section, sorry navigating slightly wonky vents underwater was painful). The Questionable Ethics theme is probably my favourite and is done really well. The level design was great and there were lots little elements that helped bring the environment to life.

  7. Hec

    I’ve had a very annoying inconvenience with this mod. I installed it and played it like 10 min. It was great though, after I closed BM, and attempt to play it for a second time. The mod basically ruined my BM game!!!

    I couldn’t load the game because all I could see was a black screen once I launched the game!!

    And I have the retail version of the game. So well this issue kind of piss me off, you know, as I had to uninstall BM and I’m on that tedious process of downloading it again!!!

    Gosh it’s a pity such a great looking mod give so much trouble, I think the author have the total responsibility to test these issues properly before attempting its release.

    1. Hec

      Oh ok so I have to correct this post. IT WAS MY BAD. Not the mod fault. I stupidly suspended my PC so any game I have on steam was affected once I turn it back on. The problem was solved by just restarting my PC. Was a dumb mistake, I’m enjoying this mod very much.

  8. Play It Now!

    This was a great short little map. For a minute there i thought i was gonna fight antlions. Even wondering if it’s possible to port the antlions in black mesa and see how it turns out. Even the HECU zombie thing was pretty innovative using the existing gibs.

    Progression was superb and very well executed. The swarm waves of mass teleporting xenians and having HECU as well was also very interesting as the player picks who to fights. Lot of ammo/health/suitbatteries scattered around so player could make mistakes on even hard difficulty.

    Lot of easter eggs and hints for the achievements made it quite interesting for me to replay it couple of times.

    Lot of areas got the player interest if they could be accessed or entered which gave the player the reason to explore the map.

  9. Maybe?

    Sorry for the Maybe rating but to be honest I am not the biggest fan of Black Mesa mods/maps and here’s why. Basically the situation is almost always the same, endless corridors, endless rooms and spawning aliens. Obviously this was the premise of HL1 and indeed BM is a great improvement visually but essentially it’s the same. I have the same issue with HL1 mods to be honest, they promise a lot but often fail to deliver due to very little innovation or variation in the gameplay. Indeed this style of gameplay is very reminiscent of the old Wolfenstein games which again were endless corridors and doors but back then we didn’t know any better.

    This was quite challenging due to the ludicrous amounts of enemies in some of the areas but a huge amount of health and weaponry meant that in the end it was fairly straight forward to get through it. The end was a huge disappointment, just fading out in an air duct, one more big battle would have been nice.

    I can appreciate the huge amount of work required to produce this but ultimately it’s a case of same ol’, same ol’ for me.

  10. Hec
    Play It Now!

    Well this was a nice experience, I like to play BM maps. Overall I just can say I loved the toughness of the combat in this map-pack.

    Also I love the mounted gun sections and the whole scenarios felt quite realistic.

    Though I have to say I expected this whole mod to be longer and that not concluded ending took me totally by surprise.

    I only hope the guy that’s working on this keep up and deliver the whole mod soon. I’d totally play it and so far I really enjoyed this one a lot.

    The install is quite annoying and I hope in a further release if it happen, the install could be more simple to do.

    Overall I enjoyed this and I recommend you to play it if you define yourself as an aggressive gamer and in search of some hardcore old school HL battles.

  11. Personal Favourite

    Really Liked this mod i wish there where far more black mesa maps

    ammo and hp distrobution could have been tightened up a good bit as i was usually near 80 to 100 hp or suit unless i just finished a conrontation

    there is a good amount of side areas to reward exploration

    the cut xen turret makes a reappearance so that is awesome

    there is one section that i got hung up on with backtracking but that may have just been me bieng an idiot

    the puzzles used HL-1 mechanics

    the section with the handles had a buggy icky for me (probaly just an error on the games part from what i can tell)

    i loaded the Z map and it is interesting to see

  12. congaman59

    I installed this as directed. I could not get the map to start. I noticed all the other .vpk files were in the top level of the .bms folder. Can the new .vpk file be read from inside the “custom” folder? The error message in the console was: “map load failed: bm_c2a4x not found or invalid”

    1. JamaicanDave

      Did you remember to add the custom folder line to the gameinfo.txt file?

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