Black Mesa Source for TREE?

27th July 2013

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

For those that don’t know, The Replay Experience Experiment is an event where we replay all the games in the Half-Life series and discuss each chapter and how our feelings have changed since we first played them.

It was always my intention to include Black Mesa in the event but I had been hoping that it would have been finished by now.

As you probably know, Black Mesa is a remake of Half-Life in the Source engine (the engine used in newer Valve games), and whilst it’s not an exact recreation of the original it is very, very similar.

Now, the problem is that the team behind it decided to release about 2/3 of the game and that was over a year ago and we are still waiting for the final part.

I haven’t played it yet because I want to experience the whole game.

So, this leads to the question with 3 options…What shall I do about Black Mesa…
1. Start adding it straight after Episode Two.
2. Wait until it’s finished and then add it.
3. Don’t include it in TREE at all, but still post it chapter by chapter once it’s finished

I am not going to have a poll because I want to hear your views, not just your choices.

Personally, I want to wait until it’s finished and then add it to the event as that’s the best place for it.

And I don’t guarantee that I’ll do what everybody wants, but if enough people express a view and that view is more or less unanimous then I will take that into consideration.


  1. Ade

    No. I’m also waiting for the whole thing to come out, but even after it does, it’s not a Valve title. And it doesn’t add to the HL universe either, it just attempts to re-create it. And it is not the first, nor the last to do that. What shall we do, play all mods that attempt that?..
    It’s just my personal opinion. If you want us to review it, sure, add a separate post once all parts are released. But it does not belong in the TREE.

    1. As much as I’d like to see it in TREE, it is a hard point to argue – it doesn’t really belong there, any more than any other mod does. If you you add BM:S then by rights, every other mod should have a place too.

      So yes I’d like to see it in TREE as I think it would add to the event, plus it seems largely pointless to create a whole new TREE just for BM:S (admittedly, as the TREE times collator I have a vested interest) but technically it has no business there.

  2. MisterAddy

    I don’t think it needs a TREE post. It is a great mod, but still not an actual Half-Life game. Reviewing it as a whole would be fine.

  3. Stanley Dunigan

    Is there any way to know how far along they are on finishing Black Mesa, or approximately when it’ll be available? If not, you should do whatever you’re going to do with it on the website soon, and then add to that later on whenever the final chapters come out.

    As for what you should do with it, I’m not entirely sure. I have to agree that it shouldn’t be part of the official TREE event. Not because it isn’t a Valve game, but because even for those who played it when it first came out, it hasn’t been all that long since they first played it. Replaying Half-Life games years after you first did and sharing your experiences and impressions is what the TREE event is really all about (as you say in the first paragraph of this post).

    But what on Earth am I going to do with my PP exclusive full walkthrough of the game now?

    1. Don’t worry. I am definitely going to post the chapters, it’s just a case of when and where.

    2. This is purest, uninformed speculation, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that the BM:S Team released what they had to date as they knew the final full release would be a long time coming. Otherwise they would have hung on.

      I don’t know; something clearly happened – maybe they figured they deserved a break (and they certainly did), or maybe somebody had a kid (“See you guys in 6 months – “bye…”) or emigrated – or maybe the Team simply became unstable? (e.g. the pitiful Garg fiasco.) Either way, I think somebody looked long and hard at the calender and said “Guys – it’s now, or never” and so I wouldn’t be holding your breath for Xen if I were you. Of course, as usual, I would be delighted to be proven wrong! However I have a suspicion that BM:S – Xen is going to become another EP3/HL3-type evaporating dream.

      1. JG

        Frankly, I could do without revisiting Xen.

  4. Profbeaker

    I love black mesa, but it is not a valve release and is a re-working of the original half life. IMHO it should not therefore join the replay, unless every other decent length mod is also to be included.

    Maybe you know just how far off half life 3 is from release however, and need a little project to keep you going in the meantime! I would much prefer that you continue to encourage new mods to be released – don’t be so hard on yourself regarding the last mapping competition. You have learnt your lessons – better publicity and prizes, clearer instructions and more freedom for modders.

  5. BM:S is one of the few, really big & complex mods that warrant a chapter-by-chapter revue. All the other mods of normal length can be summarized in one post per person, but I think that’s possibly not doing justice to BM:S.

    Yes, it’s a copy, but between direct comparisons and observations/discussions of the new angles & content, I think there is enough ‘meat on the bone” to make it worthy of TREE-style analysis.

    So yes, although it is just a non-valve mod I say add it to TREE, and do it now rather than waiting for Xen, because like EP3/HL3 if you wait, you’ll probably need to post your review through the agency of a competent medium! Or we’ll have evolved into mauve energy clouds or something, and PC gaming will seem like making fire with sticks…

  6. JG

    You can do whatever you want, but it kind of stands to reason that if BMS can be in TREE, then any other mod of similar length could also be.

    Which may not be a bad thing. If you look at the 100 Most Recent Comments on any given day, there are a few reviews for older mods that come up and get no exposure because the mod itself is so ancient. While the site does have a “You may also like” feature, there would be something kind of nice about “Let’s all play this one older mod together and talk about it.” Or, here’s the mod of the week (doesn’t have to be a new one), let’s play it over the week and talk about it when we’re done.

  7. 2muchvideogames

    It’s a great mod, for sure, but there are problems with it for me (ragdolls fall thru the floor) and it’s quite a hassle to fix. I’d prefer not having it because not only is it not finished, there are big bugs in the mod as well.

  8. Okay, so based on the comments on this post, here is what I have decided to do.

    Firstly, I will wait for the complete mod before I post anything. Secondly, I will create a normal post for it, like all other mods, where we can review it using the recommendation images and Review Metadata (which can’t be used for TREE posts).

    Thirdly, I will create a new category called Remakes, where I will post each chapter, like I do with TREE.

    That seems the best of all aspects and the Remakes category will be used for Operation: Black Mesa and Guard Duty

    This means that TREE will finish in the next ten days and then there will be a break for Summer, followed by an announcement of the next event.

  9. Ade

    Apologies if you answered this before, but how come the Portal games aren’t in the event?

    1. Well, since Valve launched the Portal 2 Workshop, the whole scene seems to ahve shifted there. After the initial media coverage, I stopped paying attention to the releases and haven’t added any for years. I was in discussions with somebody about his taking over the responsibility for adding P1 and P2 content, but it never happened.

      From my side, it was partly because I am not very good at the more difficult moves and couldn’t finish many of the maps and mods without cheating.

      Eventually, I will remove ALL P1 and P2 content from the site.

      1. Ade

        Pardon? I’m talking about the games themselves. I mean since you kept/added OF and BS in the tree and in the mod section, I don’t see why not do the same with Portal 1 and 2. I understand the list of maps and mods is limited, but I don’t see why they shouldn’t be added to the TREE, I personally finished them both and would like to re-play them once we’re done with Ep. 2..

        1. I know you are talking about the games. But since I don’t cover mods for them any more, they don’t form games that the site is focused on – therefore they are not part of TREE.

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