Today saw the posting of the first single player map for Black Mesa retail game.
I’m posting this short article to pre-answer some expected questions.
In case you missed it, Black Mesa has released a retail version of their free mod. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t include the missing Xen section but eventually it will. Even more unfortunately, the Xen section WILL NOT be added to the free mod version.
The retail version is said to include many improvements over the free mod version (see this image comparison) and not just visual improvements.
Apparently the free version will always be available.
One of the benefits of the retail version is the workshop. This is an official hub for people to add custom content that users can easily add to the game – but NOT the mod (at least not as easily, if at all).
The workshop changes the way maps and mods will be posted on the site for games that include a workshop. Thinking waaaay ahead, it’s most likely that Half-Life 3 will use this feature and RTSL will no longer need to host the files (see below) or worry about installation (See even further below).
Speaking personally for a moment, I have always worried that the Steam workshops would make websites like this one useless, but if we can keep users posting helpful reviews then perhaps it continue.
So, onto some specific issues…
NO! If you want to release your map via RTSL or anything website you can do that. Just like other Source games, you can create the maps and just have them installed manually.
Currently, MapTap doesn’t manage Black Mesa files but it is on our list for the next main release.
Whilst it might be possible for me to host the files of each release on my server, I have decided to simply link to the release’s workshop page.
The reason is that if authors update their release, and you have installed it via the workshop page, the file get updated automatically.
I don’t expect this to happen very often but it’s a benefit of the workshop and we should take advantage of it.
I will be keeping a copy of each release on the RTSL Server for possible use in the future but I won’t be publicly linking to them at this time.
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you plan on updating the release. If you release on the Black Mesa Workshop, I will link to that page.
I haven’t tested whether the SP maps released on the workshop page work with the mod version of Black Mesa.
I currently don’t have the mod version installed. If in the future I install it, I will attempt to test each map and possibly add a TAG to help users locate content that does work with the free mod version.
I’m pretty sure that it IS possible to take the VPK (the format used by Black Mesa) and manually install it. However, since I am linking to the workshop page, I will not be including those details in the post itself. It’s so easy to use the SUBSCRIBE button in the workshop, why make life difficult for ourselves?
The details for running the maps should be included in each workshop page. If they don’t I may add them myself.
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please don’t hesitate to ask or make them and I will respond quickly.