Poll Question 282 – Should Black Mesa Source be considered for mod of the year?

23rd October 2012

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

I tweeted that the beginning of Hatch 18 (coming to PP soon) was really good, Darren Weekes replied saying he thinks it is his Mod of the Year.

That got me thinking about MotY. I’m not going to run anything like previous years, because the Rec. Image system basically does that, but I’ll certainly try and write a year in summary.

Sorry, I digress.

It got me thinking whether it was fair that other mods will have to compete against Black Mesa. This is a mod that has been in production for over 7 years. With goodness knows how many people having been on the team. Some of those are professionals.

Now, I applaud their commitment and the result, but comparing it to amateurs in small teams, seems like killing headcrabs with a rocket launcher.

Of course, we can’t split the concept down to innumerable sections; one-man teams, two-man teams etc but perhaps just this once we need to say “No, let’s not include this mod in any awards or prizes for work done in the modding community.

In fact, perhaps any MotY awards should be for mods made within one year.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we should exclude it, just the we should at least discuss it.

I understand that the “X of the year” is about the best X released that year but it just seems a little unfair.

What do you think?

Your Chance to Vote!


  1. Much people belive this is the mod of the year but its just because it has been in development for so long and actually came out really good, not much games or mods do that. Overall, its a very solid mod but we have seen the maps and weapons before, its just upgraded graphics. Yes, its an amazing mod but I’m not sure if its Mod of the Year. I’ll have to play Hatch 18 before I decide.

    1. I have now played through Hatch 18 Chapter 1 and because I really like the combine vs rebel style myself I would say H18 takes the price. Both of them should be considered MOTY though.

  2. Absolutely, yes. I think it’s perfectly fair.

    Mod of the Year should treat the mod itself as discreet entity, irrespective of its authors or development environment. It’s not like the BM team were secretly leant support from Valve, or granted funding or anything like that.

    They created this in their own free time using the skills they have personally grown. This puts them on an even playing field with everyone else, who could achieve the same thing if they gave it enough time. Admittedly not everyone can/will give it that time but that’s surely what makes BM so significant.

    1. Herr_Alien

      I’ll second that.

  3. Greenman

    I see it more as a free indie game than a mod to be honest for reasons already mentioned.

  4. Unq

    Sure, it should be considered. It’s still a product of the amateur modding community.

    That said, it’s at a huge disadvantage to something like Day Z, because ultimately it’s a remake of a commercial game albeit well done.

  5. The_Blazer
    First of all

    In my opinion Black Mesa is, basically, a commercial, professional-level video game, but free. Seriously, it has been in development for 7 years, more than HL2 and just 2 years less than TF2, and the mod team who made it is so damn huge. Have you seen the credits?

    In my opinion it should have its own separate honourable mention, because it’s a too particular case to be judget as a normal mod, but at the same time, it doesn’t deserve to be excluded.

    Two things

    We should also keep in mind in mind 2 important things:

    It’s unfinished

    This doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be considered as a great mod, but that it cannot be fully judged yet because we have no idea what Xen and Nihilant may look like. Maybe they will suck, or maybe they will be the best level ever seen by human eyes.

    It doesn’t have an original story (please read below before insulting me)

    This is very important. One of the things wich make a mod great and unforgettable is the storyline, plot or whatever you want to call it like. I’m not saying that Black Mesa’s story is bad. Actually, BM’s story is really great, but why? Because it’s Half-Life’s story. Sure, the narration was greatly improved thanks to Source technology, good voice acting and crystal-clear, high quality audio, but the story itself was still created by VALVe and the Half Life team. Sure, the mod introduces some small and intersting backstories, but they’re, well, small, and not an important part of the plot (“Oh, man, you cut the ponytail!”, for example, tells us that Gordon used to have a ponytail, but eventually cut it, but it’s not important for the main story). It is an important reason, if not the most important reason, why it can hardly be considered a “normal” mod

    Other thoughts

    I kind of agree with Phillip that MoTY should consider games wich have been in development for x time, but maybe not just 1 year. 3 or 4 should be a good threshold.

    I also think that MoTY should not consider remakes of other video games, unless they heavily change the story of the original game, and instead they should be considered separately via honourable mentions and stuff like that.

    Lastly, I used a couple of times the expression “not normal” referred to Black Mesa. Don’t get me wrong: by “not normal” I don’t mean “retarded” or “bad” (it is infact a great mod, maybe even the best one I have ever played), but just that it had a very particular development process, and thus it can be very problematic to judget it like any other mod.

    [comments in bold rant deleted, they seem to work now]

    1. Anon_547506

      I think you mis-understand what a remake is. You certainly don’t “heavily change the story” when remaking a game – because that IS the heart of the game. Sure, you make the game more fun with better gameplay and make it prettier with better graphics and make it cooler with better physics, but you don’t change the story..

      1. Black Mesa is not a remake but a reimagining. I think that’s an important distinction.

        Gives them a little more leeway than calling it a remake.

  6. Hatch 18 is also unfinished too. Have you tried CUBE mod? It’s their previous work. Very intresting.

    About BMS, it’s more a GOTY than a MOTY… IMHO.

  7. Black Mesa Source is an exceptional mod like “G String” and a few others out there and should be judged as such. I think beating BMS for Mod of the Year, though will be very difficult. Unless “G String” version two comes out before the year is out!

  8. Aaron

    the mod should of been done ages ago with the talent they had from the staff they had but lets be honest unless you have a solid team and time most mods do not look like this. Most mods are not polished or this clean. While I agree it is the best mod this year I also want to attach a asterisk to the title.

    The time it took
    Staff are video game designers for studios

    1. Herr_Alien

      Then I say we should also make sure “Cry of Fear” doesn’t enter as well. I mean it took a while to develop, and both Rumpel and James work for Dice.

  9. Herr_Alien

    I voted it should be considered for MotY. It was considered for upcoming, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be considered for ‘released’.

    Yes, it’s not complete. Yes, it doesn’t have an original story. Yes, the voters will decide how bad these issues are.

    Having said that, I will not vote for it, despite the high degree of polish it has, because of the unoriginal story.

  10. Hec

    Well I still haven’t played it but I mean why not?, I think a fair nomination should be fair for every mod with big standars as BM or Hatch18…

  11. Hec

    Well I still haven’t played it but I mean why not?, I think a fair nomination should be the same for every mod with big standars as BM or Hatch18…

  12. Hmm, good call. They deserve something though…

  13. s.anchev

    Cry of Fear and BMS have blown the usual mod standards on GoldSrc and Source engine, they are, in fact, massive total conversions done by team of professionals.

    Like someone said, this is more “free indie games” than mods. Cry of Fear is the number one mod on moddb since months, number one of the highest rated mods, and more than 400.000 downloads.

    BMS will probably sooner or late explode CoF’s records, with already 1700 votes on moddb and 98% rating. Judging by the stats of the official site, the mod has already been downloaded more than 2.000.000 times.

    On PP, I suggest the MOTYs should be given to more unknown mods, so that they woud gain more players, more media coverage.

  14. I know this is a bit late and I’ve not seen what everyone here has to say, so I’m sorry if this has been brought up before, but there’s one thing that is very important about this.

    Why should it not be considered for Moty just because they put more effort and time into it ? I know this may sound basic but this is how I feel about it.

    To me game or mod of the year is to award and congratulate the creaters of the best of the best. And that should not exclude what could be considered the “best” mod just because they worked harder than the others. That’s the point of “award” isn’t it ? Just like everything else in life, the ones that work the hardest are the ones that are put on a pedestal.

    1. It’s not because they put more work into it, it’s the fact that some of the people are professionals and they are remaking a retail game.

      All I’m asking is that we need to recognize that a “mod” like this is very different from other mods and perhaps we should treat it differently.

  15. Radu Tanasie

    The Mod of The Year 2012 picked by the community will be Black Mesa, while the one picked by the Staff will be Cry of Fear.

  16. Hec

    As I see, maybe a good posibility to solve this issue is to create 2 branches of mods, one make of the ELITE compossed of teams which may include professional developers, and I mean in there Cry of Fear, Hatch 18 and BM, Grey… would compite to know which one is the best,

    And then another category made by the INDIVIDUAL MODDING, composed by personal developers which mods are good but can’t compite against teams.

    I’ts not about to discriminate mods between good or bad, is just to fit them in the best shelf in order to judge them in a propper context.

  17. aaron

    that’s why I created MOTY so it would be my opinion based on my feed back but everyone got upset this shitty or that awesome mod didn’t make so it was changed to voting which is not fair either.

    original mod teams were a group self taught mod teams from all over the world.

    school mod teams who make mods for class credit

    studios based teams since they are not busy or want to get the name of the studio in the media.

    nothing wrong with this but this is why I felt “a mod of the year” should of been started from a single perspective maybe Phillip can add this to the site with us PP fans to give feed back?

  18. Poison_Berrie

    If it is because there’s professionals on the team (and keep in mind not all of them are), then shouldn’t you exclude Mission Improbable, since that’s created by a professional as well?

  19. To me, it’s like the Oscars: If Spielberg goes into a movie year thinking “I want to get another Oscar” there’s very little that can stop whatever he produced from getting that Oscar. Many other movies were (in my opinion) robbed of their status as “Best Picture” in years when his movies took that honor – after a while it’s kind of “oh just give him an award and let the others have a chance at it now”.

    Black Mesa is kind of like the “expected results” – it’s got everything that a typical Mod of the Year might want out of its winners. Length, detail, quality, style. It does all those things and much more.

    But it’s still kind of the elephant in the room – and it’s fair to say that other shorter, single-person or small-team mods exist that should get a spotlight simply because they AREN’t Black Mesa.

    I’m not in any way saying that I think Black Mesa ISN’t “all that and a bag of chips” because it IS. I think perhaps a special tip of the hat, nod and smile, “congratulations on finally getting it out and meeting or exceeding our expectations” award would do for it. Also, it’s not *finished*. Perhaps waiting until it’s actually fully out, done and finalized would be in order. Placing it at the top of NEXT year’s crop? (assuming it’s finished around January, obviously.)

    Anyway those are my thoughts on it. I think that I’d rather see other equally deserving but smaller project mods get the recognition THEY deserve, because we’ve all rather EXPECTED Black Mesa to blow everything out of the water, and it has.

  20. Blue Lightning

    Yeah I think MOTY is fine for Black Mesa. It doesnt matter how long it took, it did get released. I know what your saying…if a great HL2 mod comes out and gets all blue and dark green votes, it might not get MOTY compared to BMS, because it would be much shorter than BMS.

    But what’s important isnt MOTY. What’s important is if they make Phillips wall of fame!

    My question is this: Will future HL1 modders use the BMS engine/models to create their HL1 mods? Wouldnt that be something! 😀

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