The Tram Complex

for Black Mesa

28th August 2018

Here is the second mapping challenge in the Mesa Cup.

The release contains 4 entries.

For this challenge, entrants needed to make a tram the main conceptual element of their entry. There was no actual requirement for the player to use the tram though.

For full details of the announcement, please see the original theme announcement.

Basic Details
  • Title: The Tram Complex
  • Filename: mesa-cup-c1-the-tram-complex-v1.7z
  • Size : 26.20MB
  • Author: Matt the Czar, 1upD, Gvarados, WaffelPower
  • Date Released: 28 August 2018

Download Options

Download to your HDD [26.20MB]

Gauge Users

Sorry but Gauge currently doesn’t cover Black Mesa maps or mods.

Manual Installation Instructions

If you require more help, just ask, but please read and follow the instructions carefully or watch the video first – thanks.

  • Locate and open your Black Mesa installation folder. For example, mine is D:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Black Mesa\.
  • Open the mesa-cup-c2-the-tram-complex-v1.7z file.
  • In it you will see two folders: bms and platform.
  • The platform folder contains a file which will overwrite a file in your installation. This is NOT a problem, but if you are unhappy about this follow the Optional Step below.
  • Optional Step: In your Black Mesa installation folder, open the platform folder, then open the resource folder. Rename GameMenu.res to GameMenu-original.res. This means your original file will not be over-written – but honestly, it’s not a problem.
  • Copy the bms folder into your Black Mesa folder. You may receive a message saying that you already have the same folders in there, don’t worry, you are only adding new files, so just say YES.
  • Launch Black Mesa
  • You now have a new menu item: BONUS MAPS (That’s what the GameMenu.res files was.
  • Select BONUS MAPS.
  • This will bring up a new window.
  • Select the Mesa Cup: C2: The tram Complex folder.
  • You will now see all the entries and can select them in any order.
  • Play and enjoy!
Entrants and Map Names
  • Fluid Dynamcis by Matt the Czar
  • Interim by 1upD
  • Power Shortage by Gvarados
  • Rolling Resistance by WaffelPower
Judges

Dolmo The Douglas, Crowbar, Chon Kemp (Crowbar Collective), Ben AKA trumanji (Crowbar Collective) and Phillip are the judges for this challenge.

The Winner

Details to be announced soon.

Full details of the scores, including a breakdown of the categories (but not by judge) can be found on The Mesa Cup: Public Google spreadsheet.

Reviewing

If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, please either watch the video below or use the SPECIFICALLY created mesa-cup-c2-the-tram-complex-.txt file. Thank you.

ReadMe files and Map sources

The compressed archive contains the readme files for each entry as well as the VMFs. These are included for educational purposes ONLY and MUST NOT be use for ANY other use.

Release Versions
  • 1 – THIS RELEASE – First public version. No known issues.
  • Playthrough Videos




    Panoramic Images

    Coming Soon.

    Artistic Screenshots

    Coming Soon.

    Walkthrough-Style Screenshots

    WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers. All images 1600×900 pixels

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

    5 recommendations, average score: 3 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.4 (what's that?)
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    Meta Review Data
    Statistics based on 6 comment(s) with meta review data.

    Installed:
    Using Gauge: Users
    Manually: 6 Users

    Time Taken:
    Average: 0 Hours, 53 Mins
    Shortest: 0 Hours, 30 Mins by crowbar
    Longest: 1 Hours by
    Total Time Played: 5 Hours, 15 Mins
    If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
    Jump to a review
    Maybe?Maybe?Think TwiceMaybe?Play It Later

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    13 Comments

    1. Maybe?

      That was a thoroughly disappointing map pack. No map is truely good, maybe 1 or 2 is okay at best.
      No maps used the theme in any meaningful way. It was mostly used at the start or end of a map. Literally all the combats are on foot. I would’ve liked combats on trains, or more train usage in general.
      At some point I lost the HUD even though I had a suit. I’m not sure how that is happening as I don’t recall any maps removing the HUD on purpose.

      Fluid Dynamics by Matt the Czar
      It is good

      At the very start, you can break a window letting you access to the train, which is driveable. If you do so at this point, the train will glitch through the door. I don’t understand why this window is breakable in the first place.
      The way forward is not obvious as the vent is hidden behind a desk. I appreciate the battery/blue light but it’s not enough.
      The author seems to think teleporting a ton of enemies right in your face is a good idea. It’s not. It’s incredibly unfair.
      I liked the various shortcuts, even though they were not very useful.
      Try to make sure the player will know the way forward, and take more care in your combat encounters.

      Interim by 1upD
      It is okay

      An interesting idea, but vastly underused. Most of the areas looks very bare and are uninteresting to look at. It doesn’t sell the theme well enough. Not a lot is happening in this map. The layout is interesting, if a bit confusing.
      I don’t have much to say about this map as I already gave feedback to the author after playtesting it. Most of the combats were okay, but to be honest not much is going on and it left me wanting more. The map ends much too early.

      Power Shortage by Gvarados
      It is good

      This is the best map in my opinion, but this doesn’t say much. The first 2/3 of the map was spent burning up zombies with flares. It got old after the third zombie. I appreciate giving the player a guard to fight with and open doors, I thought that was cool. There is some combats at the end, however it doesn’t give you a crowbar (or I missed it) and I ran out of ammo very quickly.
      The lighting was a bit too bland and bright for my taste. The door after the vortigaunts/bullsquids also refused to open and I was stuck here. It was clearly the way forward, as the layout clearly suggested it, and after I noclipped through more enemies spawned in.
      Try to make gameplay that is more varied, and take more time to tweak your lighting. Playtest your maps more.

      Rolling Resistance by WaffelPower
      It is bad

      That map was awful in all sorts of ways. There is no autosaves. There is no nodegraph. You’re fighting 3 grunts with a pistol and 35 HPs. If you stay far away, they can’t do anything since you there is no nodegraph. Most of the areas are way too big and nothing interesting is happening. The last area is also incredibly large for the amount of gameplay there is going on. If you run in the tunnel at the end you can end the map early without having to call the elevator/train.
      Try to play with entities a bit more. Try to make maps that are smaller, with meaningful areas and engaging combats.

      Summary

      Maybe play it if you really want to play more Black Mesa Source.

    2. Maybe?

      I also felt a bit let down by this overall, hence the rating.

      Power shortage was my favorite as it had a lot of gameplay and the theme was well incorporated I thought. Fluid Dynamics had me viewing Phillip’s video because I couldn’t figure out what was going on at the end (?), and found out I didn’t miss anything. Too bad because it looked good and I could see how this could have been expanded into a nice map. I didn’t like Rolling Resistance, neither visually or gameplay. Interim was OK although I’m not a fan of the glass layout.

    3. Please, how can I restore my HUD? There are no crosshairs, health or ammo visible after loading any map. How do you play these at all?

      1. Open the console and use cl_drawhud 1. Unfortunately, one of the entries was naughty and set this console command to 0 to disable the HUD, which propagates to every subsequent map.

    4. asterixxer

      Linux: Power Shortage crashes with IVP Failed. I can post the complete message if the creater wants.

      1. Does it crash when blowing up the first barrel?
        If it does, I think I’ve found the issue and can send a fixed version.
        If not, please send the full error.

        1. Anon_1703330

          Today POWER SHORTAGE ran without problems under Linux. Strange…But im Happy now 🙂

    5. Think Twice
      FLUID DYNAMICS

      Placement of weapons and supplies is sub-optimal, it’s easy to miss the shotgun for example, which is important to have. Visually some parts are okay, some are too simple and bland, but it’s never bad. Failing the jumping puzzle requires a lot of backtracking, which is an unreasonable punishment. A vent that is on the critical path was placed in a dark corner and thus was really hard to find for me. While the tram was the main goal of the entry, it never played a role itself throughout. Instead of taking place in one enviroment with different “puzzles”, the entry could have multiple “stations” where each would have one of the puzzles, after every puzzle you unlock the next station where you have to use the tram to reach it. The long tram ride at the end created the expectation that there is more in this entry, but there wasn’t, making it very unsatisfying. Overall the entry has many flaws, but still was enjoyable to some degree.

      INTERIM

      A cool idea for this challenge, but the entry doesn’t really do anything with this idea. It is not used to enhance the theme in any way, it’s just a map set in the combine world. The author seems to have put a lot of effort to make the architecture look interesting, at least in the first big area, but the textures are extremely repetitive and the lighting is bland. Later enviorments are really bland themselves. The little amount of combat in the entry does very little to distinguish itself from the most standard type of combat of the main game. The alien controllers at the end could have been used to make the ending more exciting by creating some sort of escape scenario, but it really was just awkward. Maybe some music alone would have done a lot here. While you start and end with a tram, the tram is not relevant for this entry. If you removed the tram and replaced the intro and outro with something else, the entry would be the exact same still.

      POWER SHORTAGE

      Visually it’s not on the same level as official maps, but it is the best looking entry in this challenge. The enviroment follows the same rules as in the main game and feels believable. There is attention to detail. Personally I find flare gameplay extremely boring, because it doesn’t force me to do any choices or require any skills like fast reflexes. That is a fault of the main game, but the author still decided to use it for a big part of this entry (and keep in mind the main game only used it at the very beginning and never again). The more I played this entry, the more I felt like the author actually doesn’t have a clear plan of what is supposed to happen, it feels like you just randomly stumble upon this and that room. And the tram doesn’t play a role for the majority of the entry.

      ROLLING RESISTANCE

      Flat cliff walls and sand floors make me question why the author decided to build and outdoor enviroment, ironically this area is still the best looking part of the map. The intro is more confusing than really accomplishing anything, but the wake up in the crashed tram was alright. The map should have started directly there in my opinion. After you leave the outdoor enviroment the entry becomes extremely bland visually, with 50 shades of grey and square room after square room. No autosaves. While the tram plays an important role in the intro, it doesn’t for the vast majority of the entry.

    6. Maybe?

      Sorry but this wasn’t the greatest of map packs and Klems review above pretty much sums up my own thoughts.

      Power Shortage is probably my pick of the bunch. I thought the office layout and aesthetic was quite well done and the use of the guard in places was interesting. As for the other maps I liked the interconnectedness of the early area in Fluid Dynamics and the large combine hall in Interim looked impressive. And Rolling Resistance? Everyone has to begin somewhere.

      I felt none of the entries made good use of the theme, the visuals and sound was generally adequate at best and sadly I didn’t get much enjoyment from the gameplay. I wasn’t a fan of the inclusion of assets yet to appear in the main game, nor one of the entries disabling the HUD in a way that affected all subsequent maps.

      I do appreciate 3 weeks is not a long time to build a Black Mesa map and these challenges are rightly open to all levels of ability. So while I have written an honest review I hope the authors do not get discouraged but rather learn from their experience of taking part in this challenge.

      1. was disappointed to see that you didn’t enter 🙁

        1. Maybe next time as I’d like to do 2 of 3.

    7. Play It Later

      I’m a fan of BMS maps so I was looking forward to playing this. I thought there was 1 good entry, 2 ok entries, and 1 entry that needed work.

      Fluid Dynamics: this one was just ok, the combat was decent but the whole thing was pretty short and Barney wasn’t good for much. 3 / 5

      Interim: This was another ok but again short map with a small amount of combat. However, it had a great surprise with the zombies wearing HEV suits which I have never seen before. 3 / 5

      Power Shortage: This was the best map by far. I really enjoyed the fact that you only had flares at the beginning and you had to use them to survive. Once you get to where the guard is and get some weapons the navigation and backtracking took me some time to figure out. I struggled with how to get back to the tram car until I realized you have to put something that you can stand on in front of the locked door with the broken windows. The ending got a bit hairy but eventually I just left the scientists to their own fate and made my escape. 4 / 5

      Rolling Resistance: I felt this was the weakest entry as there weren’t many enemies. While you had to travel a fair distance to get to what you were doing, it looked like the author just did a lot of copying to make things longer. The ending was also kind of disappointing. 2/ 5

      I think one of the maps took away my HEV display but I’m not sure which one. I don’t mind that, but the author should take care to put it back when I finish the map. The last 2 maps I played without the display but restarting BMS and then the maps fixed that.

      I’d love to see more BMS content.

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