Black Mesa

a.k.a. BMS / Black Mesa Source

created and published by Crowbar Collective in 2020-03-06, running on Windows
type: shooter
genre: Science Fiction
series: Half-Life
perspective: 1st person
player options: single player, LAN, Internet
game engine: Source
other: Freeware
languages: eng fin fre ger por rus spa other

Official description

Black Mesa (formerly Black Mesa: Source) is a Half-Life 2 total conversion remaking VALVe Software's award-winning PC game, Half-Life. Utilizing the Source engine, Black Mesa will reintroduce the player as Doctor Gordon Freeman, along with the original cast of memorable characters and environments seen in Half-Life. Black Mesa was built and founded on the basis that Half-Life: Source was inadequate as the Source engine port of Half-Life, regardless of the intentions of VALVe Software. As such, Black Mesa was founded to fully reconstruct the Half-Life universe utilizing Source to its fullest potential in terms of art detail, level sizes and code features. This total conversion will not require Half-Life: Source to play - only a copy of any Source Engine game installed on Steam.

The Environment
Black Mesa is set in and around the Black Mesa Research Facility as depicted in the original Half-Life game. The research facility is a former Cold War missile complex based in New Mexico, and features a diverse array of locations ranging from abandoned rocket testing silos to modern administrative offices, from underground physics laboratories to a full-scale hydroelectric dam. The game continues beyond, into an inter-dimensional border world known as Xen. What will set Black Mesa apart from other Source engine modifications in development is the attention to environment detail. Levels will be faithful to the original Half-Life concept and built from scratch, yet will feature higher-resolution textures, detailed world models, and a higher quality of audio ambience courtesy of the Source engines soundscape system. The end goal of such attention to detail is an immersive single-player environment, which will engross the player in a story that is yet to be matched by any other first-person shooter.

Black Mesa has many features, several of which are still in planning or being tested. Below are a few of the larger and more distinctive features of Black Mesa:

* Detailed and interactive environments based on the original Half-Life game, including reconstructed multiplayer maps;
* Single-player, co-operative and deathmatch modes planned;
* Original music score by Joel Nielsen;
* Artificial intelligence that will dynamically think, react and interact with and about their environment;
* Normal, specular and parallax mapping utilized on world surfaces and models where applicable;
* A priority on gameplay and immersion factors such as ambience, logical functionality and interactivity.

Game Modes
Black Mesa will feature three game modes designed to provide a high replayability factor.

* Assuming the role of Dr. Gordon Freeman you will experience an immersive, story-driven mode of play. A world where around every corner a new threat or situation presents itself, provoking thought and interaction between you and your world. Relying on more than just combat to survive, your wits and intelligence will become strong allies in your fight for survival. Environments will be interactive, rich with detail, fully ambient and NPC characters will react to these environments and your actions therein. A world driven by story, locations conquered by wit, enemies matched with firepower. Welcome to Black Mesa. Run, think, shoot, live, Source.

* Black Mesa co-op will allow players to not only recruit the assistance of security guards and scientists, but also that of your friends! Share the single-player experience by battling through Black Mesa together. Players will be able to wage battles, travel corridors and emerge victorious over the enemies and escape the confines of the Black Mesa Research Facility.

* The adrenaline pumping, bullet dodging, rockets-flying, big-red-button riddled deathmatch is back in classic Half-Life style, featuring graphically enhanced multiplayer maps and the full lineup of weapons. You'll find yourself having more fun blowing away your friends than, well, anything.
Black Mesa Team - # 2008-12-06 07:53:11 - official description - source

Comments (2)

Notable gameplay related changes from original:
* Energy leeches were removed
* Rails no longer electrocute
* Rocket test chamber tentacles can't be sneaked around when they're smashing on the same floor simply because of too wildly random swiveling (that is: distractions are much more mandatory)
* On the rails no longer has player changing where the rails lead
* Gauss gun ricochets off the walls instead of penetrating them
* Scientists no longer heal Freeman
* Alien grunts are no longer immune to weapons fire at armored parts of their body

Other notable changes:
* Certain level segments have been omitted or streamlined, making levels shorter.
* Certain level segments have been made to make actual sense (or at least some, unlike the complete lack of seen in the original)
* Weapons are received in different order and in somewhat different places than in the original
Sanguine # 2012-09-15 14:54:53
Coop was officially dropped on 2010-03-17, stated reason was technical difficulties.
Sanguine # 2010-04-20 13:38:51 - source

Technical specs

display: textured polygons

Editor note

On the game being vaporware: Between 2009 and 2010 the developers ceased to publish notable new information until suddenly resurfacing and releasing part of the game.

2012-09-14 Black Mesa: Source was released, after which the project went on another hiatus and limited communication.
2020-03-06 The final game was released, no longer free and instead fully commercial project.
# 2017-03-03 06:45:59

Authors / Staff


Carlos 'cman2k' Montero (project lead)
James 'Monkey-Junkie' McVinnie (director)


Ben 'BlackStamp' Truman (designer)


Ben 'BlackStamp' Truman (writer)


James 'Kane' Kane (programmer)
Paul 'zero' Peloski (lead programmer)
Paul 'zero' Peloski (programmer)


Andrea 'Piks3y' d'Avalos (texture artist)
Andrew 'tertles' Boetsma (animator)
Bard 'grudgE' Fleistad (texture artist)
Brian 'bkd86' Dale (concept art)
Carlos 'cman2k' Montero (character artist)
Chris 'Lupus' Narchi (character artist)
Daniel 'dxnr' Alexander (choreography)
Frank 'Frank' Morel (texture artist)
Ivan 'InFanT' Vavilov (character artist)
Jason 'Redmotion' Wells (texture artist)
Johannes 'outlive' Tripolt (texture artist)
Mark 'Jenn0_Bing' Foreman (texture artist)
Matthew 'schwnz' Schwenk (lead environmental texture artist)
Matthew 'schwnz' Schwenk (texture artist)
Nathan 'NateDGreat' Ayres (animation lead)
Nathan 'NateDGreat3' Ayres (animator)
Pontus 'Spitfire' Ryman (texture artist)
Russ 'BurningIce81' Briggeman (animator)

3d artist

Adam 'Adam-Bomb' Engels (prop modeler)
Alex 'Digeridude' Allen (prop modeler)
Björn 'Kobi' Claesson (prop modeler)
Michael Tannock (prop modeler)
Robert 'Sanada' Chinner (prop modeler)

level designer

Abe 'Eba' Robertson (level designer)
Anthony 'OnboardError' Stone (level designer)
Chris 'Stormseeker' Horn (level designer)
Chuck 'Atrocity' Wilson (level designer)
Daniel 'Raminator' Junek (lead level designer)
Danielle 'Talia' Keptres (level designer)
David 'Angry Beaver' Gillen (level designer)
Jean-Paul 'JeanPaul' Jarreau (level designer)
Johnathan 'Cpl.1nsane' Welsh (level designer)
Kilian 'xTc' Henkel (level designer)
Kim 'Citric' Dahlgren (level designer)
Liam 'PogoP' Tart (level designer)
Ryan 'Bacon333' Maclean (level designer)


Joel '.plink' Nielsen (sound)
Joel '.plink' Nielsen (music lead)
Joel '.plink' Nielsen (sound engineer)
Kevin 'Debeerguy' Sisk (sound engineer)


James 'Monkey-Junkie' McVinnie (video editor)


Adam 'dravean' Dravean (voice actor)
Cris 'Valo118' Mertens (voice actor)
Kevin 'Debeerguy' Sisk (voice actor)
Mike 'CornetTheory' Hillard (voice actor)
Victoria 'CatzEyes93' Teunissen (voice actor)


Adam 'Adam-Bomb' Engels (prop lead)

External review - average: 86%

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