After years of waiting, it seems that the Black Mesa team has finally put a release date online, for the remake of Half-Life 1 on the Source engine. On September 14th you will see the first release of Black Mesa! This will include the re-envisioning of Half-Life all the way up to Lambda Core. The team believes this is a great way to provide a complete-feeling 8-10 hour experience with a solid ending.
Black Mesa began as the combination of two independent volunteer projects, each aiming to do just that: completely recreate Half-Life using Source. The Leakfree modification was announced in September 2004.
Half-Life: Source Overhaul Project was announced one month later. After realizing their similar goals, project leaders for both teams decided to combine efforts; they formed a new 13-person team titled Black Mesa: Source. The team now consists of 40 volunteer level designers, programmers, modelers, texture artists, animators, sound engineers, voice actors, and support staff.
They have stated they want Black Mesa to be similar to Half-Life in gameplay and story, but changes will be made to take advantage of Source’s more advanced features. Level designers have shortened or modified some areas of the game that “didn’t make any sense,” or were “tedious” in the original. Maps will also be of a larger scale, for instance the hydro-electric dam, which is now “twenty or thirty times” larger.
The “Source” in the project’s title was later dropped when Valve asked the team to remove it in order to “stem confusion over whether or not it was an endorsed or official product,” which it is not.
Originally based on the version of Source released with Counter-Strike: Source in 2004, the project now uses a more recent version released with Valve’s The Orange Box in 2007. This new version includes more advanced particle effects, hardware-accelerated facial animation, and support for multi-core processor rendering among other improvements.
The only software requirement to install the modification will be to already have at least one game installed which uses the Source engine.
The countdown has started on their website, so get ready for the release very soon!