News: With Black Mesa finally released, the development team is carefully monitoring the public’s response and laments the fact that people “never look around.” A word from Valve would be nice too.
It took a whopping eight years for the Black Mesa mod to get here. If you ask me, it more than makes good on everything it promised during that time. It’s only natural for the developers to keep an eye on what the public thinks of the work they put so much time and effort in. Sadly, it would appear there is something of a lack there, as people aren’t fully taking in everything that’s there.
“We noticed a lot of people would just go in a linear path, and never look around. We were like: ‘Look around, look behind you! Look, look, look! Just turn around, you’re gonna see something awesome!’ But they just kept going forward and it’s like…ugh,” programmer Mark Abent tells the Penny Arcade Report.
It’s an understandable concern. The development team expected every corner of the modification to be closely scrutinised and nitpicked, because Half-Life is such an iconic property that messing with it is a scary proposition. Even subtly altering some dialogue caused plenty of apprehension.
“I realised I am directly messing with someone else’s sense of nostalgia. That has the potential to bite you in the ass so hard when you are taking somebody else’s dreams or memories and putting your own spin on them. It can be very, very dangerous,” says story lead Ben Truman.
So the team took special care to cram each scene with as much detail as possible, and now everybody’s just blowing right past it without taking the time to explore.
The team also mentions that Valve Software haven’t yet been in touch either, besides an official notice that Black Mesa got on Greenlight. Maybe they’re all too busy working on Half-Life 3. Yeah, that’s probably it.
I’m currently on my second playthrough, and I can attest that the level of detail is simply staggering. This mod deserves, nay, demands to be played with a keen eye and a sense of exploration. So take the time out to see what’s on that scientist’s desk. You’ll be glad you did.