Black Mesa Source Celebrates Makeovers at IndieCade East

Black Mesa Source Celebrates Makeovers at IndieCade East

Black Mesa Screenshot 06

At IndieCade East, Robert Yang compared the mod Black Mesa Source to makeover shows and hopes to catch football captain Valve Corporation's attention.

Independent developer Robert Yang spoke to IndieCade East attendees on Feb. 15 about his work on Black Mesa Source, a total conversion mod of Valve's Half-Life, and the impact of indie makeovers. Makeovers can be judgmental, but they can also be a transformation and improve something or someone both physically and spiritually, Yang proposed.

Yang began his work as a game modder as a way to build a portfolio for breaking into the industry. He presented to a laughing audience a collage of himself and the Half-Life logo photoshopped onto a high school couple and images of Wolverine stroking a picture of Valve Corporation's Gabe Newell.

"We really privilege entering the game industry as this really special moment that happens," he said. "Valve is one of the most powerful, influential, prestigious game companies to work at. Valve is the queen of the lunch table and the prom queen. Valve is the captain of the football team... What will make Valve like us? The answer is a makeover."

Throughout his talk, Yang drew comparisons to modder culture to the makeovers present in entertainment. Showing a clip from TLC's What Not To Wear in which the hosts belittle a woman, makeovers were shown to be mean-spirited. Yang asked, "Is that really what makeovers are about?" His experiences indicated otherwise.

He proposed the idea of "indie makeovers." Yang redirected discussion to the 1997 film Romy and Michele's High School Reunion where two women fail at giving themselves a makeover for their high school reunion. He disagreed with the film's moral that the makeover - and self-improvement - was never necessary. Instead he values Romy and Michele's new position at the end of the movie. The two women give themselves a makeover on their own terms and become successful small business owners. Yang calls this their indie makeover and compares it to independent developers trying to make a living from their games.

"Walls are coming down. Things are getting a bit better," Yang said, commenting that Black Mesa Source is in preparation for commercial distribution. "And one day we will destroy the video game capitalist death machine. Until then, I guess all you can do is own your work and own yourself and try to do work on your own terms, like Romy and Michele."

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Give us Xen before you even think about commercial distribution

i remember reading about this mod waaaay back in a pcformat in late 2003. I know from what ive played they have done a great job but a decade and still not complete ?

AstaresPanda:
i remember reading about this mod waaaay back in a pcformat in late 2003. I know from what ive played they have done a great job but a decade and still not complete ?

lol, the mod is out for some years now. ;)

its not bad. had even some good ideas and the level design was interesting as well. especially the level (forgot the name of it) before the dam, was so different that i nearly lost track where is what. i have only played it once and dont really feel like playing it again. never the less, it is very well made.

Well I like the mans work, but that speech... either he was baked as balls or he just has an affinity for saying the dumbest things that come to mind.

truckspond:
Give us Xen before you even think about commercial distribution

Only if they can make it worth it. Which is probably why it's taking so long, because they pretty much have to fix Xen and does take a couple hours.

Of course, there's no reasons they couldn't shorten it a little to improve the experience/pacing.

Metalrocks:

AstaresPanda:
i remember reading about this mod waaaay back in a pcformat in late 2003. I know from what ive played they have done a great job but a decade and still not complete ?

lol, the mod is out for some years now. ;)

One year and three months or so. And still missing things like Xen. Or the good gameplay of HL1.

The devs got rid of the "Source" in the title ages ago. It's just Black Mesa.

Metalrocks:

AstaresPanda:
i remember reading about this mod waaaay back in a pcformat in late 2003. I know from what ive played they have done a great job but a decade and still not complete ?

lol, the mod is out for some years now. ;)

its not bad. had even some good ideas and the level design was interesting as well. especially the level (forgot the name of it) before the dam, was so different that i nearly lost track where is what. i have only played it once and dont really feel like playing it again. never the less, it is very well made.

i know its been out for almost 2 years but its still not finished, ive teleported to xen and then it stops. Yeh it was very good but ive not wanted to play it again. And considering how long they've been working on it thats my point its abit wtf that after all this time and hype we've played it once and now kinda forgot about it.

I haven't finished Black Mesa yet... and to be honest, I don't really plan to until Xen comes out. I like what I've played so far, but you can tell that there's a lot that got left out, presumably because the product came crawling out of development hell.

roseofbattle:

Independent developer Robert Yang spoke to IndieCade East attendees on Feb. 15 about his work on Black Mesa Source, a total conversion mod of Valve's Half-Life

Black Mesa is a total conversion mod of Half-Life 2, not the original. It's relationship to Half-Life is what we call a "remake."

 

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