Half-Life Black Mesa Nears Release

Eight years, that’s a long time, especially in video game development terms, not even Rockstar take that long in making Grand Theft Auto (although no one would blame them if they did, except Steve Burns – he’s a maniac who writes for Play mag) But this is how long the ambitious Half-Life remake Black Mesa has been in development for and during an interview with Polygon, Project Lead Carlos Montero stated that they are finally nearing the finish line.

“When we planned our 2009 release, we really believed we were going to be able to make that a reality,” Carlos Montero, Black Mesa’s project leader told Polygon. “We ended up busting our asses to make that a reality, and we went against a lot of our core values in the process. We found ourselves rushing things, cutting things, making quality sacrifices we did not want to make. And more than ever we found ourselves realizing that we could do a lot of things so much better.”

“I didn’t think we’d need to figure out so many things,” he said. “In many ways it seemed like all the big problems were solved, because I didn’t understand the problems. After the 2009 debacle we sort of doubled-down with production,” Montero said. “We had a new bar of quality we had set, and we weren’t sure how long it was going to take us to get there. We realized what a huge mistake we had made of leading the public on, so we decided not to do that anymore. We left the spotlight to focus on our work and come back when we had felt more confident about everything again.”

“This isn’t a job,” Montero said. “No one wants to login at the end of their regular school or work day and have a big list of work to do. That’s not the kind of team member we want anyway. We want people who are going to be involved in solving issues and interested in creating or fixing things to fill a need. You don’t get people involved by taking out the involved part of the equation and just delivering them the hard work. Hard work needs to be a means to an end, and it’s the end that they need to care about and feel responsible for.”

New media from Black Mesa has been trickling out over the summer, along with some very fine looking screenshots was the supposed leaked gameplay footage which did the rounds online, although this was apparently from a build a few years back. Fans naturally started to get excited that the nightmare wait was nearly over and they could finally get their hands on the game which surely wasn’t going to come out before Half-Life 3 (what’s that about Valve?) Carlos was quick to play down rumblings that a release was imminient but did state the project team is closing in on that stage.

“I’d hope it’s pretty clear to everyone that we are planning multiple stages of release for everything we have planned,” he said. “I’d characterize our first release as being pretty close to completion. How do you persevere at anything in life? You gotta believe in it, you know? I think by now we all believe in what we’ve accomplished, we believe it really will be something special when we get it in people’s hands. So even when it does get overwhelming or frustrating, you can’t forget that faith you still have in the project, and it always brings you back to it. Sure it gets tough sometimes but it always brings us back.”

The original interview can be found here, keep at it guys.