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    • Valve and Valve alone defines the Half-Life canon. They haven't come out and said that Black Mesa is canon (and why would they, it's a fan creation after all, no matter how faithful we remain), so nothing here is canon.

      We care a lot about canon and narrative and try our best not to create any inconsistencies - and stay true to the canon as best we can. But...yeah. That's about it really.
      Chon Kemp - Level Designer and Community Manager
      Creator of the Black Mesa "Uncut" Mods - Surface Tension Uncut and
      On a Rail Uncut
      My dev blog on the development of dm_gasworks
    • Hi. I have two questions:

      1. Valve added the ability to compress ("repack", as they call it) map files in TF2's engine branch a couple years ago; are there plans to get that tech into this game? I don't know how much it would cut down on loading times, since so much of that is down to the amount of texture data, but the VPK for the maps alone is over 9 gigs compared to 2.7 for Half-Life Update and 2.6 for Portal 2, so there must be a lot of high-res lightmap data in there that could stand to be squeezed.

      2. Since you've already been messing around with the engine itself, has there been any experimenting with the idea of a progressive loading system (e.g. the engine can have two maps in memory at the same time, swap the inactive one in the background, and use something like world portals to seamlessly transition the player between them)? I figure if there has, the conclusion was "it can't be done because X", or we'd have it by now, so I'm mainly curious what X turned out to be.
    • Pocket wrote:

      Hi. I have two questions:

      1. Valve added the ability to compress ("repack", as they call it) map files in TF2's engine branch a couple years ago; are there plans to get that tech into this game? I don't know how much it would cut down on loading times, since so much of that is down to the amount of texture data, but the VPK for the maps alone is over 9 gigs compared to 2.7 for Half-Life Update and 2.6 for Portal 2, so there must be a lot of high-res lightmap data in there that could stand to be squeezed.

      2. Since you've already been messing around with the engine itself, has there been any experimenting with the idea of a progressive loading system (e.g. the engine can have two maps in memory at the same time, swap the inactive one in the background, and use something like world portals to seamlessly transition the player between them)? I figure if there has, the conclusion was "it can't be done because X", or we'd have it by now, so I'm mainly curious what X turned out to be.
      1. I don't know about this. To my knowledge, we've used everything we can to keep our compressed file sizes as low as possible. I don't think we've missed anything.

      2. This was something our programmers investigated extensively back when we were considering VR as a potential project. It's literally impossible without rewriting the entire rendering code. And rewriting the entire rendering code amounts to basically rewriting the whole engine. Which amounts to a whole waste of time for very little payoff (why not just use a modern engine at that point?)
      Chon Kemp - Level Designer and Community Manager
      Creator of the Black Mesa "Uncut" Mods - Surface Tension Uncut and
      On a Rail Uncut
      My dev blog on the development of dm_gasworks
    • Pocket wrote:

      2. Since you've already been messing around with the engine itself, has there been any experimenting with the idea of a progressive loading system (e.g. the engine can have two maps in memory at the same time, swap the inactive one in the background, and use something like world portals to seamlessly transition the player between them)? I figure if there has, the conclusion was "it can't be done because X", or we'd have it by now, so I'm mainly curious what X turned out to be.
      Wait, if the engine has two maps ready in the background so it can easily switch between the two, what about the upcoming third map?
      Is it loaded during the gameplay on the current map?

      Epitaph wrote:

      Is there another update planned before the Great Summer Update of Xen (G.S.U.X)?
      I doubt it @Epitaph.
      Unless some major bug appears.
      "The Journey Is the Destination."
      Deepak Chopra

    • New

      Johnwalter wrote:

      Wait, if the engine has two maps ready in the background so it can easily switch between the two, what about the upcoming third map?Is it loaded during the gameplay on the current map?
      Yeah, the idea was that there'd be a trigger similar to the one currently used to make the game switch to the next map, but placed somewhere more like two-thirds of the way through. And then another one around the one-third mark to dump it for the previous map, except in cases where there's a point of no return (e.g. all the maps in the tram intro).
    • New

      This doesn't work without the rendering engine being entirely rewritten. It just doesn't work. We investigated it extensively for VR purposes. The way that transitions work right now is as good as it will get.
      Chon Kemp - Level Designer and Community Manager
      Creator of the Black Mesa "Uncut" Mods - Surface Tension Uncut and
      On a Rail Uncut
      My dev blog on the development of dm_gasworks