The Surface Tension Update - Content Update 0.3.0

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    • The Surface Tension Update - Content Update 0.3.0


      • Surface Tension: UNCUT! With an hour of gameplay added to the game!
      • High definition shadows, with the new CSM graphical feature!
      • Up to 75% faster load times. Fixed “Node graph out of date” on level load.
      • Official translation support for Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian, and Spanish!

      New Content and Features

      Note: This update does not contain Xen. We are working on Xen!

      Surface Tension Uncut!
      • We have lovingly recreated the previously missing Surface Tension maps, and restored them into Black Mesa’s main campaign! This adds three new maps - C2A5G, C2A5H, and C2A5I.
      • Added many new assets (textures, sounds, models, particles), and improved quality of many existing assets.
      • Existing Surface Tension maps C2A5B and C2A5E have been updated, providing areas with new design and gameplay.
      • Updated C3A1A, first map of Forget About Freeman, to use new Xen assets.
      Cascaded Shadow Mapping (CSM)
      • Implemented Cascaded Shadow Mapping (CSM), which adds dynamic shadows to outdoor maps.
      Vastly Improved Load Times
      • Maps load up to 75% faster.
      Official Translation Support
      • Translated closed captions can now be enabled in the “Options > Audio” menu. Currently supported languages are Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian, and Spanish.

      Artificial Intelligence

      Alien Grunt
      • We made a significant number of tweaks and fixes to the alien grunt AI. Overall these fixes should significantly improve their intelligence, and mostly prevent moments where they behave weirdly or inexplicably.
      • Made sure multiple alien grunts can advance at once, if they belong to the same squad. This should prevent them rushing one by one and make them appear more coordinated.
      • Added patrolling schedule. Previously, when leaving the “combat” state, the alien grunt would drop straight back to “idle”. Instead of going straight from “combat” to “idle”, the alien grunt will now drop into the “patrol” state, where he cautiously walks around the combat area, looking for a target.
      • Changed fallback schedule. Instead of retreating, the alien grunt might now choose to patrol instead.
      • Changed behaviour when target is lost. Instead of immediately dropping to “patrol” state when the alien grunt’s active target is lost, the alien grunt will now attempt to establish line of sight with its lost target.
      • Target Prioritisation improvements. The alien grunt will now make far fewer switches between targets. His prioritisation for targets should now be much improved.
      • The alien grunt is no longer deaf. He was previously unable to react to sounds. We gave them the ability to hear things, so there will be fewer situations where he’s standing around doing nothing.
      • The alien grunt will now attempt to go into “advance” mode more often. This makes them more aggressive towards their target.
      • Implemented new behaviour when failing to complete a schedule (such as advance). This should reduce the number of situations where the AI does nothing. Instead, he will fire at the enemy or seek cover if possible. Patrolling is still possible from this situation, but should be less frequent.
      • Made it so the alien grunt’s advance schedule can cheat a bit. The alien grunt may now traverse the full route to a player.
      • Fixed the condition for the alien grunt’s melee attack. The condition which determines the alien grunt’s ability to melee attack, COND_MELEE_ATTACK1, would ignore the height of the target. This is fixed.
      • Lowered the alien grunt’s hivehand firerate. This makes fighting alien grunts less frustrating: you’re not constantly being pelted by bees.
      • Lowered the alien grunt’s rest interval min and max values, to give the alien grunt a lower rest time between firing bursts. This is to compensate for him being given a slightly lower rate of fire.
      • Lowered the minimum range of the alien grunt’s hivehand. This prevents a situation where the alien grunt cannot melee or shoot the player.

      Alien Slave
      • We fixed a serious bug in the alien slave’s AI routine. An AI loop created a situation where the Alien Slaves would stop and ignore the player during combat.
      • The alien slaves can hear the player now. Previously, they were incapable of reacting

      HECU Fixes
      • The HECU’s accuracy is now significantly reduced (halved) while they are running, using the parameter “npcmovementinaccuracypenaltymultiplier”, which can be found in weapon_mp5.dmx.


      Did a small balance pass across the game to address some community concerns.

      • Reload Stops. Once a new magazine is loaded, weapons will remain loaded after a weapon switch, even if the reload animation was not completely finished.
      • Increased crowbar range from 40 to 56. This should make it easier to fight zombies with the crowbar.
      • Re-balanced explosive weapons. Previously, all explosive weapons had uniform damage and radius. Now there are 3 levels of explosive weapon:
        Basic-Tier: 100 damage, 250 radius (frag grenades, MP5 grenades)
        Mid-Tier: 150 damage, 300 radius (satchel charges, tripmines)
        Top-Tier: 175 damage, 300 radius (RPG)
      • Apache health increased from 200 to 400. This compensates for the nearly doubled RPG damage; the required number of RPG shots to destroy an Apache only increases by 1. This also brings the RPG and tau’s effectiveness against vehicles closer together. These changes do not affect the Apache on the dam map, only the boss fight on the cliffside map.

      • The tau has been rebalanced, mostly for MP. It will still remain one of the most powerful weapons in the game, but should be tougher to use at maximum effectiveness. This forum post outlines the changes in great detail.
      • Adjusted the code for the tau’s overcharge bias. Previously, the overcharge bias adjusted the cosine wave for the tau’s damage vs total charge. Now, the overcharge bias value dictates the point at which the tau reaches 50% damage value.
      • Tau overcharge bias changed from 0.9 to 0.85. This reflects the overcharge bias’s new function, and means the tau will do 50% of its total damage at 0.85 total charge. It then abruptly ramps up to 100% total damage at 1.0 total charge. This should make it much tougher to chain together half charged tau shots, because they are now ineffective.
      • Fixed a bug in the tau’s overcharge bias function. This value was not normalized, effectively meaning that the tau was only taking 1 second to fully charge in MP, rather than the intended 1.25 seconds. This is now corrected.
        Increased tau jump velocity from 500 to 650. This improves the effectiveness of tau jumping, and also adds utility to non fully charged shots.
      • Depending on how these changes play out in MP, we may adjust the tau’s damage or total charge time in the future.

      Programming Bug Fixes

      • Fixed “Node graph out of date” message displayed on each level load.
      • Fixed a Windows XP crash. Fixed a bug which prevents Windows XP users from launching the game.
      • Cleaned and optimized shaders. All shaders below DX9 are removed.
      • Fixed a crash related to satchels.
      • “Always Run” option is fixed/updated. When using always run, the sprint animations and sounds do not play.
      • Added “Caption Language” setting. Caption language can now be set in “Options > Audio” menu.
      • Fixed outstanding bugs with crossbow animations.
      • Updated shotgun gibbing code. Gibbing should only occur at close range, and only from a double blast.
      • Added “reload points” to all reloadable weapons. Previously, weapons were only considered “reloaded” when the reload animation was complete. Now, weapons take into account the point at which a magazine was inserted to determine when they are reloaded.
      • Fixed disappearing throwables. Fixed a bug where throwables would appear invisible after loading a saved game.
      • Colour correction enabled.
      • Drowning sound fixed. The bubbly drowning sound would always play when you come into contact with water. This is now fixed.
      • Added old save notification. Loading a saved game from an older version of Black Mesa will display a notification to the user.
      • Extended depth buffer range to render entire scene.
      • Implemented Portal 2 resource caching system.
      • Fixed crossbow scope refraction. Refraction images on crossbow scope now display correctly when not zoomed in.


      • Updated older existing assets with new models and textures, as part of our continued effort to unify all the game’s assets and bring them up to a higher standard.
      • Fixed crossbow collision and lighting origin.
      • Fixed the sheen effect on the RPG world model.
      • Lowered the resolution of the shotgun world model texture.
      • Fixed fullbright tau world model.
      • Removed empty alpha maps from some materials.
      • Lowered resolution of texture maps for satchel and crossbow world models.
      • Fixed jump pad animation in SP.

      Single Player Level Design

      • Fixed frozen lab soundscape occasionally not triggering when entering the area.
      • Fixed the coolant puzzle so that players can no longer get stuck behind a pipe.
      • Fixed a bug with the rappelling marines. They should no longer fall all the way down the shaft, but if they do, the fall will now kill them.
      • Added air raid siren to the airstrike section.
      • Fixed soundscapes not playing after descending through the lift shaft.
      • Fixed a bug with some vent lighting.
      • Fixed tram being unable to reverse when approaching the bridge.
      • The .50 cal turret will now default to facing forwards when players release control.
      • Fixed broken appearance of moon texture.
      • Players can no longer backtrack to On a Rail.
      • Fixed bug in Ichtyosaur scene which prevented players from progressing forward.
      • Fixed problems with marine encounter in cryogenics scene.
      • Fixed exterior soundscape so that it will correctly play when exiting the tunnel.
      • Removed the icy material property from the gravel at the start of the map.
      • This map had some major sections redone. The side route should be much more interesting to explore and much more rewarding now.
      • Overall this map should look, play, and feel a lot more up to standard than it did before.
      • Fixed a missing soundscape when exiting the walkway via the shack window.
      • Detailed up the outdoor area with some new foliage and rock props, as well as miscellaneous detail fixes.
      • Added a set of player spawn equipment at the start of the map if the player chooses to restart the level.
      • Disabled the explosion death effect until the player is inside the explosive warehouse. This fixes a bug where players could accidentally trigger the explosion from outside the warehouse, or could get stuck in a save game loop.
      • Made the Xen slime and growths consistent with other areas throughout the game.
      • Cleaned up AI nodes to improve NPC navigation.
      • Cleaned up AI nodes to improve NPC navigation.
      • Fixed missing texture on the alien grunts’ hivehands at the beginning of the map



      • Updated some Crossfire props with new textures: Crane bridge, frame hoist,
        blast doors, elevator car and frame


      • mp_warmuptime cvar fixed.
      • Added bulletproof vest to MP guard skin.
      • Added game_round_win and game_player_equip entities to enable mappers to develop custom game types.
      • Added game_mp_gamerules entity which can be set to enable or disable player canister drops on death, allowing development of class-based game modes.
      • Fixed some bugs with the new stats system which made players show up as “unnamed”.
      • sv_lan now defaults to 0.
      • Fixed server crash when server was empty and map changed.
      For Modders
      • Max entity limit per map increased from 2048 to 4096.
      • Forced optimizations inside VBSP, VVIS and VRAD, which should speed up compile times for maps.

      Known Issues

      • Players can become stuck in map bm_c2a5g by backing up after opening the garage door.
      • Bees, grenades and rockets can get stuck on .50 cal turrets.
      • Bounce pads in MP loop bounce animations after being jumped on.
      • Static props without normal maps do not receive CSM shadows.
      • Dedicated servers may need sv_ranked set to “0” to avoid crash after warm up round.
      • Ragdolls sometimes break on loading saves (Instigating).
      • AMD video cards may not display CSM.
      Chon Kemp - Lead 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
    • Couple of stuff here

      FPS is very very bad, I get 20-30fps whenever I'm outside in these levels which is quite bad compared to other areas in surface tension.

      This door frame does not look good at all, it's just an insta transition from metal to concrete on the floor without a door frame and doesn't make much sense how a door is supposed to slide on that. Not to mention that the door itself is very very big and unnatural.

      The gargantua isn't working right.

      There are a couple of potential things behind it :

      - If you're very fast the Gargantua won't have vision on you meaning you won't be chased
      - When you go on that ledge as I did in the video, the Gargantua can't chase you and will come to a complete stop, not even attempting you burn you to death. If you go out of his vision when he has stopped you can sneak out of the tunnel.

      No matter what though the Gargantua will eventually break the door leading outside since you enter a trigger that forces the Gargantua to do that.

      When some parts of Surface Tension got updated visuals I was very excited to see if they changed these ugly rock models into something better, unfortunately they weren't. Even a bunch of rubble or a fence is more appealing than this.

      With that said the new visuals in surface tension is very nice and I enjoyed the new content in Surface Tension, really did capture that feeling of the military losing.
      Also CSM is super nice
    • reposting my reports here
      Display Spoiler

      1. IF you try to save the osprey your reward is an invencible A-grunt that proceeds to kill all the ground units, then you. Doesn't blow the osprey and just sits there firing at you untill you die.

      Really want to save the Osprey, just to do something good for a change when it comes to soldier interactions. cause a few seconds before this you learn how many wounded are on that thing.

      2. on the next map, some soldiers are sequence broke by an A-grunt on the roof as a result they run around not shooting but unkillible, the big thing about this is the fact that they can man the .50 cal making it impossible to beat the map as it takes out the guard in 3 or 4 hits.

      3. the gaurd that spawns in the location of bellow image is now impossible to save as he freezes while talking and takes the rounds instead of running like before. even with cheats I can not get to him fast enough.

      4. the light that falls and breaks the snark nests leaves behind some bugged snarks.

      And that is it for bugs I have noticed, out side of the usual both marines and aliens prioritize you if they see you bit. Is funny to open that door and all the sudden both the aliens and marines are shooting at you instead of each other.

      Also oh my god I love that sniper fight, just running to the rpg is oh my god. Also the other changes to surface tension make it feel more alive for some reason, even though many of them are barely noticeable though there are some really big ones.

      in the area with the osprey I keep trying to save, when the APC comes
      out it is attacked by vorts, one Think I thought was odd was the fact
      that once they start attacking its turret rotates backwards and starts
      shooting at nothing. At first I thought this was the vorts electric
      damage messing up the mechanics of the turret, nope it is this guy.

      Though I have to admit this one vort makes a great effect if you are
      from the tower, you see these 2 or 3 vorts hit the APC with energy and
      suddenly its turret rotates backwards and fires at nothing while green
      sparks fly from it.

      Is a cool effect to bad it is a bug.

      IF it was up to me I would keep the effect but remove this vort and make
      the APC force target the ground behind it. I would also make the APC
      explode shortly after it starts firing at nothing. to show hey these
      attacks may be minor to you in the HEV suit but they can take out the
      electronics in a freaking tank.

      Yeah probably wasting time with this, as most of my reports seem to be minor. well best to test again. Also love the fact that if you start on C2a5g you get weapons while no other map does that.


      ok, yeah most the things I have found wrong are either A already reported, or B personal opinion and not worth crap. that said there is a lot of epic with this update, love the airport as a hole, even noclipping around it I kept finding more and more details I didn't notice before.

      Also one nitpick cause it is funny.

      Uh what is holding this crate up?

      Note, location is at the end of c2a5g, just think it is funny and a nit pick.

      Also derp APC is still derp and funny... this time a soldier killed the vort, so no infinite loop.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by darkone ().

    • Did a playthrough of my own. Things readily noticed was that the vorts and Agrunts don't attack you unless you shoot them first (at least from my testing) in BM_c2a5f. Further, the Hive Hand change for the Agrunt was a bit overkill.

      A hybrid between the old and the new possibly? You can go the Sven Co-op rout and if their target is in line of sight, it has the old fire rate (delay of 0.1 per shot), but the hornets don't home. If the target breaks LoS, the hornets home and the gun has the new fire rate. Plausibly both can be used as well with LoS.

      Otherwise wonderfully done. I'm glad the scene with the Abrams was kept, with the added communications, it was even more epic.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Chickenprotector ().

    • Ok I found out trying to run through the explosive trap can result in you being hurrled out of the map... still alive, though the fall will kill you.

      Ran at it 20 times that only happened once, though 5 of them I was sent out of map I was dead during it, and attempted 20 I realized the door has an invisible wall.

      Also the walls that collapse seem to still be there even when they are gone (the player clip is still there)
    • Pianownd wrote:

      Aw damn, the CSM isn't working on my Radeon HD 7950, so that's a bummer.

      I feel your pain mate. I have the HD 6970. I am not sure if the reason it might not be working is because we have relatively old graphics cards. Maybe the newer R9 200 and R9 300 series of cards don't have this issue. I'll be upgrading to the newer upcoming R9 400 series soon, so I am anxious to see what the outcome will be regarding these awesome shadows.
    • TextFAMGUY1 wrote:

      • Updated older existing assets with new models and textures, as part of our continued effort to unify all the game’s assets and bring them up to a higher standard.

      • Lowered the resolution of the shotgun world model texture.
      • Lowered resolution of texture maps for satchel and crossbow world models.

      May I ask why the world models textures get lower resolution? I mean, is there a technical side of it because of the Source engine limitation or something else?
      With ST Uncut release, I finally decided to make a full playthrough of BM (haven't played the retail version yet) and so far I've noticed most textures are rather blurry. Not HL2 level of blury, but a Portal 2 one (if not more). For instance, the amazing panels from Chapter 1 by bkdale86 sometimes have noticeable texture compression artefacts everywhere and I barely could read the text on small objects due to watered down textures. And even nocliping I cannot figure out a word on a Tram Maintance book lying on the tram floor.
    • Everything is great in all but i did encounter a few bugs.

      In On A Rail there where a lot of missing textures in many places the whole chapter.

      I do not know if this is because i have the uncut mod installed or not but they only happened in the maps that did not come with the mod.

      The last major thing that just started happening was this.

      Everything was affected by this glitch.

    • Nonimportantuser wrote:


      In On A Rail there where a lot of missing textures in many places the whole chapter.

      I do not know if this is because i have the uncut mod installed or not but they only happened in the maps that did not come with the mod.

      Yes. It's because of OaR: Uncut. The mod is pretty much broken now, with multitute of bugs including the texture one. I uninstalled it. On the bright side, Text promised he'll fix it when he'll have the time.
      "Medkit - the protagonist of most action games since 1992"
    • Awesome work, guys — the additions to the game are fantastic! I'm here to confirm that I also have an older AMD HD graphics card, 6670, and that CSM is not working properly — sometimes there's no CSM and sometimes there is, but it's very faint, almost non-existent. I hope you guys can fix that soon, because I can play CSGO with shadows on maximum settings. Anyway, keep up the good work for us HL fans! =D