History of the Mod

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  • Black Mesa was born out of two separate mod teams 'LeakFree' (formed in September 2004) and 'Half-Life: Source Overhaul Project' (led by Jimmy Headdon and formed in October 2004) both with the same ambitious goal of re-creating Half-Life in the Source engine. Neither team knew of the other’s existence until Leakfree’s lead Jon Dominski began publicising in the forums. After discussions between the two project leads the two development teams merged, resulting in a team of 13 members by the end of December 2005. 'Black-Mesa: Source' was born.


  • January 01, 2005: Development was officially announced.
  • January 05, 2005: Black Mesa was awarded 3rd place for ModDBs Best Website for 2004 despite the website only being live for a short time. | ModDB Article
  • March 1, 2005: Media Release 1 - Black Mesa's first media release included thirteen pieces of media; six of which were level screenshots.
  • March 9, 2005: Black Mesa Source Forums released on | ModDB Article
  • April 8, 2005: Media Release 2 (Notwithstanding the shock of our April Fools joke putting many people in cardiac arrest) | ModDB Article
  • May 8, 2005: Media Release 3 - STEAMPowered Mod. Spotlight (exclusive media and is now gone) | ModDB Article
  • June 5, 2005: Media Release 4 | ModDB Article
  • August 9, 2005: Media Release 5 - "...looks like you're running late." PC PowerPlay, Australia and PC gamerUK offer the first glimpses of surface tension. | ModDB Article
  • August 11, 2005: PCGamerUK article uploaded on the website. | ModDB Article
  • December 4, 2005: Forums are moved to | ModDB Article
  • December 10, 2005: Media Release 6 (1 of 3 for December 2005) - Raminator joins the team and RabidMonkey releases the "Dam". | ModDB Article
  • December 18, 2005: The media...isn't here yet, but check out the teaser info: Computer Gaming World (Dec 05) offers a three-page article (Exclusive media now gone) | ModDB Article
  • December 21, 2005: Media Release 6 (2 of 3 for December 2005) Radio Network conducts our first radio interview for Black Mesa. | ModDB Article
  • December 22, 2005: Media Release 6 (3 of 3 for December 2005) It looks like you're running late...again. However some screenshots were offered as teasers: Inbound, Apache and Office Complex included. | ModDB Article
  • December 2005 / January 2006: Forum crash.

Other Notable Milestones

  • Early 2005: The team contacted Mike Shapiro, the original voice actor behind Barney Calhoun, G-man and numerous other Half-Life characters. While he showed interest and support in the mod, he politely declined indicating he was not available to devote time to contributing to the Mod.
  • Mid 2005: In order to avoid confusion of official Valve games and non Valve games, Valve contacted the mod team and requested "Source" be removed from the Mod's official name. Because of the fan base recognition, Valve does not dispute the domain for the Mod's website.
  • Late 2005: After being part of the team for 3 months, Developer Carlos Montero was elected to be the new Project Leader.


  • January 3, 2006: Back Online
  • January 19, 2006: Media Release 7 - Unforseen Consequences and Deathmatch | ModDB Article
  • January 21, 2006: ModDB Award for Best Upcoming - 1st Black Mesa of 17 categories This proved pivotal in the mod's history, as the team won a new PC which they later auctioned to fund development.
  • April 24, 2006: We are not dead (The first of many such announcements) | ModDB Article
  • May 10, 2006: A security breach was discovered when images from Black Mesa, not previously taken by developers, were distributed on a Half-Life forum from the mod's build codenamed "Alpha 5". Jon Dominski stated on the forums "This is not expected to delay development for very long, as most of the content leaked was of older versions of most of the maps and our security measures have already been increased and improved."
  • May 11, 2006: The developers reported that they had found the person responsible for the leak, and while he had not agreed to delete the alpha build from his computer, he would not take any further action against the Black Mesa team.
  • June 13, 2006: An announcement indicated the May 2006 leak hacker(s) either directly or indirectly damaged the forums beyond repair; the 3500+ accounts and most if not all of the forums' posts were lost. The day after, new forums were brought online, they suffered a series of additional hacks.
  • November 27, 2006: Media Release 8 - Black Mesa: New website & 60 new pieces of media! | ModDB Article
  • December 16, 2006: Media Release 9 - Black Mesa: More media! | ModDB Article This featured a revamped website, updated weapon models, revamped and new maps, Gargantua render, an animation movie of the mod's Houndeye and pictures of the Bullsquid.


  • January 13, 2007: Black Mesa once again won the Mod DB "Golden Spanner Award" for the most anticipated and unreleased Half-Life 2 mod of 2006.
  • January 26, 2007: Celebrating their ModDB win, the development team presented their first video, a teaser video which includes flybys of the Test Chamber, Blast Pit, Residue Processing, Lambda Core, and Surface Tension dam areas.
  • January 26, 2007: Valve included a message about Black Mesa in the Steam marketing updates, congratulating the development team on their recent Mod DB award and stated that "We're as eager to play it here as everyone else." [1].
  • May 26, 2007: Media Release 10 - Media Screenshots, Alienware auction and of the hundreds that applied, the names of nine voice actors where also announced. | ModDB Article
  • May 26 2007: Forum Crash
  • December 24, 2007: Media Release 11 - Christmas Media Update and "devblog" section added to the website.


  • January 28, 2008: ModDB offers an Honorable Mention to Black Mesa for the 2007 Awards.
  • September 22, 2008: Story & Choreo Lead: Ben "BlackStamp" Truman uses Voice Actors Kevin Sisk and Mike Hillard to enhance the Half Life characters as heard in "Dead Zombie Storage".
  • November 19, 2008: Media Release 12 - Happy Birthday Half Life! Media Screenshots released as it was officially announced (although it had already been mentioned on the forums) that the mod had been upgraded to the Orange Box build of the Source engine. Counter-Strike: Source would no longer be a requirement to play the mod. A new trailer announced as "coming soon".
  • November 30, 2008: The second Black Mesa video Trailer was released to huge acclaim. The trailer focused mainly on in-game footage from the mod, and finished with the date "2009," indicating that the development team were aiming for a 2009 release. This Black Mesa Official Trailer was released on two YouTube Channels: Video Editor/Director: James "Monkey-Junkie" McVinnie and BlackMesaSourceMedia
  • November 2008: The team parted ways with long-time host, of both the website and forums, GamerNode leaving the website hosted on a new server that was to be managed in-house.
  • December 29, 2008: Developers Anthony Stone, Jean Paul Jarreau, Ben Truman and Mike Hillard talk about their roles on the project and share some insights into development in this Developer Banter Podcast with Moddb.


  • Early 2009: Johannes Tripolt estimated there to be between 30 and 40 people actively working on Black Mesa. [2]
  • February 16, 2009: Screen Play's interview with Carlos Montero Part 1 and Part 2
  • February 28 2009: ModDB offers an honorable mention to Black Mesa for the 2008 awards.
  • April 1, 2009: Not everyone is fooled by the YouTube update indicating Gordon will now have a voice in game. Again, not everyone was fooled.
  • May 1, 2009: the server hosting Black Mesa's website and forums suffered from a hardware failure, which led to a fresh install of the forums. Josh Hubi, released the following statement regarding the hardware failure via their community forums: "There is no delay in our release..... We never released any statement of delay. The hardware failure ONLY affected our website, nothing further."
  • May 2, 2009: Interview with Johannes Tripolt [translated].
  • July 11, 2009: A Twitter feed and YouTube channel was created to allow the development team to present smaller updates more frequently. To date the feed has mainly linked to early development videos detaling many different aspects of the mod.
  • December 3, 2009: A Beta Public Wiki launched
  • December 6, 2009: Black Mesa 2009 Update - Release is delayed. An announcement was made throughout the internet confirming what many had suspected; the mod would not be released in 2009. Carlos Montero stated: "And while we didn't quite make it, we have come very close and you can expect a complete, polished game to hit your hard drives in the near future." [3]
  • December 21, 2009: published an article called "Vaporware 2009: Inhale the Fail". This features a roundup of "the tech industry’s biggest, brashest and most baffling unfulfilled promises" of 2009 [4]. Black Mesa, a mod being crafted by folks on personal time, was awarded 4th place along side of projects being crafted by folks getting paid to release a game. The 1st in place was Starcraft II. The Black Mesa development team deems this write up an honor.


  • January 4, 2010: A Wiki that had been built up with contributions from developers and the fan community (while the wiki was in a beta state) was declared open [5]. It was also used as a stage for unpublished media.
  • January 13, 2010: Australia’s PC PowerPlay magazine published a 6 page feature (issue #174) on the mod, featuring new information, interviews and unseen media after they were given a build of the mod which featured the chapters Unforeseen Consequences and We've Got Hostiles. [6]
  • March 17, 2010: It was announced that Black Mesa: Co-Operative would no longer be featured in Black Mesa. Due to the great amount of problems to port and make Co-op code working, the developers decided to stop its development and focus only in Single-Player and Deathmatch [7]. Co-op could potentially arrive after the release of SP, but would not be made by the Black Mesa official team [8].
  • July 27, 2010: Chuck Wilson, the designer of Gasworks, returns to the dev team [9]. He had left the team in late 2008, after being inactive for a long time [10].
  • August 31, 2010: Atomic Maximum Power Computing: Black Mesa Preview.
  • December 23, 2010: Again, Black Mesa receives from ModDB an honorable mention of Best Upcoming Mod of 2010 - Players Choice. Acording to the 2010 award's rules: "To qualify for the top 5, the mod must place higher than it has in previous years and must have had a significant update in 2010. Otherwise an honorable mention is given".



  • May 9 - 10, 2012: Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "What Happened To Black Mesa: Source?" - interview with Carlos Montero Part 1 and Part 2.
  • June 9, 2012: Social media campaign towards the first release starts of facebook: If the Black Mesa's fan page reaches a mark of 20.000 likes, the developers would unlock new media [13]. The mark is reached two days after the campaign starts, and then is revealed the Media Release 13 and a commitment for future updates about the mod.
  • September 2, 2012: The Black Mesa Soundtrack is released [14]. Along with this news, the developers set the mod release date: September 14, 2012. They reveal that actually will be released only the first portion of the game (from Inbound to Lambda Core), and the second portion (from Xen to End Game) shall be released "soon as it's ready" with Black Mesa: Deathmatch. The remodeled forum is unveiled and a countdown clock is set in a redesigned homepage.
  • September 11, 2012: Six days after a voting campaign for Black Mesa on Steam Greenlight, started on 05 Sep 2012, Black Mesa was accepted by Valve to be distributed via Steam. "The game has been greenlit" - in the Steam Community jargon - among the top 10 most voted games, the first ones receive that certification in the platform [15].
  • December 25, 2012: ModDB awarded Black Mesa the Mod of the Year award, based on community votes on the website.

See Also

FAQ  •  About the Mod  •  About Co-op Gameplay  •  Trailers  •  Media Releases  •  System Requirements
Team Members  •  History  •  Time Line  •  Dev Blog  •  Interviews & Press  •  Statistics
Awards  •  Fan Made Content
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