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Black Mesa to Be Released on Steam Next Week? – Strange Countdown Clock Appears Online

Modding & Development Half-Life

There’s something strange going on over at BlackMesaSource.com.

The website for the highly anticipated Half-Life recreation modification, Black Mesa, started showing a mysterious video the other day of an analogue TV filled with color bars, which is directing viewers to a some sort of countdown clock.

Black Mesa to Be Released on Steam Next Week? – Strange Countdown Clock Appears Online

The TV video found on the official Black Mesa modification website is linked to bmrf.us - a website that was previously suspected to be affiliated with the mod. On here, another obfuscated broadcast is being shown, accompanied by scrolling SMPTE-style color bars, static radio noise, a six digit countdown timer and an occasional glimpse of yes, The G-Man…

A Countdown

A Countdown

It can be worked out that the timer is set to end on May 5th, which also happens to be the day that Gordon Freeman supposedly started his (not so successful) career working at the Black Mesa Research Facility.

See Also: Black Mesa Multiplayer Maps Leaked?

The bmrf.us website was previously assumed to be related to the fan-made modification as part of an alternate reality game (ARG) after the site linked back to the mods official website. Earlier this year the website was transmitting an “emergency broadcast system message“, telling people to evacuate the area surrounding the Black Mesa Research Facility in New Mexico after a “disaster of unknown type” had supposedly occurred there.

Later, the website started redirecting to a (fictional) news article, claiming that the evacuation zone had been given an “all clear” after the disaster was found to be a “gas tank explosion caused by an earthquake”. A cryptic broadcast, similar to what we are seeing at the moment was found there and both the Facebook and Twitter badges on the site pointed to the official Black Mesa developer accounts.

kxbm.net

kxbm.net

In addition, a phony dating website called localdesertsingles.com (that is linked to in the news article) also redirects to the Black Mesa homepage and a Twitter account for the ‘writer’ of the news article can be found making references to both sites.

It’s safe to assume that whatever is going on is related to some sort of announcement from the Black Mesa developers that we can expect to see next week. One of the obvious speculations is that this is the lead up to the previously promised stand-alone Steam release of the game, containing the final Xen chapters of the game that were missing from the initial 2012 release.

See Also: Black Mesa’s Gift on Half Life’s Anniversary Is That It’s Going Retail!

Earlier this week a few of Black Mesa’s multiplayer deathmatch maps were leaked online through what appeared to be a glitch in the Steam Workshop, however a few people have reason to believe that this may have been another stunt to build up hype for the game’s release. Whatever the case, all we know is something is happening and you can bet it will be good.

Stay tuned.


Update 1: A user on the r/HalfLife Subreddit stumbled across a set of Black Mesa themed Steam Trading Cards, Profile Backgrounds and Chat Emoticons on the Steam profile of Black Mesa developer Josh Hubi.

Black Mesa Steam Trading Cards

Black Mesa Steam Trading Cards

There was also a post by level designer, Chon Kemp, on the Facepunch forums regarding the development of the final Xen levels, which he says are still unfinished:

“Again, everyone who says this vastly underestimates how much work Xen is. Xen would still be extremely huge amounts of work, even if we were aiming for just a straight 1:1 remake. You still wouldn’t have it today, even if we’d gone that route and put everything into it.”

- TextFAMGUY1, Black Mesa Level Designer

It also appears that the Black Mesa Workshop is now publicly live after it was earlier reported that a selection of the multiplayer maps had been leaked through it:

Black Mesa Steam Workshop

Black Mesa Steam Workshop


Update 2: The bmrf.us website has been updated yet again with a a 24-hour countdown and a new “emergency broadcast system” message, warning of an “immediate evacuation”.

New "Emergency Broadcast System" message on bmrf.us

New “Emergency Broadcast System” message on bmrf.us


Update 3: xPaw, the developer of SteamDB posted a screenshot on Twitter of what he claims is the “First ever Black Mesa: Source community server”, showing various Black Mesa Developers playing dm_gasworks in the Steam game “Black Mesa: Deathmatch“.

 

SteamDB also reports that an application called Black Mesa Dedicated Server has been added to Steam.


Update 4: The countdown has ended and it’s official, Black Mesa is now available on Steam!

 

Make sure to follow LambdaGeneration on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with further updates!

3 Comments

  1. There’s an easter egg in the code of website at the bottom
    A unicode entities (\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593\u2593…), and you can decode it with some websites like this: http://unicode.online-toolz.com/tools/text-unicode-entities-convertor.php

  2. >The bmrf.us website was previously assumed to be related to the fan-made modification as part of an alternate reality game (ARG) after the site linked back to the mods official website.
    ah, no. we’ve always known it to be from the BMS devs.

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