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Black Mesa: On A Rail
Work in progress; Source Engine

This level features some of my more recent work on the Black Mesa source engine mod. The focal point of this chapter is a former military missile silo which holds a rocket that the player later launches into orbit at the chapter's end. In the early planning stages for this chapter, I spoke with various fans of the mod and mod team members, and the general consensus between them was a dislike of the original chapter in Half-Life. I wanted to create a landmark in the chapter to break the repetition of the confined tunnel spaces, a space players would want to explore, as well as an area they would remember.

While the silo was an obvious choice for this transformation, I wanted to create an area that was both realistic and visually interesting. I did extensive resarch on various types of missile silos before settling on the design of a Titan I missile silo due to it's complex interior. Not only is the silo visually accurate, but it is also functional - a vertical gameplay element is added by creating a puzzle where players must raise the missile from the silo.

Models and props were created by various members of the Black Mesa team or are stock assets created by Valve Software and included with Half-Life 2's SDK; the rocket model was created by fellow team members Robert Chinner and Daniel Escobedo (engine portion) and textured by Jason Wells. While not explicitly pictured in these screenshots, the tunnel standards for the On A Rail chapter, which are used throughout this level, were created by team member David Gillen.

This level is a work in progress, and these screenshots may not be indicative of the final level which is included as a part of the mod.

Click for larger images.