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Black Mesa: Surface Tension
Source Engine

This level is part of the Black Mesa source engine modification. The 'dam level' as it has affectionately come to be called, is a long-reaching development project. I began work on the initial build of this level shortly after joining the mod team in 2005. Through various revisions and modifications of the level it ultimately ended up at it's current scale (about three times the original size!) My aim when creating this particular level was to create a level similar to the original in Half-Life; yet one that takes advantage of the Source engine's improvements and features, like displacement maps and the ability to create vastly larger play spaces. Earlier shots from the development of this level can be viewed on the Surface Tension Development page.

The actual design of the dam and it's immediate surroundings was based off a combination of the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams, due to their design and locales. As a part of this chapter I also (inadvertently) defined the concrete bunker style which was to be used in many other topside levels throughout the mod.

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 transition portion at the start and ends of the level, as well as a visual pass, was done by fellow developer Anthony Stone; the current lighting, sky, and environment settings were setup by lead developer Daniel Junek to match the chapter-wide standards.

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