Black Mesa Nightmare: Director’s Cut – GoldSource 2009
This project was originally intended to be a follow up sequel to my original map series, Black Mesa Nightmare, but it instead turned into a remake. Director’s Cut was started in 2009 but never finished, due to school and other personal issues.
The objective remains the same from the original Nightmare, to escape the Black Mesa Research Facility. At this time, I had become a lot better at designing and I decided it would be a fun project to undertake. The goal was to provide a complete graphical uplift to the maps, whilst being careful not to sacrifice the original gameplay that made the series fun and popular. In Director’s Cut, many puzzles have been redone to be more simplistic and forgiving. Certain gameplay elements that served to be a hinderance or otherwise unfitting were scrapped as well. In the original Nightmare release, failing a jump or maneuver usually resulted in instant death. After respawning, a player had to run back to the puzzle area to re-attempt it. Many people found this extremely annoying, despite all of the shortcuts supplied to reach the puzzle areas quickly.
I decided in Director’s Cut to remove the instant death factor from the puzzles. Most of them will still kill an unfortunate player, however there is a lot more room for error. For example, changing a pool of acid, which kills instantly, to a pool of electrified water, which slowly drains the player’s health. This change has many immediate benefits, the most obvious being that it is less frustrating when a player fails the puzzle, since they can now climb out and try again. A player can now also visually see that the liquid is harmful, due to the fact that the water is sparking with electricity. Furthermore, the transition is much less jarring. Dropping into a bright opaque green liquid, will obscure the player’s view and make it difficult to find the exit to the pool. With the water being clear, and non-acidic, it is much easier for a player to spot the exit ladder to the pool from within the water. Beta testing showed that many players found it very easy to navigate the puzzle area due to the changes.
The map series also featured background ambience and soundscapes, to add to the immersion.
(click on images to enlarge)
Chapter 1 – Grim Solitude
Chapter 2 – Morbid Descent
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