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Operation: Black Mesa is an upcoming community-led remake of Half-Life: Opposing Force and developed by Eastern European developer, Tripmine Studios. While it could be considered as a companion to Black Mesa by the Crowbar Collective, the two developer teams are not associated.[2]

The team is simultaneously developing a remake of the series' third installment, Half Life: Blue Shift.


The Valve Corporation originally had plans to port Half-Life: Opposing Force into the Source engine (announced at E3 2004) much like they did with Half-Life: Source, but after an underwhelming first look at the project, the creators of Operation: Black Mesa decided to pursue their own remaster of the game, built from the ground up. They began development in September 2007, one month before the release of Half-Life 2: Episode Two.[3]

The project has grown considerably since then, with a dedicated development team of over 20 programmers, 3D model and texture artists, map designers and vocal performers. Similar to the drive of Black Mesa's Crowbar Collective, the team is pushing Valve's Source Engine to the limit with dynamic lighting, complex enemy AI and expansive additions to the original levels.

Development Timeline (Ongoing)

On December 4, 2008, the old forum website was shut down due to hackers. According to the project leader, they were not aware of the team member that had assisted in the hack. Since then, a new forum site has been launched and regained most of its former followers.[4]

On November 2, 2009, the team released a huge media update to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the release of the original game. Also, the project leader announced a staff expansion to aid in development.[5]

In early 2012, the Operation: Black Mesa team merged with the Guard Duty Team to form Tripmine Studios, allowing both projects to be developed under one roof. At the same time, they publicly released an update explaining the merger.[6]

On May 1, 2012, the team released more media from Guard Duty for the second update after the merge.[7]

On August 21, 2012, Tripmine released both the RPG and Automatic-Turret models in a small update. [8].

On December 8, 2012, Tripmine released the fourth media update after the merge following their reception of Mod of the Year for 2012. [9]

On February 17, 2013, the team announced that both projects had received a Steam Greenlight for their eventual release. At the same time, they released more screenshots and concept art from developers. [10].

On March 22nd, 2013, another routine media update was released. [11].

On April 1, 2013, further information on the Greenlight was released alongside the announcement of an upcoming trailer. [12].

On May 17, 2013, they released the third and final part of the concluded Greenlight media update. [13]

On July 29, 2013, they announced that Operation: Black Mesa was Greenlit and is awaiting the decision to be on Steam. At the same time, they updated the media to keep on the pact and the release date for the Beta Multi-Player for Project. [14].

On December 20, 2013, they thanked every fan for their votes for Mod of the Year 2013. At the same time, the team released another updated screenshot of the chapter "We Are Pulling Out". [15]

On March 26, 2014, Tripmine released another media update and announced that the Beta Multi-Player release had been postponed. [16]

On January 16, 2017, A monthly update and media release was posted on the Tripmine Studios Forum.

On July 28, 2018, A summer update and media release detailing the studio's progress on both projects was posted on the Tripmine Studios Forum.

On June 3, 2019, Another summer update and media release gave fans a much closer look at in game weapon and character animations, as well as more 3D models and assets that will feature in the games.

On September 11, 2019, Tripmine's official YouTube channel posted a demonstration for the improved flashlight mechanic to be implemented in Guard Duty.

On January 19, 2020, Tripmine's official Youtube channel posted another demonstration for the improved Parallax Corrected Cubemaps to be implemented in the game along with Guard Duty.

On January 22, 2020, Tripmine's official Youtube channel posted the second demonstration for the improved Parallax Corrected Cubemaps.

On June 15th, 2020, Tripmine released their annual summer update with in-game screenshots, and an anticipated first look at the vocal cast.

On August 28, 2020, Tripmine's official Youtube channel posted a video showing off the gibbing effect for the enemies ingame, to be implemented in Guard Duty as well.

On February 6th, 2021, Tripmine released a major development update titled Biodome Showcase . The video is the first to prominently feature one of the project's voice cast, taking the place of developer Evil Good Guy as narrator. Large portions of Opposing Force's Chapter 8 Biodome Complex are revealed, as well as a first look at a keystone Scientist character model.

On March 20th, 2021, Tripmine's official Youtube channel posted a demonstration of ambient fish A.I. to be implemented the game.


January 1st, 2022: Evil Good Guy releases a 2021 media recap and announces the launch of Operation: Black Mesa's official Steam page.


A list of features planned for the final release:

  • Complete re-creation of both Half-Life: Opposing Force and Half-Life: Blue Shift with expanded areas.
  • Models that push the limits of the Source engine.
  • Multiplayer, including Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch with all the original levels fleshed out. A "capture the flag" mode may be included, but not in the initial releases.
  • New voices, sounds, and visuals.
  • Level design tweaks to utilize the advanced physics engine introduced in Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
  • An all-new soundtrack.


  • Mod DB – Top Unreleased Mod for 2007 (5th place)[17]
  • Mod DB – Honorable mention for Top Unreleased Mod for 2009[18]
  • Mod DB - Mod of the year 2010 - Players Choice (3rd Place)[19]
  • Mod DB - Honourable mention of Top Unreleased Mod of 2011 [20]
  • Mod DB - Best upcoming Mod of 2013 (1st Place) [21]


Concept art




  1. http://lambdageneration.com/posts/operation-black-mesa-and-guard-duty-the-two-gearbox-expansion-remakes-join-forces-and-merge-into-one-team/
  2. Tripminestudios forums
  3. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/project-relaunched-new-leader
  4. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/unforseen-consequences1
  5. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/ten-years-of-opposing-force
  6. http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/operation-black-mesa-and-guard-duty-interview/
  7. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/operation-black-mesa-and-guard-duty-update
  8. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/report-for-duty
  9. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/guard-duty-and-operation-black-mesa-moty-update
  10. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/greenlight-incoming
  11. http://tripminestudios.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=39
  12. http://tripminestudios.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=107
  13. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/greenlight-report
  14. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/operation-black-mesa-has-been-greenlit
  15. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/news/operation-thank-you
  16. http://tripminestudios.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=392
  17. Mod DB Top Unreleased Mod for 2007
  18. Honorable mention at the Mod DB Top Unreleased Mod for 2009
  19. http://www.moddb.com/events/2010-mod-of-the-year-awards/features/players-choice-upcoming-modification-2010
  20. http://www.moddb.com/events/2011-mod-of-the-year-awards/top100
  21. http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-black-mesa/features/best-upcoming-mod-of-2013-players-choice

External links