I am one of the founding members of Crowbar Collective, and a Lead Developer on Black Mesa.
Premise: Black Mesa started out as a fan-driven recreation of the classic game Half-Life. After releasing a free version of the Earth Levels in 2012 and garnering massive critical acclaim, it was the first game to successfully pass Steam’s Greenlight Process, and granted a commercial license to sell on Steam. Me and my team then focused on creating bigger, grander versions of the final chapters of the single-player campaign: the Xen levels. Upon release, these also met with universal critical acclaim.
Work: Throughout the last 15 years on this game’s development, I have spearheaded the Animation, VFX, and Simulation Departments. Especially in the most recent Xenian levels, anything that moves around, emits particles or effects, or blows up, I had a hand in it. I also managed up to 5 other animators at once on the project.
Challenges: Immense challenges everywhere. I created a pipeline from near-scratch, on an engine that is not well documented and has a reputation for being hard to work with. I had to figure out how to create visuals that had never been done on this engine before. I helped created fun and engaging gameplay, with much of my attention focused on the two final bosses.