CrosuS: Mod Management

By Kieron Gillen on January 16th, 2008 at 4:04 pm.

I’ve been playing around with this for a while, but news reached me on (er) Friday that it’s actually gone public, so thought a little post would be in order. It’s CrosuS, a Game Management-System thingie from Isotx, who you may know from stuff the C&C: Generals total conversion Middle East Crisisand the forthcoming Middle East Crisis 2 and the forthcoming commercial Iron Grip: Warlord. And – er – more.

Yeah, it's hard to get exciting screenshots of content management systems.

It’s actually a neat little program - clearly, it’s got a retail element to it where you can buy games, has all the usual community and apparently integrates with STEAM and XFire, but where it comes into its own is its extensive mod support. As Isotx said in the press release: “We realized that hunting for new mods, installing them and getting them to work was eating into the time we could spend actually playing – and decided there HAD to be a better way”. I suspect anyone who has interest in the mod content – including mod-developers themselves – will find something of interest here. And I’ll browse through some of the stuff it lets you do beneath the cut…


Firstly, it lets you browse through its stuff. Select mods, and you’ll get a subdivided list of all the games it current supports. Clicking on a subsection reveals all the mods they have for it, and another couple of clicks downloads it. They’ll all be then added to your own profile, allowing you to check whether there’s been an update to it from a centralised position. Exactly the same system works with the mass of free games and the map support.

Where it gets more interesting is how the content works. Users can upload their own content, including games and mods and whatever. If they pass clearance – i.e. Aren’t incredibly obscene and actually work – they’re integrated on the system, allowing everyone to get hold of them. For Mod teams, it’s an obvious good free place to get publicity – that there’s a Deus Ex section is even making me drag out my old beau the Cassandra Project and get it up there. Equally, for a player who likes a random mod but not enough to actively follow the community, it’s an easy way for them to stay up to date with what’s hot in the world of Mod. And, of course, you can just browse the catalogue looking for stuff that looks a giggle. I’ve just downloaded a few Civ4 maps on a whim, for example.

It is relatively early days yet – there’s relatively few commercial games which it actively supports (instead of being able to be user-added in the same way you can on STEAM), but more are being patched in based around user-requests. Equally, while some games have a mass of mod content already, there’s some which are worryingly bereft (That there’s only one in the Deus Ex folder is what’s making me reach for that Cass.exe – there’s some easy downloads there, methinks). But there’s certainly enough to play around with.

The download comes in at just beneath an Imperial Peggle and can be downloaded from their site. Has anyone tried it more extensively than I? What are your impressions?

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18 Comments »

  1. Alex says:

    Does this program actually make it possible to use mods for games installed through Steam, I wonder.

    I bought Deus Ex a while ago on Steam (already owned it on disc, but that’s the kind of game I like to have on demand..) and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to install mods for the game, what with Steam’s different structuring of game folders etc.

    Were you actively involved with “The Cassandra Project”, Kieron? I never actually finished that mod, I should give it another try, one of these days.

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    Honestly, I dunno. Good question.

    Re: Cass. Yeah, I was… Project Lead, I suppose, at least for a good chunk of the project, though we never really worked in that way. I conceived all the fiction, wrote all the dialogue and in-game text, scripted the conversations and did other bits and pieces.

    KG

  3. Alex says:

    Interesting. I’ll give Cassandra another whirl.

    I’ll try it with my Steam-induced Deus Ex in combination with CrosuS, see how that works.

    CrosuS sounds like it’s evil, somehow. Reminds me of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and, ofcourse, GLADoS.

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    Please forgive Charlotte’s Voice-Actor.

    KG

  5. Alex says:

    Hmm. Can’t find Cassandra through CrosuS yet.

    The program has crashed about 4 times in the last 15 or minutes or so, since I installed it (and not by me doing anything).

    CrosuS does look for some games in a Steam folder (HL and HL2), which makes sense. You can change a game’s path in the Options.

    Strangely enough it thinks I have HL and HL2 installed, which I don’t. There doesn’t seem to be a way to convince it otherwise, either.

  6. Wrestlevania says:

    Hmm. Can’t find Cassandra through CrosuS yet.

    Did that make you crossus?

    [Sorry]

  7. Kieron Gillen says:

    I haven’t actually done it yet :)

    You can still download from various places online, if you wish.

    EDIT: Actually, to save fucking around with Queues, it’s available here…
    http://gillen.cream.org/CassandraPart1Setup.exe

    KG

  8. Herb says:

    I’d installed CrosuS a long time ago, and have been using it periodically. I think it’s pretty nice, since it does integrate with Steam (in that HL2 mods you install with CrosuS show up in the Steam Games window). However, the real draw for me is the collection of indie games that you can install and update from the program. One of their games got me hooked on Tower Defense games, just for a start. And it looks like Liquid War and The Battle for Wesnoth are in there… Maybe I need to lose a few more weekends in this collection.

    My only gripe is that it seems to start up a bit slowly (or at least it did at some point, maybe I should check for updates). I don’t start it with Windows as a result, but I still launch it every time I’m looking for a mod or indie game. This is a small price to pay for managing my installs and updates programmatically.

  9. Alex says:

    “You can still download from various places online, if you wish.”

    Yeah, I tried that – then I get the Steam/3rd party game-mod problem. I install it to the Deus Ex directory buried in my Steam folders, then it doesn’t show up in my ‘Games window’ (which isn’t to be expected anyway), so I try using the exe the mod creates, but then I just get an error message saying something like Steam isn’t installed, which is a HUGE LIE!!!

    I was hoping something like CrosuS would help in this respect.

    Anyway, I’ve just realised I turned this comments thread into a Tech forum. Sorry about that. ;)

  10. Alex says:

    Did that make you crossus?

    That made me cry.

  11. WCAYPAHWAT says:

    Did you’s end up doing anything more with cassandra? or is it still just the training/intro level?

  12. Kieron Gillen says:

    Yeah. Nothing else was ever released.

    KG

  13. WCAYPAHWAT says:

    Thats a shame. Still, might grab it for old times sake.

  14. Ging says:

    I gave Crosus a bash a while ago, but as with Vapour (which it absorbed), I just found myself using “normal” distribution channels to get mods I wanted to try rather than looking via Crosus, so it just sort of got forgotten about.

    I’ve had some discussions with some of the guys behind it at points and they seem to have some good ideas for it to help boost it’s popularity, though at the same time, some of the directions they want to go sound a bit odd to me and against the mod community “spirit” (exclusive, Crosus mods for instance). But they may have changed their minds about that.

  15. DoomMunky says:

    What they gotta do is get exclusive rights to the next Forgotten Hope or Natural Selection iteration: that’d push them into full view RIGHT quick.

    I don’t do much mod-gaming, but a handy tool to manage them might change that.

  16. Alex says:

    I thought Natural Selection was moving towards a commercial release.

    I stopped playing it years ago, so I might just be out of the loop a little bit.. I did enjoy the game a lot at the time.

    I do see what Ging is saying though – ‘mod exclusives’ do seem to go against the whole idea of mods in the first place.

  17. Scotti says:

    Its a nice idea but it needs a little work. It also has a nice amount of indie games too. They update alot so maybe as time goes on it will improve. Its a program thats certainly welcomed but I do like the old fashioned way.