Mod News: Golden Duck

By Lewis Denby on February 23rd, 2010 at 3:41 pm.


It’s been a slow week in mod news. Well, actually, that’s not necessarily true. It’s been a week of lots of things, but comparatively few interesting things. To the point where one of the links below is to bloody weapon renders, the absolute bane of Slow News Week on ModDB. A few nuggets of intrigue appear, though – have a read beneath the jump for this week’s picks.

- The Make Something Unreal tournament has a winner! It’s The Haunted! The Ball and Planetside PlaneStorm took home second and third prize, and all absolutely deserve the plaudits. Full list of the mighty and victorious here.

- The delightfully monikered Autumn Duck has been announced for Unreal Tournament 3. Initially a student project, it’s now in the process of being tidied up for release. It has ninjas in it, and you can dress up as a geisha to sneak past guards. Which is just tremendous.

- Fan-made sequel to Opposing Force, imaginatively titled Opposing Force 2, releases some new pictures of guns. It gets away with making an entire news post about pictures of guns by actually looking very pretty.

- Goldeneye: Source reaches Beta 4. As the word “beta” suggests, there are still a few problems kicking about, but it’s good quality stuff. Lots of information here, including an outtakes video, which is delightful, except for the bit where it says something a bit offensive and questionable.

- Er, lots of Half-Life 2 stuff this week. Next up is Zeitgeist, which has released a sizable collection of media. This one’s looking rather exciting, actually.

- New Portal mod announced. Blue Portals claims to “put the logic and thinking back into Portal.” Did I miss the bit where they took it all out? Sounds strange. I’m /sure/ Portal had lots of logic and thinking in it.

- Play Operation Market Garden for delicious coins! The Company of Heroes mod’s developers are offering a series of cash-based prizes to those who can play their mod really well. How to prove it? By winning in a two-versus-two tournament, of course. Sign up on the forum – you have until the 28th to do so.

- New Radiator episode due ne- oh, wait, Kieron did this already.

- Do you hate swearing in mods? Lots of people seem to hate swearing in mods, for some reason. I don’t understand it, as everyone knows it’s clever and hilarious to say rude words as frequently as possible.

More, as always, on UserCreated.

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39 Comments »

  1. Theory says:

    You’ve evidently not played many Portal mods, Lewis. Performing fiddly jumps perfectly is the order of the day in most, and it’s horrid.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Yeah, I have not liked most of the extra maps i have tried for that reason. The map pack based on the flash version of portal is good though.

    • Starky says:

      There is a VERY good reason for this – almost all portal mod/map makers are people who’ve completed the gold challenges – like myself happy to be part of the 0.5% of people who did so – and are looking for something fun and challenging for them to play.

      They make maps for themselves and their peers, which is fair enough really.

      After all what is the point in maps that are easier than the default ones in the game? They need to provide equal or greater challenge to interest the kind of Portal player who’d be arsed to go looking for extra maps to play.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Ging says:

    Was it not Planetstorm that came third in MSU and not Planetside?

    I’ll be honest, seeing mod news on RPS is actually a pretty good way of encouraging me to get on and write more code for Hidden – I’ve been, not lazy exactly, but lax in how much time I’ve been giving it over the past few *cough* years *cough*.

  3. AVarotsis says:

    Erm…Lewis…Planetside? Planestorm :P Other than that, another good column :)

  4. Zealot says:

    I don’t like swearing in mods or in multi player games.

    Every time I get shot repeatedly or humiliated in online games I just suck it up and suppress the anger, while I imagine I’m in my happy place. It’s also a good practice for self-control !

  5. RiptoR says:

    The Make Something Unreal tournament has a winner! It’s The Haunted! The Ball and Planetside took home second and third prize, and all absolutely deserve the plaudits. Full list of the mighty and victorious here.

    It’s “PlanetStorm” ;-)

  6. Pemptus says:

    Man, I hate when these mod competitions/rankings don’t clearly say whether the mods are single or multiplayer, so I can ignore the former from the get-go.

    • Rich says:

      Agreed, although I’d be ignoring the latter.

    • Pemptus says:

      Crap. I also meant latter. My brain’s awfully rusty today.

    • Rich says:

      Of the UT3 mods I might make an exception for PlanetStorm though. It looks pretty good and has full bot support.

      Admittedly though, having not actually played UT3 I don’t know what the bot AI is like.

  7. DMcCool says:

    The swearing in mods article (or more the comments) scare me. Reading those responses makes me feel like i’m in the 50s. Its interesting to think that if it were 50 years ago, these would be the people crying the end of civilsation when Elvis swang his hips.

    Its frightening how uncomfortable some people are with their own language – is this an american thing? People that honestly believe in this glossy, daytime tv version of the world where “oh geeze” is functionally, phenomenally identical and always preferable to “jesus fucking christ!!!”.

    People in extreme situations swear. People in NORMAL situations swear. Should we be uncomfortable with this? Fuck no!

    That aside this whole “Wednesday is for mod news” day thing is lovely (even when its slow like this week). The mod scene is something I’ve always wanted to keep abreast of and this makes it a little easier. Thanks Lewis. Thewis.

    • Rich says:

      For me it always come down to realism. Would this character likely swear in this situation? If yes, then go ahead and stick it in. If it’s just there to be edgy and actually makes the dialogue jarring without actually adding to the realism, then why bother?

      If it’s used where it feels natural, then I don’t have a problem with it. Occasionally I’ve even played games full of swearing, but I didn’t notice. I was probably too busy swearing myself as I ran from mortar barrage or something.

    • Berzee says:

      ::nods:: It’s more than twice as silly when you can tell they thought swearing would *improve* a situation and make it more exciting than real life. =P

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Who’s the badass biotic NOW, bitch?

    • Berzee says:

      @Corporate Dog: oh no you didn’t. :-{

    • DMcCool says:

      Definately agreed. For an example of a positive bias look at that Mass Effect 2 character. I know the trailers exaggerated it but no-one talks like that. No-one ever has Seriously who pauses and then puts emphisis on “bitch” like that? Only the earmarked edgy character in badly written american tv shows. And now, games too, yay!

  8. Schmung says:

    ugh, uninspiring weapon renders. ’tis what you do when you have nothing else to report. We’re still working – here’s some pictures of guns to prove it! sort of a thing.

  9. unaco says:

    The swearing in mods/games thing isn’t a big deal for me. I tend to swear alot myself (I’m Scottish), and have grown up with swearing being a perfectly natural part of most conversations.

    What does bother me, as the Planet Phillip link discusses, is the double standard between Violence and Swearing (and also Violence and Sex) in games. Violence is an acceptable, almost necessary, part of any game… and people will happily play a violent game, embracing all of the myriad, varied methods of violence (beating a man to death with a crowbar, or disintegrating him with a ball of Plasma). But, as soon as someone drops an F-Bomb (or alludes to the fact your character has sex with people of the same sex) people are up in arms. Seems like there is some kind of disconnect here… people are happy to accept (largely unnecessary) Violence (Did Ghandi’s campaign of civil disobedience and non-violent protest teach us nothing about how we should go about liberating ourselves from oppressors?) – But they won’t accept Swearing and Sex.

    • Berzee says:

      It’s a curious phenomenon. I think it might have someone to do with the fact that violence in a game is Fake Violence, but swearing in a game is still Real Swearing. Know what I mean? There’s no way to *simulate* swearing — when you’ve said it or heard it, it’s real regardless of the medium.

      (Well…there *is* a way to simulate swearing, and it is #@#*%@!#%. This is cartoon swearing, a sort of — if you’re willing to stretch the comparison — counterpart to video game violence.)

      Same thing with (for example) nudity. There is a BIG difference between killing someone in a game and killing someone in real life. There is a comparatively small difference between looking at a 3d rendered naked person and looking at a real naked person. In other words, it’s a lot easier to simulate a person’s bodily appearance than it is to simulate their humanity and the value of their entire life.

      So that’s probably why violence faces less objections…because out of the many Bad Things you can do in computer games, it is the least like its Real Life version.

    • Rich says:

      If anyone ever tries to simulate swearing, it always sounds really stupid.
      Farscape gave us ‘frell’, Firefly was full of ‘Gorram’, ‘Hump’ and whore was used quite a lot, and who can forget Battlestar Galactica’s constant use of the word ‘freck’.

      FECK!

    • Berzee says:

      @Rich: Maybe this is an indication that familiarity is the only thing that keeps swearing from sounding moronic. =P

    • Berzee says:

      Then again, maybe it’s an indication that swearing doesn’t “work” if you choose meaningless words and make them Supposedly Bad Words. Because made up words don’t sound foul, they just sound goofy.

    • Berzee says:

      I feel like Planescape: Torment did a good job of it…but I can’t remember a single example of a fake swear word. There were lots of madeup words though. But Planescape: Torment does every sort of dialogue good. =P

      Incidentally the Captcha for this post is: PURK.

      Can we use that?

  10. Berzee says:

    @DMcCool:

    SOME people in extreme or normal situations swear. Some people never swear at all (never — which might be hard for you to believe), and I like this better.

    Your alternative to “oh geeze”, for example…it is the name of the Christian Diety (who is very much loved by a lot of people who at least think they owe Him their lives — which nobody can really be unaware of, even if they think it’s really really stupid =)…and then for a middle name, He is given an aggressive sort of word for sexual intercourse. Using this combination of God and sex to publicly vent frustration is…a little bit weird, but people do a lot of weird things. What’s *very* weird is acting scandalized or surprised that anyone would mind it…especially people who love God and think sex is pretty marvelous. Now *I* don’t mind if you want to snarl the names of every thing I hold dear when you get irritated, but are you honestly astounded that somebody would mind it?

    I read RPS _despite_ the tired, irrelevant, noisome blots on its vocabulary — which is a testament to its Wonderfulness in most every other way.

    • DMcCool says:

      I’m sorry if I offended you, though this is the internet, y’know? A thick skin is pretty much a requirement.

      To respond to your actual point, I agree entirely, though there is one rather important thing to add: its okay for games to offend people. If a character swears and you are upset with how they swore then there, right there, you’ve just developed a meaningful relationship with this character. Maybe you like or respect him less now – some people would empatheise with this swearing character more. I agree entirely developers should be AWARE that the dialogue may offend, but that catagorically should NEVER stop them from writing a character how they should be written. If a character might be offensive to a chunk of the audience and its important we emphitise with this character, then maybe some extra techniques should be chucked in too. Asking for every character to be watered down to the lowest common demoninator is frankly insulting. We should be prepared for a character to shock us and, when a game is rated at a certain age we should make sure children too young to play it can’t watch it either.

      I’m not scandalised by your offence to swearing, but offence to the portrayal of swearing? Really?

    • Berzee says:

      This was mostly in response to your statement that people being uncomfortable with swearing “scares you”. =)

      Whether or not swearing _should be_ in games is another question I am not sure about. I can understand the argument for realism…but lots of swearing drives me away from a game because, I already experience enough of that reality every day. =P

    • DMcCool says:

      Right, thats another issue I guess. Though the whole religious side of things is, again, another issue. My point was people acting like all curses are equal when clearly they are not, and its patronising to pretend they are, the very fact my particular choice of curse-words you found exception to sort of proves that. Again I apologise, I’m sure Jesus was a lovely chap and I’ve got nothing against sex either, though as others have pointed out “fuck” really is a great word. When used properly anyway!

    • Berzee says:

      I think it’s a sure thing that the Religious (or anti-) aspect *is* what sets those words apart from others…unless’n we think the First Swear-er just picked Jesus at random out of a phone book.

      Don’t apologize! I remain gruntled :-) I just like talking about morality as it pertains to games.

      D’you mean that we can’t expect “weaker” curses to be functionally equivalent replacements for stronger ones? I quite agree. =) Actually, if that’s what people are saying in that article (I didn’t read it) I should go read it so that they too can benefit from my unsolicited interjections.

      The offense to swearing versus. offence to the portrayal of swearing…is a good question that I will probably keep thinking about without trying to. =P I haven’t got anything else clever to say. ;)

  11. Web Cole says:

    How far can one F word get you? I give you, the Wire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhDeQMLGM3c

    (DEFINITELY NSFW)

    (Also, dead naked chicks. You have been warned)

    • Starky says:

      Fuck really is the most beautiful, versatile word word in the English language, if not any language – after all there is a reason fuck is near universal in it’s usage.

      To add further evidence I present Boondock saints.

  12. Dreamhacker says:

    Honestly, fuck them. Words are one thing, actions are another. I want my swearing firmly entrenched alongside my freedom of speech. By that I don’t mean I want to host curse-fests in public, but I don’t want laws against swearing. I think people should have the choice to swear or not swear themselves, but control whether other people can swear? No thanks.

    About the article: Why the Moddb bias? There are other modding sites out there, you know…

    • Dominic White says:

      Why the Moddb bias? The more relevant question is why any major mod project these days hasn’t got a Moddb page set up. An organized, searchable database, stable file-hosting, update notifications for followers, a place to put screenshots, videos and more without risking going over your own limited bandwidth, etc etc.

      There’s quite a few mods out there that have been lost forever, or close to it, BECAUSE they didn’t get hosted anywhere like Moddb.

  13. Dominic White says:

    My question is why use weapon renders as filler in this article, when there’s hundreds, if not thousands of impressive (and often completed/released) mod projects that NOBODY HAS HEARD OF. Report on some of them!

    • Lewis says:

      I can only go by what I can find – which is either news sent directly to UC, stuff lifted from ModDB, or my weekly Googling of mod-related stuff. If you find anything interesting, lob it my way, and it’ll find its place. :-)

  14. Lewis says:

    Yeah. Planetstorm. I’m a thicko.

  15. DarkNoghri says:

    Which reminds me, I need to install the Goldeneye Source Beta that I downloaded last night.

    Autumn Duck: “the player sneaking through the military encampment at the base of the mansion, demonstrating a stealth kill” Actual Gameplay: “What? GAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!”

    Hehe.