Mod News: Re-Vamped

By Lewis Denby on May 26th, 2010 at 4:12 pm.


You know what? I’m excited this week. That’s because some completely foolish but eternally wonderful folks are embarking on something pretty awesome: taking what is officially the third best PC game of all time (don’t argue) and making its engine go all fancy and current-gen. Whatever am I talking about? Read on, my pretties.

NEWS

So, this week’s the first I’ve heard about Bloodlines Revival. It’s a Vampire: Bloodlines mod, which is interesting, as it wasn’t a moddable game. Except, well, now it is, apparently. I’m not entirely sure of the legal implications of this – no one I’ve mentioned it to has said anything sounds untoward – but this team of wonderful human beings is working updating Bloodlines to the latest version of the Source engine. That means two things. One: fancy graphical updates and higher-detail textures. Two: Bloodlines editing within Source SDK.

Everything after fancy updates and the potential for user-created content within the Official Third Best PC Game Of All Time (Don’t Argue) will probably sound a little underwhelming now. But let’s run through this week’s news anyway. Thievious, which I mentioned last week, has another new video and some information. It’s still far too luminous, but hey – co-op medieval monster bashing in Doom 3. Y’know?

Then there’s Thantos, a Half-Life 2 mod which has released some screenshots of its first level. While they’re not exactly beautiful, I do particularly like the big surly monster in the bottom image. This one sounds highly ambitious – which is often a little bit disastrous where mods are concerned.

What else? Well, there’s an intriguing attempt to integrate Half-Life 2 mechanics and themes into Portal, with Half-Life: Aperture Adventures. Here’s some new screenshots of that. And gorgeous-looking Crysis mod Butterfly has just a single new image to gawp at: an enormous dome, which is apparently 2000 metres high. /Two thousand/!

Finally – and this one sounds quite interesting, actually – SHIFT’s lead developer is working on a solo side project called Cure. Again using Half-Life 2 as a base, he’s documenting every step of his journey to make a 100 per cent custom content single-player mod on his own. He must be barmy.

RELEASES

Just a couple of releases this week, neither of which are the finished article. Rise of the Underworld [http://www.moddb.com/mods/rise-of-the-underworld/news/rise-of-the-underworld-beta-1-released], a Battlefield 2 mod with awesome godlike powers, has hit its first open beta. The screenshots are very red, but the videos aren’t, which is beyond my mental capacity. I hear mixed things about this one.

And the Reloaded mods are back. Hooray! It’s Call of Pripyat’s time to get its first public Reloaded beta [http://www.moddb.com/mods/call-of-pripyat-reloaded/downloads/call-of-pripyat-reloaded-06-beta]. Texture and audio improvements this time, apparently: mechanistic stuff to follow at a later date.

UPDATES

Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour mod Black Nuke has a new map. This mod purports to “add more punch to existing units and buildings,” whatever that means. Perhaps you’d like to go and find out?

Elsewhere, Eastern Front – the rather well-received Company of Heroes mod – has hit Version 1.10. Bugs are fixed and structure is restructured. This is a mod that adds an entire Soviet faction to the game, which is – according to the devs – something that has never been achieved before.

Civ 4 mod Fairytale gets an update, too. Now at Version 6b, this mod takes Civ 4′s mechanics and drops them in a fairytale world. “New units, buildings, extensive balancing AND a new Royal Family member make this an update of importance!” exclaim the devs.

And Resistence and Liberation has reached Beta 1.1. The Half-Life 2 mod now has open server hosting, as well as a brand new map map to play in.

AND THE REST

Just the one And The Rest item this week. Can you guess where it’s from? Of course! It’s the blog of Robert Yang again! But this is really interesting, actually: the story for Radiator 2, as it began, in short-story format. Yang wrote it up this way to help him get a feel for the characters and the narrative before trying to frame them within the game. It’s a good read.

You know, by now, where to go for more.

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37 Comments »

  1. Schmung says:

    I had a proper looksee at that VTM mod earlier in the week and the news is not as good as it first seems. What they’re doing is actually porting VTM content to HL2 rather than hacking in the new stuff to the old engine. They can port and upgrade maps, but they can’t do anything with characters and they may have to recode the entire thing from scratch to support the VTM scripts and the like. Also, they’ve been at it for two years already. Sadly it seems that the news isn’t as great as it first looks. Damm shame as I would play a slightly prettified version of it again in a flash.

    • MWoody says:

      “Porting” to the HL2 engine? VTM was the first game after HL2 to use the Source engine. They’re just updating it to a newer version.

    • Schmung says:

      Correct, but it uses a far earlier iteration of it and Troika used altered file formats for most things. The team are decompiling these assets and putting them in the latest version of the HL2 engine.

  2. Alexander Norris says:

    And all the people who really like Dystopia (all two of you) might want to keep their eyes pointed in the general direction of our website sometime near, oh, the end of the week or so?

    Incidentally, I like the way this week’s post is organised better than the previous ones; makes it look like it has more substance to it.

    • CMaster says:

      I like the aesthetics of Dystopia.
      I like the sprawling maps with complicated objectives.
      I like the self-modding aspects.

      I don’t like how most of my experiences of Dystopia are getting repeatedly pasted into the ground, or long snipe-fests.
      I don’t like the fact that despite the complicated objectives and need for teamwork, the game doesn’t inspire the natural teamwork and heavy use of voice comms that Natural Selection pulled off.
      I don’t like how most of the while I have no idea what killed me, or even that I was under attack.
      I don’t like that I have no idea if I’m using the weapons right, or even if they’re firing properly.

      (The weird electricy weapons are very often the most guilty of the last 2 complaints).

      Still, I’d like to hear the news when it hits.

    • Tei says:

      What CMaster say is a good list of the strong and weak points of the game. It would enhance inmensily if these problems are fixed.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Tei: what you’re advocating would require a complete redesign of Dystopia, which isn’t going to happen until the mythical Dystopia II.

      Maybe one day; we’ll see.

    • CMaster says:

      Any reason something can’t be done about those damn electrical weapons?

  3. Dave says:

    So…what? #1 and #2 Deus Ex and…..System Shock 2?

    That’s weighing the list pretty heavily towards the Action RPGs, though.

  4. Heliocentric says:

    2 years is too long for activision to allow a studio to work on a game. But for a dedicated mod community 2 years is just getting started.
    Keep going vampire community :)

  5. Turin Turambar says:

    The Dark Mod 1.02 update is released.

    http://www.thedarkmod.com

  6. oceanclub says:

    Yes, indeed, I’m highly skeptical that the Bloodlines Revival mod will ever be finished, which is sad.

    P.

  7. Tye The Czar says:

    I wonder, how come you guys don’t pay as much attention to WADs for Doom? I recently finished Chex Quest 3. It’s level designs are top-notch!

  8. Shadrach says:

    Could you splendid chaps on RPS possibly have a look at the Red Orchestra mod scene some time soon? There’s a huge update for Darkest Hour (west front mod) due any day now (waiting for Steam to receive it) and it includes stuff like mantling (which is pretty revolutionary in this engine), as well as the new weapons (C96!), tanks (M36 Jackson!), maps and lots of bug fixes.
    http://www.darkesthourgame.com/

    The RO mods deserve some love as well you know :)

  9. Mario Figueiredo says:

    >> Don’t Argue

    But… :(

  10. sana says:

    No comment about the UDK May beta?

  11. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    When i heard about bloodlines i say up in may bed, just to read the news.
    What a game. Look forward to anything that extends the experiance, be it experimental or esoteric.

  12. Willy359 says:

    Bloodlines is in my personal Top Five, but watching that teaser video I was struck by something I never noticed before: What kind of vampire safehouse doesn’t even have curtains on the windows? Guess I spent all my in-game days in the bathroom.

    (Top Five: Grim Fandango, Thief Trilogy, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Vampire: Bloodlines)

  13. Wulf says:

    A couple of things!

    You missed this: VTMB Clan Quest Mod 2.0 has been released!!

    Rejoice! Lots of groovy new stuff there, I advise everyone get it.

    And… wot? Bloodlines has always been moddable! There are loads of mods out there for it. I mean, updating it to Source is nice and all, so that official tools can be used, but to say it isn’t moddable or never was is completely incorrect!

  14. Al3xand3r says:

    Current gen eh? What is this, PS360 central?

  15. Nickosha says:

    Roma Serrectum 2 (on Rome:Total War) has had it’s release status go from soon to very soon, so watch out for that too.

  16. Scalene says:

    Damnit, when you said the creator of SHIFT, I thought you were referring to that adorable flash game.

  17. Lewis says:

    By the way, to the people who inevitably say “So how come you’ve not mentioned [Mod]?” — it’s almost always because, while I do try my best to keep track of everything across the week, sometimes something gets missed. Why not email me when you spot something? Click on my name at the top of the post to do so, by way of technical magic.

  18. poop says:

    the dark mod appears to have had a big update, and a dude just released a three-map campaign!!!

  19. Setanga says:

    You’re the one who gets the exposure benefits from writing on RPS Lewis, so you do the work rather than wait for people to e-mail you about stuff. I’ve known people who used to visit 400-600 mod sites a day to make sure they didn’t miss any news and provided their audience with a honestly up to date source when they run their own news outlets, while on dial up. And that was mostly for Source stuff rather than every game out there. They didn’t just visit Moddb.com and a few other outlets copying everything they write and calling it a day and a job well done. Try doing something like that, it’s never too late to begin being informative. Make a favorites list with all the mods you know, and check it daily. Whenever you come across a new mod, add it. Soon enough you’ll have a database of similar size (likely per game, rather than just 600 sites for all modable games obviously, that’s too little) and a good amount of work to do in order to offer readers a valuable resource rather than a rehash of others’ content. My 2 harsh cents.

  20. karthik says:

    “try playing VtMB and then walking through town on a night…”

    Did that as a Nosferatu. That was fun.

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