Mod News: Hiding Somewhere

By Lewis Denby on January 26th, 2011 at 9:26 am.


What an absolutely useless week for mod news! In terms of updates and releases, especially. Where are all the hip happenings? I’m quite certain everyone’s going to shout at me for being so blind as to not have noticed this or that, but I’ve searched long and hard to fetch this week’s news, which includes Half-Life mods (it’s true!) and also news of an imminent Far Cry 2 mod. Read on!

NEWS

So, the main mod news this week is – for once – not PC-centric. I’ll mention it anyway, as it’s interesting: Portal 2 mods will be available cross-platform. You’ll only be able to make them on PC, of course, but you’ll be able to share your creations with players on the console toys. Has this been done before? I’m thinking it’s pretty much unprecedented, but I might be wrong. RPSers?

Anyway. Half-Life 2 mod Opposing Force 2 is preparing to release a demo. It’s a tech demo more than anything, mind, showing off the tweaks the team has made out of the context of the main game. There are also quite a few new screenshots available beyond that link, which are looking as glorious as ever. I am watching with interest.

People are still managing to make Half-Life 1 mods, and still managing to make them look fairly interesting. The Core makes good use of a strong visual style to mask the shortcomings of its mother game’s engine, by the looks of things so far. Standard Black Mesa story setup, but I’ll be making sure my little eye continues to spy this one.

Then there’s Portal mod Deep Chambers, which has a new trailer. A rather manic new trailer, that is, which mainly consists of lots of air jumping and dance music. I am disorientated! But I do like my Portal mods. Watch the video on YouTube.

Far Cry 2: Reloaded exists. This is a mod for Far Cry 2 which aims to bring improvements to both the multiplayer component and the level editor. It should be out in the next couple of weeks if all goes to play, says its developer.

Update of the week, though, has to go to a gorgeous No More Room In Hell media release. This Half-Life 2 mod has been looking good for a while, but some dramatic new screenshots that were unveiled a few days ago have sealed the deal for me. I mean, take a look at that skybox! Man! There’s a video beyond the link above, too.

RELEASES

I missed this a couple of weeks back, so here’s an interesting-looking Civilization IV mod. It’s called Medieval: Conquests, and it’s a medieval-themed creation that adds and changes a ton of content to the game. Have a read through this big forum post for the full details, and for a big, hairy download link.

UPDATES

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts mod Eastern Fronts has received a new patch. It’s a huge update this time, fixing some major bugs and adding a new faction. There are also some balancing changes and a small challenge mode in the mix. Grab it here, or read the full changelog here.

AND THE REST

The 20-brush mapping challenge I mentioned in a previous post has wrapped up. I think voting has closed now, as well. You can have a read through all the gumph here, where you can also download all of the entries and have a play around with them. There are some really inspired ideas here – it’s fascinating to see how creative people can be when working with strict limitations. Maybe RPS should make me write these columns in 20 words or fewer.

And finally, the ModDB chaps have rounded up the best Portal 1 mods for you to play while you wait excitedly for Portal 2. Have a go on these six if you haven’t already.

‘Til next time, folks. And remember, lob me an email if you’ve noticed something awesome.

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31 Comments »

  1. Njordsk says:

    If one day you come across the BMS team, ask them how the hell “finishing and polish” can take up to 2 years.

    Thank you.

    • Lewis Denby says:

      Finishing and polishing can take several months for funded, full-time development teams. Black Mesa is a 20-hour game being created by a bunch of guys in their spare time. I think they could have handled their PR a little better, but it’s pretty clear why the mod’s taking them so long to finish.

    • Njordsk says:

      Oh don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a lot of hardwork on your free time, dedication over years and many more, but you don’t lie telling people it’ll be out before christmas 2009 for sure, when in fact one year later we still don’t even know what they did during one full year.

      I’m really looking forward to BMS, but as you say their communication is aweful

    • P7uen says:

      Alright people get things wrong and priorities change, a bit unfair to say it’s TOTOL LIES. I doubt they spent days cackling about how they’d tricked you.

    • Sarlix says:

      I hear cackling I tells ye, cackling!

    • Dominic White says:

      Seriously, a project like fully remaking Half-Life would be a 9-to-5 (plus overtime/crunch) job for a year+ for a team of 30+ people. Consider that it’s a handfull of amateurs, working on it in their free time, and you might begin to understand why it’s taking so long.

  2. Cugel says:

    So, the main mod news this week is – for once – not PC-centric. I’ll mention it anyway, as it’s interesting: Portal 2 mods will be available cross-platform. You’ll only be able to make them on PC, of course, but you’ll be able to share your creations with players on the console toys. Has this been done before? I’m thinking it’s pretty much unprecedented, but I might be wrong. RPSers?

    The Xbox-version of the original Operation Flashpoint, Operation Flashpoint: Elite, allowed for PC-made mods.

    • Dominic White says:

      The PS3 version of unreal tournament had mod support, too

    • televizor says:

      @ Dominic White
      Yeah, UT 3 was the first thing that that popped into my mind, too.
      I remember Epic boasting about this new feature and then the game failed.

  3. adktz says:

    I was only just talking to a friend about cross-platform mods the other day. I really wish more developers would get on board with this type of thing.

    • Cronstintein says:

      I wish obsidian & bethesda would jump on this bandwagon. Oblivion and Fallout are so desperate for mods it hurts!

  4. Wilson says:

    Eastern Front also fixes the ‘straw man’ bug where Soviets couldn’t recrew weapons like AT guns or mortars, and adds a Royal Marines reward faction for the British (it’s a different faction you can toggle on/off replacing the original rather than an entirely new faction, but it plays totally differently and has a lot of new units).

    • Werthead says:

      Interestingly, they always said that the recrewing issue was hardcoded, so they couldn’t change it. However, the team appears to have been on good terms with Relic, so I’m guessing they sorted it for them. I’m hoping Relic are able to adopt the mod and give it official status, it really is excellent (and frankly rather superior to both OPPOSING FORCE and TALES OF VALOR).

  5. Wilson says:

    Technically the Medieval Conquests mod is for Civ 4:Colonization, not regular Civ 4. You don’t need Civ 4 to have Colonization but you do need Colonization to play that mod. It looks interesting though, thanks for pointing it out.

  6. 8-bit says:

    No More Room in Hell the long awaited HL:2 zombie modification

    the picture you posted had me interested but thats where I stopped reading when I got to the mod page. it could be the greatest mod ever made but its zombies, again… can we please just stop with the zombies now, please. its boring, its unoriginal and its been (excuse me but) done to death (sorry).

    • Shadram says:

      What else was it going to be, with a name taken from Night of the Living Dead? “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth,” or something.

      Zombies are a little over-done now, but they’re great enemies for games designers to use: simple AI, appear in large numbers, can scare the players pretty easily… Maybe they just need to reskin them and call them something else. I dunno, make them look like giant purple dancing bananas and call them Bumbies, but still act in the same way. Give them big teeth to keep the scary. Problem solved!

    • 8-bit says:

      well in fairness I haven’t seen that film in years so I forgot the quote, and a little over-done? the amount of overuse makes me wish we could go back to the days of just shooting nazis in games its gotten that bad. at this point I wouldn’t even be surprised if it was announced that the new total war had a zombie mode, and why not I mean every one is doing it.

    • TeeJay says:

      @ Shadram: “giant purple dancing bananas”

      Some early concept art: http://www.americanstyle.com/wp-content/content/2010/08/AS73-ARTS-FOCUS11white2.jpg

  7. Jetsetlemming says:

    Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl mod “Nardonaya Soljanka” with “DMX” addon and “DKZ” translation is about to get an update soon, to version 1.3.2. In its current version, 1.3.1, it’s unplayable with less than 4GB of ram and a custom exe (even in winxp) and plenty of swap space because of all the shit going on, but DKZ is looking into an optional patch to restore default textures, reducing the memory footprint.

    Overall the NS mod is a gigantic super massive mod building off of the AMK mod, adding a ton of new quests, new guns, new characters, new artifacts, and most notably, NEW MAPS. Apparently someone managed to hack together a tool to convert maps made with Shoc’s normally multiplayer-only level editor to SP, and then use scripts to spawn things in them. The DMX addon replaces a lot of the textures with some grimy HD shit, adds even more guns, and you can buy cars apparently (I haven’t extensively played it because my computer only has 2GB of ram).

    A taste of the additions: Freeman is no longer a referential corpse in Wild Territory’s tunnels, but a quest NPC in the Bar. Everyone refers to him as a foreigner on vacation to the Zone, and he has a quest line for you.
    http://www.gsc-game.com/index.php?t=community&s=forums&s_game_type=xr&thm_page=1&thm_id=18594&sec_id=16

  8. subedii says:

    This was made a week or so ago, but the Freespace Open project released a new trailer to showcase, well, just generally what they’ve been doing over the past decade.

    It’s a pretty well done trailer. Watch in HD + Fullscreen etc.

    Some other videos showcasing other stuff that’s been done since the Source Code Project’s been going.

    Watch out for the capital ship destruction at 2:40.

    Blue Planet (unreleased mission):

    • Dougal McFrugal says:

      that was awesome

      I dive back into fsopen every couple of years, might be time again

  9. mod the world says:

    This section could be spiced up with interviews with modders, some investigative journalism that answers the question why mods seem to be always delayed but never released and how about a “RPS community makes its own mod”-feature.
    Also what’s the status of “Off Limits” for Half-Life2?

  10. Targaff says:

    Blue Portals is now exclusively on Desura? Good to know, I can cross it off my list of things to play.

  11. hey_Im_Wyatt says:

    The No More Room in Hell mod looks really cool.

  12. outoffeelinsobad says:

    The Worry of Newport remake for Crysis is due to be released early February. Looks neat.

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-worry-of-newport/news/joint-update-part-1-remake-is-almost-here

  13. A-Scale says:

    PLEASE do more Far Cry 2 mods. It is one of my favorite games. I’m playing it again right now in fact. I could definitely use some modding to spruce it up, but I’ve never found any. In fact, I’m surprised to hear that one exists as I was told that they never released the SDK, making modding effectively impossible.

    • TeeJay says:

      I don’t really understand why Ubisoft have made it impossible for people to mod the FarCry2 single player game. It has so much potential and people have all sorts of tweaks and changes they want to make. Actually, I suppose they simply want to be able to sell very basic DLC – eg extra weapons etc and they think people making free mods would undermine this?

  14. laddyman says:

    The Core looked a lot better then I expected. No More Room In Hell looks great, too.

    P.S.:
    Why do people still use GoldSRC to create mods? Source looks better, has smoother animations, and not to mention supports much of today’s game tech, which GoldSRC does not.

    • Jetsetlemming says:

      It’s a combination of people keeping with the tools they know, and lower detail products being easier to make for amateurs.

  15. Moonracer says:

    No More Room In Hell. Man that mod looked promising three years ago. Now it’s just depressing. Despite the obvious zombie complaints the original design goal was grand. Rather than the action shoot em up of L4D and such it would be more of a “OMG I have a useless hammer! Run away and barricade the house!”

  16. Sam Crisp says:

    I’d Elder Scrolls V that skybox.