Mod News: Stalking Differently

By Lewis Denby on March 9th, 2011 at 10:54 am.


Hello! Welcome to another week of Mod News. It’s probably no secret by now that I like my STALKER un-modded: there’s something weirdly beautiful about the ever-so-slightly-broken nature of those games. Except for Clear Sky, but let’s pretend that didn’t happen. So this mod, this Call of Pripyat total conversion, is catching my eye for doing something other than the standard bugfixes, graphical updates and general rebalancing that mods of GSC’s strange series tend to go for. Read on for information on that, and on other tremendous happenings in mods over the past seven days.

NEWS

Way of the Wolf is the first total conversion for Call of Pripyat, supposedly. Delightfully, its developer is hoping to document the complex development process as he plods on through it. Here‘s a bunch of stuff he’s been doing lately, as well as some new information about the mod. It’s an exciting one. I’m looking forward to it.

A closed multiplayer beta of Stargate: Adventures in the Galaxy has begun. The team is looking for testers to eradicate a load of bugs from this upcoming Men of War mod, so if you’re interested, here’s where to look.

Speaking of testing, but probably of a different kind, Portal: Deep Chambers has released a charming letter to its community, inviting them to test out the Creative Futures Handheld Portal Device. Commenting on any similarities with technology from Aperture Science can lead to death, so be careful. Is this a suggestion of an imminent release? Who knows? I’ll keep an eye open.

Super-shiny Doom 3 mod, the bonkers Thievious, is looking for additional team members to help the thing get made. Are you a programmer, a modeller, an animator or a mapper? Familiar with id Tech 3? Get in touch via the link above, if you fancy.

Along the same lines of crossing Doom 3 with Thief, The Dark Mod has spawned a new custom mission. It’s called The Transaction, and it’s the fourth release in the Thomas Porter series, following on from third episode The Glenham Tower. Sound interesting? There’s a trailer below, and you can grab the mod from here.

RELEASES

The first episode of Half-Life 2 mod Underhell has been released. It’s a single-player mod about a police dude whose wife mysteriously dies. He probably ends up shooting some things. I haven’t played it yet, but I’m going to, so I’ll probably report back next week or something. In the meantime, this is where to get it.

Meanwhile, a short Crysis mod called Dam has been released. The mod’s level design is based heavily on GoldenEye’s dam level, although Dam drops in a bonkers story about the Crysis 2 leak, it would seem.

And as Dragon Age 2′s release arrives, the original game has got a new five-hour-long mod. It’s the sequel to Fragments of Ferelden, which I mentioned here before, and while I’ve not played it, because my copy of Dragon Age is for a console toy, it’s supposedly rather good. The BioWare Social Network is where you’ll find it.

UPDATES

Goodness, we’re going back in time here. Here’s a mod for Daggerfall called DaggerXL, which updates a whole load of assets and engine stuff to make things prettier. This particular update adds back in the explorable dungeons. It’s great to see people still working away on mods for older games. Grab DaggerXL from here if you agree.

And version 6.9 (six point nine! That’s a lot of versions) of DarthMod Empire has been plonked onto the internet. This Empire: Total War mod attempts to fix all the stuff the team felt was wrong with the original, and this latest update primarily optimises the AI, by the looks of things – which, as any Total War fan will tell you, is something that Empire was pretty much in dire need of, despite being otherwise excellent. ModDB has the download you desire.

There’s also HL2 mod Blade Symphony, which has added a new game type as well as a new type of map. All the details are over here, should you be interested.

AND THE REST

I guess this isn’t really about a mod any more, but since a big chunk of it is about Dear Esther’s journey from mod to indie, I reckon this big feature I wrote is still relevant enough to link to.

‘Til next time, humans.

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29 Comments »

  1. thepaleking says:

    Good to see a new, quality Dark Mod map out. I’ve played through all the top quality ones and was stuck with the not-so-quality maps for the past month. Also if any of you have not played it, I highly recommend it, if you enjoy Thief games or just stealthing in general, one of the best experiences for it out there.

  2. Casimir's Blake says:

    A plea to Stalker modders: PLEASE MAKE MORE MAPS.

    • Centy says:

      There’s an SDK and many tutorials out now so why not give it a bash yourself.

      Also worth noting that STALKER Complete for Pripyat should be out later today/tomorrow depending on time zone.

  3. godgoo says:

    frankly I resent the assumption that I’m human.

    This is me, resenting you:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3136/2550279281_7a2a92a05e_z.jpg

  4. Novotny says:

    Obligatory request for info on… nah, just don’t care anymore.

  5. Casimir's Blake says:

    Daggerfall. It’s depressing that a fifteen year-old game has more immersive and satisfying dungeon crawling than… most current RPGs. I hope DaggerXL paves the way for modding… (no, I’m not saying it’s a perfect game, or the best RPG, I am merely referring to the dungeon crawling.)

    • Dominic White says:

      By ‘immersive and satisfying’ you mean ‘bugged to hell and back, hilariously unbalanced and confusing’, right? It was a miracle of a dungeon was even generated in a completable fasion, or whether the game remembered to spawn the quest-item/monster you were after. Beyond that, the game could spawn something capable of one-shotting you at any moment.

      I remember Daggerfall when it was new. It was unspeakably broken back then, and is still broken to this day.

    • Matt says:

      Yes, that’s clearly exactly what he meant.
      For once I’d like to read an RPS article without it being followed by infinite comments from cynics.

    • Spacewalk says:

      A few time I immersed myself through several floors of dungeon which would have been fine if I stopped at the bottom and not continued into an endless void.

    • makute says:

      @ Dominic White:

      Yeah, modern RPGs are much better, almost non flawed in every aspect and with very original and untopical storylines about Chosen One’s and saving the world… again.

      Also, totally original and surprising side stories (minigames) about sexual relations (rubbing) between two characters (soulless dummies) make them more appealing to the adult audience (wanker brats).

    • Dominic White says:

      Whatever your gripes with modern RPGs might be, I’d think they’re all an order of magnitude less significant than ‘High probability of falling through the floor into infinity in the tutorial area’.

      I’ve been a PC gamer since the days of monochrome displays. I practically learnt to read by playing Rogue (K is for Kestrel, a type of cave-dwelling bird fond of preying on low-level adventurers). I seem to be immune to nostalgia, though.

    • phlebas says:

      Horribly broken in many ways, but still a wonderful, visionary, fantastically absorbing game.
      Is it worth mentioning that the full game is available as a free download?
      http://www.elderscrolls.com/daggerfall/

    • makute says:

      It’s less of nostalgia and more the inability of actual developers to work out a good game, paired with an interesting plot without falling in the same mistakes again and again: incomplete, truncated worlds and game/combat systems (less features = less errors) and repetitive, cliched arguments.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Daggerfall is certainly a flawed gem of a game. And despite its limitations, age, and oddities, I spent many hours on it just cruising around dungeons. It had many faults including its barren overworld, but the core gameplay and combat were truly excellent. Bethesda still suck at writing engrossing prose, but they used to create solid dungeon crawling RPGs. Morrowind wasn’t bad at this either.
      Let’s take Dragon Age as a counterpoint. Another modern RPG with a too-large overworld with little of substance painted in broad strokes, linear quests, linear “dungeons”, and clusterfucky party combat. Excellent acting, solid writing, but otherwise so bland and generic I had to keep my eyes open with my fingers just to play it.
      But then I’m also not a fan of the linear hack-n-slashery of Demon’s Souls, favouring the dark, open-world slog of its infinitely superior (except graphically) predecessor King’s Field.
      You know, some people have different opinions? And said people are allowed to express those opinions. I couldn’t care less if Dragon Age was critically lauded or not, after 4 hours of near-forced play, it was uninstalled forever. I suspect many others did the same.
      Hint to developers: More FIRST-PERSON dungeon crawlers, please.

  6. Alexander Norris says:

    Worth noting that Blade Symphony is still in closed beta right now – although I can obtain some beta keys for people if there’s interest.

    • Wedge says:

      The beta key code they have on their page (da554880921744cf) says it’s good for 200 uses and it worked for me at least. No idea how many are left. As a big fan of PVK and Bushido Blade, been wanting to try this out a lot.

  7. popeguilty says:

    Black Mesa still isn’t coming.

  8. Edawan says:

    It’s weird, the Dear Esther article is dated from two days ago, but I’m 99% sure I’ve already read it around the time of the going indie news. Is it a repost from somewhere else ?

  9. Jorum says:

    oh god damn another darthmod update! ho hum, time to make cup of tea while 1gb of mod downloads./
    do i have the morale to start another campaign game from scratch?

  10. Dixie Flatline says:

    Not quite news yet, but Call of Pripyat Complete 1.0 is supposedly being released today. Release info is up at: http://artistpavel.blogspot.com/2010/04/mod-call-of-pripyat-complete.html.

    • Dominic White says:

      Welp, off I go to reinstall Call of Pripyat, then. Was waiting on the CoP Complete mod. ArtistPavel is a scholar, gentleman and possible saint. Dude is like a one-man QA and art department.

  11. fupjack says:

    Pripyat Complete comes out somewhere in the next 24 hours? YES.

    I have actually been replaying Stalker: Clear Sky with the appropriate Clear Sky mod… it’s not bad that way.

    The fellow behind Way of the Wolf is the same person behind Call of Pripyat: Redux – interesting, though I found it not so much fun because it didn’t have stashes or upgrading.

  12. nimnio says:

    I look forward to Mod News the same way I look forward to Christmas presents.

    • phlebas says:

      Once a year, with a glass of sherry and a mince pie ready for when Denby comes down the chimney?
      Me too.

  13. Berzee says:

    I still haven’t beaten the first STALKER modded or otherwise :(

  14. Dominic White says:

    Apparently Call of Pripyat Complete is completed and submitted to ModDB. Just needs to be authorized and mirrored, and then we can dogpile it.

    Apparently it weighs in at over 700mb. Biggest one yet, I think. The Clear Sky one was comparatively tiny. I’m totally going to be using the optional Zombie mode (NPCs that get killed by Emission Waves come back as the undead), just because that sounds like a lot of fun, and should bring a little extra life (and unlife, for that matter) to the Zone.