Posts Tagged ‘Mods’

Valve Drop Steam Paid Mods For Now

Valve are known for their odd experiments, from Team Fortress 2 hats to – heck! – Steam itself, but they tend to roll with them no matter what the reception, polishing these oddities up with force of will and years of refinement. Their plan to support selling mods through Steam, however, has gone back to the drawing board.

They launched a pilot scheme last week with Skyrim, and had planned to start letting other devs enable paid mods for their own games if they wished. Instead, they’ve removed paid mods from Skyrim, refunded everyone who bought mods, and confessed that “it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing.”

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Gabe Newell, Garry Newman Defend Steam’s Paid Mods

Last week, Valve launched support for paid mods within Steam, beginning with a select number of Skyrim creations. Alec deftly summarised the details, pros and cons over here. Since then, the discussion has continued via blog posts, forum threads, protest mods and with game creators, mod creators and Gabe Newell getting involved. On the off-chance you didn’t spend the weekend reading this stuff while hunched over your computer like I did, I’ve gathered the most pertinent Internet Opinions below.

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Steam Charging For Mods: For And Against

Would you pay 33p for this?

It used to be that the only way to make money from a mod was a) make a standalone sequel or remake b) use it as a portfolio to get hired by a studio or c) back in the pre-broadband days, shovel it onto a dodgy CD-ROM (and even then, it almost certainly wasn’t the devs who profited). As of last night, that changed. Mod-makers can now charge for their work, via Steam.

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Cities: Skylines – The Great Blueness

The Great Greyness

An experiment with colour mods in Cities: Skylines…

Long ago there were no colours in the world at all. Almost everything was grey, and what was not grey was black or white. It was a time that was called The Great Greyness.

Every morning a Wizard who lived during the time of The Great Greyness would open his window to look out at the wide land.

“Something is very wrong with the world,” he would say.

“It is hard to tell when the rainy days stop and the sunny days begin.”
– Arnold Lobel

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Zombify Your Life: Dying Light Mod Tools Released

Mod me good.

Wonderful things, mods. Without them, we’d have far fewer readme files in the world. Today Dying Light [official site] joined in on the mod fun with the release of its official mod tools, which let folks create levels, script quests, and whatnot. You too could make a map of your office and populate it with lookalikes of your office who tell you how cool and ruggedly good-looking you are. But please do remember to write a readme explaining that.

Or, for non-modders, good news: I see a load of new Dying Light things to play coming your way.

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CityCopter Mod Aims To Be SimCopter For Cities: Skylines

Every day I look at the Steam Workshop and subreddit for Cities Skylines [official site] and every day there is something I want to show to people. Look at this pretty braided highway! Look at this fancy circular city! And the mods. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a mod community explode like this for a game that didn’t already have an existing community.

Today’s thing I need to share: a video of CityCopter, a helicopter mod in the vein of Maxis’ old SimCopter.

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Cities: Skylines Modder Is Adding First-Person Multiplayer

There’s already been a Cities: Skylines [official site] mod that lets you wander your streets from a low, ‘first-person’ style camera, but what about doing it with a friend? Reddit user ‘Fr0sZ’ posted a video today of his work-in-progress Cities Skylines multiplayer mod, in which each player is represented in the world as a pedestrian avatar and able to walk around. See below.

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Typing Of The Dead: Overkill Gets Custom Dictionaries

Typing of the Dead: Overkill [official site] felt to Alec like an old joke being re-told too many times, but even we were intrigued by its post-release DLC which added Shakespeare and profanity to the typing-driven zombie shooter. If you remain unsatisfied by your inability to kill the undead by typing the word “suppurating”, Sega have announced that you can now create your own custom dictionaries for the game and share them via the Steam Workshop.

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Enjoy Skiffy Mash-ups Via Sins Of A Solar Empire Mods

Sins Rebellion - Star Wars mod screenshot

Who’s still playing Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion [official site]? It’s been about a year since I last dabbled with Ironclad’s lovely space RTS, but I’ll admit that I think I’d quite like to play it right now rather than writing about it.

But no, dear reader, no. First I must tell you about a few Rebellion mods, as several projects smooshing in other sci-fi series like Mass Effect and Star Wars have recently issued updates.

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Portal 2 Level Reinterprets Companion Cube’s Doom

GLaDOS, GLaDOS, oh so monstrous,
How does your garden grow?

With portable cells and many dead Chells,
And propulsion gel all in a row.

The original Portal’s Test Chamber 17 is notoriously the level in which the Weighted Companion Cube made its first appearance… and met its fiery doom. Though not before it became the cube with a face that launched a thousand memes.

Thanks to an enterprising level designer, laakkone, that Chamber can now be played in Portal 2. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mod-Me-Do: Dying Light Mod Block & Takedowns Tackled

The zombie represents something and the hand is a mod or look I don't know whatever.

The Dying Light [official site] mod unpleasantness of the past week has been cleared up, and was indeed double whammy of overzealous protection. Developers Techland are doing something about the cheat protection that also blocked legitimate mods, while the Entertainment Software Assocation have nonapologised for copyright takedown notices issue in its name against sites hosting mod downloads. Huzzah! They don’t hate mods, they simply didn’t think things through.

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Mod-Me-Don’t: Dying Light Mod Blocks And Takedowns

So, the pipe represents mods, yeah, which makes the zombie...

Ooh, mods! Lovely, lovely mods. But while mods can add all sorts of lovely new things to games, a game letting folks fiddle its files might also make it vulnerable to cheaty cheats. The difference between a rad dinocop skin and a spiked model is artistic intent. Dying Light [official site] is being a bit overzealous in its attempts to block the bad, though.

The latest update’s changelog includes “blocked cheating by changing game’s data files”, which also blocks things like editing weapons. Some modders have even had mods they uploaded to public file hosts removed through copyright protection laws.

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Mod Creation For Idiots (By An Idiot)

Ah, Jo Parkes, who was always kind of side-lined in Cassandra and I'll probably use for something else eventually. Also note the AB-originated culture-referencing texture bombard

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 142-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Kieron’s look at his experiences working on Deus Ex mod Cassandra Project, originally written for PC Format and published on these pages with revisions in September 2008.

The decision to do a mod is the first step. It’s also, by far, the easiest. From then on, you’re entering a painful world of hurting to strive to create something that, in all possibility, will never be finished or be completely ignored by the community. These are general rules that I’ve learned from my own time theoretically being in a mod team. I felt the pain so, ideally, you shouldn’t have to. Or rather unnecessary pain – no matter what you do, you’re going to carry your own scars.

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