Mod News: Thin On The Ground

You’ll have to excuse me if this week’s round-up is a little thin. We’ve been arguing over a list feature over at UserCreated this week, meaning my mod playing and musing has mainly been over classic modifications. We’ve got the list down now, though, and over the next four weeks you can read a daily piece on a classic mod for our Unmissable Mods Month feature. Yeah, I’m totally okay with putting an enormous site plug in the lead paragraph. If you’re reading this, either the Hivemind is too, or they just don’t bother reading my work before they lob it online, and are awful human beings destined for an eternity of playing Cryo games. [WE SEE ALL, DENBY – RPS]

Ahem. Right. Stuff that’s been happening in the world of mods, then…

– Last week ended on a bit of a sour note for Stalker-based Half-Life 2 mod STALKER: City 17. Specifically, in a ma-hoo-sive argument between the team’s animator and modeller having the most childish and ridiculous squabble on the mod’s very public ModDB page. The animator’s been kicked off the team as a result, and the rest involved are “basically hanging on a thread,” says the mod’s leader. He’s cleaned up the comments now, I believe, but you can read about what happened here.

– This happened more than a week ago, but someone on last week’s comments thread felt this one was particularly important to talk about, so: TSL Restored for Knights of the Old Republic 2 has been released. It’s a sizeable mod that reinstates a whole bunch of game elements that didn’t make the final cut of the original game. Have a look at what those things are here, then grab the mod here.

– I mentioned The Great Class Dash for TF2 last week. Amazingly, out of the blue, it’s been released already. I’ve had a busy week, so not got round to trying this out yet, but it looks fun and is getting some properly exceptional feedback. In a phrase: single-player side-scrolling for TF2. What wouldn’t be to like?

– Eidan Mod for Battle for Middle Earth 2 has received a significant update which, according to the developers, leaves “no stone unturned” and overhauls “almost every aspect of the core game to craft for you a completely new, far more immersive Lord of the Rings experience.”

– Outbreak: Condemned, a Resident Evil themed mod for HL2, has a few new screenshots knocking about. Resident Evil seems a popular choice for modders. Something about it seems to capture people’s imagination. Me? I always bloody hated those games. Even Resi 4.

– I asked Robert Yang (Radiator), Jonas Wæver (The Nameless Mod) and Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther) what single piece of advice they’d give to a budding modder or mod team. Here’s what they said.

I suspect there’ll be stuff I’ve missed there – apologies for that. Keep your eyes peeled on UserCreated for more mod-related ramblings, though. In fact, you might notice something oddly familiar about today’s Unmissable Mods pick…


  1. Malagate says:

    You don’t like Resident Evil games? Blasphemy!

    Kidding of course, I enjoy them for nostalgia’s sake but I’m under no delusion that if I played something like Resident Evil 1-3 in this day and age I’d be quite unimpressed, nor do I forget the QTE and occasional clunky annoyances of the more modern versions.
    It does capture my imagination however, I think it’s the mix of b-movie horror schlock and the settings. Maybe also the fact that it’s easier to make a FPS resi mod then it would be to make a Silent Hill style mod. Zombies are getting so passé these days.

  2. Lethal Jelly says:

    I had that TF2 Side Scroller idea a while ago. Of course I had no idea how to make it but still. THEY STOLE MY IDEA.

  3. poop says:

    aaaaaaaahahaha is there a failing hl2 mod in the universe that doesnt have flat white renderings of guns with two bullets and a call for SKINNER PLX

  4. Garg says:

    Wasn’t a KotOR 2 resoration mod released months ago? Or is this now the full release?

    • Samuel Erikson says:

      This one’s been in open beta for a while, but now has a proper release. There was another one being developed by a different team, but that one seems to be dead.

  5. Alexander Norris says:

    I hope you plan on including the Source mods that are on Steamworks and distributed through Steam in that top 30, Mr Denby. Be a shame not to, since most of them have been around for several years.

    • Lewis says:

      It’s 20, since we can’t be arsed writing stuff on weekends. And… well, we tried to balance the list between games, though Source stuff predictably came out with the most places. As for what we opted to include, well, we went on a combination of influence and just how much we loved them.

    • KindredPhantom says:

      It is unlikely that a certain mod won’t be in the 20 unmissable mods, if it so happens to be then i say i will be very surprised.

  6. Rich says:

    Rather looking forward to that ModDB distribution doodad. I can never be bothered to trawl through the hundreds of awesome sounding mods that have got no further than a few weapon meshes, to find the complete and (most importantly) single player mods.

    I always used to rely on the selection that came on PCGamer DVDs.

  7. Schmung says:

    I had a quick look at that STALKER thing and something about their models looked familiar. Then I realised I’d seen the WIP thread on another forum with the guy saying it was his second ever model. That, plus the argument, and it doesn’t exactly bode well for their future.

  8. Sidorovich says:

    Oblivion Lost? – it added ‘cats’ & Izloms to the mix, cos they were dropped from the original (and with good reason, cos they were pants). Getting hit in melee wearing a suit with one of the ‘mask’ options would cause the game to crash too. If you’re looking for a Stalker mod, surely Priboi Story was better?

  9. Hideous says:

    Man, I’ve been wanting to make maps for some single-player mod for a while now. I got no ideas, I just got some skills with hammer.

    … Just sayin’.

  10. Stense says:

    I’ve not played the just released final version of the KOTOR2 restored content mod, but I did recently play the beta version. I have to say, I was impressed by how much more complete and coherant the game feels now. I thought the game was great before hand, but the added sections and even just the odd line restored here and there does go a long way to showing just how well written the game was. If you are a fan of kotor, I’d really recomend looking into this.

    • Dominic White says:

      The story behind KOTOR 2s problems is, as far as I can gather, a simple but sad one. Lucasarts had set Obsidian a deadline for the games completion, and it was on track for release. Then Lucasarts move the deadline up by six months. Suddenly, time budgeted on completing the game gets assigned to just producing some kind of ending, and surgically disabling any unfinished content so that they can actually release something playable.

      This explains the ridiculous amount of partially-finished stuff in the game data files. Totally screwed over by publisher short-sightedness.

    • Stense says:

      Yes, does sound like it was a fairly tortorous development.

  11. Urthman says:

    Lewis, here’s a few of my nominations for some of the most amazing mods evar:

    1. The Strangers Mod for Freedom Force (and Tales of the Navigator, and OMG! The Amazanauts coming soon! see link to
    2. FCOM for Oblivion.
    3. Unique Landscapes for Oblivion.
    4. Research and Development for Half Life 2
    (You’ve already got They Hunger, so I won’t list that one.)

    If you’re an older DC/Marvel superhero comic fanboy and you liked the Freedom Force gameplay, then you might really love The Strangers. That mod is the best superhero game I’ve ever played.

  12. Vinraith says:

    The KOTOR2 and LotR: BfME2 mods are both interesting. Does anyone know if either of those games are available from a digital distribution source? They don’t exactly seem readily available in boxed form, and the usual suspects turn up empty.

    • Samuel Erikson says:

      KotOR II seems to be available only in hard copy, but you can get it for around 15$ from Amazon (if, of course, you’re located in the US). Note that it does have a CD-check.

  13. C says:

    Hey, some of us like Lost Eden!