Mod News: Legal Beagle


My friend’s gone on holiday this week and left me in the possession of her prized DS. Which has nothing at all to do with mods (or, indeed, PC gaming), but does mean that I’ve been able to pour every waking second into Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and still compile a fairly sizeable list of interesting mod news from the past seven days (and a bit beyond). Below the jump is where you’ll find it all. Now, if you’ll excuse me, OBJECTION!

– An interesting new Dragon Age campaign has emerged from the user-created scene. It’s called Fragments of Ferelden, and ‘parrently ‘sgood. Boasting three hours of adventuring, the mod pits you as a young knight-errant who stands alone against an army of Darkspawn in “a very different version of Ferelden”. Grab it here.

– Call of Duty 2 might be hundreds of millions of years old, but people are still playing around with mods for it. There’s some new video footage of 1936-1939: The Spanish Civil War, which sounds like the title of an A-Level history essay or something, but is actually the single-player sequel to CoD2 multiplayer mod 1936: Spain in Flames. Have a gander at the video on YouTube.

– There’s an unofficial expansion pack for BattleZone II on the way. How exciting! It appears to function essentially as the collected works of the Battlezone II modding community, piecing them all together into a more complete package. Here’s a big news update. It’s coming soon, apparently.

– It’s not grown-up laugh at bad translations, especially in news posts from amateur mod developers. You’d think ModDB would be kind and tidy them up a bit before posting to the front page, if there’s something that’s really obviously not quite come out of Google Translate correctly. Either way, I must admit I did smile a little when I read that, in upcoming Crysis mod Butterfly, “the woman you incarnate is a former police.” Er… which is to say there’s been some details unveiled about an interesting sounding Crysis mod called Butterfly. It’s a third-person piece set in a fantasy universe. Here’s some news gameplay’s informations.

– HL2 mod Kingdoms Collide was patched last week, but it didn’t work for everyone. Here’s a full install of the whole mod, patched up, which seems to do the trick.

– More HL2 multiplayer: The dev team behind Exterminatus, which was okay, detail their planned updates for the mod.

– Aaaaand still on HL2, racing total-conversion SHIFT has been looking swanky for rather a while. It’s moved over to the Orange Box engine now, and will no longer require Episode One to play. Here‘s a big load of in-progress vids.

– EnterStarcraft.co.uk have been playing around with the StarCraft 2 editing tools. Particularly interesting is the revelation that it’s possible to turn the game into a third-person shooter or an RPG, provided you know a bit of coding. There’s also some information about the new Battle.net marketplace, which will allow developers to sell their mods to other players. Which is a bit unprecedented, and will be intriguing to see how it all works.

– Robert Radiator Yang’s design blog is increasingly interesting. I’m a bit late with this one, but here’s what happened when he showed Valve his mod Handle With Care.

– Somebody very handsome has written about Dan “Dear Esther and Korsakovia” Pinchbeck’s work in this week’s Escapist. Pinchbeck has some interesting things to say about horror games, actually.

More – including our ongoing ‘Unmissable Mods Month’ feature – over at UserCreated.

35 Comments

  1. Clovis says:

    OVERRULED!
    With one extra piece of (sometimes illegal depending on location) equipment, there are tons of mod possibilities for the DS.

    • Dominic White says:

      In fact, there have been a couple of pretty major fan-translation projects on the DS. Unfortunately, the legal issues surrounding flash-cards can be summarized as ‘Nintendo, who have more money than god and an enormous legal team, say these things are illegal. End of story’.

    • Risingson says:

      HOLD IT!

      Where does this apply?

    • Clovis says:

      It is definitely illegal in Japan, and probably illegal in Australia and the UK. It is still fine in the US though, as far as I can tell. Obviously using it to pirate games is illegal though.

      I haven’t heard anything about Nintendo suing users, so it is not illegal in the sense that Nintendo will sue you and you will lose becuase you are not rich.

      OTOH, Nintendo is doing a good job of keeping it out of the open market. There is no reason for Amazon to not sell it in the US but they don’t.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      IIRC it’s illegal to import them in the UK, but not illegal to own them or make use of them. A European court recently threw Nintendo’s lawsuit against a flashcart retailer out of court on the same basis that blank cassette tapes and blank CDs weren’t made illegal. Yes, a flash cart can be used for illegal purposes; it can also be used for homebrew apps, so it’s not illegal and you have to charge individual users with illegal usage of a flashcart.

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  2. Heliocentric says:

    No mention that the project reality team has released an early version form its arma 2 project?

  3. M0tah says:

    The link to the SHIFT mod is incorrect (it’s the same as the one for Exterminatus).

  4. Daniel Rivas says:

    So, which side do you play as in the Spanish Civil War mod?

    The Republicans were famously underequipped and lost the war, while the Nationalists were, y’know, evil.

    • Clovis says:

      Hopefully you get to play as Robert Jordan.

      I’m pretty sure everybody was evil in the Spanish Civil War by the time it was over.

    • Ben Abraham says:

      Robert Jordan? I want to play as freakin’ GEORGE ORWELL (as has already been mentioned)! Of course, then you have to get shot through the neck and spend months recovering and end up in politically unstable Madrid (I think it was Madrid?) when the communists are trying to purge your sort-of-nicer-than-the-rest socialist party completely from existence and then narrowly escape being placed incommunicado and escape back to France.

      That would be a sweet mod.

    • RedFred says:

      Then you would have to write Animal Farm by just typing it out word for word.

  5. pagad says:

    Playing as a one-man-army George Orwell would be awesome.

    • Allandaros says:

      The boot stamping on a human face forever is a tad overpowered though.

    • Fumarole says:

      This seemingly innocent remark is probably very similar to the one that ultimately brought the game Dante’s Inferno to fruition.

  6. Bort says:

    On the Starcraft 2 front, an old video of the editor showing potential alternate gameplay possibilities from the devs.

  7. The Hammer says:

    The SHIFT link leads to Exterminatus. That was a surprise to see – instead of souped up cars, I saw aliens with unnecessarily large claws!

  8. mbp says:

    I have actually been replaying a bit of COD2 recently so the Spanish Civil War mod catches my eye. Only slight problem is that you play on the side of Franco. I am more naturally inclined to favour the Republicans but they then again they did lose so I guess that could cause problems for a video game.

  9. Tei says:

    More micro-news:
    link to alientrap.org

    div is doing “portals” (the unreal variety,not the valve Portal one) for Nexuiz/Xonotic.

    Is both awesome and trippy :-)

  10. DMJ says:

    Battlezone 2? Wow there’s a game I haven’t heard from for a long time. I preferred 1’s Commies In Space theme but 2 was a decent game.

  11. Radiant says:

    GO GET PROFESSOR LAYTON.

    Do NOT get Hotel Dusk jesus titty fucking christ.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      You are wrong. Hotel Dusk is good.

      There’s no reason not to get both if you like adventure games.

    • Risingson says:

      There is a reason NOT to get Professor Layton: it’s just an uninspired collection of very old and trite paper puzzles.

      Go get Jake Hunter: Memories of the Past. Starts slow, gets better fast.

    • Radiant says:

      @ Alexander Norris

      This is my experience of Hotel Dusk:
      Imagine the most god awful novel drip fed to you 3 lines at a time.
      Then every so often the book randomly slams shut on your fingers.

      The story and interactivity of these: link to en.wikipedia.org are far more entertaining and advanced then Hotel Dusk.
      Granted the effort put into the characters is commendable but the sheer tedium of the thing was mind numbing.

      Getting a game over with no warning; forcing you to re-read the entire chapter again.
      A stupid ‘quiz’ [same answer sequence: 2, 3 then 1] recapping the pages and pages of exposition conversation that you JUST sat through [punctuated by you having to run through a few conversation trees just to keep you awake].
      All drip fed to you 3 LINES AT A TIME.

      No speeding up of the text either.

      My soul fucking died playing that game.

    • Clovis says:

      @AN: I have to agree with Radiant here. I really wanted to like Hotel Dusk, because the idea of a portable AG sounded great, and the DS seems like the perfect thing to play one on. I gave up very quickly. Tedious is the perfect word to describe Hotel Dusk. Everything just goes SOOO slowly.

      Heh, as a kid I wouldn’t have minded. I remember playing Sierra Adventure Games on my old 8086. It would take literally a full minute for the next screen to load. With Hotel Dusk, I guess I’m annoyed because the pacing is a feature, not a limitation of the processor.

      Were doing really good commenting about mods, BTW.

  12. Radiant says:

    btw the link to SHIFT isn’t a link to SHIFT

  13. MrBRAD! says:

    Wouldn’t SupCom do better for a direct-control mod? All projectiles are already individually tracked to check what and if they hit something. What this means is that awesome things occur like for example, artillery shells blowing up when they hit aircraft rather than clipping through it to the ground!

    You could probably make a fun tank/cyborg-dinosaur simulator. A SupCom version of C&C: Renegade would be baddass fun.

  14. Vinraith says:

    I’m glad to see DA’s mod tools getting some real use to create modules, I was starting to worry that something was wrong with them.

  15. Cpt. Sqweky says:

    Ummm… The reason the “republicans” lost the Spanish civil war wasn’t because they were undergunned, undermanned, or underfunded (they were the legal and rightful government with funding from Russia and a lot of other countries) it was because they were fighting each other at the same time they were fighting the fascists. There were pretty much two civil wars going on at the same time. Franco’s forces were united, the various factions of the other side weren’t. And if you study the civil war and the events leading up to it, yeah, pretty much everybody was evil. It’s really a matter of which you think was the lesser evil.

    • Risingson says:

      The ones that were attacked at the first place, of course.

    • Kanamit says:

      Uh, the Republicans were embargoed by most nations. The USSR didn’t so much aid them as sell them massively overpriced weapons (with copious strings attached, of course), with Mexico and few other small nations that despised Nazi Germany like Poland doing a little bit of trading with them on the side.

      The Nationalists were technically subject to the same embargoes but were funded by various private interests in the west and of course Germany and Italy.

  16. A-Scale says:

    Given what I know about the Spanish Civil War (from Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia) a gaming version of it would be mostly based around being cold, sitting in a trench at the top of a hill, not having much food or medical care, horrible inaccurate weapons, and being betrayed by the Commies. This mod doesn’t look like that, but God Almighty how I would love to play a game that did.

  17. BooleanBob says:

    Stealth ‘I have a friend who is female’ mod round-up news post (to borrow the beloved Eurogamer patois).