Mod News: Where Is The News?


So it’s confirmed, then: the modding community is conspiring against me, with yet another week of not-that-much-interesting-happening. To be fair, we do have a couple of interesting HL2 bits cropping up this week, and yet another Stalker Complete mod released. The rest is perhaps less fascinating to my eager brain. What’s here, though, is… well, here:

– Remember Human Error, the almost-very-good singleplayer Half-Life 2 mod? Before they unleash Episode Two on the world, its dev team are creating a Left 4 Dead style co-op mode. Except there’s a difference. There’s a traitor among the pack. An interesting concept, and one I look forward to seeing in practice.


Stalker: Clear Sky Complete is released. Once again, it’s a Stalker mod of the Complete series that purports to fix lots of errors, expand upon the game’s mechanics, and make things look and sound a lot prettier than what once was. I particularly like the look of the skies in this one. Problem is, Clear Sky was kinda fundamentally flawed, and I don’t expect it does much to fix that.

– Half-Life 2 multiplayer mod Battle Grounds reaches Version 2.0. This version introduces changes to weapon and ammo selection, a new class, a bunch of new animations, new maps, improved historical accuracy and a big graphics and audio overhaul. As well as new player skins, including this delightful one.

– In more Half-Life 2 news, singleplayer mod Combine Destiny 2 emerges from the ashes with its first update in two years. Screenshots look reasonable.

– There’s a parkour mod for Crysis coming up. It’s called Momentum, and is due for release in the next few days. I will endeavour to report back.

– Can’t quite work out what’s going on with this. There’s been some news posted to the Severance: Blade of Darkness ModDB page, rather than that of a specific mod, which features a couple of videos. It’s part of a new project, apparently, but that’s about all the information I’ve managed to gather. I remember first playing Severance back in 2001, and being astounded by the shadow and water effects. I’ve not played it since, but judging by this footage it still looks rather pretty, so mods are always appreciated.

Dune Wars Version 1.8 for Civilization IV has been released. New units, buildings, art and mechanics, so the team says. Personally, I still cringe when I type that ‘Z’ instead of an ‘S’. Clearly not the mod team’s fault, but, y’know, I need a scapegoat. THE BASTS.

– Talking of basts, Alec’s already posted about what is perhaps the week’s most interesting mod news: Fall From Heaven is going standalone. So, y’know, just click that link. Bloody RPS editors, coming over here and stealing our jobs. Specifically, mine.

An inventory in Half-Life 2. Let’s hope it’s put to good use.

Why Robert Radiator Yang should use Visgroups.

Why modders should start doing stuff.

More, if it actually happens, at UserCreated.

From this site

42 Comments

  1. AndrewC says:

    So I clicked on the link for Momentum – the Mirror’s Edge type mod. Mirror’s Edge is completely awesome, after all, and yet there isn’t likely to be any more of it. So more Mirror’s Edge? Yes!
    But the video is like a joke of everything nerds get wrong – making everything grim and dark and ugly and adding sodding Wolverine to it.
    Added points for not making the music be heavy metal. But points lost for using the other nerd staple of ‘unimaginative cover of a great song’.
    But then they are doing Mirror’s Edge, which gets them a million points, though only if they make the sun come out.
    Make the sun come out, magic mod people!

    • The Dark One says:

      I await the no-violence mod for Brink.

    • AndrewC says:

      I await the no-violence mod for sodding Mirror’s Edge!

    • Robert says:

      I await the no-violence mod for RPS: Raspberry, Paper, Spandex.

    • stahlwerk says:

      To me, what made Mirror’s Edge is the art style, visually and aurally. It just feels like you’re running across rooftops on a hot summer day, with the wind and the noise from traffic and air condition outlets. So yeah, generic overcast industrial intersection with crates and containers is almost like the anti-thesis to ME, but maybe that’s what they aimed for?

      José Gonzalez’ teardrops cover does not go well in this trailer at all, in my opinion. Also, there are more fitting (faster) songs of his they could have used. “killing for love” comes to mind, with the added bonus of lyrical relevance ;-).

    • AndrewC says:

      That’s Jose Gonzalez? I still really like his Heartbeats cover, but all the understatedness and spryness from that is gone in Teardrops. It feels club-footed, almost as bad (but not quite, obvs) as ‘the acoustic song’ from a heavy metal album.

    • WTF says:

      @AndrewC

      So, hate for Jose and love for Mirrors Edge, one of the worst games of recent years? In fact no I take that back – ME was far to broken and badly designed to even be called a game…

    • AndrewC says:

      @WTF I think it is entirely clear that Mirror’s Edge cures cancer and Jose Gonzalez’ cover is worse than 4 Hitlers.

    • Muzman says:

      Is this some in-joke between you guys?
      (whatever it lacks, ME ain’t broken. It’s almost the definition of smooth)

    • AndrewC says:

      Are you implying that a statement suggesting Mirror’s Edge is so bad it isn’t even a game can’t be taken seriosuly, Muzman?

    • Muzman says:

      Yes, AC. Or is that, No? I’m not sure anymore.
      Anyway WTF was so extreme (and his name is WTFafter all) and you were somewhat jovial in reply, I thought maybe something else was going on and leaping to ME’s defense would be a mistake.

    • Urthman says:

      I await the no-violence mod for sodding Mirror’s Edge!

      They say that Mirror’s Edge is a lot more fun with a trainer that gives you infinite health. You can still fall to your death, but you can basically ignore the stupid combat.

      Also, bring a book or a sandwich or something to do during the cut scenes.

    • Bret says:

      Sandwiches are pretty great.

      I mean, I had one today, and it was the best part of lunch.

  2. HYPERPOWERi says:

    O mai gott! Severance: Blade of Darkness! One of the few games I’ve played through to the end several times. Most lovely.

    • Spacewalk says:

      I’m surprised that people are still modding for that one. What’s next, a full Die By the Sword campaign?

    • Chaz says:

      I thought Severance was fantastic the first time I played it as the light and shadow effect just blew me away. Seeing the shadow of an approaching enemy cast against the wall before he rounded the corner was just so atmospheric. One of my more memorable moments in the game was when I was in a large crypt when the lights went out and out popped a flaming skeleton king from one of the tombs who then proceeded to chase me around the crypt. The only illumination came from his flaming bones which cast dancing shadows all over the walls as we ran around and fought each other. I always thought it was pretty amazing stuff, just a shame it seemed to be one of those games that flew under the radar of most gamers.

    • Muzman says:

      Severence was goddam great Probably still is. Not only did it look great it had some great swordfighting AI lurking in there. You had to play it smart, or else.

    • Culprititus says:

      Severance Lives!!! I’m just stunned. The last few times I’ve tried to load it up recently, it has had some crashing problems and on a laptop ran at like 4x speed.

      Such a great game that has not really been attempted since. I loved the intense battles that took very disciplined skill to prevail. I always have wondered what happened to those developers after Rebel Act closed down.

      I was completely blown away by it when I first played it on my 500Mhz PC with a 32MB gfx card. First time I saw real-time shadows, physics and item persistence. The 3D rendered blood sprays and splatters!
      Someone please remake something like this with awesome CO-OP!!
      PLEASE!!!

  3. jon_hill987 says:

    CVG have reported that the Black Mesa team have released some new screen shots. Fingers crossed for an imminent release of the mod…

    link to computerandvideogames.com

    • Lewis says:

      In a fraction too late for the round-up. Typical.

    • Sarlix says:

      “Fingers crossed for an imminent release of the mod…”

      Like we do every week…sigh

    • malkav11 says:

      Oh, I’m sure it’ll be released in the near future, like they say. That is to say, near future in Valve/Blizzard time. (so, 2012 at the earliest).

  4. Schmung says:

    Exam season is starting for a lot of people and since a good portion of modders are students of one type or another progress slows to a crawl.

  5. Azazel says:

    Everytime I look up the Black Mesa site it makes me pine.

    • Premium User Badge

      N'Al says:

      Me, I have to cypress the urge to yell “FUCK YES!” at top volume every time.

    • stahlwerk says:

      @N’Ai
      Good, but no cedar.

    • Premium User Badge

      N'Al says:

      Fir god’s sake, yew spelt my name wrong! It’s a lower-case L!!!

      >:-( >:-( >:-(

    • Sarlix says:

      I willow in the hope that it’s released soon.

    • Rich says:

      Yup. Fingers superglued in the crossed position.
      It can’t be that long now, surely.

    • stahlwerk says:

      @N’Al

      Yeah, sorry, I noticed just after I hit “opinion, away!”. But it’s something that’s chestnut that easy to parse for me. I blame the common Ilama.

      Black Mesa, huh? My conspiracy theory is that they’re actually working with valve for a blue/red/green box release of Black Mesa, Portal 2 and Episode 3, so that the whole Half-Life series can be played on a modern mac.

    • Rich says:

      To be honest, I wouldn’t even mind paying for Black Mesa as part of some Big Mauve Box… assuming it’s as fantastic as I dream it’ll be. Although it must also be soon.

      I’m pretty sure though that Valve have said they don’t want anything to do with it. The Black Mesa people aren’t even allowed to use the Source suffix any more.

      I do definitely hope it’ll be available for download on Steam. If it’s in the region of a few GBytes, I’d like at least a reasonably download speed. I once tried to download that HL2 HD mod, which is huge, but the only place I could find it was Rapidshare, who I refuse to give money too. Thankfully I discovered how utterly pointless and bloated the mod was before investing too much time in it.

    • Premium User Badge

      N'Al says:

      @ stahlwerk:

      No fir, sometimes I balsa it up myself.

      Oh god, I need to stop this…

    • Sarlix says:

      I know, we’ve been waiting ages and they try and palm us off with some screen shots. Although I must admit it’s looking rather spruce.

      OK thats it, I’m going out.

    • Sam C. says:

      Heh, trees.

    • Yak Jazz says:

      Yew are all bad, bad people.

    • BeamSplashX says:

      Maple tree.

    • Sarlix says:

      “Maple tree.”

      Japanese or European?

  6. karthik says:

    I like how the Black Mesa screenshot shows the Vortigaunts as prisoners, with the constraints on their necks and wrists.

    link to computerandvideogames.com

  7. WiPa says:

    You completely missed Proyect-Z!
    link to proyectz.kiio.es

    It’s a mod of HL2DM, set in a post-apocalyptic world, with persistant stat tracking skin to an MMO’s.
    It needs alot of work, but it’s looking extremely promising.

  8. dethtoll says:

    “Yet another Stalker Complete” mod? There’s only been two so far, and as far as I’m concerned they’re valuable- in fact, I would go so far to say essential- mods. I haven’t had the chance to try CS Complete, but SoC Complete is going to be what I install every time I play SoC from now on.

  9. Ga-Knomboe Boy says:

    The first version of Momentum has been released. Please read the read me and watch the tutorial videos on youtube if your having problems.

    link to moddb.com

    PS. I know this version is glitchy and many comments I’ve received have ranged from “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER” to “this looks like shit, why would you bother”. So please keep in mind I’m a single person, I have to spend most of my time working designing buildings so videogames come second, I don’t have a mod team, and this is the first release. All that said, I think its pretty good.

    Also, I’m already bug fixing and the next version will run about twice as fast, will be cinematically smoother and wall running will be much easier as a result of this smoothness.

    To give you an idea why this makes a difference, the mod implements code in the map that determines the shape of everything in real time. The objects don’t have places that are deemed interactive or anything, its all worked out on the fly. Thus, the game must reference situations and do a spatial analysis of what is happening within tenths of a second in order to work out what to do next.

    This is good and bad. It’s good because it means that the code can be implemented in any singleplayer crysis level or mod. <<<<< THIS IS WHAT MAKES THE MOD SPECIAL! and by any, singleplayer crysis level or mod, I mean literally any singleplayer crysis level or mod can now be run with all the features from the map released. So thats why I've been releasing "don't give a fuck" style windows movie maker compiled trailers; because the map is a demo for what anyone now has access to.

    However while this system is very open ended, you can imagine it sometimes screws up.
    In order to make the animations fit better the code needs to be made more and more accurate, to precisely work out where a foot hold might be, where an edge is to grab and so on. This is the main thing I'm working on now. Secondary systems that measure what the code has already deemed to be correct. I've already started developing a system so that if the player tries to grab onto something where there is nothing the player will automatically attempt to find an edge to grab above or below that pitch instead of apparently hanging from nothing.

  10. Ga-Knomboe Boy says:

    The first version of Momentum has been released. Please read the read me and watch the tutorial videos on youtube if your having problems.

    link to moddb.com

    PS. I know this version is glitchy and many comments I’ve received have ranged from “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER” to “this looks like shit, why would you bother”. So please keep in mind I’m a single person, I have to spend most of my time working designing buildings so videogames come second, I don’t have a mod team, and this is the first release. All that said, I think its pretty good.

    Also, I’m already bug fixing and the next version will run about twice as fast, will be cinematically smoother and wall running will be much easier as a result of this smoothness.

    To give you an idea why this makes a difference, the mod implements code in the map that determines the shape of everything in real time. The objects don’t have places that are deemed interactive or anything, its all worked out on the fly. Thus, the game must reference situations and do a spatial analysis of what is happening within tenths of a second in order to work out what to do next.

    This is good and bad. It’s good because it means that the code can be implemented in any singleplayer crysis level or mod. <<<<< THIS IS WHAT MAKES THE MOD SPECIAL! and by any, singleplayer crysis level or mod, I mean literally any singleplayer crysis level or mod can now be run with all the features from the map released. So thats why I've been releasing "don't give a fuck" style windows movie maker compiled trailers; because the map is a demo for what anyone now has access to.

    However while this system is very open ended, you can imagine it sometimes screws up.
    In order to make the animations fit better the code needs to be made more and more accurate, to precisely work out where a foot hold might be, where an edge is to grab and so on. This is the main thing I'm working on now. Secondary systems that measure what the code has already deemed to be correct. I've already started developing a system so that if the player tries to grab onto something where there is nothing the player will automatically attempt to find an edge to grab above or below that pitch instead of apparently hanging from nothing.

    PPS – If you had actually looked at my mod before you'd have found the original wallrunning animations video that has the original massive attack teardrop version of the song. Since that was the second animation trailer I thought I'd reward the one or two people who had seen both videos by alluding to the previous one.