Mod News: News Mods


Right! I’m back. Did you miss me? Don’t answer that. Instead, take a look at this alarming amount of catch-uppy mod news. I even mention Black Mesa! Is it old news? Is it new news? Read on to probably be disappointed.

NEWS

This is like one of those madcap science projects, or something. A couple of years ago, someone decided that Unreal Tournament 3’s Warfare mode wasn’t big enough, only allowing for 32 players. So they set about a project to increase this. Warfare++ been in beta since 2008, allowing 128 players to battle it out on a single map. But they’ve just announced the final version – Warfare Unlimited – will be released in November. And will allow for 1024 players. On a single UT map. Which sounds ridiculous, and even the dev accepts there might be problems: “…providing it doesn’t bring [the engine] to a halt” is the caveat.

Meanwhile, there’s a World War 1 mod in the works for Men of War. It’s called – um – Men of War World War 1 Mod. Despite the unimaginative name, it seems to be fairly well put together, judging by the screenies. Out later this year, it seems.

Then there’s City Freerun, which freely admits to being Mirror’s Edge in the Source Engine. The problem I suspect it’ll face is that Source just isn’t quite so great at those stark whites and all that lovely daylight glowiness that made the Mirror’s Edge aesthetic so compelling. (Yes, I’m aware I just wrote “aesthetic” and “compelling” in the same sentence, and should now never be allowed to write about games again.) Anyway, there’s a new WIP video out, which seems to raise another potential issue: there doesn’t actually seem to be much freerunning in it. Hmm. I’ll keep half an eye on it, nevertheless.

Now this is lovely. a while back someone mocked up some gag renders of a hypothetical Team Fortcraft. As in, Team Fortress meets Starcraft. Now, someone’s decided to actually try make the thing, for StarCraft II. It’s still very early days, but here’s a bit of news. If they pull it off, then they’re fantastic human beings who must be recognised as the pillars of our society.

Zeitgeist, the super-ambitious and super-beautiful HL2 mod, seems to still be chugging along just nicely. That’s good, because I’m absolutely terrified this is going to be too big a project for its dev team, which would be tragic, because it looks extraordinary. Last week they unveiled Venice, one of a few locations in the game. While I don’t think these new shots /quite/ show off the fusion art style as much as other areas in the game, it is still lovely. Keep going, Zeitgeist guys!

And finally, something I missed before, and someone pointed out in the comments: Black Mesa devs say the mod will arrive in 2010. Y’know, kinda like they said it’d arrive in 2009, and in 2008. My main fear for Black Mesa these days is, well, will it work any more? The whole point was to remake a classic game in a modern engine, right? And now the engine’s heading inexorably towards its sixth birthday. It’ll have to be really bloody good to pull it off.

RELEASES

I’ve only just this second realised that Nightmare House 2 was released. A single-player Half-Life 2 mod sequel, one that’s been eagerly awaited by many for a while, it’s apparently brilliant. It’s only been out a few days, but its average user rating is one of the highest I’ve seen on ModDB. It is downloading now. Here’s where to go if you want to download it too.

Meanwhile – and still on HL2 – there’s been the first public release of Overwatch, which appeared out of nowhere a few weeks ago. Early signs seem promising, and the team’s already planning improvements.

Payne Effects 3 came out too. A little bit before I went away, actually, but I seemingly didn’t mention it in my last Mod News, so here you go. Its purpose is to make Max Payne “more realistic and tactical, but at the same time to give a dramatic and cinematographic feel to the shootouts,” says mister dev. Grab it here.

UPDATES

This happened ages ago. But I’ve forgotten to include it for about three weeks on the trot, despite you lot shouting at me every time. Sorry. But hey! Fistful of Frags hit beta 3.0! Would you believe it? Act surprised. Go on, humour me. Anyway, it’s a mod set out in the old Wild West, and given that it uses all its own art assets, the only requirement for play is that you own any Valve-created Source-powered game. More mods should try this, I suspect.

And shortly after confirmation of a Stalker 2, Clear Sky mod Faction Fronts has received a big update. Version 1.2 tweaks everything from graphics to stability, apparently. Word on the street, i.e. on the internet, is that ‘sgood.

AND THE REST

There’s nothing to report this week, because Robert Yang has been selfishly moving house. Surely he understands I rely on his blog for this bit, right? What a bast.

Ta-ra for now.

29 Comments

  1. Wilson says:

    Fistful of Frags is awesome, and deserved more attention than it got. Hopefully this release will be more popular.

    Also, have the Black Mesa Source team been updating to the latest version of the source engine as they go? Because that would somewhat mitigate the fact they’re working with an engine that’s getting on now. That said, I hardly think anyone can claim that the Source engine looks bad. It’s not cutting edge anymore, but I think it still looks pretty damn good.

    • Dyst says:

      I know for sure that they recently upgraded to the Orange Box engine, and apparently it was quite a big deal. I don’t know if they’re moving onto Source 2010.

    • Wilson says:

      @Dyst – Oh yeah, that rings a bell. Well, let’s hope they can actually release it this year!

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Considering porting Dystopia to Source 2007 has taken us 2+ years and given us no end of trouble, I wouldn’t blame the FoF team if they refuse to port to Source 2010.

  2. Dyst says:

    You may have included it in last weeks mod news, but link to moddb.com came out recently and it’s incredibly good. Kind of gives us a little bit of hope for Black Mesa I guess.

  3. coldwave says:

    Wow, Zeitgeist is looking good and Black Mesa finally got a release date!

    Again.

  4. Xercies says:

    Good to see a WWI mod…i think Men of War is a perfect game for that era to be honest. WWI is an era not used enough in gaming I think.

  5. Burningpet says:

    So many fantastic StarCraft 2 maps/mods go unoticed?

  6. Player1 says:

    I second that, Wilson, Fistful of Frags ist unbelievably awesome! Anybody interested in the Western genre HAS TO try it out!!

  7. Leelad says:

    Can anyone explain what Nuclear Dawn is now? It was a HL2 mod at one point.

    A while back on a forum I posted on I quite often took the piss after they where found to have photo-shopped a load of the “ingame” screenshots. while it looked nice the guy that was leading it seemed desperate to have loads of publicity aimed at it and was a little upset when I kept renaming the news feed headlines to things like “Nuclear Prawn” and “Nuclear Corn” , pretty witty huh? He didn’t like that and quite often send heartfelt emails to one Garry Newman (off of Gmod) asking for some nice publicity.

    Then randomly i’m checking steam out and see that they have a page there for it and a shiny new gameplay video. I can’t actually work out if it’s still a mod or a full on game now. Anyone know?

    • KindredPhantom says:

      The mod turned more into a portfolio project and most the developers got industry jobs and so could not spend much if any time on the mod. Nuclear-Dawn was basically dead until the guys from InterWave Studios who made the Stargate the Last Stand mod decided to pick up the mod instead of letting all the work on the mod go to waste.
      They took over the mod and are turning it into a full retail game with a source engine license (www.nucleardawnthegame.com), they have released a bunch of and a couple of videos link to youtube.com and link to youtube.com – the second video is the better of the two.

      It is due for release in October but i have heard it may be delayed a little.

    • KindredPhantom says:

      Gah, i failed with my html link. It is supposed to be “they have released a bunch of screenshots and a couple of videos…”

  8. Alexander Norris says:

    It got taken on by InterWave, the guys who did the Stargate: The Last Stand “mod” (it was really more like a proof of concept for a mod, which they then never made). It then got turned into a commercial project due out sometime either at the end of this year or the beginning of this one, IIRC.

    So yeah, it’s a full-on commercial project. The sad thing is, nothing it does is going to be new or admirable in any way, so I doubt it’ll get anywhere.

  9. Schaulustiger says:

    Are there many?

    Thanks to the dismal Battle.net custom map interface I find it hard to see if there is some good stuff already out. I’d like some overview but so far I haven’t found any.

    • Schaulustiger says:

      Uh, that was in reply to Burningpet, of course.

      Now off to sacrifice a virgin for the comment system gods.

    • Burningpet says:

      sc2mapster is my source for them, there are some really good ones and i especially recommend checking out the netstorm islands in war mod.

  10. Spacewalk says:

    Nothing to report? Stronghold recently got a release. It’s not really my thing but it’s a pretty significant going by how long it’s been in development for and the amount of polish lavished upon it.

  11. malkav11 says:

    Source may be getting on in years, but still looks very good. And anyway, it’s still a hell of a lot more modern than the Half-Life 1 engine.

  12. KindredPhantom says:

    SpiralGameStudios has released some of it’s old videos covering it’s development, they are pretty interesting with videos on cars in hl1 and the dinosaur in hl2.

    link to youtube.com

  13. Vae Victus says:

    The Source mod Nightmare House 2 was just released. I thought for sure it would be on your list.

    link to nh2.wecreatestuff.com

    Highly recommended. Lots of polish. Genuinely creepy stuff.

    Give it a whirl. It’s great so far.

    • Lewis says:

      “I thought for sure it would be on your list.”

      Um. Then you thought correctly. It is there.

    • MrTambourineMan says:

      What you said is all true, but this mod suffers pretty badly from poor level design, atmosphere and especially audio are top notch, level design however looks like it was made on HL1 engine. But still I do highly recommend you to try it.

  14. Fwiffo says:

    I didn’t like that Faction Fronts mod. It didn’t do much other than add a few low quality items and use the textures Complete uses. One of the downsides of the STALKER mod scene is they tend to crib a lot of stuff off each other. Makes it very homogenous. Then someone tries something different (LURK 1.1) and they get shouted down by the scene for not being like all the other Oblivion Lost-based mods.

  15. Vae Victus says:

    Haha oops. Sorry long day of classes. My reading comprehension has taken a nosedive. I agree with Mr. Tambourine Man. A lot of the effects and sound create an excellent atmosphere but the level design is a bit bland. I realize that it’s hard for a mod team to create all new assets but all of the models and textures recycled right out of HL2 kind of break the immersion too. It feels like you’re back in Nova Prospekt.

    • Matzerath says:

      Once you get past the prologue (which is actually Nightmare House 1, right?), things get more diverse and interesting. The baddies also get original textures, if I’m not mistaken. You’re not actually playing the new mod until you reach the asylum. And I like it!

  16. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Gah! Just tried to download Nightmare House 2 and it got to around 250Mb then stalled and timed out. Then I tried a second time and it did it again at 300Mb. And their server won’t let you resume downloads. MODDB YOU ARE GOBBLING MY BANDWIDTH AT AN ASTONISHING RATE. AND YOUR BANDWIDTH TOO. YOU ARE A BANDWIDTH GOBBLER.

  17. Dhatz says:

    payne effects 3 (now v 1.2) was available in the forum thread for some week