Mod News: Some Kind Of Sourcery

Apologies for the lack of Mod News last week. Imps came and took my eyes away, so I was unable to source any. But it’s fine, because Source is what this week’s Mod News is covered in, with various HL2 bits and bats, and even a little sprinkling of Left 4 Dead 2. But there’s more. Two Command & Conquer games and even Minecraft, of all things, receive a mention. Read on for the most interesting mod-related gubbins of the week.

So, Firearms: Source is to be collided nose-first with Steamworks. It means Steam will handle all the updatey goodness for you, hopefully eradicating the frustration many have reported upon not being able to compete against players with a different version of the mod. It will, of course, mean having to download the thing again, through Steam this time, but it’s always nice to see amateur creations cropping up on Valve’s big service. Good for them, says I.

Meanwhile, still in the world of Source modding and Steam, Pirates, Vikings and Knights II is to be receiving updates shortly. What I’ve managed to glean from this pirate-infested PR is that the voices are being re-recorded, and there’s some improved tech chugging away in the background, including stuff to do with achievements and player model shaders. PVKII is available through Steam.

Now. This next one I originally had written more about. Then, as I was about to submit this column, John went and posted about it. See this face, John? It has a frown on it. Still, it’s worth a quick mention: Mines of the Living Dead!

And, okay, even more Half-Life 2. But when it’s a Dystopia dev’s new otherworldly duelling game, you pay attention. Especially when it’s looking quite so beautiful. Four new screenshots of the newly renamed Blade Symphony have been unveiled, demonstrating its transition from a work-in-progress project without a real name, to something that’s nearing the end of its development cycle. I can’t wait for this.

Dead Before Dawn is out! It’s a Left 4 Dead-based remake of Dawn of the Dead, a mod that went through an extensive public beta session last year, and is now polished up and out for real. Here’s a fun teaser. The devs will be working to port the campaign to Left 4 Dead 2 in the near future.

If strategising’s more your thing, then here’s The Forgotten. Which I thought I’d mentioned last time, but turns out I’d forgo– yeah, that. In development for three years, it’s a C&C 3: Tiberium Wars mod that focuses specifically on the Forgotten faction featured in a couple of previous Command & Conquer titles, weaving a whole new story around them. Apparently ten hours long, I still note with a smile that one or two ModDB commenters are having a good old moan about there being “only five missions”. Do the download.

RTS/FPS hybrid mod Empires has hit version 2.27. The class-based Half-Life 2 total conversion’s been tweaked to improve performance and balance, primarily, but there are also a couple of more overt changes, like a fancy new HUD and scoreboard. However, I notice a few people suggesting that the update may be broken, which has resulted in a handful of delightful comments. Here are some download instructions, should you want to try it.

Meanwhile, Unreal Tournament 3 mod Renegade X has been updated. It’s a Command & Conquer: Renegades mod for UT3, surprisingly – an attempt to recreate the game in a modern engine. And it actually looks really quite delightfully pretty. Unusually, its developers are inviting people to make mods of their mods, releasing custom modding tools with their work. It’ll be interesting to see what people come up with. Here’s a change list for this version, and here’s a link via which to grab the mod.

Over on Gamasutra, Simon Carless has been reporting on Firaxis’ development of Civ V modding tools. Business-minded, but basically spot on, the gist is that by polishing up your SDK and releasing it as an accessible component of the game itself, you’re going to generate a whole lot more buzz in the long term than your marketing department could ever achieve. Civ V’s modding tools were released this week.

And it’s been far too long since I last linked to Robert Yang’s blog. At least two weeks, anyway. So here we go: a handful of mods and maps he’s either digging at the moment, or expects to be digging soon.

That’s it for now, but remember, I’m always eager to hear your suggestions of what to feature in Mod News. Clicking my name atop this blog post sends a message with the wonderful shiny email fairies. You should totally get in touch if you find something.

‘Til next time.


  1. Rich says:

    The Source engine sure can look purdy.

  2. Rich says:

    “by polishing up your SDK and releasing it as an accessible component of the game itself, you’re going to generate a whole lot more buzz in the long term than your marketing department could ever achieve”

    Hear that Creative Assembly? THAT’S RIGHT!

    • DJ Phantoon says:


      It’s impossible not to read your posts in a voice other than the Head of Richard Nixon.

    • Rich says:

      Come to the remote Galapagos Islands, where there’ll be no escape… from the FUN.

    • Leelad says:

      HA watched that episode this very morning.

      How splendidly and superbly coincidentally radical!

  3. mod the world says:

    The Empires patch to version 2.27 works fine, only the special patch for people with VERY old CPUs (without sse2) is broken.

  4. Sander Bos says:

    “even Minecraft, of all things, receive a mention”

    I for one was shocked to find an RPS article mentioning Minecraft….

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Someone bitching about Minecraft being in a post?

      Say it ain’t so, Joe! Because it is.

  5. Alexander Norris says:

    by polishing up your SDK and releasing it as an accessible component of the game itself, you’re going to generate a whole lot more buzz in the long term than your marketing department could ever achieve.

    But the long term is bad, Denby. It means people will continue to buy the older, cheaper title instead of shelling out full price for the inevitable updated release that comes out the following year. Real money is in killing your games almost as fast as they come out so people buy the identical sequel in twelve months.

    • Rich says:

      Also, if you close it to modders and mappers you can charge them $10 for DLC and map packs that would otherwise come free from third parties.
      So sayeth Bobby Kotick. Also, Creative Assembly again.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Doesn’t mean they will pay with their precious little money for it though.
      It’s the same math the music industry uses: “If we make it impossible to download a billion songs a month, they will buy those billion songs for a trillion moneys, and we’ll be rich! RIIICH!”
      Except they won’t. Since people still wouldn’t have a trillion moneys a month.

    • Rich says:

      Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package
      Price: $15
      Contains: 5 maps, two of which are remakes
      Sold: over 1 million within 24 hours

      Of course, that was on the XBox 360, which isn’t open anyway. With sales like that though, what incentive do they have to put any effort in to making it more open for the PC. Plus they really want you to stop playing at as soon as the next one comes out, which you buy on day one at full price.

    • Rich says:

      Also, 1000 monies for a song? Maybe in Japan.

    • Moonracer says:

      except there is a fairly large population of thrifty gamers who only buy games once they are assured of features like modding potential (or wait till it is a bargain).

    • Unaco says:

      RMN, You never let us down.

  6. Xercies says:

    The single player campaign of Renegade may be a little pants, but i have to say the multiplayer of it is probably one of my favourite multiplayer shooters ever.

  7. Severian says:

    Lewis, it would be great if you could keep on eye on the best Civ V mods coming out. I know it’s still a bit early to see any real quality stuff, but I’m guessing some fun scenarios are going to emerge pretty soon.

  8. Mob Rules says:

    So is this supposed to be a collection of Free Mod Related News? I was wondering why there is no mention of Forgotten Hope 2.3 release? It’s huge and unique ww2 realism/historical accuracy mod based on bf2 engine. I think these mod news concentrate too much on source mods. You’re missing a lot of cool stuff out there!

    Anyways check out Forgotten Hope

    • Lewis says:

      Bugger. I’d clocked that, actually, then forgot to include it. But like I say in the post, please do email things through (um – the email link is a bit broken at the moment, but the auto-responder you’ll get from that one will point you in the direction of where my email lives these days), and if it looks interesting it’ll be included.

  9. Seth says:

    Did I somehow still not manage to get the War in Heaven stuff to the right address?


  10. Novotny says:

    Obligatory ‘where’s…’ – oh, what’s the point. We’ve lost interest in it now.

    • Rich says:

      I haven’t! Every Mod News with out it is another twist of the knife.

  11. haircute says:

    Chiming in for two things:

    1. I love the mod news picture.

    2. Thank YOU for the heads up on the Dawn of the Dead mod for l4d. YES.

  12. A-Scale says:

    I wish I could like PVKII, but while it was fun three years ago, it has lost a lot of its luster over time. It’s just taking too damn long to be finished.

  13. Samuel Bass says:

    Renegade X is quite lovely, and made by some really dedicated people. I’ve been watching it come together for several years now and I can’t wait to play it.

    Also, people complaining about the lack of content in a free mod – especially one as fully featured as The Forgotten – should be infested with bollweevils, just on principle.

  14. sbs says:

    re: levels to look out for
    lun3dm5 looks intruiging, I lov the visual style. too bad almost all floaters play badly(except wcp23 i ctfs, with -rg)… lunaran really makes the prettiest quake 3 maps. his remix of cpm18i is really nice, and cpm23 looks fantastic, most beautiful map i’ve ever seen in q3.

  15. pepper says:

    Also, new update for Forgotten Hope 2,(bringing it up to version 2.3). This is a WWII mod for Battlefield 2.

    available here: link to