Mod News: New Year Bumper Pack


It’s January! Oh my. Two weeks have passed since the last Mod News, since RPS went to sleep for a little while while we all ate and drank and suchlike. Typically, there were more happenings on the mod scene during that fortnight than in a long time. So welcome to an extra special bumper edition of Mod News, to help you burn off that Christmas fat.


NEWS

A new Crysis mod, Storm, has been announced. And it looks extraordinary. The announcement turns up with a collection of absolutely gorgeous screenshots, dark and moody and steeped in atmosphere. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this one in the weeks and months to come.

Left 4 Dead 2 mod Dead Before Dawn is getting a Director’s Cut on January 26th. This Dawn of the Dead themed mod was released back in September, but the Director’s Cut aims to increase the level of detail to an “amazing” degree, as well as making the setting more authentic than ever. Here’s a teaser for it.

It wouldn’t be New Year without a Black Mesa update, of course. It’s not an official one, however. Someone on the team has said on the official forums that the mod’s at least a couple of months away from release. Which is… mixed news? It may have been nice of the team to keep its dedicated following in the loop a little more officially, but the prospect of possibly playing this in two months is– oh no, wait, it turns out I’m not too bothered any more. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what this enormous team has done, but frankly, the buzz has died down and I’m finding it difficult to stay excited.

The developers of Half-Life 2 mod Nightmare House 2 have released all their source files, which is a lovely thing. More modders should share their content, I feel: there’s so much pressure in the mod community to make all your own original content, when really, sometimes, people’s efforts would be better placed in creatively utilising existing assets or code. So yes, you can do just that with Nightmare House 2, as long as you credit the original team. Bravo, I say.

And still on Half-Life 2, there are some pretty wonderful new screenshots of the City 17 mod. Specifically, Part One of Episode One. That’s rather a lot of part-splitting going on there, and suggests ambitious of a ludicrous scale. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into another Cassandra Project.

We’re allowed to tease Kieron now that he’s no longer with us, right?

RELEASES

A demo of the absolutely gorgeous Far Cry 2010 has emerged. This is a visual update for Crytek’s first born, one that also switches around the level design a little bit. This is some impressive work, and has been well-received so far. One thing struck me from reading the ModDB page, though: the mod developer says he originally wanted to replace Far Cry models with ones from Crysis, but EA – who now hold the Far Cry IP – wouldn’t let them. It strikes me as a shame that this amateur modder wasn’t legally allowed to use content from one game in a free mod for its spiritual predecessor, even though both games were made by the same company.

Still on the topic of Crysis, Ghostbusters-themed Crysis Wars mod Crybusters has finally been completed. Mission 3 was released on December 27th, which was also my birthday, so presumably this is a wonderful mod. Except… well, it’s not been completed at all. The developer cites a lack of time and declining interest for the community when excusing the fact that Mission 3 has been released in an unfinished state. Oh well. You can grab what’s been completed here.

The Circle of Eight Modpack has turned up, too. It’s a collection for Troika’s Temple of Elemental Evil, which collects a bunch of mods together into one ultramod, fixing bugs, balancing stats, expanding content and suchlike. Have a look at the full list of stuff this does. You can download the modpack from that link as well.

UPDATES

Shock Therapy for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has hit version 1.01c, which means… well, I’m not sure, actually. I’ve trotted around the mod’s forums and ModDB page, but nowhere can I find any sort of changelog or similar. Curious. Still, the mod itself is a “partial conversion” of Red Alert 3, whose aim is to fix and switch around various parts of the mother game. Grab the update here.

Also in the world of Command & Conquer, there’s been an update for C&C 3: The Forgotten, a C&C3: Tiberium Wars mod. This finished third in ModDB’s Singleplayer Mod of the Year category, and tells a whole new story featuring custom-made high-def video footage. Authentic!

In Half-Life 2 news, Pirates, Vikings and Knights II has hit Beta 2.4. This new version adds new unique voices or each class, a new game mode, a new map and a bunch of bugfixes. But, um, everyone seems to think the new voice acting is rubbish. What a shame. You can get the update through Steam.

Meanwhile, there’s been a second beta release for The Battle for Alagaësia, a Battle for Middle Earth II mod which allows players to fight as a whole host of different Lord of the Rings factions. All those factions are now in place, say the devs, but the environment still needs work.

And Diablo II: Lord of Destruction mod Hell Unleashed has received a new update. The original mod was released way back in 2005, and now the community has patched up the multiplayer version. Lots of adjustments to the balancing and suchlike, by the looks of things. Have a read of the full list here, and grab the mod here.

AND THE REST

Radiator dev Robert Yang has been rounding up more Levels to Look Out For. some interesting stuff here. Robert’s also added to his Resources for Source Modders post, which is a splendid collection of stuff to help mod-makers using Valve’s engine.

Phew. That was a big old bunch of words. ‘Til next week, humans.EST

Radiator dev Robert Yang has been rounding up more Levels to Look Out For.

26 Comments

  1. Wilson says:

    How awful would it be if Black Mesa was finally released and it turned out to be mediocre? Not bad, not good, just average…

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      Then I would go play the original Half Life instead.

    • Azazel says:

      This is not the best game in the world, no –
      This is a tri-buuuute.

    • Urthman says:

      This is the only scenario I can imagine in which Valve doesn’t swoop in shortly before they release and buy them up and make Black Mesa an official Valve offering like they did with Alien Swarm.

      The fact that they haven’t already done this makes me pretty worried about how good Black Mesa is going to be.

    • Xercies says:

      I actually think they have done it and thats why its been delayed a bit longer then usual, Valve are behind them whipping them.

    • Jonathan says:

      I still maintain a tiny theory that Valve HAS secretly picked up the project, and something will happen along the lines of it being released as a freebie alongside Episode 3.

      It’s a teeny tiny theory though. Like, really small.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well, the Black Mesa devs have said many times previously that they do not want that to happen. For all we know Valve did offer to buy them out and release it as paid content, though I very much doubt that.

      I know that Raminator, one of the lead devs has said once Black Mesa is finished he never, ever wants to do any level design ever again. I don’t think that applies to the whole team though.

      Oh and before someone goes there. Black Mesa has been delayed once in it’s entire life time. Even then they hadn’t given a solid release date, simply ‘before the end of 2009’. Other than that it hasn’t ever had a release date, just rumour and speculation.

  2. Neoviper says:

    What a shame.

  3. Fede says:

    Actually, Battle for Alagaesia doesn’t contain different Lord of the Rings factions, but the Eragon factions. It’s a different fantasy universe.

  4. Casimir's Blake says:

    Pleasant surprise to see another Troika game getting some moddage in 2011! What are these devs doing nowadays? I bet they’re involved in some mainstream Xbox 360 or PS3 nonsense…

    • jeremypeel says:

      The Troika devs? One’s working on Diablo 3 lore, another’s making an MMO somewhere… dispersed across the industry, recovering after about 6 years crunch time.

    • Premium User Badge

      Frosty says:

      Forget thee not that the lead writer of Vampire, Biran Mitsomethingorother is working on that zombie RPG Dead State. RPS exclusive thingy here: link to rockpapershotgun.com

  5. trooperdx3117 says:

    Seriously Black Mesa is still months away (at least) I know what the team is doing is ambitious but its a bit shameful really when you have mod teams like Dear Esther that can turn out an entire total conversion in a lot less time and the Black Mesa team meanwhile dont even have to start from scratch

    • Lewis Denby says:

      They did start from scratch. Everything apart from the code base is created by the team. No HL2/HL assets used at all.

    • trooperdx3117 says:

      Oh I know that what I mean though is that they dont have to start from scratch on level design or anything or come up with a story or setting or much concept work either.

  6. Xercies says:

    Oo looking forward to that Crysis mod it looks preeety, also the gameplay of it definitely sounds cool.

  7. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    There is a good chance that Duke Nukem Forever will be out before Black Mesa.
    Just ponder on that for a second.
    (oh, and iirc they’re restarted development at least once, maybe twice)
    Basically, they must have tried to emulate Valve to make the best possible Half Life 1 remake. Unfortunately they’ve also emulated Valve Time.
    oops.

    • daf says:

      However unlike DNF however I have a feeling the Black Mesa guys aren’t being payed to work on it every day. You can never predict when personal or professional matter will force you to put your hobby (in their case Black Mesa) on hold.

      So I say waiting patiently is not much to ask when you’re getting an entire game for free in the end :)

  8. malkav11 says:

    Unless Ubisoft sold on the Far Cry rights and I didn’t hear about it, EA most certainly does not hold them. And it’s perfectly understandable that EA would not want assets from a game they do own (Crysis) used in a mod for a game they do not own (Far Cry). Even if it is a bit of a shame.

    Also, unless I’m missing something, the Circle of Eight modpack should be under Updates and not Releases, as the original release of same was years and years ago. It would appear they’ve recently released the version 6.0.0 final.

  9. Dominic White says:

    The CO8 pack for ToEE is absolutely essential. The game was rushed out, had large chunks of content cut at the last minute due to publisher censoring, bugs out the wazoo and worse. Co8 is not only part mega-fanpatch, but it’s a massive expansion as well, adding a whole new city quest-hub to the game. Professional grade stuff. It turns it from a tragically flawed experiment of a game, into a genuinely great tactical RPG.

  10. pakoito says:

    Circle of the Eight is a major pdate, but the mod is in its 6th version LOL

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, the version just released has also been in public beta testing for ages. Still, it’s a massive update, if you count the additions since V5.

  11. DFresh20 says:

    The Call of Warhammer mod for Medieval total war 2 also got a big update. Its up to 1.4 now with big improvements across the board.
    link to twcenter.net

  12. Navagon says:

    Some awesome looking mods in there that are completely new to me. Thanks for the heads up!