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Mod News: Independence Day

Another week, another excellent Half-Life 2 mod announces that it’s going indie. This time, it’s one I hadn’t expected, but it is one I quite enjoyed. I went to Egypt when I was younger, and this mod brought back quite a few memories of standing around the pyramids at Giza. Can you guess what I’m talking about? Read on, either way.

NEWS

It’s Curse! Last week it was Dear Esther; this week it’s the Egyptian-themed mummy-slaying fest whose first episode was released ages ago, before everything went quite silent for a while. There’s nothing but an announcement yet, but there’s the promise of new media to come. I liked Curse quite a lot, but it never struck me as a perfect candidate for a full release. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes. ModDB’s reaction is a little more measured over this than over Esther last week, although there are still a few who believe going commercial is “selling out”. It’s an interesting world.

There’s a new screenshot, and a speck of new information, for StarCraft II mod Project Warfare. This is a total conversaion by Blue Isle Studios (really?), which they’re keeping rather under wraps. The new image showcases a desert environment, which is supposedly significant to the story in some unspecified way. Take a look.

Dino D-Day, a Half-Life 2 mod, will be hitting beta on March 1st. There’ll be a month-long closed beta session to iron out some final creases before the mod sees its full release on Steam at the end of March. This is a multiplayer mod which “packs Nazis and dinosaurs into one explosive package”. Beyond this link there is a picture of a dinosaur with a BLOODY TANK on its back, which is why this mod is suddenly very important to me.

Doom III mod Thievious, which has a terrible name, is currently in prototype phase: all the basic features that the devs have aimed for are now implemented and basically working. But those greedy souls want more, so the team is looking to take on some new recruits. They’ve also released a new video, which looks really nice, even though this is the shiniest mod in the world.

Finally, there’s a really nice media update for HL2 multiplayer mod Off Limits. I’ve been following this one for a while, and it’s looking even more exciting than ever. Release is, apparently, not far away.

RELEASES

StarCraft II mod War of Seven Temples has seen its first alpha release. As that suggests, it’s very much a work in progress. At present, it’s a custom map with a new tech tree, new units and suchlike, but the idea is to expand upon the idea, adding custom artwork and other gubbins to develop Seven Temples into a larger project. For now, here‘s where you can get the alpha.

And this is a nice little something. Not a full-blown total conversion, or anything, but an hour of new music added to Call of Pripyat. Here’s where you can get it – there’s a little preview beyond that link, too.

UPDATES

There’s a new beta for Oblivion mod Dibella’s Watch. This mod adds a new island to the mother game, complete with a major city, castles, villages and the like. It’s still very much a work-in-progress, but very much playable. Grab it from ModDB.

AND THE REST

I briefly mentioned the mod community’s reaction to Dear Esther’s commercialisation before, and I think this is worth reading. Here’s Tom Jubert, of Penumbra fame, talking about why he understands it. Key quote: “It’s that age-old thing of finding a band you love; spending months trying in vain to get your mates to listen to them; then the band making Top of the Pops and everyone jumping on the bandwagon. Dear Esther has – on a professional level at least – outgrown the community that first gave it a leg up.”

‘Til next week.

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