I've been playing around with this for a while, but news reached me on (er) Friday that it's actually gone public, so thought a little post would be in order. It's CrosuS, a Game Management-System thingie from Isotx, who you may know from stuff the C&C: Generals total conversion Middle East Crisisand the forthcoming Middle East Crisis 2 and the forthcoming commercial Iron Grip: Warlord. And - er - more.
It's actually a neat little program - clearly, it's got a retail element to it where you can buy games, has all the usual community and apparently integrates with STEAM and XFire, but where it comes into its own is its extensive mod support. As Isotx said in the press release: “We realized that hunting for new mods, installing them and getting them to work was eating into the time we could spend actually playing – and decided there HAD to be a better way". I suspect anyone who has interest in the mod content - including mod-developers themselves - will find something of interest here. And I'll browse through some of the stuff it lets you do beneath the cut...
Firstly, it lets you browse through its stuff. Select mods, and you'll get a subdivided list of all the games it current supports. Clicking on a subsection reveals all the mods they have for it, and another couple of clicks downloads it. They'll all be then added to your own profile, allowing you to check whether there's been an update to it from a centralised position. Exactly the same system works with the mass of free games and the map support.
Where it gets more interesting is how the content works. Users can upload their own content, including games and mods and whatever. If they pass clearance - i.e. Aren't incredibly obscene and actually work - they're integrated on the system, allowing everyone to get hold of them. For Mod teams, it's an obvious good free place to get publicity - that there's a Deus Ex section is even making me drag out my old beau the Cassandra Project and get it up there. Equally, for a player who likes a random mod but not enough to actively follow the community, it's an easy way for them to stay up to date with what's hot in the world of Mod. And, of course, you can just browse the catalogue looking for stuff that looks a giggle. I've just downloaded a few Civ4 maps on a whim, for example.
It is relatively early days yet - there's relatively few commercial games which it actively supports (instead of being able to be user-added in the same way you can on STEAM), but more are being patched in based around user-requests. Equally, while some games have a mass of mod content already, there's some which are worryingly bereft (That there's only one in the Deus Ex folder is what's making me reach for that Cass.exe - there's some easy downloads there, methinks). But there's certainly enough to play around with.
The download comes in at just beneath an Imperial Peggle and can be downloaded from their site. Has anyone tried it more extensively than I? What are your impressions?