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Dark Messiah of Might & Magic might get raytracing and co-op thanks to modders

Now with Ubisoft's blessing

Released in 2006, Dark Messiah Of Might And Magic made the most of still-novel physics tech by letting you torment orcs with slippy floors, collapsing log piles, and swift kicks directly into spikes. These slapstick delights made it a cult classic, but rights-holders Ubisoft haven't done much with the game since.

Now a group of modders have been given a "completely blank check" by Ubisoft to do what they want with their efforts to build a modding SDK for the nearly 20-year-old game, and their ambitions include co-op and raytracing.

David Wiltos and a group of other modders have been working to bring co-op to Dark Messiah for some time, and in the process started to reverse engineer part of the underlying game. That led to some hesitation about what they could legally release - and legally make open source - without permission.

"Well, as of May, we have been given a completely blank check to do whatever we see fit with this mod and the development of the SDK," says the latest update from Wiltos on ModDB. "To quote Ubisoft, they 'don't want to impose any sort of restrictions so that the community can really appreciate the full value of the work that's being put in here.'"

Since they now have permission to move forward, they're going to focus on getting a modding SDK - software development kit - out as soon as possible, and focus on the tools that would make an RTX mod possible. The hope is that "others can make and dedicate themselves to a true RTX mod of Dark Messiah." The post also included some prototype footage of RTX support in action.

A prototype of RTX support in Dark Messiah.Watch on YouTube

As for the co-op mod, Wiltos is looking for modellers, artists, mappers, scripters and playtesters who can help make it happen.

Dark Messiah was great for the reasons I said it was, up top, but messing around with orcs was best in single arenas, like the kind provided in the game's demo. The actual, full singleplayer campaign was less than perfect - for reasons I can't now quite remember, because I am decrepit. Who knows whatever happened to its developers, Arkane Studios.

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