Since reading it last night, I've been thinking a lot about a particular blog post. Specifically, one by Robert Yang, with the rather controversial statement that modding is dying - and that this is a good thing. It's linked at the bottom of this post, and it's got me thinking about what mods can offer that fully-fledged indie games can't. Is there anything? Help me out in my thinkings, people, but first: read on for all the latest news from the mod scene.
So, there's a whole bunch of stuff going on at the Bloodlines Resurgence HQ. Resurgence, you may remember, is a community effort to port Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (which, now that it's patched and ignoring the ending, is the greatest PC game ever made) to the latest build of the Source Engine. New info, videos and screenshots await beyond this link, along with an apparently bug-ridden demo. Despite those glitches, it's looking lovely.
Meanwhile, Far Cry: Alternative is - you guessed it - an alternative to the original game. There's a new story, a heap of graphical improvements, and a load of new cutscenes and scripted sequences. Very little to go on so far, save for a very quick pair of videos, but I'll keep my eye on this, as it looks quite pretty.
MERP, the Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project, continues onwards. This ambitious mod for Oblivion attempts to turn it into The Lord of the Rings, offering an open-world adventure filled with Elves, Hobbits and Dwarves. There are countless (well, lots, anyway) new images, videos and pieces of music for your perusal over on the team's latest ModDB news post.
FUEL: Refueled came out last week. And now, the team has announced a Lite version. What this basically means is all of the bigfixes and patchy goodness of Refueled, but without any of the actual new stuff the team added. So if you just want the original game, but a better version of it, this will be your one-stop shop.
Also, there are a couple of new screenshots of Half-Life 2 single-player mod The Gate 2. This one seems to be looking a little bit healthier each time I see new media from it, which is promising. This one's been in development for a while, but there's no release date yet.
And finally, there's been some news about part two of unusual Crysis mod The Worry of Newport. Which, I think, I may have managed to miss when it was apparently released in February. But anyway. Find out some bits and bats about the second part of this story over on ModDB.
Has there been anything interesting released in the past seven days? I haven't seen anything mentioned on any of my usual voyages around the mod spaces of the internet. Maybe I'm just dreadful.
Lots of new Blade Symphony stuff this week, with beta build 6 having been released. Looks like it's not too late to get in on the beta, either. This time, the HL2 mod team have introduced a currency system, as well as tweaking a bunch of stuff that was already there. Check out all the latest talkings on ModDB.
AND THE REST
So, yes. Robert "Radiator" Yang has been a-writin'. Specifically, he's been writing about why modding is dying - and why this is a good thing. The crux of the argument: mods emerged because it was too difficult to make your own game from scratch. Now that Unity, UDK and the like exist, it isn't, so mods are increasingly irrelevant. Some astute points, well argued, and some great food for thought.
'Til next week, pretties.