I must declare a conflict of interest.
Visage is looking wonderful. Last week it released a teaser trailer, which I hyped up. I maintain I would have done so even if I were nothing to do with the project, but I can now reveal I am. The delightful chaps on the development team have invited me on-board to write words and stuff. I'll be tightening up the story and writing the dialogue. Just so you know who to blame if it's rubbish.
Right, proper news now. Tale of Tales are making a mod. Oh, no, wait. It's just a mod called Tail. But it does look like something those Belgian art-devs would create. It's "a short surreal adventure game that explores the moral decisions of the player by invoking particular emotions through interesting back-story and plot revealed by a series of curious events and discoveries." For Half-Life 2: Ep 2. You know me. I'll be keeping my pretentious little eye on this one.
Still on Half-Life 2-related stuff, here's some Ivan's Secrets gubbins. Pictures of guns are included, which makes me frown, but at least it's negated by some lovely concept art and in-game screenshots. I'm quite looking forward to this one - it looks like a genuinely unnerving mod - though progress isn't quite powerhousing ahead, it would seem. Then again, I'm looking forward to Black Mesa and Radiator 3 too. HINT HINT, guys.
Meanwhile, Left 4 Dead mod One 4 Nine is nearing completion after 13 months of apparently hard work. It's basically an Area 51 mod by the looks of it - or, at least, it's set out there in the mysterious Nevada Desert. More games should totally do Area 51. It's a fascinating place. Anyway, public beta on the way shortly.
Lovely-looking Crysis mod Butterfly may have been put on hold, but its developers are soon to release another lovely looking project - albeit one smaller in scale. It's called Killer's Skill, and it looks like this. Sounds like a more straightforward shooty thing - you versus the Koreans, apparently - but the mapping is extraordinary.
And Doom 3 mod Arx: End of Sun - a prequel to quite-good RPG Arx Fatalis - has a video out. Oddly, much of the first minute is a loading screen, which isn't particularly exciting. But once you're into the video proper it looks quite pretty. There's life in last gen's id Tech yet.
Gosh, that was a lot of news. I bet I've still missed a bunch of stuff.
Oh my! Someone's created Portal in Minecraft. I must admit, I've never had much to do with Minecraft, but I love what it allows people to do. Just recently a certain Mr. Richard Cobbett linked to this video of Rapture in Minecraft. I link it here even though I wasn't too impressed with the recreation, mainly so someone can hopefully tell me what that absolutely lovely music is. I NEED TO KNOW.
Arsenal of Democracy mod 1964 has reached public alpha. You can read some things about it here. Seems it won a couple of community awards for narrative, or something. Its ModDB page lists it as Hearts of Iron 2 because AoD wasn't available, by the way. So don't go out and buy HoI2 just for this mod, as someone in the comments thread was about to do before someone pointed this fact out.
This happened last week, but I hadn't noticed until DrGonzo kindly mentioned it in the comments: Firearms: Source has been patched up. The mod seemed to disappoint a few people, but I hear this updated fixes a great many quirks.
HL2 mod Modular Combat has been updated as well. "Less bugs, more baddies," say the devs. The UI's been redesigned to make things easier, too, and all in all it seems like a pretty significant update. Good stuff.
And finally, Fairy Tale for CiviliSation IV has reached Version 9. The biggest and best yet, so says the team. There are a few new features, but most of the changes have been made in the background, apparently - "to make the game work faster and better." Grab it here.
AND THE REST
Right. Remember I teased you with my having played Dear Esther a little while ago? I've now written up some thoughts here, interviewing Robert Briscoe in the process. GAMES? is an interesting project I've been peripherally involved with, actually - a new online mag dedicated solely to "interesting" games, and offbeat coverage of them. No space marines, basically. Have a read around - it's edited by The Telegraph's Ashton Raze, and there's some nice work in there.
I'm away next week. AGAIN. Sorry, RPS. Be good without me.