Posts Tagged ‘mod’

Mod support was “essential” for Final Fantasy XV’s PC outing

FFXV Cactuar mod

Last August, Square Enix finally confirmed that the upcoming PC version of royal roadtrip Final Fantasy XV would indeed come with full mod support when it launches on March 6. At the time, though, the developers kept schtum about exactly what that might entail. Indeed, it was only over the weekend that we got our first glimpse of what a potential Final Fantasy XV mod might look like. Fancy the idea of turning everyone in party town Lestallum into adorable cactuars? Then you’re in luck.

Cactuar skins are all well and good, of course, but what else does the team have in store for budding modders? To find out, I sat down with director Hajime Tabata, technical director and lead programmer Takeshi Aramaki and game design and development manager Kenichi Shida and quizzed them (and their translator) about exactly that.

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How the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk’s Civ V mod should make us fear superintelligent AI

civ-v-ai-mod

What do you reckon is the greatest threat to the future of humanity? Climate change? Nuclear war? A global epidemic? They’re all causes for concern, but it’s my belief that one of the greatest risks is actually posed by superintelligent AI.

You might need some convincing of that, which is why researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk have made a mod for Civilisation V that introduces potentially apocalyptic AI. Ignore the pressing need for AI safety research, and it’s game over.

I tried it out last week, seeking to answer two questions. Does it accurately portray the risks involved with the development of a god-like being? And is it any fun?

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The creator of the Civilization V superintelligence mod on AI safety

civ-v-ai-mod

Last month, the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk released a mod for Civ V that introduced superintelligent AI to the game – not in the form of AI opponents, but as a technology that can end the game for every player if it’s left unchecked. It’s a novel overhaul to the science system, as well as an attempt to teach people about AI safety.

While I had some problems with the mod, I also thought it was a fascinating idea. Keen to learn more, I spoke to project director Shahar Avin about how the mod came about, the issues that it presents both poorly and well, and how people can get involved with AI safety themselves.

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Fallout 4’s New Vegas and Fallout 3 remake mods show off progress

One of the few certainties in this ever-changing world is: right now, someone, somewhere, is remaking an old Bethesda open-world RPG inside a newer game from that series. Fans are working on bringing several Elder Scrolls games to several newer Elder Scrolls games, while others are trying to put Fallout 3 and Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas inside Fallout 4. The teams behind the Fallout 3 and New Vegas mods have both recently shown more of their work so coo go on, let’s have a look. Read the rest of this entry »

Fallout 4 stealth mod borrows some Metal Gear tricks

Though stealth has always been an element of the Fallout games, it’s never been interesting stealth. It’s been powerful at times, sure, but always a bit bland and never explored in much depth (hey, it’s an RPG, not a sneak ’em up). A new mod for Fallout 4 attempts to shake this up a little by introducing two Metal Gear Solid-ish sneaky tricks: whistling and throwing bolts to lure and distract enemies. It’s not quite on the same level as walking around wearing a cardboard box with a picture of a sexy lady on to distract horny guards, but the Tactical Distraction System mod does sound neat. Read the rest of this entry »

Shadow & Rise Of The Wool Ball turn Wolfenstein cute

Rise of the Wool Ball

Well done, everyone. Between the festival of catharsis that was Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and Call Of Duty’s return to World War 2, we’ve officially put shooting virtual fascists back on the menu. Jolly good show.

Still hungry to grind some more into kibble? Here’s a couple of free treats to keep you going until Wolfenstein 3. Granted, the goose-stepping villains in Doom mod Shadow of The Wool Ball and its sequel Rise Of The Wool Ball are cats, but they’re pretty villainous, and unless you’re happy with the Planet Of The Adorable Hedgehogs being ground up into kitty litter, you’re going to have to shoot a few.

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The truck of nightmares

nightmare truck

I want you to do three things before you watch the below. First, I want you to reassure anyone else in your household or workplace that they are perfectly safe, no matter what they might hear. Then I want you to turn your volume up very loud indeed. Finally, I want you to imagine yourself not as the driver of the truck you will see, but as the driver of the small, cream-coloured car in front of it.

A lonely freeway, late at night. No sound but the thrum of your engine. And then.
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The Centre For The Study Of Existential Risk have made a Civ V mod about apocalyptic AI

Researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (an actual real institution) have released a Civilization V mod exploring the hot new apocalypse everyone’s talking about: unchecked AI casually wiping out humanity in the name of efficiency. If you’ve already clicked through the universe as a single-minded AI in Frank Lantz’s ace Paperclips, you might fancy this mod. Trapping a brilliant mind in a metal box does also have its benefits, you know. Read the rest of this entry »

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fan-remake Lost Alpha gets a major update for the holidays

STALKER: Lost Alpha

We’ve previously covered Lost Alpha, a massive labor-of-love project to rebuild the original Shadow of Chernobyl from the ground up, reinstating concepts and content that never quite made the final cut. While the first release of Lost Alpha suffered nearly as badly from a messy development cycle as the original game, the updates have continued, and the massive patch released this week makes it a far more tempting prospect, whether or not you’ve played a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game before.

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New Quake tourism mod mixes in NIN’s Ghosts I-IV

Sitting at the intersection of several of my interests is Ghosts I-IV for Quake, a new mod which turns id Software’s gibtastic first-person shooter into a quiet walking simulator and couples it with a calmer soundtrack. While Quake’s original 1996 soundtrack is an industrial dirge by the popular beat combo Trent Reznor & The Nine Inchnails, this mod replaces it with tunes from their chilled-out 2008 album Ghosts I-IV – which is legally fine to include, thanks to its Creative Commons licensing. The mod is organised by JP LeBreton, a designer and level designer who worked on the first two BioShock games and has developed quite an interest in peacefully exploring seminal FPSs. Read the rest of this entry »

Witcher 3 mod remakes the first game’s prologue in fancy modern ways

A new mod for The Witcher 3 recreates the first game’s prologue chapter, sending us back with all the bells and whistles of the modern day. As the RPG series kept revisiting characters across games and across the years, my memories of the first game kept updating with the latest game’s looks. Watching the mod’s trailer contrasting the original and remake, oh wow, nope, it has changed a lot. If you want to stoke wild dreams of a full remake (don’t get your hopes up, pal) or simply revisit that fateful day, you can now download the mod. Here, watch this: Read the rest of this entry »

Scout Genie already coming to Football Manager 2018

While Football Manager 2018 doesn’t launch until next week, ballheads can rest assured that the popular fan-made tool Genie Scout is already coming over.

For non-ballheads, lets sidebar for an analogy. Football Manager is a crafting game about preparing and tweaking a wildly complex stew. The stew is a football team. Thousands of ingredients (players) are available, each with oodles of flavours (attributes) affecting what they contribute to the stew. Football Manager’s crafting recipe grimoire is cumbersome, though, and even hides some ingredient attributes. Enter Genie Scout, a fan-made ingredient guide (tool) which is friendlier and more detailed – invaluable when creating a truly great football stew. Read the rest of this entry »

Skulldash brings high-pressure arcade thrills to Doom

Skulldash

This is Doom. You know this. The rhythms have been burnt into your DNA by this point: Gun, demons, maze, exit. Now add a ticking time limit forcing careful target prioritisation and precise movement and a level full of floating tokens which require collection (most of them, at least) before the exit will reveal itself. This is Skulldash: Expanded Edition, a massive mod re-released for the GZDoom engine today, and it’s really quite brilliant so long as you don’t mind being a little hurried.

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Slidekick through Quake with Qore

My wishlist for first-person shooters is simple:

  • A pump-action shotgun
  • A revolver that’s longer than my forearm and chunkier than a fridge
  • A slow but deadly and ch-chank-chik bolt-action rifle
  • Skillful movement
  • A grappling hook
  • A slide move (ideally with a kick)

Well, campers, I’m delighted to see that last one in Quake with new mod Qore [official site]. It’s still early days for Qore, which is trying to bring Brutal Doom-style over-the-top megamurder to Quake, but the point is: I slidekicked soldiers and demons in Quake this morning and I’m delighted. Read the rest of this entry »

The best Star Wars: Battlefront 2 mod has been updated for multiplayer

battlefront 2 original

While the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta was a lark, the full game is still a month away. In the meantime, there’s still the much-loved original Star Wars: Battlefront 2. Last week, Disney brought back official multiplayer support for the Steam and GOG versions, and it looks like this has reawoken the mod scene a little bit, with Star Wars Battlefront Conversion pack — it adds 25 maps and five extra game modes — getting an update to make it work with the official multiplayer.

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Have You Played… X-Men: Ravages Of Apocalypse?

xmen-quake

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I went to the games shop and stared at the box several times a week for the best part of a year. It was the 90s, I read X-Men comics and watched the X-Men Saturday morning cartoon and there was a PC in my house. An X-Men FPS was beyond my wildest imaginings. Yet I could not play X-Men: Ravages Of Apocalypse. In fact, I have never played X-Men: Ravages Of Apocalypse, and because of that it still remains, in my mind, The Greatest Videogame There Ever Was. Read the rest of this entry »

A new Witcher 3 grass mod makes gaming’s lushest landscapes even lusher

witcher-3-grass-mod

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my absolute favourite things to do in videogames is to hang around in The Witcher 3 [official site]’s remarkable countryside, revelling in the gorgeous flora and marvelling at the none-more-atmospheric weather effects.

So news of a mod that specifically makes The Witcher 3’s grass and grass alone even prettier makes me sit up and pay attention in a way that almost no other graphics tweak could. The greatest great outdoors, now even greater.
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Fallout: Project Brazil becomes Fallout: New California

Crumbs, four years since we last posted about wildly ambitious Fallout: New Vegas prequel mod Project Brazil [ModDB page] and it’s still not finished. It is a mighty big project, adding a fully-voiced new campaign in a new wasteland. But hold strong! “We are beginning our final approach to releasing this gargantuan mod,” developers Radian-Helix Media said today, repeating that they expect to launch it later this year. They also revealed that it’ll actually be named Fallout: New California. Read the rest of this entry »

Idle Doom mod turns Doom 2 into an idle game

The thrills of gibbing demons and sitting still watching numbers go up combine in Idle Doom, a mod turning id Software’s seminal face-paced FPS into an idle game where you watch a machine kill monsters so you can upgrade to a bigger monster-killing machine. It is exactly what it sounds like: a Doom idle game. It’s just the ticket for people who want to feel like they still strafe rough and frag hard but, really, they’re quite tired so it would be grand if they could put their feet up with a cuppa and let someone else handle things for a bit and oh please turn the light off on your way out, ta. Read the rest of this entry »

Just Cause 3 Multiplayer mod explodes onto Steam

What is the weekend for if not banter, antics, and japery? Go on, round up the lads and hop in the bantmobile to speed smash boat bash plane dash around Just Cause 3 now that its multiplayer mod [official site] has left beta and exploded onto Steam. The unofficial (but sanctioned) mod lets hundreds of players lark about in the explode-o-sandbox world in battles, races, and just plain tomfoolery. Here, check out the antics in this launch trailer: Read the rest of this entry »