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Modding

Thief photo
Thief

Thief-inspired The Dark Mod is now a standalone release


If you can't wait for Eidos Montreal's game, this might tide you over
Oct 10
// Alasdair Duncan
If like me you've been eagerly awaiting the release of Eidos Montreal's new Thief game, then this trailer for The Dark Mod might interest you. It's a full, standalone mod built in the Doom 3 engine that's been in the works f...
Heroes of StarCraft photo
Heroes of StarCraft

Heroes of StarCraft mod adds hero units to Civilization V


Why wouldn't you want Jim Raynor leading your troops?
Sep 29
// Joshua Derocher
I love mods, probably way more than I should, and it is always amazing the things that creative people can come up with. The Heroes of StarCraft mod for Civilization V, along with a partner mod by the same modder, adds hero u...
Beavis and Butt-Head photo
Beavis and Butt-Head

Beavis and Butt-Head are in Civilization V now


Mod of the millenium
Aug 21
// Chris Carter
Like most long-running TV shows, the Beavis and Butt-Head show had its ups and downs, but when it was up, it was up. So, a crafty modder set out to relive the best moments of the two semi-lovable idiots in the best way he kne...
Total War's Zelda mod photo
Total War's Zelda mod

Hot damn: Total War's Legend of Zelda mod Hyrules


More Links than a Wikipedia article
Jul 25
// Steven Hansen
I'm not the biggest Legend of Zelda fan, I'm not the biggest Medieval II: Total War fan, but I want to play this mod. That trailer sold me. Too bad I am terrible at any strategy that isn't turn-based. The mod, downloadable h...
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19-year-old spent a year making this amazing Skyrim mod


Featuring 25 hours of new content
Jul 17
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Skyrim mods are the best, like the one we just featured that brings in Dishonored powers into Skyrim. This one, though, takes the cake. Falskaar is a new mod and it features nearly 25 hours of new content. That's new charact...
Skyrim mod photo
Skyrim mod

New mod brings the powers of Dishonored to Skyrim


You can now wield Corvo's arsenal, including the handy Blink power
Jul 16
// Alasdair Duncan
The Skyrim modding community continues to impress; this time it's a new mod entitled The Gift of the Outsider which has brought the powers wielded by Dishonored's protaganist Corvo into Skyrim. Blink, Devouring Swarm, Wind B...
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.  photo
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Misery 2.0 is a complete overhaul of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.


Call of Pripyat has never looked better
Jul 08
// Alasdair Duncan
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat may only be three years old but at the time of release it was already looking dated, mainly as it was still re-using assets and the engine from the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game. Now a modding team...
DarthMod's new game photo
DarthMod's new game

DarthMod-maker creating entirely new Civil War RTS


Always cool to see modders make full fledged games
Jul 04
// Steven Hansen
The DarthMod series spent almost a decade tooling and toying with each release of a Total War game. All in all, Nick Thomadis' mods have been downloaded over a million times. Total War fans and owners previously unaware of th...
Kool Katamari kontroller photo
Kool Katamari kontroller

Yoga ball is the best way to play Katamari


Repurpose that exercise ball you swore you'd totally use
Jun 26
// Steven Hansen
I don't know if controllers will cut it after watching the unabashed joy on the faces of folk playing Katamari Damacy with a yoga ball turned controller while the screen is projected onto the side of a building. The video co...
Retro City Rampage photo
Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage adds mod support and enhanced graphics


The retro gaming-inspired title is reduced on Steam today
Jun 25
// Alasdair Duncan
Retro City Rampage was released on almost every system possible last year but the PC version is getting a lot of love today. Not only is it reduced by 75% to just £2.99/$3.74 in Steam's Daily Deal, developer Brian Provi...
Mega Man NES photo
Mega Man NES

This custom backlit Mega Man NES is awesome


Blue console + blue lights
May 07
// Chris Carter
In honor of the 25th anniversary of Mega Man, mega-fan Platinum Fungi, in conjunction with Custom NES Guy, has created a fully functioning piece of art -- a 25th anniversary NES. The mod was made solely by hand, with the art ...
Doom + Half-Life 2 photo
Doom + Half-Life 2

New mod adds Doom weapons and characters to Half-Life 2


No matter what, the shotgun is still your best option
Apr 02
// Jason Cabral
Have you ever asked yourself, "What if someone took the concept of fighting flat 2D enemies from Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard and put it into a much better game?" I know I have, and thankfully the modder Ghor has answ...
Torchlight II mods photo
Torchlight II mods

Torchlight II mod tools have been released!


Steam Workshop integration is music to my ears
Apr 01
// Patrick Hancock
After what feels like forever, the Torchlight II mod tools, nicknamed GUTS, have finally been released. In order to access the GUTS editor, simply go to your install folder and open up the "Editor" executable. Since modd...
Rising Storm photo
Rising Storm

Visit the Pacific theater of war in Rising Storm


From the developers of Red Orchestra 2
Mar 29
// Jason Cabral
Coming from an eclectic team made up of developers from Tripwire Interactive and community modders, Rising Storm is looking to take Red Orchestra's style of World War II combat into the Pacific theater with more guns, explos...
Grimrock photo
Grimrock

New Legend of Grimrock Master Quest available for free


Tons of new content and re-designed puzzles
Mar 22
// Jason Cabral
You have to hand it to Benjamin "Komag" Ramsey and the rest of the hardworking individuals on his team. They put a lot of effort and passion into Legend of Grimrock - Master Quest, and the result is a full-length rework of th...
Sonic Generations photo
Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations 'Unleashed' mod is a great idea


Total conversion mod ports Unleashed levels into better game
Mar 20
// Jim Sterling
Sonic Unleashed had a lot of potential, and some individually terrific stages, but the overall project was a bit of a letdown. SEGA wouldn't perfect the 3D Sonic gameplay -- after so many attempts -- until Sonic Generations,...

SimCity can be played offline, according to anyone but EA

Mar 14 // Jim Sterling
[embed]248656:47560:0[/embed] This discovery follows reports by Rock, Paper, Shotgun that an anonymous insider is claiming SimCity never needed to remain online, and can actually go offline at any moment. While Maxis' Lucy Bradshaw claims offline play would require "a significant amount of engineering work from our team to rewrite the game," faceless informants cry foul.  "The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing," claims RPS' source. "They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless." It's suggested the server doesn't even react to your gameplay in real-time, and that it can take a few minutes for it to check your session for hacks or cheats. The bottom line is that, according to those who aren't in Electronic Arts' thrall, it wouldn't take much effort at all to get your an offline version of SimCity -- barring, of course, the game's regional features.  But of course, Electronic Arts made a bold stand on this issue, and is expected to pridefully stick to its guns. All the while, its resolute determination to keep players online will continue to confirm something I think was obvious -- the always-online requirement was only ever a business decision, not one made to enhance the gameplay. The end goal was to keep tabs on players at all times, and control their behavior beyond the point of sale, because EA is terrified of its own audience.  It's DRM in sheep's clothing, and the longer EA decides to keep SimCity online, the clearer that becomes.
SimCity online workaround photo
Evidence mounts that 'always-on' requirement is total bunkem
There is mounting evidence that, despite EA Maxis' claims to the contrary, SimCity is wholly capable of being played offline -- a capability that would have saved buyers a week of hassle and tons of creativity now lost to ser...

Chivalry mod tools photo
Chivalry mod tools

Mod tools are next for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare


Steam Workshop integration, hooray!
Mar 12
// Patrick Hancock
In a video Q&A, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare's lead game designer Steve Piggott mentioned that Chivalry's mod tools are currently "in the works" and that it shouldn't be too long before they're released to the public....
Painkiller HD Workshop photo
Painkiller HD Workshop

Painkiller Hell & Damnation gets Steam Workshop support


As if the game wasn't ridiculous enough!
Mar 07
// Patrick Hancock
Painkiller Hell & Damnation is an absolutely ridiculous game. Gigantic bosses, bunny hopping, and wicked weapons are the highlights of a bygone era that live on in Painkiller HD. Now, beginning with a beta in April, ...

A conversation with one of Skyrim's top modders

Feb 28 // Joshua Derocher
First off, tell me a little bit about how you got into modding. Well, as you may be aware, prior to starting modding I was working for Ubisoft as a level designer and mission scripter. My roles at Ubisoft were largely focused on working with and developing content creation and scripting tools to build the playable content in games, so working in the Creation Kit isn't too dissimilar to the sort of thing I was already doing every day, albeit on different games and with different technology. It was a few months after I’d left Ubisoft that the Creation Kit was released, and by that point, I was itching to get my hands into some proper development again, but didn't have a team of developers in other disciplines needed to start an independent project. The Creation Kit gave me a chance to develop my skills in pretty much every field of level design from logic scripting, environment design and gameplay prototyping to script writing, AI and art direction, with all the essential technology already in place, a vast asset library sitting there ready to use and a working game to integrate my work into. At first my forays into the Creation Kit were really just out of a professional interest in the systems they used to build the game and the scripting methodology used by their content creators, etc. It got a bit out of hand to be honest -- a year later and I still feel like I've hardly scratched the surface of what's possible.  Did you plan on being a game level designer? Yeah, I guess I did, although not at first. I studied graphic design and illustration when I left school. It was a fairly interesting subject, but a career in graphic design wasn't for me. I'd done a little experimenting with game development tools like UDK and among others, the tool sets for Morrowind and Neverwinter Nights, and then I heard about some degree courses on game development that sounded really interesting. I decided around then that I wanted to be a part of the games industry, but without much knowledge about the actual process of development or what roles I would really find myself working in.  How did you start working for Ubisoft? During the course, I began to break away from the games art side of things and focus on design and implementation. I also made a number of industry contacts throughout my time at university, a couple of whom worked for Ubisoft at the time. After I graduated, a position opened up on a team that one of those contacts was part of, he recommended me for the role and I spent the next few years there, working with some fantastic developers across a number of projects. Are you currently employed at a game studio? Not at present. I've been freelance for about year, currently working on an indie project with some old colleagues and trying to find time to continue modding where possible. Are you looking to get back into it full time? Yeah, at some stage I'd like to. I never intended on leaving full-time development when I left Ubisoft, but at times development can be every bit as stressful as it can be rewarding, so to some extent it has been nice to work at my own pace for a while. It's also a difficult time to be looking for work in the industry, especially in the UK. There's been so many studio closures here over the past two or three years, it's kind of terrifying to think how many developers are out of work at the moment. Can you talk about this indie project at all? There's not a huge amount to tell about the current project I'm working on. It's something some old colleagues had started a couple of months ago, they brought me on board fairly recently in order to manage the design direction and level/mission design of the game. So far it's still really a prototype, a lot of the core gameplay is in, but the structure and direction is still being worked on, as are the tools for building the content. It's hard to say exactly what the time frame of the development will be at this stage. Any games that you have worked on as a freelancer that people might recognize? There's not much that anyone would recognize outside of the Ubisoft games I worked on or my Skyrim mods. I've done bits and pieces on a couple of Xbox Live Indie Games, but other than that I'm afraid most of the projects I've been involved with are still ongoing (except for one, which was cancelled). Again, this is an area where modding has really kept me going. It can be pretty tough in indie development, just to keep a team together when there's no money. People inevitably have financial responsibilities and have to dedicate their time to something that can actually provide for them and their families, which can delay or cancel projects altogether. With modding I always have something solid to show for my time, as it doesn't rely so heavily on other peoples work, even if it isn't a valuable use of my time financially speaking. Do you plan to keep making mods for Skyrim, or is there another game you might move to? I'm always interested in learning and exploring new tools and the structure of other games, so I am likely to spend some time working in other engines. Rage Tool Kit or the upcoming RedKit from CD Projekt Red are both tools I'd really love to spend some time learning when I get a chance. That said, it's quite unlikely that I'll be working properly on mods other than Skyrim for some time. The Elder Scrolls has always been one of my favorite fictional settings, and as such it's the perfect platform for me to create really detailed pieces for, any mods I make in other games will likely be more technical experiments than fully fleshed out pieces of content. Until The Elder Scrolls VI of course... Out of the Skyrim mods that you have on Steam Workshop, which one is your favorite and why? That's a difficult question to answer. I think as a player, I'd choose Sorcery, but speaking as a modder, I might go with Pit Fighter. Technically, Pit Fighter was a greater achievement, the scripting work is more complex, the character interaction is generally better, it provides longer potential play time, and the foreign areas in the Travels add-on were really interesting to make. Sorcery, however, is creatively the most interesting. I had a great time working on the environments and the designs for the magical realms, and I personally would always choose exploration above combat so it's more in line with my own preferences as a player. How long does it take you to make one of these mods? The length of time it takes varies from project to project. Sea of Ghosts was the longest, at about three months including the two expansion islands I added later. Sorcery and Pit Fighter were both about six or seven weeks, I think that's really the longest I'd want to spend on any future projects, though ideally they would be a little quicker. The 'Places' mini-series was much quicker. I think each of those took between one and two weeks. I really viewed the whole series as a single project. It was a bit of a break from quests after having finished Sorcery and it was quite nice to try out something a little different and spend some time getting more involved with AI Packages and the Radiant Quest methodology. Do you work alone, or is there anyone else involved in these projects? I work alone on the mods themselves and all the content in the Creation Kit, but on occasion I have worked with people in other disciplines (voice actors, 3D artists etc.) to add more content that gets created outside of the CK. Normally I start contacting people about providing assets or voice work when I'm about 50% through the bulk of the work, when the structure of the mod is already in place and ready to go, and when I know what sort of extra content is needed to improve the standard of the mod. It's great to be able to work with these people from other fields of development on this sort of project. Working with people like PrivateEye (who put together the reward weapons in Pit Fighter), means he gets his work displayed as a part of the game with a specific purpose, while my work gains the breadth of new content needed so the mod can compare to base game quests. We both see our content improved by the other's work. What can we expect to see next from you? I haven't started anything new since I finished the add-on for Pit Fighter. I'm not in a position at the moment where I have time to begin anything time consuming. Saying that, it's not like I'm short on plans. There's a number of ideas for projects I've had rattling around my head for a while, so when I can start something new, it'll be the one that seems the most feasible at the time. It's most likely going to be more Quest mods, although there is an idea for a second Pit Fighter expansion that's a bit different to anything you've seen in that mod so far. I've also done a few online surveys about my mods for my Steam and Twitter followers, which have been really quite interesting. It's helped a lot to get an idea about what people are actually responding to in my mods, which in turn helps me decide what will feature in future projects. ----- Go check out his work on the Steam Workshop for yourself, and follow him on Twitter to see what he's working on now. If you want to support what he's doing, you can donate to help him keep making more awesome Skyrim mods.
Skyrim modder interview photo
ThirteenOranges worked as a pro for Ubisoft, but now he makes Skyrim mods
Callum Macarthur, AKA ThirteenOranges, has worked as a professional level designer for Ubisoft, but these days he spends his time creating mods for Skyrim, and they are among the best content available for the game. He i...

Skyrim Steam Workshop photo
Skyrim Steam Workshop

Top game-changing mods for Skyrim on the Steam Workshop


Change the way you play with these easy-to-install mods
Feb 24
// Joshua Derocher
The Steam Workshop is a great way to install mods for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. If you are getting tired of the gameplay, here are some mods that will changes some of the mechanics to give you a different experience. ...

Make Skyrim look amazing using over 200 mods

Feb 23 // Joshua Derocher
What you need: The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimDifficulty: DifficultTime: 10-20 hoursRecommended system requirements:Windows 7Intel i5/i7 quad core4+ GB of RAMGPU with 1+ GB VRAM (DDR5)Resolution: 1680x1050 [embed]245285:47162:0[/embed] Think of this as a guide to using a guide. STEP isn't a quick fix, and it can take some time to get it all downloaded, installed, and working. You will have to spend some time tweaking and troubleshooting when you are done in order to maximize performance. Read everything in the STEP guide very carefully, and read the full description and instructions for any mods that you happen to install -- one small mistake can break the entire game. I recommend that you boot up Skyrim every few steps and see how it's running. This is going to take you a while to do, as you'll have to download at least 12 GB of data, and you'll have to read everything carefully. You don't have to be a rocket scientist, but you do have to be good at following instructions. The order you install some of these mods in will make a difference in the finished result, so don't skip ahead. If you do decide to take the time to do this, I know you'll be happy with how Skyrim looks when you are done; I know I am. Subtle things like rainbows, lightning during storms, shooting stars, footprints in the snow, water dripping from characters as it rains, dropping torches on the ground when combat starts, followers riding horses, and literally dozens of other little tweaks add a layer of depth and character to flesh out this already amazing game.  STEP is meant to give you a better-looking copy of Skyrim that will still run at 60 frames per second. It's possible to do further tweaks and use different mods to make it look better at the cost of performance.  [Update: STEP is always releasing new versions. This guide will still work since it always updates to the latest page on the wiki. If you have already installed STEP and are experiencing issues, check out the changelog to keep up to date with all the latest versions of mods being used. Known issues are often posted in here, and some mods are removed if they cause conflicts.] (Footprints!) 1. Perform a clean install of Skyrim. This ensures that you have a clean copy free of bugs and conflicting mods. 2. Launch Skyrim for the first time and then use these settings. Adjust the draw distance based on your performance. To speed things up, lower the distance; to improve quality, set these to the max. I found a happy balance with the sliders at around 75%. 3. Set up your video card correctly. I use an Nvidia card and these are my settings in the Nvidia Inspector:  4. There are a handful of helpful tools to use when modding Skyrim this much. I use Wrye Bash to install the mods and BOSS (Better Oblivion Sorting Software) to make sure my load order is optimized. In-game load times and performance can be greatly altered depending on which mod is loaded first. Rather then figure all of this out on my own, I rely on BOSS to do it for me, and it does a really good job. [Update: The latest version of S.T.E.P. no longer supports using the Nexus Mod Manager, since it doesn't install the mods correctly for the guide to work. The recommended tool to use for downloading and installing mods is Mod Organizer, which I now prefer over using Wrye Bash to download and install mods.] 5. Edit the .ini configuration files. I didn't like the way they suggested to set up the camera, so I used these settings instead: [Camera] fOverShoulderAddY=0.0 fOverShoulderPosZ=-40.0 fOverShoulderPosX=50.0 fOverShoulderCombatAddY=0.0 fOverShoulderCombatPosZ=10.0 fOverShoulderCombatPosX=30.0 fOverShoulderHorseAddY=-72.0 fOverShoulderHorsePosZ=50.0 fOverShoulderHorsePosX=35.0 fActorFadeOutLimit=-100 fMouseWheelZoomSpeed=60.0 f1st3rdSwitchDelay=0.95 iHorseTransitionMillis=001 (Full-screen favorites menu) 6. Now it's time to install some mods! I used the baseline options and lower quality settings if they were available. I was able to get 40-60 frames per second with a quad-core at 2.5 Ghz, 5 GBs of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 480. If you have a beast of a system, feel free to install everything at its highest settings. I also installed Skyrim on a solid-state drive, which I highly recommend to make loading times almost non-existent. If you love Skyrim and you want to keep playing it for hundreds of hours with mods enabled, do yourself a favor and pick up a solid-state drive. It cuts down on load times and it gets rid of a lot of stutter and lag while playing. 7. Download and install the Skyrim Scrip Extender. This adds new functionality to the game engine to do things that couldn't be done before. 8. Fixes. These mods repair bugs and tweak some basic gameplay mechanics. I just went with all of the available mods here. If you don't like the way something changes the game, just skip it, but at least do the unofficial patches. They really do a good job of making things work (like the entirety of Dragonborn). 9. Interface. These mods change the way the user interface looks. To make things easy for this guide, I am going to list the mods I didn't use from this section and why rather than that what I used, since I use a lot more than I don't. Pick and choose the ones you want based on your tastes, but I recommend starting with all of them except for these ones: Main Font Replacement - I like the default Skyrim font a lot. Dungeon Quest Awareness - It gives too much information away. Time On Loading Screen - I don't need to be reminded how much time I've wasted playing Skyrim. Immersive HUD - I don't find the new UI to be intrusive and while it can be nice if you customize it well, it doesn't seem worth it to me. Not Another Colored Map Icon Mod - It makes the map look weird and the colors don't really help me out at all. No Menu & Loading Screen Smoke - You should only use this if the smoke looks bad because of an ENB configuration you are using (more on that later) 10. Conflicting Graphics. These mods have to be installed in the correct order to work the right way. These are texture files that replace a lot of things in the game, and when you install a new one, it will overwrite previous textures. I recommend that you use all of them, but just use the baseline version of each of these. Some of these texture packs have really large options that look awesome, but they make the game run under 10 frames per second. If you just want to take pretty screenshots, go for it, but if you want to play, keep it to 1024x1024 or less when you can. 11. Non-conflicting mods: Landscape & Environment, Characters & Creatures, Clothing & Equipment, Animations & Effects, and Miscellaneous. Each of these sections contains mods that affect specific things and makes them a lot better. These are all purely visual changes and you can install them in any order. It's up to you if you want to use all of them, but I recommend using all of them except "Ultimate HD Fire Spells" since I don't like the way the fire looks. Benchmark after completing each section and see how much your performance has been impacted, and if you need to, it's easy to uninstall these once you change your mind. 12. Sound. These mods affect the sound effects of the game. I like a lot of the sounds in vanilla Skyrim, but after a hundred hours or so, it can be nice to mix things up. I used all of these, but you could easily skip over all of these if you don't want to change how anything sounds. 13. Gameplay. These are minor tweaks to gameplay and non of these will drastically change the feeling of the game. My favorites here are the wearable lanterns. It adds lanterns that the player and NPCs will equip or hold in the game world. It's a nice little touch that I love to look at. I personally use all of these except for "The Choice is yours" -- I don't like mods that alter the existing quest dialogue. It's only minor changes to give you more choices over accepting quests, but I don't mind having my journal fill up with new stuff automatically.  14. Install a post-processing mod: A lot of people like to use ENB, which is a mod that adds post-processing effects to Skyrim which allow for more control over the visual style. STEP has a lot of good recommendations for presets to choose from. I used to use ENB, but now I use and recommend RCRN. It's easier to control, the changes aren't as drastic, and it's better on performance. To install it, just download the auto-installer and run it. Launch the RCRN Customizer to configure the way you want it to look. I recommend the "pure" preset, FXAA off, sharpening off, and volumetric fog set to "subtle." 15. Run BOSS to get your load order correct. If you have any issues STEP has a great troubleshooting section. It's recommended to start a new game after doing all of this, but if you want to keep playing with an older character, go inside and wait for 31 days. This is how long it takes for the game world to reset and hopefully get rid of any extra data in your save file. Bonus mods that are not a part of STEP: While STEP covers a lot of ground, here are a few mods that I think are essential to Skyrim. I have them running with STEP and they work alongside it just fine: Relighting Skyrim changes the placement of lights to make lighting make more sense. For instance, a lot of times in Skyrim when there are two light source near each other, the game actually only has one light source in the middle. If you have Dawngaurd or Hearthfire, get these additional mods.  The Dance of Death adds more kill moves and allows for customization of frequency, chance of decapitation, and what perspective should be used.  This guide would not exist without the STEP project and is not intended to replace their amazing work, but instead serve as an introduction to the process they have outlined and comments from my personal tastes and experience in using the system. If you use this system and like the outcome, please consider donating to the project to help them out with hosting. As someone who as spent a lot of time modding the Elder Scrolls games, I know it can take hundreds of hours to install and test this many mods and get them running without conflict. They are doing all of the hard work for us, and for that I am thankful. Be sure to check out the rest of The Weekend Modder's Guides to learn how to mod your favorite games! Video uploaded by Youtube user Daniele Ferraro.
Skyrim mods (2013) photo
The Weekend Modder's Guide: Skyrim (2013)
It's been over a year since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was first released, and the modding community has been feverishly working at creating content for this magnificent game. I already covered Skyrim aft...

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Aliens: Colonial Marines mods add better lighting


Once again, a modder does a developer's job
Feb 15
// Jim Sterling
As usual, unpaid PC gamers have stepped up to the plate and finished what clearly inadequate developers started, adding improvements to the critically mauled Aliens: Colonial Marines. These enhancements add DirectX 10 feature...
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StarCraft II mod 'Night of the Dead' designer speaks


Also, zombie-infested mining colonies are in!
Feb 11
// Jason Cabral
I haven't picked up StarCraft II in a long time, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. But with StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm coming soon, I caught the real-time-strategy bug again and need some sweet resource manageme...
RAGE tool kit photo
RAGE tool kit

RAGE tool kit for user-created content available today


35+ GB download from Steam
Feb 08
// Patrick Hancock
Bethesda has announced that the RAGE tool kit will be available later today via Steam, allowing users to create their own content for the game. It is apparently the "same tools used to create RAGE and its DLC, The Scorch...
Dovahbear Companion photo
Dovahbear Companion

Skyrim fans, kneel before the Dovahbear Companion


A joke becomes a real mod
Feb 01
// Chris Carter
Fans of the Dovahbear video are in luck -- one brave modder took that ridiculous idea to heart, and made a real mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Now, for the first time, you can fight alongside of the legendary Dovahbear...

Witcher 2's REDKit might make a modder out of me

Oct 25 // Steven Hansen
Did you watch the time-lapse video in the header? I was shown a similar creation produced by the suite, in real time, and I can confirm that making that fully functioning, albeit simplistic, quest took no longer than 30 minutes. I think that the ease of use is REDKit’s biggest draw and a lot that came from community input. Earlier in the year, CD Projekt sought applications from modders who wanted to try out the beta version of the kit, selecting 100 of the applicants to provide early access. Not only are these modders working on their own mods to have ready in concert with the kit’s 2013 launch, thereby providing another breath of life for the game, but CD Projekt is working closely with them to produce high-quality content. But it’s a two way street. The modders are also providing invaluable feedback to the team, which knows how to use the tools inside and out through years of working with them, with respect to enhancing general usability. It’s wonderful to see such open, practical collaboration. CD Projekt will also be filling wikis with guides on how to use REDKit and providing video guides with developer commentary, similar to the one shown above. As you saw in the time-lapse video, creation is wonderfully accessible. Starting with blank terrain, you can set brush values and easily “paint” on -- or, better still, painlessly undo – terrain, raising hills and the like, for variety and then quickly apply the desired textures to the entire expanse. From there, you can just as easily paint a different desired texture straight onto the raised, rock hillsides. The level of control coupled with automation appears to have found a glorious happy medium. You have control over the skybox, allowing you full use of the day/night cycle, and you can even change the trajectory of the sun and moon if, perhaps, you want the sun to set behind a particular hillside. You can set parameters and have various vegetation automatically populate the area, rather than having to place tree after tree and then individual clusters of lush fauna. What’s more, it’s a snap to remove any of the automatically generated wildlife that intrudes on other elements of your environment, like a village, or to add more in desired places. Not only do features like this remove some of the rote grunt work, but they also offer wanted assistance to those who maybe want to focus more on quest building and storytelling. Plus, the ease of doing and undoing affords so much more time for experimentation. Speaking of experimentation, one of the best things about REDKit is how easy it is to jump in and test out what you’re building. You can jump right in to a fully playable version of your creation at whatever state of completion or disrepair in a matter of seconds. The actual quest building is just as intuitive. There is a page of modular nodes, between which you manually drag links, building logical connections between the order of occurrence of the things you’re producing. After you’ve placed an NPC into your world, that NPC will have a node and you can give them a quest to deliver, which you can write entirely or merely edit from existing Witcher 2 dialog interactions. All of the assets in the game are at your control, which also allows burgeoning modders to take working bits of the game and tweak them to their liking, even altering something as simple as who Geralt has a particular conversation with in the prologue sequence. The conversation scripting also has a director’s view that allows you to change things like camera angles while dialogue is being delivered. On top of that, you can even import your own voice over -- lip-synching is currently being worked on. In the creation I was shown, the NPC needed some monsters dispatched, so I saw a monster spawn point quickly defined in his little next door shanty. Again, there’s a bevy of customizable options. You can change the size of the area that the monsters spawn in, the area in which their spawning is triggered, whether or not they’re aggressive (that is, if they’ll follow Geralt should he turn tail and run), how many monsters spawn, what kinds, how quickly, how far apart from each other, and so on. With a playable, professional-looking quest delivered to me in a matter of minutes, I’m incredibly excited to see what the modding community -- the 100 working on content presently and all those folks who will have access down the line -- is going to be able to produce with REDKit. Having never modded anything in my life, I felt confident even I could tool around and produce something cool with the kit. I also recognize that it affords enough flexibility and control that particularly skilled individuals are going to be able to do some amazing things with it.
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