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NYT on Game Mods

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the foreign-territory dept.

PC Games (Games) 172

Bansuki writes "The New York Times has an article about the role of the modding communities in the games industry. It's a decent overview of the current state of modding though it focuses heavily on Epic Games and the Unreal engine. They spotlight the Unreal University program (an Unreal sponsored event giving classes to potential modders) and Red Orchestra (a highly ambitious mod of the Unreal Warfare engine). The article also mentions machinima as a type of mod with artistic potential and gives due credit to Id Software and Bioware for their work in making engines available to the community. But here's a glaring omission: Half-life and its wildly successful mods. Odd."

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PUSSY AMERICUNTS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628208)

1775-1783: The British crown presents a bill to American settlers who must now pay for their protection. Ungrateful settlers who are already allergic to taxes go on a rampage and attack tea boxes on a ship; several Americans are wounded in explosions. Americans win their sole victory in Saratoga when general Burgoyne realizes that Canadian merchants sold him ragweed instead of tea before his departure. Facing a mutiny he decides to surrender. In the following years Americans will lose most of their battles due to their lack of discipline and massive desertions. In 1781, 30,000 French soldiers & sailors accept to integrate 11,000 American mascots who will play music from afar while the French win the Battle of Yorktown.
1812: The American army is crushed trying to invade Canada and abandons annexation plans.
During the 19 the century, several raids are led against Indian women and babies with the US troops achieving some victories, but fail in their effort to ethnically cleanse the Indians. Nevertheless, some sucessful slaughters will lead them to believe that they are mighty and couragous warriors.
1861-1865: Americans win an impressive victory against themselves but it took a while. The Civil War as it comes to be called, will turn out to be the only war Americans ever win. Mind you they beat themselves, but why digress.
1898: The Spanish succeed a master coup and get rid of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines at the expense of the Americans, leaving them the impression that they won the war. Soon the US discovers that there is no oil there, and that their new possessions are a wastebasket, more than anything else.
1900-1950: A series of military interventions against banana republics in South America and the Caribbean against people armed with slingshots and spears has a beneficial effect on the American ego.
1918: The Americans arrive just on time to see the victory of the French and the British against the Germans. They then turn around, and try to claim the high ground by sabotaging the peace treaty and stabbing France in the back when it tries to enforce reparations and prevent Germany from rearming, thus setting the stage for WWII.
1941-1945: While as many as 20 million Russians die bleeding the Wermacht to death, the US wait until the Germans are left with the Hitler Youth, a childrens' force comprised of 14 year old soldiers to launch their assault. They are still saying today that they suffered heavy loses at their hands. In the whole Normandy Campaign they suffer less casualties than the French did in the first six months of 1940, and inflict less damage on the Germans, yet this is enough for them to claim they liberated Europe. That claim alone is the biggest piece of historical myth in history.
1950-1953: The US fails to beat North Korea, in 1953 the borders are still roughly what they were three years earlier.
1963-1973: Americans suffer cruelly from the lack of AC and marijuana of a poor quality in Vietnam. When they realize that their soldiers can be killed in a war they retreat.
1983: The combined aviation, navy and ground troops apply an audacious plan and succeed to beat a bunch of cuban workers armed with shovels in Granada. The celebrations go on for weeks with parades and chants of USA, USA.
1991: Americans align more soldiers than the French or the British combined and succeed in crushing an army of barefoot shiite drafted against their will who are armed with empty rifles and have barely had a thing to eat in months. But even this so-called victory is hollow as it is actually led by the Daguet division from France which leads the charge while American soldiers console themselves by rounding up prisoners that TV crews did not want.

2003: Iraq. Need I go on? I think not.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628214)

frist post

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628239)

Off by a minute, you worthless piece of American shit!

Super (-1, Redundant)

Charles_Anus (729584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628221)

Game mods are great, they extend the life of a game far beyond the shrinkwrapped versions.

Re:Super (2, Informative)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628315)

This is a pretty big dis for Half-Life, which probably has the biggest mod community ever. However, I believe HL was based upon the Quake II engine (although it was heavily modified), so perhaps that is the reason for the omission.

Perhaps the article was just focusing on the current generations of engines, so Unreal would be a good choice, now that it is getting yearly updates. I hope the vehicles in UT2k4 are going to be good...

Quake, not Q2 (2, Interesting)

Terragen (727874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628393)

Contrary to popular belief I'm pretty sure that Valve took the Quake (not Q2) engine and redid something like 70-80% of the code.

But it was Quake IIRC which was the first 3d shooter to actively support and encourage a modding community by releasing QuakeC.. I guess half-life's huge mod community is just an extention of that success.

:D

Re:Quake, not Q2 (2, Informative)

HexRei (515117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628495)

This is true. However, during development, Q2 was released and Valve was given an infusion of Q2 code. So the HL engine is mostly custom, with a fair amount of Q1 and some Q2 code.

Re:Super (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628556)

Yeah the Half-Life mod community is pretty much the biggest one out there, but remember the game is old. Really old by gaming standards. And Half-Life 2 is coming out and stealing some of its old fanfare. You can't blaim mainstream media for skipping over a 2+ year old game thats, basicly, being run solely by player made mods now when theres so many other more attractive and more recent games.

With games becoming more and more 'mainstream' with each generation of games, I think they're doing the right thing by paying attention to current games instead of going 'old skool' and start off their article back during the days of Doom.

Re:Super (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628567)

True. QuakeI with modified lighting (RGB instead of 8 bit), plus skeletal animation, decals, updated particle effects, and C++ for game code instead of QuakeC...

Half-Life's Code: Quake1 or Quake2? [valve-erc.com]

Re:Super (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628354)

Haha! Nice try, wanna be karma whore.

Create another account and try again.

Or dump the whole karma whoring thing and join us trolls on the front line!
Because we all know that's what you really would like to do.

It's not really all THAT odd... (4, Insightful)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628236)

It's not really all that odd. The mainstream press isn't exactly tech savvy. Heck, mainstream press isn't exactly savvy in ANY field, and often relies upon press releases from outside bodies to figure out if something is worth pursuing as a story.

The Unreal guys probably got proactive about getting this story out there.

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (1)

glenrm (640773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628286)

Excellent analysis wrinkledshirt, I found it odd that the NYT article would be featured on the front page when there are so many excellent game review, game mod, demo download sites out there. I am sure that a more comprehensive look at the mod community is out there anybody have a link?

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (1)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628809)

It isn't on the front page because of it's content - it's on the front page BECAUSE it's in the NYT. What's news isn't the state of the modding industry; pretty much everybody here knows that. What's news is the fact that game modding is mainstream enough to garner an article in the NYT.

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (1)

glenrm (640773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628924)

I guess I don't care about mainstream anymore, I think mainstream will eventually be replaced with the likes of Slashdot [slashdot.org] , The Inquirer [theinquirer.net] , Drudge Report [www.drudgereport] , and Google Tech. [google.com] Let us see how long it takes for my prediction to come true we can check the progress here [alexa.com] .

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628967)


Hey, thanks for the slashdot link! I've been looking for that site for ages!

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (5, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628321)

The point of the article isn't to list every significant modding community out there - heck, you could toss sports games into the mix as well. The story is that the relationship between game developers and players has changed significantly over the last few years. Whether one game is used as the example over another is trivial...

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (4, Interesting)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628533)

On that level, I sort of agree, but at the same time, that's like doing an article about increased consumption of fast food in society and leaving out McDonald's.

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628342)



Yes, but considering all the hype over Half-Life 2, how could they have missed it? More people are excited about the Counter Strike II mod [tinyurl.com] than they are about HL2.

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (4, Insightful)

Torinaga-Sama (189890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628505)

"The Unreal guys probably got proactive about getting this story out there."

Hey, it worked for Valve, it can work for us.

I know Half-Life was the only game I ever bought more than once, as sick an fanboyish as that sounds to me now.

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7629240)

I've bought several games twice... but to be fair, they weren't quite the same.

I bought UT and Unreal for Mac, then later bought Unreal Gold (U1, RTPN, and UT+bonus packs in a set) for PC. As a side note: prior to this, I used a combination of the UT Demo for PC, a "nodelta" update, and the UT Mac files to make a working copy... and it did work.

I bought Deus Ex for Mac, then bought an Audigy for my PC, which included an EAX-ed version of DX.

Somehow, I can't see buying a second copy of a game for the same platform, though...

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (1)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628512)

The Unreal guys probably got proactive about getting this story out there.

No, that's not how you get articles in the press. The journalist wanting to write the article most likely contacted them, and used them as the primary source for the article.

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (2, Insightful)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628554)

No, that's not how you get articles in the press.

Heh. Go work for a newspaper and then come back again in six months.

Re:It's not really all THAT odd... (2, Interesting)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629042)

The Unreal guys probably got proactive about getting this story out there.

Yeah, I used to get interviewed by the AJC [ajc.com] on technology issues. Seriously, I could have told them Linux is more popular than Windows and they probably would have published it.

Most reporters have a few pals in several industries. For instance, a doctor they call on medical issues, an IT guy for tech stuff, etc.

Reporters do one thing: Report :-)

Building a mod inside a level editor... (4, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628245)

...is great and all, but it'd be nifty if a level could be built using a script. Like this:
map = Map.new
level = Level.new(10,10)
level.add_sector(0,0,5,5)
level .set_spawn_point(2,2)
map.add(level)
Or something to that effect.

I've poked around a bit trying to find a way to generate DOOM PWADs using a script... but I can't see a way to build a map outside a level editor. It seems like there are two components necessary - a sector layout thingy and a binary space partition calculator.

At any rate, I've started a little project to generate DOOM levels [rubyforge.org] via a Ruby script. And if it turns out this is already possible via other means, I'll shut the project down :-)

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (4, Informative)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628389)

Take a look at WadC [fov120.com] , a scripting language for building Doom levels, you filthy infidel.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (2, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628454)

> a scripting language for building Doom levels

Nifty! That should be helpful for figuring out how to write out the files, thanks much! I need a general purpose scripting API to Doom maps, so I'll keep plugging away on Ruby-DOOM. Thanks for the pointer, though.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (2, Informative)

fredrikj (629833) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629203)

Not Ruby, but I'm working on a Python library for Doom called Omgifol [sourceforge.net] in which I recently implemented a complete API for editing levels (the version on SF is quite outdated, though, nothing to see there).

I don't know how useful the level editing features of the thing will end up being, but I have some ideas of making a random level generator similar to Slige [doomworld.com] with it. Using a language as powerful as Python, it should hopefully be possible to create stuff more advanced than Slige's linearly arranged square sectors ;-)

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (4, Interesting)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628394)

3D realms, provided a random level generator for Rise Of The Triad [3drealms.com] .

The utility came on the CD version of the game. It would work as advertised and generate random levels. Every now and then you'd get a good deathmatch level out of it.

So I would imagine that one could write an engine to generate a random level for any game. This would be a bit simpler probably for older 2 1/2 D games like Doom, ROTT and Descent, compared to full 3D engine games like the Quake and Unreal series. But definitely do-able I think.

wbs.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (4, Interesting)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628421)

Its been done for Doom at least. SLIGE [doomworld.com] is a tool of the Zionist American pigs for generating random levels.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628516)

> SLIDGE

Nifty! I notice that Slidge requires that the generated map be run through a BSP calculator. Not a big deal, but maybe I can write/port one of those to Ruby, to make a all-in-one package. We'll see.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (2, Insightful)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628559)

BSP building is a very tricky business, and rather processor intensive. Infact BSP building is complicated to the extent that its really a project in itself (bear in mind you dont have to build just the tree, but other data like the REJECT and BLOCKMAP data as well). There are already great tools [sf.net] for building the Doom BSP information.

The "standard" way to build levels is just to generate a WAD without the data and run it through one of the many existing BSP calculators. No offence, but it seems rather pointless to reinvent the wheel. (Plus, as much as I love Ruby, it might be a bit slow for this purpose..)

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628636)

> you dont have to build just the tree, but
> other data like the REJECT and BLOCKMAP data
> as well

Hm. So when generating a level, I have to fill in the following directory entries : THING, LINEDEFS, SIDEDEFS, VERTEXES, SEGS, SSECTORS, NODES, and SECTORS - is that right?

> just to generate a WAD without the data

Yup, that does seem to be the first goal to reach.

> as much as I love Ruby, it might be a bit
> slow for this purpose

Probably for large maps, but for small maps it might not be too noticeable. Point well taken, though.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (1)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628752)

Only THING, LINEDEFS, SIDEDEFS, VERTEXES, and SECTORS. The rest are generated by the BSP builder.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628901)

> Only THING, LINEDEFS, SIDEDEFS, VERTEXES,
> and SECTORS.

Sweet. Thanks for the info. Right now I'm not that far along - mostly spending time understanding how Ruby's bit-packing methods work. But this is definitely helping.

> The rest are generated by the BSP builder

Cool. Yeah, I downloaded and compiles doombsp yesterday; it processes the few small WAD files that I have very quickly. I suppose I could wrap it with a Ruby d/l API... not sure how much benefit that would give over just invoking it as an external process, though.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (1)

Dan-DAFC (545776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628537)

Rather than doing it completely randomly, it might be a good application for a genetic algorithm. You could evolve the (near-)perfect level.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (2, Insightful)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628571)

> it might be a good application for a
> genetic algorithm. You could evolve
> the (near-)perfect level.

The difficult part might be coming up with a good fitness algorithm. I mean, a perfect level for one person may be a lousy level for another.

I'm hoping to come up with something that could be used to generate a level from, say, a building floor plan, or a Visio diagram of something - stuff like that. It would be nifty to run around inside of a Cougaar [cougaar.org] agent community, for example.

Re:Building a mod inside a level editor... (1)

Torinaga-Sama (189890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628540)

Soldier of Fortune (which I believe is on the same Engine as Quake 3) had an option to Randomly Generate Maps.

They were ony any good for CTF in my opinion though, but that migh be another road to look down.

You could get it to output a .map file... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628699)

The Quake engines, and I imagine all the games based on them, use a very simple intermediate text-based format for defining level geometry, the .map file. The GUI map editor produces such a file which is then passed to some command-line tools which then generate a binary .BSP file, generate clipping hulls, perform visibility checking and render the lightmaps.

The Half-Life compile process has been drastically upgraded over the years - initially in a semi-official capacity by a Gearbox employee, and then unofficially by numerous programmers all over the world. The tool source code has been available for ages, and new features are still being added - more accurate clipping hulls, reduced engine load, improved lighting, optimised BSPs which effectively break hard-coded engine limits such as the maximum plane count...

Here's a snippet from a real Half-Life .map file, with a brush entity (eg a door) and a point entity (eg a light or a monster). Brushes (solids) are defined by a number of planes (each face requires just three points), and each face has a texture and texture offsets and projection given. A point entity is simply defined by an origin.
{
"classname" "func_illusionary"
"rendercolor" "0 0 0"
"renderfx" "1"
"rendermode" "5"
"renderamt" "96"
"skin" "-1"
{
( 2 -1780 -656 ) ( 2 -1896 -656 ) ( -2 -1896 -656 ) NULL [ 1 0 0 0 ] [ 0 -1 0 -1 6 ] 0 1 1
( -2 -1780 -1056 ) ( -2 -1896 -1056 ) ( 2 -1896 -1056 ) NULL [ 1 0 0 0 ] [ 0 -1 0 -16 ] 0 1 1
( 2 -1780 -656 ) ( -2 -1780 -656 ) ( -2 -1780 -1056 ) NULL [ 1 0 0 0 ] [ 0 0 -1 0 ] 0 1 1
( 2 -1896 -1056 ) ( -2 -1896 -1056 ) ( -2 -1896 -656 ) NULL [ 1 0 0 0 ] [ 0 0 -1 0 ] 0 1 1
( 2 -1896 -656 ) ( 2 -1780 -656 ) ( 2 -1780 -1056 ) PRXSCREEN4C [ 0 1 0 64 ] [ 0 0 -1 0 ] 0 1 1
( -2 -1896 -1056 ) ( -2 -1780 -1056 ) ( -2 -1780 -656 ) PRXSCREEN4C [ 0 1 0 64 ] [ 0 0 -1 0 ] 0 1 1
}
}
{
"classname" "env_glow"
"rendercolor" "255 255 200"
"model" "sprites/glow04.spr"
"scale" "1"
"renderamt" "160"
"rendermode" "3"
"origin" "-20 -1892 -784"
}

It's not a coincidence (5, Insightful)

Mukaikubo (724906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628249)

The games with wildly successful modification scenes are games that are commercially wildly successful, in general. The positive correlation is real.

It mystifies me that a game these days can possibly be shipped without a comprehensive editing tool. They're artificially limiting their games' lives and shooting their sales in the foot.

Re:It's not a coincidence (4, Interesting)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628433)

When I was interviewed by the New York Times about the mod I'm doing, I was shocked at how much of the interview was left out. So I'm doing a feature with MTV magazine about it, and forgive me if I'm having some faith. :)

My point is that the NYT doesn't know much about modding. They only know what they can see, and that's a wall of information. They don't have good resources for tapping into something like modding. Part of that is our fault, because there isn't a central information base for modding anymore, and there hasn't been since Slipgate Central was shut down. NYT wouldn't know what Allstar CTF was, and they would likely think that Zoid was a little toy.

But patiently, with time, maybe the rest of the world will get it, when it comes to mods. Until then, we have to make do and we have to try and keep working towards that connection.

Of course it's not a coincidence (2, Interesting)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628443)


The games with wildly successful modification scenes are games that are commercially wildly successful, in general. The positive correlation is real.

Being "commercially successful" means just that. That is sells many copies, it does not mean that people are actually playing the game out of the box .. Take Half Life for example and look at how many people are playing Un-MODed HalfLife today .. Not many .. The ONLY reason Valve is still selling HalfLife, is because of the MODs..

Therefore talking about a "positive correlation" is, mildly put, misleading.

Re:Of course it's not a coincidence (1)

Mukaikubo (724906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628523)

My point was that there's a correleation between having a thriving mod scene and having a lot of sales. I think we're trying to agree on this, but not finding the right words.

Re:Of course it's not a coincidence (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629254)

When 1% of your audience plays mods online, and the best-selling FPS of all time has the biggest mod scene, it's a pretty good indicator that there IS a positive correlation.

The fact that the percentage has increased over time helps, as well, but Quake 3, which is a newer game, sold fewer copies and has fewer online players than Half-Life. People build mods for the game that sells and has the tools.

On the other hand, The Sims, for instance, would probably have a bigger mod scene if it weren't for the 20-million expansions they sold for the game that more or less add the same content that players would normally have added for them. The Sims also happens to be the only PC game to have out-sold Half-Life.

As far as mods selling games goes, that's a really hard position to push, and can only be proven if you can find sales numbers for Counterstrike specifically, or any other mod sold on the shelves. The number of online players for CS still makes up less than 1% of the copies of Half-Life sold, not to mention adding in the number of copies of Counterstrike sold.

Re:It's not a coincidence (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628528)

to a point. The super old Quake III has the absolutely best "mod" out there even making Counter strike look like a joke.

Urban terror. Free mod, works on all quake 3 platforms and is an absolute blast. Commercial games are only just now getting up to where they were 2 years ago with gameplay and ideas.

user-created levels (3, Insightful)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628260)


are a great addition to commercial games...

so long as there is a moderating system to sort the wheat from the chaff (to use a biblical metaphor)

The Baldur's gate engine (4, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628266)

has a clone under SDL... See the SDL home page [libsdl.org] for a link :-)

Simon.

Mods... (5, Insightful)

Predathar (658076) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628273)

I played lots of Quake2 mods, Action Quake2 being my favorite. Personally I didn't like the Half-Life net code when the game first came out but I heard that it got much better, but by that time I had dropped the game and moved on to something else.

Games with mods do seem to have a much longer life than non-mod games, look at Tribes, Unreal Tournament, Battlefield 1942, Neverwinter Nights (which LIVES off of the mod concept), heck, even games not designed to be modded (Silent Hunter 2) have had mods done by very creative and dedicated fans.

Allowing people to make their own maps is not enough, let them play with the engine, the graphics, the models, the scripting, it pleases the fans and makes them come back for a sequel. Its been proven lots of times, heck, people still play QUAKE1 because of the mods!

Re:Mods... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628314)


I've played Quake[123] mods and Half Life mods, but IMHO nothing beats Thief and Thief 2 fan missions [thiefmissions.com] . The Thief series is the only game I've never had absent from any of my gaming PCs. (Doom and ROTT are close :))

Re:Mods... (1)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628448)

"Its been proven lots of times, heck, people still play QUAKE1 because of the mods!"

I couldn't agree with you more. However it's not just mods that keep people playing Quake I, it's ports. John Carmack unleashed a horde of ports to several of id's best games by releasing the source under GPL, which gives fans a chance to play games like Doom in OpenGL or on a cellphone, or even revamping Quake with today's graphics hardware support like per-pixel lighting and stencil shadows.

I'm currently playing Tenebrae Quake [sourceforge.net] , and it looks amazing on my GeforceFX 5900 Pro.

Re:Mods... (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628730)

Handcannon, baby!

And the knife.

Action Quake 2 is the best. game. evah.

Game mods are the best card for PC games (5, Insightful)

Walkiry (698192) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628277)

And NOT trying to start a PC vs. Console war, game mods are one of the most important features that keep the PC gamers coming for more and paying big bucks for hardware (well, compared to consoles that are sold at a loss).

On the other hand, mods (and in general, user-created content) are responsible for the metamorphosis of the computer games industry since the early 8-bit era to what it is today. No longer can you sell a hit game every 6 months , due to this extra content the average life of a good game has increased immensely, and thus, game companies now have to think carefully about their plans and development programs.

Re:Game mods are the best card for PC games (2, Interesting)

miu (626917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628361)

Very true. I own every major console system at this point and even though I often prefer the console version there is no chance that I'm going to get Morrowind or Half-Life 2 for the X-Box, I'd be missing out on all the mods and add-ons that keep the games interesting.

And using a subscription service to distribute some additional content is not really an option. Content management systems on consoles are still so clumsy as to barely qualify as usable - I'd rather just use my pc and know I can do what I like with the game.

Client/Server Gaming (1)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629083)

But consoles are the future for game clients. The simple, common, stable platform provided by a console is far preferable to a PC from a development and support standpoint.

I see the future of PCs in gaming to be content creation platforms and persistent servers, with consoles as the clients, aka Client/Server gaming.

Battlefield 1942 (-1, Redundant)

Wolve (155734) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628285)

Never played Red Orchestra, the installer never liked me or my computer.

Mods are great, they make the game more interesting from a players point of view.

Ive been playing Desertcombat and Eve of Destruction 2 mods from battlefield 1942, and they are alot more fun than the original game itself.

Wolve
------
0_o

Re:Battlefield 1942 (2, Informative)

gassendi (93677) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628602)

I don't know what it's like in the rest of the world but in Australia there are about four times as many Desert Combat servers as "Vanilla" BF servers, and they are always busier. (DC is, as you might guess, based on both recent Gulf Wars).

This is despite EA Games being very reluctant to support mods. Even the map editor promised shortly after the game was released only came out almost a year later and after a lot of complaining in the BF community. There is now a rudimentary SDK, but this is probably because the suits at EA saw the official expansion packs do comparatively badly and saw how well community made mods (epsecially DC and the Vietnam mod Eve of Destruction) were doing. You need a copy of the original game to play the mods, so reluctantly EA have started to co-operate.

Valve are probably the industry leader in terms of encouraging mods. This is an interesting business model, as it resembles OS while still allowing the games companies to sell licenses. If even EA are moving in that direction, then I think gaming is going to get very interesting (from both the players' and modders' point of view) in the next few years.

Full Article Text for the Unregistered (-1, Troll)

JSkills (69686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628290)

Games Made for Remaking

RALEIGH, N.C.

IMAGINE buying the latest "Lord of the Rings" DVD and discovering that the cameras, lights, special effects and editing tools used in its making had been included at no extra charge. Or finding your favorite CD's crammed with virtual recording studios, along with implicit encouragement from the producer to remix the music, record your own material and post it all on the Internet.

It might seem far-fetched - except to computer game developers.

For years, players have found ways to hack into the digital DNA, the primary computer code that operates some of their favorite games, and alter its rules. Consequently, weapons can be made more lethal, explosions flashier and more thunderous. And game characters can acquire godlike invulnerability or have their steely-eyed glares swapped for the hapless glaze of, say, a Homer Simpson.

In recent years, players dedicated to modifying store-bought computer games have morphed into an underground movement - mod makers, as they often call themselves. Now they are showing signs of breaking into the mainstream as game developers are increasingly willing to give away the very software tools they use to construct the games, including them on the disc with the game itself.

As a result, working alone or in teams, the mod makers are spending hundreds of hours tweaking or completely redrawing popular games to be played on their own terms. The payoff is fun and bragging rights, and just maybe a career in the multibillion-dollar electronic game industry.

Those various motivations drew hundreds of mod makers to a game company's weekend seminar at North Carolina State University on the finer points of animation and building virtual worlds, allowing them to compare notes on poly modeling and the intricacies of static mesh.

"I've been wanting to make video games ever since I was 9 years old," said Dan Jones, 23, who drove 17 hours from Siloam Springs, Ark., to be here. He said that when his grade-school classmates were doodling comic-book heroes, he was sketching side-scrolling video-game environments inspired by Nintendo's [slashdot.org] Mario Brothers.

Mr. Jones, a recent graduate of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, where he majored in digital media, is working with two friends to build a medieval third-person action game. His path as a mod maker, Mr. Jones said during a lunch break, was inevitable: "There are a lot of creative people who have grown up playing video games and stuff. You kind of want to make what you already know."

Another mod maker, Maegan Walling, 26, added, "People are taking the tools that someone else made and using them as sort of a paintbrush to define their own canvas." Ms. Walling joined friends and classmates from Full Sail Real World Education, a multimedia training center in Winter Park, Fla., for a road trip to Raleigh. "They are really, really expressing their own creativity and defining the ideal environment for their own game play. I would go as far to say that it is an art."

Whether mods are art is debatable. But a group of major computer-game makers agree that mods are good for the industry. For one thing, they create a rich secondary market for aging games being bought for raw materials. And some designers say that game makers can inspire loyalty, and sales, by creating games that remain fresh by lending themselves to modification or even serving as the basis for entirely different games.One company in particular, Epic Games - the co-producer of Unreal Tournament, the best-selling first-person-shooter franchise that is a favorite among mod makers - is flinging open its doors to modifications and complete game makeovers called conversions.

And some mod makers, like Blake Politeski, are making names for themselves with downloadable hit mods like his Infection, a horror and survival game that was built out of Unreal but evokes both the creepiness of the long-running video-game series Resident Evil and Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" radio play.

Another mod that has thousands of people frantically mouse-clicking is Red Orchestra, a lavishly rendered game that places players at the Russian front of World War II. Using Unreal's core 3-D graphics program, which is called a game engine, the 50 or so mod makers have meticulously replaced Unreal's futuristic particle-beam rifles and space stations for period-perfect rifles and the bombed-out towns of the 1940's.

"The ultimate goal of Red Orchestra is to create something unique to the average gamer and, at the same time, something visually delightful and fun," said Jeremy Blum, a 16-year-old from North Castle, N.Y., who is part of the mod's self-assembled development team.

Web sites like GameSpy's Fileplanet (www.fileplanet.com), and Planet Unreal (www.planetunreal.com) include mod news, message boards and free downloads of homemade games like Infection and Red Orchestra.

And not all mods are games. Some artists and programmers are using game tools and engines to animate their own digital movies, known as machinima (mah-SHIN-ee-mah). This fall the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, held its second annual Machinima Film Festival in recognition of what the museum terms "an emerging art form."

Epic was hardly the first game developer to share its digital toolbox with consumers. Id Software of Mesquite, Tex., a pioneer of 3-D game graphics and design, included software to remake or create wholly new environments in which the game could be played in its breakthrough Doom and Quake games of the early 1990's. And Neverwinter Nights, by the Canadian-based BioWare Corporation, was successful, some players recall, because of the digital tools that it included for reworking the game.

Epic's mod-making tools come on the Unreal Tournament 2003 game disc. But company executives say they plan to go much further when they release the much-awaited 2004 version of the futuristic combat game in February. Mark Rein, Epic's vice president, said a special-edition version of the new game would not only include the popular Unreal Editor tool package, but an additional DVD would contain hours of step-by-step video instruction on making mods.

So far, mod makers say, there is no "Mod Making for Dummies" book.

To further encourage gamers to do more than simply play games, Epic is co-sponsor of a contest for mod makers in which winners will receive up to $1 million in cash and prizes, as well as a lucrative licensing agreement to use the Unreal game engine. This would permit winners to actually sell their game mods commercially. Mr. Rein said the makers of such high-profile games as Half-Life and Splinter Cell pay as much as $400,000 for the license.

Epic, which is also based in Raleigh, was a prime sponsor of the two-day mod-making seminar, called Unreal University.

Zachariah Inks, 25, a computer animation student at Full Sail, was among those attracted.

"I really like games," Mr. Inks said during a short break between marathon classes on character modeling and a software program called UnrealScript. "But a nice end of it is that you can do cinematic things, making computer-animated movies."

Most computer games, whether played on PC's or on game consoles, have introductory movies and intermittent cinematic narratives called cut scenes. For years, these scenes were made separately, some filmed in conventional studios with actors. More recently, game makers have created the scenes digitally and run them on the game engine. Epic created its own software, Matinee, to create and manage these scenes.

Mr. Inks uses various programs, including Matinee, which is part of Unreal Tournament 2003, to create freestanding short films - that is, machinima. "It's a nice creative outlet," he said of his work, which he hopes may attract the attention of prospective employers. A game developer, he noted, might have 100 people working on a game, but working on the "movie side of it" could be more solitary and satisfying.

Right now, he said, he is using the Epic game engine to create a showcase of his work to help him land a job when he completes his two-year degree next year. He said he wanted either to work in the game industry or to make movies in an increasingly digital Hollywood, adding that he saw abundant opportunities for digital animators in both areas because computer games are becoming more like movies and movies are becoming more like computer games.

"I see the mod community giving me a sense of what it takes to succeed professionally and what really goes on," Mr. Inks said. "When you start in school you are in awe of everything, but as things go on and you work with it the magic becomes more theory and practice. You get to see what actually goes into this stuff."

Cliff Bleszinski, the 28-year-old lead designer for Epic, said he looked at mod makers as a rich and renewable resource for future computer game making. When he joined Epic 11 years ago, he was a struggling amateur game maker. Now part of his job is to search the Web for what he considers great mods that the company can purchase to use in future games. He is also on the lookout, he said, for new talent.

"This is one of the very few entertainment mediums in which you see this kind of organic process happen," said Mr. Bleszinski, whose highlight-streaked, tossed blond hair gives him a skater-boy aura. "I think this industry is really kind of grounded a lot closer to its fans, to its roots, than a lot other businesses."

Perhaps, he continued, it is because "we all started as fans of this business and we respect our fans, the people who modify our games and make mods."

Mr. Rein of Epic estimates that nearly one-third of the company's 22 or so employees began as mod makers.

Tom Swogger, a 23-year-old mod maker who drove from Arkansas with Dan Jones, said all the game-design classes were useful. There were other dividends, too.

"It was great to see that all these guys are regular guys just like us," Mr. Swogger said of people like the Epic Games founder and president, Tim Sweeney, who milled about and chatted easily with admirers and colleagues. "They had to start somewhere, too. It's sort of encouraging."

I travel back in time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628297)

and made this first post. My time machine is powered by juiced carrots. Healthy and non-polluting! Cars should be made to run on juiced carrots and so should robots. FIRST POST! I am the envy of all carrot eating rabbits! General Woundwort didn't die! He's still alive! He's a vampire rabbit! General Woundwort is a GOD! All will receive the General's new mark of 666.

666! `._o` --- even the demons tremble

The Darkest Day (2, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628300)

... for BG2 has to be the best unofficial mod I've ever played - a huge effort by the team. It unbalanced the game somewhat, but it certainly made it different to run into an area you knew well only to be completely ambushed. Oh sh...

Simon.

Link here (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629012)

here [teambg.net] is the page for the above mentioned mod. I'll definitely have to check it out.

Half-Life (0)

mbbac (568880) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628324)

Perhaps Half-Life mods weren't included since Half-Life is a mod itself.

Re:Half-Life (1)

JSkills (69686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628418)

Not trying to be a wiseguy, but Half Life is a mod of what exactly? I remember buying a copy of the game Half-Life a couple of years ago our of the box.

Re:Half-Life (4, Informative)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628471)

He's referring to the fact that HL is based on the Quake I engine, which Valve licensed from id. However, Valve rewrote some 70% of the code.

Re:Half-Life (1)

JSkills (69686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628578)

Oh ok. Thanks for the info.

I still don't think I'd classify Half-Life out of the box as a "mod" though ...

Re:Half-Life (1)

Photon Ghoul (14932) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628679)

It's a modification of the Quake engine. How is that not a "mod"? Granted, it had financial backing and a nice pretty box, but a mod is a mod is a mod.

Re:Half-Life (4, Informative)

vrai (521708) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628801)

It's a modification of the Quake engine. How is that not a "mod"? Granted, it had financial backing and a nice pretty box, but a mod is a mod is a mod.
A mod is a modification of a commercial game that uses the original game engine. Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, Desert Combat all use the original game engines but with new rule and graphic sets. They did not change the underlying game code. This is primarily because none of these mods were created by people with access to the engine code.

In comparison Half-life was a huge rewrite of the Quake I engine by a company that had licensed the code. If that's a mod then GTA:VC is a mod of Burnout 2, because they're both built on top of the Renderware graphics engine.

Re:Half-Life (2, Interesting)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628940)


No, I don't buy that. By that argument, almost 50% of the games out there are just mods. Is Jedi Knight II just a Quake 3 mod? It uses the same engine. Same for most of the Star Trek games, Heavy Metal, etc. I don't think that just because a game uses a licenced engine, it can be referred to as a mod.

Technically, yes, it is a 'modificaton' of an existing game, but I believe the term 'mod' means something a little more specific. Can't mods use the original games' content (sounds, models, textures)? If you licence a game engine, I'm pretty sure that's all you get. The game engine and maybe the net & scripting code. Also, mods *require* the original game in order to work. I don't think owning Q3A is a requirement for playing JKII.

I'm probably just arguing semantics, but in my mind there's a big distinction between a mod and a licenced-engine game.

Here's a mod (0, Funny)

Troll_Rex (722939) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628335)

Slashdot Half-Life. Cmdr. Taco is the G-Man, Hemos is one of those big brown red lightning throwing guys, and CowboyNeal ... well ... he's a BIG boy, so he gets to be that fat slug thing crawling through the portal at the end of Opposing Forces.

They should be thanking us! (5, Interesting)

Terragen (727874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628340)

Mods like Counter-Strike are a boon to developers. Its like having people who work for free. I know that valve has taken CS under their wing now but there are many mods that keep games playable - with no work on the part of the developers. Imagine all the people who bought half-life so they could play counter-strike on the internet (or DoD or TF)? Originally CS was just a couple of nerds with some free time on their hands.. Not to mention that you can't make everyone happy.. mods let people take a great engine and make a game that is "boring" to them fun. Some people like CS, others prefer TF, some are into DoD.. I'm pretty sure that many of those people never bother to play multiplayer HL.

Glaring Oversight (5, Informative)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628375)

I find it a glaring oversight to see an article on PC game mods not even mention Half-Life, a game which has had a ridiculous shelf life powered almost solely by the bevy of mods released for it.

And no discussion of Half-Life would be complete without a discussion of Natural-Selection [natural-selection.org] , a mod that turns HL into an FPRTS with marines fighting aliens and a focus on resource control (and now, with a level-based team FPS that's leagues beyond other mods dedicated solely to team FPS).

Re:Glaring Oversight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628553)

cripes Quake 1 2 and 3 have many more mods,. are STILL popular at lan parties and the mods like urban terror make halflife and the Counterstrike look like a complete joke.

Half life is nothing more than a modded version of quake 2.

Re:Glaring Oversight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628876)

Half life is nothing more than a modded version of quake 2.

No, it isn't. It's a very heavily modded Quake 1. :-)

Re:Glaring Oversight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7628562)

Natural Selection is amusing, but Counter-Strike is the glaring oversight. It leaped from the HL freeware mod world and actually became a boxed product.

Re:Glaring Oversight (1)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629054)


The only thing that pisses me off about NS is the fact that I was sketching out the exact same concepts on paper and fishing for some feedback in my newsgroups when I first heard about it. Dammit! A day late and dollar short, as they say.

Although my version was intended mainly to fill the large gap in the genre of 'games for multi-monitor systems.' I figure a commander could have a full-screen map on one and use the other(s) for nifty things like status monitoring and live feed from units and security cams. Also, my version was a UT mod, as HL is getting rather long in the tooth.

Oh well. Always gotta be on the look-out for the next opportunity.

Re:Glaring Oversight (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629116)

The only thing that pisses me off about NS is the fact that I was sketching out the exact same concepts on paper and fishing for some feedback in my newsgroups when I first heard about it. Dammit! A day late and dollar short, as they say.

You may be late, but like many things in life, this is your opportunity to do something better, since you already have a reference to go by.

Speaking of Mods (3, Interesting)

JSkills (69686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628397)

Did anyone ever play the "TW Creeper" mod for the original Quake? As nice as the 1st person shooters have gotten - Counterstrike is so much more realistic and several orders of magnitude more impressive in terms of rendering graphics - I still haven't found more enjoyment in a multiplayer 1st person shooter than that old modded version of Quake. Sounds silly I guess ...

What the article poster forgot... (4, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628427)

... is that the classic Quake/QuakeWorld engine really started the ball rolling for mods, and is/was responsible for some of the things we take for granted in these games, like CTF (Thanks Zoid and Threewave for helping me waste sooo much time playing - had a blast) and the original TeamFortress.

Re:What the article poster forgot... (1)

ph43thon (619990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628674)

Yeah, the sole mention of Quake/Quakeworld is exactly one sentence that simply says, "Oh, and Id Software let people mod Doom and Quake in the early 90's." Teamfortress for Quakeworld and Loki's Minions CTF (LMCTF) for QuakeIII were it as far as my reclusive ass was concerned. My impression is that the writer (Michel Marriott) knows next to nothing about Mods and did a little googling along with some emailing. To be fair, it wasn't a historical overview. I'm just boohooing since Quakeworld mods weren't acknowledged as the "true" originator of the Mod Community.. (cry cry)


p

Re:What the article poster forgot... (1)

gid (5195) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629215)

Actually it was Doom that started the ball rolling for mods. Heck there were probably even Wolfenstein mods. Search around for Alien Doom or Starwar Doom, there were some really really creative mods out for Doom, for an engine that wasn't really meant to be modded. Actually, Doom has the capability of loading external pwads which replaced levels, sprites, and sound effects, but you couldn't change any of the programming side of it, until DeHacked (I think that's what it was called) came out, which allowed you to apply a binary patch to your Doom executable, modifying things like firing rate, damage, etc. It was only after so many people modified Doom, and Doom2, that id software finally saw how good it was for sales to their game that they made Quake easily moddable off the bat.

Slashdot and Counter Strike: (0)

mikesab (652105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628431)

My worlds collide.
I need to lay down for a bit.

TF a Halflife mod? (2, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628475)

I seem to remember playing TF on Quake 1's engine. As a matter of fact, me and my college buddies worked with the people making TF. We exerimented on our own selves (being in a college dorm, we had a perfect environment) trying out weapns like the gib gun, and *I* even prototypes the sniper dot. It was an 'x' originally.

So there might be a TF for HL, but TF is and always shall be a Quake mod. After all, Quake was the first engine that was open to modding by average Joe.

mtavc mod (1)

ph43thon (619990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628499)

Too bad they didn't mention Multitheft Auto [mtavc.com] for Vice City. Those guys made their own netcode and everything with no access to the source code.. don't ask me how that sort of thing is done. (I'm sure there's someone here who will inform me that "it actually isn't very hard to do.") The only thing (IMFO) that the GTA franchise is missing is solid multiplayer functionality.


p

Re:mtavc mod (1)

Dreadlord (671979) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628825)

the mod (MTA) actually reads and writes to the original game memory on the fly, while the game is running, to position players, cars and the like.
I read this somewhere over their site, but I can't seem to dig it out right now.

Future of modding... (4, Interesting)

hookedup (630460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628542)


I'm a big fan of Desert Combat [desertcombat.com] mod for Battlefield 1942, seems as though the designers/coders have formed their own company [traumastudios.com] headed by founder Frank Delise. This seems like a great way for mods to break into the gaming scene, release an amazing mod for free, then start a company, then PROFIT! (sorry..). I'm really looking forward to see what these guys are comming up with next.

Consoles? (2, Insightful)

Mukaikubo (724906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628546)

The real question, though is when (if ever!) net access by consoles are going to allow widespread modding of console titles. I look forward to it, if it's even possible.

Re:Consoles? (2, Informative)

easyfrag (210329) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628763)

I've played Quake2 on a modded Xbox via this port. [netfirms.com] I was able to add the CTF files to it and it worked perfectly, well except for the fact that I was using the xbox controller and found it useless for a fps, I was playing guys on PC's and couldn't turn and aim nearly as fast. I'm not sure if the Q2 CTF files counts as a mod or not, I believe id put them out but I could be wrong.

glaring omission (2, Insightful)

ehvoy (696364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628577)

But here's a glaring omission: Half-life...

Simple, no linux support.

Yay! For once, HL & Counterstrike not mentione (2, Insightful)

Retired Replicant (668463) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628584)

There have been lots of articles in the mainstream media about mods, but usually they end up talking almost exclusively about Half Life and Counterstrike. For once, I'm glad to see them not get mentioned. It is time for the online FPS gaming community to move on from those 5 year old games and mods. There is much better stuff out there to play now than Half Life & Counterstrike. I think the Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942 has a chance of becoming the "new" Counterstrike.

Competitive Gaming (4, Informative)

Marsala (4168) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628623)

I've recently been sucked into the competitive gameplay world (where teams organize into divisions, leagues, etc, tournaments are held periodically for cash and prizes, and all that good stuff). As much as I used to chuckle at the thought of "pro gamers", it turns out that there can be just as much nuance to strategy and execution to appreciate in watching a multiplayer video game as there is in watching say a football game. At least to my mind.

One cool thing about mods is that they can be used to improve games to a point where they're suitable for competition. The ETpro [anime.net] mod by bani for the game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory [activision.com] alters some aspects of gameplay to make it more suitable stopwatch competitions.

The other thing mods can do, and this is kinda neat, is actually add in features to accomodate game spectators. Again, using ETpro as an example, bani included some small changes to help shoutcasters quickly identify players and get stats during the match. A multiview feature was also added so that a spectator could watch the game from several different points of view with a Picture-in-Picture style setup.

In the future, I see mods stepping up to fill in the roles that the original game developers either couldn't think of or didn't want to address because the competition world wasn't their target audience. I can see a mod coming out that can not only handle broadcasting video of the match, but offers optional commentary via an mp3/ogg stream from a caster and presents information kind of in the same way FOX does for football games (current scores, tickers for other matches, league stats for players, etc).

Yeah. Mods are crucial if you want to let your users take your software places you'd never even thought of before.

Mods extend your gaming dollar (1)

TerraFORM (528210) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628631)

Notwithstanding the criticisms of Half-life and its prodigy (which is silly since it is largely the mods of that game that is likely the impetus of this article), mods are great in that you buy the game, and sometimes the mods are better than the game they're modded from. I currently play Desert Combat, which is a mod of the BF1942 franchise, and is the next CS (IMHO).

My personal favorite (1)

jeremyds (456206) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628651)

The best all-time mod I've played is Weapons Factory for Quake II. It was an intense, class-based, capture-the-flag gameplay style that I've spent countless hours playing. Quake II was arguably a weak follow up to the uber-popular Quake I, but this mod greatly extended its life.

Urban Terror (2, Interesting)

InOverMyFeet (576320) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628772)

I've played several mods from the Quake series of games but can't seem to walk away from Urban Terror (now at beta 3.1). I haven't seen any mention of this one on the comments posted thus far. IMHO, I think this mod nails the perfect combination of realism and gameplay. I think CS is cool and very realistic but I think it's a little too real for gameplay. I play UrT almost every day but only for 30 minutes to an hour (except for the weekends when I log several hours every Saturday and Sunday). I've played CS and sometimes went half an hour with little or no action.

Most of the time I need to get on and get my fix in a hurry. I know this sounds sad, and yes I'm addicted.....admitting is the first step towards recovery. - MK-Ultra (to Urban Terror regulars)

Re:Urban Terror (1)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628927)

Yeah, I'm with you on this one. Urban Terror is an awesome q3 mod ... it's practically the only thing I've been playing for the last few weeks. Big plus is that it runs on Q3Linux too.

Would Add-Ons Count? (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628911)


Here's a thought; I'm a huge fan of BF1942 (it's a bit slower-paced than most FPS, and I like the "real" weapons.) EA Games have brought out a number of pretty cool add-ons for it (Secret Weapons, Road to Rome, etc.) as well as a number of really neat maps with new weapons and whatnot.

Does this count, or are people religiously opposed to something being called a "mod" if it comes out of the same shop that brought out the game in the first place?

Isn't Halflife Quake Based (-1, Redundant)

MCSR_Jake (580501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628964)

I thought HL was based on a highly modified version of the Quake II engine.

Ah, brings back memories... (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7628965)

I can't believe the old page for TeamFortress [planetfortress.com] is still around. Must be for nostalgia's sake. Still, it's good to look back at my one short fleeting moment of fame [planetfortress.com] , heading up and releasing the last version of that mod many years ago. Then again, it makes me realize just how old I am now.

I've lost so many contacts from those days, but I still email Robin every so often to see what he's up to. I'm afraid to ask what the atmosphere around the Valve office is in the aftermath of the recent security breach [slashdot.org] .

Re:Ah, brings back memories... (1)

madcow_ucsb (222054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629156)

Holy shit, has it been that long? CS was great and all, but nothing compared to playing TF on Quake 1 back in the day. Best game ever. Somehow TF on HL just never seeemed the same and I just couldn't get into it and switched to CS... :( Of course now I haven't touched a game on a PC since about 2000...

That said, I like how that news page says that the developers started work full-time on TF2 in 98. I guess it'll come out the same time as Duke Nukem Forever.

Glaring omission? (1, Informative)

Da w00t (1789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7629046)

Last I checked, Half-Life was based on the Quake2 engine, which id software made, and released all kinds of developers kits for. They already covered it, methinks.

Not a glaring omission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7629074)

But how about CrystalSpace? Hasn't anyone worked with that free, open sourced game engine?

What about Barney... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7629225)

A big ommission is the barney Doom mod. The first mod I can remember seeing. It was for the original doom and changed the "small" demon at the end of the demo or first level into the vile purple fiend.

The story ignores the real base mods from the DOS era when the tools/source were not released and had t obe reverse engineered by users.

The Alens total conversion for Doom is still the best mod I've played.
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