modding

Morrowind getting an engine overhaul through OpenMW

Patrick Carlson at

A new game engine could mean an even longer life for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. The engine-replacement project—known as OpenMW—isn't complete yet, but the group of developers working to modernize the now-classic 2002 RPG is nearing the finish line, according to a new update video from the team.


System Shock 2 modder reveals screens from gorgeous cutscene remake

Andy Chalk at

System Shock 2 was released in 1999 and I'm still hesitant to talk about it too much for fear of spoiling the experience for those of you who haven't yet played it. Yes, it's that good, which is why I'm not going to say anything in detail about this planned remake of a pivotal cinematic sequence until after this paragraph. But if you know what I'm talking about when I refer to "the big reveal," then you should probably keep reading.

Morrowind Rebirth mod 2.7 update improves textures, adds new areas and items

Omri Petitte at

Tamriel's ashy homeland of the Dark Elves is the source for many a Elder Scrolls hero's first memories—exploring ancient Dwemer ruins, sticking a spear into Dagoth Ur, or cursing the very words "cliff racer"—so it's small wonder a number of large-scale mods focus on overhauling the 2002 RPG. The massive Skywind effort is certainly exciting to look forward to, but some older projects are still steaming along quite nicely. Morrowind Rebirth has been around for a few years, and its latest update adds new areas to the game's already massive world.


Portal 2: Aperture Tag mod adds level editor and Steam Workshop support

Emanuel Maiberg at

Aperture Tag is a Portal 2 mod inspired by Tag: The Power of Paint, the 2009 DigiPen student project which influenced Portal 2's gel mechanics and puzzles. Instead of shooting portals, you shoot the game’s orange and blue liquids, which make you run faster and jump higher, respectively. And now you'll be able to add your own mods to the mix.


Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines finds immortality with new 9.0 patch release

Omri Petitte at

As a game all about surviving in a hidden bloodsucker culture on the oblivious streets of Los Angeles, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines fully deserves the embrace of undeath. It was the last effort from masterful RPG studio Troika Games, and its release in 2004 drew much ardor from fans yearning to join the World of Darkness canon—but it's also known as one of the glitchiest games of recent memory.

A troubled development path caused Bloodlines to launch in an unfinished state plagued with bugs, missing dialogue, and other Broken Things. But Bloodlines' heart has kept beating thanks to nearly a decade of fan-made patches—headquartered in the online coven Planet Vampire—fixing longstanding flaws, refreshing textures, restoring hidden content, and generally piecing back together Bloodlines' intended glory. Even better: the game is currently $5/£3 on Amazon.


Diary of a Droid Jedi - Star Wars Conquest, part 4

Evan Lahti at

This is a chronicle of our absurd, canon-destroying playthrough of Star Wars Conquest, a mod for sandbox RPG Mount & Blade. Our campaign to ruin Star Wars appears each Tuesday.

It’s always embarrassing to be defeated by the elderly. Last week Emperor Palpatine gave me a lightsaber-whipping on the wooded arena of Endor, gutting my army with his formidable gang of gutless thugs and fascists: Stormtroopers, Imperial Navy Troopers, and Imperial Pilots.

Dark Souls 2 PC tweak guide

PC Gamer at

In 2012, Peter "Durante" Thoman wrote the popular mod DSfix for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on PC, fixing its locked 1024x720 resolution and other issues. In 2013, he released a similar fix for Deadly Premonition. We asked Durante to analyze the PC port of Dark Souls 2 in a series of articles. Here he explains how to wring the most performance from the game…

We previously investigated what Dark Souls 2 delivers out of the box, and it certainly has a nice selection of options. However, due to the unique strengths of the PC platform, we can try to go further in order to enhance our visual experience. In this article we will be relying entirely on generic, freely available tools. No hardcore hacks required.

Dark Souls 2 PC port: mod god Durante's verdict

PC Gamer at

In 2012, Peter "Durante" Thoman wrote the popular mod DSfix for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on PC, fixing its locked 1024x720 resolution and other issues. In 2013, he released a similar fix for Deadly Premonition. We asked Durante to analyze the PC port of Dark Souls 2 in a series of articles.

After an initial outing on PC which was barely serviceable—rendering at 1024x720, locked at 30 FPS with unusable mouse controls—From Software and Namco Bandai have a lot to prove with this sequel. For Dark Souls 2, PC was reportedly considered a major target platform from the start. In this article, I'll first investigate the technical quality of the port compared to Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition and the console versions of Dark Souls 2. Then I'll have a closer look at the options included in the game and analyze their impact.

Jedi Knight 2 HD remake mod in the works

Omri Petitte at

One of the best memories from my Star Wars gaming holocron is loading up a LAN multiplayer match in Jedi Knight 2 with a low-gravity mutation switched on and a lightsabers-only weapon restriction. It was silly loads of fun, but the Force wasn't with publisher LucasArts' wishes to continue the series, as Disney closed the studio last April. Our only hope lies with the power of JK2's lingering community, where a brave modder is taking on the huge task of uplifting the entirety of the game's graphics in a HD remake mod.


Square Enix, Amazon announce Thief: Gold modding competition

Emanuel Maiberg at

We're big fans of The Dark Mod, a fan remake of the original Thief game that won our 2013 mod of the year award. Square Enix, which will soon publish the Thief reboot, is a fan as well. It just announced a partnership with Amazon for a Thief: Gold modding competition, and has directed participants to The Dark Mod if they're looking for helpful modding resources.


Source SDK mod Estranged: Act I now on Steam for free

Omri Petitte at

It's always nice to see a mod progress from humble beginnings to its own Steam product page, and Estranged is fully deserving of the achievement. Alan Edwardes' spooky, puzzle-filled FPS plays and looks like a first-person Alan Wake, and it's an excellent deviation from standard run-and-gun zombie-fragging with its supernatural twists and an atmospheric sense of foreboding. The first act is available on Steam as a free download independent of any Source-based game, so you won't need Half-Life 2 to jump in and start exploring.


Portal 2 mod swaps portals with paint in 26 new maps

Omri Petitte at

When billionaire bro Cave Johnson turned his vision away from the exciting world of shower curtains to tossing money at a bunch of science stuff, what if paint guns instead of portals were the result? That's the setting for Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative, a fledgling Portal 2 mod boasting 26 new puzzle floors designed for no portals whatsoever. Instead, we'll sail through that exit door by laying down carpets and dollops of the much-adored red and blue paint for speedy acceleration and longer airtime.


Project Zomboid mapping tools released: die horribly in your own backyard

PC Gamer at

The Indie Stone have released the mapping tools for Project Zomboid, their indie zombie survival game. If you’ve ever felt the urge to see your home-town overrun with zombies - and who hasn’t - your time has finally come.

The tools, which were used by developers for creating the in-game maps Muldraugh and West Point, will let players create their own sandbox maps in whatever sadistic or artistic manner they choose. The question is no longer just how you die, but where.


Budding artists can now tool around in StarCraft 2

Katie Williams at

Is crafting silly hats for Team Fortress 2 just not artistically challenging enough? It's time to move on, my friend, and reach for the stars—of StarCraft 2, that is, thanks to Blizzard's newly released Art Tools.


Behind Falskaar, a massive new Skyrim mod, and the 19-year-old who spent a year building it

Ian Birnbaum at

WeloveSkyrimmods. A new, noteworthy one for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Falskaar, was released over the weekend, and it is quite a doozy. Falskaar adds almost 25 hours of content, a land mass a third the size of the original game, new characters, new voices, and dozens of quests. As impressive as it is, though, it’s nowhere near as impressive as the creative force behind it: Alexander J. Velicky, a 19-year-old gunning for a job with Bethesda with his first try at modding Skyrim.

Witcher 2 REDkit mod tutorials begin to surface

Patrick Carlson at

If you give PC gamers a chance, you'll see some special things happen. The deep and fascinating community that operates behind the Witcher 2 has begun to assemble and release tutorials for the REDkit mod tool set that recently entered its public beta phase.


The Witcher 2's REDKit mod tools now officially released

Phil Savage at

After last week's false start, CD Projekt RED have now officially released the Witcher 2's mod maker, REDKit. It's a powerful looking suite, giving you the opportunity to design quests, build lands, create NPCs, customise combat and "plant realistic forests in just a few clicks." That last one is probably the limit of what I'd be able to achieve.


Gmod aims to get your mods working with a minimum of fiddling and fuss

Katie Williams at

The joys of being a PC gamer! Thanks to the modability of our platform, only we can patch the ugly out of a game, utilize tools to help us keep track of WoW's economy, and randomly slap Iron Man into GTA4, no questions asked. That's pretty badass. We understand that some folks, though, don't always have the time to unzip things, crawl through directories hidden all over their PCs, do forum research, and tussle with conflicting mods. Cue Gmod. This mod-management tool's aim is to greatly ease the mod-enabling process, expediting, say, the restoration of truly fearsome dragons in Skyrim again.


Playable console with "Super Mareo Bruhs" modded into CS:GO server

Tyler Wilde at

Reflex Gamers has made a brilliant addition to its 24/7 cs_office server for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive—the map now features the "Sourcemod Entertainment System" (SMES), a playable console which runs "Super Mareo Bruhs" on a TV in the projector room.

Tripwire on making games moddable: "It's a lot of work. But I think that it's worth it."

Evan Lahti at

Tripwire Interactive is one of the handful of studios that have made the jump from modest modding origins to professional, full-time, make-your-mom-proud game development. Until last year, the studio operated out of the bottom floor of a Georgia church. And through releasing Red Orchestra 2 and the 1.7-million-selling Killing Floor (originally a mod), Tripwire has encouraged and regularly rewarded modders and map-makers.

As Red Orchestra 2 was being developed, Tripwire committed to creating an SDK during development, allowing modders to get cracking before the game's release. With modding support for modern games less ubiquitous than we'd like it to be, I asked Tripwire President John Gibson how hard it was for Tripwire to build mod support while they were developing the game itself.