modding

Ubisoft underscores the importance of user-generated content, but not really

Omri Petitte at

Ubisoft Toronto Managing Director Jade Raymond believes more developers should focus on user-generated content as a means to expand communities and drive down development costs, according to a Gamasutra interview. Raymond didn't explicitly use the word "mod," but confusingly said "custom experience."


Deus Ex: Nihilum mod is a whole new cyberpunk conspiratorial mystery

Omri Petitte at

There must be some sort of magical lure for stories dealing with trenchcoated, cybernetic soldiers wearing sunglasses indoors and uncovering nefarious schemes from world-domineering organizations, because Deus Ex just keeps augmenting itself with fantastic-looking mods. Nihilum has kept hidden in its development lab for a few years, but its ready to emerge this June as a fully voiced alternate tale involving the green-loving UNATCO and a mission to a futuristic Hong Kong.


Sonic Generations mod adds most levels from console-exclusive Sonic Unleashed

Omri Petitte at

Yes, there's actually a bunch of Sonic games on Steam. They're easy to miss in the piles of other action games, but 2011's Sonic Generations deserves special notice for its thriving mod community. That's right, mods and Sonic is a thing, a pair as expected as hedgehogs and racing. The latest user-generated triumph is the Unleashed Project, a massive port of some of the daytime (read: good) levels from the console-only Sonic Unleashed.


See Doom partially ported into Garry's Mod

Omri Petitte at

As far as giving an older game the Source treatment, GhorsHammer's gmDoom port project is probably the quickest to elicit a "Holy %)#@" out of me since Black Mesa. It chainsaws out the UI, enemy, and weapon sprites from the proto-FPS and stitches them into Garry's Mod with astonishing smoothness. I can't imagine how downing a Strider with a blast from the BFG would work, but after seeing it in action in GhorsHammer's video, I can't imagine how it wouldn't work.


Legend of Grimrock Master Quest expands original layout, puzzles, threat to social life

Omri Petitte at

If you think you've reached the end of Legend of Grimrock's twisting stone warrens and clever traps, the Master Quest is here to remind you that the mighty crawl never ends. Creator Komag's substantial work is a custom super-dungeon that tosses in more challenging enemies, puzzles, and even a value tracker for all the loot your party lugs around.


Headshot Hello Kitty in CS:GO's de_dolls

Omri Petitte at

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a lot of custom maps. Seriously, browse its Steam Workshop page and see for yourself. We've talked about some of our favorites (all of which appear in our CS:GO sessions on our server), but a classic map layout we've yet to see a worthy update for is de_rats' bomb-defusal play in an oversized kitchen. DJ PC820 and TastySlopsicle's de_dolls_csgo is perhaps the best spiritual iteration we've spotted yet.


More details emerge for the Crytek-authorized TimeSplitters Rewind mod

Omri Petitte at

Crytek sparked hope for TimeSplitters fans last year when it bestowed its blessing upon the community-driven TimeSplitters Rewind PC mod to use the powerful CryEngine 3. And there was much rejoicing, for although Crytek bought series developer Free Radical Design a few years ago, it left any future TimeSplitters games in question as it refocused the team's talents onto Crysis development. It's been a while since the Facebook-turned-mod-group announced the good news, so project manager Michael Hubicka shares a whole bunch of new info in a Cooking with Grenades interview (via Escapist). Monkeys: confirmed.


Luftahraan mod furnishes Skyrim with a new city, quests, things to steal

Omri Petitte at

Luftahraan is a mod for Skyrim that—yes, yes, I know I talk about Skyrim mods a lot. How can I not? When ambitious projects such as this collaborative work from modding team Archon Entertainment challenge the depth and scale of Bethesda's own professional add-ons, it's only proper to acknowledge their quality. That's why I'm looking forward to stepping foot onto the streets of Luftahraan (bless you), the titular city-state of Nordic flair housing a full storyline, voiced NPCs, custom music, and optional activities.

Skyrim Legend of the Toa mod is a fond Bionicle homage

Omri Petitte at

I remember the Bionicle toys as one of my earliest obsessions—I even memorized all the cool Maori-sounding character names. File this one under "all of my childhood wants," then: the early concepts for Skyrim's Legend of the Toa mod is just the beginning for a planned total conversion to the island of Mata Nui and its biomechanical guardians.


Arma 3 mod simulates authentic radio systems and interference

Omri Petitte at

Arma 3's alpha is just over a week old, but a few promising add-ons are already taking advantage of Bohemia's out-the-gate moddability. An inevitable carryover from the hardcore Arma 2 community is ACRE, or Advanced Combat Radio Environment, a mod-turned-mainstay for the majority of players for its realistic voice-comm behavior influenced by range, direction, terrain, and facing. It's as certain to appear in Arma 3 as scores of DayZ knockoffs, and this video shows off an already working early prototype in multiplayer.

Tropical Skyrim mod is like Far Cry with swords

Omri Petitte at

The frigid fjords of Skyrim constantly remind you that it's cold. Freezing gales howl down from ridges and sweep in fresh flurries of frost, and the arctic air means anything less than a full-blown mammoth pelt wrapped against yourself will probably cause some Seinfeldian shrinkage. It's time for an escape. It's time for a change. It's time for toucans. I can already feel the warmth blasting my face after installing the Tropical Skyrim overhaul to turn the Nords' bleak homeland into a lush jungle sprawl.


Doom 2 Byngu mod turns multiplayer marines into cars from hell

Omri Petitte at

It all makes sense now. Doom 2's nefarious UAC wasn't experimenting on secret portal technology within its shadowy Martian facility. As creator Mr. Fiat's Byngu multiplayer mod reveals, the morally bankrupt corporation was attempting to create the unholy combination of cars, fireball spam, and gladiator-style arena fights. Those monsters.


Duel Combat Realism mod for Skyrim is a true warrior's test

Omri Petitte at

Plenty of gameplay-tweaking mods for Skyrim sparkle like Ayleid gems in our roundup, but LogRaam's Duel Combat Realism overhaul somehow evaded our stealth detection. It's one of the oldest mods around for Bethesda's RPG, restructuring enemy and weapon behavior for a more realistic level of challenge above the game's stock hack-and-slash design.


Minecraft Real Life Seasons mod is a sight to behold year round

Omri Petitte at

Modding Minecraft is just like enjoying a spelunk of a particularly large hole you just dug: there's a surprise around nearly every blocky corner. The colossal constructions of the sandbox's community deservedly soak up the attention, but many more mod-crafts glimmer in the background like precious gems. Here's a particularly interesting find (via Reddit): the Real Life Seasons Mod, a texture pack that automatically coats your biome's climate with the appropriate season indicated by your computer's calendar.


Garry's Mod has earned nearly $22 million over seven years

Omri Petitte at

Garry's Mod, that wonderful physics sandbox of posable characters doing very silly things, has done rather well since attaching a $10 price for its tomfoolery back in 2006. Last December, GMod passed the milestone of 2 million copies sold, an accomplishment made possible by word-of-mouth and creator Garry Newman's regular feature updates. Responding to a fan's question in a blofg post, Newman reveals the mod accrued an astounding $22 million over seven years, but he also says taxes took large bites out of the monstrous moneydollar amount.

Oblivionauts mod recasts Skyrim onto user-created maps with dynamic campaigns

Omri Petitte at

At first glance, Oblivionauts seems somewhat convoluted. It's neither a total conversion like Enderal nor a straightforward supplement of extra gear. The mod adopts more non-linearity than Skyrim in its dungeons but instead of starting with a blank slate, you pick a pre-built class for your character. After reading more of creator Far Realms' outline, I think it's one of the most ambitious projects I've seen from a mod team.


Black Mesa: Hazard Course mod sends Half-Life's tutorial deeper into Source

Omri Petitte at

After using a Xen relay to slingshot itself across an interdimensional portal known as "the Internet," Black Mesa and its updates to Half-Life 1 continue to influence satellite mods that restoreextendedchunks of Gordon Freeman's tale. Next in line for Black-Mesa-fying: the Hazard Course, Gordon's optional and educational pit-stop for teaching movement and shooting basics.


Black Snow co-op mod: because it's better to flee the darkness with a friend

Omri Petitte at

Forget for a moment about debating what happens to horror's impact whenever another player enters the scene. When you open a murkily lit doorway framing a pitch-black hallway seething with malevolent abominations of shadow, you'll want someone close by to cling to...or a giant, stuffed teddy bear. The Black Snow mod for Half-Life 2 is sadly bear-less, but its new co-op mod-in-a-mod revisits the atmospheric creepiness with up to four players and up to four pairs of pants ready for wetting.


Grand Theft Auto IV mod takes Toy Story's Woody for a trip to the big city

Omri Petitte at

The complicated process of installing GTA IV mods is a perilous, comical adventure in itself, but pulling it off can add some memorable gaming and movie characters to Liberty City's sprawl. With his doffed ten-gallon and permanent cheek-to-cheek grin, Toy Story's Woody is the latest newcomer to the city. See him dispense a little country hospitality with mega-shoves and hadoukens in this sample video.


Aliens: Colonial Marines mods duct-tape on DirectX 10 features, improved lighting effects

Omri Petitte at

Well, that was fast. Only a little over 24 hours have passed since Aliens: Colonial Marines emerged from its dark alcove, but graphics mods are already becoming available. Two such offerings are the DirectX 10 and SweetFX add-ons which spruce up shadows, lighting, and color palettes for something a bit more reminiscent of the films' murky tones and cool hues.