Mods

SimCity mod extends maximum city size, but not without performance problems

Phil Savage at

Previously, Maxis confirmed that they've no plan to extend SimCity's maximum city size. And so it falls to modders to help those feeling hemmed in by the game's virtual borders. Can it be done? Yes, sort of. Project Orion is such a boundary extending mod, and will let the game's mayors build free of the vanilla base limit. Don't plan a ribbon cutting ceremony for your city's east wing just yet, though, as its use will mean dealing with some pretty significant performance issues and glitches.


Mod of the Week: Westeros: Age of Petty Kings, for Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms

Christopher Livingston at

I don't know how successfully it comes across on the TV show, but the Game of Thrones book series makes the storied history of Westeros as important and intriguing as the current, rather messy state of affairs. Westeros: Age of Petty Kings, a mod for Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms, is set during the Andal Invasion of Westeros, thousands of years before the events of the series, which means now you can take part in the shaping of the turbulent continent and forge your own version of the history of Westeros.


Skyrim mod Skywind gets length exploration-focused video

Phil Savage at

Skywind feels like such a fragile prospect. It's an ambitious idea: recreating Morrowind in Skyrim's newer engine. As with all formidable total conversions, it's hard to shake the fear that it will ultimately never happen.

Maybe this 13 minute stream VOD can help quell that fear. In it, we get to see thirteen minutes of a character just wandering about the world. It makes the whole thing feel more tangible; more real.

Mod of the Week: After the End, for Crusader Kings II

Christopher Livingston at

Crusader Kings II is the perfect game for creating alternate history, and full conversion mods (like those for Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones) are great for creating alternate fictional history. How about alternate future history? After the End is a mod for CKII set in North America in the year 2666, after an unspecified cataclysmic event has shattered the planet and humankind is desperately trying to pick up the pieces, regain control, and understand its own murky past.


Pixel Boost: Deus Ex at 5K

Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month, Pixel Boost guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each guide comes with a free side of hi-res screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Looking sharp, JC Denton. Real sharp.

It's one of the best RPGs ever made. It's one of the best games ever made, period. Deus Ex needs little introduction—since 2000, Ion Storm's first-person shooter/RPG has been the benchmark for open-ended game design. There's always a secret vent to crawl through, or a door to hack, or an NPC to persuade. Deus Ex's popularity endures to this day, and modders are still working to make the game look better every year. We decided to pay ol' JC Denton a visit on modern Windows and snap 33 5K screenshots. Here are the tools you can use to do the same.

Mod of the Week: Double Action Boogaloo, for Half-Life 2

Christopher Livingston at

Amidst a flock of startled doves I dive left, my dual pistols blazing, and take down one enemy as another evades me by back-flipping off a wall. As I empty both clips, my dive becomes a prolonged sideways slide which takes me right off the roof of the skyscraper. I'm not alone: another thug sails over the ledge and joins me on my long plummet to the ground. While falling, I reload both guns and we trade fire all the way down to the street. Did I mention this happens in slow-motion? It's as if Jon Woo directed The Matrix when you play Double Action Boogaloo, a multiplayer mod for Half-Life 2.


Skeletal PS1 adventure Medievil is being reborn as a Skyrim mod

Tom Sykes at

Medievil was one of the highlights of the Playstation era for me: a Tim Burton/Danny Elfmanesque comedy romp through a medieval...sorry, a medievil fantasy world. It's one of those games I'd rather preserve the memory of rather than attempt to play again, but I'm thrilled to see it reborn, after a fashion, in Skyrim. Modder KorinOo is remaking the first four levels in the Construction Set, along with its undead hero Sir Daniel Fortescue and the various skellies and pumpkins he encounters along the way.


The PC Gamer Show episode 3: Videoball, GTA 4 no-friction and more on LPC Jr., Arma 3 Zeus mode

PC Gamer at

It's The PC Gamer Show! In episode three we're introducing the new Large Pixel Collider Jr. with an afternoon of special living room gaming challenges. Can Counter-Strike maven Evan Lahti win when he's forced to play with an Xbox controller? Who will survive the frictionless mayhem of GTA 4's Carmageddon mod? Plus, we play upcoming electronic sport Videoball, and PC Gamer UK walks us through ARMA 3's awesome Zeus mode.


Dota 2 modding tools now in alpha, upload custom maps/modes to Steam Workshop

Tom Sykes at

Valve has announced, and released, the first alpha version of its Dota 2 Workshop Tools, which will make it easier for modders to make and share custom maps and game modes for their gargantuan wizard-'em-up. This initial release is focused around developers, so the system requirements might be a tad high: you'll need a 64-bit version of Windows, a Direct3D 11 compatible GPU, and you'll need to opt into the Steam Client Beta. If you have all those things, you can now use the tools to alter Dota 2 to your liking, uploading the results to the Steam Workshop for other players to try.


Thief 2 HD mod is due out later this week

Phil Savage at

Thief Gold's HD mod is, along with the unofficial TFix patch, now a standard part of my elder Thief install. It's something of a no-brainer for the game's fans—offering a noticeably more detailed set of textures without warping the game's deliberate aesthetic. Hence my pleasure when, on a recent trawl through ModDB, I discovered that the team behind the mod are giving Thief 2 the same treatment. Even better, it's due out later this week, on August 8th.

Mod of the Week: Haknslash Essentials, for Torchlight II

Christopher Livingston at

Every week I spot some new mod content for Torchlight II -- a new character class, a new pet, some small but interesting tweaks to the UI or gameplay -- but rarely something meaty enough to devote an entire column to. That's why I'm excited to have come across Haknslash Essentials, a mod that's jam-packed with other mods, fifty in total, giving you a simple one-click subscription to a whole new Torchlight II experience. With a bunch of mighty new classes, an array of interesting and colorful new pets, plus new scenery, new items, and tons more, it's the perfect collection for anyone looking to start a new game with more options than ever.


GTA 4 iCEnhancer creator taking break from modding after years of abuse

Tom Sykes at

Today on Internet Jerks Ruin Everything: the creator of Grand Theft Auto's impressive iCEnhancer mod has decided to hang up his modding boots and head for pastures less horrible, at least for a while. In a Facebook post, Hayssam Keilany announced that he's taking a break from modding thanks to a vitriolic community "trying to bring me down constantly". iCEnhancer 3.0's installer and downgrader tools are both on the way, but after that Keilany is "done for a while".


Mod of the Week: CivRome, for Civilization V

Christopher Livingston at

Rome wasn't built in a day, but now it can be built in a turn. A new mod for Civilization V, called CivRome, lets you play from 323 B.C., the death of Alexander the Great, to 500 A.D., the fall of the Roman Empire. You can play as one of 22 possible civilizations including the Romans (Caesar), the Egyptians (Cleopatra), the Macedonians, the Goths, the Gauls, and even the Huns (led by one Mr. Attila T. Hun). There are new technologies to research, specific attributes for some of the civs, and a beautiful, historically accurate new map to conquer. In other words, it's a toga party, Civilization-style.


Into the deep: it's time to learn how to play Dwarf Fortress

PC Gamer at

The above image may look like a cat walked all over an MS-DOS word processor. What it actually depicts, however, is unspeakable violence and brutality. A field strewn with spent arrows, severed limbs, and pools of blood leads to the trap-riddled narrow entrance of an underground fortress. Corpses of elves, goblins, trolls, humans, and even dogs rot in the open air, slain in attacks on peaceful trade caravans. The inhabitants of the fortress do not care. They got what they wanted from the wagons. Any outsiders who happened to be captured alive in the cage traps will soon be thrown screaming into the open magma pits several floors below.

This is Dwarf Fortress: an endlessly sprawling simulator of procedurally generated worlds awaiting dwarves brave enough to plunder their precious metals. Simple graphics interact with the imagination to reveal more detail than the most vivid high-polycount game—for anyone willing to learn Dwarf Fortress's notorious complexity. It's actually not as hard as you think, and 2014's Dwarf Fortress update dramatically expands Adventure mode to tell sprawling RPG adventures with the same depth as Fortress mode. It's the perfect time to learn, and we're here to help. You'll be pouring magma on goblins in no time.


Watch Dogs' TheWorse Mod final version released

Phil Savage at

So much of the Watch Dogs discussion has been centred around its graphics. Maybe that can now be resolved with this: the final release of TheWorse Mod. Originally designed to enable the visual effects present in Ubisoft's E3 2012 demo of the game, it's since been expanded to offer a full compliment of graphical and performance related improvements. Maybe now we can't talking about what's really wrong with Watch Dogs: its total lack of dogs.


Brutal Doom v20 video shows 15 minutes of unrelenting gore

Shaun Prescott at

The v20 update for Brutal Doom has been in development for a while but there's still no solid release date. While you wait for the gory mod to be finetuned, why not watch 15 minutes of it in action? The update includes a number of improvements, such as general performance tweaks, more realistic/brutal blood fountains and most importantly: ragdoll physics.


Mod of the Week: Spider-Man IV, for Grand Theft Auto IV

Christopher Livingston at

My spider-sense is tingling... and it's because there's yet another superhero mod for GTA IV! This time it's the Spider-Man IV mod, which introduces Liberty City to the masked hero who shoots webs, sticks to walls, beats up policemen, and swings around from skyscrapers, just like spider can. And since Peter Parker is a photographer by trade, there's even a neat photo mode that slows down time to a crawl (heh) to easily allow you to snap pictures of everybody's favorite web-slinger.


Portal 2 mod Aperture Tag releases on Steam, for a price

Phil Savage at

Mods, eh? The fun, free way to extend and/or fix your games. But what's this? Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative looks like a mod, behaves like a mod, and even has the word "MOD" in the corner of its Steam icon. The difference: it's not priced like a mod. This premium package offers a new campaign for Portal 2—one that does away with portals entirely, in favour of puzzles centred around the base game's gels.


Mod of the Week: The Keep on the Borderlands, for The Temple of Elemental Evil

Christopher Livingston at

I was scrolling through ModDB's latest offerings, as I do most mornings, when the words "The Keep on the Borderlands" first caught my eye... then caught my memory. See, The Keep on the Borderlands was the first module I ever played in Dungeons & Dragons, the pen-and-paper RPG, back when I was in grade school in the early 1980's. It's been modded into The Temple of Elemental Evil, the 2003 D&D video game by now-departed developer Troika. Though the full-conversion mod is still in development, I couldn't pass up the chance to check it out while getting all nostalgic for my first D&D campaign.


Minecraft meets Civilization in fan-made CivilizationCraft mod

Andy Chalk at

"CivilizationCraft" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but I don't imagine too many players will get hung up on the name. After all, an open-source multiplayer mod that recreates a very Civilization-like experience in Minecraft is such a good idea, it's almost dangerous.