Dark Souls (opens in new tab) modding has hit a major milestone, seven years after the original version launched on PC. The first new map, which you might recognise as Half-Life's Crossfire, has been imported into the game. Check out the test above, courtesy of modder Dropoff.
While Dark Souls has plenty of mods, the modding community has had a lot of trouble with custom maps. On Reddit, Katalash provides a helpful overview (opens in new tab) of the obstacles, some of which still need to be overcome.
"The main roadblock for custom maps in Dark Souls is that all the Souls games use Havok for physics and collision detection, and all the games' collision data is stored in a proprietary Havok format, and From added their own customizations on top of the format," Katalash explains. "To further complicate matters, the file format and stored data change drastically between game to game. The collision for this was made using an old version of Havok Content tools that was released publicly for a short amount of time before Havok stopped distributing new versions of the tools. The tool generates collision compatible with DS1 PTDE and DS2, but won't work with Dark Souls Remastered or DS3 and beyond."
Modders Meowmaritus and Horkrux both made breakthroughs that were responsible for this first map. On Twitter, fellow modder Zullie (opens in new tab) provides some more context. Meowmaritus created tools that were able to import models, but without collision, while Horkrux found a way to make collision maps. Before Crossfire was imported, the closest modders had come was importing Demon's Souls maps.
Don't expect an explosion of new maps and overhauls just yet, though. Katalash points out that the map doesn't feature enemies or NPCs at the moment because they require custom navigation mesh data, which the community unfortunately doesn't currently have the ability to make. They're looking into a solution.
Still, it sounds like significant progress, and it's impressive to see the community still conjuring up new things for the game despite the lack of official support.