Subject: General Tech | February 8, 2012 - 02:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, skyrim, elder scrolls, mod
High Definition Textures have arrived for Skyrim via Steam. The download is just over 3GB and contains .BSP files which is the file type Bethesda in general and Skyrim in particular store their textures. This is rather handy as two mods which already add high definition textures do so via a new folder called Textures under your Skyrim folder. This means that the mods do not interfere with the official HD download as far as crashing the game, however more investigation is needed to discover how the mods interact as far as texture rendering priorities as well as determining which gives you the best looking textures.
Just download it via Steam and ensure that you enable it via the Data Files option on your Skyrim launcher. While you are clicking on that download you might notice a link to something called Steam Workshop. This leads you to a section of Steam where you can download mods for Skyrim via Steam which can be applied to your game though it does not necessarily replace Nexus Mod Manager. When you have clicked on the mod then the next time you launch Skyrim it will run a check and synchronize your game and the mod. The mods can be enabled and disabled just like the HD textures via the Data Files portion of your Skyrim launcher.
The addition of official HD textures and supported mods is a brilliant move by Bethesda and Steam and the PC gaming community wholeheartedly thanks them for this wonderful addition to the game. Many PC users initial experience with Skyrim was not positive, especially those using AMD graphics cards. The patches to Skyrim and AMD's drivers have finally fixed most performance issues users experienced and with the addition of PC specific improvements and mods Bethesda may have gone a long way to wooing back those users who were initially unimpressed with the game.
Along with these additions does come a plea to Steam. You may notice negative comments underneath the mods which you choose, such as "It should say "Stolen by: Manic Zombie" The uploader gave no credit to the author of this.". This is very unfortunate for the brilliant mind that decided to model mudcrabs with a monocle and top hat as the number of users of this mod will soar but the modder themselves are doomed to obscurity. It could be that Manic Zombie was indeed the original modder as the Japanese site links to a download on Skyrim Nexus that he posted. If Steam is going to offer mods the modding community would greatly appreciate it if Steam researched the mod to ensure that the submitter is indeed the actual source of the mod or at least has the modders permissions. The "Report" button is a great start but in order to help attract game modders to Steam, reassurance that they will get recognition for their mods would go a long way to bringing even more modders into the fold.
"The long-awaited Skyrim Creation Kit is out, and it’s come with the rumoured High-Resolution Texture Pack all the kids wanted! The game’s also 33% off on Steam in the US and UK at the moment, if this is what you were waiting for."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Unstoppable Gorg Review - The Aliens Are Coming! @ Techgage
- Need For Speed: The Run PC Review @ eTeknix
- Paradox Hint At Three New Games, Revealed Next Month @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Microsoft Flight release date pinned down @ Hexus
- PC Gaming - What to expect in 2012 @ eTeknix
- Soul Calibur V @ HEXUS
- NFL Blitz 2012 Edition PlayStation 3 @ Tweaktown
- SOULCALIBUR V Review @ HardwareHeaven.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 (XBOX 360) Review @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2011 - 02:33 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: zelda, starcraft 2, starcraft, mod
So you may be aware by now that PC gamers often like to mess with their game and customize it as they desire. Sometimes you even see the magical situation where one game gets grafted into another like a turducken you can play with. You do not play with your food, do you? Regardless of your eating habits it is perfectly reasonable to play with a videogame in your videogame and could be reasonable in the near future to play some Zelda in your Starcraft.
Technically a turducken would be a Portal Gun inside Link to the Past inside Starcraft…
The mod appears to have made quite a bit of progress judging by three of their released videos. According to what I can tell: multiplayer is being worked upon, soldiers are related to zerglings by death, and chickens are no longer the most deadly beings of the land. Unfortunately, being that Link and the soldiers are the only units with attacks right now (so it would seem) it suffers from classic Starcraft 2 issues: Terran imba.
What do you think?
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | July 8, 2011 - 12:29 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mod, battlefield 3
The Battlefield franchise has had a somewhat indecisive history with the mod community. Battlefield 2 was developed in part by a mod team for the first game, Battlefield 1942, and mod tools were provided for several of their releases. Recently they shifted their focus on to the console spinoff, Bad Company. While the second in the franchise was created for the PC neither featured mod tools. Now that DICE has returned to the original canon with Battlefield 3 there were hopes that mod tools would return with the franchise but according to DICE that is not the case.
These tools are hard, just look at the destructibility, you wouldn’t like it…
German gaming site GameStar met up with DICE’s CEO Patrick Soderlund to discuss Battlefield 3. Soderlund answered an array of questions from the community about the Bad Company 2 friends list, alternatives to the commander mode, and the potential future of Mirror’s Edge. When questioned about the mod tools: Soderlund did not rule out the possibility of mod tools in the future but might as well done so. He contends that Frostbite 2 is too difficult to deal with for modders (which historically means: “the tools barely work for us, we are not going through the effort to polish them for public use”).
Surprisingly, to those who know me, I can agree with DICE’s stance on the issue. If your mod tools do not fit your level of polish required to release, then do not release them; provided, of course, you do not actively harm the creation of mods. With that in mind, the mod community is what will keep your game flowing with new content, for a little upfront cost. If your tail is shorter than you anticipated: this should be the first place to look.
Over at Hack a Day is a video and project log of an industrious fellow whose digital picture frame backlight bit the biscuit. Instead of buying a new one he removed the dead CCFL and replaced it with a six dollar LED strip instead of an expensive inverter or lamp for the CCFL. The project is not easy, especially if you wish to attempt this on a full sized monitor but there are tips and tricks that should help you on your way in the full post.
"[Fileark] had the backlight on his digital picture frame go out one day. These are generally Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps which require an inverter to source the voltage necessary for proper operation. When they stop working, the inverter is usually to blame. Since that circuit is made up of pretty small surface mount circuitry, he decided to replace the backlight with LEDs rather than repair the inverter."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Roundup: Dell Monitors on e-IPS Matrix @ X-bit Labs
- ASUS PA246Q: Prosumer TFT or a Serious Amateur? @ InsideHW
- Dell UltraSharp U2410 24” IPS Monitor Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Antec SoundScience Halo 6 LED Bias Lighting Kit Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- XFX's Triple Display Monitor Stand @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2011 - 12:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, x-com, mod
It has been a first person shooter, a flight simulator and a turn based strategy game in a world where even a glass window is utterly impervious to nuclear weapons, but never has X-COM UFO Defense been properly remade or reimagined. It looks like an indy company will beat everyone else to it with their soon to enter beta testing Xenonauts, which keeps the style of the original, admittedly aged game, and more importantly includes destrucatable terrain! No word yet on if you can fund your extermination efforts by selling equipment you made from alien tech to world governments but there is a lot of info on the game over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.
"It’s been a bit all-quiet for the Cold War-set X-COM reimagining Xenonauts for the last few months, but creators Goldhawk have finally broken cover to show how the major element – the ground combat – looks in action. The answer, you may not be terribly surprised to hear is “quite a bit like X-COM”, but clearly that’s exactly what we want. Higher res and detail is a fine thing, but it’s especially pleasing to see that destructible scenery, something so bafflingly absent from many of the commercial X-COM remakes, is present and correct."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Brink GPU & CPU Performance Test @ TechSpot
- Capsized: a beautiful 2D side-scroller for the FPS crowd @ Ars Technica
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution preview: fighting the past @ Ars Technica/A>
- Take Your Pick: Terraria Released @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Rememdy sets its sights on New Alan Wake game @ HEXUS
- Gaming Friday: TrackMania Nations Forever @ ThinkComputers
- PES 2012 - Xbox 360, PS3, PC @ HEXUS
- Operation Flashpoint: Red River - PC, Xbox 360, PS3 @ HEXUS
- Crysis 2 Retaliation DLC Revealed @ Crysis
- Virtua Tennis 4 PlayStation 3 @ Tweaktown
- XBOX 360 vs Playstation 3: Part Four @ hardCOREware
Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 5, 2011 - 06:05 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mod, microSD, atari 810
It is common knowledge that technology gets smaller as time advances. There is, however, a point where a certain level of advancement trots along the border to absurdity and makes you think about exactly what is possible with modern technology and occasionally an innovative spirit. Leave it to the hackers to consistently push that boundary and entertain the rest of us less talented individuals.
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