So Watch_Dogs Graphical Mods Didn't Take Long...

Subject: General Tech | June 18, 2014 - 02:32 AM |
Tagged: watch dogs, mod

The "PC Master Race" meme has some merits. Gamers who care about a title, given some technical knowledge, will often make it look better than the developers intended. Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto IV can both look better than most next-gen releases. Watch Dogs is peculiar, though, because it just came out.

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Both images, credit: TheWorse from Guru3d forums

TheWorse Mod for Watch_Dogs apparently started as an attempt to restore the bloom effects from the game's E3 2012 trailer. Since then, TheWorse has improved performance, reduced stuttering, and improved many other effects (such as adding bokeh DOF blurring). The end result is quite pleasing to the eye.

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Check out the Guru3d thread as it develops. The versions seem to by arriving frequently.

Skywind is coming ... still

Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2014 - 02:38 PM |
Tagged: gaming, morrowind, skyrim, mod, skywind

The long awaited mod is still in development, recreating Morrowind with the improved Skyrim engine.  The alpha is currently available to those who own a copy of both games, Skyrim for the engine and Morrowind for the actual game content.  There is a lot of work to be done uniting the games, skill trees are different as well as the differences in the armour system.  With a complete redo of every texture as well as the incorporation of all of Morrowind's content this is a major project but it seems Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has good reason to believe this mod will continue being developed as there is quite a bit of action on their forums as well as the preview video they just posted.

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"I'm so used to these modern conversions of old games stalling mid-development, that I immediately approach them with skepticism. There’s now enough here that I’m starting to open up my hope glands and spurt optimism juice all over my clothes. It’s kind of a problem."

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New Mod: Falskaar Adds Land and 26 Quests to Skyrim

Subject: General Tech | July 18, 2013 - 03:34 AM |
Tagged: skyrim, mod, elder scrolls

If you thought it took a long time to play The Elder Scrolls V then you should consider the man-hours required for its development. Alexander J. Velicky, a hobbyist hoping to secure a job at Bethesda, spent 2000 hours of his last year creating an entire total conversion for Skyrim. If you then include the 100 contributors, Falskaar has quite a lot of care invested in its development. You can check out its trailer below.

In short, Falskaar is a total conversion of Skyrim, notable for:

  • 26 new quests, 9 of which comprising its main story arc
  • A large, a quarter to a third of Skyrim's area, new environment to explore
  • Two new spells, a new shout, and many new items and equipment
  • An original 14-piece soundtrack and full voice-over
  • Compatible with just an up-to-date base install of Skyrim: no extra mods and no DLC required.

Braving a torrent of "doing it wrong" comments, I must confess I did not spend much more than a dozen hours with The Elder Scrolls V. It was entertaining and worthwhile to purchase but ultimately unable to become a habitual experience. Others I know, on the other hand, sunk months and years into the title. Falskaar, itself, expands that experience by about 25 further hours.

I do not expect to see a select handful of people for the next few days.

If you wish to fall off the grid, yourself, then download Falskaar for free if you own Skyrim. If you do not own Skyrim, it is currently reduced in price by 30% for the Steam Summer Sale.

Source: NexusMods

You will be Miserable if you miss this S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod

Subject: General Tech | July 10, 2013 - 06:18 PM |
Tagged: stalker, mod, gaming, call of pripyat

Back in the ancient days of 2009 a group of developers decided to release what S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was supposed to be, a game called Oblivion Lost with vehicles to drive, significantly more Sci-Fi elements and much less movement restrictions.  While the Misery 2.0 mod for Call of Pripyat will not be quite that different it will completely refresh the S.T.A.L.K.E.R sequel by bringing together a large amount of mods and some of their own secret sauce into a re-imagined world.  Not all will directly effect gameplay, one of the best things about these two games is the dark creepy atmosphere, which the mod should enhance.  The trailer, shameless lifted from Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN, also highlights the new ability to harvest and sell or cook mutant meat.

"I decided I wanted to pretty up the original game: I wanted pitch black nights, livelier fauna, blowouts, lovely skies, and more interesting weather. Unfortunately I’d forgotten I’d already modded it, so I ended up with a broken mutant of a game. I’m reinstalling now. It wasn’t at total waste: on my hunt for the Shadow Of Chernobyl mods I discovered that the long-awaited Misery 2.0 for Call Of Pripyat is out this month. And it has a trailer."

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The Witcher 2 is a little more that just a pretty RPG

Subject: General Tech | June 19, 2013 - 03:23 PM |
Tagged: witcher 2, mod, gaming

The Witcher is a series which some gamers have completely missed, labeling it yet another 3rd person hack n' slash, Elder Scroll-ish game that hasn't got much going for it.  However this impression is inaccurate, at least in part.  While it is indeed a 3rd person game there is a much richer storyline behind the monsters, one which is a bit more adult themed than in similar games, with political manipulations and no real heroes to speak of, merely powerful characters doing what they think is best.  The Enhanced Edition came out recently with graphical improvements that will cripple even current generation GPUs and is compatible with the many mods that have already been made.  Later this month one of the developers will be finalizing and releasing a new Combat Rebalancing mod which will add even more improvements to the game, even though the Witcher 3 is due out soon and this version was originally released two years ago.  If you are unfamiliar with the series you should drop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for details and consider picking up the game from Steam.

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"A small leaflet on the news stand informs us that Andrzej ‘Flash’ Kwiatkowski, an ex-modder and now ‘Gameplay Designer’ at CD Projekt, has returned to modding in an effort to rebalance the combat in Witcher 2. The file size is currently 8 gigabytes, which is too many floppy disks to consider, but should be smaller by release. Which should be very soon."

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Gaming

A Duke Nukem obsession like no other

Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2013 - 03:03 PM |
Tagged: gaming, mod, duke nukem, obsessive

You might think you expressed your disappointment about the pile of garbage that was Duke Nukem Forever by posting scathing reviews online, but you have nothing on these modders who attempted to create the Duke we were all promised by modding Duke Nukem 3D.  If you still have the DN3D kicking around, or at least the DUKE3D.GRP file you can head to ModDB and download a 30MB mod which will expand Las Vegas far beyond the original game. Don't expect miracles, they can only reuse existing assets but they certainly impressed Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN who posted a trailer-ish movie of the mod in action.

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"A group of modders have been busily attempting to rewrite history – by recreating the game that 2001 trailer suggested in good old Duke Nukem 3D. Given they suffered a degree of 3D Realms-esque hubris in their struggle to finish the thing, are these the first Method Developers?"

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Gaming

Fancy a real Fallout sequel?

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2013 - 04:24 PM |
Tagged: mod, gaming, fallout: new vegas, fallout 3, brazil

Project Brazil is a total conversion mod for Fallout: New Vegas which claims to carry on the original spirit of the Fallout series, a harsh post apocalyptic wasteland filled with competing groups all of whom want to see themselves in control of all they survey and you to either be with them or decomposing somewhere.  While there were moments in Fallout 3 which reached the level of absurdity or terror veterans of previous Fallout games reached, there was never really a point when you realized you were a drug addicted murder seriously considering slaving as a good way to bring in more income.  While we are a ways away from seeing Project Brazil finished, you should follow Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN's advice and keep your eyes on the progress of this mod.

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“The vision of Fallout 2 will be honoured by Project Brazil. Project Brazil is a quieter, more harsh and severe world than Fallout 3 or New Vegas. It feels like a real place spotted with rare moments of absurdity and fear, split between multiple rising civilizations all trying to fight for what they want or need in a world recovering from the Great War.”

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Flashing tablets for fun and frustration at the same time

Subject: Mobile | December 3, 2012 - 03:28 PM |
Tagged: jelly bean, flash, galaxy nexus, CyanogenMod, mod, Android

If you were an early adopter and now have an aging Android tablet which is not being supported by the manufacturer, or at least they are very slow at releasing updates, you can always try flashing it with a custom ROM.  The Tech Report tried this out on a Galaxy Nexus using a ROM from CyanogenMod, a fairly well known provider of such things.  While it certainly improved the performance of the OS, there were several issues including the failure of GPS which prompted them to try out other ROMs.  Head on over to read up on the most current images you can flash to, their providers and the difference between the two types of ROMs currently available.

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"In his latest blog post, TR's Geoff Gasior recounts his experience trying to revitalize an aging Android tablet with custom Jelly Bean ROMs."

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Mobile

The darkness of Doom 3 makes more sense when you are playing a Thief full conversion

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2012 - 03:11 PM |
Tagged: the dark mod, gaming, Doom 3, thief, mod

The Dark Mod is a total conversion of Doom 3, but not the Doom 3 BFG Edition apparently, not that you should be to worried with the upcoming open sourcing of the Doom 3 source code.  It is not intended to be a remake of the Thief series, the world is similar but the main characters and plot do not follow the original games which will help it feel new even to those who've recently replayed the originals.  The actual mod story is fairly short but now there are community made missions available for download to extend your play.  Drop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for a link to download the mod and to read the extensive change log of the new patch if you already know about this mod.

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"With Dishonored reactivating long-dormant stealth glands the world over, now seems a fine time to revisit perhaps its primary ancestor, the Thief games. Doom 3 total conversion The Dark Mod is a mightily ambitious attempt to recreate Thief – its mechanics if not its actual missions – in a more modern, and very much darkness-orientated, engine. It’s just had a major update and a promising new mission added too."

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Gaming

... and Black Mesa makes it out before Half Life 3

Subject: General Tech | September 5, 2012 - 04:08 PM |
Tagged: valve, source engine, black mesa, half life 3, mod, gaming

We've been waiting close to a decade for the remake of the original Half Life using the Source Engine and entitled Black Mesa.  The mod project is a total rebuild of the original game, with larger areas a tweaked storyline and all of the eye candy that the Source Engine can provide.  If all goes to plan we are a mere 9 days from the scheduled release on Sept. 14th and you will be able to play through until the big battle of the Lambda Core, Xen isn't quite ready yet and is still in development.  We will also see new multiplayer maps at some time in the future but not quite yet.  If this doesn't get your blood pumping then check out all the links at the article on Hexus and watch the trailer below.  Still no news on Half Life Episode 3.

"The first release of Black Mesa will take place on 14th September 2012. This is a total conversion of Half Life 2 based upon ye olde 1998 classic Half Life brought up to date with an improved version of Valve’s Source Engine. The Black Mesa mod project started in 2004 following fan disappointment with the official Half Life: Source (2004) - it didn’t improve the eye candy to the full potential of the Source engine. Black Mesa will have improved graphics, more realistic physics and environmental effects, also some storylines will be tweaked and maps enlarged."

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Source: Hexus