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The dot below her lip looks like a piercing to me. Note she also has an eyebrow ring.
Even though the graphics aren't of their own creation, I can definitely understand where the mod makers are coming from with this project. And certainly if it's a stepping stone to bigger and better games with original art and a new engine, then more power to them.
Nice work on this one, guys. I know I'll be giving it a go.
The whole map looks fantastic!
Shame I don't have a copy of Unreal Tournament, otherwise I'd be very keen for this mod... nice work, though.
Not only is this article a well-written, in-depth look at NightFall, it's also a great insight into some of the ups and downs of modding as a process. Nice work Varsity - and to the team, keep up the great work on the mod. I'll be looking forward to playing this one.
(Oh, and I loved the metaphor of the house of cards!)
I'd get along to a ModDB Expo if it was in Australia.
I'm not sure it'd add all that much to the value of your mod to have text this difficult to read. If I were you I'd probably include this font and another very simpe/standard font, and make it an obvious option to swap between the two. Thus players who feel it adds to immersion can enjoy it, but there's no penalty for players who don't like spending the extra time. Legibility aside, it is a good looking font. ;)
I like the texture but I think the model could've used a fair bit more work.
The shape is very simplistic and it lacks detail, and not enough detail has been added in the skin to make up for it. The stock has more detail, but still looks odd to my eye. I realise it's a Star Wars theme... maybe that influenced the design of the weapon.
Either way, the texture is nice and overall, it's not too bad. ;)
I think it's definitely fair to compare mods to the games they were built on as long as the aspects being compared were actually central to the mod.
What I'm trying to get across here is that a mod built on, for example, the quality of its gameplay, should definitely be compared to the original game in terms of that gameplay. If the graphics for that mod are not so good, that can be put down to the limited resources of a mod team and the fact that the central focus was on their gameplay.
As an alternative example, look at mods that were built well after a game was released. There have certainly been mods that have exceeded the original game in terms of graphics, and it's perfectly fair to draw comparisons there. An example that springs to mind is Nightwatch for Half-Life 1. Not sure whether this mod was ever actually released - I know I've never played it - but the maps in NW were far superior to those in the original HL. Not surprising, given that the mod had a talented team and was essentially a mapping project (as I remember it). A comparison of NW maps to HL maps is central to the point behind NW as a mod.
To restate, by all means compare mods to their parent games as long as the comparisons concern the strengths of the mod, and are prepared to overlook the shortcomings of modding.
On a related note, I think it's a good target for modders to aim to improve on an original game in at least one key aspect, be that graphics, gameplay, concept, humour value, storyline, etc. Whilst less ambitious than trying to create 'the ultimate mod', it pushes a mod team to play to their strengths and be clear on exactly what they want to achieve.
I'm with Crispy (as well) in that reviews on this site of retail games, if they do happen, should focus on modding the engine more than just the game.
Personally, I think reviews of independent games would be fine also.
I voted for co-op.
I think as far as mods, it would be good to see more teams putting their energy into both co-operative mods and single player mods. It seems most mods these days are based on standard team based multiplayer, but some of the most successful mods - Sven Co-op, Last Man Standing (which I haven't played), and Garry's Mod lots of the time - are based on co-op.
As for single player mods, whilst they're often of very high quality, it seems people don't always look to mods to extend their single player experience, which is a shame.
It's a shame I don't have UT2k4 or I would download this straight away. Well done on the article Joe, and congratulations to the artists behind this on their beautiful and unique mod. :)
"Another problem with getting an early release out is that gamers these days instantly want a professional level product to come out of a mod team, which I suspect is a major reason why some teams wait for nearly a year (sometimes more) before releasing anything playable..."
Whilst that may seem to be the case, mod teams do have the freedom to release things that aren't professional quality, as they don't have the same pressures as game companies. Thus it is a generalisation to state that all gamers need that sort of quality from mods. I agree that there is definitely a vicious cycle - as some mod teams raise the bar, more and more players expect the same high level of quality.
Still, for me this begs the question: is there a mentality that has developed in mod teams that says 'our mod is not worthwhile unless it is of professional quality'? That certainly places an enormous amount of pressure on mod teams, to the point some will be scared away, believing they will fail if their work is not of a professional standard.
The unfortunate consequence of these next-gen games seems to be to thin out the simple, unambitious end of mod making.
I think it's a shame that this article has been misinterpreted and is now being cut down for making points it was never intended to make.
Varsity, I think the article is exploring important territory, and I can certainly see where you are coming from. Your points about rapid prototyping and gameplay development are relevant, and the wake-up call is definitely there for the mods that would benefit more from that strategy - the 'pie in the sky' visions that will never see a release.
Teddy, you've taken this article the wrong way completely. I love Dystopia as much as anyone, and have played heaps of the demo release. I admire its content and gameplay as professional quality work by modders. As Varsity has acknowledged, his article was never intended as a slur on Dystopia's well-deserved reputation. The key mistake that many of you have made is in not accepting that the example used in the article is just that: an analogy. Varsity has written about 'rapid prototyping' to explain his point that modders have the freedom to release early and often. The fact that the example is flawed is no reason to discard everything the article says.
As for 'we obviously have conflicting viewpoints about how to make a mod', that's just it: obviously not every mod will benefit from the strategy discussed in the article. It is not being suggested as the 'only' or 'best' way to make a mod. But for those simple, comparitively easy-to-make mods, more releases with more feedback from the community can be a huge benefit.
One flaw in the article that is yet to be discussed in-depth is the role of beta-testing. Good testing can effectively remove the need for public releases of mods in development. By setting up a core group of testers, mods, be they ambitious or fairly minor, can bypass the need for releases and still get valuable feedback. So with regard to constant releases, 'rapid prototyping' starts to look like a less streamlined approach.
It's difficult for modders these days. I think there is a solid section of the community that would like to see a resurgence of the sorts of mods that aren't professional quality. All this talk of 'survival of the fittest' is fine, but it's worth remembering that modding, as a unique hobby, gets a pretty bad deal.
As a closing note: please, leave the flaws/misinformation aside, and focus on the sort of talk that helps the mod community - discussion of the intended points of the article.
This really is a defining platform game on PC. Graphics are great, movement and aiming are a breeze. I'd recommend it to, well, anyone.
Not sure what people are worried about with this shot - sure it could use a little AA, but it still gives us an idea of just how cool this game is looking.
Keep up the great work!