I am an amateur games designer and writer and have founded Dark Craft Studios to house my works within. and mod developer. I am an avid fan of all things horror, occult, philosophical and of course, Lovecraftian. Currently Reading: Thomas Ligotti, Arthur Machen, Robert W. Chambers, Ramsey Campbell.

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Escape: Paradise

Mod review - 2 agree - 3 disagree

I loved the idea of survival in crysis but the lack of sandbox content really breaks immersion in what is otherwise a fantastic and unique idea. No danger besides for immediately respawning koreans in your vicinity, and only about 3 scripted events (one of which is advertised in the trailer, the "missile" crash) carry this towards about an hour or two hours of game play., in which you wander (with solid immersion, mind you) in repeating jungle canopies and buildings or towns looking for perpetual amounts of gas and food to help you reach more gas and food.

While this would make an admirable beta to a greater goal, it seems the author was too excited to release it as soon as he could, and that this is the "final" release is a bit strange to me as it feels half baked.

To be completely unbiased it still needs tremendous amounts of work on mapping, as far as the repeating vegetation, sprite pop-in, tiling ground texture and lack of any decals goes. The time of day is beautiful but simplistic, seemingly ripped from the Island level but tweaked slightly to match a richer, and closer, depth of field. And no weather cycle at all is also discouraging, as that is my favorite part of open world games like STALKER or Skyrim.

On the plus since the idea is very original. I would love to see this expanded on with richer incentive for exploration, varied enemies (like random "invasions" of US marines or aliens) and more content to "pick up" besides eating and gas. As well as this, underground voxels and varied terrain would repeat the repetition of the mod. Otherwise, an A grade first effort, I cannot wait for further patches in the future which my review score will scale to accurately. In a year, I expect this'll be a 9/10


Zombie Survival

Mod review


Mod review

Is a nice mod with some high end production filters and values but doesn't really achieve what it promises. Its not terrible but its not amazing; the aggregated 7/10 rating sounds perfect, though I knock off one point for the glitchiness of the combat and custom animations.


Dynamic Zombie Sandbox

Mod review - 1 agrees - 3 disagree

This is extremely good but the zombies are dumb as bricks and zig-zag like total trolls on their way to you. They also stand still and wait 6 seconds before slashing you from seemingly 10 feet away. No biting, grabbing, or tackling--very primitive AI, even Ps1 era Resident Evil AI is smarter.

That said, at night time, with friends, during overcast, and fast time off, it is effectively immersive. Arma 2 lends itself well to horror mods, this much has been known for awhile. My friends and I had a scenario that was basically blair witch project. We ran into a cabin and went inside and found a priest in there, my friend was using a priest skin so I thought it was him and sat next to him, then my friend says, "C-zom, where are you?" and I look up at the zombie and it begins to eat me. Scary, unscripted, dynamic stuff.


G String

Mod review - 9 agree - 6 disagree

My opinion of this mind lies within the general consensus, and that is that while this is a herculean effort from the sole modder behind this project (Seriously, pat yourself on the back for this and take the weekend off. You deserve it.) it simply suffers from too many issues to be truly immersive, or dare I say, even fun.

For one the level design is stagnant, lifeless, and completely unfriendly to all but the most stubborn players. There is no hint on where to go and even the natural conventions of level design simply do not exist. E.G: Left or right is often not the case, sometimes it's up or down with the tiniest ladder or hole completely out of the way in the corner of the world in an unlighted area.

Secondly the story has narrative issues. It addresses the player in and out of the 4th wall, and does its best to alienate you from knowing what the hell is even going on. Simply, the story is confusing and bizarre. You will not know whats going on for something like 6 hours due to the experimental and often simply weird and macarbe story telling techniques. Flashbacks-in-flashbacks, retro-reality filters and strange characters who all are the same voice actress... it is so surreal and, simply put, it is uncanny valley. I do not feel like a part of this world.

Once we get to the combat, well, it's just standard source affair with insanely shoddy hitboxes and twitchy gunplay. That is about when I started losing complete interest, and had to put it down to keep myself from rage quitting.

Wonderful and titanic effort. Next time though, start smaller, start more polished, and start more focused. This feels like an ant hill that turned into a mountain with only one person doing the terraforming.



Mod review - 1 agrees

It's okay. Not bad, not great. It's passable. I liked the "Ending".

Some pointers:

Be more adventurous with level design on a time budget. Would have been cool, for example, had this been a vertical level with stairs and offshoot rooms, rather than horizontal and plain.

Light entities are your friend, so is fog. Try to exploit them next time.

For a 24 hour custom story, it's not horrible and you're on the right track. Try to be more ambitious with your next work and take it to a proper custom story, one that takes a few months to make. I think you'd do much better.


No More Room in Hell

Mod review

Crysis Warhead

Game review

Project Zomboid

Early access game review - 11 agree - 10 disagree

What started was one of the most ambitious and well designed zombie sandbox games has ended in mild ridiculousness as the development team, first halted by a robbery than by management inefficiency, has taken almost a year to bring to the table anything more than a thin tech demo. An arduous ticker-style counter has been placed on their forum, but after a revelation by community members that it was an algorithm and not a check box, it has been no surprise that it is taking additional months to count down.

Project Zomboid provides true zombie fans with what they have, arguably, always craved. Food, drink, weapons, melee, an open world and a day/night cycle. Its like what Rogue Survivor tried to make and failed, but on a much higher budget. It appeals to the true survival horror crowd by letting you survive until you die. Not when; it always happens.

However any advancements promised have been extremely slow to arrive or not at all. Years after release AI are still blockheaded, the zombies spawn out of thin air, hotfix patches have broken community maps and mods that haven' even bothered to update and so on and so on. In desperate need of a masssive patch and overhaul, Project Zomboid has the potential to be one of the best zombie games of all time, but developers with terrible and unfortunate robbery luck, and the extremely arduous process of recoding all the lost ground, has slowed down PZ to a near dead standstill. Purchase with caution, Terraria this is not.


Project Reality: ARMA 2

Mod review
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