This member has provided no bio about themself...
I love my PS3. If you've got a TV that can take advantage of it, it's far and away the most visually and audially appealling of the 3 next gen consoles. I like the Wii's controllers, but the graphics leave a lot to be desired. I like the XBox 360 for its online environment, but comparing the technical performance of the two systems shows the PS3 to be clearly superior now that I actually have one and played with it.
Even if you don't have a HDTV with 1080p though, it's still an awesome system. Not sure it's worth the $600 price tag right now, but if you're looking to get one in the future, it's definitely going to be worth the buy once more of the big gun games release next year (White Knight Story, MGS4, Gran Turismo 5, et. al.)
Ah, I see what you're getting at. It wasn't immediately obvious (and I was distracted today) but you're probably right. :)
Feel free to archive it, actually. It's not going anywhere at the moment, and if it does come back at some point I sincerely doubt I'll be using the CryEngine environment for it.
Not working on it at this time. Might come back to it at some point, but I'm still too busy in real life to devote much time to anything, and Derek's been out of commission for even longer than me. :) Until he gets un-stuck from life as a commercial game developer, I can't do anything with the Copperhead universe since it's really his baby, not mine.
I do have a new project that's waiting in the wings, though. It's still under heavy wraps, but I hope to be able to clear my docket of things to do by January 2007 and start working on a new UT2007 mod which I've been kicking around for months on paper.
Been really busy with real life contracts (consulting work) and Derek's been busy pushing a new retail game out the door (SOCOM: US Navy Seals - Combined Assault) which just went gold.
Currently evaluating whether it is worth continuing work on this project or retool for either Crysis or Unreal Tournament 2K7. I've learned enough about it to work on Crysis when it comes out if that's the direction we end up going, and am currently evaluating the capabilities of UT2K4 (which looks equally good, with the new features in Unreeal 3.0 engine coming down the pipeline).
Stay tuned either way - this project isn't permanently dead, as it is Derek's universe of preference, and we will probably come back to it once we have more available time. :)
Seems the original uploaded file got corrupted at some point. I've re-uploaded the file, and it should be available for download once again once it gets re-approved.
Please note, for those downloading this, Copperheaed : Retaliation only works with non-expansion Dungeon Siege 1, version 1.10+. It will not work if you have Dungeon Siege : Legends of Aranna installed, as the LoA executable has different code that breaks features added in later patches.
Hah. I am perpetually mystified at how people who can't honestly compose a complete sentence in English feel they will suddenly develop the communication skills necessary to become a game designer...
Sweet Tooth Warlords is definitely the most interesting mod idea that's been posted here on the ModDB forums since I started visiting regularly 5 months ago.
Derek's been a bit delayed by his move, so much as I dislike doing so, our projected release date for Episode 1 might have to be moved back a bit until we get a better handle on his scheduling. I think we lost about a full month of development time due to his move, but we'll do our best. On the plus side, his available time with his new job and location has increased due to a variety of factors, so overall development should improve.
We'll continue to update as time permits!
I think that mods ought to be compared to the original games. After all, what matters is the experience for the player, not the budget invested or the time. Of course, one must always consider that modders have limited time and budgets, but if the content is inferior to the original game, then we should say it is inferior. There's no shame in saying that you can't match the efforts of dozens of industry professionals.
If we haven't provided a superior experience to the player in at least one area compared to the original game, I think we've failed at our task as modders.
Excellent stuff! A good way to cover ground for the new players and new modders alike.
We've activated some new forums for our work here on ModDB. Discuss and critique Copperhead universe modifications here:
I don't get how people can look at frustration and weeks worth of development time as a bad thing. Yea money might be able to provide better tools and computing power but so what? The focus of your argument (icemage) is on the end result of a modfication project, but if you look at the modding scene in general, it isn't about product, it's about education, discussion and learning.
Perhaps for much of the modding community, learning is the primary focus, but be honest: how many of the learners end up producing worthwhile material? You make this statement as if every modder was doing nothing but learning. This is not the case. Derek is a very talented and accomplished professional working in the game industry. I'm a professional computer programmer by day, and have been for 10 years. Neither of us fits your mold, and, unlike the rest of the modding scene, we (and others like us) ARE focused on producing quality product, not on learning the ropes. We're way past that point, and we are not alone.
Even if a mod does totally suck (in comparison to a commercial game), it has taken time, effort and the desire to learn from it's maker(s) to get it built, in the long run it's this that is of value to both modding and the games industry.
I totally disagree with this statement. Mods that suck DETRACT from the value of the game they were built for. They leave negative impressions of the original game in the minds of the community. I don't care if someone spent 5000 hours building a mod if all it does is add another pistol to the game. If they learned something from it, bully for them, but no one in their right mind will say that such a tweak improves either modding in general, or the game engine it was built for.
I don't agree at all that better software generally means a better end product. I've seen people make absolutely awesome models on stuff like Blender, while others make true disasterpieces on programs like Maya, which cost thousands of dollars.
This statement is also misinformed. The examples given are not a fair comparison. Someone who sucks at modelling is going to suck at modelling whether they're using Blender or 3DSMax, Milkshape or Maya. But for someone who has talent, there is a huge difference.
Modding just doesnt need money. While you can say only 99.9% of mods are worth playing, thats pretty much true of the gaming industry as a whole. There is an abundance of utterly poo, unplayable games that come from developers who've had fantastic equipment, plenty of resources and far more man power than any amount of mods. The only real difference between mods and the industry is the commercialism.
Mod developers are not hampered by the same restraints as the bona fide game industry professionals. They don't have to report to venture capitalists, publishers, marketing departments, stockholders, or any of the other elements that currently cripple innovation in the game industry. If you think games suck these days because the developers are talentless hacks, you're sadly mistaken.
Throw cash into modding, and all the aspects it provides the gaming community (which the industry in general quite simply cant) will die. Money doesn't fix everything and to incorporate it into a community that thrives on incentives that are not cash based is like taking a beautiful country forrest and introducing it to the Flamethrower.
Finally we get to the crux of your position: that modding is just fine the way it is, that it provides a huge cornucopia of benefits to the community, and heaven forbid that anyone defile such a utopia with capitalistic commercialism.
Modding is not fine the way it is. As things stand, there is little to no difference in the level of innovation between commerical games and mods. Commerial games copycat each other in a desperate race to earn the almighty dollar. Modders copycat, and in some cases, steal, the work of others in a desperate race to be the most hyped mod on the block. You even said it yourself - the focus of the community as a whole is not on making good games. Players play mods because they want to play something new and fun, but that's not what most modders seem to be working towards. This is fine? Not in my book, it isn't.
I don't understand the viewpoint that says that indie mod development would suddenly vanish overnight if some mods went commercial. Counter-Strike is a commercial mod - it did the exact opposite of what you're suggesting, inspiring an entire generation to try and follow in the footsteps of its pioneers. Several mods have followed in its wake over the last few years. It hasn't destroyed the community. Instead, it has done exactly what I mentioned in my previous post : it gives a shining example of what can be accomplished via modding, and gives people something to strive towards. For those who still want to produce less-popular but innovative games, the option will still exist to produce a free mod.
So why all the paranoia? Are you concerned that all the good talent will get sucked into commercial enterprises, leaving the community with whatever remains?
Let me clue you in: it's already happening.
If I can be brutally honest, 99.9% of mods aren't worth playing - for every Counter Strike, there's a hundred re-skinned AK47s packaged as a "mod". I think I'm being generous if I say that 90 out of 100 mods never make it to release, and of those that do, precious few have anything unique or different about them. You can give a huge list of reasons for this, be it people getting into the modding scene with inadequate skills, a decided lack of originality, lack of commitment, bad team chemistry, or any of a thousand other reasons, but the end result is that the mod community is floating in a sea of mediocrity, and this has become the accepted standard. I see apologists on this and other mod development sites constantly making excuses for why there are just so many unfinished, unplayable, and unprofessional mods...
...so let's get things out in the open and talk about the modding community's Dirty Little Secret:
The main reason why there are so few mods are of good quality is because the people who could produce the best mods ... aren't.
Question: If you're a fantastic modeller, or a red-hot programmer, or a brilliant game designer, or an innovative level designer, WHY would you choose to spend your time making no money, risk your work being plagiarized, risk it never being released (remember, 90+% failure rate), and put up with the hectic pressure of developing a mod when you could do it for a living and get paid for it while spending the rest of your time doing other things you enjoy?
Answer: YOU DON'T. Why? Because it is a dead end activity for those with that much talent and skill. These are the people who are good enough to make it in the game industry, and by and large, they get in if they want to. Other than the (extremely) rares case of someone of exceptional skill who hasn't broken into the industry yet and wants something to put into a portfolio or a resume, pro-quality modders are very nearly non-existent. Sure, there's a handful of ultra-enthusiast pro insiders (like Derek) who do it for the love, but they are a tiny minority.
How would mods making money change this?
First, it counterbalances the many negatives that come with modding. Most of my friends and acquaintances believe I'm certifiably insane for producing for free what I charge impressive amounts of money for professionally.
Second, it gives newcomers something to look forward to. Sure, no one will buy your new interpretation of a Glock pistol - but if you had a reasonable expectation that, given enough practice and skill, you could incorporate your work into something that could make you a bit of extra money, don't you think that would give you just that little extra nudge to excel? I would. Rather than stifling the amateurs, I believe this would set a gold standard for them to aspire to and hopefully surpass.
Money for it's own sake isn't the point of this article; nonetheless, I don't think anyone will deny that the quality of a modeller's work will improve with better modelling software, or that a better tablet will improve a texturer's productivity, or a better compiler will improve a coder's effectiveness. And in all cases, better computing hardware can reduce the frustration and time spent on development. These things all cost money. There is a certain synergy that can develop if you could support your hobby with your own efforts, and that in itself is a powerful motivator.
The instinctive reaction is to resist change. But not all change is bad. Think about it.
Derek's in the process of moving (several thousand miles) and changing employment, and I've been busy doing some internal source diving so no major updates available right now. We're still working on this though! :) Design stuff going in, and I do have some new development code that looks very promising for one of our new weapons that I think you'll like a lot - for a Stasis Gun. :)
I am indeed back. Derek and I had a really great brainstorming session last night and came away with some really innovative new ideas which I think everyone will enjoy. Can't say what we've got cooking yet, as it's still in design phase, but we'll post more about what you can expect in the next installment as we start firming up our game play design and storyline arcs.