Post news RSS The Dark Mod 2.08 is HERE!

Setting a new baseline in performance and visuals, TDM 2.08 casts off almost all the legacy Doom 3 OpenGL features in favor of modern OpenGL 3.1. New eye-candy comes along with the overhaul.

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The Dark Mod 2.08 is HERE!!!

A new baseline

The Dark Mod 2.08 FULL


208release

In With the NEW...

The Doom 3 engine has served TDM well even long after the source code was released but over the years there has been a steady desire to move past it's 2004 era limitations. (Really more like 2001 era due to it being targeted for the original Xbox.) Many mods or Doom 3 projects have extended the capabilities of the engine but few have tackled a fundamental overhaul of the core rendering features. Re-plumbing any fundamental part of the renderer is risky and can lead to protracted bug hunts and end-less beta testing. Even the somewhat minor "soft particle" update in 2.03 caused some alarming visual breakage in unexpected places. In spite of these concerns, the TDM team challenged themselves to make some bold moves to replace obsolete rendering code with more modern equivalents. We suffered many bugs during development but the resultant cleanup has the project in a much better place!

To update, simply run the tdm_update.exe file in your darkmod folder. Please be aware that old saved games will not be compatible with 2.08, so finish any missions you might be in the middle of first

Fully GLSL

One of the most impressive feats of this development cycle was the COMPLETE replacement of all ARB Assembly shaders with GLSL. Sgtatilov did something that the Doom 3 community had wished for many years ago at places like doom3world, he created a script to automaticaly convert ARB Assembly to GLSL!!! (Of course, there is no generic way to use this across all games since these shaders point to parameters in the engine but this feat could be used to develop other similar converter scripts for other engines.) Anywhoo... Thanks to this conversion script, all of the custom ARB shaders in TDM have been preserved with little to no visual differences (as compared to redesigning the shaders from scratch).

OpenGL 3.1 Core Context

TDM 2.06 and 2.07 had hybrid shader standards that ranged from 2.x to 4.x. Graphic drivers, especially on Linux do not like it when such mixed shader standards are used in the same scene so we encountered many folks who could not get TDM 2.07 to render without reverting to the legacy ARB 2.0 mode (no soft shadows :( ). Now all of TDM's GLSL is OpenGL 3.1 core based so there is no mixing of different versions and the graphics drivers are (mostly) happy.

Update: stgatilov clarified that he was able to get things working on OpenGL 3.1 (this means more old hardware is supported).

GLSL for Surface Materials

Starting with TDM 2.06 the work to replace ARB shaders with GLSL has one major hurdle that seems to have stumped most similar Doom 3 projects: "surface shaders in GLSL".

Duzenko solved this issue and worked with the community to test the feature.

The new GLSL for surfaces is "at least" as flexible as the legacy ARB surface shaders were.

For example, one of our forum members "HeresJonny" used the 2.08 beta to implement "Interior Mapping":

Uniform Transform, Persistence Mapping, preparing for AZDO

The new mantra in graphic engine design is "reduce draw calls" and the TDM team has worked hard this release to find as many opportunities to accomplish this. This has provided a nice performance bump and has set the stage for future work to get closer to Vulkan levels of CPU usage.

Stable Multi-Core

Cabalistic and Stgatilov worked to cleanup the remaining issues with the current multi-core mode of TDM. The Vertex Buffer has been updated to be even more like the one used by Doom 3 BFG.

Uncapped FPS Fixes:

Swinging ropes and other physics bugs that happen when "uncapped FPS" is enabled while the FPS is below 60 have now been cured. Uncapped FPS is now deemed stable.

Precision fixes

The curse of moving from older MSVC versions to 2013+ where replacing legacy 80-bit precision stung us one last time in 2.07 and caused some major issues with map compiling. As a workaround, mappers could DMAP with older TDM versions but now 2.08 has addressed this.


EYE CANDY -- EYE CANDY!!!

AMBIENT OBSCURANCE SSAO

Late in the 2.08 development cycle, Cabalistic threw a "Hail Mary" and implemented the long requested Screen Space Ambient Occlusion feature.

OFF

More 208 beta things

ON!!

More 208 beta things

(Note: these were taken with non-standard ssao settings but the effect should be comparable with the default menu options.)

64-bit Color

Banding artifacts are substantially reduced in Fog and Soft-Particles thanks to this new color mode which was originally added to better support Bloom

New Bloom

braeden church 2020 04 22 00 01 23

The HDR-Lite Bloom from 1.03 has been fully replaced with a proper Bloom implementation that is native to the engine and can utilize 64-bit color resolve and emissive color sampling.

Parallax Corrected Cubemaps

While this will be a little cumbersome to setup without the planned inclusion of cubemap probes, mappers can now create beautiful high-performance reflections. Thanks Cabalistic!

MD3 Water Simulation

Now water surfaces can have real geometric warping rather than just normal map based effects.

RAIN PARTICLE OVERHAUL

In addition to the water fix above Sgtatilov also created a whole new particle framework for Rain so that it can detect roofs and obstructions. It will be much easier to create realistic looking rainfall now!

goldwell208

SO MUCH MORE!!!

Fog can now paint over water surfaces and other transparent surfaces thanks to the fogAlpha keyword. Soft Particles can paint over water using "sort last". New "easy to use" parallel light for sky based lighting. More options to make use of the Spectrum keyword. X-Ray Render System now has functional features!

penny3 208

(A small update to Penny Dreadful 3 takes advantage of the "sort last" flag to fix particles not rendering over water.)


AI FIXES

Grayman has fixed one of the most immersion breaking bugs in TDM. In 2.08, AI no longer sit or sleep above the ground in random positions nearby chairs and beds.

Grayman also improved the way that AI behave when they lose sight of the player during a chase.

Finally, he implemented a feature that makes it easy for mappers to instruct AI to stop patrolling due to some event.

Werebeast and Beastmen AI

gatehouse1 3 2020 07 02 23 58 17

The long in development "standalone" Werebeast replacement is now available for mappers to use. It is considered partly complete. The TDM team decided to release the current version with the hope that contributors will tinker with it and offer improvements.

Kingsal's excellent custom Beastmen AI have been incorporated into TDM.

New Zombie Characters

Springheel has created some nice variants of the Zombie AI for mappers to use

zombies208

more_zombies_208

skelly 208


GAMEPLAY

* Mantling physics with running and jumping have been further refined. Players can perform actions that resemble parkour.

* There is now an animation for Shouldering AI

* Keybinds now exist in their own config file

* Swimming now has an undulating animation

* Rope and Ladder sliding is now safer for the player. No longer a damage risk.

* It is now easier to drop and position ragdolls

SOUNDS

  • New swim sounds
  • New mantle sounds
  • New Rope and Ladder slide sounds
  • Fixes to sound defs with dashes in the names
  • New arrow bounce sound fixes
  • AI "Help!" barks fixed

GUI

  • New Inventory Grid menu theme
  • SSAO Settings
  • Removed legacy Ambient and Interaction settings
  • Updated Bloom settings
  • Max FPS setting
  • Optional new console font
  • New borderless vs native fullscreen options for lower latency (Windows Only)
  • Gamma and Brightness now control software instead of hardware (no longer affect desktop)
  • New Widescreen Resolutions added

ASSETS

  • New environmental models (Springheel & Epifire)
  • Many more Dragofer models incorporated (Dragofer)
  • Atheran's covered furniture models have been fixed and added (Dragofer)

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microscope 208


NEW 500MB+ MEGA MISSION !!!

THE PAINTER'S WIFE

painter wife

Pushing the limits of TDM almost past the breaking point, this MONSTER mission was a collaborative multi-year effort by almost every notable mapper in the community:

Shadowhide, Bikerdude, Amadeus, Baal, Dragofer, Fidcal, Flanders, Melan, Skacky, UberMann

Over the course of 2.06 to 2.08 development, the TDM engine was continually altered to accommodate this mission.

Authors Note:

It all started many years ago when Shadowhide laid the foundation for a sprawling and convoluted city and worked with MoroseTroll and Clearing to create a macabre storyline to befit this medieval metropolis. At some point, however, the beast grew too large to handle, so he handed the keys to the City to Bikerdude and Melan. Together, the two worked tirelessly, passing the map back and forth, each playing to their respective strengths. Notably, Melan reworked the story concept, toning down many of its darker, R-rated elements.

Eventually Melan, too, moved on in 2017, but by then large swathes of the community had become involved in this map’s development. Mapping work was contributed by Baal, Grayman, Fidcal, Ubermann, Skacky, and Flanders, while Destined, nbohr1more, and Obsttorte wrote story texts. Several scripts were provided by Grayman, Baal and Obsttorte, such as an elevator with scissor gates, a TDM first.

Even after all this input, the daunting task still remained to transform what had grown into the largest TDM map ever made into a playable mission. Bikerdude hammered away at this for some more years still, on and off between other projects, until in early 2020 when he deemed it ready for public viewing.

It was then that Dragofer and Amadeus joined in. In the months that followed, the trio reworked, finished, and polished the mission in nearly every aspect, fully writing out and editing the story as well as adding countless scripted effects and (with help from Bienie) many new readables. The good working atmosphere and pooled creativity brought forth several new secrets, of which the largest likely hasn’t been done before in TDM (hint: check the libraries). In the very end, the name “Fractured Glass Company” was drawn up to refer to everybody who was involved in creating this very special mission.

Without the hard work of all these people, most of all Bikerdude and Shadowhide, this mission would likely never have seen the light of day, let alone become what you see here before you. The mission is, as Bikerdude puts it, a homage to Thief 1 & 2, and it’s our hope that you catch these vibes as you explore and enjoy this mission.

Other credits:

Voice Acting: AndrosTheOxen (Andreas), Joe Noelker (Player)

- Video Editing: Bikerdude (briefing), Goldwell (briefing intro)

- Custom Models: Bikerdude, Dragofer, Dram, Epifire, Grayman, Obsttorte

- Custom Textures: Airship Ballet, Dmv88, Hugo Lobo

- Custom Sounds: GigaGooga, Sephy, Shadow Sneaker, alanmcki, andre_onate, Deathscyp, dl-sounds.com, Dmv88, dwoboyle, eugensid90, gzmo, lucasduff, mistersherlock, qubodup, randommynd, richerlandtv, sfx4animation, Speedenza

- Betatesting: Amadeus, Biene, Bluerat, CambridgeSpy, Dragofer, JoeBarnin, Kingsal, Krilmar, ManzanitaCrow, Noodles, S1lverwolf, s.urfer

NOTE: While some people have successfully run this mission with the 32-bit executable, it is designed to be played on 64-bit. Please use TheDarkModx64.exe (windows) or thedarkmod.x64 (linux).


Mission Releases since 2.07

Over the course of 2.07, we saw a marked up-tick in the amount of mission releases. Springheel's modular assets have greatly eased the process of producing missions. Team Members and Community Members alike have taken advantage of this to great effect!

Cleaning Up the Neighbourhood

207 missions

This collaborative effort by some1stoleit and Bikerdude is a good early example of the power of the 2.07 modular asset collection to produce high quality visuals.

Shadows of Northdale ACT 2

207 missions

Goldwell has gradually grown to be one of the most formidable mission authors in the darkmod community. Shadows of Northdale 2 feels even more like a large-scale Thief 2 mission than it's predecessor. Do not miss this one!

Marsh of Rahena

207 missions

ERH+ has released a mission that could stands out as one of the most distinct artistic endeavors ever put forth in gaming "in general". I defy anyone to name anything remotely similar to this ENORMOUS (and bizarre) gothic horror story in any game setting.

William Steele 5: Commerce Bank

207 missions

William Steele returns with style for this 5th outing! In addition to the solid story and game-play that grayman is known for, the modular assets once again offer arresting visuals. This mission is the perfect showcase for the new SSAO feature in 2.08

Chronicles of Skulduggery 2: A Precarious Position

207 missions

Bienie has been steadily producing excellent missions since the original "Chronicles of Skulduggery" debuted in 2018. Bienie has become quite adept at using the power of TDM script features to achieve unique new game play and this mission shines for it.

Hidden Hands: Vitalic Fever

207 missions

JackFarmer has also been very productive and has produced large, high quality missions the "traditional way" without any substantial amount of modular content. Vitalic Fever is another gem with excellent story and scripting events.

Perilous Refuge

207 missions

Dragofer adopted part of "Wrecker's Reach" an abandoned mission by the Crucible of Omens team and ( with assistance from Bikerdude ) fashioned it into an enormous sea-side mission. Dragofer's was a natural to take on a project like this with his extensive nautical asset contributions and nautically themed missions!

The Heart of Saint Mattis

207 missions

joebarnin has made a surprisingly good horror mission as his 2nd release! joebarnin has been with the community since the beginning and was one of the original coders who worked on TDM menus and mission loading so it's great to see him get to participate in this way!

Langhorne Lodge

207 missions

Bienie! Why is this horror mission so fantastic?!?! Not for the faint of heart...

In Danger of Judgment

207 missions

Another new mission author! Krrg enters the scene with a well designed mission that also showcases modular assets.

Snowed Inn

207 missions

Kingsal and Goldwell together!?! YES! This winter mission was designed as a speed-build but you would never guess so based on the size and quality.

Away 1 - Air Pocket

207 missions

New author Geep brings us a creative nautical and underwater themed mission. Geep has managed to create a very clever mission with non-standard game-play.

A Good Neighbor

207 missions

Amadeus releases a tour-de-force beauty of a first mission! Great lighting, wonderful story and even a few technical achievements such as the new func_peek mechanic allowing players to peek through any door that has a keyhole by leaning forward!

A Night Of Loot: One Man's Treasure

207 missions

New author OGDA starts with a bite-sized but respectable heist mission in an antique shop!

Comments
Jonex.
Jonex.

Sounds great! Any news on the Steam release?

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Andreson
Andreson

(buried)

Not until something comes out of Epic Store showing Steam where they are with their ugly monopoly.

Currently, the large amount of trash games on Steam, the failure of Greenlight made Steam forward some impossible conditions for hobby mods/indie games in respect of releasing games on Steam. These include creating a legal person in some jurisdiction, handling taxes and so on. Considering that developers are just hobby contributors from countries of all over the world, this requires considerable effort. Moreover, the credibility/popularity of the mod would be wrecked. The mod is not as perfect as it could be. There could be more harm than good releasing the game in its current state. Still a lot of things that could be improved IMHO. For example, the combat system, adding subtitles in-game like in Thief: Deadly Shadows etc.

TLDR Steam is not friendly to developers that have no money/no dedicated team in one fixed country.

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HangPhyr
HangPhyr

I disagree and believe it'd be a great benefit to TDM if it could get on Steam, a big boost of new players and development talent. It's very polished, and I'm confident reviews would be 'overwhelmingly positive'. It's unfortunate that Valve places these requirements on freeware hosted on Steam, I can empathize with TDM team in why they likely won't proceed with hosting on Steam.

Reference on the team's reasons for not proceeding at this time: Moddb.com

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Andreson
Andreson

Until anyone volunteers to take all these expenses, it's all just pipe dreams unfortunately.
I'm just trying to look at the bright side of the issue. Perhaps other distribution stores may accept The Dark Mod. AFAIK, there have been attempts from bikerdude to contact GOG, but they never answered.

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Ghoul_RUS
Ghoul_RUS

And EGS is featurless piece of garbage that can only throw money around

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Andreson
Andreson

Free games. 'Nuff said.

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Azatoth027
Azatoth027

Just like on any gaming platform that wants to attract customers.

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Andreson
Andreson

It seems they are more determined to get a share of the market. In any case none of them is friendly to people who are broke and who simply want to distribute games for free/for symbolic prices.

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JaneTheodoree420
JaneTheodoree420

will this be compatible with the bfg edition?

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SweetJuleka
SweetJuleka

It's completely standalone, you don't need Doom 3 to play it.

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Guest
Guest

TDM has been a standalone application for many years now. You need neither doom 3 nor BFG to play it.

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foo_jam2002
foo_jam2002

Just as i was thinking to install, great job guys, you are consistent.

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EXU_SKULLY
EXU_SKULLY

awesome job team! keep it up.

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naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

There doesn't seem to be any YouTube videos up yet
for me to take a good look at the graphics,
but that first screenshot at the top is gorgeous.
It could be right out of Dark Souls 3.

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Guest
Guest

Any plans for vr?

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Strogglet15
Strogglet15

I know I'm rather early, but happy 4th of July! Be you American or not, this is a great day (actually it was two days ago, heh) for anybody who loves The Dark Mod.

I am absolutely amazed at how many changes you people were able to do. Stepan Gatilov is amazing with his work, just like any Shader Artist is honestly. I always respect a Shader Artist that goes for the higher bidder; may your work live on an eternity Stepan.

Of course, this appreciation goes to the Model Makers and the Coders too, a better "parkour system" is an absolutely big improvement indeed.

Can hardly wait to get back into The Dark Mod itself, right now I'm replaying the whole Thief series and TDM will be on the list too, but last.

Gonna be so fun, I'm sure, to explore the world that is The Painter's Wife.

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sentinel_deco
sentinel_deco

this is fantastic. thank you so much.

edit: ive got some weird options bug, which looks like this: #string_44924 on some options settings. ive deleted all cfgs and download them again, but it didnt helped. could it be that one pk4 file intefer?

edit2: deleted the whole game download it again. could be a 2.07-2.08 update prob maybe. stay tuned

edit3: it works now. dont see those weird strings anymore. thx

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Andreson
Andreson

Glad it worked sentinel_deco. If you have time, you can leave your thoughts on the forums at www.forums.thedarkmod.com

Stay safe.

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Guest
Guest

How awesome this is. What an awesomely dedicated community, a gem for the stealth game genre. I found out you guys updated TDM via a Reddit post and got so excited. Incredible work guys, can't wait to play it tonight!

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lowenz
lowenz

Play and join us on TDM forums :D Every new taffer (thief classic slang) is welcome!

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Biohazardoz
Biohazardoz

Really great! This hard work! Unbelievable! 3d models and code stuff great!

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L3d
L3d

OMFG are all the maps included now too ? xD

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ianna_keeper
ianna_keeper

Long live The Dark Mod!

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Bluehawk
Bluehawk

Is that screenshot at the top with all the crenelations and corbels from a currently released and playable mission?

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Andreson
Andreson

It's a screenshot from an FM by Spooks and it is currently WIP.

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Bluehawk
Bluehawk

Alright thanks. I look forward to it.

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AmDDRed
AmDDRed

I don't play The Dark Mod, but it's so hilarious to follow your deeds, and see how great community might be.

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Schopenhauer
Schopenhauer

Great work. Love you guys

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JjForcebreaker
JjForcebreaker

Love new features and tweaks. GJ!

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Bliccer
Bliccer

I haven't been online on moddb since couple of years... I log in and BOOM - what an article. What you guys do is beyond everyhing seen on this page. Still going on and keeping this alive is fantastic. Lets download this goodie once more and go through those old missions anew. Thank you and keep up this extraordinary work!

For selling purpose: Doom3 engine is completely free by now?

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nbohr1more Author
nbohr1more

Doom 3 source code is free and TDM is free and no longer requires Doom 3 (fully standalone). That said, we cannot sell TDM because a large percentage of our textures come from freeware texture libraries which have licenses that prohibit commercial use. We would need a HUGE influx of replacement textures to go commercial. Even then, it would require that we get permission or share profits from all former TDM contributors (many of whom have been absent for over a decade).

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Pyornkrachzark
Pyornkrachzark

It seems that new release 2.09 is available on TDM website
Thedarkmod.com

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