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First Person Shooters (Games) Open Source Games

The Dark Mod 2.0 Standalone: Id Tech 4 GPL Yields a Free Thief-a-Like Game 98

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the almost-free dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After nine years of development, The Dark Mod is now a standalone game. Thief fans can now enjoy over 60 fan made missions which capture the essence of the Thief 1 / 2 games. Originally created as a reaction to Thief 3; with the upcoming release of Thief 4, many are comparing what was done here (a faithful extension of the old gameplay) to what Eidos has shown thus far. Can a little Doom 3 mod compete against a blockbuster AAA title? Should we even compare them?" All code in the The Dark Mod is GPLv3+, and the art assets are all CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported which means it, unfortunately, cannot be distributed by even Debian. Still, an impressive feat!

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The Dark Mod 2.0 Standalone: Id Tech 4 GPL Yields a Free Thief-a-Like Game

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  • "by even Debian" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:17AM (#45188257) Homepage

    cannot be distributed by even Debian

    I think that should say "cannot be distributed by entities that require commercial-use permission, like Debian." Debian has very strict rules on what it will redistribute, not because it must have those rules, but because it chooses to.

    The -NC option prevents anyone from taking The Dark Mod's assets and publishing them in a commercial game. This annoys some pure-freedom-loving folks (like the Debian project and RMS) because they feel it's important that information be free for anyone to use in any way. On the other hand, for the "it's my work, so it's my choice" crowd, the -NC option ensures that nobody can copy their work and make a profit.

    Debian's choice is theirs to make, as is any other distributor's, and has nothing to do with The Dark Mod. There's no reason to put such pointless slant in a summary.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:30AM (#45188397)

      cannot be distributed by even Debian

      I think that should say "cannot be distributed by entities that require commercial-use permission, like Debian." Debian has very strict rules on what it will redistribute, not because it must have those rules, but because it chooses to.

      The -NC option prevents anyone from taking The Dark Mod's assets and publishing them in a commercial game. This annoys some pure-freedom-loving folks (like the Debian project and RMS) because they feel it's important that information be free for anyone to use in any way. On the other hand, for the "it's my work, so it's my choice" crowd, the -NC option ensures that nobody can copy their work and make a profit.

      Debian's choice is theirs to make, as is any other distributor's, and has nothing to do with The Dark Mod. There's no reason to put such pointless slant in a summary.

      "by even Debian" is just dumb as it makes it appear Debian has the lowest standards when the reverse is true.

      And you should consider learning just a little about Debian and Debian repositories. There's nothing to stop the game being distributed by Debian in the non-free repo except maybe the willingness of some one to package it.

    • by melikamp (631205) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:03AM (#45188835) Homepage Journal

      On the other hand, for the "it's my work, so it's my choice" crowd, the -NC option ensures that nobody can copy their work and make a profit.

      It also ensures that the copyright holders can walk up to any non-trivial entity with non-zero assets (like Debian) and shake it down for cash or creative control, regardless of whether the entity is distributing anything "commercially". A fear of lawsuit will be more than enough to censor legitimate uses by entities that are not equipped for a legal battle. Every piece of non-free software is a liability both for the user and for the distributor, so Debian is wise to stay away.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        On the other hand, for the "it's my work, so it's my choice" crowd, the -NC option ensures that nobody can copy their work and make a profit.

        It also ensures that the copyright holders can walk up to any non-trivial entity with non-zero assets (like Debian) and shake it down for cash or creative control, regardless of whether the entity is distributing anything "commercially". A fear of lawsuit will be more than enough to censor legitimate uses by entities that are not equipped for a legal battle. Every piece of non-free software is a liability both for the user and for the distributor, so Debian is wise to stay away.

        Ah, it wouldn't be Monday in Slashdot without blind, cynical hatred for the sake of looking cool!

        Or Tuesday, for that matter.

        Wednesday tends to get pretty bleak, too.

        And Thursday... look, does anyone who visits Slashdot do anything important? Or do we all just sit around and search HARD to find new and exciting things to be miserable about?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The license restrictions are inherited from some of the assets we acquired from other vendors (texture sites, etc). Since there is no way to track down all the contributors, any commercial use of the mod could not be reconcilable. Plus, a non-commercial license ensures less risk for Eidos (et all) coming after the mod even though we do not infringe on their IP.

    • I think a lot of people just reflexively tack the "noncommercial" clause on there without thinking about it, because exactly as you say, they figure "nobody will make money off my work this way".

      The "Share Alike" clause all by itself should prevent any profit abuse, while allowing (for example) someone to charge $0.10 to cover the cost of burning the CD with the creative-commons work on it, or in the case of music it would allow a restaurant to play the work as background music for their guests (but require

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <<ten.frow> <ta> <todhsals>> on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:59AM (#45189495)

        (In a lot of cases, the "No Derivatives" clause would be a better substitute for "Non-Commercial" with the share-alike clause, I think (i.e. "You can distribute my amazing genius musical works but you cannot incorporate them into the soundtrack for your $500,000,000 blockbuster Hollywood movie"), but that's probably not appropriate here since I assume The Dark Mod developers intend for people to be able to remix and add to it.)

        Technically, ND and NC are both Non-Free.

        ND because it defeats the entire purpose of sharing - that people can get inspired or use your work in their work, as long as they incorporate the other license terms.

        SA is perfectly fine - if the music gets incorporated in that blockbuster movie, well, share away!

        NC is thornier and also non-Free in that it restricts usage in ways that are potentially unintended, including putting the content up on a for-pay website. Like YouTube - perhaps you have a blog that you create content for and use a bit of music to. You put it up NC because it's a hobby, then you start making money off it (get popular enough an YouTube will split profits with you). Damn, that just violated the terms on the music you've been using forever!

        It's not unusual that the CC folks have been getting a bit of pressure to remove ND and NC - if you really et down to it, ND+NC is only a minor variation away from "all rights reserved", so it's misleading to say it's a "free" license. ND violates the whole purpose CC because it's a "look but don't touch", and NC is so tightly worded to basically become practically useless - and a huge source of potential violations if you decide to distribute your software incorporating NC artwork and some commercial site picks it up for mirroring and such.

        • by adolf (21054)

          It's not unusual that the CC folks have been getting a bit of pressure to remove ND and NC - if you really et down to it, ND+NC is only a minor variation away from "all rights reserved"

          After reading your commentary, I think it means more that "this content is afraid of money," than "all rights reserved."

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        the nc clause isn't used tightly enough.

        that is, any site offering the download and that has ads should not use any of it... or can't be mentioned on a commercial magazine with screenshots and shit like that? if being strictly non commercial art.

        • by AvitarX (172628)

          Screenshots in a magazine mentioning it sound like a clear case of fair use (in the US), this is completely allowed with any license pretty much.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:19AM (#45188285)

    Free, Standalone TDM 2.0 Now Available!

    Posted on October 8, 2013 by Springheel
    We at Broken Glass Studios are happy to announce the release of TDM 2.0, a free, open-source, completely standalone stealth game!!

    Standalone: First and most importantly, The Dark Mod is now completely standalone, which means you no longer need to own Doom3 to play it! We have spent a tremendous amount of time and energy replacing all the sounds, textures, particle effects, and models that we had been using. Hopefully this will open up a whole new audience of people who didnâ(TM)t want to have to purchase a different game in order to try The Dark Mod.

    In addition to going standalone, the following improvements have been made:

    AI Improvements: There have been lots of additions and fixes to AI behaviour; characters will now greet each other more regularly, and will properly call for help when theyâ(TM)re in trouble. Guards can now hear slightly better, and we have included a new AI Vision slider to the menu, so the player can adjust how sensitive they want AI vision to be. Characters react to bodies in more varied ways now. A bug that made AI very easy to kill has been fixed. Archers will draw melee weapons if the player gets too close. Guards will turn towards doors that open unexpectedly. There are new vocals for specific situations, like when guards are getting shot at and canâ(TM)t see their opponent. Searching behaviour has been improved. Plenty of old bugs, like the one where AI would sometimes attack with an empty fist, have been fixed.

    New Gameplay: AI can now hear collapsing bodies, especially if the body is wearing plate mail and falls on a hard surface. No longer will a guard stand oblivious while his friend collapses to the ground two feet behind him. The player will have to give some thought to where they take down opponents if there are other guards in the area.

    Audio Improvements: In addition to replacing dozens of Doom3 sounds, two new vocal sets have been added to the game. Footstep sounds have been improved. Big changes have been made to the sound propagation system that will allow mappers a lot more control over how players hear sound; for example, mappers can now make doors block different amounts of sound depending on their thickness, or can control how much sound passes through windows or small holes.

    Graphical Improvements: You should notice a number of improvements to some character models, especially the skeleton, townsfolk, and beggar characters. Arrows will now leave blood-stains.

    There have been plenty of other bug-fixes, like removing the ability to hide in the shadow of an object youâ(TM)re carrying (no more sneaking under a crate umbrella). See the full change-log here.

    Updates to Missions:

    Because of the removal and replacement of Doom3 assets, some missions that used them are no longer compatible with TDM 2.0. About two dozen missions have updated .pk4s to fix these issues. New players can ignore this, but if youâ(TM)re playing missions that you downloaded before 2.0, you may have trouble trying to run them. Most are fine, but a few missions will just crash while loading, and others will load but will have odd visual problems. It is highly recommended that you delete all previously downloaded missions after updating to 2.0!

    Going standalone has been a mammoth undertaking. There were literally hundreds of assets that needed to be replaced, and around seventy maps that had to be checked to see whether any of those replacements broke anything. Weâ(TM)ve been testing for months, but itâ(TM)s almost certain that we missed something, somewhere. If you see a black texture, a model buried in the floor, or something else unusual in a map, please let us know. If it was caused by 2.0 changes, weâ(TM)ll make sure we fix it in the next update.

    To update your TDM installation, simply run the tdm_update.exe file in your darkmod folder. Your darkmod folder no longer needs to sit under Doom3, an

  • here's a torrent (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:33AM (#45188439)

    http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/9024163/THE_DARK_MOD_Version_2.0_-_Standalone_Release [thepiratebay.sx]

    Make sure to rename the folder containing the files to "darkmod" for now, until it is fixed in 2.01.

    Missions can be found on the website or the in-game downloader. Or this torrent [thepiratebay.sx] I guess. Have fun!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For most users this will work:
      http://pirateproxy.net/torrent/9024163/THE_DARK_MOD_Version_2.0_-_Standalone_Release

      For Virgin and other shitty ISPs that illegally block websites and censor what you can view online:

      http://malaysiabay.org/torrent/9024163/THE_DARK_MOD_Version_2.0_-_Standalone_Release

  • Thief! (Score:4, Informative)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:34AM (#45188453) Homepage Journal
    Oh yes, more Thief is always good.

    Thief Gold, Thief 2 and Thief: Deadly Shadows are available DRM-free on GOG.com. Those plus DarkLoader for fan mission and you have a virtually unlimited amount of gameplay.

    Go get it, you taffers!
  • Bah! (Score:4, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:42AM (#45188587) Journal
    Obviously the EA version is going to be better!

    I mean, yeah, it'll have gameplay that would make calling it "Battlefield: Sneaking of Honor" more honest, and actually-useful arrows will be consumable DLC items you purchase with real money, and you'll have to install Origin for it to work, and the game will demand the right to post promotional messages on any and all social media accounts you have access to; but it'll be AAA, man!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      EA isn't developing Thief 4.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it's square-enxxyxyyxyx.

      the company that did the deus ex reboot. soo.. it's probably going to be ok maybe.

  • Unfortunately I had not had to run tdm_update.exe previously, so I had no mirror data saved away. So, now I have to wait for the site to come back up so I can update my installation :(

  • Moddb Mirror (Score:3, Informative)

    by nbohr1more (2039034) on Monday October 21, 2013 @12:35PM (#45189935)
    Since the site is down, you can also checkout the moddb presence: http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-dark-mod [moddb.com]
  • by AluminumHaste (3403719) on Monday October 21, 2013 @12:36PM (#45189957)
    We appreciate the exposure folks, thank you for stopping by and considering all our hard work. :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      thanks for the work! i plan to try it out soon. I played the original Thief years ago and look forward to trying it out again in your format and with user maps etc.

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