Under this category you will find different game mods which I have participated in large and small.
Pirates of the Caribbean - Build Mod
The Build Mod goes far back before I even got involved playing Pirates of the Caribbean(PoTC).
There was a lot of anticipation of the release of "Sea Dogs II" after the great success of the original epic RPG "Sea Dogs".
This is where the story begins.
Towards the later half of its production the blockbuster hit of 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl was due to be released, Disney decided that they wanted a game to tie in a bit with their movie and wanted it released on its premier. So Disney bought up "Sea Dogs II" and now changed that name to "Pirates of the Caribbean".
The day finally came, PoTC was released, at a great disapointment, in order to make the deadline there were a lot of feature cuts that had to be made and the game was terribly buggy as well.
The end? not at all, soon the disapointed community began modding the game, adding new skins, fixing buggy quest as well as adding entirely new features and eventually successfully adding new ships and locations, making the game deeper and larger than ever thought possible.
My Involvement on the Community Build Mod
My story begins several years later, I had just obtained a cheap copy of Pirates of the Caribbean and was looking eagerly forward to playing it, at first I didn't like the idea of mods, and preferred the original game but eventually I got very intrigued and decided to try it out for myself, and found it was quite to my liking, this was in "Build Mod 12" that I first decided try it so there had been a lot of work done before me.
One of the things that was both to my liking and annoyed me, was the cannon smoke, the modders had increased it to massive proportions and had little orange puffs to act as cannon fire, unfortunately the smoke caused a very large framerate hit and was unrealistically thick.
So I took it upon myself to recreate the smoke, which started the first line of mini-mods for Build Mod 12 called "CannonFX"
Demonstration of the realistic smoke expansion from the Fort Cannons.
The First thing I actually did was create a cannon fire effect. this was early 2006 that I was eagerly anticipating "Age of Pirates" the real sequel to "Sea Dogs". I was also impressed by the cannon effects of the indie MMORPG "Pirates of the Burning Sea".
At first it was just simple flashes, I used the default corona texture from PoTC's light and basicly gave it a blinking type effect when the guns fired.
I was not satisfied, I wanted something awesome and revolutionary, then it came to me that the pistols in the game managed to create a small nice plume, so I looked into Particle setups. it was then I decided to create an entirely new particle system using the pistol smoke as a "rough template", I achieved amazing and realistic results, I spent many hours studying footage of cannons being fired.
The cannon smoke was next in line, as with the actual cannon fire, I rebuilt the whole smoke particle system and studied footage of cannon fire. the real breakthrough came when I got "Master and Commander" and was actually able to see genuine cannon fire where some shots had actually been loaded with real shot and powder.
The final results were amazing, from an old game I had managed to create cannon effects and cannon smoke so realistic. And I dare say the cannon smoke is the most realistic you will find in any game to date as I write this.
One last touch to my CannonFX mod was the damage, I created a new particle system and implemented new commands in the actual code just for this particle system which involved wood splinters flying from the ship upon taking hits, I also completely remade the fire effect, since all my other enhancements were aimed at realism it only felt right to bring the cheesy stock game fire effect to that level.
The last version of CannonFX, version 2.94 was finally released on the 21st of April 2006, after over a month in production, it was met by praise and teriffic feedback and was immediately incorporated into the Community Build mod and current version, "Build Mod 13". you will find me Credited as Merciless Mark.
Wood splinters flying from a cannon ball impact.
The "Build Mod" is available for download at www.piratesahoy.com
Star Trek: Legacy - Keys of Legacy
On december 8th 2006, the long anticipated Star Trek game "Star Trek: Legacy" created by MadDoc software was released by Bethesda Softworks. The long anticipated and hyped game that was supposed to usher the Star Trek gaming community into a new era proved to be a major dissapointment for a lot of players.
A large chunk of the planned features and content shown pre-released was forced to be cut in order to make the release, multiplayer was in very poor shaped and didnt even work out of the box and required the 1.1 patch that was released on the same day the game was released.
Modders quickly went to work at the game, amongst them myself.
My Involvement on "Key's of Legacy"
Strange heading for me to put, but I am actually the mod's creator and the one who conceived of it.
a lot of modders had been finding ways to turn on some disabled but incomplete features, all thou a lot of these fixes wrecked havoc with Legacy's multiplayer mode causing version mismatch errors.
So I decided to create a major mod, with the goal to re-enable everything I could find and that was possible, but at the same time making sure the modifications were compleatly multiplayer compatible.
This was achieved for the most part by going trough the games .XML User Interface files. I also made some discoveries of my own in the modding community of some features that never got far but were able to be finished by modders.
The version 1.0 release was rather small and didn't contain too many features all thou it was well received by a small group of players, it received 604 downloads of Stlegacyfiles.com
Version 1.1 got a much better reception by the community as it contained the features of the previous versions and some new very useful ones such as "fleet maneuvers" which was discovered by myself the actual coding to get it working was implemented by a fellow modder going by the alias of "Genty". I revised his original minimod release to include the original UI icons I had uncovered. Version 1.1 totaled in almost 900 downloads and received nothing but praise.
Version 1.2 was the latest release, unfortunately this was after the 1.2 patch for Star Trek: Legacy which seems to have both caused and fixed a lot of problems, thus the interest of the game has dwindled and as a result the version 1.2 release was not as successful.
Version 1.2 included a lot of new content as the previous version such as uncovered pre-release textures that were in an incomplete state that I had to fix and implement. all thou the 1.2 patch also unfortunately lead to some features from the previous version being removed, since they simply just stopped working after the 1.2 patch release.
For the 1.2 release of "Keys of Legacy" I had been under a lot of pressure to enable the developers menu, I had excluded this from previous versions because it is just that a developers tools and would be of more benefit for other modders than the average user.
However I conceived of a perfect compromise, to create a new icon at the bottom of the screen representing the tools menu, when clicked the main menu would slide to the side and the tools menu would slide into view. the actual coding was implemented by another fellow modder by the alias of "Gal".
Before/After image of the pre-release Enterprise Era Borg Cube.
The before shot shows the textures in their original state, the hull itself has an incomplte lightmap.
The after shot shows the textures after I edited the texture and finished the lightmap on it, as you can clearly see it looks alot better.
In general I must say I am very pleased with how the mod turned out and the reception it got, it was placed up there by some along with other great Star Trek Legacy mod's such as "Community Mod" and the great "Tactical Enhancement mod". in addition several features from Keys of Legacy have been added into these two fine mods, which warms my heart, knowing that my work for the Star Trek: Legacy community has been very well appreciated.
Oh and refer to the readme file for more detail of the features on this mod, available below.
Keys of Legacy 1.2 download
My first mod I ever created for Star Trek Bridge Commander, and being based on the Quantum torpedoes seen in "Star Trek: Nemesis" and "Star Trek: First Contact.
While being a small mod, its being hailed as the most accurate and canon(true to the Movies or TV series) Quantum torpedo ever created for Star Trek Bridge Commander and has had over one thousand downloads.
I was pretty surprised actually, Star Trek Bridge Commander is a very old game which goes all the way back to 2002, and during all this time with lots of mods striving for canonness(total accuracy and true to the Star Trek series) nobody had ever thought to create an accurate representation of the Quantum torpedo used by Star Trek's sovereign class starships.
It is also included in the 1.0 release of the "Kobayashi Maru" mod for Bridge Commander, which is currently the most popular modpack for Bridge Commander.
Quantum Torpedo download
This was not really a mod as such, but rather just toying around a bit with modding beam effects for the "phaser rifle" in "Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force". I was more or less just interested in seeing how close to professional game quality and cinema quality I could make them.
My work did however catch the attention of the "NX-01" mod team(one of the most anticipated mods for Elite Force but was sadly discontinued after a teaser release) and I was asked to create a beam effect for their phaser rifle/phase rifle.