Inspired by the Thief series, The Dark Mod is a brilliant free and open source game and game engine for people to make various levels with. The Dark Mod version 2.10 is out now and it's BIG.
Just for players, here's the highlights:
- Loading Times - Considerable effort has gone into streamlining how textures are loaded, making more effective use of multiple CPU cores, and removing artificial delays. This even includes new handwritten algorithms for normalmap compression and mipmap generation so that TDM no longer relies on graphics card drivers.
- Performance Improvements - As part of ongoing performance improvements, soft stencil shadows with anti-alising will be faster to render.
- Object Handling - Afraid to grab a candle near a sleeping guard? Handling objects will now produce less noise, or none at all if holding down the “creep” button. You can also now control how far an item is thrown based on how long you hold down the “throw” button. Lastly, dragging unconscious bodies should feel better now (even if rats did their best to spoil the fun a little).
- Main Menu Interactions - Tooltips have been added for many of the items found in the settings menu: a long-awaited feature! We’ve also reorganized the procedure for switching between missions to make it more intuitive for newcomers.
- Window / Input Changes - The Linux build now relies on the GLFW library to create windows and handle the keyboard & mouse, eliminating many of the issues with OS integration on Linux. On the Windows side, some minor changes were made to fullscreen/borderless modes.
For mappers though, it gets real interesting! They added support for Volumetric Lights (“God Rays”), more image formats, main menu customizations, new scripting events and so on — lots of new toys for level creators for have fun with and to go along with it the six new missions released for the 2.10 Connections Contest are now officially available in the mission downloader and they take advantage of the new features.