The Dark Mod

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The Dark Mod
Dark Mod logo.png
Developer(s) Broken Glass Studios
Engine id Tech 4
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) October 17, 2009
Genre(s) Stealth
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Download

The Dark Mod is a free software first-person stealth game, inspired by the Thief series by Looking Glass Studios. The game provides the basic framework and tools - engine, assets, models, an editor - for more than 80 fan-made missions, as well as a few fan-made campaigns. A lengthy The Dark Mod campaign is currently being developed, titled The Crucible of Omens.


The mod takes place in a classic gothic steampunk world. This includes a crossover of elements of fantasy, the Late Middle Ages, the Victorian era and the Industrial Revolution. Although set in a very similar world to that of the original Thief series, the mod distinguishes itself very strictly from the original games, to avoid copyright issues.

In the mod, the player controls an agile thief through a hostile world. He has to use his equipment and the environment to avoid guards, traps, creatures or other threats. Equipment includes things like a blackjack, water arrows, holy water, flashbombs, mines, and more. Since the player has only a limited fighting capability, he is supposed to sneak and hide in dark, mostly avoiding combat. The plot and therefore mission goals depend on the selected fan mission or campaign.


The game was originally released as a total conversion modification for Doom 3, but with the release of version 2.0 it became completely standalone on the id Tech 4 game engine. The game's source code is licensed under the GNU General Public License 3 and all other non-software components are under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.[1]

The mod was originally developed as a toolkit. It includes models, sounds, AI, art, tools, and a specialised editor for users to create custom missions. The development of the mod started in 2004, and the first Beta was released in 2008, along with its first mission. In October 2009, v 1.0 was released. In October 2013 version 2.0 was released as a standalone game that included two missions created by the development team. The current version is v 2.02, with over 80 fan-made missions available, and a lengthy campaign titled "Crucible of Omens" in development.[2][3]

With dhewm3 there is a fork of the id Tech 4 game engine that was ported to CMake, 64-bit, etc.,[4] but this is not used. Thus, it is not possible to play The Dark Mod on a 64-bit Linux build without downloading separate 32-bit compatibility patches.[5]


The Dark Mod has been featured by a number of international game magazines, websites and blogs. Examples include the Dutch magazine PC Game Play,[6] the blog Kotaku,[7] the British magazine PC Gamer,[8] the German magazine PC Games[9] and the British gaming blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun.[10]

After going standalone the project received substantial coverage from sites like Slashdot,[11]Destructoid,[12] Joystiq,[13] in addition to most of the above sites.


The Dark Mod won PC Gamer's "Mod of the Year" award for 2013.

The Dark Mod is featured on ModDB, where it is ranked in the top 100 as one of the most popular mods. Since its release, it has been in the MOTY top 100 every year and has received one award:

  • 2007 Mod of the Year Awards Top 100 (Best upcoming)[14]
  • 2008 Mod of the Year Awards Top 100 (Best upcoming)[15]
  • 2009 Mod of the Year Awards Top 100 (Best released)[16]
  • 2010 Mod of the Year Awards Top 100 (Best released)[17]
  • 2011 Community Award (Editors choice)[18]
  • 2012 Mod of the Year Awards Top 100 (Best released)[19]
  • 2013 Mod of the Year (PC Gamer) [20]


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