|Initial release||October 17, 2009Doom 3 mod) (|
October 8, 2013 (standalone game)
May 27, 2018 (native 64-bit)
2.11 / February 5, 2023
|Engine||id Tech 4|
|Platform||Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS|
CC BY-NC-SA (assets)
The Dark Mod is a free and open-source software first-person stealth video game, inspired by the Thief series by Looking Glass Studios. The game provides the basic framework and tools (engine, assets, models, and editor) for more than 160 fan-made missions, including several multi-mission campaigns. The Dark Mod was first released in 2009 as a total conversion mod for Doom 3. Version 2.0 was released in October 2013 as a standalone game using the open-source id Tech 4 game engine.
The Dark 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 does not use any of the original Thief intellectual property.
The player is an agile thief in a hostile world. He has to use his equipment and the environment to avoid guards, traps, creatures or other threats. His equipment includes 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 mission goals are set by the author of the fan mission or campaign.
The Dark Mod 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.
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 2.11, and has over 160 fan-made missions available.
The Dark Mod 2.06 includes code from the dhewm3 fork of the id Tech 4 game engine that was ported to 64-bit, etc. It is now possible to play The Dark Mod as a native 64-bit build on Linux without any 32-bit libraries.
Notable features as of 2.06 64-bit:
- Soft shadows
- Symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) optimizations
- EFX Audio (replacing proprietary EAX)
- FFmpeg video support
- Scrolling menus and GUI scaling options
- Modernized OpenGL invokes, GLSL shaders, and Frame Buffer Object support
Note: As of 2.07, Soft shadows are available in two varieties:
- Blurred shadow volumes with a blurring algorithm similar to PCSS
- Shadow mapping with true PCSS blurring
Other notable 2.07 features:
Notable features for 2.08:
- Screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO)
- 64-bit color FBO
- Material Shaders support GLSL
- Parallax corrected cubemap support (initial)
- GLSL 3.1 core compliance
- Uniform transforms
- Buffer object persistent mapping
Notable features for 2.10
- Volumetric lighting (god rays)
- Entity limit raised to over 65 K. (virtually unlimited)
- Full pre-compressed RGTC \ BC5 compression loading and rendering
- GLFW windows management
- glTexStorage support
- PNG texture loading
- Parallel texture loading
- A hash table
- Improved mission management GUI interface
- X-ray rendering support
The Dark Mod has been featured and reviewed by a number of major game magazines, websites and blogs. Examples include the Dutch magazine PC Game Play, the blog Kotaku, the British magazine PC Gamer, the German magazines PC Games and GameStar, as well as the British gaming website Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
The Dark Mod won PC Gamer UK's Game of the Year award (mod category) for 2013, and has been distributed on several magazine cover DVDs. In 2014 The Dark Mod was named by PCGamer among the "Ten top fan remade classics you can play for free right now". In 2016, The Dark Mod was ranked as #2 in "The 50 best free PC games" list by PC Gamer.
- "The Dark Mod license.txt". Retrieved July 9, 2020.
- "The Dark Mod – Wer ist nochmal Garrett?". GameStar.de (in German). October 24, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". The Dark Mod. October 14, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- "The Dark Mod 2.11 has been released!". The Dark Mod. February 5, 2023.
- "dhewm/dhewm3". Github.com. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- PC Game Play, May 2011 Issue
- "The dark mod News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip". Kotaku. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- Sykes, Tom (October 21, 2012). "Get your stealth fix with The Dark Mod, the Thief total conversion for Doom 3". PCGamer. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Mod des Tages: The Dark Mod – Tears of Saint Lucia für Doom 3". Pcgames.de (in German). September 14, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- Meer, Alec (October 22, 2012). "Outta Dunwall: Thief Remake The Dark Mod Updates". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- "Thief-inspired The Dark Mod is now a standalone release". Destructoid. January 15, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- "Thief homage The Dark Mod steals spotlight for itself, goes standalone". Joystiq. October 13, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- "Mod of the year: The Dark Mod". PC Gamer. December 26, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- Gamestar (Germany) January 2014; PC Master (Greece) December 2013; Oyungezer (Turkey) December 2013
- Craig Pearson (January 1, 2014). "Ten top fan-remade classics you can play for free right now". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- "The 50 best free PC games". PC Gamer. August 10, 2021.