Three years ago when the 3rd generation of consoles launched many said "PC gaming is dead" along with mods and indies. Two years ago at the 2008 GDC conference, I attended a presentation by Introversion Software (makers of the great Darwinia game among others) who claimed they were "the last of the bedroom programmers". Last year Modern Warfare 2 shunned PC gamers and modders, but not before taking all of their best ideas. And yet here we are, stronger and more relevant than ever, thanks to the rise of digital distribution and the efforts of independent developers like you, who continue to push the bar and create great games and mods which cannot be ignored.
We have a feeling 2010 is going to be a brilliant year (we hope to change the game by publicly releasing Desura), but before that happens let's look back at the year that was 2009. This article is merely a warm-up piece before the big show (i.e. presenting the years best mods and games as selected by the editors and you, the players), so check back in a weeks time for the good stuff. In the mean time, here are a few fun facts for you to discuss, before we roll out the red carpet.
Hordes of zombies... braaaaaains!
What do Left-4-Dead, The Ball, Zombie Driver, Killing Floor, Zombie Panic, Zombie Slayer, Flesh and Situation Outbreak all have in common? Zombies it seems and plenty of them (sorry you don't get a cookie for answering correctly).
Ye of little faith
When the English version of Cube Experimental came out, I thought it would amount to little more than a few Fallout 3 colored kill boxes... boy was I wrong. You can read about my discovery in this WSIP article I wrote after it had just come out.
Success is only a stones throw away
Nothing warms our heart more than seeing a mod rise up and take the games world by storm. This year thanks to Tripwire Interactive, the UT2004 mod Killing Floor did just that, dominating Steams selling charts (outpacing L4D for a while) and is mostly loved by all that play it.
The year of music
Last year had many solid releases, and many released OST's (official soundtrack) along with them. First we saw the release of the NeoTokyo OST which had a lot of care both in sound and packaging, then we had The Nameless Mod OST. There where many others but these two stood tall, thanks to the incredible amount of care and effort put in.
Get out of here S.T.A.L.K.E.R
Back in May of 2009 artistpavel released a S.T.A.L.K.E.R overhaul pack called Stalker Complete 2009. What followed is hard to believe... 6 brand new profiles all doing the exact same thing, all trying to take one step more than the last, and mold S.T.A.L.K.E.R into their own rendition.
A Rock Star without Rock'n'Roll
Lets talk about Decadence, the 2v2 Half-Life 2 mod that burst onto the scene this year, with innovative ideas and the potential to pack a punch. Fast forward a few months, and the school team that made the mod have moved on and the multiplayer-only mod cannot be played even if you want to. The post mortem is the only remaining evidence that it even existed in the first place.
So what was your highlight / lowlight of 2009?
Please enlighten us... comments, discussion and debate welcome! Oh and sit tight, because in a weeks time we will begin announcing the 2009 Players and Editors Choice Mod and Indie Game of the Year.