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The Dark Mod

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Farewell to Grayman

We have lost one of the most talented members to ever join the TDM team.

Rand Phares “grayman” has lost his long battle with cancer and is no longer with us.

Before joining the TDM team and rising to become the lead developer, grayman was making mods for Doom, Quake, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein (including the excellent “Stolen Artifact” mod). Grayman used his deep knowledge of id Tech AI and scripting to repair and improve TDM AI from versions 1.02 to 2.08.

Grayman’s “William Steele” series missions were always filled with complicated sequences and had a cinematic quality that few authors achieved. Grayman often recorded his own voice-acting and his stories often were tinged with a little of his unmistakable humor.

It is impossible to fathom all the things grayman has done for TDM over the years and he will missed as both a developer and mentor for team members, mappers, and players alike.

Other news:

The Dark Mod 2.09a “Hotfix” has been released.

209 mission

A number of critical stability issues have been discovered subsequent to the 2.09 release, including a moderately rare crash in William Steele 3. I was decided that these fixes could not wait until 2.10 so a hotfix has been issued. Unlike full releases, save-game files will be compatible with this update so there is no need to wait to update to this version. If you have an AMD graphics card and found that 2.09 would not render properly, please try this new hotfix as many new graphic defaults are now friendlier to older AMD drivers.

A list of 2.09a ( Hotfix ) fixes can be found here:

https://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?/topic/20930-beta-testing-209a-aka-hotfix/

The Dark Mod 2.09 has been Released!

We are proud to announce the release of The Dark Mod 2.09!


TDM 2.09 marks a new phase of performance improvements aimed lowering CPU overhead in the graphics engine.


A whole new graphic backend has been created by Cabalistic which uses modern OpenGL features to eliminate the need for the CPU to constantly issue commands to allow the Graphic Processor to render scenes.

This gives TDM some of the performance advantages of rendering using a low level API like Vulkan.


Stgatilov has been very busy this release cycle. He has put heroic efforts into improving the way that TDM upgrades and hosting operate in addition to the vast improvements to TDM itself. (He also refactored the entire particle engine and created a link system to connect TDM to Dark Radiant.)


A full changelog can be viewed here, but some highlights include:


Better performance:

A brand new Backend that uses UBO, Persistent Mapping, Bindless textures, and Multi-Draw has been added.

“Frontend Acceleration” (Multi-Core job based rendering based on Doom 3 BFG) now works as expected.

Normal Map compression now uses RGTC resulting in lower storage, VRAM requirements, and less artifacts ( load times should improve in future TDM versions when pre-compressed RGTC textures are added )

Background texture loading has improved. This should shorten load times and reload.


Better visuals:

A new Sharpening Filter has been added. It can make 70% Render Scale look almost like native resolution (more performance).

( It also cleans up some blurry textures for all Render Scales. )

Bumpmap lighting is smoother, so that lighting does not instantly flip to off when getting close to edges of occluded objects.

Particle physics have been substantially improved for both accuracy and performance.

Borderless Fullscreen works properly on Windows.

Water and other GUI effects that did not respond to Gamma now brighten properly.

AMD and Intel fixes have been added for SSAO rendering


Better gameplay:

Experimental Gamepad support has been added.

Creep works in alway-run mode


Better mapping:

A new linking system allows The Dark Mod to act as a real-time preview of Dark Radiant

The redesigned particles now have improved setup and configuration.

Automated fixes have been created for “rotation hacked” models

Prefabs have been seen numerous fixes and reorganization to make them easier to use


Better Sound:

Conversation and other sounds are no longer stopped by saving or going to main menu.

EFX reverb has been added to “Mission 1: A New Job”

Extinguished gas lamps are no longer noisy when doused


New Assets:

Dragofer, Epifire, Bikerdude, LDAsh, Kingsal, Dram have all added substantial asset updates ranging from updated Werebeast animations, Steam Engines, fireflies


More stable:

A huge number of fragile code areas have been overhauled to either fix crashes or prevent likely crashes due to risk of divide by zero, uninitialized values, or dangling pointers (leftover settings) on entities and functions.


We recommend that you upgrade using the new “tdm_installer” available here. Please be aware that old saved games will not be compatible with 2.09, so finish any missions you might be in the middle of first!

The Dark Mod 2.08 released!

We are proud to announce the release of The Dark Mod 2.08! 


Long in development, many fixes related to Multi-Core, Uncapped FPS, and the 64-bit migration are now available. TDM 2.08 goes further with the process to modernize coding standards in TDM, replacing legacy OpenGL functions and ARB Assembly shaders with modern techniques. 


Mappers will be pleased to see many new quality assets as well as enhancements to rain, fog, skylight, AIs and visportal diagnostics.


For the eye-candy crowd, new Bloom, 64-bit color mode, and SSAO options have been added!


For Linux users, the project can now be compiled via CMake.

A full changelog can be viewed here, but some highlights include:

Better Visuals: Cabalistic has finally added the much requested SSAO feature to TDM. Using a method called Scalable Ambient Obscurance, now areas with flat ambient lighting come alive with new detail! He’s also implemented a new Bloom method, and brightness and gamma will no longer interfere with desktop brightness.


Better AI: Grayman has refined the AI yet again, for instance ensuring that sitting and lying aren’t thwarted by obstacles.

Better Gameplay: The player’s ability to move and interact with the environment has been improved thanks to fixes to mantling as well as climbing ropes and ladders. Ragdolls are easier to handle and shouldering them is accompanied by an animation.

Better Mapping: The mapper’s toolkit has seen several enhancements. A new X-ray surface and new spectrum spawnargs modify how objects are perceived. Rain is much less taxing and uses static collision detection to limit its fall. New visportal diagnostics make it easier than ever to track down notorious internal leaks.

Better Performance: The dev team has as always been hard at work making improvements to performance and laying the groundwork for even more improvements in the future. Multi-Core’s stability has been enhanced and is no longer listed as an “Experimental” setting.

New Assets: Many quality textures and models were added by both Team members and community contributors. Especially of note is the inclusion of Kingsal’s manbeasts and Springheel’s new zombies, and expect to catch glimpses of the werebeast. If you are a mission author, please take a look here.


New Sounds: The player’s movement is now accompanied by new sounds when mantling, swimming and sliding down ropes and ladders.

To update, simply run the tdm_update.exe file in your darkmod folder. Please be aware that old saved games will not be compatible with 2.08, so finish any missions you might be in the middle of first!

Hotfix for 2.07 now available (05/2019)

This hotfix release is intended mainly to fix serious problems with OpenGL that some players have.
The set of differences with the original 2.07 is minimal.
The hotfix release is expected to fully replace the original 2.07, and be called simply “TDM 2.07” in the future.

Unlike the usual case, this release does not break savegame compatibility.
You can load savegames produced by the original TDM 2.07 in the 2.07-hotfix version perfectly fine: no need to do anything.

The changes in 2.07-hotfix:

1) Fixed GLSL shaders not working on the latest AMD graphics drivers.
With original 2.07, players with AMD gpus had to either set r_useGLSL 0 or to download custom shader files.
Everyone who had this problem: please update to 2.07-hotfix, set r_useGLSL 1 back and remove glprogs directory if you have it.

2) Fixed GLSL shaders not working on some Linux drivers.
The same workaround was used to avoid the problem, which should be reverted after update.
It is also possible that shadow maps will start working for some players (due to this fix).

3) Fixed r_showportals 1 to work properly with Multi Core Enhancement and with subviews.
With original 2.07, it had problems like postprocessing being disabled or wrong rendering of portals.

4) Fixed missing tdm_coals_hot_ns material on some maps.

The Dark Mod update 2.07 now available! (02-2019)


TDM 2.07 is primarily a stability release, aimed at improving several experimental features that were added in 2.06. Soft shadows now work better, for example, with fewer graphical glitches and a new Shadow Map mode that allows for contact hardening (and generally better performance).

In addition to greater stability, there are a few new gameplay features, including a new frob helper that can be turned on in the Gameplay menu.

Mantling low and medium-sized obstacles is now faster and smoother, and further mantling improvements are already in the works for the next update.

There are a few new assets included in the update, including some new architectural module pieces, new chain models, and several trap prefabs (along with videos on how to set them up).

For a longer list of changes and additions, see the 2.07 wiki page, or the full changelog.

To update to this version, simply run tdm_update.exe in your darkmod folder.