Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

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Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby MrFlibble » 2013-12-12 @ 20:22

For some time I used to think that total conversions of video games that eventually became separate, stand-alone titles are few and far between, as I knew only of a couple examples, like NAM and Gunman Chronicles. Eventually though I started to discover more and more of such games, and decided to make a list of them.

Probably not very surprisingly, what I managed to find so far are mostly FPS games based on popular engines (id Tech, GoldSrc, and the more recent UDK), with but a few titles from other genres. No idea if this is because of the general level of popularity of the FPS genre or some other factors have played a role as well.

The criteria for picking games were as follows: 1) initially there has been a requirement that another title, of which the game in question is a TC or mod, needed to be present in order to run the game, and 2) eventually said requirement was dropped, making the game in question stand-alone. In some cases below, however, a fully stand-alone game was preceded by a mod/TC with a similar theme or storyline.

Command & Conquer: Renegade
Crysis Wars
Doom
Doom II
  • HacX [requires an engine port]
Doom III
Duke Nukem 3D
FreeSpace 2
Half-Life
Half-Life 2
Mount & Blade
Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Vikingr (does not require Warband to be installed but asks for a license key)
Quake
Quake II
Quake III: Arena
Steel Panthers II: Modern Battles
Unreal Tournament
Unreal Tournament 2004
Unreal Tournament 3
Warcraft III
Hopefully the respected community here will provide more information and more titles with a similar development history, perhaps in different genres?
Last edited by MrFlibble on 2017-12-06 @ 09:52, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby leileilol » 2013-12-12 @ 21:53

Die Hard Nakatomi Plaza was once a HL mod and a Duke TC before becoming a fully licensed Lithtech-based game.

Nexuiz was never a mod/TC. It was standalone from the start

Xmen and Bid for Power are not standalone games. Battlemech is still a mod...
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby Jorpho » 2013-12-13 @ 05:44

I had no idea people tried to mod Renegade; I thought everyone hated that one.

leileilol wrote:Xmen and Bid for Power are not standalone games.
I was just about to mention X-Men, but nope: apparently it was released as freeware in 2006 in a form that no longer requires Quake.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Men:_The ... Apocalypse
http://www.zerogravity.com.au/portfolio0601.php
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby mr_bigmouth_502 » 2013-12-13 @ 05:53

Jorpho wrote:I had no idea people tried to mod Renegade; I thought everyone hated that one.

leileilol wrote:Xmen and Bid for Power are not standalone games.
I was just about to mention X-Men, but nope: apparently it was released as freeware in 2006 in a form that no longer requires Quake.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Men:_The ... Apocalypse
http://www.zerogravity.com.au/portfolio0601.php


My friends and I used to play the absolute crap out of Renegade over lunch in the computer labs of my old high school. Was an awesome game, though it definitely had some flaws.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby leileilol » 2013-12-13 @ 06:55

Jorpho wrote: apparently it was released as freeware in 2006 in a form that no longer requires Quake.

It's unmodiifed from its 1997 form except for a few progs.dat fixes, and there's no such modification that would make it a standalone game and it does not include an engine. It's because the sourceports don't honor the pop.lmp registered check anymore, so they could just launch the mod directly instead of id1 (while missing assets on the way such as quake sounds XMEN still used). It doesn't mean it's a standalone game however, you could do this with any TC...
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby bristlehog » 2013-12-13 @ 09:40

Well, what about Defense of the Ancients?
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby luckybob » 2013-12-13 @ 09:45

DAYZ is a mod for ARMA2, but the stand-alone has yet to be released...
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby carlostex » 2013-12-13 @ 10:02

luckybob wrote:DAYZ is a mod for ARMA2, but the stand-alone has yet to be released...



Mainly because the engine is not suited to a zombie theme, there is still a lot of work to do from what i seen in the devblog. AFAIK it is still in pre-Alpha.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby MrFlibble » 2013-12-13 @ 16:54

leileilol wrote:Die Hard Nakatomi Plaza was once a HL mod and a Duke TC before becoming a fully licensed Lithtech-based game.

Thanks for mentioning that one, I actually read bout it here but haven't found further evidence so far. (Turns out this fact is also mentioned at the Piranha Games page at Wikipedia.)

leileilol wrote:Nexuiz was never a mod/TC. It was standalone from the start

I also thought that initially, but Wikipedia states that
Nexuiz development started as a Quake modification in the summer of 2001 by Lee Vermeulen.

I haven't tried to find further proof of that though, and I guess nothing from the modification phase, if it existed, was released to the public anyway. If you have more accurate information on this, please tell me.

leileilol wrote:Xmen and Bid for Power are not standalone games.

Well, this download is supposedly stand-alone (didn't check it though).
[STANDALONE] This is the original version of Bid for Power made standalone thanks to the new engine ioquake3 (freeware). In order to do that quicker, i used the game Open Arena (freeware). Then i added some effects like bloom and shadows in realtime. The credits goes to the Bid for Power developers. thanks to Zeth (ZEQ2-Lite developer) for helping me to create that version. Now this masterpiece is freeware. 100% legal. By qwerty. You can edit the shortcut in order to change the resolution.


leileilol wrote:Battlemech is still a mod...

You mean it still uses some of the original Quake assets?

(Well, NAM also has quite a few things from Duke3D and even Shadow Warrior. But of course ideally a completely new game should not have data assets from elsewhere.)

If you wish I can remove BattleMech from the list.

leileilol wrote:
Jorpho wrote: apparently it was released as freeware in 2006 in a form that no longer requires Quake.

It's unmodiifed from its 1997 form except for a few progs.dat fixes, and there's no such modification that would make it a standalone game and it does not include an engine. It's because the sourceports don't honor the pop.lmp registered check anymore, so they could just launch the mod directly instead of id1 (while missing assets on the way such as quake sounds XMEN still used). It doesn't mean it's a standalone game however, you could do this with any TC...

Ahh, thanks for explaining that! I'll add an [requires an engine port] tag to this and to HacX then (although HacX is of course in a much more complete state in this respect).

One more thing, there appears to have been a stand-alone medieval fantasy game called Alteria, developed by COR Entertainment, the people behind the CodeRED/Alien Arena games. It is my understanding that Alteria was a continuation of the Omen series of Quake mods. The free full version of the game, running on a modified Quake engine, was released in 2002. The download was hosted by FilePlanet, and it seems that there have been no updates since the original release of v1.0. However, the current official website of the game only contains information about it being ported to the CRX Gaming Engine, with no downloads of the old version. Web searches for the file name (alteria1_0.exe) provide nothing except same broken FliePlanet links. Is the old version of the game available anywhere anyway?

[Edit] I found several interviews with Lee Vermeulen (like this and this), and he mentions contacting Forest Hale as the start of the project. Apparently whoever edited Wikipedia misunderstood Lee's statements about him having previous experience with Quake modding which influenced his choice of engine for Nexuiz.

[Edit2] Found this Quakeblog interview (archived copy) where Lee says
My original plan called for 5 maps, all Half-Life map format (which the engine supports), and 4 weapons and one player model, I wanted to finish it in a couple months and release it as a standalone Quake1 mod.

However apparently he's talking about the DarkPlaces engine already (in the "half-life map support" part). I guess Nexuiz is off the list then, unless forther details prove the opposite.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby leileilol » 2013-12-14 @ 22:23

Nuclear Dawn is another for the HL2 list.
No More Room in Hell as well.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby MrFlibble » 2013-12-16 @ 16:50

leileilol wrote:Nuclear Dawn is another for the HL2 list.
No More Room in Hell as well.

Thanks, added those!

MrFlibble wrote:One more thing, there appears to have been a stand-alone medieval fantasy game called Alteria, developed by COR Entertainment, the people behind the CodeRED/Alien Arena games. It is my understanding that Alteria was a continuation of the Omen series of Quake mods. The free full version of the game, running on a modified Quake engine, was released in 2002. The download was hosted by FilePlanet, and it seems that there have been no updates since the original release of v1.0. However, the current official website of the game only contains information about it being ported to the CRX Gaming Engine, with no downloads of the old version. Web searches for the file name (alteria1_0.exe) provide nothing except same broken FliePlanet links.

I stumbled upon a working download link the other day while browsing FirstPersonShooters.net:
http://firstpersonshooters.net/Games/Alteria/index.html

That website also mentions a fairly obscure, allegedly Quake II based game/stand-alone mod called Amsterdoom (gameplay video), which was apparently also known as Amsterdam Monster Madness. Release details on this are rather scarce, unfortunately.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby jwt27 » 2013-12-16 @ 17:35

MrFlibble wrote:fairly obscure


Better keep it that way. Here in NL, "Davilex" is considered synonymous with "horrible".
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby RoyBatty » 2014-1-08 @ 09:32

The Ship was originally a goldsource mod.

Black Mesa is obviously a HL2 mod, but will see a retail release on Steam.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby MrFlibble » 2016-3-09 @ 16:57

A while ago I read about a game called Wings of Dawn which runs on the FreeSpace 2 engine. It turns out that this game was originally a total conversion for FreeSpace 2 that was released in 2010, but last year the author started reworking it into a stand-alone game using the open source engine of FreeSpace 2, which is released in an episodic manner. However, as I am completely unfamiliar with the original FreeSpace 2, I cannot tell if this new stand-alone version uses anything from it apart from the engine.

For some reason, the most comprehensive source of information about this game that I have found so far is TV Tropes.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby MrEWhite » 2016-3-11 @ 13:16

Garry's Mod is based on Source, not goldsource. So it would be Half-Life 2.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby leileilol » 2016-3-11 @ 22:43

Sven-Coop had a standalone Steam release lately.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby RoyBatty » 2016-3-15 @ 22:40

Synergy was a mod too.
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby MrFlibble » 2016-3-16 @ 13:57

Updated the list. Somehow I get the feeling it's going to be dominated by HL2 mods...
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Re: Total conversions/mods that became standalone games

Postby tayyare » 2016-3-29 @ 14:37

Thanks a lot for maintaining such a list. Is it possible to add "free/retail" and "single player/multiplayer" information to the items?
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