That's right, we're celebrating Seumas' masterpiece by making it completely free and open source!
If you haven't tried it yet, now's the time to get all 20 tanks and 58 maps for free. Get online and wreak havoc!
Currently it's only available on Windows, but it's almost compatible with Mac and Linux. If you think you can help, go ahead and download the code from GitHub. Patches welcome!
Tread Marks was designed to be modifiable by end-users, unlike most games produced by large companies which are highly restrictive of end-user modification. Making modifications to Tread Marks isn't the same as modifying Quake and Quake-based games, though. While it takes a bit of skill to make even a simple modification to Quake (since the files are packed into a single-file archive), the files in Tread Marks are out in the open, so even a novice can make simple changes to the way the game looks and plays. On the other hand, Tread Marks (currently) lacks the ability to have its game source code modified the way Quake can, so advanced programmers don't have the freedom to do whatever they want yet. Large aspects of the way the game looks and plays can be changed without any programming though (e.g. explosion and smoke effects, all weapon types and behaviors, tank speeds and armor, world gravity and friction).
The Full version of the game supports the "AddOns" directory, which will be searched before any of the main content directories. If you want to modify or override a file, copy or create the new version in the AddOns directory, with the same relative path as in its original location. This may require creating a few new folders in the AddOns folder to get the full path as the original file. For .ENT files, it should work to simply copy the .ent file into the base AddOns\Entities\ folder, as the file names of .ent files don't actually matter, only their contents. For the majority of modifications you will only need to edit .ent files, or add new Bitmaps, Sounds, or Models of your own. Entity files are simple text files, so when you double click on a .ent file you should choose to open it in Notepad or WordPad. The Full version includes a different readme.txt file in each Entity sub-directory that contains info on what the various parameters in the .ent files do.
We've received a lot of mixed feedback about the default physics settings in Tread Marks; some of you like the low friction that lets you do power-slides and skid turns, and some of you seem to want tighter, easier to handle controls that are more like a real tank than a Racing Tank. In an effort to make everyone happy, we've put together a little easy-download modification that doubles the game's default friction, giving you much more responsive controls (especially at high speeds). This modification works with both the Shareware Demo and the Full version. Simply click the link below to download the file (you may need to right-click it if your browser tries to view it as text), then follow these steps: If you have the Full version of the game, copy the file into the "AddOns\Entities\" directory in your Tread Marks folder. If you have the Shareware Demo, copy the file into the "Entities\TankGod\" folder, overwriting the old file there.
Please let us know what you think of the SuperFriction mod, and feel free to edit the file to try other amounts of friction and gravity as well. We'd like to know what you prefer, and we may add an in-game selection for friction in a future version.
If you plan to distribute your modification to others, please design your modification for the Full version of the game. The Shareware Demo version isn't intended to be fully modifiable, and it has some limitations on what can be changed and added. Also, please do NOT distribute tweaked, edited, or file-copied Bitmaps (.bmp, .img), Sounds (.wav), or Models (.lwo, .luv), from any version of the game. Distributing edited Entity (.ent) files is okay. This means you can't simply make an editing change to a Bitmap, Sound, or Model that is Copyright by LDA and then redistribute it, as it is a derivative work and still under Copyright. Imagine if someone's "modification" was simply all the files from the Full version with a few edits in each, and you'll get the drift. It is okay to create an all-new file with the same name as an LDA file with the intention of overriding it. If you want to distribute an edited LDA file or two (e.g. an edited intro screen or menu background for your mod) try asking for our permission. Note: Texture Bitmaps which are used by the original game as Racing Tank tesxtures are excluded from the above restrictions. This means it is OK to slightly modify (e.g. add a logo) a Tank Skin and to redistribute it for free.
LDA is not responsible for the content of user mods.