So. It has become that time again. The one day in the year where we all dress up in our finest blue Sven Co-op shirts, dance around a pile of dead toads coated in purple paint, while singing praise to our savior Sven Co-op, who has given us the most precious gift of all: Entertainment.
Yes, today is Sven Co-op’s birthday. How old is Sven Co-op you ask? 15 years to be exact, with the first version being released on January 19 1999. That makes Sven Co-op really old. Older than some of its’ players. And yet, it just keeps going with no signs of stopping. People keep developing it, and people keep playing it. We on the development team still feel there is a lot to do before our vision of the game is completely fulfilled, so there’s no reason to believe development is stopping any time soon.
If this was a TV show, this news update would be a clip show, where instead of providing any new story development, we just show what has happened previously in the series. We won’t do that. Because we can’t. This is not a TV show. Instead Nih is going to briefly summarize what has happened with the mod in the past 5 years (for the preceding 10 years, I will direct you to Hezus’ excellent summary written in 2009 for Sven Co-op’s 10th anniversary.)
December 24 2008 Release of Sven Co-op 4.0 Beta
5 years. That’s how long it took to get this release out of the door. I have to admit, it looked grim at times, but in the end, we prevailed. Many people were excited about Sven Co-op entering a new chapter, but the release was also met by a lot of criticism, making this possibly the most controversial release. The cause was in part due to some major bugs that resulted in frequent crashing and people getting stuck in reconnect loops. It was also due to some major changes to the weapons and NPC’s, changes which some people felt strayed too far from the original Half-Life experience. In the end however, these changes managed to revitalize the game.
This version introduced several new enemies (including Tor), weapons, as well as the ability for some NPC’s to move while attacking, drastically increasing their fear factor. It was also a release defined by the large amount of new map series, rather than single maps, it introduced: Tetris, Escape, Last Stand, Royals, Infested, and Activist all consisted of at least 3 maps each. This release also finally introduced the coop conversion of the HL mod They Hunger, which had been announced in 2002, although only the first episode was included.
May 05 2009 Release of Sven Co-op 4.06
Due to a potential crash exploit that was discovered, it was decided to release a quick hotfix for the mod. This update was called 4.05, but upon realizing that an incorrect file had been included in the package, 4.06 was released the same day. Stuff happens. This update mainly consisted of a small amount of bug fixes and tweaks.
May 15 2009 Release of Sven Co-op 4.07
Another small update was released 10 days later, also consisting of a small amount of bug fixes and tweaks.
September 02 2010 Release of Sven Co-op 4.5
The next major update came a year later. Originally called 4.1, a decision was made to change the name due to the large amount of content introduced by the update.
This was the release that finally fixed the looping and crashing issues introduced in 4.0. And to the great relief of many, ambient sounds were working again. The update introduced the Spore Launcher and Shock Roach, as well as several new maps like Kyper Kuutio (which apparently means cyber box in Finnish) and Sector E. The update also introduced an impressive array of new entities, allowing mappers to create maps with completely new types of gameplay. And of course, beta Opposing Force support.
December 25 2011 Release of Sven Co-op 4.6
Another Christmas release (try to count how many of these we’ve had). Because we love conversions, this update introduced a conversion of Half-Life: Uplink, the demo for Half-Life 1, as well as the second episode of They Hunger. The update introduced the Kingpin, a monster Valve cut from Half-Life 1, with sound effects provided by JPolito and his girlfriend, partly consisting of them gurgling water near a microphone.
December 25 2012 Release of Sven Co-op 4.7
4.7 finally included a frequently requested feature: Linux server binaries. This had not been included with the mod since 2002 or perhaps earlier.
The release also included the Defense map Quarter, as well as a decent amount of bug fixes and features.
June 30 2013 Release of Sven Co-op 4.8
Mostly as a result of the SteamPipe update for Half-life 1, which caused a couple of issues for HL mods, it was decided to release another small update before getting properly started on 5.0. This update fixed those issues and added support for the Blue Shift campaign.
So there you have it folks. The last 5 years of Sven. What lies next is 5.0. Sven Co-op as a free game on Steam with full access to the game engine. Let us all visit the Sven Co-op forums to reminisce and celebrate the fact this delightful game was created 15 years ago. Come say hello to your pals on our IRC channel too, #svencoop on Gamesurge.
"Fortified" Beta Released 29 December, 2013 | by JPolito
Sven Co-op Developer "Nih" has released a beta version of his map Fortified 1, a Venture Bros. inspired map in which players take the role of the “Secret Assault Crew”, who must infiltrate a space station constructed by the super-scientist known as Dr. Merkwürdiglust, and assassinate the doctor before he can activate an ion cannon set to destroy the moon.
In the map, one player assumes the role of commander, who uses a menu to equip players with weapons, call airstrikes, spawn allied NPCs, and monitor the assault's progress. Other players must work together to hack terminals on the death station to gain rewards and delay the doomsday weapon's activation.
The map features voice acting by Josh "JPolito" Polito as every character, with Black Mesa's Mike "CornetTheory" Hillard (known for his role as the voice of the male scientist) performing the ending epilogues.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends, comrades, alpaca ranchers, mole people, time travelers, and other creatures with opposable thumbs:
After nearly fifteen years in development as a mod for Half-Life, and with our final mod release out of the way, the Sven Co-op Development Team is incredibly proud to announce that we are now focusing all of our effort on our next big project. We've been granted access by Valve to work on our own custom version of the Half-Life engine!
The majority of readers are probably asking themselves, “As an alpaca rancher, why is this showing up in my search results?”, a question for which there is no easy answer.
The rest of you are probably asking, “What exactly does this announcement mean?”
The next version of Sven Co-op will run as a standalone game using a custom build of the Half-Life engine.
The game will be FREE for all Steam users, including the official Half-Life campaign (for 2+ player co-op play). A Half-Life purchase will not be required.
Automatic updates will be available using Steam's content delivery system dubbed SteamPipe. This will allow us to perform more frequent and rapid updates as needed.
Updates and new features will be added to the Half-Life engine, as well as a series of improvements to Half-Life's level editor called Hammer.
Increased Half-Life engine limits to allow for much larger and more detailed worlds.
Stability, performance, and gameplay improvements for everyone.
We are grateful beyond expression to Valve for their generosity and efforts put forth to make this possible. We’re looking forward to working with one of the greatest game engines ever made, and we can assure everyone that there are many, many more updates to come.
More news and progress updates will be posted in the near future, so keep a lookout.
Sven Co-op v4.8 Released! 30 June, 2013 | by Sven Viking
(If you're able to provide permanent mirroring for the files, please e-mail the links to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)
While downloading, why not check out the Manual?
Server ops: When running a 4.8 dedicated server, you must add "-num_edicts 3072 -heapsize 131072" to your HLDS commandline or Launch Options.
The HL and OpFor campaigns can be installed under Linux using the .sh scripts in the /svencoop/ directory. To use Blue Shift on a Linux server, you must install it under Windows then copy the appropriate files across.
Remember, to play Sven Co-op you need to own the original Half-Life (NOT HL:Source). To play the Opposing Force and Blue Shift maps in SC, you need to own Opposing Force and Blue Shift.
Version 4.8 will most likely be the final SC mod release, but this is by no means the end of Sven Co-op. We have a major announcement to make soon, so keep an eye on SvenCoop.com over the next couple of weeks!
P.S. - If you missed out on donating for the bonus features in v4.8, you needen't worry, as our new automatic updating system allows us to provide donors with the bonuses at any time -- almost instantly.
Sven Co-op v4.8 Release Party! 30 June, 2013 | by Sniper
It seems like forever since our message forums were attacked and deleted, but the time has come to bring them back to the public. On the positive side only a few recent post attachments were lost.
You may be wondering why it's taken longer than expected to bring them back on-line? We've been upgrading our message board system to a later platform, which is not a simple task when you're dealing with custom skins -- most of it had to be rebuilt from scratch.
Also as a security measure all account passwords have been intentionally reset. You will not be able to sign in until you use the account recovery process.
If the message forums don't look correct to you, or are completely inaccessible, please clear your browser cache and possibly clear your DNS cache too.
Massive thanks to Sniper for working hard in his spare time upgrading our message forums.
Changes coming up in 4.8
We have been working really hard on Sven Co-op since 4.7 came out in December, and we are nearly ready to deliver 4.8.
Expected to be released this summer, this release was originally just intended to be a minor patch for some stability issues in 4.7 -- particularly in Linux.
Compatibility issues introduced by the SteamPipe update to Half-Life set us back, however, and this release has since evolved into a substantial update offering some notable new features:
Well, we'd been planning to pack the 4.8 release candidate this weekend
but instead we've ended up spending it dealing with a hacking attempt.
Someone broke into the forums, posting pornography and demanding bitcoins. No data was lost
but they did unfortunately gain access to forum private messages and
user e-mail addresses.
While no unencrypted forum passwords were stolen, we still recommend
changing identical passwords used elsewhere as a safety precaution. Any
information written in private messages on the Sven Co-op forums must be
assumed exposed - e.g. if you mentioned a password in a private message
you should definitely change it immediately. We apologise for the
We plan to upgrade the forums and get them back online shortly. Sven Co-op 4.8 will be delayed slightly while we review our security, but hopefully not by more than a few days.
Sven Co-op Emergency Auction Cancelled 3 April, 2013 | by Hezus
The auction we announced on April the 1st was cancelled. At first the bidding went really well and at the end of the day we had collected a fairly large amount of money, enough to support development for another 10 years and to buy the entire team rather expensive suits and a case of vintage whiskey.
The morning after the celebration party we were not only faced with a massive hangover but also a crushing feeling of regret. When it came to packing the items into the shipping boxes, all team members broke down and admitted they did not want to part with any of their personal items, items that meant so much to them. Puchi clang on to his metallic object for dear life, Sven proudly wore his collar and Jpolito even tried to put his wisdom teeth back in. We came to the realization that wealth cannot only be measured in cold hard cash.
Therefore we decided to cancel the auction. All money will be refunded, unless you didn't read the fine print and checked the teeny tiny box at the end of the page, then all your money is ours, of course.
Sven Co-op Emergency Auction 1 April, 2013 | by Sven Viking
Hello fellow Sven Co-op fans. We would like to bring you good news of an update to Sven Co-op, though unfortunately the situation is very dire.
With the next version of Sven Co-op at only arms length, the team are heavily struggling on day to day funding to keep our development going. We have therefore decided to auction off some of our most treasured possessions and artefacts to raise funding.
Sven Viking's cervical collar
This is the very cervical collar Sven Viking wore during the release of Sven Co-op 3.0. It comes complete with his scent and hairs, in good enough quality for cloning.
Sven Viking's pen of deception
The pen shown is no ordinary pen, but in fact the very pen Sven Viking used to sign classic maps such as Rampage and Hostage out of Sven Co-op 4.0, causing general outrage from the community. It comes in fully working condition with 40% ink remaining.
JPolito's mega artefact blowout extraordinaire!
SPECIAL! Did you want some of JPolito's perfectly formed teeth? Well now is your chance! You have the opportunity to get your hands on 3 of these WITH the obligatory stench of limited decay. Open with caution.
Included FREE with this priceless artefact you will also receive JPolito's mostly used pad of offical branded Sven Co-op note paper!
Dead moth not included.
AdamR's hard disk collection
A baker's dozen of cheap hard disks ranging from 60GB up to 4TB is available for grabs. Many of these contain private development releases of Sven Co-op with some undocumented features. The 2.5" laptop disks also have a fully operational engine renderer replacement highly optimized for Intel graphics cards, offering an average of 90 FPS on his laptop!
Drives are provided as-is and are not guaranteed to work. No returns.
AdamR's electronics toolbox
This is Adam's highly prized and recently purchased electronics toolkit. Genuine leather and combination lock briefcase. You get the toolbox shown here, which can also hold a lot of extra tools not originally part of the kit.
Auction is for box only. Tools and other contents not included.
Also with this purchase you get this Sven Co-op branded personalized pen. Claim to be AdamR with your friends!
Hezus' legendary drink of mapping talent
Do you like cans? Then you're going to want to get your hands on this bad boy. It's only THE can of Cherry Coca Cola that Hezus drank during the mapping of such legendary maps like New Hope's Last Stand. Put this on your desk and everyone else will know how cool you are to have such a historical can.
Puchi's metallic object of many forms
Saving the best for last, this hand crafted multi-assembly device not only passed Puchi his final exam as a metal cutting mechanic, it was a key inspiration and thinking booster for Puchi's decisions on which new maps get included with each Sven Co-op release since 4.0. Hand crafted in Germany and made from 100% stainless steel it can be assembled in many different shapes, while doing so boosting your own mentality and ingenuity.
Should you eventually get bored of this finely hand crafted in Germany device, which will not happen, you could use it as an extraordinarily posh paper weight. Add some class to your work station!
FREE with this deal you will get a small container of stainless steel swarfs with a market value of around €180! Including outstnading materials such as:
X2 CrNiMoN 22 5 3
X6 CrNiMoTi 17 12 2
X2 NiCrMoCu 25 20 5
Container not included. Shipping weight approx. 200kG.
Upcoming Patch, New Indie Game 28 January, 2013 | by Sven Viking
Just to mention we've identified a problem which is unfortunately preventing some post-4.7 donors from accessing their bonus features immediately via the new auto-update system. We're planning to release a small patch to fix this and some other issues, plus add some minor features, within the next few weeks. So, keep an eye out.
In unrelated news, I've been working on an indie game for Amazon Kindle e-readers for a while now (the black-and-white E-Ink versions), and it was finally released on Amazon.com recently. It's basically an advanced version of Lemonade Stand with a comedic story, tons of random events, Lucasarts-style conversation trees etc. Here's the trailer -- featuring Primordia by Steve Blevin (composer of Cyborg), very kindly remastered just for this video!
Check it out if you have access to a Kindle -- and, if you do, I'd really appreciate it if you could post a customer review to let me know what you think! :)
P.S. - If you get a message saying the title is unavailable in your region, please send me a quick e-mail to let me know -- I might be able to get something done about it.
New Positions Available 13 January, 2013 | by Sniper
I don't know why we so often end up releasing on Christmas. We don't usually plan it that way... or at least, not at first.
In any case, Santa Garg is here again, bearing gifts! As you play, please spare a thought for Santa Garg's many enslaved minions, whose forced labour makes these releases possible.
News post by AdamR and Nih: We've finally finished testing Sven Co-op 4.7, and now it's time for the rest of you to have a go. Spread the word! In this release you are going to be seeing fewer crashes, fewer bugs, a decent amount of new features, and a new map. Some of the more notable changes include:
New map: Quarter. In this map, the players must prevent a base from being overrun by enemies. Failing to defend an area forces the players to retreat further back into new areas.
Improved sentence handling: NPC's now use more sentences, mappers can specify their own sentences, and other improvements
Linux server binary now included
New console command called "stuck" allows players to get unstuck
Using the grenade warning automatically makes friendly NPC's seek cover
Spawn points are now randomly selected with no spawn fragging
On-line donor lookup: An online donor list now lets donors receive their bonus features without having to wait for the next release
trigger_load is now able to load data from other maps' save files, improving the ability to create map series where events in one map affect what happens in other maps.
New High-Definition remakes of HLDM player models
Bug fixed that prevented players from falling down when using the grapplegun.
While downloading, why not check out the Manual? Coming soon: The Sven Co-op Wiki! Server ops: When running a 4.7 dedicated server, you must add "-num_edicts 3072" to your HLDS commandline or Launch Options.
4.7 has taken quite some time, probably more than it really should have, but we can assure you that we are not running out of Steam. Quite the opposite in fact. The next version, 5.0, is going to be a major stepping stone for the mod, and there are some very exciting improvements to the mod in the works. Keep in touch, as there's going to be some more info on the next version soon (in Sven Co-op time).
Remember, to play Sven Co-op you need to own Half-Life (NOT HL:Source). To play Opposing Force maps in Sven Co-op, you need to own Opposing Force. Both are currently on special.
Some screen shots from the latest map, Quarter:
False positive, 4.7 donations closed 30 November, 2012 | by Sven Viking
If you noticed a warning when coming to the site earlier: This was caused by a single PNG image, hotlinked from a site Google has decided is suspicious (but we know not to be intentionally malicious). We have since removed the image and requested that Google disable the warning. Note that the PNG in question appears to have been harmless (nothing suspicious detected by 36+ differentscanners).
It is now too late to donate for the bonus features in Sven Co-op 4.7, by the way. ...though it may not be, later on. More news on that soon.
Last call for 4.7 donations, Amazon Kindle 5 October, 2012 | by Sven Viking
We've been planning to add an auto-updating system for donation bonuses, but due to some technical issues it may not be possible in time for the impending release. If you're planning to donate, you would be advised to do so immediately if you'd like to get your bonus features in Sven Co-op v4.7. Remember to include your Steam ID (e.g. STEAM_0:1:234567) with the donation, or send it by e-mail after donating.
If you donated after SC4.6 but never received a reply, we may have been unable to contact you for some reason. Please follow the instructions here to submit your Steam ID.
On another subject: If anyone has access to an Amazon Kindle e-reader (the e-ink version, not the colour Kindle Fire), and would be we willing to test a Kindle game, please send me an e-mail mentioning:
The type of Kindle (e.g. Keyboard, DX, Touch, the original 4-colour Kindle, etc.)
Whether you'd be able to spare a few minutes, a couple of hours, or longer for testing (in total, not in one sitting)