I had nothing better to do, so I thought I might as well do a news update. Enjoy.
Progress on 2.5 is going great, mainly due to Sniper's coding and the hard work of the modellers. As a result, I've got some kickass content to show off.
Following my last news post, there was a lot of speculation about what the anomalous new weapon was to be on the forums. Answers varied from the spot on to the not so spot on.
If theres one suggestion which nearly always turns up, its the addition of a heavy support weapon. Forum regulars were speculating that the SAW from Opposing Force would make an appearance, but we've gone one better.
The Minigun is based upon the General Electric XM214 5.56mm Machine Gun, most famously appearing in the film "Predator". Its seriously overpowered and pretty heavy, so it was rejected for military use. Cool huh?
The weapon was modelled by Osido and actually turned into a Half-Life weapon by Flashbang, both have done a fantastic job and to me, the model and skin quality are at the level of modern FPS. If this weapon looks good to you in the below screenshots, you're going to love it ingame.
A minigun raises a lot of questions about balancing, mainly "how are we going to stop a group of 10 players chewing up Baby Gargs like gum?". Our solution is to stop the players from moving while firing, and having an extremely low speed when spinning up. Standing still, while on your own, trying to take down a Voltigore while not moving is a lot tougher than it sounds. Therefore players need support from other players with faster and more accurate weapons to kill the smaller critters and to distract the big ones, while the player with the minigun beats down the bigger nasties.
We also intend to give mappers the option to restrict how many miniguns can be carried by players at one time. Mostly to stop the weapon being overused and making every map easy. This might bring on a bit of ingame whining, but a good player with a MP5 is going to be better than a bad player with a minigun.
Despite these tweaks, its going to cause far more damage than any other weapon in the mod, and believe me, with the Voltigore you're going to need it.
As mentioned before, the minigun has to 'spin up' before firing. However, once the minigun is spun up and firing, its secondary fire can be used. Holding alternate fire will keep the minigun spinning, primed to fire, but without expending any bullets. Then, by pressing primary fire again, you can begin firing straight away. This should allow a player to fire in bursts, but without having to re-spin his weapon if there is a break in combat. As with the primary fire, this will cause the player to slow considerably, but not as much and without wasting ammo.
Overall, it is a unique and powerful weapon and hopefully it'll become a fast fan favourite.
A french site, Half-Life Expert, have gone and created a guide to Sven Co-op. If you can't read French (like me) then why not use Babelfish to translate and see what they have to say. Its pretty in-depth, looking at maps, monsters, a general overview and so on.
Go read the French version:http://www.halflifexpert.com/special.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=141
Go here to translate the page:http://altavista.com/babelfish
Thanks to the peeps at Half Life Expert for that.
Mod Database, one of the largest mod resources around, has recently published a feature on the The Top Mods of 2002. Natural Selection cleans up most of the awards pretty well, but there are a few decent mentions of Sven Co-op, especially in the cases of:
Mods which have seen Significant Enhancement
Best mods overall
Five mods you shouldn't leave home without [SC is #2!]
The whole article is worth reading, as its a good recap of what was a busy year for Half-Life modding, hopefully we'll grab a few top places next year, especially with what we have planned for 2.5 and 3.0.
The next news update shouldn't take too long, and with any luck, Sven will be back by then.