As mentioned below, we've been giving out free copies of HL1 lately. Just updating to say that we've now run out of them. Sorry to anyone who missed the give-away, but overall I think it went really well. Some of the people who received copies have been replying to the last post's comments thread if you're interested.
With ModDB recently posting a great "10 Years of Half-Life" video feature which included both They Hunger and Sven Co-op in its list of Top 5 third-party mods, it seemed like a good time to officially announce something that many of you may have already guessed at... (Incidentally, "Quite possibly the best Half-Life mod of all time" is a pretty good quote. If we had a box, that'd be right on the front. Thanks ModDB -- your cheque is in the mail!)
The first episode of They Hunger Co-op is set to be included with the next Sven Co-op release, with the second following soon afterwards! Featuring numerous improvements in addition to co-operative multiplayer, it provides yet another incentive to re-play Black Widow Games' classic They Hunger series before its commercial follow-up They Hunger: Lost Souls comes out.
The images below show some of the changes that have been made to Episode 1. Note that we've been in contact with Neil Manke and the BWG team throughout development to ensure that it remains an authentic TH experience -- In fact, some changes actually bring it closer to their original vision.
Various sprites used for vegetation have been replaced with models, in addition to many other small visual improvements. The actual structure of the maps, story sequences etc. remain identical to the original, however.
Certain weapon models like the TH pistol and Thompson submachine gun (below) have been updated by Flewda. Weapons are replaced using SC4.0's new Global Model-Replacement system.
Outdoor lighting tends to be slightly darker, while the hard, inky shadows of the original are retained indoors. You can see Teddy's Zombie Otis in this shot, by the way. Being tougher than regular Zombie Cops, the addition of Otis helps to keep things challenging even with multiple players.
The TH Zombie Head (left) has been replaced with John Carpenter-style Headbugs (legs by Civilian^Soldier, assembled and animated by Peter Kavanaugh). Also, Shp!nx replaced the TH Snarks with an actual Zombie Rat. This brings them closer to what Black Widow Games originally had planned, but were forced to cut due to time constraints.
Sven Co-op's medkit looked out of place in They Hunger, so we made the syringe shown above (model by Peter Conneely, animated by Peter Kavanaugh). The green fluid is used for healing, while purple is used for revival. Note that players are also restricted to They Hunger player models on the TH maps via one of SC4.0's new customization features.
Check back for more They Hunger Co-op and Sven Co-op 4.0 news shortly.
Sven Co-op's Half-Life Give-away: Valve was running a Steam special on Half-Life for its 10th birthday. Seemed like a great chance for people to pick up an extra copy for a friend or relative to play Sven Co-op with -- or for people who, for whatever reason, actually haven't played it before :) -- but I thought it must be frustrating for those without access to a valid payment method.
So anyway, we have more than twenty-five(UPDATE: See below) copies of Half-Life to give away! If you'd like one, just send us a brief note to explain why you can't easily get hold of one yourself. You don't need to be a starving orphan or anything, just something along the lines of "I don't have a credit card..." is OK. 'Prizes' will be delivered in the form of a Steam gift code (no physical copy). Obviously stocks are limited, so be quick.
Update: The response to this has been much greater than I expected... I sort of assumed most people here would either have all the Half-Life they needed, or be able to buy from Steam, but apparently that's not the case. If anyone feels like donating a copy of Half-Life to needy fans: [Edit: The sale is now over.] We'll then hand the code out to someone without the means to buy it themselves (or alternately, if you know of anyone, just send it to them directly instead). Obviously I don't expect this of anyone, it's just a cheap way to pass on the joy of Half-Life if you feel like it :).
UPDATE #2: Thanks to people's generous donations of HL1 gift codes, we now have a considerable number of copies to give away! Though the Steam sale is now over, we still have some left, so if you need one, just follow the instructions above.
It's Sven Co-op's 10th birthday pretty soon too, by the way. Looking like we should have a new version out before then.
New coders, Land of Legends gameplay video! 9 November, 2008 | by Hezus
A big update from us today with some good news! As we all know, Sven Co-op's release date has been set back numerous times because of various reasons. Team members came and went and others had to face facts that Sven Co-op development couldn't keep up with their busy lives. Especially in the coding field we had problems to move forward. The good news is that we've found some additional coders who're going to help us out! They'll be working together with the current team members to fix bugs and finish up SC4.0 for a release. More details soon.
While we're at the technical side: a recent Steam update (released 22 Oct) has unfortunately been causing problems for HL1-engine dedicated servers. This includes Sven Co-op, Counter-Strike, TFC and Natural Selection servers among others. We were expecting this to be fixed in a subsequent update, but have not heard anything so far. Luckily a temporary work-around for the main issue -- servers not showing up in the server browser -- has been found: Those running servers would be wise to check this thread. If you're experiencing other problems such as servers refusing to update (which causes the protocol 47 error for clients), constant crashing, etc., try checking the Steam Forums for possible solutions (particularly the HL DS forums).
Edit by Sven: Some people are reporting that this bug can affect all servers, not just dedicated (so even just when you click Start Game from the Sven Co-op menu). To attempt to fix this, right-click this link, click Save As, and copy the resulting steam_appid.txt file to your Steam\Steamapps\firstname.lastname@example.org\Half-Life\SvenCoop\ folder.
So far, so good. But of course we want to show you something too. Because Sven Co-op is highly customizable, we've had some impressive maps in the past. Think of ToonRun and Resident Evil for instance. Currently, a big project is being developed by DevEd called Land of Legends, of which I am a part myself. The project is so highly customized, that we decided to release it as a sub-mod. Even though the Sven Co-op heart beats within, the game will play differently. It's release date is currently unknown, but most of the work has been finished. We've put together a video to show what it looks like in-game.