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August 2010

Final Sven Co-op 4.5 Release Countdown
31 August, 2010 | by Sven Viking

65 Comments  

Unfortunately a couple of things came up which have prevented us from releasing on schedule.

Untruth

First, we found that we were no longer able to edit SC's Launch Options automatically. Changing the launch options allows us to raise the entity limit, and is necessary for many Sven Co-op maps.

Investigation revealed that this was due to Steam changes relating to Steam Cloud. We contacted our old Linux coder Alfred, who now works at Valve, and he kindly offered to add a liblist.gam property to allow mods to specify launch options (Thanks!). This should be of use to other Goldsrc mods, also.
Note that it will be a while before the relevant Steam update rolls out, and until then, everyone will need to change their Launch Options manually. This will make things awkward for people who don't read the news, or can't read English. If you're reading this and know other SC players who aren't, please remind them to do the following after installing v4.5:

Immediately after sorting that out, we noticed that the FMOD EX team had significantly improved sound hardware compatibility in a recent update (FMOD is the library that powers Sven Co-op's sound engine). Since most people are sick of dealing with sound-related problems by now, we felt that minimizing them was worth the couple of extra days needed to upgrade to, and test, the new FMOD (can't just drop in an updated dll -- the SC code needs to support it).

Anyway, we've finished the upgrade now, and from initial testing it's not looking like there'll be any problems with it. This should be the final Release Countdown post... we may put something up on SvenCoop.com a few hours before the files are made public, though, just to let you know they're coming.

   

Until then, here's a rather unsorted copy of the Complete Except For The Bits We Forgot Sven Co-op 4.5 Changelog to pore through! With over three hundred and sixty five items, it should keep you busy for a while. The entire previous version history -- except for half of 4.0B :/ -- can also be viewed here. Wow... exhausting just to think about.

Alternately, if changelogs aren't your thing, you could play Rescue: The Beagles, or even Counterclockwise (3D Tron!). I would, if I had time for that sort of thing.

 

Sven Co-op 4.5 Release Countdown 3
28 August, 2010 | by Sven Viking

75 Comments  

We're currently testing a pretty promising release candidate... In the meantime, here are details of some of the sound-related changes coming in version 4.5.

   

Major sound changes of interest to all users:

  • All known sound-related crashes have been fixed.
  • Steam issues causing auto_soundlist.txt to be downloaded repeatedly have been remedied.
  • The sound engine is now much more error-tolerant than in Half-Life.
  • Ambient sounds are now automatically refreshed for new players joining the game.
  • Added distinct footstep sounds for walking on Wood and Flesh materials, and added a new 'Snow' material type.
  • Changed priority levels for game music / player weapon sound effects to keep them from cutting out.
  • Fixed most cases of turrets' sounds not working correctly.
  • Fixed fan sounds' pitch not ramping up during func_rotating's spinup sequence.
  • Improved sound engine compatibility with some sound cards.
  • The in-game media player now supports all of the following sound types (including tracker formats) :
    • AIFF, ASF, DLS, FLAC, IT, M3U, MID, MOD, MP2, MP3, OGG, S3M, VAG, WAV, WMA, XM
Speaking of which, a new Playlist Editor has also been created for 4.5 (by AdamR). In addition to supporting the above formats, it can check for missing files, import playlist files from other programs, etc. Try it out right now if you'd like, and prepare a playlist in advance of the release:

DOWNLOAD SC PLAYLIST EDITOR

Just place PlaylistEditor.exe in your \SvenCoop\ folder before loading it. To use your existing SC playlist (mp3.txt), rename it to playlist.txt or use the program's 'File > Import' option to import it. Report any issues in this thread.

Sound changes primarily of interest to mappers:

(but which will allow for more aurally appealing maps in future)
  • The following sound formats are now fully supported for use in maps:
    • AIFF, ASF, DLS, FLAC, IT, M3U, MID, MOD, MP2, MP3, OGG, S3M, VAG, WAV, WMA, XM
  • Non-WAV sounds (excluding some tracker formats) no longer loop by default. This means they can easily be used as weapon sounds, monster sounds, etc.
    • (A legacy hack prevents this from adversely affecting existing maps)
  • Added a way for mappers to set material types (vent, dirt, grate, metal, slosh, tile, wood, computer, glass, flesh, or snow) for custom textures. Affects footstep sounds, impact sounds etc.
  • Ambient_generics can force sounds to 'Loop' or 'Play Once' with a simple setting.
  • You can also force a sound to loop by adding "_loop" to the end of its filename, e.g. "mysound_loop.mp3". Useful for monster sounds etc.
    • Looping WAVs can be forced to play once by adding "_once" to their filenames.
  • Optional 'Linear Rolloff' options have been added to ambient_generics, allowing specific Minimum Radius and End Radius values to be defined.
    • These give mappers fairly precise control over sound radii. Sounds play at maximum volume within the specified Min Radius and can't be heard at all from outside the End Radius. Especially useful for music.
  • The global sound-replacement file (globalsoundlist) can be set in map CFGs, now, as an alternative to worldspawn.
Some of the recently completed features missed from the last news post were posted on our Steam Community Group a few days ago, by the way, including such things as "Fixed Sniper Rifle Autozoom". While you're waiting, why not sign up for timely updates? Also, have I mentioned The Legend of Princess?

 

Sven Co-op 4.5 Release Countdown 2
22 August, 2010 | by Sven Viking

29 Comments  

 

While we said we were hoping to release 4.5 by the end of August, we had actually been aiming for a while earlier than that (i.e. today). Unfortunately, though, we uncovered some last-minute problems and ended up busy with those -- which put us behind schedule. Here are some of the features we would have been forced to leave out of the release, if we had kept to our original target:
  • At least two new maps.
  • Client-side prediction for the M16 (it's no longer delayed by lag)
  • Switchable fog. Fog can be enabled, disabled, or have its properties changed mid-map, instead of having to be the same throughout the entire map as in earlier versions.
  • The trigger_vote entity. This allows maps to give players choices that they can vote on.
  • Repairable func_breakables. This allows for breakables that can be repaired using the wrench. Useful for objectives that players need to defend from monsters. Using a trigger_condition to check a breakable's health, mappers could create things like structures which players must build and keep in repair in order for them to perform a function (like manufacturing weapons or allies).
  • HUD Info for func_breakables. This allows a breakable's health (and name if it has one) to be shown in the same way as for monsters. This is especially handy for repairable objects -- which show as Friendly -- or brush-based enemies.
  • Legacy support features preventing existing maps from being adversely affected by new sound engine changes.
 

While we were fixing those, some other features were also completed:
  • The sound engine can now ignore missing/non-precached files without problems. This would have caused the game to shut down in HL1/SC3.0, or a total loss of sound in SC4.0x.
  • Mappers can prevent Sniper Assassins, HWGrunts and Shocktroopers from dropping their weapons via a simple option (Shocktroopers already had this feature, but it could not previously be used from squadmakers).
  • Friendly monsters can now be commanded to move to & guard a specific location.
General fixes to existing features that were also made during this time:
  • Fixed monsters sometimes running in circles or running in place (separate issue).
  • Fixed Slime and Lava from dealing damage incorrectly.
  • Fixed linked doors occasionally causing massive lag when blocked.
  • Fixed monsters sometimes shooting at corpses.
  • Many other miscellaneous fixes and improvements to AI, maps, models, weapons, etc.
Hopefully you'll find that these were worth the extra days. Hopefully you'll find that these additional changes were worth waiting a few extra days for. In any case, the release is still planned for this month, so we're technically still on schedule :). More news shortly.

 

Sven Co-op 4.5 Release Countdown
14 August, 2010 | by Sven Viking

42 Comments  

As usual, became busy with development and wasn't able to write all the news posts I'd intended :/. Here's some random information, just quickly:

   

As you probably read, we joked about Sven Co-op 4.1 being delayed & renamed to Sven Co-op 6.0 in the previous news. After posting that, however, we started thinking about it... and, after a discussion... actually ended up deciding to genuinely rename this release Sven Co-op 4.5 :p. There really have been a lot of changes for an increment of three hundredths (4.07 + 0.03 = 4.1), and we figured, why break our long-standing tradition of skipping version numbers?

So it's Sven Co-op v4.5 now. Apologies for crying wolf earlier.


We also mentioned two new weapons in the last news update. The first is of course the Shockroach. It was coded primarily by g1l, and works a bit differently from the Opposing Force version. In particular, it has a secondary fire mode now. g1l also added the "new monster ability", by the way.

   

The other second new weapon is the Sporelauncher. It functions as a grenade-launcher in Sven Co-op, and was coded by Sniper and AdamR (who has also added the ammo-generating Spore Plants).

I'll try to post some information on the new mapping features before the release. While you're waiting, you might as well try Tower of Heaven.


After today, we can no longer guarantee that donations will be in time to receive the bonus features in this release. If you do donate, make sure to send your Steam ID (e.g. STEAM_0:1:2345) with or immediately after the donation in order to have a chance.

 


 

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