SvenCo-op Chat, SvenCo-op Comic, Baby Garg Info, Donation System Q/A

Date:  11/Jul/01

Afraid that there's been an unforeseeable delay, so the beta test contest won't start for another few days (instead of a couple of days ago). 

Would have updated about it sooner, but I just got my computer back, and although the techies actually did replace the HD and generally did a good job of things, they wiped Windows. Guess it might have been a good thing, in the long run... Half-Life hasn't been crashing lately... it meant that I had to set up a lot of stuff, though, and re-install things like FrontPage to get them to work.

I've just added a web-based IRC chat thingy to the SvenCo-op site, (with help from Sniper :). Go there to chat with other SvenCo-op players (if nobody's there, try again at another time). Sniper should be aesthetically improving the chat page, soon.

If you prefer, you can also join the chat via your favourite IRC program. Server: "" Port: "6667", Channel: "#svencoop".

Commando recently made this great SvenCo-op comic! He's currently working on another one... Maybe, if we're lucky, they might end up being a regular thing on the site. BTW, if you're wondering who BasicBeecicchi and BGY are, they're Forum regulars.

Here're some answers to frequently asked questions about the donation system (see the previous news update for details)...

  • There's nowhere to enter my E-mail address on the PayPal page, how will you contact me once I donate?:  Once you've filled out the fields and clicked "Next", you're taken to a second page where you have to enter a valid E-mail address (and a comment, if you want to).

  • Does a US$6 donation get me both bonus features?:  Yes.

  • If I donate, when do I get the bonus features?: As soon as 2.0, or a public beta version of 2.0, it released.

  • Do donors get the gilded Uzis/Electrified Crowbar at the beginning of all maps (even when players don't get normal Uzis/crowbars)?:  No, the gold Uzis replace the normal Uzis, and the electrified Crowbar is an additional option to the normal crowbar. There'll be an option to use the normal Uzi skin if you get sick of the gold one, BTW.

  • Can I post a donation in?:  Yes - E-mail me and we'll arrange something.

  • Are the bonus features for donors alone?: Team members, some respected mappers, and some other people who've helped SvenCo-op in various ways will also have access to them.

  • I can't/don't want to donate. Is there any way that I can get the bonus features?: You'll be able to use them in single-player, via cheats, but not online.

  • Why don't you get a sponsor instead of taking donations?: Not that easy, unfortunately... we have to use our host's banners on our pages, and adding a banner of our own would mess up their agreement. Also, most good sponsors want your site to be getting at least 50,000 hits a day or similar.

  • Is it all just a joke?:  No.

  • If I donate $50, can I get a guided nuke launcher with infinite ammo?: No. For $200, however... ;)

By the way, before making any sort of complaint, make sure that you read this forum thread, and this one, too. Most complaints have already been answered, in there.

Here's the Baby Gargantua screenshot that was posted on PHL recently, for those of you who missed it. The Baby Garg:

  • Can be hurt by bullets
  • Will run to its "mother" if damaged too badly
  • Has a much faster stomp attack
  • Has less health, and does less damage
  • Doesn't run quite as fast as the normal Garg (about as fast as the players)
  • Dies differently (you'll see)


- Sven Viking


  New Uzi, Nomad, Medkit, Etc. Screenshots -- Plus: Help SvenCo-op!

Date:  30/Jun/01

UPDATE (03/July/01): I'm afraid that the site went down not long after the last update was posted, and has basically been down all weekend (over 48 hours) :/. Just started working again now. 

Anyway, to make up for the wait, here are three new screenshots of the Baby Gargantua, the second new monster included with SvenCo-op (the Robot Grunts have been added to Stadium3 using v2.0's Model Replacement technology).

Hi all... got tons of screenshots to post today. I'm afraid that the in-game shots were taken on my Voodoo1 card, and so don't look as good as normal.

Update: I'd better mention that the Blue Shift High-Definition pack messes up many mods and map packs, including SvenCo-op. Click Here for info. Apparently Gearbox intends to fix this sometime.

Here are some screenshots of the excellent new Uzi models that have just been finished, and are currently being animated, by none other than LiquidGamerX!

Ever wanted to give Sven money??? Now you can!!!

Just kidding. Seriously: Like SvenCo-op? Want to ensure that it keeps going, help to speed up its development, and/or give the guys who stay up 'till 4am working on it something for their trouble? Well, we've just set up a donation system...

The idea is that instead of having to pay $30 to buy SvenCo-op Retail or an add-on pack to some game, we continue our toil to supply the mod at no cost, and you have the ability to give a couple of dollars or so to the SvenCo-op team if you like what you get. This'll mostly be used as rewards for team members, giving us a lot more reason to make the mod better, faster. Some will also be used on things that'll directly benefit the mod (If we needed a license for a better installer, for example)...

Anyway, to reward donors for supporting the mod, we've created a couple of bonuses for them -- If you donate $4 you'll get the Electrified Crowbar, and if you donate $6 or more you'll get both the Electric Crowbar and the Gilded Uzi/s. Neither of these will be available to non-donors except in single-player.

With the Electrified Crowbar, the player character works out a way of connecting the crowbar to the HEV suit battery power (alt-fire toggles the connection), causing arcs of electricity to pulse around its surface. It then does double damage, but takes a tiny amount of battery power per hit. It even has new sounds, created by our new sound technician, (GIT)r-man.

The Gilded Uzis are slightly more powerful than normal, and LiquidGamerX says that they look even better in-game than they do in the model screenshots(!)

How this works: Once you send your donation, I send you an E-mail explaining how to find out what your WON ID (not CD key) is. You send it back, we hardcode your unique WON ID into SvenCo-op itself, and in all future versions of the mod (from the public beta onwards, at the moment), you'll automatically have access to the Electrified Crowbar and/or Golden Uzis in Internet games. All the normal players'll see you running about with blue lightning zapping about your crowbar, etc., and turn green with envy (Their player models actually turn green - we coded it in!). Only joking ;).

How the donation system works: If you have a US credit card, you fill in your information and PayPal arranges things straight away... it's secure and encrypted and all, by the way. If you have a non-US credit card or a US cheque account, you can sign up to PayPal and then donate. Otherwise, you can always contact me, telling me what country you're in, and we can most likely arrange to have the money mailed somewhere.

We understand that some of you might only be able to afford to give two.... maybe three thousand dollars... but that's OK. Just give what you can. Kids, if you borrowed your parents credit cards without asking: Naughty naughty! But Sven forgives you.

(Note to thick people: Parents'-credit-card bit was a joke). In any case, Click Here to donate via PayPal, or E-mail me to arrange to mail a donation in! Many thanks to all who support the mod.

Here are the screenshots of the Medikit and the re-modelled Nomad sniper rifle:

The Medkit model is straight from TFC, as you can probably see. It's being used with permission from Robin Walker (The TF Guy, now a Valve employee). The reason we didn't make one of our own is that, if we did, it'd probably end up being about the same anyway... so it seems wisest to use that time to make something else, instead.

The medkit works in a pretty clever way, if I do say so myself, but I'd prefer not to say what they are yet, in case competitors are listening ;). It's not the same as in TFC, anyway... has ammo, etc.

Ud'sahn, our second modeller, is currently in the final stages of skinning the M95 Nomad sniper rifle. Hopefully it'll be animated in time to be included with SvenCo-op 2.0 Final. If things work out right, it should have some pretty interesting qualities... one of which hasn't been used in any other game or mod that I know of.

By the way, the map shown in the medkit shots is Stadium3, by me :), and the Electrified Crowbar shots were taken in Commando's Grunts2 (both beta versions).

Keen sent me a couple of screenshots of the new map he's making... See them HERE and HERE!

Beta test competition information should be up within the next few days, BTW.

- Sven Viking


  New Map by DaveJ in production! New map submission rules. Etc.

Date:  27/Jun/01

As you may have guessed, my not having been updating much is due to the hard drive business mentioned in the last update. Newer computer's still being fixed (supposedly), and it took me a while to get this computer working properly. It's going pretty well now, though.

Things are going pretty well with 2.0 at the moment, too. We're actually moving along quite nicely, and getting past the stage where the more you do, the further away the end seems. Known bugs are down to single digits, though there are still several features and changes to be added or completed (most of them minor).

We might be taking on some beta testers in a couple of weeks... look out for a signup form or a competition or something in the near future!

Onto the main news. Dave Johnston, maker of de_dust (best map in CS, imho,) and de_cobble for Counterstrike, the E.T.C. SP mission for Half-Life, etc., is currently working on a SvenCo-op map. Apparently it's a large map, without any narrow corridors or such, and has a central hub. Here's a snip of info from DaveJ himself:

As you can see from the filename, it's codenamed 'Argh' at the moment, but that will likely change. Oh, and it features lots of cannon-fodder, happily served up by the new env_xenmaker's =)

We have a new map submission system, now... instead of E-mailing new maps to me, you post them on the new Map Showcase forum to be tested. Presuming that the map's good enough, once it's acceptably bug-free, it'll be posted on the SvenCo-op site. Those wanting to test new maps should check the forum, too... Be sure to read the Map Showcase Rules before posting anything, though!!

Check the Map Submissions page for extra information.

By the way, if you missed this before, there was an Interview with Mad Jonesy posted on recently. There's some nice info in there.

There was also a co-op-related article on Z-Axis in which the writers used SvenCo-op to play the Valve SP maps. The article isn't actually about SvenCo-op, but rather the Valve maps in co-op, and imho it seems to say a lot more about the bad aspects than about the good ones, but it's still an interesting read.

- Sven Viking


  Great Big Oversized Update. Contains Important Information!

Date:  16/Jun/01

Hi all... reason I haven't been updating lately is that I've had hard drive problems. First it stopped working and wouldn't start... I got it working again, but a surface scan revealed thirty-something physical errors... it sort of fixed them, but the number has been rising by the day (it was at around 150, last time I checked). This seems to indicate that the drive's going to stop working completely, fairly soon. 

The computer's still under warranty, so I contacted Tech Support (well, it took a while to actually get hold of them). They said to send the whole tower case in, and that there would be a wait of "at least a week" (at which time I groaned. This did not phase them, however).

In accordance with the laws of Murphy, and from past experience in matters of this sort, I expect "at least a week" to mean "at least a month" - which is Not Good. It'd be easiest to simply buy a new HD, of course, but this would require Funds :/. With the computer crashing with unable to write to drive errors and such, I've ended up missing some E-mail, by the way... if you E-mailed me about anything important, and didn't get a reply, please re-send it.

Anyway, going to mail  the computer in on Monday morning (that's Sunday in the US). Luckily, I have an older computer that I should be able to use to keep in touch and such 'till such a time when the techies have got bored of playing all the games that've accumulated on my HD and decide to send the computer back. The old computer has its share of problems, too, though, so anything could happen :(. Wish me luck.

About the screenshots of the King Headcrab and such from the last news update: A few people have got the idea that we've permanently replaced the crowbar with a sword and such. This isn't true... as mentioned before, the screenshots are examples of the per-map Model Replacement technology in 2.0. So in one map, the crowbar could be replaced with a sword, and in another it could be a candy-cane, but in all the rest it'd still be the Crowbar. See this interview for more information.

The King Headcrab is done in the same way... it's not a new monster, it's just a normal headcrab with it's model setting changed in the map, and its health increased. The HWGrunt, though, is a complete monster with new AI and such.

In case you didn't already know, a fancy SvenCo-op Review was posted over on recently.

Even more recently still, a bunch of exclusive screenshots from v2.0 were posted on (our host). Below are some screenshots to compliment those... the first the MP3 player, and the rest show the VGUI voting system in action. Both of these were coded by TOM, and edited by Another1.

Recently, a few people have been repeatedly exploiting a Half-Life bug to crash all other clients from internet servers, deleting or corrupting at least one of their SvenCo-op configuration files in the process. Two of the worst are CrashBot (Won ID: 411822) and NikkiBlanko (WonID: 131051). If you run a server, I'd recommend that you add them to your ban list. 

To anyone else using, or thinking of using this hack: Stop now, or don't start, otherwise you'll be banned. The same goes for sitting in doorways all day to stop players from getting past, and such... stop now, or we'll start posting your WON IDs on the news.

Anyway, I contacted Valve about the crashing thing (thanks to Eric Smith for his time). He confirmed that it's a general Half-Life problem, and will be fixed in v1.1.0.7. 

And apparently it's already fixed in the beta server dlls... if you're running a dedicated server, I suggest that you try them out! They can be downloaded from HERE. These files are of no use to anyone who's not running a dedicated server, by the way.

[Since this is already such a long update, might as well make it slightly longer] -- Notice that you all forgot my birthday! (Just over 2 months ago)... I'm so offended by this that I've decided to give up on SvenCo-op and become a Mime. I'd be willing to forget about the whole thing, though, if you send me late birthday presents of money, gold, jewels, furs... convertible bonds... that sort of thing. Address is: 123 Phaik St, East Siam. 

(P.S., if anyone can remember or find out what my 'address' was on the birthday before this, I'll give them an exclusive screenshot :)  ).

- Sven Viking


  Two New Maps, More 2.0 Screenshots.

Date:  26/May/01

Two new maps are now available from the Files page... both of which actually have an in-game story (not just some background info in the text file)!!

The first  is called SpaceViking, made by Steve MacCullum, aka Salamander, aka Fungi_from_Yuggoth. Unfortunately, his E-mail address stopped working, and I've lost all contact with him (if you happen to be him, please E-mail me).

The story has the players being crew members on a strange spacecraft. Suddenly the craft comes under attack, and the players must first defend the craft, eliminate the boarding party, and finally travel to an alien planet to recover a stolen item. 

Some areas look a bit blocky, but the gameplay's very cleverly worked out, and there are a lot of places that encourage (or force) the players to work together. An innovative map, imho. Unfortunately, the map may become slow in some areas (you'll see what I mean when you get to the end).

The second map released today is JailBreak 2, continuing from DeathBog's JailBreak map. Does a good job of providing more interesting gameplay than most kill-everything-and-move-on SvenCo-op maps! Ever wanted to commandeer a gigantic alien spacecraft? Now you can.

From the text file: "You follow the road from the military facility, and come to an encampment. The inhabitant there reveals the secrets of your existence and the alien invasion. Follow her instructions to save chub toads everywhere". A very well-made map... many aspiring mappers could learn from both this and SpaceViking, imho. Download them now!

Here are three more screenshots from 2.0, one of which was included with the PHL interview. The screenshots show the model-replacement technology in action... 

One headcrab has been replaced with a "King Headcrab" model (complete with mustache and golden crown), and given heaps of health, giving the impression of a new monster (sort of like the unique monsters in Diablo 2, though you can change a lot more than their colour in SvenCo-op). All without new code, using just the model and a couple of Worldcraft parameters.

The crowbar's also been replaced (with a sword model), and set to inflict extra damage. Both of the replacement models mentioned were made by Kune, by the way (and used with permission).

I've placed all of the Heavy Weapons Grunt screenshots in This Directory, in case you missed the exclusive shots posted on PHL and other news sites.

- Sven Viking


  Interview, New Monster Announced, etc.

Date:  21/May/01

Hmm, I seem to have been making a habit of saying that I'll update again soon, then not actually managing it. Sorry about that.

A SvenCo-op interview with Another1, Mad Jonesy, Sniper and myself has just been posted on PHL. It contains never-before-released information about version 2.0 of SvenCo-op as well as other interesting facts and comments.

Below are screenshots of a new monster that's currently working in v2.0 (with new AI, model tweaks, etc.) -- The Heavy Weapons Grunt. He's a slow-moving monster with a fair amount of health and a really big gun... at close range, he'll tear you apart within seconds, and even at a fair distance he can do quite an amount of damage. 

His gun takes a while to warm up, though, so, so the trick is to find some cover, duck out, take a few shots, and duck back. Easier said than done in some situations, but he's still best off ambushing the players. A couple of HW grunts dropping into the middle of a group of players can cause considerable havoc, if not total devastation. 

There's also a friendly version of the HWgrunt, of course... and he's a pretty useful guy to have on your side.

Four more shots of the Heavy Weapons Grunt should be posted on Planet Half-Life, shortly.

- Sven Viking