News Archive:


December 2003

NS2.0/SC3.0 Incompatibility fix, RE: The Awakening Released, Etc!
28 December, 2003 | by Sven Viking

Sorry about the delay, but the day after the release I threw my neck out or something. I'm stuck in a neck brace at the moment... sitting at the computer is sort of awkward. Apologies to everyone whose e-mails I haven't answered... afraid it might be quite a while yet before I get the chance.

In any case, the release has gone really well! Tens of thousands of downloads within the first day, over 750 people playing online simultaneously only a few hours after the release, etc. We're currently third place on FilePlanet's Best Mod of 2003, below only one other Half-Life mod.

A couple of things to check if you're having problems with 3.0:

  • If you're definitely installing to your correct Steam Half-Life directory, but the installer can't find a valid HL installation in that folder, it's probably because you haven't played a single-player game of Half-Life in Steam before, so the files (such as hl.exe) haven't been extracted. Just click Yes to force installation to the directory.
  • Make sure that you let the installation finish completely... it can seem to freeze for a few minutes at the end, especially if installing full HLSP support to Steam. Please be patient. If installation is genuinely stuck, press your Windows key and check for any open DOS windows.
  • If you've copied your SvenCoop folder from regular Half-Life to Steam, you'll need to run the sc_files_STEAM.bat file in the SvenCoop\ directory to fix sentence problems/etc. (or vice versa)

One genuine (though unavoidable) problem is a compatibility issue with Natural Selection v2.0. This is because fmod.dll is used by both Sven Co-op and Natural Selection to play MP3s... SC3.0 includes the latest fmod.dll, and it's not backwards-compatible. Ironically, the only reason we updated to the latest fmod code was to keep SC compatible with Natural Selection 3.0, which uses the latest fmod.dll itself.

To solve the problem, download this file and extract it to your Half-Life\ directory. For NS2.0 (and possibly a few other older mods such as SC2.1), run the fmod_OLD.bat file. For SC3.0, run the fmod_NEW.bat file. Once Natural Selection 3.0 is released, this will no longer be necessary.

Part 1 of Resident Evil: The Awakening, MrFranswa's Resident Evil-inspired Sven Co-op mission, is now available! The map features all-new weapons and enemies, three different player classes, four different game modes, multiple secrets, boss battles... a "Zombie Slaughter" minigame, unique gameplay with non-respawning weapons and ammo, in-game music, and much more! MrFranswa says that some of his testers consider it to be the best Sven Co-op map available.

Head over to the Files page to download the map! You can read the map's full feature list with story info HERE. Part 2 is on the way!

Update: Also, MysticMDT sends word that an AfrikaKorps bonus map is now available, Here!

This might be the last news update for a while, depending... as soon as I get this neck brace off, I'll be working long hours, seven days. If you need help with something, you'd probably be better off trying the Tech Support forum or another forum than e-mailing me. Hopefully I'll see you all in a while, anyway... hope you're having fun with 3.0!


Sven Co-op v3.0 Released!! Merry Christmas, everyone!
23 December, 2003 | by Sven Viking

Update: Wow, the demand for 3.0 has been so great that the site went down before the release, just from the force of so many people browsing the site in anticipation of the release announcement! We've had to shut off the forums/etc. to keep the site afloat.

Another update: The forums are now back online, and more mirrors have been added to the Mirrors page.

After an epic development cycle, Sven Co-op 3.0 is now available for download. Sporting over two hundred and fifty features and changes ranging from new physics and AI systems to the Improved Cockroach, 3.0 is the largest, most significant update in Sven Co-op's history.

The mod is downloadable as either a Full Install or an Update from v2.1. The installers are built to work with both WON (Half-Life v1.1.1.0) and Steam (HL v1.1.2.0 and above) versions of Half-Life, as well as Counter-Strike Retail. Sven Co-op will be officially available for download via the Steam network at a later date.

To start downloading, head over to the Mirrors page -- you might also want to check our Files page for the latest maps/etc. Thanks to everyone who provided mirror locations for the files!

Thanks also to Sniper for the immense amount of work he's done on this release, Caldwell, Commando, FlashBang, Flewda, (GIT)r-man, Mad Jonesy and Nivekdev for all their help, and the level designers who've created such excellent maps for v3.0 (as well as all the people who contributed models, sounds, art, etc. to these maps). Thanks to the Half-Life Improvement Team and Guardian-tpf for all their hard work, Osidio for the original minigun model, Gluem for the menu music, all the testers and server ops, all the donors who allowed us to keep the site running all this time, and to everyone else who's supported the mod in various important ways, but who I don't have time or room to list here.

Things to do while waiting for your download to finish:

Things to do once your download completes:

  • Configure your keyboard controls! You'll need things like the Follow command (npc_return) to keep the engineer moving through hostile territory on Sandstone, just for example.

  • Try SnarkSurfing (discovered by Sniper and Commando)

  • Start a game of volleyball using a grenade

  • Using the Barnacle Grapple, try to swing from Controller to Controller on Stadium3, or flip yourself onto a Controller's head and ride around the map on it.

MrFranswa sends word that the map he's been working on for the last several months -- Resident Evil: The Awakening Part 1 -- is complete! The map is set in a large mansion and the surrounding area, and features a complex plot inspired by the Resident Evil series as well as heavy use of Sven Co-op 3.0's model and sound-replacement features, with "New gruesome monsters to fight" and "An entirely new arsenal of firepower to use", etc.

There are three different player classes, four different game modes, multiple secrets, boss battles... there's a "Zombie Slaughter" minigame, unique gameplay with non-respawning weapons and ammo, in-game music, and much more! There's even a sequel on the way. Sounds incredible! You can read the map's full feature list with story info HERE. Two screenshots of the map taken by MrFranswa can be viewed here and here. The map should be available within the next few days, so remember to check back after Christmas for the download.

Merry Christmas from everyone here at Sven Co-op! We hope you enjoy 3.0 as much as we do.



Santa Garg to Deliver 3.0 for Christmas!
22 December, 2003 | by Sven Viking

Assuming the Grinch doesn't steal our hard drives, Sven Co-op version 3.0 will be released sometime on Christmas Eve,Eastern Standard Time. Sorry it took so long, but this modmaking stuff isn't as easy as you'd think. It's not even as easy as we think, most of the time. Thanks to all of you for waiting.

To give you something to do in the intervening time, we've uploaded the final SC 3.0 user's manual (written by Mad Jonesy, with some help from Sniper and me), covering all the basic information you need to start playing 3.0. Even if you're a veteran Sven Co-op player, there're a lot of handy details on things new to v3.0.

Included with the manual is thefinal features/changes list. The list is huge... As long as you don't read too quickly, 3.0 will probably be out before you finish ;). I haven't had time to count them individually, but it looks to me as if there are more than two hundred and fifty items on that list. Wow.

The majority are thanks to Sniper, who was still fixing bugs and adding features even during the last hours before the final installers were compiled. A great deal of what's in 3.0 has not been announced previously, so it's well worth a look.

If you're a fast reader, another thing you could do to fill in the time would be to check out theforums, where over half of the forum users' avatars are now wearing Christmas hats. The craze was triggered by Commando, who remains the only one whose hat changes colours while you're not looking.

Someone will probably be arranging a release party on IRC sometime, too... I'll edit the post when I have details.

Edit: Though no proper release party has been planned, if you join #svencoop on irc.gamesnet.net, at least some of the devs will be in there in the time leading up to the release.

On a slightly different subject, if anyone with huge amounts of bandwidth wants to mirror the 3.0 install files, they're still welcome to E-mail me. Also, if you're able to run a fast 3.0 dedicated server (only Win32 at this point, I'm afraid), you might want to checkthis forum thread. Thanks!

P.S. - It is, of course, too late now to add IDs to v3.0. If you donate from this point on, you'll get the bonuses in the next released version of the mod, or possibly a Steam auto-update. I'm not sure of when that will be, at the moment.


Sven Co-op 3.0 Still Not Released (gasp!)
17 December, 2003 | by Sven Viking

As you may have noticed, Sven Co-op v3.0 hasn't been released just yet. Sorry about that, but it's not for lack of trying... we found a few new bugs at the last minute, then as soon as we got those fixed, a couple more popped up. The last few things are always the hardest to get done :/. Sniper and me coming down with the flu didn't help much, either.

Shouldn't be much longer, though... there are currently only two (2) things left to fix apart from putting the finishing touches on the user's manual and compiling the installers. They're not huge bugs, but it'd be silly to work on something for a year and then mar the release to save a couple of days.

In the meantime, here're some things to help fill in the time. Firstly, this is what the Sven Co-op menu looks like in Steam (see left). The backdrop was created by Sniper, and the menu itself features background music composed by Ilkka "Gluem" Richt.

Next up, here are a whole lot of screenshots from the beta test, all showing maps new to v3.0. The first four are from AfrikaKorps, a WW2-themed map series from the maker of Project Guilty. The next four are from Sandstone by tdw, an open-ended map in which the players must escort an engineer between caches of biological weapons. Testers are 'juggling' weapons and ammo for fun in the first image. Shortly after this shot was taken, someone jumped about snatching their stuff out of the air then offered to sell it back to them. Some people seem to have the impression that it was me, but I propose that perhaps it only looked like me.

The rest of the shots are from VGer by VGer, Greysnake by Trempler, Auspices by Seraph (maker of Durga), and Zero by TheRealGame. There are other great new maps in 3.0, like Rampage by Rugal, and the updated map series ToonRun... Extended by DAN200 (the sequel to Extension. Edit: Whole gallery of shots HERE) and Another Unit by B-dama, both exceptionally impressive... Just didn't get time to sort out screenshots for them all.


We also have the Sven Co-op 3.0 FGD file available for download, so all the mappers out there can have a look at it before 3.0 is released. You'll notice that we've added an NPC -- the Cleansuit Scientist... He's one of several extra features we haven't previously mentioned. Our Cleansuit Scientist is identical to the Opposing Force version, except he's immune to Poison, Chemical, Radiation, Nerve Gas, and Drowning types of damage, and has more animations. Should make for some interesting puzzles.

And if you haven't already seen it, there's an interview with, well, me, over on HalfLife2Files.com.

P.S. - I can't guarantee that donations made from this point on will be in time to receive the bonus features in v3.0 (i.e. they might need to wait for the next version). To have a chance, please make sure that you E-mail me your Steam ID (and WON ID if possible) at the same time as donating, rather than waiting for me to send you an E-mail asking for them. Also make sure to tell me who you are in the message (e.g. the E-mail address that was used on the form when donating), so there's no confusion. Thanks!!


Sven Co-op To Be Official Steam Mod! v3.0 Release Imminent.
7 December, 2003 | by Sven Viking

A few months ago, two members of the Sven Co-op team (Josh Powers and Kevin Loper, as well as a friend of Josh's from Microsoft) went to visit Valve at their offices in Seattle, Washington (this wasn't announced at the time for various reasons). Everything went brilliantly... there are actually a lot of Sven Co-op players on the Valve team!

Josh was invited to lunch with Valve team members on two separate occasions. The real surprise, though, came during the second lunch, when Gabe Newell mentioned to Josh that Sven Co-op v3.0 should be the first non-Valve mod to be hosted on Steam(!), complete with automatic updates/etc.

We were set up with Erik Johnson to arrange to get 3.0 up on Steam. At the time, however, Erik was too flat-out dealing with the aftermath of the initial Steam release and getting the next big Steam updates ready for delivery... there were also compatibility issues which slowed things down (these have since been solved).

Still, the extra time wasn't wasted. It allowed us to add a huge amount of features, improvements and fixes not originally planned for 3.0, as well as giving our mappers more time to spend on further perfecting their maps. At the time, there had been around one hundred items on the changelog. There are now over two hundred.  Version 3.0 is quite possibly the biggest Sven Co-op update yet!

Erik has just informed us, though, that Valve have now decided to get Steam stable before adding anything too new. While we had been intending a near-simultaneous Steam/traditional release, we don't want to delay any further... the extra time has allowed us to create a much more complete, polished (and generally huge) update, but at this point there's really not much more we can add or improve upon without having to rename it to version 4.0. :)

So we'll be releasing Sven Co-op v3.0 using traditional methods, i.e. installers which can be used with both WON and Steam versions of Half-Life (if anyone is interested in providing reliable mirror locations for these, please E-mail me).

As to the time of the release, we still can't give an exact date without a heavy risk of either missing it or finishing early. What I can say is that I'm currently uploading a new release candidate for testing, and if nothing goes too horribly wrong, you should all have your hands on v3.0 within a matter of days.

To anyone who has donated: If you have not sent me your STEAM ID and received a confirmation E-mail from me to say that it has been added, please send or re-send your ID to me as soon as possible! Remember to send your full ID, e.g. "STEAM_0:1:2345" rather than "2345". Click Here for the relevant information.

Eric Koenigsberg: The E-mail address you used isn't working -- please contact me asap. Thanks!


Status Report w Tiny Video, SC in Computer Gaming World, 3.0 Beta Leaked
3 December, 2003 | by Sven Viking

Well, information just received from Valve has changed the nature of the earlier mentioned announcement slightly, and subsequently delayed it for another couple of days or so. Sorry about all these delays, but this stuff is outside of my control. As for 3.0 itself, two things have prevented us from finishing it just yet... the first is a bug we discovered at the last minute. We're working to fix that at the moment.

The second is that one of our team members, Caldwell, is stuck in the middle of the worst storm his area of the world has seen within the last hundred years, and suffered flood damage to his house and equipment. Don't worry, though, last I heard the situation was improving, and his computer was still intact. If all goes well, I should receive his final files within the next 24 hours, and if the worst comes to the worst I can make the final changes to the virtually-final models we already have, myself. It'd just take a bit longer.

For anyone who doesn't already know what Caldwell has been working on, the files in question are Sven Co-op's updated player model animations (an example can be seen to the left, though obviously you need to see the animations in motion to really get the idea). These allow you to see when other players (or yourself, in thirdperson) are reloading, zoomed or unzoomed, getting ready to throw a grenade or perform a power attack with the wrench, etc. It also allows players to hold the akimbo Uzis and the minigun correctly. There are even draw animations for each of the weapons (i.e. when switching, you see the player model reach for the next weapon and bring it out appropriately).

Caldwell has also updated the Heavy Weapons Grunt. As well as receiving a minor facelift, the HW Grunt is now able to run as well as walk, aim up and down correctly, and rappel... his minigun barrels spin properly when firing, and he can drop his weapon on death.

Here's a small AVI (900k) of his almost hilarious running animation :). You'll need the latest DIVX codec (5.1.1).

Computer Gaming World has listed Sven Co-op among its top four Half-Life mods. If anyone with a copy has a scanner, we'd be interested in having a look... for now, here's a transcript.

"THIS IS A GREAT MOD for LAN parties and social gatherings because it's all about playing co-op. There are new weapons, monsters, and a huge variety of cool maps. Sven Co-op's creators do a great job of updating the game and adding new features, and they're already working on Sven Co-op for Half-Life 2."

In other news, Sven Co-op has become the latest victim in the recent outbreak of leaked betas. Someone formerly on the beta testing team gave a SC 3.0 beta release to some of his friends without authorization, and it has become apparent that one of them gave it to some of their friends, because it's currently spreading throughout the internet.

I'm making this post to confirm that this beta is unauthorized, and to let everyone know that this beta in no way represents the final quality of Sven Co-op v3.0. The beta that was leaked is from some time ago, and contains bugs, unfinished features, missing features, outdated versions of maps and models, etc. etc.

We strongly recommend that you do not download the beta... the final version of 3.0 is so close now that there isn't much point anyway. If you have already installed it, you will need to delete your SvenCoop directory prior to installing the final version in order to prevent file conflicts. We cannot be held responsible for any problems you may have due to installing the beta.

Regarding donations: If you were wanting to send a postal donation but have not contacted me yet, it's probably too late at this point for you to receive your bonuses in v3.0... though if you E-mail me right now I might be able to work something out (Those who have already contacted me about this needn't worry). Credit card donations through PayPal or eSellerate should make it in if made within the next 48 hours, after that I can't guarantee anything.

Thanks again to everyone who has donated in the past... if it wasn't for you, everyone reading this news post would currently be being interrupted by annoying Geocities pop-ups ;). Assuming the mod was still running (it wouldn't be).



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