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News Archive:


December 2004

Merry Christmas from Sven Co-op!
24 December, 2004 | by Sven Viking

Hi everyone,

Afraid we don't have anything big to give you this year (in comparison to the SC3.0 release last Christmas, at least), but it's the thought that counts, right? Here are a couple of shots of a HL2 co-op map Commando has been working on:


(Update: And since a few people are refusing to believe that these are not directly from HL2SP, here're a couple more. Yes, this is a new map created from scratch by Commando to resemble the Valve map. Load up HL2 and have a look at the original, if you want. There are obvious differences).


As you probably noticed, it's inspired by a section of the single-player game... it's actually quite different once you get in-game and look around, though.

Here also are a few samples of the high-resolution remakes of HL1 textures that TeddyBear has been churning out at quite an alarming rate :). The idea is that map makers will be able to create Black Mesa-themed maps for SC2 if they so desire... many of the textures he's making could be handy for maps of any theme, however.

To everyone who's e-mailed, I'm truly sorry for the delays or, in many cases, lack of any proper reply :(. A ton of things have been going on lately, and I've been struggling to get as much as I can organised before tomorrow, from which time I will unfortunately be stuck working insane hours for about three weeks. It hasn't helped that I underestimated the response we'd get to the SC2 news... applications from people wanting to help with the mod are still coming in(!), and a lot of things that I hadn't expected came up following the announcement.

I'm hoping to get some e-mails sent off tonight, but if you don't get anything, know that we are not ignoring you -- I'm just temporarily unable to deal with the torrent of communications I've been receiving. In some cases, I'm afraid that I may need to pick things up again late next month when I have some free time :/.

By the way, someone is currently paying us to advertise a trailer for a movie that doesn't exist! Click here to find out why... the "Cheerleader Toss" clip alone makes it well worth the visit, and apparently they're giving away some prizes/etc.

Also, remember that there are now only a few days left during which to nominate your favourite mod for Mod of the Year :). Hope you all have a great Christmas! We'll try to arrange some more SC2 info sometime soon.


Sven Co-op for Half-Life 2 Information, SC Team Looking For New Team Members
3 December, 2004 | by Sven Viking

Update: Really sorry for the delay in replying to everyone... there's been a massive response to the news post, and sorting through all of the e-mails is taking some time.

Since the full Source SDK is now available, this might be a good time to let you all in on some of our plans for Sven Co-op 2.

First of all, I should mention that we'll be focusing on the basics for the first release: Establishing smooth, fun cooperative gameplay, and allowing level designers to start working on co-op maps. Features such as new monsters and weapons will be coming, but mostly in subsequent releases. Trying for too much at once would only delay things in the long run... and anyway, this way you'll have something to play while waiting for multi-user vehicles/etc.

Cooperative support for the Half-Life 2 single-player storyline is something that has been requested by a great many people, and as such, it is one of our priorities. Some changes to the maps will be necessary in order for cooperative play to work smoothly, but we will strive to keep things as true to the original experience as we can (another thing that has been heavily requested). Partly in the interests of this -- and also due to performance issues, balancing issues, and the fact that the maps were simply not designed with large player counts in mind -- the maximum player count for HL2SP maps will likely be fairly low. Higher player counts will be supported for cooperative maps.

One of the features we mentioned last year is our mapper-defined class system. This (optional) functionality will allow mapmakers to set up anything from simple player model or spawnpoint selectors to full TFC-like class systems (there might be a Hacker class who could break into enemy computer systems, for example) or whole game modes (such as an escort-the-VIP map, or maybe a map where the players are split into two groups... one group defending a position, and the other attempting to rescue them before it's too late).

Something we haven't mentioned before is the flexible lives system we have planned. This system is designed to break up the monotonous spawn/rush/die cycle sometimes present in Sven Co-op games, as well as preventing the need for challenge being founded on constant player death or monsters with huge amounts of health, while still allowing people of differing skill levels to play together without problems.

Basically, the system will make it possible for the AI to win... something that has previously been near to unheard of in Sven Co-op. I realise that this will concern some current players, but I urge everyone to try it out before lodging any protest. Our system will auto-balance based on past wins/losses, and has been designed to minimise the need for Counter-Strike-style waiting in spectator mode. We're not making Sven Co-op hyper-competitive, just adding an element of challenge not based on time-consuming repetition. It will also eliminate the need for long walks back from spawn zones as a method of punishing players for dying, allowing spawnpoints to be moved up more frequently.

A feature that fits in with the lives system is the player revival system. In SC2, rather than dying instantly, players will normally lie unconscious for a time before dying... and during this time, other players will be able to revive them via a functionality of the medkit. This will take a few seconds, however, requiring players to guard each other's backs while someone is being revived, or maybe drag the unconscious player to a safe position before beginning the revival process.

More is planned, but many things won't be decided until we're further into development, and some things may well be left as a surprise. Expect more information, and screenshots/etc., at a later date.

The Sven Co-op team is currently looking for an additional programmer to help develop the Sven Co-op mod for Half-Life 2. We're also thinking about taking on additional artists, including 3D modellers, animators and/or texture artists.

With over 300,000 recorded downloads of the 3.0 installer, Sven Co-op is already the biggest co-operative FPS available for the PC, and has the chance to be perhaps the first big-name mod available for Half-Life 2. As there is already a considerable demand for Half-Life 2 cooperative play, we feel that Sven Co-op is currently a good choice for those looking for a chance to work with the Source engine.

If interested, please contact Sven Viking with details of past experience, and examples of past work if applicable. Reliability essential.

And level designers are always appreciated, of course! Sven Co-op maps are handled in a free-lance fashion, similar to the way maps were handled on the Counter-Strike mod. That is, anyone interested in making Sven Co-op maps is more than welcome to. Some of the best maps are then selected by the Sven Co-op team (with influence from the community) to include with the mod installer or to release in separate map packs. The rest are made available for download from Map Showcase and from a number of excellent community sites such as Sven Co-op Central and Snark Cafe. We'll most likely that be releasing a mini-SDK for map makers before the first release of Sven Co-op 2.

Just one more thing... if anyone feels like nominating Sven Co-op for Mod of the Year, or maybe Sven Co-op HL2 for Best Upcoming Mod, it would be greatly appreciated .



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