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News Archive:


August 2006

3.5 Bronze Feature: Crate Attacking
20 August, 2006 | by Sniper


Here's a new video showing off the AI's ability to shoot crates.

(Mirror Link)

A lot of work has been done recently to calculate where an NPC should shoot at a breakable object. Arbitrarily shapped objects that level designers may create are no problem for the system.

The red dots in the following image display the dynamically created target positions:

Having monsters be able to attack breakable objects will mean level designers can have new gameplay options. For instance, imagine hordes of zombies trying to break down walls to get to the players. Or players may have to defend an important object from enemy attacks. There's plenty of areas to expand on with this feature.

Breakable objects can have their own classification; they can be allied to specific factions in the game. A breakable object defined as "Alien Military" will be attacked by Human Grunts, and so on.

That's all for now.


Sven Co-op's Status
7 August, 2006 | by Sniper


To update everyone about our games' (plural) situation:

Currently Sven Co-op v3.5 Bronze is being worked on. All of my efforts are being focused on there. We're finishing up AI related things, adding in functionality for level designers, side-stepping engine limits, and so on. It would be fundamentally flawed for me to believe that I could work on both Sven Co-op for Half-Life 1 and Sven Co-op for Half-life 2. 

Working on two game projects at the same time isn't even sane. You can release updates to fix a few minor issues like an exploit, crash, or to remedy some unexpected results while simultaneously working on a new project. That's simple enough to do. But attempting to juggle two projects at once, while putting in the same amount of effort and time, is not feasible. 

However, to end work half way through on an older project simply because a newer game engine has come out would be an exercise in stupidity as well. It would also be a disservice to our players, akin to slapping everyone in the face. That's why I've stayed the course, hoping to eventually finish v3.5 in stages (Bronze, Silver, Gold) so that we can finally close the mod off with a pleasant after taste.

Unfortunately, we've had a lot of people on the team that haven't understood the game's direction. This is partly because we haven't really spent enough time working on a design document and because of the nature of the internet.

Team members can hide off in a dark corner and not ask about what needs to be accomplished. Eventually, they become confused about what their purpose on the team is. These kind of people are what I like to call "project demons." They tempt you with their creative abilities, and then they slack off and contribute nothing. Different time zones between team members and also a lack of face to face conversations you'd normally have in a work place are what can cause these type of behaviors in people.

As a result, people on the team can lose sight of goals, stop working, and ultimately leave. Well, that's what we've been seeing here. The other problem we've had with team members is that they've gotten a job in the games industry and dumped their work for us to finish. This leads to problems with new comers, especially those who do not have access to similar development software that a previous team member may have used. For example, conflicts arise when we have team members that are only comfortable with using Maya, while the rest of the team may have produced content which is only compatible with 3D Studio Max.

As you can see from the Half-Life: Nightwatch modification which now ceases to be, they made the same mistake we did. They were blinded by the graphical advances of the Source engine. They also had some "project demons." Their old content was scrapped, project members became confused about their roles (apparently), and the game's direction collapsed.

Advice to pre-existing mod teams: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Sven Co-op for Half-Life 2 is being re-designed at the moment. It's not dead. However, contrary to popular belief, we have not split up the team into two branches of development. Sven Co-op for Half-Life 1 comes first.

Our base code for co-op play over the internet and seemless level transitions and that sort of thing is still there. Whatever we've created thus far is now locked away for a later date. In the meanwhile, we're focusing our project goals into an easy to read encyclopedia that anyone can understand. :)

We're trying to do things right the first time with Sven Co-op for Half-Life 1, and we're trying to do things right the second time with Sven Co-op for Half-Life 2. With some luck, we will succeed. What you've just read goes along with our honesty based philosphy. If you're a player, you don't like to hear deceitful garbage. That's why we've made an attempt to cut through that with a giant axe made of Bronze.

Regarding Donations:
While on the subject of Sven Co-op for Half-Life 2, we might as well get this out of the way: If you've donated to the mod, you will get bonus features in both Sven Co-op for Half-Life 1 and Sven Co-op for Half-Life 2. We're not cutting off any previous donors. If you donated, you did something to help the mod along. That's not something we can forget.



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