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Build your Life with your Values
View Comments Well, well. Today marks the 19th year of Sven Co-op's existence. That's a lot of years. In honour of this "very special" number, I decided to take the opportunity to write a few words about the game that has taken up so much time of my life. At the time it was nothing more than a single custom-made Half-Life level, svencoop. As no development kit had been released for modders at the time, there was no custom code. Gradually people started joining Sven Viking's project, contributing the skills they had in programming, level design, modelling, and so on. A lot, if not most, of the contributors were teenagers. The mod's popularity kept growing, and a vibrant community arose, with people creating custom levels, models and other content on their own initiative. When Half-Life 2 came out in , Half-Life 1 modding took an immediate hit. This was when Sven Co-op's community started to show its unique strength, because while other HL1 mods seemed to lose players at an ever increasing rate, Sven Co-op, after a small initial drop in players, somehow managed to retain almost the same player count right up until the game's Steam release. Mind you, my memory is a bit fuzzy. However, the increasingly antiquated state of Sven Co-op became clear in other ways. It became difficult for the developers to find new people interested in contributing to the development of the game. An ancient game with outdated graphics and a slowly dwindling player base just didn't seem that appealing in comparison to more modern and lively games - especially for people with ambitions of entering a career in game development. The stream of community created content also slowly dried out. The graph below, gathered from scmapdb. As you can see, things weren't looking great near the end. Sven Co-op's release as a free game on Steam in January was like a rebirth, as it introduced the game to a much larger audience. No longer did you have to convince your friends to shell out money to play Sven Co-op with you. The huge wave of players that came out on the release date was overwhelming and it was a day of huge excitement for me, but it was clear the release was also troubled by some technical issues. The team scrambled to fix the issues that appeared in the release, but you can't stop the inevitable. The enormous new boost in players could not last forever and gradually declined, hitting a stable level after a few months. A level that seems quite close to when the mod peaked. Sven Co-op has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and it's impossible to say how many years it will continue to last. If you travelled back 10 years in time and told me that Sven Co-op would still be played today, I would not have believed it. Being a game based on around fighting predictable AI, rather than unpredictable and intelligent players, one would not expect it to have much replay value. It's clear that the longevity of the game can be attributed to the countless people in the community who have put in their time and effort to create new content for the game, keeping it fresh, as well as the many server operators who have fostered a sense of community among the players. The development team is just an extension of the community; players who have grouped up to work together towards a goal of improving the game and keeping it alive. It's a rather chaotic and directionless group, where people work on whatever project catches their interest, and where people tend to come and go as they please. We have no PR guy or spokesperson; every person on the team speaks only for themselves. And this is how we like it. We have no intention of barking orders to anyone; because in the end we're all just here to have fun. And fun it is. It has been an amazing experience to work with so many people from all over the world, with different backgrounds, personalities, and opinions about the game, all of whom share a great enthusiasm for our old friend Sven Co-op. A few of us have stayed on board for over a decade, including me, and have gone from careless and free teenagers with all the time in the world, to old and grumpy adults who struggle to find any time at all for the game. It's clear that if the game is going to last forever, as we dream of course, we're going to need some more fresh blood. Here, at the end of my rant, I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the entire community which has made this game what it is. If I were to compile a list of all the people who have contributed to the game, it would seem endless, and I would have trouble finding my own name within. So thank you all, and thank you again. And thank Valve, of course. And if anyone is in the mood, come reminisce about old times in our Discord channel. All the cool kids, and also the devs, hang out there. Despite being locked in my childhood bedroom at my parents' house while screaming children pound on the door, we've managed to assemble a holiday update! New Map - They Hunger: The map features survival gameplay in which players must find three randomly placed items and bring them to a broken down truck. The truck must then be repaired and used to escape from the town before the timer runs out and the military arrives to 'purge' the town. At the start of each round, each player is assigned to a random 'civilian' role. Rounds last seven to eight minutes depending on difficulty mode. Once the timer runs out, the military parachutes into the town and will destroy the vehicle if all of the items have not yet been brought to it. It is still possible to repair the vehicle and escape after the timer runs out, but it is exceedingly difficult. If you are running a dedicated server please use SteamCmd to update your servers. Those of you that were using the public release candidate can remain to do so, as this branch now matches the standard branch. Changes are as follows: Notable changes Added support for custom HUD elements generic sprite, numeric display and time display. Scripted weapons can now drop ammo. Fixed issue where chat messages sent right before a map change wouldn't get printed to the console. Fixed the "Voting menu doesn't add players as they join" issue. Fixed the confusing "You must wait X seconds before you can call for aid. This should prevent it from interrupting weapon sounds. Removed support for resolutions lower than p. Removed the "impulse 99" command and the corresponding E3 logo functionality. Skill CVARs can now be changed on the fly directly from console. The message that appears when players enter observer mode will now mention reviving only if the player didn't get gibbed. Sets new maximum train speed. If the train is traveling too fast, its speed will be set to the new allowed maximum. Same as the legacy "speed" keyvalue but works correctly with controllable trains. Can be used to hide all custom elements from a given group. Added HL2-like auto-hide feature for the weapon selection menu. This should prevent the situation with players running around with the weapon menu active and unintentionally switching to a different weapon during combat. Added support for custom HUD elements generic sprite, numeric display and time display. Fixed alignment of many HUD elements. Fixed alignment of multiline HUD messages if negative screen coordinates are used. Fixed an issue where the ammo bar in the HUD weapon selection would not be visible if the weapon had only secondary ammo left. Fixed an issue where weapons that don't use any ammo would be drawn red in the HUD weapon history. Fixed position of the "say: Fixed weapon slots not being cleared properly. Fixes issue where weapon selection would break occasionally. Health, suit and ammo indicators can now display 4 digit values. Increased the weapon slot count from 7 to 10 for scripted weapons. Slots 6 - 8 are only visible if there are weapons assigned to them. Slot 9 is always hidden and is reserved for special weapons minigun, shockrifle. Inventory items can use custom HUD sprites. Expected sprite size is 72x72px. If the player holds items of more than one type, the default item inventory icon will be used. Just in case some server operators do something naughty with the feature. If set to 0 the fade out effect will be disabled. If set to 0 the auto-hide feature will be disabled. Player names in chat are now displayed with a slightly different color. The ammo bar in the HUD weapon selection turns red instead of disappearing if the weapon has no ammo except for what is left in the weapon itself. The ammo display will now flash even for weapons that are not using magazines. The chat "block" is now positioned at the center of the bottom half of the screen. The weapon selection will automatically close if the player picks up a special weapon. Tweaked the HUD layout for a more consistent look. Exposed the new 'concussion' effect. RegisterWeapon can be used to specify classname of the dropped ammo and ItemInfo to specify the amount. Changed signature of CBaseMonster:: AddPrimaryAmmo and AddSecondaryAmmo returns amount of actually added ammo instead of returning boolean value whether any ammo was added or not. Fixed name of the CBasePlayerWeapon::
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