31 December 2008

Sand

Undertone has updated his developer journal with screen shots of his newest project, ps_sand. PS_sand, a remake of the FA classic has undergone a drastic change from the original. The reason for this change Undertone said is that "it would have been a little boring and a bit of a stretch on the suspension of disbelief if the map was just rocky walls and concrete... facilities."


As you can see the map has undergone drastic changes from its original creation.


A Cool Classic

DysPatch updated his developer journal with more news about port of a classic FA map, ps_sandblast, for FAS. While the map will bear many similarities to the FA classic, it will also be updated for FAS.

The most obvious difference between DysPatch's remake and the original is the change from sand to snow. DysPatch states that "a lot of levels in our line up consist of sand maps" and they want to avoid an over abundance of sand maps that plague many FPS.

Besides the theme change, the layout as well has been changed so it reflects more of a real world location instead of a FPS level. Despite this change the overall game play will remain intact.

Even though the FAS Team has map's original creator, Jeff Lane, permission to use the map's name and layout for FAS, the DysPatch has opted to not use the original name; due to the theme and layout change, the name of the map has been renamed to ps_snowstorm and Jeff Lane given credit.

The following is an early screen shot of ps_snowblast from DysPatch's developer's blog. Updated screen shots should come soon with the upcoming massive media update.

Breath of Life

Hitman has updated his developers journal with more information about FAS's progress. Hitman states that they are still in closed testing, but much progress has been made. Much of the work done is on the art side: the M79 has been fully skinned and has new renders, Nato has been working very hard on the M24, and the team has been creating new player models. The new players models have been progressing swiftly with the help of Shinobi, Schmung, StealthSilver and TheUltra4sshole. There is still work to do with the player models, such as "skin tweaks and a weightjob."

In addition to updated skins, weapon and player models, the FAS team has also been working on five new maps. DysPatch has been working on a map which may be featured in an upcoming news update. Undertone as well is working on a new port of a classic FA map, Hitman has a new map that has been featured in the past alpha builds and will be shown soon and Shinobi has two maps which haven't been seen by the public yet.

Hitman states that art aspects of FAS (models, skins, ext) are still the major holdup and said "we only recently hired the art crew we needed and a lot of work remains to be done." However, Hitman is hopeful that "we will have some major surprises in store for everyone very soon." He continues on saying that the updates should start coming more regularly again since the ability to produce high quality screen shots and videos will be in place for quicker updates. Also, the main FAS website will be updated in the upcoming weeks to make it easier to navigate.

21 December 2008

When Is The Next Media Update?

The next FAS media update according to DysPatch will be quite large. The delay is due to that they "are just waiting on some assets to be implemented in game."

Source

19 November 2008

City Planing

After losing his previous map and tooling around with a temple map, wasisted menkey has shown us a fairly complex side project titled tc_carpark which is shaping up to be a visual pleasing urban map.


Carpark is actually WM's fist idea for a map and he warns that this map may not "ever turn into an actual playable map or not". Other than the obvious carpark, WM's newest map will also include apartments, a hotel, a construction site and possibly an office building and sewers as well.


The current design looks promising, offering many routes as well as more chances for vertical fighting that map currently shown FAS maps lack. If you would like to see more screen shots and comments about the map from WM, you can view the associated FAS Mapping Forum thread, here.

18 October 2008

Smoke 'Em 'Cause We Got 'Em

FAS will have smoke grenades which Hitman revealed in this FAS Forums thread.

"Smoke provides concealment, and therefore hurts the enemy's ability to put accurate fire on your position. Clans will be able to use them much more effectively than pub players, so I reckon they'll be more effective against campers than what we see in testing (though they did do a lot of good on our single-choke test map which shall not be named)."

Hitman on Maps

Hitman has made a lengthy post in the FAS Forums about FAS's map design philosophy which outlines how FAS maps are designed, as well as the use of reinforcement drain - or lack there of - in FAS. Htiman's main reason for this philosophy is in response older RCs introduction of reinforcement drain with the push system. Hitman believes that such a system isn't needed with proper map design and that the current round of testing lead by BDH should solidify this belief as well as "taking a much closer look at map gameplay, ammo box placement and other balancing features to ensure we have a well-rounded gameplay model."

The most important aspect of map design is "to maps with well-thought-out pathways and routes" that discourages camping or overly defensive play styles. Multiple exits and windows leading to an area make it difficult for a camping team to defend an area. Where ammo boxes are located is also a key to discourage camping. Ammo boxes in spawns ensures that a camping team can ensure that the defending team has no reason to venture out for supplies, so moving them to the second point will make them have to leave the spawn area. Also, having the ammo boxes exposed to the sky will make them vulnerable to mortar fire; if you take out the ammo boxes, you cut off the ammo supply to weapons that have a low magazine size or expend it quickly (such as the sniper rifles, machine guns and grenade launcher). Hitman made an example map to illustrate the point to make it more clear as well. Example A is an easily defend choke point with an ammo box close by, while example B offers multiple routes to the bunker, an ammo box farther away from the defenders, and windows to engage the defenders from.


Versions post 2.6 also lead themselves to camping due to the inaccuracy of the rifles making it hard to realistic take on snipers, machine gunners, and grenades at a longer range. The weapons in FAS are a lot more accurate and "people camping way back in a corner somewhere won't be able to kill others with impunity."

Finally, FAS will incorporate progressive spawns into push maps which will aid the attacking team allowing them to engage the camping team faster. Hitman uses the map ps_river as an example, "if the defenders on Red Force camp the house, and never move to the barn, in old version of FA the blue team would need to run all the way from their starting base to the barn in order to get to the beginning of the front line." In FAS, if blue holds the barn, they would possibly spawn near the river allowing them quickly to engage red. Not only does this help with camping, but also makes it so people spend more time fighting and less time running just to get the chance to fight.

Hitman goes back to the idea of reinforcement drain on push points by stating that it compromises the point of push maps and is to much of a pertly for any defense which Hitman states are a legitimate strategy in push maps. Furthermore, the reinforcement drain alone wouldn't help sd_maps or cti_maps which would still need good map design to prevent camping.

Hitman also reminds every one that RC 1.0 is the start of FAS, not the end. The FAS team will not fully know how FAS plays until it is in the public's hands and they are committed to further developing FAS past RC 1.0.

10 October 2008

Naota Talks About Weapons

In a FAS Forums post, Naota talks about a few of the weapons in FAS.

He begins with the comparison between the OTS-33 and the MAC11. While both weapons have similar damage and credit cost - the MAC11 is one credit more - the similarities end there. The OTS-33 has a high rate of fire - 900 RPM - but a lower magazine size. The MAC11 is almost on the other end of the spectrum with a lower rate of fire, but almost double the magazine size.

Naota also speculates that the MAC11 may receive a suppressor in the future, but the same feature will most likely be not available for the OTS-33. However Naota says "the OTs-33 has a built-in attachment rail for things like LAMs, laser sights."

Naota finnishes with stating he has "just about finished modelling the M24."

08 October 2008

FA:CC1 Episode 3

FA:CC1 Episode 3 is avaiable now!

Download it here!

FA:CC1 Episode 2

FA:CC1 Episode 2 is available!

Check out the exclusive interview with FAS Team Leader, Hitman.

Download it here!

Rubble Rubble Thunder Clatter

DsyPatch has updated his developer journal with an updated screen shot of tc_rubble with new smoke stacks.

02 October 2008

Apollo Rides

Inveramsay has now his very own Developer's Journal, with his first post outlining some of the custom sky boxes for FAS as well as the process in making them. While FAS does use a few CSS skies, he is slowly working to replace them all at the request of the other FAS mappers.

Inveramsay explains that, "Making custom sky boxes are hardly rocket science but will require a bit of technology in the form of a 3d program to render and photoshop to manipulate the end result as well as a program for converting into HDR images."

He also shows an in game screen shot of what the sky box would look like in an European town man yet to be named. Going by past information though, sd_force seems the most likely candidate, though obj_bocage, and to a lesser extent obj_willow are also possibilities.

Testing Testers

U4 has posted a thread in the FAS Alpha Testing forum about why there has been a lack of Alpha Tester feedback the past couple of weeks. He cites that the FAS Alpha Testing team is reorganizing their testing and that "The reason for our re-tooling is more-or-less because we've generally already broken and fixed all the obvious stuff in the code." The next round of testing will focus on non standard game play bugs that wouldn't come up in normal play testing. BDH, long time community member is currently in charge of this reorganization.

29 September 2008

Race To The Finish

PFS has given light to FAS's release date in this stickied thread in the FAS Forums. In it, he states the standard "there is no official release date" and it will be released "when it's done." PFS dose go into a bit more detail by quoting AirWolf who said, "We have our own internal time-line and goals that we are working towards but it's better for us not to pressure ourselves with a public date and rush something not complete."

While some people are content with knowing the mod is being worked on and will be released at some point in time, others require some more information such as how much of the mod is actually done so they can estimate when the mod will be released.

In response to such a statement, PFS said "I even have an idea as to when (the mod will be released)." This statement holds more weight when combined with Hitman's interview by FA:CC1 when he says most of the work needed on the mod are models with animations and skins to go with them.

24 September 2008

Ventrilo Up

The FAS Vent Server is back up with updated IP, port, and password.

IP: dc-ventrilo.nuclearfallout.net
Port: 23100
Password: menkeyflungpoo

Source

FAS News (24 SEPT 2008)

FAS has unveiled a huge update 23 September 2008 with the unveiling of official sponsorship by NuclearFallout.net proving FAS with free voice server hosting for testing, as well as the addition of a classic weapon in Firearms arsenal, the Vollmer.

Skitz is behind this update along with the FAS PR Team. The Skitz and the FAS PR Team hopes to bring more exclusive interviews, screen shots, and information in the coming weeks and months to gaming websites such as FPS Banana and Planet Half-Life. Additionally Skitz is also helping with file hosting servers, ensuring that there are no bandwidth problems due for RC 1.0.

The Vollmer is a twelve credit, belt fed, and fifty round sub machine gun that fires 7.62x51mm NATO rounds. The Vollmer was created by the talented Schmung whose previous works include the G3. Racer445 has again created the skin for the model and thisismyname09 has provided the animations which are still being worked on; the Vollemer's belt will animate being fed into the weapon, so you can see the last few bullets feed in from the empty magazine.

The FAS Team has also recapped the past four weapon updates:

The M16A2 is an 11 credit assault rifle limited to single shot and three round burst. Modeled by SiD, skinned by Stoke, and animated by thisismyname09, the M16A2 excels at mid to long range combat with its ability to score rapid head shots on single shot while still being lethal up close with three round burst.

The G3, modeled by Schumung and skinned by racer445 is another assault rifle, similar to the M16A2. The G3's is available in single shot and full auto however, its high caliber round makes full auto hard to control making single shot the fire mode of choice for long distances. The G3 is great for players with excellent aim, who like play "stand-off" and snipe without a scope.

The 92FS is a 9mm pistol, modeled by SiD, skinned by Stoke, and animated by thisismyname09 is FAS's only silenced pistol at the moment, but that will soon change. The silencer can be attached or removed with the alternate fire key. While you don't need the Stealth ability to use the silencer, having stealth makes kills with the 92FS not shown to the enemy team.

The OTs-33 is an automatic pistol modeled and skinned by Naota and animated by thisismyname09. The OTS-33 is chambered in 9x18mm and holds 18 rounds and slightly cheaper than the lower end machine guns, making it an excellent backup. This would make it more expensive than it was originally at four credits. The OTs-33's skin has also been updated since its unveiling two weeks ago.

The FAS credit system is also explained in more detail. Firearms gives players 30 credits to spend on weapons and equipment with no limits to the combinations other than the credit limit. FAS has over 36 guns, three types of body armor, as well as three type of armor add ons and many additional items such as grenades and explosives, which provide almost limitless possible combinations. Players can choose to pick traditional configurations such as medium armor, a helmet, Desert Eagle and assault rifle, or something unique such as light armor and a helmet and two assault rifles, or a half dozen pistols.

The FAS Team also has a new addition, Stealth Silver, a player model skinner and 2D artist. Stealth Silver has been working with the FAS Team since July and his addition to FAS will hopefully be unveiled in near future updates.

If you wish for more information, straight from the FAS Team, be sure to visit the FAS IRC channel, #firearms-source on GameSurge. The Team idles there often and will talk when available. Also be sure to check out Hitman's interview with Zero-Saber this Friday, 26 September.

21 September 2008

Prone Sha-Mone

The prone feature of past versions will possibly not be included with the first RC of FAS.

In Hitman's 22 September, 2008 developer's journal entry when asked about coding for the prone system which U4 stated here as not implemented, Hitman replies "I wouldn't count on prone being in anytime soon."

Reasons for the prone system not be included are not detailed in any following post. The most likely possibility is that the FAS Team is having trouble finding people to create animations for player models. Various post from FAS Team members and Alpha Testers in the FAS Forums have shown they have had problems finding people to create player models and this could extend to animators as well.

While PFS dose try to put up a smoke screen by stating that lack of prone in FAS may be a feature, U4's earlier comment clearly states that prone will be included at some date; unless features have changed within three days of U4's post.

That aside, it would be interesting to see how FAS plays without prone. Some have stated than prone in previous RCs is a culprit of slowing down game play, while others support it for its strategic and stealth elements. Going back to U4's comments, it seems currently without a prone system machine guns and sniper rifles are having difficulty stooping rushers. How this will be balanced will be tricky, for any changes now to make them effective could presumably make them overly effective when prone is introduced. Furthermore, the inclusion of the prone system in a later RC could turn off some players who were use to machine guns and sniper rifles not being effective, as well as not having to worry about people going prone and thus being a harder target to hit.

20 September 2008

Now What About A Corner Office?

PFS, an FAS Team Alpha Tester has had his title changed in the FAS Forums to "Public Relations Rodent" and has had his name changed to gray as well as bolded.

This probably means that PFS now has a more official role as a public relation representative like U4.

15 September 2008

Ventrilo Down

PFS said "Sorry folks but the ventrilo server is gone for the time being."

Check back here for updates.

SAAAAAAW

In a FAS Off Topic Forum thread, Inveramsay said, "Effing brilliant, now we need someone to model that as the replacement for the m249."

The previous weapon's page did not have the M249 included as a weapon, only the M60 and the RPK74. The M249 was a popular weapon in later RCs and having it included in FAS is no surprise.

Input - Output

Maggie has commented to many suggestions purposed by Zero-Saber in the FAS Input Forum which reveal some more information about FAS, as well its direction past the initial release.

Zero-Saber had suggested many ideas, which include the addition or more melee weapons, reworking of some skills, medics and self bandaging, removal of the inability to fire some weapons while moving, as well as an attachment system modified by kills.

The first suggestion, maggie says that there is all ready a second melee weapon in game, which confirms past reports of the addition of a second melee weapon. AirWolf however dose say that, "Maggie hasn't been able to play for awhile so I would take that with a grain of salt." However, with so much information all ready about a melee weapon, AirWolf sounds more like he is trying to keep the suspense up than deny the existence of a second melee weapon.

Maggie's response to Zero-Saber's suggestion regarding skills doesn't reveal much, only that the skills are very different than how they were in previous versions of Firearms.

"Bandaging is instantaneous," is her response to making bandaging instant for medics. Every player is able to bandage instantly. This not saying though that you can bandage while firing, just that it isn't a long drawn out process.

One of the more annoying features of later RCs of Firearms was the inability to fire some weapons while moving, notably the machine guns as well as the M82. According to maggie, no action in FAS requires you to stay "perfectly still" to preform it and that FAS is "a fast paced game". This could be misleading, as walking or moving crouched is not "perfectly still" but still slow.

Finally, in response to an attachment system, maggie said "We have a planned attachment system that will not make it into RC1 but which we hope will be along not too long after the initial release. The system will not be skill-based."

14 September 2008

Shake and Bake

Hitman answers a question regarding in the FAS Forums about screen shake and other conditions you may suffer when you are shot in FAS.

"The only thing that happens when you get shot is the screen turns a tinted red, you lose health and might start to bleed. There is no screen bounce, screen shaking or slowdown in movement."

11 September 2008

Candidate for MENSA

PFS has posted an updated in the Alpha Tester's Forum. FAS has been progressing at a steady pace, but the amount of new content and feature changes appears to be tapering off (possibly indicating a release is possible before 2009). The many of the Counter-Strike: Source place holders are being phased out for new original content by the FAS team and contributors.

Weapons have also been undergoing balancing and as PFQ describes it: "The overpowered things have been toned down. The laser guns have more recoil or wider accuracy cones. Things are just more enjoyable. At this point, there really is no clear cut "whore" weapons."

FAS described by PFS has a feel of 2.5 with all the improvements and balance of later RCs added in; many play styles are possible in FAS from assaulting, sniping and being a sneaky bastard.

PFS also touches on the new HUD updates that Hitman talked about in his last developer's journal post. PFS states that "Hitman informed us there may be something about the HUD added in the next build (possibly) that I suggested, that to my knowledge, has never before been seen in ANY mod, be it HL1 or HL2". What this actually entails is any one's guess.

Lastly PFS mentions in passing about new player models; more specifically the red player model which U4 will unveil some time in the future.

08 September 2008

FAS's Laundry List

Hitman has updated his developer's journal with more information about FAS. Hitman states that the coding for FAS is mostly complete and many features he has been working on the past few months have been implemented: flag icons displayed on the HUD, SD crates now give a destroyed notification like TC flags do for reinforcement drain, locations work, the radio system works, a new flexible UI, many bugs are fixed, and a massive memory buildup has been resolved which has improved stability and performance.

Even with all that done, there is still more work to do. Hitman and Maddog are working on new HUD art, trying to implement it for RC1. The FAS Team may present different renditions of the HUD and let the community decided how it should be implemented.

Hitman has also updated the ModDB site and as of writing this, FAS is number one!

Hitman has also included a new screen shot of sd_mine, which Hitman describes as "arguably our best looking map" by undertone.

07 September 2008

FAS News (7 SEP 2008)

FAS is showcasing the newest weapon in the FAS arsenal, the OTs-33 "Pernach". The OTs-33 is the first Russian pistol ever included in any version of FA. It modeled and animated by Naota and animated by thisismyname09.

The OTs-33 is a select fire pistol, with single shot and automatic fire options. It has a 18+1 round magazine and an amazing cheep cost of only four credits (subject to change). Hitman describes the weapon as "a mix between an M11 and the 92FS, but with a smaller mag and better accuracy on semi-auto than the submachinegun category." The OTs-33 is also slightly weaker than the 92FS due to the weaker round it employs.

At only four credits the price can't be beat, especially when compared to the 93R of older versions of FA. The 93R was also a select fire pistol, but only single shot and three round burst and cost around five credits, depending on the version. Hitman also mentioned that the OTs-33 has "an integral accessory rail underneath the barrel." It seems odd that he would mention something about the weapon that wouldn't have any feature in the game; perhaps he is hinting to something.

This is not the last weapon to be added to FAS's arsenal. Hitman states that an ever more obscure weapon will be showcased in the future; a weapon so obscure that it has never been included in any game, ever (to the best of the FAS Team's knowledge).

As always, the FAS Team is always looking for help. Animators and skinners are in most demand, but the FAS Team will also take on modelers, sound artist, and mappers. Lastly, the FAS Alpha Testing team is full. Applications to be a tester will be turned down at the moment, but Hitman expects they'll be able to open up new rounds of testing very soon.

Volunteer!

U4 has posted in the FAS Forums, "We want you, the FA:S community, to make us some 2-D art for us to use in FA:S RC1. 2-D art being anything that you can photoshop, photograph, or even make in MS Paint. Think of this as our signature contests from the Art sub-forum, but without the contest part."

Can't draw? Have the creative talent of a stump? No problem! U4 says the FAS Team is "easily amused". If you can draw a picture of a Firearms: Source in MS Paint, then you're art could be included in the game.


The FAS Team is looking for anything, from custom sprays to posters and textures for maps. How awesome would it be to run around a FAS map and see your poster on the wall, or see someone tag your death with a spray you made.

All artwork must be original and you get bonus points for FAS related material, such as menkys, cows, penguins, pandas, or U4 in a bathing suite. Airwolf has also supplied the FAS logos in PSD format for your use to create FAS related material which you can download here.

Submissions can be attached to the associated FAS Forum Thread.

05 September 2008

The Architect

Undertone has updated his developer journal with a lengthy post detailing the mapping projects he has done for Firearms: Sources, as well as the problems that he as a mapper faces when creating maps.

The first project undertone talks about is a tc_map named euphrates. undertone describes the map as a "massive, middle eastern, and massive. It was supposed to be set in a very urbanized city with a river running down the center with 3 bridges". He explains that due to the size of the map, the limits of the Source engine and the sheer amount of custom content needed for the map, it would never meet his expectations as a quality map.

Undertone also talks about his work on obj_bocage originally made by AlejandroDaJ for FA 2.6. While this map possibly could of been released with FAS RC 1.0, undertone said "this map is huge, and we don't really realize it." Undertone states the map's geometry is about 20-30% finished, but still requires a lot of custom models and textures before it can be considered for release.


Some smaller maps that undertone talks about are tc_york, ps_rose and tc_saprosa. TC_york is a small territory control map in the same vein as tc_iwojima. TC_york has been played by the FAS Alpha Testers, but the map has been dropped from testing because as Undertone describes it, "[tc_york] was simple and indoor iwo, with not enough room for me to make pretty." The major problem with the map was the layout wasn't planed out limiting the space needed to make the interiors interesting. PS_rose is a map modeled after actual locations in Toronto where undertone has been. PS_rose as undertone explains, "lacked direction or a good layout". Undertone also mentions a map based on real life events, tc_saprosa. "Saprosa was supposed to be a winter prison break, based off of the prison break in Afghanistan from the facility of the same name", undertone explained.

Some of the more interesting maps that undertone talks about are sg_onset and wm_thrill. SG_onset was a map based in a mall and offered a new game play mode. Undertone said, "we decided the theme of having the map in a mall didn't fit firearms all that much so I dropped it." Even though the map has been drooped undertone said, "I do plan on using [the new game play mode] again in the future." WM_thrill (possibility a map set in a theme park) was another map that offered a new game play mode, which undertone said was to ambitions for the first RC. As with sg_onset's game play mode undertone plans to revisit the game play mode in wm_thrill after the first release of FAS.

Undertone talks about his remake of ps_sand a very old FA map. PS_sand has been worked on for some time and should enter testing in the next few weeks. The FAS remake of ps_sand will only have slight differences in the layout. "If you remember the old map, then this one will feel nearly exactly the same" undertone said.

Lastly, undertone talks about an unnamed map which involves a lot of custom content from Naota. Also anyone who wishes to contribute is more than happy to.

02 September 2008

FA:CC1 Episode One Correction

It is not stated in FA:CC, Episode 0 whether or not DsyPatch has the legal rights to remake ps_sandblast for Firearms: Source. DsyPatch clears up all alligations in this FAS Forum post stating "I never said that I did not receive permission from the original map creator, Jeff Lane. I actually sent an email, in which he replied giving me full permission to go ahead." DsyPatch also produces the e-mail, confirming that Jeff Lane has given him permission to remake the map for Firearms: Source.

DsyPatch also states, "we have a strict policy here at Firearms: Source to only remake maps when we have permission."

FA: Com Channel 1

Friday, 29 August 2008 was the primer episode of Firearms: Com Channel 1.

FA:CC1 is a news radio/pod cast show hosted by Zero-Saber. Zero-Saber states here that "Our main subject will be news and other stories revolving around FireArms: Source" as well as other Firearms related mods.

The first episode had a rocky start but was entertaining, if unstructured. You can download the first episode here and is graciously hosted by Pisnorone of The Trenches 2 mod.

If you would like to post comments or suggestions regarding FA:CC1, please do so here.

Ma'ma Mia 2

DsyPatch stated in his developer journal that ps_avellino discussed earlier, will not be a FAS RC 1.0 release. DsyPatch cites that the "work I am doing on sandblast, and my projects for other mods" are the reasons for the delay.

31 August 2008

The Rockets Red Glare

AirWolf has updated his developer's journal with new information about ps_forest, as well as the flags used in Firearms: Source maps.

"The first iteration of the flags came across too clean." AirWolf said. The original flags looked to much like real life counter parts of actual nations. AirWolf said that the idea was the create flags that didn't look like they belonged to any specific nation.

The flags were not made in the vacuum of one individuals talent and resources. Many on the FAS Team helped in their creation. Hitman suggested the flags be war-torn, as if they have been shot up and burnt. AirWofl created a new model for them, as well as took the animations from the original FA flag's animation and changed it to work with the new flag mesh. As AirWolf said, "So there's a little of the old FA in these flags."

AirWofl also has shown a few new screen shots of his map, ps_forest. The changes are subtle ones, such as redone textures and added ambiance.

29 August 2008

New Maps In The Works!

Just a quick one for you today, FA:S Fans!

In an IRC conversation earlier today, I had a chance to sit down with FA:S Level Designer DysPatch. When asked about what he was working on, he offered this:

im working on sandblast right now
i finished iwo and rubble
sandblast or snowblast?
snow
but snowblast sounds silly
rofl
i may change it to frostbite
i have put avellino on hold for the meantime
since that will take a while
but i have an idea for an awesome sd map
based in the tropics
There you have it. Some new maps in the works from DysPatch, and some finished ones. Hopefully we'll get to see some screenshots soon.

24 August 2008

Another New Weapon, and Community Outreach!

Hello again FA:S fans!

Zero here with some more news.

First, there's a fabulous new model by Schmung on display in the Models, Textures, Sprites, Sounds forum. It's a Sig 550, currently being skinned by TheExpert. Given Schmung and TheExpert's recent additions to the FA Team and Affiliated Developers teams respectively, this raises all sorts of questions as to its appearance in FireArms: Source.

When asked, FA Team PR person TheUltra4sshole had this to say:

No official comment. Yet.

Tester PorkFriedSquirrel said this in response to U4's quote of no comment:

Which means we have nothing like that in game that we may or may not know about. So, you can assume pretty much nothing from U4's comment, except mindless speculation.

We here at the FA:S Report can only assume this means that there is a very good chance that the Sig550 will be a playable weapon in FireArms: Source. Whether it makes it into RC1.0 or not is a different story. The writer, at this time, assumes that the Sig will play similar to the G36E in previous versions of FireArms. It is not known at this time whether or not there will be a scope or other attachments for this weapon.


Also, yours truly has started a petition for an internet radio station based around the FA:S community. I believe that this will be a whole new realm of media for the FA:S team to capitalize on, as well as a new way for the community to interact with one another. The full story and post is located here. The associated poll can be found here.


Thanks FA:S fans!

21 August 2008

Screen Shot Tidbits

The 20 AUG 2008 News post had a lot of information, but some of the most interesting information was only conveyed though screen shots.

One minor one is a three colors indicating how much ammo you have. White when you have a decent amount of ammo, yellow when low on ammo and red when empty. The number also brightens when firing.


Also shown is a new weapon, hastily blotted out.


Medic HUD

The 20 AUG 2008 News post had a lot of information, but some of the most interesting information was only conveyed though screen shots. One of the most notable is the medic HUD.


The medic HUD in FAS displays a lot of information. The color of the symbol above the player's head, as well as the targeting text is green, showing that they are in good health. You could assume the green indicates the person is a medic, but Naota explains here, "
the green has nothing to do with indicating fellow medics." The green targeting text and the color of the symbol is tied in with the target's health, turning yellow and red the more damage the player takes which StandingCow confirmed in this post.

Near the bottom of the screen is more statical information displaying their exact numeric health, if they are bleeding and if they can be treated. Lacking from past RC's is information about their leg being broken, or if it is possible to administer adrenaline to them.


In another screen shot, we can that medics receive points based on how much health they treat. Previous RCs gave a flat 1/2 point per treatment and you could only treat a person once a life. The fact that points based on how much a medic actually heals, not how many times, seem to indicate that medics can treat people multiple times in FAS.

20 August 2008

I C U

The 20 AUG 2008 News post had a lot of information, but some of the most interesting information was only conveyed though screen shots. One of the most notable are player's rank displayed over their model.


This screen shot is the best example of player's rank over their models. The player in front of the person taking the screen shot is the lowest rank "Private". Also note that you can see the ranks though the map's geometry, as highlighted in the circled area. StandingCow wrote in the FAS News Forum that the icons "also lets you see who on your team is a medic or who has leadership" and "you won't see icon's over enemy players." The icons change color from green to red depending on how damaged the player is which he explained here.

The following is medic icon in detail.

This symbol could possibly be the leadership symbol, but it is to small to make out.


According to Naota, "the overhead icons is not tied to any particular skill, just to save people from any misconceptions. They are also toggleable via client-side cvar if they're not to your liking." which he said in response to this question.

FAS News (20 AUG 2008)

FAS is showcasing the G3, modeled by Schmung, skinned by the newest FAS Team member, racer445 and animated by TIMN. The G3 is the first of many weapons redone Schmung and racer445 that raise the bar in quality and realism for FAS's arsenal.

The G3 is an accurate assault rifle that fires a powerful 7.62x51mm NATO round and is accurate while used in semi-automatic mode, but has a lot of kick when on full auto and not the highest rate of fire. The dramatic change in accuracy and recoil between these two fire modes, as well as the low magazine size of 20, means players will have to know which fire mode is best for each situation, such as full auto up close, and semi-auto at a distance.

waited_menkey, a FAS Alpha Tester said, "[the G3] was by far my most favorite AR from the original FA. I used it all the time. Though as a tester I feel I have a duty to cycle my config/load-out, if I didn't feel that, I would use the G3A3 all the time (and people would probably bitch about it). The FA:S G3A3 upholds the standards I expected the G3A3 to perform at, and the new Source model looks amazing." So those who loved the G3 in older versions of FA will feel right at home with it in FAS.


Hitman also talks about the balance of FAS compared to older versions of Firearms. While past versions did offer a variety of weapons, most of them were sidelined by the more powerful assault rifles, or often outright ignored. FAS still allows for dual assault rifle configurations, but because the sub machine guns, pistols, and shotguns are so well balanced, hardly anyone feels a need too. Instead, players can take three or four sub machine guns, a sub machine gun and machine gun, or all pistols and still be effective.

Even with all these choices, FAS is keeping the weapons unique, so the difference between one assault rifle and another is more than a model and sound change. "We're committed to giving the players choice, and lots of it, not just cookie-cutter copies of the same gun." said Hitman.


FAS also takes on racer445 as a talented skinner who's work can all ready be seen in the G3 as well as an upcoming pistol. Not only a talented skinner, racer445 also is a superb modeler. In addition to racer445, the FAS team has taken on Inveramsay who has all ready been affiliated with FAS for some time. Inveramsay is currently working on "a remake of a well-liked classic map of the 2.6 era, a certain European town map." This map is most likely sd_force, reported earlier. Another possibility is obj_bocage, which is another European town man which debuted with RC 2.6.

FAS has also Incorporated some new features, the most notable being the status of push flags which is displayed at the top of the screen. Not shown is a radio command menu which has over 60 commands accessed though a intuitive GUI. Also not shown are the new menus as well as a new spin on the briefing's page. Lastly, all briefings are localized, so now you can play FAS with your non English speaking friends.

What's That Weapon Contest

The FAS Team has a contest for people to guess the name of their newly added pistol for FAS. The first person who guesses it correctly will get their name in the next news update, which will showcase the new pistol.

This contest is not as easy as it seems, as the picture provided is dark, showing off what looks like sd_mine's architecture more than the pistol itself.


You can find the rules for the contest as well as how to submit your answer here.

If you need some help, check out World Guns' handgun section here.

16 August 2008

Good News Dosen't Come By Helicopter 2

"You are correct. For RC 1.0, Medivac is not planned, however we may find a way to implement it in the future. The medic skill is worthy of selection as it is, with our improvements," said DsyPatch in a FAS Forum thread.

Source

15 August 2008

Good News Dosen't Come By Helicopter

FA:S will most likely not have treatable wounded players as in the older HL versions of FA. This has nothing to do with the FAS Team, but with how HL2 deals with player rag dolls of dead players. All dead players in HL2 games are done client side; the dead body you see is not the same dead body the person next to you sees. If you ever wondered why TF2's Spy doesn't have cloak and feign death, it's because of this exact same reason.

FAS Team could work around this some how, and unlike the TF2 Spy, a wounded dead body isn't the same as a player who is a rag doll.

09 August 2008

Leaders Don't Need Big Guns

In Hitman's 3 August developer journal post, PFS asked me to "Stop trying to find shit" in reference to the carbine comment in Hitman's post, possibly eluding that there are either new weapons in FAS, or an old idea is resurfacing where those with the Leadership skill will receive a carbine of a rifle instead of the one they originally selected. When asked if that was because I was to close to finding something, or if I was waisting my time, he replied with an enigmatic "yes".

As to PFC's answer "yes", there can be three possible out comes. The fist, most obviously is that yes, I am trying to find information, when there is none to be had. The second, somewhat likely is that there are new carbine weapons in FAS. Going though the developer and Alpha Tester journals, you can see many post about the inclusion of new weapons and it wouldn't be hard for a new carbine weapon or two to be among them.

The last, least possible, but most intriguing answer is the revival of an old idea: those with the Leadership skill receive a carbine assault rifle in place of the standard assault rifle. This concept came about during the development of 2.6 and was nixed with many other ideas, such as female player models as well as some unique weapons like the WA2000. The carbine weapons were to be similar to their full sized brothers, but have less recoil (possibly less accuracy as well; not much information was given out about them).

For obvious reasons, this would be the least likely scenario to PFC's response. Carbine weapons given to those only with leadership would go against FAS's approach to skills. Using Stealth as an example, the skill dose not give you a suppressor on the M9, but allows for kills with the suppressor to not be displayed to the other team. Leadership granting a carbine equivalent weapon would be similar to the Stealth skill giving the M9 a suppressor. Also, a lot of work and time is going into FAS models; having a good half dozen only be assessable to players who pick a skill would seem to some as a waste of resources that could go into models that everyone would get to see. Lastly, if the carbines were to have different stats than their bigger brothers, such as damage, recoil, and the like, they all would need to be balanced and play tested.

This is all not to say that it is impossible. The carbines with leadership could only be for a few selected assault rifles, not every assault rifle. They could have the same stats as their bigger brothers. Lastly, they could be modified models of existing assault rifles, not completely new independent weapons (such as an AK47 or G3 with a collapsing stock). Finally, it would give those who chose leadership a unique perk, as the skill in past RCs has been very lacking.

03 August 2008

Weekend Warrior

Hitman's 3 August developer's journal post outlines what is going on behind the scenes of FAS, as well as possibly eluding to some other information.

He begins with going over the 3 August play test saying he used the G3 for a bit, but then "ended up using the carbines." If you remember the old weapon's page, you will notice that only the M4 was described as a carbine. This could mean that either FAS will use the long forgotten plan of giving a carbine version of a rifle to a player with the leadership skill, or Hitman is using the definition very literally, as many weapons compared to the G3 would be lighter weight and have a shorter barrel, or included the AK74U as a carbine as well. Obviously, the first choice is far from likely.

Hitman goes on to describe what he has been working on FAS. Besides performance enhancing fixes, he has also added in two new features, as well as completely re-hauled the menu system. If Hitman ever gets around to doing a news update, the new menu system will most likely be featured, as well as the contributions of the newest FAS Team Member, Racer, an expert skinner.

Lastly, Hitman casually mentions he has almost finished a new map. Though almost complete, the amount of other work he has do may prevent him from completing it.

29 July 2008

DysPatch's Blog

DysPatch has unveiled his new developer blog about his work in the HL2 modding community. Check out the mapping section for information about his FA:S contributions, including developer commentary on his maps, as well as the unveiling of ps_snowblast, a remake of ps_sandblast that was made by Valve for FA 2.4's retail release. PS_snowblast won't be released with the first RC as noted by the download description citing "FA:S RC 1.X".

FA:S Fashion

Here are a few pictures of a FA:S shirt I created:



27 July 2008

Naota's New Weapon

Recently, team member Naota's posts in this thread have alluded to the presence of a new weapon. It does not currently have a finished model nor, we assume, fire animation or sounds, but it does exist.


The thread originated as a question about the Pancor Jackhammer being in the official release. Team member Hitman had this to say:

"
The Jackhammer is not confirmed as an official weapon for the game. You'll notice we took the link to the weapons page off the main menu, as our list is being heavily revised. If it appeared on there before, please ignore that, as it's not an accurate indication of what is being worked on for RC1 at this point.
"

Our very own Grunt postulated that the Saiga-12K, of which many of us have fond memories, or a Streetsweeper may take its place. While there have been no confirmations or denials as the the Saiga, Streetsweeper or Jackhammer's status, there have been hints of a new, as yet unknown weapon. According to Naota's post here, he is no longer modeling either a Saiga or Streetsweeper, due to unknown difficulties in constructing the unknown weapon. This trouble is so great as to cause him incredible stress, and if he were to continue without finding a better technique, the model might be ruined.

According to Pork Fried Squirrel, another team member and tester, Naota is just lazy.

Team member Inveramsay tells us this about our upcoming new toy:

"
when this nifty little device of death sees the light of the greater public you will lol, I promise.

It's quite amazing dicipline testers and team have for not uttering a word about this object of pure doom clocking in at a very reasonable amount of credits.
"

I managed to get a hold of Naota on IRC, and the only clue he would give me (after much prodding and guessing on my part) is that it is, indeed, a shotgun.


That's all I have for now. More to come, and hopefully an update soon.
-Z

23 July 2008

There is no sekrat.... or is there?

Firstly, I would like to say thanks for reading the blog. It makes the endless hours trolling the forums mean something other than I have no life. XD I hope to bring some cool info to you all.

Without further ado...


I managed to corner Skitz and StandingCow in #firearms about how skills have changed in FA:S. As expected, they aren't allowed to say much, but it was revealed that the skills have more in common with their RC 2.5 variations than in the more recent releases.


Skitz
> they basically function the same, but they actually can affect gameplay in this release...or so it seems.. a few minor changes to some things, but as i said, i can notice a clear difference in gameplay when we test and new skills get acquired... never really seemed that way in old fa


Not earth-shattering news by any means, though it is something to keep us occupied for now. Also, the two shared this comment with our intrepid reporter:


Skitz>
dude, i want to tell you guys so much about the game

like how you can do that one thing?

StandingCow>
good times
Skitz>and that one skill really helps you do that one thing betterer
StandingCow>oh that thing with the new gun? the one with that trigger thing?
Skitz>yea
StandingCow>and the muzzle flash
Skitz>oh, you can reload that one
StandingCow>it has a new sound, it goes bewm
Skitz>rofl

As you can see, there is a great deal of new features on the new weapons. XD

Until later, FA Fans!

-Z

21 July 2008

Forums Down

FAS Forums are currently down due to data base error. They should resume operation as soon as it is sorted out.

UPDATE: The FAS Forums display the following message:
The Firearms: Source forums are being being updated and should be back up soon.
UPDATE II: Forums are back up.

18 July 2008

Construction Is Over

Hitman said in the FAS Forums FAS Forums , "The Jackhammer is not confirmed as an official weapon for the game."


Going by Hitman's statement the Jackhammer may not be in the first RC of FAS. This is not to say that no automatic/semi-auto shotgun won't be included, just that the Jackhammer may not be . Hitman continues and says that the weapon list in FAS is being heavily revised, which is why the weapon page is no longer linked on the official FAS Site. While you can still access the FAS Weapons Page , the information there is no longer accurate to what will be in the first RC.

15 July 2008

Rollin' Like A Wagon Wheel

U4 writes in the FAS Alpha Tester's Forum, "Things have been progressing rather nicely in the bowels of the FAS development team. Some of the testers might be getting a little tired with our current build, though...we've been testing build 0129 since May 24th. In the year and a half or so since I've been testing, we haven't gone this long without an update."

FAS Build 0129 has been tested for over 40 days! In that time, the FAS Team has been working hard and U4 ensures that FAS Build 0130 is going to be huge. Not only are bug fixed and stability issues resolved, but a lot of content will be added as well. Schmung and racer445 made a G3 which U4 says is amazing. Furthermore, more weapons are being replaced with improved models/skins/animations.

Models and bug fixes aren't the only addition to 0130. Maps have had more bug fixes, lighting and tweaks, as well as new features which U4 doesn't get into detail about. Also, new weapons are being introduced (though they may be cut later on). U4 isn't able to say a lot about them, but did say, "I can tell you that we're going to be one of the first games to implement a few of them. "

U4 also mentions the addition of something which he has edited out along with a lot of other information. Going by what FAS has and needs, it is hard to pin down what it is exactly. Possibly a new player model, as the team and testers have commented many times in much needed player models and animations. Additionally, if you replace [Thing that looks good] with player model, the flow of the paragraph is retained, as U4 continues to talk about replacing models after the semi-colon.

14 July 2008

Welcome Zero-Saber!

I would like to welcome Zero-Saber to FASR. The time he spends on the forums and journalism skills are a great addition to FASR. Look forward to great things from him in the upcoming weeks.

12 July 2008

Real Men of Genius

Firearms Presents, Real Men of Genius.
Real Men of Genius .
Today we salute you, Mr. Mortar Spammer in Spawn.
Mr. Mortar Spammer in Spawn .
Others are rushing forward, dodging fire and explosives, risking there for lives to win, but not you, you're at your spawn, using a mortar.
Those other guys are chumps.
Who needs reflexes, tactics, or strategy when you have a 60mm charge of explosive death?
Oh my god, the spam.
Some may say that its easy to sit back, bind every key to use, and face roll across the keyboard for easy kills, but they don't whats its like to get imprints in their forehead.
It really hurts.
So here's to you Mr. Mortar Spammer in Spawn, helping the team, as far away as possible.
You need binoculars.

More FAS, Real Men of Genius, can be found
here.

Probably Nothing

At 2313, the official FAS web site has no link to the weapons page as you can see from this screen shot.


That being said, you are still able to access the weapons page
as seen here. With Hitman's mention of a news update sometime this weekend, it could be possible that the news update reveals more about FAS's arsenal.

Of course, this is all speculation.

08 July 2008

FAS Poetry

Courtesy of Anla-Shok

I recall the battles fought,
the wrath that would-be hackers wrought.
Parachuting to the fight,
epiphanies of swaying sight.

I know the tales of armor's cost,
and weapons found and weapons lost,
of battle cries and silent jabs
with lobster knives or prit stick stabs.

We saw flashbangs earn their sound,
and tripods plant us to the ground.
We saw the fabled ape Menkey
and console chaos from "qwerty"

So listen now and listen well
for AUG use condemns one to Hell!
A real man knows how to face fate:
a suicide-stielhandgranate.

06 July 2008

No Rest For The Wicked

Hitman and Issa have been working hard on the FAS code the past few weekends. Hitman said, "I spent the entirety of last weekend redoing our base style and rearranging all the various buttons and controls, plus programming in new VGUI functions on the backend to support it." He continued to work on the load out screen this weekend, other in game VGUI menus, as well as some bug squashing.

The most notable bug that Hitman and Issa have squashed was one found by the Alpha Testing Team that caused the server to crash after the destruction of the mortar. They have also been working on similar issues and look forward to the next testing session, which Himan says is quite expansive.

Also, look forward to a news update next weekend!

Source

04 July 2008

FAS Quartermaster

Would you like a FAS t-shirt? Mouse pad? Thong? To bad, you can't! Not yet anyway. As interest as FAS grows, so dose the possibility of FAS merchandise. As maggie said, "it would be an exceedingly simple thing to start up a cafepress store and begin selling designs from that."

She explains that FAS merchandise can go to provide funding for the Alpha Testing server as well as funding for the FAS website and forum hosting. The FAS store would most likely start out as a free cafe express store, but could move onto a paid account if there is enough interest. The only thing holding back the possibility of FAS merchandise at the moment is the lack of high quality submissions and someone to run the store.

Source

Requesting Artillery Target...Wait What?

According to AirWolf, there is a way to remove enemy artillery targets in FAS.

"I kinda like taking one of the FAS matches from my kit and setting them on fire. Those little suckers burn up quite quickly."

From his quote, it seems its a standard ability not tied to any skill. Previous versions of FA, artillery targets lasted the whole map, only resetting on push maps after the final capture. This should help any issues of artillery spam relating to FAS, epically with FAS's improved, more effective, artillery system.

Source

27 June 2008

Paradise Found

Inveramsay is working on a tropic map for FAS. Little is known about it and it is still an early work in progress. The map is quite tropical, with a lot of water, palm trees, and ferns. The layout is unknown, but Inveramsay says it would most likely become a territorial control map, as it would be capped to easily as a push map.

You can see more screen shots here.

Legend of the Hidden Temple

Waisted menkey is currently working on a temple map, currently titled ps_templecanyon for FAS. WM is an "official third party mapper" as well as an Alpha Tester. His earlier work, an alpine map which resembled sd_octoberfest was lost after a hard drive failure. The lost, unreleased map represents his second work and shows good technique for someone who has just really started mapping.


His newest work, ps_templecanyon, is in the very early development stage, but the current brush work is interesting, as well as the layout. WM doesn't talk much about the map, but the Aztech like temples would make it look well as a jungle map. Lush tropics with old temples full of Soviet area weapons and communications equipment would make a fun combat environment.

This type of map emphasize that FAS is very open ended when considering its theme. While the map features specific items that are static, how the players perceive the items change. Players can play it as counter terrorist fighting drug lords in South America, or French forces trying to route out a hostile force poised to attack French assets in Western Africa.

See more screen shots of wasited menkeys newest map in the FAS Mapping Forum FAS Mapping Forum.

Sitting On A Park Bench

GBXchuck is recreating Hoboken for FAS. GBXchuck created the original ps_hoboken and ps_hoboken2. In his recreation of this classic thrid party map, GBXchuck is recreating the theme and layout. The map will be transition from a city to an industrial park as a different aesthetic from your traditional urban maps and will play to GBXchuck's strengths of mapping industrial areas.

The current layout of the entire map is currently unknown. GBXchuck states that in earlier versions, he felt the players were boxed in, so is going for a more open feel to hoboken this time around with a combination of indoor and outdoor areas. The attention to detail put into it and quality so far are impressive. The map combines open areas with narrow alleys, seeming to allow various styles of play. It is still early, but the lighting is pretty good. This new ps_hoboken is darker, so should make good use of night vision goggles. Perhaps this can be the FAS version ps_nightstalkers, but playable!

Don't worry if the screen shots look barren, cover and more detailed items will be added in once the layout is solid. Check out his thread in the FAS Mapping Forum for more info and full sized screen shots.

Will the Force Be With Us?

Inveramsay is remaking sd_force.

Source

To that note, it may not be released with the initial RC.

Source

Roland Sings His Song

Hitman reveals some info in his Developer's Journal Developer's Journal .

The screenshots on the map page are mostly the final product for the initial RC. Layout, texturing and HDR is pretty much complete on those maps.

SD_durandal has been play tested as a push map, but its most likely that it will remain a SD map for the initial RC. Durandal has been in circulation since 2000 and has undergone numerous revisions, the most notable the change between 2.5 and 2.7 and its evening/night reincarnations.

Issa is still an active part of the FAS team, working on code - the man behind the curtain, so to speak. The specifics of his actual coding will be reserved for a future news post. Cross your fingers for parachutes!

The FAS web page has been recoded. It is now XHTML compliant, written entirely in notepad and has near perfect W3C compliance. Use Firefox 3.0 for the best experience, because it sure doesn't work well on IE.

It's not Orange Juice, it's Tang.

FAS uses a 90 degree Field of view (FOV) by default, even though it's not on the Orange Box Engine. FOV is more realistic than the default 75 degree FOV that is standard in HL2.

Source

25 June 2008

FAS On Planet Half Life (25 June 2008)

The 24 June 2008 FAS News update is featured on PHL. PHL mentions the updated visuals and added team members. No comments about the PHL post at this time.

24 June 2008

FA:S News (24 Jun 2008)

FAS has taken on two new team members. The first is U4, whom we all ready know, is the FAS Public Relations direction and military advisor. U4 has been working hard with the introduction of the FAS Alpha Tester's Journal where Alpha Testers post info and screen shots about the game.


In addition to U4, FAS has added a new modeler into their fold, Schmung. According to Hitman, Schmung is has all ready completed three models for FAS and is working on more. Schmung's joined the FAS Forums (and presumably the FAS Team) 1 April 2008, so has been averaging out a complete, game ready model every month; a very impressive time to turn out a model, especially with FAS's high standards.


In addition to U4 and Schmung, Hitman states, "we've also hired four new modelers and skinners to serve on our affiliated development crew. They've been hard at work replacing some of our older and less aesthetically pleasing weapons." Hitman goes on to state that these new models and skins will be shown in upcoming news post.

In addition to the new team members, four new screen shots of FAS maps are shown as well: sd_durandal, tc_asylum, tc_rubble, and sd_mine. These maps have been in production for a long time and the time and attention to detail put in them is amazing.

Hitman also invites everyone to check out the forums. Hitman specifically points to "Back In The Day" which is a nostalgia trip for FA Veterans and gives in site to new players of what Firearms, the game and community, was about. Hitman also points out "What Do You Expect?" that is a informal address to the FAS Team in what you want to get out of FAS.