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?
but snowblast sounds silly
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


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.


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.