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


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.


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.


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.