16 June 2009


PS_river, a FA classic, has been remade by FAS team leader, Shinobi. The map looks like the 2.6+ version with the additional pass behind the waterfall and possible alcove over looking the river capture point. This map will not be included as an official map with the release of FAS due to it's lack of polish that you see in other FAS maps. That isn't to say you will never play it, ps_river, along with a slew of other maps that aren't up to par will be released as a map pack sometime after the first release. Maybe with more time and fan out cry, the map will be included as an official map with future RCs.

15 June 2009

Bounding Boxes and Prone

The original Firearms had a unique prone system: going prone was slow, but with the skill Battle Field Agility, it was faster. Later versions changed this up some, making the standard prone faster and BFA only slightly more so. Another problem with prone in older versions is that the bounding boxes - the boxes that dictate where your character "collides" with the world - were very inaccurate. Players who were prone could not enter crawl spaces that they could while crouched, nor pass though narrow passages that they could while crouched or standing.

While FAS is going back to the older version of Firearms in terms of game play and "feel", the prone system is vastly updated, according to Hitman. The speed of going prone is fast to reflect the game play. It makes little sense for people to be sprinting around, jumping over sandbags and hurling grenades to be unable to quickly go prone. Additionally, the bounding boxes of prone are more accurate, reflecting character's real height: while prone, you are able to go under objects that you couldn't go under while crouched (but this still needs some more testing before release).

The fate of BFA is somewhat in question with the quick prone and lack of stamina drain while moving which were the two of the three main reasons for BFA in previous RCs; the last being able to fall at great distances without breaking your leg. As FAS does not have broken legs implemented yet, BFA as a unique skill seems unlikely.

Running out of Charlemagne References

Hitman has updated his developer's journal with a daily log of FAS updates. Today's project was flash bang code; no longer can you cheese the system and stand over flash bangs and become immune to the blinding effect.

Additionally, FAS has a unique flash bang variable for friendly fire. By default, flash bangs will not blind team mates with friendly fire off; even when on, team mates are immune to the flash bang effect (of course the thrower is effected as well for both settings). However, for those wishing for a more realistic setting, server admins can change it so flash bangs effect both enemies and team mates alike. The reason for these settings is to prevent griefing, stopping jerks from blinding their own team.

The Best For Last

The Sako, M60 and M82, some of the last weapons to be featured in a FAS update may be featured in the next two weeks or so, according to Inveramsay. Animations and skinning are at various stages on each models Hitman said. Naota confirms that the reason for the delays - at least for the Sako - is that it has very dull textures that are hard to make remarkable.

Hit F10 for Parachutes

Parachutes, a staple of Firearms, will not be in the initial release of FAS, but later releases?

"It's gotten enough talk among the developers that I think it's pretty much a given. Nobody has shot it down and all the devs want to see chutes someday," Hitman said. With player models done and people to do animations, the inclusion of parachutes at some point is all but confirmed.


When asked about the list of maps on the FAS homepage, Hitman confirmed that the list present is indeed accurate (to the best of his knowledge). Hitman is unsure on the status of sd_durandal as he is reworking the map so that the "entire map...looks more realistic and uses far less CSS content."

Content that he showed the team has been met with acclaim, but don't expect for you to see it soon as most of Hitman's contribution to the mod is with code at the moment.

However, Shinobi decides what maps will make it in for the release, not Hitman and as it stands now, sd_durandal is in.

It is also important to note that DysPatch is currently the only dedicated mapper on FAS now that AirWolf is gone, undertone is inactive, Shinobi is focusing on artwork and team leadership and Hitman coding. So if you like any FAS map at release, be sure to thank the one man mapper, DysPatch.

Would You Like To Know More?

Want more information about FAS? Just ask!

"If you go to our moddb page, you'll see team members answering questions when one comes up...A lot of our development work happens at a rapid pace and so constantly keeping the community up-to-date is difficult," Hitman said.

He continues with saying that the FAS team likes to answer questions because it is enjoyable when people take interest in what they are doing.

Developer Notes

The process to make a mod is a long, tedious task. Much of it is a learning experience; most mod teams learn and relearn techniques, seeing what works and what doesn't, trying new things while abandoning others. FAS is no different. Talks in the FAS forum allude to a FAS post modem after the first release candidate.

Schmung said he wouldn't mind writing a forum post or two about the development of FAS which Shinobi agreed it would be a good idea.

One Unit

FAS player models have their respective team colors as patches on their shoulder pockets, just like real military uniforms. This would be an ideal spot to put custom unit patches for added realism or for clan patches. However, this feature is not planned and will not be in the first RC, according to DysPatch.

13 June 2009

Tweet Tweet

FAS has a Twitter page that you can find here.

Unlike other messaging mediums, Twitter is updated at a few times every day.

07 June 2009

Engine Limits

If you noticed a few clipping issues with the weapons and player models in the lastest news update, this is more of an engine limit than a technical one. According to Oelund, "buttstock clipping is almost unavoidable because the animations are done in 9 way blending." Nine way blending is nine animations blended to show the direction the player is facing. This allows more more natrual animations most of the time, but some times the animations are blended half between two animations such as when you look straight up, down, ext.

Oelund states this is not a big problem with most weapons, but a weapon like the M4 with a small stock it is more noticable. The alternative is to, "move the gun away from the shoulder so that its not in direct contact at any time, though that would also look weird."

Je ne sais quoi

If you wonder what gives the FAS player models their "look" it is because of next generation techniques such as sculpting, said StealthSilver.

Two Heads Are Better Than One

The red player models are great, but are the blue player models carbon copies with a new skin? Not according to Hitman. "Brand new model. They will look similar, but the shapes are actually a good bit different," Hitman said. Besides some differences in the chest rig and a few other details, the most important change is the different shape of the helmet. The change between the two team's helmets is important because it allows players to recognize what team a player is from a difference. As Hitman said, "nobody looks at chest or knees in combat" but at the head and at a distance.

Total Global Saturation

PFS commented on the 6 June News Post that FAS is due for a huge media blitz leading to the release of FAS. The scope of PFS comments regarding John Philips (from IGN) makes it seem any FAS media push will be much larger than just a simple internet campaign with a few banner adds. PFS expects that the IGN network "is going to run a full week's special on everything Firearms," which include, "interviews, screens and the list goes on."

FAS NEWS (7 JUNE 2009)

FAS has released screen shots of the new red player model. This model was created by Schmung, while Shinobi weighted it to Christian's animations and StealthSilver. The new animations no only include the basics of running, shooting, reloading, ext, but also prone. All animations are unique to to FAS and nothing is taken from Valve.

In addition to player models, new high quality world models of the weapons has been compiled. These world models feature the ablity for the magazine to be detached while reloading. All reloading sequences and most animations in general have been done by previous FA modeling veteran and military expert Christian Oelud with input from the FAS military adviser TheUltra4sshole.

Not only have models undergone improvements, but maps have as well. TC_rubble has been revised with a more interesting sky box, custom textures and better geometry. As mentioned earlier, a new TC point has been added to balance the map to improve the flow.