Firearms: Source – Developer Log

About two and a half months ago I agreed to come back to the FA:S team, to help sort out the state of things, get a programmer back into the ranks and help shove the project out the door. The first few weeks were pretty good, exploratory research and all this, but as you may have guessed – much has changed and of those things that have changed I am not happy with much of it. Part of the problem of having closed doors is that no-one sees in, no one can comment and those that are inside get a jaded view of things.

Firearms is no outlier in that regard.

Over the last 148 weeks there were many plans, many ideas and many other implementations that lead the team to its current state, most of which has been for not. The game has evolved into another silly CounterStrike clone, albeit with more accurately animated weaponry and push gameplay. They also went through a gungame phase where the project took a wild bend for the comically tragic.

When Projects get this old, Firearms has been in development on the Source engine for nearly 10 years under many different managers and teams, so it has had a number of incarnations that have come and gone, each slowly pulling away from the original. To be quite frank, it feels like the first time I played Halo 2, where the health/shield regen thing became the norm to speed up combat and get people to use cover. The shock to the system has been tough to understand but it is not difficult to see why.

Many players may be aware of the news posts and updated UI screenshots and such along the way, but very few people played it that were not testers, and when you have the same 30 people playing a game over and over without the target audience getting ahold of it, the gradual changes to damage values and hit box multipliers start to add up.

We are currently narrowing in on a releasable state, with guidance from Vinnie, myself and a couple other key members, but the technical front is always going to need work. Our release is going to be used to test and see who is interested, hopefully a lot of people, hopefully they will forgive our tardiness.

HL2 Ragdoll fix

Source programming is hard enough without the abundance of crazy bugs already existing in the code that exist without your having ever done anything. One such bug is found when you try to join a game already in progress, and its a real piece of work. Your client spawns ~ 40-400 ragdolls before even opening up the MOTD notice, leading to a full stop of all possible interaction. Its a real irritating situation and it was bringing Firearms: Source to a halt server joining. .


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June: No Facebook

The USP MatchIt looks like i may be moving back to Source to help out the FA:S team. As many of you may already know, many of the games that i have worked on over the last decade have been inspired by the work done on FireArms (FA). One of the developers that took part in that project, a guy nick named Maz0r, is someone I’ve idolized for a long time.

He is heading up the programming of FA:S now and i will be working with him =D

Hopefully i wont let him down. =)

I have also found that i am far too interested in my friends events and bullshit on facebook, so in an effort to weed that out of myself im going to be cutting back. June is cold turkey month. I am blocking the website from my browser and redirecting all requests to my blog. Hopefully ill be able to get back to a respectable level of development.

Currently my projects for the summer include updating the VBT plugin, adding a new plugin revolving around libraries and books being read. I am also working on getting resources together for the rewrite of Project White. One good Samaritan has already begun the rewrite of the cover and third person camera.

If all works out, ill also be working on FA:S and helping out on that project. I haven’t touched Source in a while (3 years) but i got it all set up again last night, so things are moving again. Hopefully ill be comfortable as i used to be this week. The only complication i can think of is my Screenwriting class requiring my time. All of my pages (Some 100 pages or so) are due on June 8th. It will be quite difficult, but i think i can make it. I’ve scrapped my scene list a few times, and revised entire segments of it

Life may allow me to get things straight, but it may not. Only time will tell.