Action Half Life 2 is designed to simulate the experience of being in an Action movie. Movies like Hard Boiled, Face Off, and Die Hard are the inspiration for AHL. AHL2 is AHL reborn on Source engine.
In the previous post on 1 January 2015 we announced that 2015 will see the release of Action Half-Life 2 version 3. While writing this post we are clearly heading towards the end of 2015, though we did not release the game yet. That begs the question: is the Ministry of Action just like any other given ministry (read: a bunch of liars)? Most certainly not. So here is an honest status update.
Since quite a few months the code is done, got tested thoroughly and works as it should. We got new features, new maps, new artwork and new models. So why is it that we did not release AHL2v3 yet? First, you may have noticed that the “new …” list you just read does not feature “new sounds”. We went with old AHL1 and HL2DM sounds for AHL2v1 and AHL2v2 but always wanted to change that for AHL2v3. We created several tasks for that in our Trac system and believe it or not, some of them were created a solid 4 years ago. Shortly after creating those tickets our team was joined by a new member to work on all the sounds we wanted to replace. Over the last 3+ years some sounds got updated but the vast majority remains unchanged to date. We are not playing the blame game here, espcially since the slow sound updates were not a problem for a long time, as code development (which is my responsibility) took particularly long as well. As the work on artwork, models, anims, maps and code was nearing its completion, the situation for the sounds did not improve. We just do not want to release the new version without new sounds, so this is one reason why you have not seen a release yet. Luckily we were recently joined by Tom Wright of Tom Wright Sound. He is busy finishing the sound work, but it will still take some time.
Unfortunately, there is also another reason. We are now based on Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer. That is a good thing in general, as it comes with nice additions like Linux and Mac OS clients. The downside of it is as follows. For some time now, the game is haunted by the occasional quit to the main menu with a message box saying “Missing client entity: “. We have not been able to track that down to our code and assumed an engine issue. It seems like this assumption is right, as it happens way less often since the last update to the SDK code by Valve. However, it is not completely gone and with the most recent SDK code you would be required to opt in to the beta “beta_test” for Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer. Otherwise the game will simply crash on startup. That is, we are left with one annoying issue we cannot fix and some prerequisites to even run the game. A game that boots you back into the main menu every now and then is just no fun. Plus, even though it literally takes just seven clicks to opt in to the beta_test beta, this is most likely too much hassle for some, if not most of you.
Eventually all sounds will be updated. However, there is no date for another SDK code update which may fix the engine issue and for when the beta_test branch becomes the main release for Source SDK 2013 Base Multiplayer. Until then, we cannot release Action Half-Life 2 version 3, though we definitely wanted it to see the light of day this year.
So that’s it for today. As always: stay tuned for further updates.
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