On this day in 1999, two months after the release of Half-Life, I posted the first public version of the Sven Co-op mod to the Atomic Half-Life fan site. Now, seventeen years, thousands of custom maps, and millions of downloads later, Sven Co-op is about to be released on Steam as a stand-alone game.
Sven Co-op will be available to download for the bargain price of USD$0 this Friday, the 22nd of January! All donors past and present will keep their bonus features in the Steam version.
The stand-alone game includes many hundreds of features, fixes and improvements, as well as new maps and content. Valve have also kindly allowed us to include their original Half-Life campaign free of charge, playable cooperatively even by people who don't own the original game! New features have allowed the co-op version of the storyline maps to be reworked in a way that stays true to the original game while remaining challenging for multiple players.
Additionally, thanks to Valve providing us with a Goldsrc license, the team had been able to update the engine itself to allow Sven Co-op and its maps to surpass the limitations of standard mods. The Steam release will also allow for easy installation, frequent iterative updates, and eventual Steam Workshop support.
I wasn't closely involved in 5.0's development, but I remain in proud awe of the team's dedication and the countless hours of work put into accomplishing this Steam release. Ever since the first custom map (GargHunt) was created for version 1.0, Sven Co-op has also been a community-driven project. The SC team and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the mappers, artists, server ops, donors, and others without whom we would never have come this far. We hope the new Sven Co-op SDK, scripting language, updated level editor and server tools will be of use to many of you as you continue to create endless imaginative content and generally keep the community running!
This 5.0 release is dedicated to Brent "BackAssward" Holowka, who left development and more important matters against his own will on October 9th, 2015. He is sorely missed.