Ah, back again so soon? I told you we'd be making updates more frequently. :)
Today's post is our official showcase of Airwolf's ps_forest. But before I get into that too much, I want to post something that I've been meaning to hit on for a few months and just keep forgetting about - and that would be the interview the current Firearms: Half-Life Team Leader did with our art lead, Shinobi, and I. Actually, it's a little more than an interview; it's an interview with a lot of extra information and a few screenshots. He took a lot of time out of his day putting this together and I'd be doing his efforts a disservice if I didn't make a link for our fans to read. Firearms: Source, Anatomy of a Mod.
Alright, back to Forest. This map has come a long way since the version I first played when Airwolf and the other Incursion (formerly Firearms: Revival) team members merged with us. In fact, this is probably one of the prettiest outdoor maps I can recall playing on the Source engine, ever. And unlike most other outdoor maps in existance, Airwolf's map has actual concealment - and lots of it - without forcing major framerate hits onto people with low end computers. All of this, from the incredible aesthetics and skybox, to the over 100 different varieties of trees and bushes and even the buildings in the map, are 100% Firearms: Source - nothing is taken from anything done by Valve.
Gameplay-wise, Forest offers up something you won't see in any other map we have, and probably won't find in any other mod out there for the Source engine. And that's the concealment factor. With the level of undergrowth, there's enough concealment available that sneaky players can literally slip by the enemy's front lines either to hit objectives in the rear, or more commonly, to get behind enemy players and silently take them out with knives and silenced weapons. This kind of sneaky, stealthy play also lends itself to terrifying, adrenaline-rushing bouts with knife-wielding maniacs chasing you through the bushes as you desperately try to flee. Combined with over a year's worth of route and chokepoint tweaking, exploit busting, and general flow enhancements, Forest's well-refined gameplay combines with the concealment factor to offer an awesomely unique map. I suspect Forest will end up being a true classic of the FA series and my hat is off to Airwolf for all the work he has put into it.
Like last time, there's always the interesting tester commentary on the map that we just had to post for your... entertainment. With regard to this first quote, Forest features a lily pond in the middle of the map, and in the center there's a raised platform with the center flag. Evil players like to hide in the water and use knives (since guns can't fire underwater) to murder people as they make their way towards the objective. Here's what our very own Naota had to say:
"Sorry, friend. You can't scream without any air. I imagined what it must seem like to the fools up above, trading leaden death carelessly and impartially. Where was the fun in that? Like a school of dead fish floating up after some great catastrophe, one by one the bodies bobbed up around the solitary platform, spilling crimson from open necks, backs, whatever I thought would be interesting. They were probably mortified up there in the sunshine, watching comrades and friends wash up one by one like so much trash.
Not me, I have a sense of humour, and I have a knife. I couldn't stop laughing at the thought. Twelve inches of solidified death, blessed by the devil himself. The tool of the first murder, and Cain would be proud. They said that I was insane, that I was making a mistake by dropping my rifle. They were wrong.
This is my world, and your guns don't work here."
Naota also volunteered to write the majority of our About Page, which I updated a few days ago and I highly recommend everyone take a look at. Tester Bobo The Clown writes:
"It's kind of like when you were little, and your parents took you to the park and you saw that little bunny hop away under the bushes and you chased it and then got lost so you ran around terrified until someone found you. It's like that except the people who find you have guns. And there's no happy ending. It's a lot like that. With more blood."
FAS Military advisor and OIF veteran TheUltra4sshole:
"... Just as much fun as sniping is running around with a shotgun, sprinting from one bush or rock to the next, making your way to the opposing team's side of the pond so you can sneak up behind them and give them a dome full of 00 buck. After your cover's blown and the other team knows your tricks, just switch to your knife, dive in, and perforate anyone who tries to come after you or the middle point."
From the action shots you see pictured above, take note of the Beretta 92FS and G36C. Both are top notch models with awesome animation jobs. Special thanks to Thisismyname09 for the 92FS animations. We hope to be bringing you more of that real soon.
If you happen to be a talented developer and are interested in being a part of the team, please don't hesitate to contact me. We are especially interested in character modelers and character animators, but if you don't happen to have those skills, don't let that turn you away. We have plenty of room for anyone who thinks they can positively contribute.