My part in Cat-Life has always been fairly administrative. I run the website and kept the project around until BiGToM was ready to assemble his team. After that, I write news posts, maintain the Cat-Life page and ModDB profiles, and offer suggestions/any other aid that I need to provide.
However, with the lack of a full-time coder and the likelihood that the Open Beta would be basically a map pack with some new sounds and such details, I have also assumed the role of temporary coder.
I re-installed my old Visual Studio 6 for the first time in years and found out just how rusty my C++ has become. Even so, I tracked down a few tutorials and toyed with the code, creating some cheap and ugly hacks to help give the game a better change to game play.
Even so, there is more work to be done and we really need a good coder to clean up my ugly mess. You see, I've done all that I can without taking more time to refresh my C++ and study the GoldSource code to truly understand the details. I have some 20 or so projects around the BWL site that I have put off for a few nights of coding, and even then I have used more time than I would have preferred.
I am sending my current work to BiGToM. The code features wall jumping, wall climbing (modified wall jumps), 2 attacks, a dash button with short stamina bar, simple dark vision, and spawn with long-jump.
The attacks are weaker. The cat makes 50% less noise for monsters to hear. Some monsters have been changed to see the player as less of a threat and the houndeyes are now predators and will attack headcrabs and the cat alike.
Unfortunately, there are known bugs. Sometimes, the attacks can loop unexpectedly making them very potent in that instant. Sometimes hit detection on dead bodies is a little off. The Enhanced IR Night Vision Goggle idea I planned to use for DarkVision wasn't very good. I considered using it for a "catnip" enhanced vision mode pick-up, but that didn't really work either, so that feature was disabled.
DarkVision works nicely, but can sometimes stop the player briefly after level change. Wall climbing works wonderfully, but is also limitless. It's not really a bug, but as long as you are on a wall, you can go up as high on that wall as you like. We plan to use clip brushes to limit players in-game.
Overall, playing this new code has been a lot of fun even with the bugs. Players will need a replacement set of dll's in order to play the original Half-Life as the hull changes in Cat-Life require custom hulls. Basically, Cat-Life works with one set of dlls and playing regular Half-Life with the cat code will require a replacement set of dlls. I plan to offer the over-writing dlls as a separate download.
In-game, much of the game play will have changed. You will need to run for your life more often then stand and fight. The pace is considerably faster and more hectic, yet a fairly experienced player will be able to really play around and make use of the new code for some fun battles.
Here is a short video for your viewing pleasure.