We hit a little blip mid March where productivity dipped a little but in the last two weeks lots of amazing things have happened. Last month I told you about some work mXed had done, but didn't go into specifics. What he had done was a bunch of stuff for the first major patch after release, but they were so awesome we have brought some of them early into 1.0. One by necessity and the other because we thought why not?!
The first is the Thompson M1928A1. It is a beast, lets get that clear, with a much higher rate of fire than the other two SMG's you really don't want to get caught in its path. We brought this into an earlier release because technically we were breaking the laws of history by using the Sten in a few maps, it wasn't invented/supplied till 1942 and we have some earlier maps than that. Porc, one of our testers, has compiled a short video showing the rampage it can cause:
The guns certainly aren't clones of each other in this mod but both SMG's in the maps have their pro's and con's which balance them out nicely. The Thompson will be available as a default Assault Class choice in all maps prior to 1942 and those defined as being in the Mediterranean conflict for a bit longer. For those that don't have the time for a video, here's a pair of shots showing the weapon in haj_mercury and haj_archery.
The eagle eyed viewers will notice something different about the objectives in Archery, for it is no longer an Attack/Defend map. SteveUK implemented our Destroy gamemode this week and we've been testing it out in a few maps to much amusement. This again was meant for 1.1 but seeing as it was essentially only relying on art assets we finished it off there and then. It's an assortment of various styles of gameplay from other games/mods but its one we feel works best. You spawn with no TNT and have to go to certain 'TNT dispensers', for lack of a better phrase, to get your TNT. Then instead of having a pre-defined place to attach the TNT to, you have a general area allowing sneaky placements. We ended up with testers sticking the TNT to the underside of tables, the axles of trucks etc all in an attempt to fox the defenders who have 30 seconds or so to defuse the TNT. Great fun and ensure a bit of change each round. We'll hopefully show that off next month.
Lastly a short round up of what else has been going on; Jed finally found the time to implement his new helmet system. Visually it's not much different to the old system but is infinitely more flexible and allows the potential for players to select their head gear in the future. At the very least we don't have to compile the player models every time we want to add a new helmet!
The maps are being given a new beauty pass along with final bug checks, Spine has been hard at work creating some lovely (non boring generic hl2) detail sprites for the grass in our maps. I think you'll agree it is a vast improvement:
Two of our testers, MrGrubby and sli-woody, have been hard at work making their own maps for Ham and Jam and both stand a good chance of becoming official. If they'll let us we'll show some images of them soon but both have radically different settings and playstyles. If they were to make the first release we could be on for at least 7 maps on release day with at least 3 different gameplay modes.
More as always next month!