JB Revival Update #9:
WELL HELLO AGAIN. It’s time for our never-on-time monthly update ! ! I’m sure some of you are more interested in just hearing about release date news at this point (spoiler alert - not QUITE ready to announce it just yet, but new milestones have been reached), so jump to the end for all the relevant news there. Otherwise, for everyone else, here’s a big FAT roundup of everything we’ve been up to over the last year! ENJOY
- Head Hunt
In our ongoing struggle against the Source engine menace, our lead programmer, Zero, elected to try his hand at another simple gamemode as a fun distraction. I know starting a new gamemode at this stage may raise some eyebrows, but this was something literally knocked out in a day and for the sake of keeping our lead programmer sane, so try not to worry about it too much.
This gamemode is another staple of the FPS genre - it’s a skull collector gamemode. Players drop 1 skull + whatever skulls they collected themselves. This means the longer the round goes on, the more skulls will start getting combined and dropped throughout the map. Whoever has the most by the end of the round, WINS.
Chanoc put together some fancy new skull models that we’ve just added, which will be serving as tiers worth different amounts of points each. Check them out below:
Lots more weapon models have been made, and still more to come before we get to our release build.
- Bounce grenade, by Atomic -
Zero cooked up an impact grenade awhile back, and then opted to try a grenade with the opposite behavior - it just bounces endlessly until it hits someone. Can’t go wrong with that.
- Chaff + smoke grenades, by Atomic - For use in our more serious SvT gamemode. Chaff disables tripmines silently, and smoke grenades does, well, what you’d expect.
- Flashbang, by Atomic - Also for use in our more serious SvT gamemode. Can also probably guess what this does.
- Pill grenade, by Atomic - our take on the Spy grenade from TFC. Functions the same as a hallucinogen inducing area-denial weapon.
- Burst Pistol, by Atomic - This and the next entry are part of our continued goal of remaking some of the really old weapon models in our game. Left click does a single shot, right click does a quick 3-round burst.
- SVDK, by Atomic - Another proper remake, this is used primarily in our SvT gamemode by the terrorist team. Creates a visible beam of light when zoomed through, to help Sneak’s avoid sniper fire.
- Sword, by Chanoc - it’s a SWORD. Conceived for our Melee weapon, we’re also batting around ideas to just make it into a standalone weapon at some point.
- Melee weapon, by Chanoc -
As you might recall, we discussed last time around a "melee weapon", which uses a random model each time, as a way to spruce up our "melee only" mutator. Chanoc's still been hard at work cooking up lots of new entries for it. Such as this… thing.
- Overhauled cash, by Chanoc and Lain - - Chanoc went ahead and totally redid our cash model, including fancy new animations, and sporting a texture by Lain. Loadsamoney etc etc
Ellie’s been hard at work making new viewmodel arms for all the player models.
First up are more female arms variants, and sleeved suit variants! Creating a simple base arm, Ellie was able to mix and match sleeves for better suiting colorable viewmodels for a whole range of playermodels.
The generic floating gloves got a remake for nicer looking textures! These are used on some of our more odder playermodels without arms and hands so you have something to look at in first person. Also comes in a “toon” outline variant, thanks to a new shader cooked up by Zero
The shader also can be applied to player models as well
- CREEP, by Chanoc - (mildly NSFW so here’s a link instead) - In what is now his 4th iteration, chanoc has again remade the ‘Creep’ player model. Why? I don’t know, but we’ve learned not to question it..
- JB-Chan, by Chanoc - You wanted anime, you got it. Made at the request of our level designer, Junior
- Purple dank man, by Chanoc - A sort of mascot for our Purple Dank in-game company. Bet you can’t guess what he’s a parody of...
- Cactus, by Ellie - “Potted plant” was an idea that’s been knocked around for awhile, super glad to see it finally a thing. It also hobbles around on the pot when running! It has custom footstep noises for accurate plant pot walking, 2 skins with coloring variants and bodygrouped sunglasses!
- Ivan, by Ellie - It’s Ivan the space biker! Pretty obligatory for a project focused so heavily on HL1 stuff.
- HL1DM Scientist + Zombie, by Ellie - If you didn’t already know, HL1 used different models for the Zombie and Scientist DM player models. So, Ellie went ahead and ported them over as well! Includes proper nearest neighbour textures for OG accuracy too!
- HL1 Civilian Scientist, by Ellie - Taken from Blue Shift, it’s another version of the HL1 scientist! Has all 4 scientist variants as bodygroups for extra customization and includes two skins for coloring variance Ported and made colorable by Ellie
- Builder Bear remake, by Ellie - Ellie also remade one of her earlier player models, Builder Bear! It’s been re-rigged, and retextured to improve upon it’s older look
- Tropical Snowman + snowman updates, by Ellie - Ellie’s also added a new snowman variant, the Summer Snowman! It’s a tropical beachy version of the snowman featuring a whole load of optional bodygroups for accessories all which are currently randomized ingame meaning a different look each game! Features extensive jigglebones, custom “melting” particles and multiple skins for different amounts of coloring on accessories! The original winter snowman got a matching upgrade too, with randomized hot chocolate mug heads, marshmallows (with jigglebones), scarves and even more hats!
- Cat Assassin rework, by Ellie - - Ellie’s redone the Cat assassin player model almost entirely, giving it a much better looking suit, a new cat model, multiple suit skins for color variance and most importantly, randomized sunglasses
- Ellie’s also been experimenting with other unusual HL1 monsters as player models. There’s a lot of fun ideas being tossed around right now, we’ll see where they all lead!
- Internet, by MKUltra
I’ll just let the mapper explain these two awesome and massive maps: “Set 30 or so years after jb_nointernet, what once was a small data center on the moon has now been eaten by a sprawling metropolis known simply as “5”. The sprawling metropolis of the United Citizens of the Moon never sleeps and holds over 300,000,000 people through the use of various megastructures which are dotted around the city. The area of the city where the map takes place has been cordoned off into a warzone for the players along with the underground water storage and treatment facilities which are connected to the district. Walkways and ladders have been dotted around the area promoting vertical access, turning the map into a playground for sniper rifle enthusiasts. If your legs get tired from all the dodging bullets, then players can enjoy a scenic and relaxing ride on the Metro. Just make sure you don’t get in front of the train.”
- No Internet, by MKUltra
“Originally set in a data center on the moon, jb_nointernet is a moonbase along the line which separates the dark side of the moon from the lit side. It is a medium sized
complex which has been turned into a warzone for the players. The various corridors and rooms which once held server equipment and other technologies are now areas for extreme combat.Players can navigate around tunnels below the map as well as on the roofs above. There are also secrets to be discovered.”
- CrossfireerifssorC by Missi and postal -
I got inspired by some recent escapades by a certain Stephen who’s been busy making strange versions of crossfire for HL1DM, and with help from Missi, I put together an idea for one that’s just two vertically mirrored crossfires right on top of each other. Ladders and jumppads are scattered everywhere (and mirrored between both sides!), and allow for easy navigation through the twisted hellscape. It’s one of those ideas that sounds really dumb, but works out surprisingly well in testing. Definitely a keeper.
- Epicenter by Nask -
Another TFC remake (not a port ! rebuilt from scratch 1:1 to allow for easy editing, as are all our TFC maps)! This is a reverse CTF map where you take a flag into the enemy teams APC.
- Ravelin by Osac and Nask -
Yet ANOTHER TFC remake ! This one is also a reverse CTF map where you take a flag into the enemy's capture point. It utilizes generators and slow opening capture-point doors to keep things fresh.
- Flagrun, by Junior - Getting deja vu? Yeah, we’ve shown off this map in a previous update, but that was actually just a straight port, suffering from all the port-related issues we’ve mentioned above. It had strange black spots all over it (not even kidding) and we couldn’t edit it any, so Junior went ahead and fully remade it! GOOD ! But he'll also be cleaning it up a bit - giving it proper rooftops, and maybe also tweaking the layout a tad. We'll see what works best.
- Residue Processing finale by Nask -
Now this was a massive undertaking. Nask had already pulled off a great first part of the chapter, shown in a previous update. For the finale, he really went all out. We brainstormed some ideas together and came up with a general plan - the idea is to shut off all the components powering the mega-furnace, so you can safely pass through it to escape the factory. Each switch is located in a unique area featuring some sort of movement puzzle that you’ll need to get past. Follow the pipes and signs to find your way, and try (and fail) to not die along the way!
- Valley by Missi -
An absolutely massive map by Missi, this depicts a city in the midst of an alien invasion. An alien airstrike can even be called down if you can find the hidden radio.
- Estate updates by Chanoc and Craty -
Chanoc’s been busy giving Estate a facelift. The exterior of the building was heavily reworked, and various tweaks were changed to the general look of the map. A new secret area was also added, but good luck finding it.
- Sky Temple updates, by Nask -
Making a beautiful map even more awesome, Nask added a few more special events for KOTH mode at the end of BR rounds.
- Miniroyale updates, by LordDz -
LordDz’s been hard at work getting the various minigame rooms textured, adding more minigames to play, and just overall ironing out any issues noted in tests.
Gunman Chronicles - Mayan map:
Well it only took 3 years nearly to the DAY, but we’re finally here - The Gunman Mayan map is finished and tested. Let’s start with just getting the list of credits out of the way.
Jaycie gave us the map source files
postal designed the layout and gimmicks
Missi started assembling a few rooms
Evirstar filled in the rest of the rooms
Housemaster optimized it
Nask adjusted, finalized, polished, and added in tons of fun stuff to finish the map itself
Slartibarty helped rip the npcs, set up ragdolls, code a system to make them ragdoll or use death animation based on killshot damage, and made dinobird NPCs.
Jill did NPC code for gators and raptors
Thirteen helped tweak the raptor NPC's
Zero helped with issues with the raptors and also general nextbot problems
Ott made extended loops from the original Gunman OST
Stiffy360 rigged new Gunman player models
Ellie set-up coloring for the new player models
Chanoc made some blood textures for the map
Yeah it was a hell of a team effort.
And now a tad more detail - Gunman Chronicles is a pretty legendary game in the Gold Source universe. It’s one of the very few commercially sold Gold Source game not made by Valve (I only even know of one other), with the strangest mixing of scifi and western tropes. But more than that it’s an absolute blast to play, so we def had to pay tribute to it. The game itself consists of 4 different locations for players to explore, and for this map the focus is on the first area: The Mayan ruins.
This entire endeavor was only possible because Jaycie acquired source files years from one of the original developers. Sadly, the only source files to remain are sources to the map files for the E3 build of Gunman Chronicles. This version of the Mayan chapter is quite different from the final release build, coming in at nearly double the size (and featuring many less polished areas). But still, I went through it and picked out areas that seemed interesting for a DM map (even if they aren’t in the final release), and then assembled them in a way that seemed most interesting. The Mayan chapter is essentially built around 3 themes: Forest/ruins, Catacombs, and the lava regions. I figured I'd keep the door open for more maps around this chapter, and just focused on the forest/ruins. Once I had the layout sorted, the map began the years-long journey of being tossed back and forth between various devs, who worked with me to get everything just right.
Every great map needs a good gimmick tho, something more than just pretty aesthetics and a fun layout, and this map is no exception. When KOTH mode is started at the end of a BR round, or a mutator is selected in DM/TDM, the map will be flooded with custom made Nextbot-powered dinosaur NPCs of the ones you’d encounter in these areas within Gunman Chronicles. Raptors big and small, and even gators, will all fill the map and essentially serve as a deadly obstacle course as you run to the BR zone, or try to survive the mutators in DM/TDM. Other non-hostile NPC’s can be found scattered around the map as well, and there's LOTS of other interactables/surprises hidden throughout the map.
But enough talk, here’s a video of our playtest:
There's a lot to talk about in this map, but to keep this at least somewhat short, I'll just focus on one of my favorite rooms: the jumpscare spot. Nask and I had pages and pages of discussion for how to set up a jumpscare room using a fun raptor animation present in the original Gunman Chronicles. It took quite a while to get it just right, but seeing the end result in action was absolutely glorious:
Oh, and before someone asks why we’re working on this during the final release push - nearly all the work here was done YEARS ago, it’s just only recently someone sorted the last blocking issue between the Nextbot code and Linux dedicated servers, allowing us to finally test it. So don’t worry ! Our focus is still on finishing the release build !
Gunman Chronicles: Rust
But Mayan wasn’t the only map we’ve cooked up - Nask also put together this massive map all on his own, again using the source files provided by Jaycie.
This map features a passing train, throwable crates, a meteor landing event, and a drive-by from the mech-heli which will attempt to shoot at any nearby players. WAY more is still planned for this, but even with what we have right now it’s still an absolute blast to play.
Next up we’ll be looking at something for the Western theme, but that will likely have to wait until after the public release build.
One of our absolute biggest tasks in our push towards the release build has been the development of a totally custom rig+animation set. Previously, we were using a cobbled together and way-too-large to feasibly work with animation set built from countless Valve games. It was HUGE and any attempt to even add more to it just resulted in catastrophic failure. Since we now have the manpower to do our own proper animations, it was decided to finally rip the bandaid off and start fresh. This process was done in collaboration with the Compucolor Wondersquad team, who lent us their Source expertise on ensuring THIS attempt at animations/rigging would be done right and as fancy as possible (for example, proper animation blending). The rig is built and Sinfect is currently constructing the animations themselves, and we’ve now started re-rigging all the player models on this new rig. It’s all a huge pain, but something we just can’t avoid anymore due to the fact that the old set-up just simply broke. Once this is all set though, we’ll be able to really go wild with new, fancier, EASY TO WORK WITH, and totally custom animations!
Housemaster, as always, has been hard at work on finalizing particle effects for the game. His latest work has been some further work on new animated textures replacing more of valves borrowed effects, and beginning of over the top cinematic explosions:
Some quick new blood decals for more gore and variety - By Housemaster
- The entity (edicts) limit was raised by 32x! A game this hectic obviously needed a higher entity count to prevent unsightly “NO FREE EDICTS” crashes, and Zero has managed to pull it off. May still get laggy if you try anything really dumb lol, but hey you at least won’t crash anymore !
- Skull gibs easter egg from HL1 - Original HL1 has a gimmick where skull gibs have a slight chance to be launched into your face. We brought that back here. Because why not !
- Load times stuff - Load times are likely going to be a focus of ours for a while, but we’ve made some massive strides in their improvement. Some levels that would take literally several minutes to load, can now be loaded in mere seconds. Next step will be testing again after VPK packing, and then if that doesn’t improve things enough, we’ll experiment with a texture-streaming system one of our programmers built as an emergency backup solution.
- Screensaver mutator. Our pool of battle royale mutators grows ever larger. The latest simulates a DVD screensaver, wherein your screen is black and a small ‘window’ you can look through bounces around the screen. Naturally this makes navigation and aiming an incredible challenge, but damn if it isn’t funny as hell watching everyone stumble over themselves trying to find each other.
SO, where do things stand exactly? Well, back in April, shortly after we finally got the CSGO port in a more stable spot, we held some internal discussions and tried to figure out when we might be able to release. We carefully reviewed our task-list pages and confirmed everything we felt should be in the release build vs add in post-release patches, and then settled on a specific (and significant!) date to try and reasonably aim for. We’ve been steadily working towards getting everything ready by that date ever since. We’ve certainly made some massive progress on this front - All gamemodes are now functional again, what very few current crashes we have all have tracked down causes, and overall the game seems to run quite well.
BUT we’re still not ready to announce what that date is just yet. Making the date public would put tremendous pressure on our programmers, and we don’t want to do that until some of these massive remaining tasks are done. We’ve already had some nasty surprises we’ve had to grapple with already (like Nextbot’s being totally broken on Linux servers (fixed), and armor plates on NPC’s causing rare client crashes (temp-fixed)), so we don’t want to commit to anything just yet until we’re sure no more surprises remain.
So what’s actually left? Well aside from the animation overhaul we mentioned above, is the UI overhaul. We’re ditching the normal VGUI panels of old Source games in favor of Panorama, which CS:GO introduced and that we’ll be using. It’s gonna be another fresh start, and naturally it’s gonna be a lot of work. We’ve got devs working on remaking all our weapon icons (With Daniel spearheading this effort), and we’ve got numerous concepts for how the various new menus should look as well. Zero’s well underway on this task and already made a starting point for the main menu, so again it should all pan out relatively soon.
We’ve also still got the scientist hunt gamemode we committed to way back at the very start of this project, that we are going to TRY for. Now that Nextbot is fixed and functional, we can finally proceed with this endeavor as well. We’ve discussed many ambitious ideas, but since time is short and this concept can still run well even if scaled down, we’ll be aiming to have a simple version of this for our launch build. We’ll add more features to it post-release. Again, we’re only even keeping this on the table for release because we’re confident that a simple launch-version will be minimal work to execute, but ultimately we’ll still have to see how things go.
So what else is needed to release? Well, we need a green-light from Steam before we can officially release the game. This involves sending in a build of the game for review and approval, and I can happily announce that we are mere days away from doing exactly that. As soon as we get their approval, we’ll be able to make our release date. But we know this process can take a LONG time, and with the holiday season around the corner and Valve totally immersed in Steamdeck shenanigans, we want to make sure we get our submission in as early as possible. As soon as we get approval, we’ll let everyone know!
And finally, to clarify, our goal here is to just get something that can be called ready for the public to play. It won’t be a totally done product as we’ve still got lots more weapons, maps, player models, gamemodes, and just general ideas to add. And a couple things, like our Linux client support, won’t be ready by launch either (linux dedicated server still works fine tho! But for you Linux users you’ll need to run the game through Proton). But you all have waited long enough, so we’ll be looking to finally get this game in your hands VERY SOON. Just bear with us a bit longer (won’t be before Christmas FYI) , and look forward to more announcements in the near future.
More graphic designers to help with making the assets for our UI overhaul could be nice. Likewise extra animators could be helpful. Beyond that, Romanian and Korean translators are still absent from our translation list, but anyone willing to help with any translation (outside of Russian which we have very much covered!) is welcome to apply and possibly chip in. Mappers are of course always appreciated, but only if you’re quite experienced enough.
Ultimately though, if you’re really good at any aspect of Source modding, just hit us up on our discord and we’ll see if we can make it work. Thanks!
Thanks for reading! The end is finally in sight and believe me when I say it is CLOSE. In the meantime, please feel free to stop by our discord and chat away!
Amazing stuff as always, I'm impressed by the idea of Jabroni Brawl and I hope a Vampire Slayer remake will be in it 👀
this mod is a never ever
this mod is quite possibly the most impressive love letter to the source engine/classic games community.
Fantastic work as always! 😸
This is an enormous update, good lord. That's a good sign. Let me set aside an afternoon to get through this lol.
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