When SWAT 4 came out, SWAT 3 still had quite an active community with expectations the new title in the series could just not meet.SWAT3 was about authenticity, it was actually licensed by the LAPD, as were the previous titles SWAT 2 and Police Quest SWAT. SWAT 4 was to be more mainstream and seemed to be rushed in order to make some quick money to fund other titles by Irrational Games. Back in those days, being used to SWAT 3, SWAT 4 felt like quite a disappointment.
When I recently picked up the game again, almost 10 years after it's release, it didn't actually seem all that bad. Probably because I'm no longer used to the standards SWAT 3 set back in the days. The game, as is, is quite entertaining.
Being mostly interested in singleplayer and co-op multiplayer, I remember I could never really get over the fact that for some reason Irrational Games left out the element structure in online co-op.
Where in SWAT 3 and in SWAT 4 singleplayer, your element was divided in an element leader, a red and a blue team, in SWAT 4 co-op everyone was just thrown in one big team where everyone could issue orders and any structure needed for tactical gameplay was lost.
Back in the days Teamspeak was not all that common and people had to rely on the command structure the game provided. Nowadays voice over net technology would allow the player to completely ignore the ingame command structure. Even though The Stetchkov Syndicate expansion fixed quite a few issues the community had pointed out, the team structure was never fully brought back.
Now when I picked up this game again a few weeks ago, I thought I'd just add 3 new helmets with team indicators. I created a tactical PASGT style helmet with a calyume lightstick on the back so that every player in coop could select the color corresponding to the classic red and blue teams, as well as a color for the element leader. Visually implementing teamstructure that way. In my opinion it'd make the game more enjoyable for my friends and me to have a few co-op nights.
When I created the assets and implemented them, I found out that modding this game is actually quite easy and fun. I decided to create a full blown mod instead of just a quick fix for me and my friends.
My goal for now is to make the game visually more attractive, fixing some audio (mostly gunshot sounds) as well. I might have a go at changing some AI settings. Requests are always welcome.
One of the things I look forward to most of all is the new character selection code.
Back in the days I was one of many communitymembers working for the Canadian Forces: Direct Action total conversion mod. This was a project started and funded by the Canandian Army, implementing training scenarios, weapons and character models based on real life Canadian counterparts.
During this period I met a coding guru known by the name of Gez. This guy created a GUI controled system that allowed custom skins to have custom models. In other words, one would no longer be restricted to the standard SWAT officer model when making new skins. Imagine selectable streetcops, sheriffs, undercover agents. Complemented with a great variety of headgear and equipment.
Gez committed to this project by donating his time and knowledge to implemented this custom character selection.
Another well known community icon already invested time in this mod as well. Desrat helped me converting my early framework from vanilla SWAT 4 to SWAT4:TSS when I was about to throw my PC out of the window in pure frustration.
Here's what I have done so far. Keep in mind that I have a full time, irregular hours job next to creating this mod. Please feel free to post suggestions or any questions you have.
- Added Helmet Green Lightstick
- Added Helmet Red Lightstick
- Added Heavy Helmet with visor down
- Added Equipment mod background scenes in menu's
- Added Detailed MP5 3rd person model
- Added Detailed M4 RAS 3rd person model
- Added Gasmask / Helmet combination Red lightstick
- Added Gasmask / Helmet combination green lightstick
- Added new MP5 fireing sounds
- Added new M4 fireing sounds
- Fixed Flashlight mapping for M4 and MP5 (26/07/'14)
- Fixed M4 size. Scaled correctly now. (27/07/'14)
- WIP Charactermodel selection in GUI
- WIP Helmet descriptions in GUI
- WIP Detailed M3 Super90 shotgun model
- Added Ops-Core helmet (..port.. red and green VL Safetylight)(24/08/'14)