Down the Barrel with Super Joe #3

The third Down the Barrel with Super Joe has a whole bunch of media for you to enjoy. I don’t want to talk too much before we get into the meat of the post, but if you like our screenshots this week, why not request some? Head to the forums and let us know what guns you want to see and with which attachments – if we can make it happen, we’ll make it happen! First off, I’d like to send off to DysPatch as he has a lot to tell you about in relation to the development of Firearms: Source. I’ll be then taking the helm once again to give you some treats as a reward for your patience. Enjoy!

“For the past 2 years, Firearms: Source has been undergoing big changes and a lot of experimentation. I felt that, given it’s a whole new year now, I should let you all know what we have been working on. We’ve experimented with new technologies, as well as a bunch of new features. Some were discarded and others are still in this game. We are still experimenting with new features here and there, but for the most part, we are really comfortable with FAS gameplay. In fact, we are so happy with the gameplay that we are waiting on doing any more major changes until we bring you – the community – in for some feedback.

Some examples of new technologies that we have been playing with are FMOD and Awesomium. You may be familiar with FMOD, but for those who aren’t, it is a sound engine with a toolkit that allows us to redesign the audio in FAS, to better suit our needs. Don’t get me wrong, the Source Engine has a great sound system, but unfortunately the Source 2007 mod support doesn’t give us the access we need to mix the music and sounds the way we would like. Additionally, the inclusion of Awesomium is a User Interface library that allows us to create our HUD and UI menus using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript rather than using standard VGUI (Valve Graphical User Interface). This means that we can more quickly create menus and HUD elements with web development tools and use animations from JavaScript libraries. It’s all really cool stuff, but unfortunately has required a little bit longer of development time making it all stable. In the end it will provide an awesome game experience not found in most other Source games.”

“When adding new features, one of our biggest focuses has been on trying to make the game more intuitive for our community. We really wanted to make FAS more fun by making it easier for new players to understand what’s going on. FAS 1.0 had a high learning curve, and not really for a good reason. We have added simple changes like dynamic crosshairs allow players to learn the mechanics of the weapon they are using. However we have also added things like larger impact particles so you can see where your bullets are hitting along with subtle tracers showing where your bullets are traveling. Players are able to grasp the accuracy and stance mechanics a lot easier with these changes. We’ve also added bullet miss sounds so that you can hear when bullets whizz by your head, informing you that you are under fire. These features may all seem really simple, but they are all features that are easily missed or put on low priority when you consider game design from a broader perspective. We have also added more blatant notifications like hit indicators with hit sounds to notify you if hit registration decided to play nice with you. There are also bigger features that we are playing around with like weapon scavenging, which allows you to temporarily pick-up a dropped weapon. I can go further into detail about the balance of weapon scavenging for another news post, but I mainly wanted to use this as a way to catch you guys up to date with everything we have been working on. There are also some new skill features that we have added but we will save that for another time.”

“We are working hard, and some of us having actually been working full time on FAS so we can get this mod out to you guys as soon as we can. However, I am not going to mislead you and say that FAS is about to release, because quite honestly, there is a lot that still needs to be done. I am comfortable saying that we will release this year, but that’s because the game is very solid from a gameplay standpoint, and we are mainly working on the game stability and making sure these we get the game as polished as we can to make everyone’s first experience with FAS as mind-blowingly awesome as possible. This does mean that you may also see more attachments and weapon in FAS than what was originally planned. The nice thing about weapons and attachments is that they are fairly easy to add when compared to what we have been battling recently. Rest assured, as we will get this all settled and we hope to bring in more testers soon-ish as well. As always, we are looking for talented self-motivated developers to help us out. If you are interested, please apply on our Jobs page. We could use a hand in finishing this game and make sure it’s released to you all this year. In the next coming weeks we can also get back to our skill showcases and show off the last two skill tiers we have planned for Firearms: Source 2.0.”

You’ve heard it from our development director himself, and now you’re up to speed, how about some eye candy? Everything we’re showing you today is from a map called Caliber, an Assault map which I’ve just adored playing on. However, overhead shots of a map would be pretty darn boring – so how about we throw some guns into the mix? So far you’ve seen the Silencer attachment but you haven’t seen our Aimpoints which have, until now, only been talked about. Though ironsights are definitely optional in Firearms: Source, fans of the feature are definitely going to want to look into the Aimpoint attachment. Get it?

Our Aimpoint is the best you’ve ever seen, and I say that strongly without a doubt in my mind. You’ll be able to use it on a whole lot of our weapons, too, so if you want the power of an AK-47 with a little more precision then you’ve got it. In combination with the silencer attachment, you can turn a simple assault rifle into a beast that’ll take targets down from range before they even see you. Eat your heart out, snipers.

The EOTech 553. Sat atop the rails of our lovely M4A1, the EOTech is a nice alternative to those who may have an aversion to the Aimpoint. Though it’s only just been added and is still in its infancy, the EOTech is great fun to use and just as awesome as our Aimpoint. That’s great news for all you rifle fans, but our sidearms are feeling a little left out and I’m guessing they need some love. For anyone who loves a Glock 20 like myself, you’ll be happy to find that Tritium Night Sights are an option for free. With no credit cost, they’re always available should you need that help in the dark; same for the Desert Eagle – see below!

Though Down the Barrel didn’t turn into the once a week feature I was hoping for, I hope what you’ve seen today has put a smile on that face. After all, Firearms: Source will be playable this year, and you’re able to see it as development progresses. As always, feel free to private message me on our message boards or even just join in the conversation with other FAS fans. Until next time, I’m Super Joe, and Firearms: Source continues to be fantastic.