Last Resort Mod Blog

Forging ahead - March 24, 2021

I finished my side project of cataloging the list of shared textures in the official Sierra maps.   This will ensure that we have the largest version available of each texture since some maps used smaller versions of the same texture.  I hope that explanation wasn't confusing.

Today I finished the code changes to the Last Resort launcher and prepared all the files necessary to make an installer build.    As I type this I am updating one of my laptops for testing of this build.   I have also decided to include MPEG-4 versions of the Swat 3 movies in the installer to help with the Swat 3 startup crash.   Originally the replacement movies were encoded in the XVID format but after some research I have settled on MPEG-4 instead since Windows 7, 8, and 10 are supposed to natively support this codec.   Lets hope my internet research is correct, lol.

Soon I also want to get the Swat 3 game server back up and running.   I haven't forgotten about this important step in the process.

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Ready Or Not Game Rescued - March 22,2021

Finally some good news.

It appears that the developers of "Ready or Not" will have an influx of money.   Perhaps the game won't be vapourware after all.

Team17 have entered into a partnership with the developers announced in the video below.

 

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Side Distraction - March 8, 2021

Using my super power of procrastination I have been working this last week on an app to sort through all of Swat 3's textures and create a list of duplicate textures.

Why is it taking all week?   1)  I am shitty coder.   2) I am only working very part time.   3) Other games need playing.

I have been wanting to do this for years since I first noticed that Swat 3 used many of the same textures but just renamed them from mission to mission.   For an example "a_door2.bmp" is probably identical to "b_door2.bmp" and so on.

Why you may ask?   This list of duplicate textures will help during the texture upgrade process in the Last Resort mod.

A secondary future goal may be to hack all of the .scn files of the Sierrra made maps so that they share a single texture.   This will help keep file sizes smaller and also allow easier updating of textures as they get improved.   Not sure I will ever get to this step though but that is partially why I am making this app.

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Tiny update - March 1, 2021

A very tiny update on the status of the mod.

I finally stopped procrastinating and merged the code for the Last Resort launcher between the "failed" branch and the original.   It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be and now I am a bit ashamed of how long I put it off for.

Now that this is accomplished hopefully I can keep up good habits.    It is so easy during Covid lockdown to fall into the trap of doing nothing productive other than leveling my character on Fallout76 and Watchdogs Legion.

UPDATE: I am revisiting using AI image software to improve the textures.   Right now I am testing with video2x to see if it is worth the effort.   The idea is to improve lesser important textures with this technique but still manually recreate textures in photoshop for the textures that don't see an improvement with this method.

 

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Zero Hour

Dark Synopsis alerted me to an early access game that all Swat game fans might want to check out on Steam.   It is called Zero Hour and the developers have just added new cooperative features that remind me of Swat 4.

The developers are from Bangladesh and have set the game in their country.  Although the map layouts may seem a little odd to western eyes the officers in the game will speak English as they yell at the suspects.   You don't need to be able to understand Bengali to enjoy the game, lol.

I won't lie to you the game still needs a lot of work.  However some aspects are really well done and show that the developers have the talent to make a great game.   The officers models and the game's menu graphics are particularly outstanding.  The weakest parts of the game right now in my opinion (besides missing features) is netcode issues and map design.

Keep a watch on Zero Hour.

 

Unlocking Maps:

One controversial feature with the game is that you have to unlock the maps one at a time with earned points.  For casual gamers this can be a frustrating feature.   You can thankfully modify your game file to unlock all the maps with a simple Hex Editor.   I have also made the file available to download at the bottom of that tutorial.

Thanks to Dark Synopsis for suggesting buying the game and for helping test the hack.

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New Features - January 22, 2021

You may have notice some performance issues on this website.  Perhaps a white screen that just says "error".   You may have even seen a 503 error.   Not sure what is going on with the host but considering it costs me nothing for the actual hosting (thanks to Haystakk) I really can't complain.

I am working on adding two new features to beta release v0.8.3 as I am now calling it (previously just called beta 3).   I have added a built in server status to the Last Resort launcher so you can check if the server is up before starting the game.   I have also added a help tab for important links to the website.

Rough estimate for release is late next week.

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