Last Resort Mod Blog

I made a terrible mistake - August 9, 2020

As a Canadian it is my legal obligation to start by saying sorry.    I should have released the next version of the mod a while ago.

When Covid isolation first hit I grew lazy and didn't work on the mod anywhere near as much as I should.   Like everyone else I was stressed so I avoided working on the mod and instead played games and just took care of the home life.   I should have worked harder on getting the mod finished before the Covid lockdown ended here in Canada.

Now suddenly I am back to real life work.   The TV show I have worked on and off for 13 seasons is back shooting and I am on that full time until roughly Christmas (shorter season this time due to Covid).    However I hope to get the mod finished and released before then if I can find the energy.    I am about 10-15 photoshop screens away from being done.   Sounds easy right?

PS:   If I can wear a mask for 12+ hours a day then other people can wear it for an hour in the shops.  Please be responsible and kind towards your fellow humans!

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Developer departs from Ready Or Not Team - June 9, 2020

Most of you are probably aware of a game in development that claims to be the spiritual successor to Swat 4 called "Ready or Not".   I have been extremely sceptical of this game because it is being made by a couple of mod makers that have never developed a game on their own before.  In my humble opinion the developers have always appeared to be too focused on building hype by releasing photos and pre-rendered videos to help raise money.   The alarm bells in my head keep ringing.  It all seems like an impossible dream since Swat 3 for example was made by dozens of professionals with several millions of dollars.   What chance do a few guys working from home with no money have?   Of course times have changed and we have fully fleshed out game engines for developers to use but it still would take a massive amount of effort and resources.

Recent sad news have made it appear the dream is a little further away than I thought.

One of the well known developers has recently left the team.   eezstreet is famous in the Swat 4 community for making the excellent SWAT: Elite Force mod but he has gone back to working on his mod and has released a new version (it was delayed for two years while he worked on Ready or Not).

It appears that Eezstreet has deleted a long detailed thread that explained his falling out with the developers and has replaced it with this apology thread.

An interesting quote still remains:



Perhaps I am just reading into this but eezstreet re-Tweeted the following quote at the end of May on Twitter:



Some people in the community feel like the game has changed it's focus and is now trying to be a Rainbow Six Siege competitor.  The Reddit user TheBountyHunterIX  comment on the state of the game:

The developers are completely silent on social media by order of upper management (eezstreet wasn't allowed to talk on Reddit or Discord), with vague development details only being told in newsletters that release every 3 months. eezstreet (the developer who gave people faith in the project) left Void, meaning the studio is now entirely comprised of unfamiliar faces. Though he was a competent developer going above and beyond his role as a contractor for Void he was never brought on as a director (which they absolutely should have done) and he was relegated to doing UI work. Their biggest blunder however was letting big streamers show off an upcoming NDA-free PvP build (the PvP is an utter joke unlike the PvE which has insane potential) to the public before those who paid $120 for alpha access could even playtest it and give feedback, which was a huge slap in the face.

 

One positive thing I have to say about this video is that the graphics are pretty damned impressive.   As someone who has stopped following news about this game long ago I was impressed by the video on a purely graphic level.    I am still hoping that the developers can pull a rabbit out of the hat and are focused on the cooperative experience.   I am still very guarded about my expectations on completion.   I am worried about the publisher having a negative affect on the direction of the game.   Eventually they will demand a return on their investment.

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Mission and Career screens fixed - April 16, 2020

A long standing bug with the Last Resort mod was that some screens were not properly centered when you chose a higher resolution than the default.  It was just something that I put off researching for many years.   Thankfully with the aid of Copy-cat's ability to think out of the box and my son Noisyboy coding me a script in Python I was able to easily update the massive Menu.dat that controlled them.

Another hurdle that had to be overcome was the fact that all of Swat 3's community made missions would have shown up on the map of Los Angeles in the wrong place if I had centered it.   To fix this problem I kept the map in it's usual place and had to add graphical elements to a new modified screen to keep it from looking very imbalanced.   Below is the 1920x1080 working new version of the Metro map that you would use in single player or career mode:

 

Click image to enlarge.

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Beta released but still working on more - April 11, 2020

Hope everyone is healthy, wearing a mask and gloves when you go out (home-made masks are better than nothing), and doing social distancing!

An open beta test of the next release of the Last Resort mod is out with NeuWon support!   It is not the final version but it is available for the hardcore people who want to test and give feedback on it.   You can read all about it in this thread.

Would love to set up a gaming night to stress test the server and to have fun during these strange times.   Please post your suggestions for a gaming night in this thread in the forums.

Before the Last Resort mod gets released as a final version I am looking into fixing the remaining screens that don't properly center (for example single player missions).   I haven't bothered with those remaining screen since I assumed everyone would be playing Multiplayer games instead of the single player missions.   By the number of posts I see about this I was wrong in this assumption.   Copy-Cat made a great suggestion on how to fix this problem while also avoiding the issue with checksum errors in multiplayer.   Once again he gets the reward for thinking out of the box.

 

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Really good news and somewhat bad news - February 25, 2020

First the bad news.   I discovered Tank Mechanic Simulator and have been distracted by WW2 tank renovation the last few days.  I didn't even know I needed this in my life.

Now for some amazing news.  Resident mad scientist Copy-Cat discovered where Swat 3 stores it's view distance in the game executable and now we can change it to whatever we want!

Originally when Swat 3 was released the developers kept the view distance low because of limitations of home computers at the time.  They designed maps around this limitation and generally only gave us a straight line view of about 120 feet.  Extending the view distance removes portal glitches on certain maps and also gives future map makers more opportunities.

You can read about all this in a forum thread.  Great work Copy-Cat!

Image of Copy-Cat at work in his lab

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LR Launcher Code Update (part trois) - February 10, 2020

The Last Resort launcher code update is almost complete.   All features work and now I just need to test it out on all versions of Swat 3 (CD, GOG.com and Steam versions).   I also need to throw some worst case scenarios at it see how it handles mangled .cfg and .ini files since Swat 3's crashes can do some funky things.  I also have to anticipate what crazy things people might do to their Swat 3 installs.

A new feature that I added to the LR Launcher is that if you don't have any iinterest in hearing Custom Chat sound files then if you delete a specific folder the whole Custom Chat tab in the Launcher will be disappear.   The installer for the LR mod will also ask you if you want to use Custom Chats and won't create this special folder in the first place if you don't want to.

I have decided to call the next release version 8.0 due to so many changes in the code in terms of having to update for Visual Studio 2019.

I have never worked with manifest files yet either and need to learn it's use.   The Last Resort launcher needs to be run with admin rights and from my understanding the manifest file will help tell Windows this requirement and prompt the user.

After all the Launcher changes are done then the final part is I need to work on updating the installer package.   The NeuWon update version of the Last Resort mod is getting so close now I can almost taste it.  Perhaps a month away with luck!

 

Top image with custom chats feature enabled. Bottom image has it turned off. Click images to enlarge.

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