SourceForts is a multiplayer capture the flag mod, for the computer game Half-Life 2. Two teams, red and blue, construct forts made from metal cubes and panels to protect their flag, and also attempt to break into their opponent's fort to steal the enemy flag. Then they must return the captured flag to their own fort to score. The mod was first released in 2005.
Players in SourceForts have the ability to spawn and manipulate blocks and panels, being able to freeze and unfreeze the spawned blocks and panels to create and modify the fort. A typical SourceForts match is played out in a series of Build and Combat rounds. During the Build round players construct forts, and during the Combat round players duel in a capture the flag match, using the forts as bases.
During the Build Phase the two teams are restricted to their own side of the map and cannot use any weapons. The only equipment is the Gravity Gun, used to freeze and unfreeze blocks, pick them up and move them. Each side has access to a limited number of blocks (default of 50, but can be set to any value), which can be spawned (using buttons in a spawn bay) and then picked up with the gravity gun and used. Blocks come in five different shapes (2x1x1 oblong, 5x1 panel, 3x2 panel, 2x2 panel, and 2x1 panel) which enable the players to create a wide variety of structures, which include crawl tunnels, sky forts, sprint ramps and walls.
During the Combat Phase players are given weapons according to their chosen class and attempt to breach the enemy's constructions, ultimately capturing their flag. On most servers a successful capture and base return is worth 100 points and a capture without returning it is worth a single point. To win a map a team must achieve a total of 1000 points, or be the team with the most points at the end of a set number of build/combat rounds. This number is variable depending on the server set up and admins. SourceForts offers five player classes:
- 1.3.2–9 March 2005
- 1.4.1–30 March 2005
- 1.4.2–9 April 2005
- 1.9.1–11 May 2006
- 1.9.2–1 August 2006
- 1.9.3–1 December 2007
- 1.9.4–31 August 2008
- 188.8.131.52–7 September 2008- Current version
- 2.0.0 - TBA
Version 1.9.3, 2.0 and staffing adjustments
In 2006 a group of people gathered and discussed the possibility of using less-than-legal tactics to give the developers of Sourceforts a wake up call as to the direction Sourceforts was headed. "Welder", a server owner and a distinguished community member had at the time accidentally wandered upon a password for one of the developer's accounts. Later that year, using that same developer's account the forums were demolished leaving a wreck of what was once an active community portal. The attack was considered to be preformed by members of the myg0t clan. It was not until later that the development team realized that the forum software being used had little to do with the attack; it was the admin-enabled account that had caused the trouble. The liable account was handed to another group of people who used it to gain a backdoor look at the development behind Sourceforts. Not liking what they saw, they decided to leak a series of images on all the major clan forums and the main forums. The leaker was called by the name donutFwar. Security concerns plagued the sourceforts team from then on. Passwords were changed but this was ineffective. The hijacked account belonged to an inactive developer.
After a large period of inactivity from the leakers a plan was put in place to create more wide scale havoc. A second developer account had been hijacked which allowed more widespread access of the sourceforts development area . Using this account the leakers gained access to the work in progress version 2. The version was considered to be an alpha at the time. The leakers created a blog  to post their findings on the so called failed development of version 2. The developers at the time were outraged. The unauthorized release of version 2 was the last straw. All the while, the leakers claimed to be helping Sourceforts. Most of the developers couldn't wrap their head around this concept. On April 30th, two staff members engaged in a conversation over the leak with the leakers themselves. Sourceforts version 2 had been heading in a direction not ideal for the community. A news post was made, and the ordeal ended.
Following the cancellation of the new modification dubbed as SourceForts 2.0, the team fell into a decline. A parallel, secret project named 'Haven' was established by former coder JLF, along with many well known community members. After some private negotiations, it was announced that the Haven team would move in to take over development of SourceForts. This came to the surprise of staff members Will 'FicWill' Smith and KGtheway2B, who promptly resigned in protest.
The new team, lead by kaidus, who was ironically one of the self proclaimed leakers, introduced a more structured, public design process and laid out planning for the future version 2.0 - a process omitted from the previous team. The team set out to complete version 1.9.3 and then move on to a more complete, original version 2.0, which is to be built from scratch. For 1.9.3, much of the old version 2.0 code and contents was ported down to make it available, such as new block models, maps and several new features for classes. Will 'FicWill' Smith did not approve of the new direction, and attempted to pull all his content from the modification, however after further negotiations he agreed to allow his work to be used on the condition that he was fully credited for their creation.
Version 1.9.3 was announced complete on 28 October 2007, however the release date was not be going announced until the latest version of the Source SDK is released and can be used to ensure a bug-free modification. On November 30, the development team announced they would release version 1.9.3 before 8pm GMT on Saturday, December 1.The proposed version 2.0 was designed by the Haven team as a more competitive building based game, with very few similarities between itself and previous SourceForts versions. This has caused some debate on the official forums, but overall the response from the community has been positive.
New features according to the design document include the removal of the build/combat phase system, replaced by building during combat using checkpoints. The team claim to have a playable concept modification, however the code from the concept will not be retained in the actual modification.
v2.0.0 was originally to be released on May 1, 2005, but has suffered substantial setbacks. Due to these, the 1.9.X releases were released in order to sustain an active community and v2.0.0 is designated to become the first incarnation of the mod as a total conversion.
On April 27, 2007, an early build of SourceForts v2.0.0 was leaked to the public.
As of May 1, 2007, development work on v2.0.0 has been halted, due to concerns over the stability and gameplay of the current version. Although the developers intend to return to developing v2.0.0, they have decided to address the concerns by diverting their resources to developing and releasing v1.9.4 which will be purely a bugfix alteration of v1.9.3, rather than a total conversion which will be the main feature of v2.0.0. The most major change planned for version 2.0 is the removal of the build phase, which has caused some controversy within the community.
A new version 2.0
As of July 10, 2009, a new version of SourceForts 2.0, also codenamed Project Haven, has had development begin under lead coder Draken .
SourceForts in the media
On August 5, 2006, the SourceForts trailer movie was added to Steam. Over the following weeks, SourceForts rose in Steam's official game statistics, although it has since suffered a tremendous, crippling loss in its player base over the years, and has been removed from the statistics page. It is not known if the game will ever recover. SourceForts has been featured on the Steam website since August 2006.
To play SourceForts a copy of Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (free with Half-Life 2, but also included in a number of Steam game packages) must be installed along with the Source SDK Base (which is not available with any NVIDIA or ATI offer).
Although SourceForts users have previously encountered problems when attempting to install it with Half-Life 2: Deathmatch alone (i.e. those players who did not own the single-player Half-Life 2 game), this problem seems to have been resolved with a Steam software update; these users may install the mod in its default location.
It is also to be noted that some SourceForts servers automatically kick players who are using DirectX 7 and below.
- ↑ Player Etiquette. SourceForts Wiki. Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
- ↑ Category:Building techniques. SourceForts Wiki. Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
- ↑ Getting started. SourceForts Wiki. Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
- ↑ SourceForts news search. Amped DX. Retrieved on 2006-11-04.
- ↑ SourceForts v1.9.2. SourceForts Forums. Retrieved on 2006-11-06.
- ↑ SourceForts Interview. Amped DX. Retrieved on 2006-11-04.
- ↑ Mod Database Sourceforts page, with the page creation date (right margin).. ModDB. Retrieved on 2007-01-23.
- ↑ SourceForts, a HL2 DM Mod. Spawnpoint. Retrieved on 2006-11-04.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Mod Review: SourceForts. Planet Half-Life. Retrieved on 2006-11-04.
- ↑ The Battle of El Mazuco. The leaker's blog. Retrieved on 2007-05-01.
- ↑ SourceForts Forums: Haven. SourceForts team. Retrieved on 2007-11-21.
- ↑ SourceForts news: 193 announcement. SourceForts team. Retrieved on 2007-05-05.
- ↑ SourceForts Forums: Ficwill gives permission. SourceForts team. Retrieved on 2007-05-05.
- ↑ SourceForts News: 193 complete. SourceForts team. Retrieved on 2007-05-05.
- ↑ SourceForts public design document (no longer available) (PDF). SourceForts team. Retrieved on 2007-11-24.
- ↑ SourceForts 2.0 leak. "El Mazuco". Retrieved on 2007-04-27.
- ↑ SourceForts 1.9.3 Announcement. "SourceForts Development Team". Retrieved on 2007-05-03.
- ↑ Mapping guide for Version 2.0. "SourceForts Development Team". Retrieved on 2008-02-10.
- ↑ Project Haven Announcement. "SourceForts Development Team". Retrieved on 2009-10-05.
- ↑ Steam - SourceForts Trailer. Valve. Retrieved on November 6, 2006.
- ↑ Steam Server Statistics. Valve Software. Retrieved on 2007-01-23.
- ↑ Steam - SourceForts. Retrieved on 2006-11-06.
- ↑ Capture The Flag + Die Siedler = SourceForts v1.9.2. GIGA.DE. Retrieved on 2006-11-07.
- ↑ PC ZONE ISSUE 163 rated 18 by the BBFC. British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved on 2006-11-07.
- ↑ Quest of Persia. www.questofpersia.com. Retrieved on 2006-11-07.
- ↑ SourceFortsMod.com News post regarding the Vossey publication. SourceFortsMod.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-21.
- ↑ Packages that Include Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. Steam Powered. Retrieved on 2006-12-30.
- ↑ Installation. SourceForts Wiki. Retrieved on 2006-12-30.
- ↑ Xenon's server. Retrieved on 2009-01-30.
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