I started playing Swat 4 in multiplayer a month and a half ago.
Soon enough, I explored the web for some custom content, and to my surprise I did find a lot of it with the most notable type being custom maps and some great user mods.
However, once I started my search for Swat 4 Sounds mod, I got ZERO results across multiple engines, seems like there is no sound mod for Swat 4 yet.
Well, that's about to change (hopefully)!
While I was still a student, I needed some extra income and to make new friends, that's when I discovered the magic of sound design, soon after mastering the basics, I was being an DJ for private parties whenever I had some free time. This brought me loads of fun, but also lots of experience in the field.
So what does this have to do with the news I want to share you may wonder...
You probably guessed. But let me give more detail.
About 2 weeks ago, I came with the idea to actually see if creation of such mod is possible, and not only as an external mod but a stand-alone mod, or more of an patch.
Well, guess what.
I conducted few small researches and after I gathered enough information, I created few mini mods that were no longer mods, but rather patches, I did tests all over and over, always smacking right into the well built Anticheat systems wall and getting downed with the file mismatch error.
I messed around those files for few days, and decided to use my advanced coding experience to actually make this idea see some hope. After lots of tries and tests, I FINALLY DID IT!
I successfully created a mini sound patch that was able to replace flashbang sound in the vanilla Swat 4 directory and go pass the anticheat and server mismatch error. I tested it on few servers and it went flawless. Even that one flashbang sound made the game experience a lot better (!)
So what does this mean?
It means, that if all goes well with some yet-to-test things, Swat 4 community may for the very FIRST TIME receive full sound replacement patch, bringing some modern top-notch sound effects, such as new weapons, impacts, ambient, interaction, UI sounds, and being able to play not only on original Swat 4 servers, but also experience the patch on all other mods as well.
The fun part?
There will be no installer, there will be no issues with the existing swat 4 servers as all the patched content is client-side, and the sound patch sound files would be of professional True Type Raw degree (What this means is that the sound effects wouldn't be pre-recorded, but rather digitally designed, or a hybrid stock-designed, the best examples of such sounds in use can be seen in Bad Company 2, MOH Anaconda and specially Battlefield 3) And if even that's not enough, if all goes well, I may just research and custom build modern settings for EAX and OpenAl that should be able to bring some dynamic effects in realtime such as echo, reverb, dubbing, orientation, etc.
So, there you have it, those are the good news!
Sadly, there are also somewhat bad news as well.
Will I create such a patch is still uncertain as there are so many other things to test, but if all goes well, you may bet I darn will create one!
In meantime, here's a list of to-do's related to this whole idea.
The Idea. [success]
TI1.Think of the core idea and how it should be done [done]
TI2.Break the super thick wall and open the possibility for further development [done, tested, master]
TI3.Initiate another stage [done]
Testing Stage. [in progress]
TS1.Test modded sound archives with live servers [done, tested, crucial]
TS2.Test archive size and sound quality limits [done, tested, confirmed (Swat 4 supports .wav stereo sound with full 32 bit flat point quality, in other words, a render of TRUE AUDIO with minimum or no quality loss]
TS3.Test all of the targeted archives for modding and compatibility [done, tested]
TS4.Test a fully modded targeted archive for compatibility with live servers and game engine limitations [done, tested, crucial]
TS5.Test repetitive sounds for proper output [done, tested, crucial, confirmed (newly added sound effects will play fully no matter how long they are)]
TS6.Test whether sound modification impacts gameplay experience engine-wise [done, tested, crucial, confirmed (sound modification doesn't affect core gameplay whatsoever)]
TS7.Test EAX and OpenAl moddability and compatibility with Swat 4 [pending]
TS8.Double test all tests before next stage [pending, crucial]
TS9.Initiate next stage [pending]
TS10(a).Test simplest sound modification across multiple platforms [done, tested]
TS11(a).Test sound overlapping modification possibility, ie, make gun shots play fully and not get cut off by another shot sound [pending]
TS12(a).Test modded archive vulnerability for exploits and archive locking [done, tested, crucial, confirmed (modded archives can't be edited again if it's strictly specified by the archive creator, in addition modded archives have same anticheat protection like the vanilla archives and once modded in Swat Ed by a 3rd party (except author) will get corrupt)]
Development Stage. [static]
Done = Successfully finished task.
Failure = Task failed.
Pending = Task is pending for probing.
Tested = Successfully tested a task in different environments, most notably with live servers.
Static = There is no progress with this task.
In progress = Task is in probing stage.
Confirmed = Key feature confirmed.
Crucial = Necessary task that determines future of the whole development.
Master = The core necessary task that determines not only whether development should be progressed but also determine which steps are next to be made.
(a) = Testing task added.
Please note that I will update this list over time, and that nothing is for sure. The idea is here, resources are here, and there is 50-50 chance that I will actually create this patch.
If you have some useful information regarding the whole idea, please let me know, and you will be properly credited in the final product (if ever).
Wish me luck!
P.S. I nearly forgot. If this patch is ever to see the light of the day, it will be freely available for all Swat 4 clans and all Swat 4 mods free of charge, so if you have some mods in the cooking, even better for you!
Speed, Precision, Experience, Endurance. General System Tweak Guide