So. It has become that time again. The one day in the year where we all dress up in our finest blue Sven Co-op shirts, dance around a pile of dead toads coated in purple paint, while singing praise to our savior Sven Co-op, who has given us the most precious gift of all: Entertainment.

Yes, today is Sven Co-op’s birthday. How old is Sven Co-op you ask? 15 years to be exact, with the first version being released on January 19 1999. That makes Sven Co-op really old. Older than some of its’ players. And yet, it just keeps going with no signs of stopping. People keep developing it, and people keep playing it. We on the development team still feel there is a lot to do before our vision of the game is completely fulfilled, so there’s no reason to believe development is stopping any time soon.

If this was a TV show, this news update would be a clip show, where instead of providing any new story development, we just show what has happened previously in the series. We won’t do that. Because we can’t. This is not a TV show. Instead Nih is going to briefly summarize what has happened with the mod in the past 5 years (for the preceding 10 years, we will direct you to Hezus’ excellent summary written in 2009 for Sven Co-op’s 10th anniversary.)

December 24 2008
Release of Sven Co-op 4.0 Beta
5 years. That’s how long it took to get this release out of the door. I have to admit, it looked grim at times, but in the end, we prevailed. Many people were excited about Sven Co-op entering a new chapter, but the release was also met by a lot of criticism, making this possibly the most controversial release. The cause was in part due to some major bugs that resulted in frequent crashing and people getting stuck in reconnect loops. It was also due to some major changes to the weapons and NPC’s, changes which some people felt strayed too far from the original Half-Life experience. In the end however, these changes managed to revitalize the game.

This version introduced several new enemies (including Tor), weapons, as well as the ability for some NPC’s to move while attacking, drastically increasing their fear factor. It was also a release defined by the large amount of new map series, rather than single maps, it introduced: Tetris, Escape, Last Stand, Royals, Infested, and Activist all consisted of at least 3 maps each. This release also finally introduced the coop conversion of the HL mod They Hunger, which had been announced in 2002, although only the first episode was included.

May 05 2009
Release of Sven Co-op 4.06
Due to a potential crash exploit that was discovered, it was decided to release a quick hotfix for the mod. This update was called 4.05, but upon realizing that an incorrect file had been included in the package, 4.06 was released the same day. Stuff happens. This update mainly consisted of a small amount of bug fixes and tweaks.

May 15 2009
Release of Sven Co-op 4.07
Another small update was released 10 days later, also consisting of a small amount of bug fixes and tweaks.

September 02 2010
Release of Sven Co-op 4.5
The next major update came a year later. Originally called 4.1, a decision was made to change the name due to the large amount of content introduced by the update.
This was the release that finally fixed the looping and crashing issues introduced in 4.0. And to the great relief of many, ambient sounds were working again. The update introduced the Spore Launcher and Shock Roach, as well as several new maps like Kyper Kuutio (which apparently means cyber box in Finnish) and Sector E. The update also introduced an impressive array of new entities, allowing mappers to create maps with completely new types of gameplay. And of course, beta Opposing Force support.

December 25 2011
Release of Sven Co-op 4.6
Another Christmas release (try to count how many of these we’ve had). Because we love conversions, this update introduced a conversion of Half-Life: Uplink, the demo for Half-Life 1, as well as the second episode of They Hunger. The update introduced the Kingpin, a monster Valve cut from Half-Life 1, with sound effects provided by JPolito and his girlfriend, partly consisting of them gurgling water near a microphone.

December 25 2012
Release of Sven Co-op 4.7
4.7 finally included a frequently requested feature: Linux server binaries. This had not been included with the mod since 2002 or perhaps earlier.
The release also included the Defense map Quarter, as well as a decent amount of bug fixes and features.

June 30 2013
Release of Sven Co-op 4.8
Mostly as a result of the SteamPipe update for Half-life 1, which caused a couple of issues for HL mods, it was decided to release another small update before getting properly started on 5.0. This update fixed those issues and added support for the Blue Shift campaign.

So there you have it folks. The last 5 years of Sven Co-op. What lies next is 5.0. Sven Co-op as a free game on Steam with full access to the game engine. Let us all visit the Sven Co-op forums to reminisce and celebrate the fact this delightful game was created 15 years ago. Come say hello to your pals on our IRC channel too, #svencoop on Gamesurge.