Day of Defeat: Source is a conversion of Day of Defeat, the World War II online shooter that was originally developed as a free mod for Half-Life. Built on the Source engine and distributed through Steam, Day of Defeat: Source offers team-based game play with scenarios inspired by historical World War II battles. It was the first Source game to incorporate high dynamic range (HDR) rendering, pre-dating the official HDR technical demo, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast.
Day of Defeat: Source was released over developer Valve Corporation's Steam service at 22:00 GMT on September 26 2005, and was subsequently released in stores on September 28 as a part of the Counter-Strike: Source package. Day of Defeat: Source was released in retail as a Stand-Alone Product for $19.99 USD. It was later reduced to $9.99.
Unlike Half-Life 2, the game's release on Steam went smoothly, with large IRC parties and live radio shows organized by fans adding to the sense of anticipation. Indeed, the release went so well that players soon found every server full, and only poorly-configured and laggy listen servers with free slots.
With the Source engine's modularity and the Steam platform's distribution technology, Day of Defeat offers many technologies that had not yet been seen in games upon its release. Day of Defeat: Source was the first game implemented with their new high dynamic range lighting, with other Source titles later following suit. Other technologies added post-release include effects Valve are to add to the game to make it look closer to a World War II era film. The effects include motion blur, depth of field, film grain and color correction. Some of this technology is meant to convey period cinema, while others, such as high dynamic range, were meant to simulate how the human eye works. Valve will continue to update the game.
Upon entering a server, the player chooses a team to play for — either the US Army or the Wehrmacht. After this, they choose a class; available classes being: Rifleman, Assault, Support, Sniper, Machine Gunner or Rocket. Some servers will limit the available number of player slots for each class, usually to prevent overuse of sniper rifles or machine guns. The player may choose to select "random" and let the computer choose a class from the remaining classes with open spots. Once a class is chosen the player spawns at a predesignated point on the map, and must battle for control of the objectives. If the player dies, in order to re-spawn they must wait for "reinforcements" to arrive, which usually takes up to fifteen seconds. Any friendly players who are killed during this time join the original player and re-spawn together as the next wave of troops. Players are also allowed to switch sides or classes before they re-spawn. When this occurs, unless configured otherwise, the player will instantly commit suicide.
Compared to many first person shooters, Day of Defeat: Source allows players only a small amount of health; meaning that being hit by even one bullet can be fatal. Being shot in the head with any gun is an instant death, making it more realistic than many FPS in where players have enormous amount of health. As such, players must utilize cover and teamwork to win.
All weapons in the game have realistic limits to their use. Machine guns must be deployed to maintain accurate fire or to be reloaded, rockets launchers must be shouldered to be fired (the player will move slower and be more vulnerable during this time), sniper rifles must be "scoped" to retain accuracy at a distance, and grenades must be primed before release or else they may be easily fled from or even thrown back. "Cooking" a grenade for longer than 5 seconds will cause it to explode in a player's hand, killing the player and anyone else near them, including their allies if the server has enabled the friendly fire setting.
There are currently two gameplay modes in Day of Defeat: Source.
In territorial control game modes, the objective is to hold every strategic point on the map, denoted by flags at each location. Strategic points are captured by having a certain number of team mates (usually one or two) surround them for a certain amount of time without enemy players entering the area or killing the players. If an enemy enters the area, the capture process stops and resets, after the latest update a message appears on the bottom left corner of the screen if the capture process is broken. Once the capture is complete, the flag will change to display the colors of the capturing team. The location is then held, but the enemy team may take it back through the same process. As a flag is held, over time, the team holding that flag has points added to their overall score. Capturing all of the points, or capturing other designated objectives which may not specifically be flags, constitutes a capture of the map which consequently restarts the round and gives a substantially large amount of points to the winning team.
The objective in a detonation Day of Defeat: Source match is to detonate two explosive devices at every opposing checkpoint. In some maps, this must be done while defending the points owned by the team, while in others, the team must either attack or defend, but not both. The latter form has a round timer which adds time for each objective destroyed.
Classes and Weapons
Two Rifle Grenades
Two Rifle Grenades
One Mk 2 Grenade
Two Mk 2 grenades
MapsThere are currently eight official maps available with Day of Defeat: Source. In addition many custom maps are being created by the Day of Defeat community and are being released at the official forums. Any official new maps will be distributed via Valve's Steam online distribution system.
When the game was released there were only four maps available, Anzio, Flash, Avalanche and Donner, all of which had been recreated based on maps in the previous iteration of Day of Defeat. An entirely new map, Argentan, was added on 30 November 2005, followed by a remake of Kalt on January 26, 2006. Colmar and Jagd, both examples of the new 'detonation' gameplay mode, were released on June 28, 2006.
- Anzio, a territorial control map.
- Argentan, a territorial control map.
- Avalanche, a territorial control map.
- Colmar, a detonation map.
- Donner, a territorial control map.
- Flash, a territorial control map.
- Jagd, a detonation map.
- Kalt, a territorial control map.
On April 26, 2007 the first in a series of finalized custom maps was released under the name of the Community Assembled Map Pack. Whilst unofficial, the maps are endorsed by Valve and according to one of the C.A.M.P. team their creation "would not have been possible without the assistance, encouragement, and support from Valve" and as such featured in a weekly news update on Steam. The maps are not distributed using Steam but rather by a thread on the official Day of Defeat forums. The second pack was released in similar style on July 26, 2007.
- Aura, a territorial control map.
- Churchyard, a territorial control map.
- Coire, a territorial control map.
- Crash, a territorial control map.
- Strand, a detonation map.
- Stug, a territorial control map.
- Tunisia, a detonation map.
- Vigilance, a territorial control map.
New Features and Changes from Day of Defeat
Day of Defeat: Source makes some minor and some major detail changes to the gameplay dynamics of Day of Defeat. The majority of the changes are said to be aimed towards promoting team play.
While Day of Defeat's classes were relatively flexible, Day of Defeat: Source limits them to ensure that each has a clear set of advantages and disadvantages. This is achieved through modifications to weapons, a class' weapon load out, and varying degrees of "cone fire" for different classes.
The clearest example of class specialization is the rifle class. In the original Day of Defeat, riflemen were equipped with a pistol and could attack players with the butt of their weapon. This gave them several fall-back positions should they find themselves in close range combat or other dangerous situations. In Day of Defeat: Source, riflemen do not have side-arms nor can they attack with the rifle butt. They can now bring up the rifle's iron sights for increased accuracy and have been equipped with trench knives and entrenching spades. In addition, in place of standard fragmentation grenades, rifle players are equipped with two rifle grenades. These grenades are capable of being fired over a much larger distance than standard fragmentation grenades and are able to strike at enemy sniper and MG positions with relative ease. Their disadvantage is that they are not easily primed or especially useful in close combat situations where a fragmentation grenade would be. This in turn specializes the class solely to medium to long range situations and players learn to avoid close quarters combat.
Similar changes have been made to other classes, and the result is that a player will usually have to consider carefully where they move, in order that they are not countered by a more suitably-equipped player. Class specialization also reduces the potential for one player to dominate in the game, and encourages teamwork among players.
Real Time Physics
Real-time physics are a by-product of Day of Defeat moving to Valve's Source engine. Like all other Source engine games, these are powered by a heavily modified version of the Havok Physics engine.
In the game, the engine gives the player the ability to modify the environment for a more favorable position, as they might in a real firefight. The movement of furniture indoors to block off a door, or pushing a table into a position and using it as makeshift prop for a machine gun are examples of players utilizing the physics to their advantage. Notably, players' helmets provide realistic protection against enemy fire, and a correctly placed shot is even capable of removing a player's helmet without killing them. However, the protection commonly goes unnoticed, as the most common sound to be heard accompanying a death is the 'tink' of a bullet hitting the helmet, followed by the sounds of it scraping rock and dirt.
More cosmetic changes include fully simulated debris and ragdoll animations for dead players.
Dynamic Audio Simulation
Day of Defeat: Source introduces a dynamic audio system that was limited to NPCs in Half-Life 2. Day of Defeat: Source is the first Source game to fully utilize the dynamic audio system in online multiplayer games.
In Day of Defeat: Source, each sound is attributed with distance and occlusion variables, which are processed and then fed back to the player. Sounds far from the player lack higher frequencies and thus sound more like they naturally would, for example, abrupt pops for gunshots. Doppler effects, occlusions, and directional sound are also present features.
With machine gun fire, this method appears awkward, however, as the cutoff for sound changes can be a few steps, or simply be within clear view of the shooter at ranges which make the gunner sound much farther away than they are.
In addition to recoil, which modifies the perceived projection of the bullet trajectory, a system for randomizing the bullet trajectory outside of a physically controllable system is present. This system relies on calculating a random angle within 2 discrete values creating an angled trajectory from the physically perceived angle. The maximum values that can be calculated, if graphically represented, create a cone, dubbed the "cone of fire".
It was initially believed that Day of Defeat: Source featured larger maximum angles than its predecessor. Following experiments by ex-Valve employee Tim 'Waldo' Holt, where weapons were fired in controlled in-game environments, it was found that this was only true of submachine gun and pistol weapons. The results of the experiments were posted on the official forums.
Day of Defeat: Source is an online multiplayer game, so server content often varies, including custom maps or administration modifications, the Mani admin plugin being one of the most popular. As with most online games, Day of Defeat: Source has a large clan interest. Expert clans compete in leagues with other clans, and often own one or more servers. Many other servers are public, therefore accessible by all and normally run by the company that provides the server.
In Day of Defeat: Source, there are special leagues for matches. The most well known is CAL, or Cyberathlete Amateur League. CAL is the amateur division of CPL, or Cyberathlete Professional League. Currently for Day of Defeat: Source there is an Open, Main, and Invite division. Other leagues include Online Gaming League, TeamWarfare League, ClanBase, Electronic Sports League, Source League and Victory in Europe. Enemy Down is also a ladder combined with leagues which are seen as a good starting place for new and well established clans alike although is based in Europe.
Day of Defeat: Source in league play is young, especially compared to its predecessor Day of Defeat and other games such as Counter-Strike and Quake III. This is due to the fact that Day of Defeat: Source was released in September of 2005, even though the game from which Day of Defeat: Source's engine derives from (Half-Life 2) was released in 2004. Successful game sales, plus the addition of competitive players from the original Day of Defeat are quickly improving and helping the Day of Defeat: Source community grow.
Notes and references
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512MB RAM, graphics card with 64MB VRAM (GeForce 4 or better)
Pentium 4 3.0 GHz, 1064MB RAM, graphics card with 128 MB VRAM (GeForce 4 or better, or GT500)