Archive for December, 2007

12 Dec / 4:51 pm

Team Fortress 2 Updates from Valve, New Maps!

I found a forum post that has an e-mail quoted from Kerry Davis a software engineer over at Valve Software. Apparently a guy named Shamrock sent an e-mail to the 360 development group at Valve reguarding TF2 and got a suprising response. It looks like the patch has already been completed, contains NEW maps and has already been sent to Microsoft for certification.

GGL has a post up with an excerpt of the new downloadable content that is on the way.

Primarily, the patch will improve bandwidth usage, fix several exploits and improve statistics reporting. The big news is that the patch will also include some new maps.

From Shamrock:

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So valve doesn't do a very good job keeping the 360 community updated on the steam forums about patches or maps coming etc... so I shot a email over to Gabe Newell asking him if he took my Orange box money and skipped town on my ass.

Valve’s Response

Hello Shamrock,

I am part of the Xbox 360 development team here at Valve, so Gabe
forwarded your message to me. I’m very sorry to hear that you feel we
have “skipped town” and deserted our customers on the 360 – I personally
visit several Orange Box forums and try to post when I have time, but
it’s clear from your experience that we aren’t reaching enough of the
community. That said, I’d be happy to answer your questions here.

We do have a new update coming out – in fact, it’s going to Microsoft
for certification today. There’s about a 10-14 day certification time,
so you should be seeing it before Christmas. The update fixes several
game-play exploits, improves bandwidth usage, improves stats reporting,
and fixes some menu bugs. Most of the fixes that are in this update are
in response to forum posts from both the PC and 360, and from direct
in-game feedback from players. (Yes, we actually have several people who
regularly play TF2 on the 360 and collect feedback from the players.
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.)

We are currently working on new maps, and we are planning to release
them as downloadable content for the 360. I don’t know what the
schedule will be for that – new maps will likely be released
individually on the PC as they’re ready, and then we’ll offer them as a
single pack on the 360. We’re currently testing a new map that’s
extremely fun, and we can’t wait for our customers to try it out.

We are always interested in what the community has to say, and will
continue to support TF2 on all platforms. I personally work with the
360 version on a daily basis, and will continue to do so until we feel
that the product is the best it can be.

Best,

Kerry Davis
Software Engineer
Valve

12 Dec / 4:21 pm

Guitar Hero III Review

Guitar Hero has been a breakthrough series. However Yahtzee over at The Escapist makes some great points about their latest release GH3, apparently without taking a single breath.

This week on Zero Punctuation, Yahtzee gaily shreds Guitar Hero III.

Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn’t talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games and does the occasional feature for Australia’s Hyper Magazine. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.

12 Dec / 10:32 am

STA TF2 Results Darwin Award Winners vs. DJedi

Last night we went up against Darwin Award Winners, clan tag (x_x), on the majorly crappy revision of cp_granary. Seriously valve needs to fix this map for competitive play instead of public server play.

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That aside, back to the agenda at hand, around 9:25pm we realized that we only had 7 players to field and had to make some phone calls to get people online. Special super duper thanks goes out to Rental’s fiancĂ© for allowing him to play since we desperately needed his Scout talent.

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We started off the round with an all scout rush in an attempt to complete super secret classified, but now released to the public, Operation X16 strategy. Sadly Retro had forgotten to record a demo and stopped short of the middle cap point and we were only to deploy operation X14. He has been flogged repeatedly for dragging down the team. We scout rushed 3 times in a row to win the round. Score 3-0 DJedi.

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The 2nd round we played our more usual classes, with some people playing things they don’t normally play in matches. I was a medic for the 2nd time in match play and for the 1st time I didn’t get completely destroyed! Though it wasn’t pretty, I still managed to make it to the last point of the match and help us win the 2nd round. Score 3-0 DJedi.

Final Score: 6-0 DJedi over (x_x)

11 Dec / 11:42 am

TF2 Fist Patrol Remix

Team Fortress 2 Fist Patrolman
[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=oSKs3T9dhJU]

TF2: Fist Patrol Defends Well
[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=OmX52FECnuw]

TF2: More Fist Patrol
[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=I6Vo9rH2W8U]

TF2: More Fist Patrol 2
[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=GiPbKGV3y4U]

TF2: Fist Patrol Bonus Footage
[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=Kqb0MHRO3ZU]

10 Dec / 10:51 am

Orange Box Wins Two Spike TV Video Game Awards

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Spike has announced the winners for their 2007 Video Game Awards. Orange Box which brought home two awards this year, won for the best technology in Portal and best PC game thanks to it’s multi-faceted single player and multi player experiences. Orange box included the entire HL2 story line as well as Portal and Team Fortress 2. I don’t have any idea how Halo-3 won best multiplayer game, possibly due to fluff surrounding the game like Xbox live. Team Fortress 2, while it has a learning curve, presented an entire new way of thinking about online teamplay, to an entire new audience that may never have experienced the joy of team fortress that was enjoyed by so many during the quake world era.

Also of note are the awards by a relative latecomer in 2007, Call Of Duty 4. This shooter was by far the most impressive single-player experience I have had the pleasure to play in the past few years. It was the clear winner in the two categories it came away with, top shooter and top military game.

2007 Awards

  • Game of the Year: BioShock
  • Studio of the Year: Harmonix
  • Best Shooter: Call of Duty : 4 Modern Warfare
  • Best RPG: Mass Effect
  • Best Military Game: Call of Duty : 4 Modern Warfare
  • Best Individual Sports Game: skate
  • Best Handheld Game: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  • Best Graphics: Crysis
  • Best Game Based on a Movie or TV Show: The Simpsons the Game
  • Best Rhythm Game: Rock Band
  • Best Driving Game: Dirt
  • Best Action Game: Super Mario Galaxy
  • Best Team Sports Game: Madden NFL ‘08
  • Best Soundtrack: Guitar Hero 3
  • Breakthrough Technology: Half Life 2: The Orange Box
  • Best Xbox 360 Game: BioShock
  • Best Wii Game: Super Mario Galaxy
  • Best PS3 Game: Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction
  • Best PC Game: The Orange Box
  • Best Original Score: Bioshock
  • Best Multiplayer Game: Halo 3
  • Most Addictive Video Game fueled by Dew: Halo 3
09 Dec / 8:12 pm

REV6 Blackmailing DJedi

Apparently StingraY is trying to blackmail me. Unfortunately for him, I’m not in the screenshot.

REV6StingraY`d5: wire me 50 dollars or I will send a clan stacked picture of djedi to ubercharged.net… what will he think about djedi then!
REV6StingraY`d5: meet my demands or this image – http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/2553/djedistackedkg5.jpg will be sent to every news orginazation in the biz

djedistackedkg5.jpg

UPDATE!

lunk[DJedi]: http://tf2.digitaljedi.com/2007/rev6-blackmailing-djedi/
REV6StingraY`d5: it’s StingraY god damn it
REV6StingraY`d5: not StingRay
lunk[DJedi]: pay me 5$ and i’ll fix it
REV6StingraY`d5: >_<
REV6StingraY`d5: you won't get away with this

djedibigjerksielunkisajox4.jpg
09 Dec / 10:13 am

3D Graphics Performance in Team Fortress 2

While trying to find a new video card, i came across this article about TF2 and benchmarking. Decent read: LINK

Valve uses the power of modern graphics cards to produce a smooth, cartoonish look in TF2 that doesn’t make its sophistication immediately obvious. To learn more about how the developers used a combination of art direction and technology to serve the gameplay, check out this Illustrative Rendering video at gamevideos.com.

P.S. I think i’m going to go with the Radeon 3850 for $179. It gives performance slightly less than the Nvidia 8800GTS (~$279) for $100 cheaper. =)

08 Dec / 2:50 pm

Valve Releases Team Fortress 2 Gameplay Data

Shacknews has a post discussing TF2 gameplay data released by Valve recently.

At Valve, we’re always striving to make our products better. We’ve traditionally relied on things like written feedback from players to help decide which improvements to focus on. More recently, Steam has allowed us to collect more information than was previously possible. TF2 includes a reporting mechanism which tells us details about how people are playing the game. We’re sharing the data we collect because we think people will find it interesting, and because we expect to spot emergent problems earlier, and ultimately build better products and experiences as a result. Let us know what you think.

I think the coolest thing by far are the death maps that correlate data between deaths and location of the map with all of the offically released Valve maps.

cp_dustbowl_deaths.jpgcp_granary_deaths.jpg

According to this graph, medics by far get the most assists out of all classes.

avgassists.png

However, the medic is played the least out of all classes. The medic is the MOST important member of any team and should be played alot, if they can stay alive.

timeplayedclass.png

This graph shows that medics live the least amount of time. Medics are the target of almost every member of the opposite team, making it very difficult to encourage people to play medic.

avgtime.png

Shacknews elaborates a bit more.

Tracked stats include time played per class, points earned per class, damage dealt per weapon, total time played, and much more. There are also color-coded top-down views of maps indicating where players died most frequently.

Close combat weapons, particularly the bonesaw, achieve critical hits most often; the rocket launcher deals nearly a quarter of all damage done;

07 Dec / 2:05 pm

TFL Match Results: DJedi vs ABLE

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In a very heated match, ABLE fought an epic battle against us on cp_well last night. Twice we almost captured ABLE’s back point in the 1st round, only to be driven all the way back to our last point. Whatever we were doing wasn’t working well and they kept the momentum once they got it. The first round ended with ABLE 3 vs DJedi 1.

DJedi made some halftime adjustments, bringing in Tendril to scout with Rental. We also switched out Retro as demoman who was replaced by Infinite who played heavy. These changes worked well for us as we held them off and persevered for the win in the 2nd round. Please send me a screenshot for the 2nd round if you have one. I think my demo cut off or changed to a different file, will check tonight. 2nd Round Score, DJedi 3 vs ABLE 1

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This created an overall tie for the match and we went into overtime to determine the winner. The momentum switched back to [ABLE] and they were able to capture and hold the middle during overtime to clench the victory. Can Rental and his one pipe hold everyone off by himself? With a medic and soldier down around him and a sniper off to his left (not in shot), he doesn’t stand a chance.

That’s how it ended, in OT, with ABLE controlling the middle point for the win. Great, game ABLE, we look forward to playing you in the future.

Final Score, 1-3, 3-1, 0-1. ABLE over DJedi 5-4(OT)

Download demos from my POV.

06 Dec / 3:58 pm

TF2 Easter Eggs

I was playing on a server the other evening and was wondering why all the players had on hats and gibs were turning into presents instead of the usual bloody pulp from killing a foe. Looks like someone has figured out how to play with the TF2 Easter Eggs on when it’s not Aug 24th or Dec 22, two important dates in Team Fortress.

From the developer Wiki:

This is activated on the birthday of the original Team Fortress, which is either August 24, when the Team Fortress was released as a Quake total conversion, or December 22, when the game was released standalone on the QuakeWorld 2.0 engine. All players wear birthday hats, all gibs turn into birthday presents and any time you hit someone with a weapon, balloons slowly float away out of them.

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