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Building Game Communities

Features, Games and Gaming, Retrospectives

It seems like game developers and publishers tend to take a few different strategies with how they release and support their games. This can be for any number of reasons, like meeting a release date, reaching specific sales numbers, and experimenting with sales models. Let’s take a look at what works and what doesn’t.

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This Changes EVERYTHING! New Team Fortress 2 Update.

Features

Dateline: Bellevue Washington.

Valve Software’s resident Australian, Robin Walker, announced sweeping changes in the hit multiplayer game Team Fortress 2.

“With this latest update” Walker began “Players will now be able to buy hats and weapons with tangible money that they would normally use for food, or rent!”

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75 Golden Wrenches!

Games and Gaming

Team Fortress 2 is the game that keeps on giving, like a fun version of food poisoning. The developers, Valve Software, have been releasing updates since the game’s release in October 2007. Many of the major releases have taken the form of updates focused around adding new equipment and abilities to a given class. Adding new equipment and making fun of Australia, that is.

The game has developed a hilarious mythos, supported by a series of comic pages and blog posts.

A new update is arriving for the Engineer class and day one includes the announcement of a new shotgun that encourages furious revenge!

Day One.

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Andy Rooney On Teams and Fortresses

Features, Games and Gaming

I don’t know what’s  happening to gaming these days. In my day you had a fortress, you had a team, and you just went at it. It was like tag or flag football, the bedrock of any small town community. I know community isn’t in vogue these days. It’s one for one and all for none, it seems. I watch the television and it’s not more about team sports, its about the individual stars.  A trophy for this, a  medal for that.

It seems to me that nowadays, our fortress team games are obsessed with personal milestones. What sort of whacky combination of numbers have to be achieved today, I wonder. When I was younger, you just worried about how many times you fragged, and how many times you got fragged, and that was that. Now there are silly hats and punny little titles given to any number of strange number crunching.

Lately I’ve been wondering if it doesn’t have to do a little bit with things. What I mean is, too many people are in a rush to get things, get into the city, say, pick up a newer version of a pair of pants that have been perfectly fine these past five years. It’s not that I wouldn’t do it myself, if was a little bit younger, a little less wise, but it’s a shame all the same.

And seemingly, the company that, to be honest, makes me think more often of plumbing supplies than video gaming, has attached their weird and wonderful number crunching to getting more things. What’s wrong with a rocket launcher, I ask? Now you want a rocket launcher that does more splash damage, or less splash damage, maybe heats up your car on a cold  morning.

It might be a bit much, I wonder.

But things move on, sure as taxes, or your toast getting inedibly dry after an endless conversation with a coworker you don’t like too much. I’m not one to complain about things. But it seems to me that the Team Fortress of today is a little too friendly, maybe, a little less fortressy. I don’t think we ever needed hats to really enjoy the game. We sure don’t need more things.

At least, I’d like to think so.

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TF2: CATMAGEDDON

Games and Gaming

“People make maps in Team Fortress 2 specifically for grinding achievements. Bleak, joyless rooms of endlessly spawning bots and resupply crates, where people don’t play the game, they game it. But in one of these, achievement_all_v4, the author’s added a surprise…”

Read more at PCGamer, including comments from Robin Walker of Valve.

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4 Reasons Why Team Fortress Classic is Better Than Team Fortress 2

Games and Gaming, Retrospectives

Team Fortress 2 (TF2) was released in October 2007 as part of the Orange Box, which will be known to our children and our children’s children as the best Value in History, even better than the famous Christmas season when United Automatons forgets to charge extra for the vibrator attachment. Team Fortress 2 exemplified team-based gaming, providing the player with nine different classes, all with unique abilities. For example, the demoman could launch grenades to create chokepoints or to destroy weapons emplacements, while the spy could cause a spontaneous ballooning in the posterior cerebral artery of the player whose character he backstabbed.

TF2 certainly has some merits, but if that noble game is a polished-up Ferrari, then Team Fortress Classic (TFC) is the junker with NOS, an old piece of shit that doesn’t look so hot but which is loaded up with mods, memories and not just a few bits of illegal swag. Below I present four reasons why TFC is better than TF2. Continue reading