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Old 09-22-2007, 09:41 AM   #1
Virinix
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A comment to the developers

I have been around since the beginning of time. I was one of the original developers on the original TeamFortress mod for Quake1, played through quakeworld, many many years ago. I was also to a much lesser degree involved with debugging TFC when it came out for steam.

Now this mod..

The entire development team deserves on hell of a pat on the back. I have been watching alot of the third party source mods coming out, and virtually all of them are lacking in one form or other, thus maintaining a small playerbase (even across the more famous third party source mods). Many of these newer fancy mods might have direct user control problems, other have gameplay fauxpaus that make people not want to play them, other bugs or numerous technical issues.

I always thought that TeamFortress was next to CS for addiction level: people always play CS and TFC, just how it always was.

But this mod, on the mere 2nd day of release, has hundreds of people playing, and it appears the numbers are climbing rapidly. The pure quality of the first major public release amazed me greatly. Yes there are issues, but at this point everything is just 'fixes' for unforseen bugs and whatnot. You guys did not give in to temptation and release a half-working crap mod (like almost all of the others did) and thusly did not taint your own playerbase with a buggy release. Hats off to good project management.

The maps are detailed; All aspects of the classes are implemented and function as intended, the UI system is complete and very functional with a effective and non-obtrusive HUD, complete with a decent and helpful 'hint message' system, which is not in-your-face annoying by default like some others.

I have read most of the other threads with complaints, and quite frankly, some people need to learn some respect. The amount of work your team has put into this mod is amazing. I expected for there to be some intentional features left out, for some bugs to be remaining that are very serious and intentionally left in for a 'beta' release, or for aspects of the classes not to function. That would have been totally acceptable for a source third party first release; but instead, this release is a good 98% complete as-is out of the box. As long as you have your video drivers in order and whatnot, this mod runs clean right off the bat. (tested on 3 systems now).

The fact this mod is so well done, and FREE, I think will gurantee it's popularity over TF2. Ive already heard a few things I dont like about it, and quite frankly, surprisingly to me and a small circle of my programming friends, Fortress Forever fills the gap quite nicely as far as I'm concerned.

As for other people: Bugs in a project this size are inevitable; You have no idea the dozens of thousand-line source files, massive nearly-unmanagable visual studio projects and other things that are involved just to get the core of a mod working, escpecially under source. Not to mention all the maps.. and the models.. and the sounds.. and recompiling a map 500 times over to make sure every detail is good to go. Ive been there, done that, and thank god, these people did it for us this time.

Enough hero worship, I just found it disheartening that so much negative feedback has been coming into the forums. What a shame. I think everyone who plays this mod should give these guys a donation asap.

-- Virinix --
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:23 AM   #2
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thanks its always nice to hear from guys like you. you're right though, there's a whole negative feeling around some rather short sighted people who expect far too much out of a mod.
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:46 AM   #3
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Totally agree, like i said in another thread i do believe it's only children who put their criticism in such a negative and offensive way it needs stamping out of the forums though, good job with the positive post the community needs more people like you.
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Old 09-22-2007, 04:35 PM   #4
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Virinix,

I have not written one line of code, modified a single sound, or created a texture. I'm just a beta tester and a forum guy. However, getting a post like your's has me grinning from ear-to-ear. Thank you very much. Getting praise from guys like you means a lot.

BTW, fill out a job application here... I think you *might* qualify. Also, please consider blackmailing your programming friends into doing the same.



Edit - feel free to give critique and suggestion in the "Ideas and Suggestions" forum too.
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Old 09-22-2007, 05:21 PM   #5
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Very interesting post Virinix, thanks. Its good to hear comments like that from someone who opinion carries some weight. Motivation for the dev team i'm sure.

I agree with most of what you say. I haven't noticed too many people making negative comments (no more than you would expect), but then i don't read forums all that much. It is an amazing first release for a mod, and as you say everything pretty much works how it should. Some work is needed on the cosmetics still (im not a big fan of the HUD for example) and some tweaking here and there i guess, but the core is most definitely there.

Being more popular than TF2 is impossible though; the fact is, TF2 is very good and has Valve behind it. Everyone who buys HL2:EP2 will have a copy, there is no way a mod could get installed on that many PC's.

There is plenty of room for FF and TF2 to coexist tho, and the popularity that TF2 will gain should help FF by making more players aware of Team Fortress. Players who like both will continue to play both, they provide a different experience. Those who like TF2 and then want something with a faster pace will hopefully try out FF.
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Old 09-22-2007, 06:43 PM   #6
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Thanks for the support.
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:30 PM   #7
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i suppose one could take all the FF/TF2 comparisons as a huge compliment, seeing as these people see FF has a similar calibre.
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virinix
I have been around since the beginning of time. I was one of the original developers on the original TeamFortress mod for Quake1, played through quakeworld, many many years ago. I was also to a much lesser degree involved with debugging TFC when it came out for steam.

Now this mod..

The entire development team deserves on hell of a pat on the back. I have been watching alot of the third party source mods coming out, and virtually all of them are lacking in one form or other, thus maintaining a small playerbase (even across the more famous third party source mods). Many of these newer fancy mods might have direct user control problems, other have gameplay fauxpaus that make people not want to play them, other bugs or numerous technical issues.

I always thought that TeamFortress was next to CS for addiction level: people always play CS and TFC, just how it always was.

But this mod, on the mere 2nd day of release, has hundreds of people playing, and it appears the numbers are climbing rapidly. The pure quality of the first major public release amazed me greatly. Yes there are issues, but at this point everything is just 'fixes' for unforseen bugs and whatnot. You guys did not give in to temptation and release a half-working crap mod (like almost all of the others did) and thusly did not taint your own playerbase with a buggy release. Hats off to good project management.

The maps are detailed; All aspects of the classes are implemented and function as intended, the UI system is complete and very functional with a effective and non-obtrusive HUD, complete with a decent and helpful 'hint message' system, which is not in-your-face annoying by default like some others.

I have read most of the other threads with complaints, and quite frankly, some people need to learn some respect. The amount of work your team has put into this mod is amazing. I expected for there to be some intentional features left out, for some bugs to be remaining that are very serious and intentionally left in for a 'beta' release, or for aspects of the classes not to function. That would have been totally acceptable for a source third party first release; but instead, this release is a good 98% complete as-is out of the box. As long as you have your video drivers in order and whatnot, this mod runs clean right off the bat. (tested on 3 systems now).

The fact this mod is so well done, and FREE, I think will gurantee it's popularity over TF2. Ive already heard a few things I dont like about it, and quite frankly, surprisingly to me and a small circle of my programming friends, Fortress Forever fills the gap quite nicely as far as I'm concerned.

As for other people: Bugs in a project this size are inevitable; You have no idea the dozens of thousand-line source files, massive nearly-unmanagable visual studio projects and other things that are involved just to get the core of a mod working, escpecially under source. Not to mention all the maps.. and the models.. and the sounds.. and recompiling a map 500 times over to make sure every detail is good to go. Ive been there, done that, and thank god, these people did it for us this time.

Enough hero worship, I just found it disheartening that so much negative feedback has been coming into the forums. What a shame. I think everyone who plays this mod should give these guys a donation asap.

-- Virinix --
So true. So true. Hey Virinix, welcome to the FF society.
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:05 PM   #9
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Cool stuff, this project in a way reminds me of the teamfortress project. It was sometime in 1996 and it has been a long time since some good old-fashioned style TF has ran across my screen. I never really liked TFC when it came out; I found it to be too 'halflife-ish' and it had lost alot of the original feel of the ancient TF all of us were used to. This one, I dont know whether intentionally or unintentionally captures the gameplay of the golden era alot better, with some necessary game improvements (hijackable sentries, cloaks, sniper rifles that dont allow cheap rapid sniping, etc.) and so far they work out very well. I personally loved being able to snipe like a round every 5 seconds but hey, that's why so many newer players got pissed off and went back to playing diablo or warcraft 2.

Phatpish: Fully agreed. TF2 is being mass distributed like bigmacs at a jenny craig convention (make sense? ofcourse not, very little valve does makes any sense nowdays). For this reason the playerbase for TF2 will always be infinately larger, as a good chunk of the lesser-computer-educated playerbase would not know how to download and install a mod, or be afraid of installing a 3rd party mod. Its only the upper echelon of the 3rd party gaming community that are even aware that FF exists. Look at the steamids on the servers. Ive been peeking at them just to get an idea. The average steamid on the few servers Ive played on tends to hover in the 4-6 digit range. Now log onto your favourite CS:S server, and youll see steamids by the dozen that look like they were bought last week. TF2? The same way, a small spatter of lower steamids but very few. I had some hard time finding a steamid under 100000 that was playing TF2. I eventually found a couple clusters but it made me think; If this was so popular, why arn't there many more hardcore gamers coming back to play? It appears most of them are currently in FF. Or they had to get new accounts for using aimbots in CS. Who knows.

Now if we remove the Valve dice, what do we get? FF is effectively already the most popular 3rd party mod source has. If Valve had wisdom, they would realize that FF is NOT a competitor for TF2 but a nice alternative. They would be giving you guys a call for licensing opportunities, as you have a completed functional product that is mass-consumable and mass-acceptable (more than I can say for almost all the other 3rd party half-successes out there right now). But they will not call, nor will they push for licensing, mainly thanks to the keepers that smell money more than they smell opportunity.

Valve seems to forget that CS, TF, even DOD all started as little pet projects that boomed. They now seem to overlook the little guys quite happily, with a smirk and a smile. Notice how Valve conveniently left out Fortress Forever on their mods review page recently? It was the only mod of value that was left out. Coincidence? I think not.

Though licensing with Valve is a very unwanted thing, because Valve views FF as a threat to their TF2 business model, not to mention they would destroy FF in its purity, it is safe to say the only way this mod will become widespread to critical mass is if a very unique and targeted internet 'advertising' campaign was launched. It would also help if the FF wikipedia page was updated to be more 'showy and flashy' (but within the realistic guidelines and visual appeasability standards of wikipedia). I noticed some other mods and games have pretty sharp well-laid-out Wikipedia pages. You might be surprised how many people checkout wikipedia before installing a new mod, to get a 5-second jist of the project without wading through endless webpages to get the information. Just like most people check Imdb.com for 5-second movie overviews.

Mass marketing used to be my business; In actuality, it is much easier to get a product known if it works, is reliable, massly acceptable and consumable, Addictive (which FF does very well) and escpecially if it's Free. There is still many many Steam users that play more than 6 hours a day, and still many more possibilities...

Anyways I will stop writing speeches now. None of this is stuff you guys didn't already know.

Oh, I also wanted to ask: you guys going to print any Fortress Forever Tshirts? Im definately down for one, Ill proudly wear it on my next trip to Valve in Washington. I wonder if anyone will have the guts to make a negative comment about it.
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:42 PM   #10
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Sign me up for an FF t-shirt too
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:09 PM   #11
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Virinix,

what you say is true. However (and I don't think you could know this) is you also have too many people, in other various valve/steam related forums out there extolling the virtues of TF2 and how it "streamlined" and "tweaked" the gameplay, or how they wanted something fresh, not old ancient stuff.

Personally I think they are all bonkers. The word "streamlined" used to describe gaming has started to become synonymous to me with the phrase "we took out all the stuff you liked". And as far and not wanting old stuff........... if it ain't broke don't fix it.
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:43 PM   #12
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:05 PM   #13
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A t-shirt would be very cool
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:20 PM   #14
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Put me down for a shirt!!! Be a nice way to both advertise the game, and for the devs to get a little $$$ for what they worked so hard on.

(heh heh....I said, "hard on"..... heh heh.....)
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:15 PM   #15
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I don't think you can necessarily blame Valve for not advertising FF -- they've got their own (similar) project to advertise right now -- one they've put a zillion hours into and a lot of money to boot. If Valve was really that worried about FF they could've made our lives awfully difficult via legal issues and ignored any requests for help. They've always been perfectly polite when we're in touch. We've never been under the illusion that they'd bend over backwards to help us out in terms of steam messages or getting the word out, so I can't say we're surprised. They're a business and I don't think you can hold it against them.

As for the mod stuff: The other problem we face is a mod is investment. I don't mean financial investment, I mean the investment people make in things they either buy or download. If someone downloads a free mod and spends $45 on a new game, they do approach these things with a slightly different mindset.

They might try the mod for an hour and, if it doesn't immediately grab them, or they find it hard to get into or it crashes (even if it's not a mod-specific crash), they will probably be inclined to uninstall it and say "whatever". The game is a different story, though. They've made an investment in it and will be more inclined to spend time on making sure their initial opinion wasn't a mistake. I've heard quite a few old TFCers bitching that "TF2 sux" etc. and then I come back a few days later and the same people are now singing its praises. So, if they were sure it "sux", what were they still playing it for? Answer: They just spent $45 on it and felt compelled to keep trying to get into it. They then got used to the fact that TF2 != TFC and is a good game in its own right (I don't yet have an opinion because I haven't got TF2 yet; I'm skint :P).

Anyway that's the flip-side of the advantage of mods being free. You may get people in through the door initially by the virtue of the mod being free, but I think you have to try even harder to grab the gamer the moment they start up the mod. TF really isn't the easiest type of game to learn, even with all the hint stuff & map overviews etc. we've put in it takes some time to get an understanding of the game mechanics.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:41 AM   #16
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thats so true, free mods are like a revolving door, and people can move on just as fast as they can flood in to check it out.
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:36 PM   #17
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Thanks for the comments, Virinix. Very insightful stuff!
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:43 PM   #18
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:48 AM   #19
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best mod ever created. i <3 team fortress more then uhh pretty much my life so0o FF is GOD to me
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