Q&A 4 - 2.1, HW Guy, Pon Pon Pata Pon!

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
Welcome to Week 4 of community Q&A! We love listening to your questions and we'd love to see more - send 'em our way in this thread:

Now onto Q&A 4...

Question 1 ([AE] 82694):

What plan does the Dev team have for FF after the 2.1 release?

1) Will you be concentrating on models.

2) More maps with all the new mappers the Dev team has.

3) What your plans for FF in general are.

Answer 1 (-pF-)

1) There will be changes to the models. From what it looks like right now, there will be tweaks in size and proportion to help distinguish classes. Also, we will probably switch to a new skeleton to facilitate the addition of new animations. Finally, we'd like to retexture some, if not all of the models. So texture artists with prior experience in texturing characters, please apply (like, now)!

2) There's a few really good brand new maps being made up by beta testers and devs alike. When 2.1 comes out, you'll enjoy them for sure!

3) We plan to keep refining the game and make it as fun and balanced as possible. We'd also like to add features to help new players understand the Fortress genre better.

Question 2 (cfive):
Why don't you just make hardcap a serverside thing so people can choose?

Answer 2 (Nezumi):
Since this question has been asked and answered many times in the past, I'll answer again now: different bhop mechanics in different servers would divide the community, and segregate people to their own prefered play style, which we don't want. We want everyone to learn to play together. It's okay for maps to have different and interesting playstyles, but the basic look and feel of the game should stay roughly the same no matter what you're playing.

Question 3 (cfive):
I want to help FF gain popularity, is there anyway I could join the PR team?

Answer 3 (Implode, Iggy):
We do not have any specific plans for community involvement ready at this time, but they are being worked on. When we have something we need you guys to do we'll let you know about it! However, please feel free to continue to invite new potential players to the mod. Basically, tell your friends, and try to get them interested. Hopefully they will like it, and do the same.

Question 4 (reaper1):
What changes, if any, have been made to the Heavy Weapons Guy?

Answer 4 (Ihmhi):
I'm just going to paraphrase the general reaction of the beta testers for this question: "Holy shit, the HW Guy destroys now!"He's not overpowered, but he's not a pansy anymore.

Question 5 (reaper1):
Have any core changes to the mod been made that have had an effect on the frames per second for clients?

Answer 5 (-insert any mapper here-):
As for maps, any FF mapper can tell you this: framerates are a result of map optimization. That said, Elmo- has busted his butt improving the FPS for Monkey. Waterpolo no longer drives your FPS into the ground. Most other dev maps are getting little FPS improvements here and there.

And as for code, we haven't focused very much on optimizations, but rather fixes, tweaks, and additions. We're going to wait to do a lot of code optimizations until the Orange Box is our code base, simply so we don't have to do a lot of Orange Box merging once again and so we don't spend a lot of time fixing what Orange Box might have already fixed.

B-B-Bonus Content:
This week, we have an interview with one of the devs. Ihmhi asked Pon (one of our Lua guys) some questions about Lua and his experiences with FF in general. If he can wrangle the devs into a corner for a few minutes in the future, we hope for this to be a regular feature until we run out of devs.

So with that, here's the interview!

Ihmhi: We'll start with an easy question: describe your position on the Dev Team. Well, my position is that of an Lua scripter. Generally, our mappers come to me, ask if 'such and such' a feature can be done with Lua, and if it can, can I get to work on it. If it can't, I tell them to bug the programmers until it can

Ihmhi: How did you manage to join the dev team? Did you apply, or did someone invite you? I was invitied by squeek., who seemed to notice the work I was trying to do to help community mappers with their Lua, I guess.

Ihmhi: A lot of people, including myself, view Lua as this sort of mystical language invented by insane people. Could you give us a little insight into how Lua works with FF maps and why it's such a powerful tool for us? Well, insane is a bit strong... close, but a bit strong The main reason it's so useful and is a powerful tool, in my opinion, is the control over damn near everything it gives you. You can use it to dictate how most everything in FF should work if you want, from map entities to the damage dealt by each weapon. Alongside that, you can customise the feedback your map gives the player via the HUD. Most importantly though, you can use it to build pretty much any gamemode you can think of. Technically you could have a Fortess Forever map that plays like Counterstrike, for example.

Ihmhi: Is there anything you can't conceivably do with Lua in FF? Hmm, well, yes, I guess there will be. Most everything has limits. But, given that FF is in active development, anything that can't be done, and is needed, can be added. For example, for one map, it was nessecary that the player's health be drained, which currently wasn't possible. So, someone set the AddHealth function to accept negative values, and that was it, job done. So, I guess that, conceivably, I can't think of anything that can't at the very least be added if needed.

Ihmhi: So if FF's lua functionality can't do something, the other devs can code it in for you? Yeah, pretty much. It's also something I should learn to do myself as well, I guess.

Ihmhi: One of my personal peeves with Lua (and coding in general) is uncommented code. Pretty much all of the core lua files and nearly every single released map's Lua is uncommented. Will there ever be an effort to get the Lua code commented so it's easier for people new to Lua to get a handle on it? Hopefully. It would would be useful to a lot of mappers, I think.

Ihmhi: What was the hardest bit of Lua coding that you've had to do recently? Probably for a map called Impact which is currently in development. Without wanting to give too much away, the main problem was to have a system in place that allowed for multiple flags to be in play at any one time, without spawning a new one every time one was needed and being a massive resource drain. And that also switched teams each round.

Ihmhi: Last question (and make it quick as I have to leave for work now). Did you ever regret mercilessly beating on chickens in a Legend of Zelda game? Never.

Ihmhi: Thanks a bunch!
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Q&A 3 - P.R., the Spy, and other wonderful things

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
Welcome to this week's Q&A, where the devs answer your questions! If you would like to ask the devs a question, just register for the forums and go to this thread:

The best questions will be picked out by a certain dev and submitted to the devs for their responses.

Question 1(Rutabeggar):
A lot of the people I know have written off FF since they played it way back in 1.0, is the dev team is planning to reach out to the players that was so unjustly isolated by the majority of the first team and new players in general, we all talk about "PR" but what kind of "PR" is being planned, if any?

Answer 1 (Implode):
We have recently created an active "PR" department that has already begun working on several things...just a few of these include: Getting FF listed on the 3rd Party mod, an update notification on steam list, and also advertising on national gaming and CPU sites. And of course, answering questions for people, just like yours.

Question 2 (Rocketrunner):
I don't know if this has been asked before, but, in 2.1, will the Nailgun and Super Nailgun have individual pros and cons so that, nobody keeps using medic ALL the time?

Answer 2 (squeek.):
No changes to the nailgun or super nailgun are being made in 2.1.

Question 3 (reaper18):
Will there be more notification of players who accomplish goals?
For example, who captured the flag, or who secured Command Point X?

Answer 3 (squeek.):
We have talked about this a bit, but it will likely not be implemented in 2.1.

Question 4 (reaper18 / im2cool4uroflolz):
Also, are the tranq effects going to eventually resemble TFC more so than they do? Like giving hallucinations of bullet impacts, grenades, gunshots, and explosions? What changes have been made to the spy cloak and are there any more planned features/optimizations? What sort of changes will be made to the Spy in 2.1?

Answer 4 (squeek.):
These questions are very similar, so they've been grouped together as one. When reaper18 says "tranq effects", I believe he is referring to the hallucination effects of the TFC Spy's gas grenades. There will likely not be any changes to the effects of the Spy's gas grenades this patch.

The Spy's cloak and disguise dynamics have changed a bit regarding Sentry Guns in 2.1. When you are disguised as the enemy and cloaked, enemy Sentry Guns will not see you. Being cloaked and disguised as the wrong team or just being cloaked will still result in the Sentry shooting you.

*EDIT* Actually, now a cloaked spy disguised as an enemy will be detected by enemy sentries, but only within a shorter range than the regular lock on distance. *END EDIT*

The spy is 100% invisible when cloaked and standing still. No shadow, no talk icon, nothing.

Question 5 (Hammock):
Would it be at all possible to display the Time Remaining of the current map when selecting the option "View Server". It displays the players, their scores and how long they've been in the server.

But there's been many times I don't want to join a server playing a map I don't care for. It'd be nice to know how much longer the map has without actually joining the server, or maybe you can't join cause it's full and know the best time to join is during a map change, also good to know when that map change will occur.

Answer 5 (dt):
"It might be possible to show the time and other game info in the server browser, but that's something we really haven't messed with yet. Our coding staff is working hard on things with a higher priority and this is something we might get into a future patch if it can be coded."
Discuss on the forums →

Q&A 2 - the Engineer, resupplies, and some AvD lovin'.

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
Here's this week's Q&A, brought to you remarkably late on account of every dev is too damn busy to talk to me. As always, remember to hop over to the FF Q&A thread and ask more questions:

Question 1 (Rutabeggar):

What would you say are the most stark contrasts between 2.1 and the mods previous patches as in are there any new game breaking/making things being added such as the heavy becoming important again?

Answer 1 (Circuitous):

For starters, the HW is much more useful now. We are still working on some of the finer points of the class but overall it is better than the 2.0 HW. The Engineers will be able to resupply a bit easier. (This is expanded upon in Question 2.) The Pyros are slightly less spammy, and the flamethrower's push has been notched up a bit. Snipers are more efficient than their 2.0 predecessors.

Question 2 (Agent Buckshot Moose):
What's going on with the Engineer in 2.1?

Answer 2 (Circuitous):

This is an interesting list.

- Dispensers now start with ammo and armor, regenerate twice as much per tick, dispense twice as much per tick, and dispense faster than before.
- Carrying your Railgun regenerate rails.
- Railgun Charging is quite different,
--- each charge level only takes 1 second and 1 rail,
--- after fully charging, you can continue to hold it for up to 3 seconds,
--- after 3 seconds, the Railgun overcharges. This costs an additional rail, but gives you 40 Cells. Great for SG spots that don't have handy resupplies.
--- overcharging in this way does not hurt you anymore.
- lastly, and this may not make it to patch time, we want dispensers to "pick up" any bags dropped nearby.

Question 3 (Gwarsbane):

Will there be more no build stuff put into all the official maps to stop people from building stuff in the spawn rooms and in doors? Will all the spawn areas in official maps that don't have them get the no grenade code? Well and Aardvark come to mind as they seem to be the ones spammed the most.

Answer 3 (Circuitous)

They absolutely should, but it's a matter of what we have access to now. All of the new maps, and any maps that are actively being worked on or reconstructed, have nobuilds and noannoyances where needed. We'll see what we can do.

Question 4 (Gwarsbane)

Will spawn bags ever heal broken legs, medic infections, tracer tags, put out flames and stuff like that? That would help in most cases against people spamming the spawn room with spy gas, or a medic running in, or a scout concing the spawn room.

Answer 4 (Circuitous)

Will they ever? I think they should. Do they now? Not yet.

The good news is this should just be a Lua change - it'd be quite easy to do. Assuming no one finds a reason not to, this should be in the next patch.

Question 5 (Tsukasa)

Whats the status on all the AvD maps?

Answer 5 (Circuitous, squeek., Nezumi)

Dustbowl has been re-optimized, and now includes HDR and a slew of bugfixes.

squeek. is working on the updated version of cornfield. There are some minor changes to the map that should make gameplay a little more interesting: the cap triggers are now 1 unit above the cap point, and the defender's spawn points are moved forward.

The AvD crowd will be glad to hear that they will be getting a brand new map in 2.1. Nezumi has an awesome new AvD map called anticitizen. It's currently being playtested to death and it's a lot of fun.
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ff_2fort teaser

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
What would a Team Fortress game be without 2fort? Fortress Forever hasn't had an official version of 2fort yet, but luckily we have a mapper named shadow making a really great rendition of it. So finally, the upcoming Fortress Forever 2.1 will include ff_2fort.

One of our beta testers, Iggy (aka [AE] 81206), made a video of the map to the tune "When I Grow Up" by Crack the Sky...

Again, thanks to shadow for making this great new version of 2fort, and also thanks to Iggy for making this cool little video.
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Q&A Week 1 - The hard cap, map remakes, Orange Box, training, and the almighty Soldier.

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
Big ups to everyone who's been posting questions.

In order to take this at a manageable pace, we'll be answering (at least) 5 questions a week.

We're starting off with some good ones we received early on. Look back next week for even more.

First up, we've got a question that's been seeing a lot of debate on the forums...

Question 1 (Kubedawg):
Will the hard cap stay implemented as a feature if most people end up not liking it? If there is no hard cap, could you explain what changes are being made as far as movement goes for all classes in general?

Answer (Circuitous):
The hard cap is being applied as a fix to the issue of skimming (retaining speed from conc and weapon jumps) - in testing it has worked well, but if the overall opinion of it is decidedly bad once it's released, then obviously we'll look to make some changes to it.

There has been very little in the way of negative feedback to the hard cap [in the beta] so far, so we'll see how that works out.

Question 2 (Nuk3m):
Will there be a release of more classic maps, like rock2, schtop, coming in 2.2?

Answer (Circuitous):
Yes, many are in the making and will be released in subsequent patches.

Question 3 (Drain Bamaged):
How's the conversion to the Orange Box Engine going, what features are you going to use from it, besides motion blur?

Answer (trepid_jon):
Nothing has been done to the Orange Box version of FF since we finished the initial conversion and made the dev journal, but I think the main feature we'll use is its particle system. Trails, impacts, events, maps, and so forth should receive quite a few visual improvements in terms of particle effects. It will be nice having Steam avatars in the scoreboard as well, but maybe we can integrate those avatars into other areas of FF, like the chat menu, "physically" in the world, during gameplay moments, and/or whatever else we can think of. We also think vgui videos can be utilized well in FF, allowing us to put videos in lots of menu places. More robust map overviews, for instance, as well as interesting concepts like like little picture-in-picture video hints, tutorials, and commentary.

Question 4 (Myersjr):
Will there be a training mode included in 2.1?? I have heard talk that there will be...

Answer (Squeek):
The base for the training mode has already been completed. Constant changes to the mod are holding us back from releasing it to a perticular patch. A few more additions need to be made before we are comfortable before releasing it. Expect it in 2.3 and hope for it in 2.2.

Question 5 (RocketRunner):
Are the rockets for the Soldiers RPG going to change in any way?

Answer (trepid_jon):
Radius has been decreased to compensate for the harder bhop cap, and now rockets also emit dynamic lighting

Any discusion on these answers can be posted below on this thread. All questions and concerns will be answered. Any additional questions should be asked here:
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