FF 2.1 Released!

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
The linux server files are still acting up, so the server packages will be released as soon as they are working as expected. In the meantime, here are the 2.1 client installers...

View the complete 2.1 changelog

2.0 to 2.1 Incremental Patch

2.1 Full Installer
Discuss on the forums →

The Patch, The Preview, and the Steam Store!

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
Let's get right down to business, people: Fortress Forever's 2.1 patch will be out Friday, September 12th!

We've also worked hard and waited for the right time to get this done: FF is finally listed in the Steam Store!

Click the picture, see the listing!

In the meantime, here's a tantalizing 8 1/2 minute long video showing some of the new maps and features in Fortress Forever 2.1:

If you go directly to the video's Veoh page, you can view it and download it in HD quality. It's much sexier over there.

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UPDATE: We now have many alternate links for the video:



Mod DB




You can directly download the HD video from Vimeo above, as well as these links:



Mod DB

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Oh, and we have pictures. Sweet, delicious pictures.

There's not much else to say. The video and awesome news speak for themselves!
Discuss on the forums →

Fortress Forever Beta & Dev Roundtables

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
Hiya fellas, Ihmhi here again. Q&A is suspended this week in favor of a nice discussion about the upcoming patch. Here we have a beta roundtable and a dev roundtable. And this feature is late because my power went out last night! Ihmhi was tired... so very, very tired.

A roundtable is supposed to be a civilized discussion between different people, answering questions presented by a discussion moderator (me) and commenting off of one another's responses. But... these are the FF devs and beta testers. Long story short, it's taken me three hours to clean up the chatlogs alone, and I've become an alcoholic as a result.

Here! Enjoy the fruits of my labor as the testers and devs tell you about all the awesome stuff in 2.1. Enjoy as I weep in solitude.

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Ihmhi: Start with a short introduction about yourselves.

Rutabeggar: My name is Rutabeggar, Im a Libra, I like long walks on the beach barefooted.

Desyphur: I'm Desyphur. Dimhi sucks. That's all I've got to say

Shadow00Caster: Etzell sounds like Pretzel .. without the tasty though.

Etzell: Psh, you don't know

Etzell: I've got all kinds of tasty

Iggy: I am Iggy, 41/m/widowed. Functioning drunk and resident stoner.

Skanky Butterpuss: I am Skanky Butterpusse, the Beta Awesome Lead and one of the Forum Moderators at I enjoy sabotaging sentry guns and banning insubordinates.

Skanky Butterpuss: OH MY GOD TAKE OUT THAT E

Etzell: Haha, Butterpusse, you french now?

Skanky Butterpuss: THERE IS NO E

Rutabeggar: rofl rofl

Desyphur: LOL

KubeDawg: Hi, my name is KubeDawg, and I am a Beta Tester. When people talk about me when I'm not present, their conversations usually involve words such as "awesome," "incredible," and even "one of the best scouts in Fortress Forever," when describing me.

(Ed. note: If you think this is bad, you should see what the raw chatlogs looked like... -Ihmhi)

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Ihmhi: What new features in 2.1 are you most excited about?

Shadow00Caster: INVISO-SPY!

KubeDawg: man cannon

Iggy: Spy improvements and ff_2fort.

Desyphur: I'm mostly excited about the spy changes, invisible while cloaked and completly still, sentries not tracking you when cloaked and disguised, etc. etc.

Etzell: 2fort, yeah

Rutabeggar: I'm looking forward most to the HW because his fatness is supreme once again...kinda like Jabba the Hutt without the tail.

Shadow00Caster: Sg Sonar...

KubeDawg: the SG sonar is badass.

Desyphur: Oh yeah, and 2fort

Shadow00Caster: Anticitizen, Jumppad improvements

Shadow00Caster: gg you actually have to jump now

Desyphur: I'd say Anticitizen, but I always forget to bring my sunglasses when i play it

Desyphur: Fucks with my eyes.

Shadow00Caster: /disable hdr

Iggy: ff_2fort is digital sex.

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Ihmhi: Okay, so, the spy staying completely invisible while cloaked seems to be one of the more popular features with our beta testers. I'd like to hear what our resident Spy expert/bastard Skanky Butterpuss things about that.

Etzell: You forgot the E in Skanky's name, Ihmhi

Desyphur: lol

Shadow00Caster: I kill him all the time, even though hes inviso-spy

Skanky Butterpuss: the changes to the spy are the most awesome additions to 2.1, if you ask me. being invisible while standing still really ramps up the paranoia factor, and makes spying and hunting spies more fun and challenging. SGs not automatically locking on and kiling cloaked and disguised spies is something I've been pushing for since before the game came out. people thought it would be overpowered, so now we have this cool little cloak detector on the SG that beeps whenever a cloaked spy is near. it creates a real sense of paranoia for everyone around, but raises their alertness so the spy doesnt just have free reign. its a shitload of fun :D. and i hate everyone else on the beta team for making this so difficult to type by making me laugh. and my finger hurts :(

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Ihmhi: A lot of people thought a cloaked, disguised spy not being detected by SGs would be overpowered. Considering all of us have been on the business end of Skanky's sab's countless times, what do you guys think about the current balance of this new feature?


Shadow00Caster: it's balanced

KubeDawg: so tharr be the balance

Skanky Butterpuss: i think im the only one here that isnt worthless :P

Shadow00Caster: the sonar is wicked fun too...

Iggy: It's easy enough to expose a cloaked spy in a crowded server. More often than not, you get accidently revealed by your teams spam.

Rutabeggar: The sonar only pwns if Sean Connery is the Capt. of the Red October.

KubeDawg: its fun as hell to be a spy and fucking with the minds of the engis being uber close to their SG and freaking them out

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Ihmhi: And for those who haven't had the privaledge of playing in the beta, please explain what the sonar is.

Desyphur: When the spy is around a sentry and cloaked, it "pings", changing pitch the closer the spy gets to a sentry.

Etzell: Ihmhi, I'd love to help, but my lack of 2.1 experience kinda limits me. I'll play this weekend and get back to you

Ihmhi: Etzell noes!

Shadow00Caster: SG Sonar = Cloaked spy, sonar beeps like sonar of submarine .. lcoser spy is, faster beeps .. LOS affects sonar.

Skanky Butterpuss: but its gotta be in the SGs sight range

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Ihmhi: And what about the jump pad? It was pretty easy to grief with it in 2.0, but that's been fixed.

Desyphur: The jump pad is much better now

KubeDawg: thank fucking god it doesnt auto throw you everywhere

Shadow00Caster: The jump pad not being affected by you jumping was stupid .. it makes sense the way it works now.

KubeDawg: and it being clipable makes it easier to kill those SOB's when typre tryin to build it

Iggy: Jump pad is not only less griefable, but more usefull.

Rutabeggar: It's like standing on a trampoline, you dont go anywhere unless you jump.

Skanky Butterpuss: yeah its amazing what a simple little change can do. now people can put jump pads wherever they want and it wont screw with your teams ability to function.

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Ihmhi: There have admittedly been more than a few mistakes in 2.0, namely the griefable jump pad and the terribly weakened HW. What have you guys been doing as testers to make sure that we don't have similar mistakes in 2.1?

Shadow00Caster: Killing Skanky.

Shadow00Caster: The more he dies, the more bugs we find.

Desyphur: I've mainly been playtesting the changes when I get a chance and see people on the server.

Rutabeggar: Testing everything, thouroughly and often, making sure the new aspects of the game far outweigh the mistakes from 2.0

Iggy: Give more attention to actual GAMEPLAY, rather than the "does this actually function" aspect we had previously focused on. Part of the problem was coordinating playtests.

KubeDawg: playing the fuck out of beta

Shadow00Caster: Simply put, something gets changed, you go and test it for a few hours and try every possible scenario you can think of to test it.

Iggy: These past weeks have been filled with "Hey, lets get people on the server, and just FUCKING PLAY!"

Desyphur: Yep

Skanky Butterpuss: a few times, jon and i went through putting ourselves into the mind of the griefer, doing our best to fuck stuff up for other people. its lead to a few findings of map bugs and such

Shadow00Caster: Just playing is what finds bugs.

Iggy: In short, we acted like a bunch of noob pubbers on crack.

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Ihmhi: I do have to admit that a lot of bugs are found completely by accident. I guess the more you play the game, the more likely it is you'll find one of these random bugs.

KubeDawg: i think we've had more people playing in the beta than in regular servers a few times

Desyphur: Yeah, we tend to find a lot of bugs just fucking around

Rutabeggar: Even as the 2.1 installers were being made people were finding bugs and posting them...there are always going to be bugs, fixing them is what's important

Iggy: Bugs are revealed usually by accident. You can't go looking for them, you have to just let them expose themselves and hope they can be solved before the shit hits the fan...... or the release is made.

Desyphur: Or shit hits the fan AND the release is made

Desyphur: Cause then your fucked

Skanky Butterpuss: haha yeah sometimes shit just pops up and youre like "wait, what the hell just happened there?" so you go back and try and recreate the bug, in hopes that youll find out what causes it and be able to fix it. sometimes it takes a while...

Shadow00Caster: Looking for a bug is like looking for Skanky as a cloaked spy in 2.1 .. you won't find it. You only find it when it stabs you in the back during gameplay.

Iggy: Nice analogy!

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Ihmhi: We have two new maps made completely from scratch making it into this patch: Anticitizen and the much awaited 2fort. Let's talk about Nezumi's new work first, ff_anticitizen. What do you guys think of our newest AvD map?

KubeDawg: awesome?

Desyphur: TOO BRIGHT



Shadow00Caster: -HDR

Desyphur: Otherwise the gameplay is good

KubeDawg: I mean, it's the most fun AvD map I've had a chance to play in FF.

Shadow00Caster: Anticitizen is a fantastic take on AvD.

Desyphur: Much better than Dustbowl IMHO

Iggy: The HDR is more than a bit bright... but damn it's fun!

KubeDawg: I can definitely see more servers being full with this map than with dustbowl.

Rutabeggar: Anticitizen has to be one of the most in depth maps i've played in either FF or's beautifully made and designed, very complete and satisfying.

Shadow00Caster: Not only is the map's gameplay balanced and fun, but the maps looks awesome-o!

Iggy: I agree with Desyphur. It is a fun map, and is the epitomy of AvD.

Shadow00Caster: Anticitzen > Dustbowl

Rutabeggar: I think it might become FF's gold standard for AvD

Rutabeggar: just like Dustbowl was for TFC

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Ihmhi *SJB: Points one and two seem to just be throwaways - they've never been that hard to cap. All the action seems to happen at point 3. That hill climb sure is a bitch!

Desyphur: And I've never had trouble with that hill climb..

Desyphur: Of course, I've not played in a 24 player match on it

Skanky Butterpuss: unclecitizen is so incredibly fun. i hear its got bright hdr, but my computer cant handle that shit so I've never had a problem with it. but really, that map is awesome, and it seems pretty fairly balanced during playtesting. CP3 is a bitch to cap, and if your team isnt working together, you arent going to get it. my sabotaging has come in handy quite a few times during the final minutes of a round on unclecitizen :P

Iggy: But that is why it's the epitomy of AvD.... point 3 is the climax of the map. (heh heh heh...I said "climax" huh huh huh")

Shadow00Caster: Most AvD maps tend to come out that way, where the first caps are easy, it's always the last that becomes the huge fight. It's mostly because of design and people want to hold that last cap.

Rutabeggar: The hill is awesome...picking people off from the top is fun...also you have sort of a cover to have epic jumps up to the top cap point...

Rutabeggar: it seems like a huge obsticle...but it's really well designed, there are a lot of ways to get to the top

Desyphur: Yeah, the multiple routes is great.

Desyphur: I especially like CP2, I don't know why, but it's a break from the whole "Open areas! MOAR OPEN AREAS!"

Desyphur: A nice inside area was a good change of pace

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Ihmhi: Alright, alright, let's get to the map everyone wants to talk about. Keep it simple FFags: your first impression upon seeing ff_2fort.

Desyphur: I came

KubeDawg: 2fort made me have an eyegasm.

Desyphur: Is more needed to be said?

Ricey: i ran out of tissues afterwards

KubeDawg: the fucking spiral is PERFECT for FF

KubeDawg: I love it

Rutabeggar: ff_2fort is all about the essence of TFC, FF, TF, Quake...the kitchen's fast, fun,

Shadow00Caster: My first impression on ff_2fort: "Where the fuck am I? .. I'm lost." Though the map IS 2fort, there are subtle changes that took a few mins to get used to. Other than that, the map is a god amongst men.

KubeDawg: new skill ways to get to the top of the enemy batts

Ihmhi: Damn. Now shadow's gonna want to recompile and put in a kitchen sink. Thanks a lot Rutabeggar.

Iggy: I made a video. ff_2fort is teh sex. Also, I can say I am quite responsible for having the rafters added in the basement, and the little platform in the FR.

Shadow00Caster: It's gonna be my home.

KubeDawg: i think that might show a few new peeps how to learn how to down/uptrimp?

Iggy: Flagroom needs a urinal, though.

Ihmhi: What, a kitchen sink isn't enough for you?

Skanky Butterpuss: yeah i think 2fort is going to make a LOT of people happy. it stays true to the original while maintaining some of that ff spirit

Shadow00Caster: Plus it looks cool.

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Ihmhi: Shadow's been known to make her maps very offense-friendly. 2fort has always been very easy to turtle. Do you think the slight changes to make offense easier in ff_2fort are going to make the map work better for offense?

Desyphur: Yes, quite a bit,

Shadow00Caster: 2forts design has always been that way.

KubeDawg: not really, i mean a bit, but honestly, 2fort has always been about basement Defense, and I think Shadow's rendition of it stays true to TFC's version of 2fort.

Desyphur: It's not going to be too easy, but the slight changes are enough to make a difference.

Rutabeggar: 2fort has always been a chaotic map, but I think that's what makes it fun, you are almost forced to form strategies around people turtling/toggling...but at the same time there's enough areas to play solid defense if you know what you're doing

Iggy: Definitely.

Shadow00Caster: It's a classic map, and the gameplay that has been born from the map has come from years and years of TFC.

Iggy: I would actually like to see this map reverse engineered for TFC, to be honest.

Skanky Butterpuss: its still a defensive map, so all those turtlers out there arent going to feel like they were raped and pillaged. but at the same time, the offense has a better chance thanks to the wider spiral and the FR vent, so it should be a bit more balanced

Ricey: it is more balanced

Shadow00Caster: Agreed.

Shadow00Caster: The subtle changes make the map more balanced while keeping it's original design.

Ricey: Spiral has been nub friendly

Rutabeggar: I think it gives a better chance for spies to infiltrate and cause chaos

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Ihmhi: There's a lot of people who don't believe me when I say it, but trepid_jon managed to make cz2 FUN again. (The same gameplay changes have already been brought over to ff_tiger as well.) Do you think the changes in cz2 for 2.1 are going to give the map a second chance?

Shadow00Caster: Absolutely.

Desyphur: I love CZ2 now, and I've always fucking loathed it

KubeDawg: jesus fucking christ. I absolutely HATED cz2 in TFC and FF until jon got ahold of it

Shadow00Caster: The new capping system is a huge thing, and it's going to spread to new maps.

KubeDawg: now it's the complete opposite.

Rutabeggar: I think 2.1 is the second chance that every map needs, especially CZ2...a lot of people know what CZ2 was...but I think it's being redefined along with FF itself

Iggy: Yes!!! That map is HELLA-FUN now! We played it for several hours one night. That has never happened before!

KubeDawg: out of all the maps that have been updated for 2.1, I think this is my favorite update.

Ricey: CZ2 Turtling is fun, HW and Solider vs 4 other guys

KubeDawg: but being a spy on it is even more fun

Skanky Butterpuss: you dont need to tell me

Rutabeggar: I can see 24/7 CZ2/Anticitizen servers in the future

Skanky Butterpuss: :P

Iggy: Turtling isn't possible anymore Ricey. The pace has been increased to the point of insanity. It's fucking great!

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Ihmhi: And waterpolo got an upgrade, too. Now it runs nice and smooth. You can really have fun when you can actually see what the Hell is going on!

Desyphur: I'm not a big waterpolo fan

Rutabeggar: ^

Desyphur: It's fun, but meh

Skanky Butterpuss: pfft whatever, waterpolo is the bees knees

Iggy: Waterpolo is another fast paced map. It needed the improvements that we made.

KubeDawg: finally, I can play waterpolo without lagging

Skanky Butterpuss: its such simple gameplay, but its hilariously fun

Shadow00Caster: Waterpolo is just one of those maps thats fun for a few .. it's not a classic TF map, but it's good play.

Skanky Butterpuss: so much hate

Rutabeggar: I will never like waterpolo...just not my style i suppose

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Ihmhi: The community seems to be very divided on push style maps like waterpolo, pigskin, push, etc. Hell, even our testers are divided on it! And yet people drool over murderball. Why the Hell is that, anyway?

Ricey: Murderball is a fuck fest, that is why people love it.

KubeDawg: fuck murderball

Shadow00Caster: 4 teams = more carnage

Ricey: It's Kill the man with the ball, god i remember getting wtfpwned in school when i played that

Rutabeggar: Murderball seems to be one of those maps that forces people to work together...I think it's interesting and fun when you have to team up with people who you were previously destroying

Shadow00Caster: yep

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Ihmhi: But hey, trepid_jon's main projects (ff_hunted, ff_waterpolo, and ff_cz2) seem to be pretty much as finished as they can be. Now he can start working on some new shit instead of just porting over old TFC maps.

Shadow00Caster: Like OB [Orange Box] port.

Ricey: New Shit plox

Skanky Butterpuss: hunted is the best thing to ever happen to FF now that it doesnt crash computers

Skanky Butterpuss: and i can be spy

Ricey: While TFC Ports are good, we need or FF needs it's own maps

Rutabeggar: Hunted is now bearable...I don't think there will be mass exoduses of people when it comes up in the rotation, although I think that FF could use a few more original maps like anticitizen.

Skanky Butterpuss: yeah i cant wait to see what jon cooks up as far as original ff maps

Iggy: Yes. Hunted is seriously fun to play now. It's time for him to work on something new. Preferably another Uber-Sexy map...... and one that is original to FF.

Ricey: ff_asswars

Ricey: that's jon's next map

Shadow00Caster: Though FF is considered by many to be TFC - Source .. it is it's own game too.

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Ihmhi: One thing we're currently lacking in FF is a 100% completed escape map. There's tons of them for TFC. If any one could be ported over, which one would you want to see brought over to Fortress Forever? Ditto on Fun Maps, what one Fun Map would you really like to see brought over to FF?

Iggy: thegame.

Shadow00Caster: k_thegame2_r

Iggy: That would be a BADASS FF map.


Shadow00Caster: Also some surf maps for FF would be fun.

Skanky Butterpuss: i never played enough escape maps to know the names of them.

Shadow00Caster: k_thegame2_r, crunch2k

Rutabeggar: skate2!

Skanky Butterpuss: haha yeah, skate2 would be fun

Iggy: thegame. It was easy enough for newer people to finish, but was always a bit of a challenge

Rutabeggar: skate2 with jumppads =O

Iggy: k_thegame2_r wasn't bad, but newer players can easily get bored with it. that's more for advanced players.

Desyphur: k_thegame2_r

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Ihmhi: Okay, last question, and then you're free from the tyranny that is Ihmhi. What would you like to see put in 2.2?


Iggy: female player models.

Shadow00Caster: HUD enhancements/client side Lua

Ricey: Female models would probably draw in a new crowd of people

Skanky Butterpuss: ff_**** (Ed. Note: really awesome map which we all want to release, but it needs a good bit of work still... keep it on the down low guys!)

Rutabeggar: Female player models have been discussed...I think they shouldn't be made madatory...but I think they could bring a fun aspect in to the game...It could be set up like the old HL1 models...if you didn''t have it you'd just see the default...could be fun.

Shadow00Caster: that too

Desyphur: And, uh...well I can't think of much. Everything I want got put in the game *shrug*

KubeDawg: Honestly, I'm all about options. I'd love to see more options available to players in 2.2

KubeDawg: such as being able to switch backgrounds, add/change songs/sounds

Rutabeggar: I'd like to see a customizeable menu screen too with preloaded pictures and a tutorial on how to make your own.

KubeDawg: oooh

KubeDawg: customizable HUD

Ricey: Better loading screens

KubeDawg: that would be awesome

Ihmhi: Alright guys, thanks for your time!

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That concludes our beta tester roundtable discussion about 2.1. Now let's hear from the devs!

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Ihmhi: Let's start with the first question. What are your personal contributions to 2.1?

trepid_jon: I worked on stuff.

trepid_jon: updated waterpolo, cz2, and hunted, and did a lot of coding

squeek.: made pitfall ready for official release, and a whole lot of balance testing

Pon: Some boring Lua shit that no-one really understands nor cares about, I guess...

squeek.: i care pon :(

squeek.: i just want to let the whole world know pon

Pon: :) i care too, but lets keep work and our private lives seperate for the time being, ok...?

Pon: I know, I know, but the time isn't right just yet...

[AE] 5316: I worked on the IC texture (world and viewmodel), contributed to the creation of its new sound, and created a new graphic for cz2 cap points

Circuitous: Animated medkit screen, objective arrow, Hunted door status icons, railgun-gives-cells-on-overcharge concept, cloaked-Spy-triggers-SG-sonar concept, and some other miscellaneous stuff.

[AE] 5316: I also provided moral support in the form of strippers and beer.

Ihmhi: Hey now Pon, without your Lua stuff none of our maps would work right.

Ihmhi: I don't think there's a single dev who hasn't fucked up their Lua and you've subsequently fixed it.

Pon: :) nah, it'd just be another job for our overworked jon :)

trepid_jon: yeah, I don't think I would have done that lua stuff, so it's a good thing someone else did

Pon: you seem to do most of your own anyways, like the new cz2 stuff

trepid_jon: Pon and other lua scripters will get to do a lot more scripting after 2.1's released and we start working on more game modes

trepid_jon: yeah, I try to do as much of my own scripting as possible just so more people don't have to feel forced to do it my way

trepid_jon: I had a vision for cz2's new lua, and I probably would have been annoying as hell to anyone else making it

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Ihmhi: The changelog is up to something like 120 individual items. I've just recently been added as a dev myself and I noticed you guys have these internal lists for what you want to get done for the next patch. Now, FF is pretty much not led by anybody right now, so... how do you guys decide your goals for that list? How do you pick what features go into the next patch and what goes in later down the road?

squeek.: hmm

trepid_jon: I think we'll figure out how to improve our current system when we start working on 2.2, because there will be a lot of things that should probably planned and prioritized more properly

trepid_jon: or probably be...

squeek.: for 2.1, we did a lot of deciding in game, and then add stuff to the list based on playtesting and new features we came to an agreement on

[AE] 5316: Yea, I noticed it really was a group effort. Somebody says this or that needs fixing, and the list just keeps growing. As the list is made, people just start picking at it as they have time

trepid_jon: yeah, especially with 2.1, everyone has mainly just done what they've wanted to do based on what everyone else was suggesting

Ihmhi: Well, isn't that how you've always done things?

Ihmhi: Pick out what you want to do and what you can do, organize a list, and then do it?

squeek.: (jon can answer that)

Pon: I thought we used the dartboard method...

trepid_jon: yeah, everyone's always done what they've wanted to do, but there used to be leaders that specifically told people what to do

trepid_jon: probably was, that didn't mean anything got done

trepid_jon: er, problem was....what's with probably giving me probablies

trepid_jon: they could be told to do, but it always just came down to whether that person was capable or willing

Circuitous: That's not how it used to be - there used to be decided lists of what had to be done, what was absolutely required. This was mostly bugfixes, though, pretty much all of the new ideas were people brainstorming or just coming up with shit.

Circuitous: That said, 2.1 seemed to have way more people just coming up with shit.

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Ihmhi: So since it's basically a matter of what you CAN do... if you had the resources at hand, what would you guys have wanted to get done for 2.1? I'm sure there's stuff that you thought would be awesome but you just didn't have the time, skill, or people to do it.

squeek.: i would have liked to finish training, but... yeah, that didn't happen

trepid_jon: I would have liked to get the motorcade finished in hunted, but it's mainly requiring custom props and lots of effects...effects that'll probably be worked on in 2.2 with the Orange Box engine

[AE] 5316: I woulda like to have more texture stuff to work on... but the lack of modelers and animators doesn't leave me with much unique work

[AE] 5316: Hopefully that'll change w/ 2.2

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Ihmhi : Interestingly enough, everyone here has tried their hand at mapping, some more succesfully than others. What kind of mapping stuff would you like to do for FF in the future?

Pon: AvD, simple answer, I don't think there's enough of it in FF:)

[AE] 5316: agreed

[AE] 5316: warpath...

Circuitous: Once, a long time ago. I've come up with a couple ideas for maps, but I'd rather have someone competent actually bring them to life.

Circuitous: I'll stick to coming up with map ideas and concepts rather than actually trying to wield Hammer.

trepid_jon: vote maps, fun maps, odd maps, surf maps...and maybe some normal ones like avd

trepid_jon: that's what I'd like to work on

squeek.: new gametypes, i want to eventually finish torch, and of course training

Ihmhi: Absolutely!

Pon: problem is, my mapping would aembarass a 5 year old :(

trepid_jon: embarass....damn, that's the word I should have told the cops

trepid_jon: I need to think faster

squeek.: haha

Pon: :)

Ihmhi: Fun maps, yes

Ihmhi: But where the hell are the escape maps?

trepid_jon: I lump those into fun/odd

Ihmhi: Like, I love the maps that the devs have made, but we really need new shit and not remakes

trepid_jon: yeah, I've said I'm not doing more remakes

trepid_jon: if others want to, that's fine

trepid_jon: but I want to work on originals, and I want to encourage others to do the same

Pon: I'd like to see ravelin. Just because i've never actually played it in anger... I know everyone thinks it sucks for some reason. But, I quit TFC for a bit, it was released, and by the time i played again, every server had removed it :(

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Ihmhi: Conversely, we also could use standard CTF style maps. The league's maplist is pretty bare.

squeek.: if leagues pick up, i'd hope to see more people pumping out _classic maps

Ihmhi: It just goes a bit against what FF should be in my opinion... I mean, we have tried very hard to stay true to our roots, yes...

Ihmhi: ...but we're focusing so much energy on that. There's not a whole lot of new shit getting done. I hope you guys crank out more stuff like anticitizen and other map names I can't mention. You know what I'm talking about.

squeek.: yeah, official maps are likely to be 100% new from now on

squeek.: and most likely 90% non-ctf

Pon: I can maybe finish up duckhunt and add it to 2.2...

trepid_jon: we've laid out a plan to focus on prototyping new maps, and some people like blister and mushy are actually doing that already

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Ihmhi: On that subject of non-normal maps, this is a question I asked the beta testers in their roundtable earlier, and I'd like you to answer it as well.

Ihmhi: If you could see one fun map and one escape map ported over from TFC, which ones would you like to see most?

Circuitous: Leetskeet. I didn't really play escape maps.

[AE] 5316: warpath is the only map i want from tfc

Ihmhi: Warpath, Avanti, and Schtop are givens, and they're neither escape maps or fun maps. Gameplay style and all that.

trepid_jon: it would be nice to have a version of waterpolo like ukfootie or pigskin, with a stadium and cheering and all that

Pon: fun map> ukfootie I think. Though it is essentially waterpolo just on a football themed map

squeek.: no comment, i stayed away from funmaps and never had played an escape map... :(

Pon: I never really played escape maps, so I dunno

Ihmhi: There's some football maps out there, but it's not ukfootie unless it has the ole football cheer.

Ihmhi: Wow, holy shit. I need to arrange getting my hands on a TFC server and get you guys into an escape map. They're a shitload of fun.

trepid_jon: any of axl's maps, and then smurf escape

Pon: :) I was thinking it'd be better as Scotland v england

Ihmhi: Maybe even add a bonus

Ihmhi: At the end of the round

Ihmhi: We get like, Shadow00Caster or Ostrich_Eggs to say "HOLY SHIT SOCCER RIOT" and everyone gets quad damage and crowbars

Pon: you'd need the crowd to invade the pitch though, and smash peoples faces with bottles and coins... dunno if thats possible

Ihmhi: We could just add a +headbutt function?

Pon: yeah, that'd be nice :)

Pon: I'd like a speedball map

[AE] 5316: i didn't play 'fun' maps... I usually just played skill maps, and warpath/2fort

trepid_jon: shoulda played in axl's tfc server more, 53...was awesome

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Ihmhi: What do you personally believe our players will be most excited about in 2.1?

Circuitous: The fact that it's out.

Ihmhi: True dat.

squeek.: HW, 2fort, and new maps

squeek.: and updated maps

squeek.: and general balance

squeek.: and everything in 2.1

Pon: probably 2fort

trepid_jon: I think they'll be most excited about the drop shadows on message fonts

squeek.: LOL

Pon: :D

trepid_jon: trumps everything else

trepid_jon: in greatness

Pon: yeah, they are pretty sexy, gotta admit

trepid_jon: I like all of the 2.1 changes, they really make FF more gooder

squeek.: people will enjoy the new IC model I betcha

Ihmhi: Hell yeah, I play Pyro just to hold the damn thing. I love the new model and the new sound.

trepid_jon: yeah, it's very nice

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Ihmhi: Aaaand lastly, any shoutouts you guys want to give?

trepid_jon: no, hang up the phone

squeek.: lol

[AE] 5316: i like banana cream pie

Circuitous[42h]: Yeah, big thanks to nixon, vile, exo, and everyone else who believed in me.

trepid_jon: I like to make werewolf movies.

Ihmhi: Anyway guys, thanks a bunch, I 'preciate it. You guys crazy alright.
Discuss on the forums →

Q&A 6 - Now with PICTURES

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
Welcome to Week 6 of our community Q&As, where you ask the questions and the devs answer them!

This week is full of a lot of questions that even we don't really know the answers to. We try to keep you guys in the know for development of new features, but a lot of things are still in the early planning stages. Saying anything definitively about many of the subjects covered today would be a mistake to say the least!

As always, feel free to drop down to our forums and ask a question yourself - we love to hear them, and while we don't answer every single question posted we certainly read them!

Special thanks to our correspondent Shadow00Caster for his fine photography featured in this week's Q&A.

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Question 1 (Dinosaur Gas, Hirohito):
When will FF comply with the Half-Life logging standard so programs like HLStatsX can work with the mod? Has there been any progress on the stats system?

Answer 1:
FF is currently focusing on upgrading to the Orange Box for a future patch. If we decide to implement the logging standards required by HLStatsX it would be after the OB conversion. Patch 2.2 is a possibility, but of course we are looking at our own solutions for stat tracking (as we have since before the public release) that would render a third party plugin like HLStatsX unnecessary for Fortress Forever.

The Orange Box upgrade brings a lot of new prospects to the mod, and stats are something that we'll be looking at.

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Question 2 (Firefox11):
AvD dustbowl style maps will get a fixed time limit, like 22/23 minutes just like in TFC to avoid 60 minute long rounds on some servers or shorter rounds than usual? Also, are there any plans on increasing the last CP point value to 50 to match TFC's?

Reasoning behind that: 5 points to Defense per minute = 110/115 points for a complete hold in 23 minutes rounds, but Offense only gets 30*3 = 90 points total for all three CPs. If the last CP is worth 50, a last second capture ends in a tie, since Defense did resist the whole timer but Offense captured just in time. (Also, I think this is more fair that Offense winning, Defense is harder and they held the HQ...)


Answer 2:
The devs are currently discussing how we should handle scoring and the round timer for AvD maps. We have not reached a decision as of now.

Update by Nezumi: We're going the TFC route where the lua forces the round to end after a fixed time limit. Right now, Dustbowl and Anticitizen are both at 25 minutes, although either may be balanced up or down before release. The scoring is set up so the defenders get the same amount of points for holding until the end that the attackers would get for capping all 3 points. So no more confusion.

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Question 3 (chilledsanity)
What's the new ETA for bots coming out?

Answer 3
As many of you know, Dr. Evil is working on the bots. They'll be released in a future FF patch when he thinks they're ready for primetime. And if you're wondering about it... sorry guys, but bots don't have any chance of making 2.1.

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Question 4 (Firefox11):
Will the Pyro get a way of increasing burn level without having to use all three weapons?

Burn Level 2 in action!

Answer 4:
This is something that's been debated a good bit in the beta and dev forums. There are many possible ideas being tossed around, but unfortunately none of them will be implemented for 2.1.

Despite what a lot of people think, we do look at the Ideas & Suggestions forum. Some of us read it obsessively.

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Question 5 (Kubedawg):
Are there any new options or menus being added to the Fortress Options selection while in Fortress Forever?

Answer 5:
Short answer, not in 2.1.

As for 2.2 and beyond, we have a lot of ideas. We've faced more than a few questions this week where we couldn't really tell you guys very much, so I hope this will make up for it.

One of the ideas being kicked around is to create a folder for storing all of your customizations for FF - custom weapon models, custom background image, etc. Swapping out files is so 1998, so instead we're looking to let you choose your models from a list.

Exactly how complex this feature will be or when it will be implemented, we don't know. Patch 2.2 will probably be our most ambitious patch yet and really improve on the user friendliness and customization of the mod.

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And now, an interview with the ever lovable squeek.!

Ihmhi: The first question I always ask - how did you get to be on the dev team?

squeek.: Busted my way in basically. I got invited to the beta team by 4est, and just took it upon myself to get started on a training mode. Then AfterShok invited me to the dev team after I actually succeeded (surprisingly) in doing some cool stuff with Lua and whatnot.

Ihmhi: So Lua was your primary focus as a dev? You're well known (infamously, by some people's considerations) for your FF maps.

squeek.: I guess I was the only non-dev doing new stuff with Lua. Lua certainly wasn't my biggest focus when I joined the team, but it is a big part of making a training mode, so I guess by extention is was a big part of my initial focus. Now, I am doing a whole bunch of different things, though.

Ihmhi: As an aside, I'd like to state that so far 100% of the devs interviewed have taken a minute or two to carefully write out their answer. I'm looking forward to jon's interview solely because he will disregard that consideration entirely.

squeek.: rofl

squeek.: expect a lot of PEE PEE in jon's interview

Ihmhi: Well, I expect jon to say random and funny things like that, but I don't want to question him because I'm pretty sure he can shoot me from a couple hundred yards out.

squeek.: haha

Ihmhi: On the mapping front, there's a running joke that your maps are the ones that killed FF. (Personally, squeek_dm is one of the most fun maps in FF, and I have a boner for myth). As a mapper, what's your opinion on that?

ff_myth - Ihmhi (and many others) have a boner for this

squeek.: It's definitely true. My only rival is Darkness24713 with his controversial masterpiece: emulation_r3

Ihmhi: I love that map. It was hard to beat but I eventually figured it out.

squeek.: ;)

Ihmhi: The first person I interviewed was Pon, who is a Lua coder. Before he came along, you had an insane workload for many community, beta, and dev mappers. I personally owe you a lot for the Lua coding you've done from me, and I'm sure there's many mappers that can say the same. What I'd like to hear (and I'm sure many of the people you've helped as well) is why you've been so eager to help out with Lua coding for maps which is, frankly, a huge pain in the ass. Is it because of the challenge, the personal rewards for creating something that works from scratch, benevolence, etc.?

squeek.: Hm... I guess it was kind of my way of giving back to people that had helped either me or the community. Lua was completely new to me before FF, so I guess it also was a challenge-type thing, but mostly it was just helping out those who helped others. By the way, I owe a lot to Pon and others (A1win, Crazycarl, etc), who provided working examples of Lua before I even knew how to add backpacks in pitfall.

Ihmhi: Fuck! I forgot about A1win for a sec there. A1win helped me out a lot too. I hate how we have this awesome talent in our community and they tend to disappear and come back again and again (A1win, Nezumi, Sh4x, etc.).

Ihmhi: I think we have let a bit of our community who was talented sort of go unnoticed, but recently the devs have been grabbing up talented people in the forums (some who've applied, some who haven't). Do you feel this is a change in the "meh, recruiting" habit of the FF Team, or was it just a burst of additions out of necessity?

squeek.: I'm relatively new to the team, but before the huge influx of new dev members, the dev team (or lack of one) was very restrictive about a lot of things (like adding new devs). That has changed quite a bit recently, though, and we've been adding new devs like mad. We had the need for new dev members for a while, so once we got the access to we went a bit crazy.

Ihmhi: Yeah, but everyone has been pulling their weight for the most part, haven't they? I think that active and constant recruiting is necessary to deal with the attrition of devs mod teams often face.

Ihmhi: Speaking of dev attrition, could you ever envision yourself not having time to dedicate yourself to dev work on FF like you do now?

squeek.: Well, I'm starting school in a bit and will likely get a part time job as well... but I don't see myself going away completely for quite a while--I still have a lot to work on.

Ihmhi: Ah, so you're one of those people who actually finish projects they've started. Basically, the polar opposite of me.

squeek.: Not always, but I'd like to this time.

Ihmhi: Good to hear. So, I'm going to go Barbara Walters on your ass and ask a Serious Business question. You and some of the beta testers have been at odds on more than one occasion on nearly every thing we've done, and you almost always stick to your guns. Do you believe such an intense rivalry is conductive or harmful to the beta testing and development of a game?

squeek.: I like to think I'm not completely stubborn, and I doubt my position very often. It just so happens that this time things seemed to have worked out. Everyone basically is in agreement about the general balance of the game at this point, and it feels good. After all the headbutting in the beta this time around, I think we might have finally stumbled upon a good way of going about things. The process (this time) might have been ugly, but the end result is quite impressive.

Ihmhi: So you're saying that conflict is actually good for mods? I agree with you on that particularly matter - if everyone was amiable and followed along without questioning anything, we'd never have anything interesting get done.

squeek.: I think compromise is important. Legitimate conflict isn't that great, but having people with differing viewpoints working together is something we need to keep.

Ihmhi: I'll be drawn and quartered by the community if I don't ask this - when training will out? I know the generic joke response is "when it's done", but anything you can let slip to give them an idea of what you've done so far would be really nice.

squeek.: Training is a massive undertaking. With a game as complex and deep as FF, it's really difficult to get something I'm happy with. I've gone through a couple revisions and multiple ways of teaching concepts, and there will likely be even more major changes I'll make along the way. However, I've been doing some other things besides working on training in preparation for 2.1. After 2.1, I'm going back into the training workshop and am going to hammer (puns are hilarious) this thing out once and for all.

Ihmhi: As a newbie mapper I understand that there are physical limitations to maps - a maxiumum amount of brushes (the basic building blocks of map geometry you can have), models, displacements, etc. Simple yes/no question leading to another - will training be completely single player?

squeek.: Simple questions aren't something I do. I'm not totally sure whether or not training will be multiplayer. It's possible, but I'm still undecided. As of right now, I'm only working on it as though it were single-player only.

Ihmhi: Since it's going to be single-player, wouldn't spanning it across multiple maps make the possibilities as infinite as you'd like them to be? I think that might be best considering the scope of the game.

squeek.: Sure, that's always been an option. Whether or not it's necessary is yet to be determined. Infinite possibilities are tough to handle, and those possibilities were the primary reasons why the prior training mode attempts never saw the light of day.

Ihmhi: Ah, one of those "don't know where to start" situations. That's starting any project, and it's daunting to pick where to begin for many people.

Ihmhi: So, two final questions for you.

Ihmhi: The first was related to me via Clem - I randomly asked him to give me a question that you would find difficult to answer, and it is (paraphrased): "What is your opinions of fountain pens, and what chance do they have of getting into FF?"

squeek.: Fountain pens are cool. They write good. They are also already in FF, you just haven't found them.

Ihmhi: Well, I guess I'm not looking hard enough. Well, the last question is this. Clem hasn't done his interview yet, so here's your opportunity to return the favor. Insert any question you'd like for me to ask Clem and I'll make sure he answers it. d:

squeek.: Who are you?

squeek.: :)

squeek.: make sure to include the smiley

Ihmhi: Haha, I will, I will.

Ihmhi: Well thanks for talkin' with me and lettin' the community get an insight into what you do!

squeek.: no problem chief
Discuss on the forums →

Q&A 5 - Q&A Now, redux

Posted 1 decade ago by Fortress Forever Team
Welcome to Week 5 of Fortress Forever's Developer Question & Answer sessions, where we take questions from the community and get devs off their bums to answer them!

All are welcome to participate. Simply visit this thread in our forums and drop your question in!

And after the questions, we have an interview with one of the devs who have been around the longest, redux! (Apparently, his name has absolutely nothing to do with ducks at all. I'm as surprised as you are.)

Before we get started, I'd like to state a change in the weekly Q&As. A lot of devs get involved in the answers, and I tend to just edit them together into something that covers the subject nicely. Since it comes from multiple people, we'll no longer be listing which devs have answered the questions. I'd really prefer not to show (trepid_jon, Pon, Nezumi, redux) and five other dev names after each answer.

Question 1 ( reaper18 and many, many other people ):
When will the 2.1 changelog be posted? Is there an ETA on 2.1's arrival? When 2.1 will out? etc.

Answer 1:
This is something that was told to the beta testers a long time ago, and I will gladly tell it to everyone else. The dev team has an internal checklist - stuff they would like to get done for the next patch. Currently, about 95% of the checklist is green - green meaning done - but that does not represent the total completion of the patch. If my list was "add a new texture" and "rebalance HW", those are two items on a list but each includes different kinds of work. But yes, the internal checklist is mostly done.

FF tends to shy away from setting a release date. We probably could have been done a month ago, but .dt. (one of our new coders) had a little problem where his laptop got all messed up on him and he couldn't code anymore.

When we do have the patch done, we will probably go with something like a week's advance notice. We'll also probably release the server package a little bit early so server operators can get updates in place and relate any problems to us that might show up. And of course, we prefer to test the installer packages and make sure they work so we don't release something broken to the community.

Question 2 ( reaper18 ):
Have any changes been made to canal zone?

Answer 2 :
2.1 ff_cz2 (Canalzone2) is fun. That's all you really need to know now.

Buuut if you want the details... flags have basically been removed altogether. Now pretty much anyone can walk over a point and cap it. The map's teleporters are useful for helping to move your team to defend a point you still control.

One of the important elements of gameplay design is to get people to play the map the way you intended it to be played. In FF, that usually just means "Have fun". Frankly, cz2 was not getting played. It was slow and arduous - pretty much the exact opposite of what makes FF fun. Beta testers now love playing cz2, and we hope that that same love carries over to the general public.

I'm sure many server operators have taken cz2 off of their map rotations because it's made players leave as if the server were on fire. We hope that server ops will give cz2 a second chance in 2.1.

And damn it reaper18, if you don't stop asking such good questions there's not gonna be any left for other people.

Question 3 ( im2cool4uroflolz, v!be<<<Ampersand ):
What changes are being made to the Demoman in 2.1?

Answer 3:
Most notably, the Demoman's blue pipe timer has been extended from 1.1 seconds to 1.3 seconds.

The devs were caught between a rock and a hard place with the blue pipe timer. Originally, 2.2 seconds was deemed too hard for newbies to be able to use. If you can't get a hit with a blue pipe, then you have to try and aim it so the explosion happens when you want it to. 2.2 seconds was also far too spammable - you could just have a bunch of pipes clogging up a chokepoint which results in some very effective (but very spammy) area denial.

As a result, the timer was reduced to 1.1 seconds. Now we have pro demos saying that the timer is either too short (reduced range) or is too easy for newbies to hit targets with. Initially some of our testers advocated bringing the timer up to 1.5, but we eventually came to a compromise of 1.3 seconds. Those 0.2 seconds counts for a lot towards balance and extensive playtesting has shown that it works pretty well. We think nearly everyone will be satisfied with it.

There are not really any other significant changes being made to the Demoman. Take a look at the changelog when 2.1 comes out for the full details!

Question 4 ( im2cool4uroflolz ):
Are there any changes being made to Aardvark?

Answer 4:
No significant changes are being made to Aardvark. Nearly every map has little hidden optimization and balance changes uring patches, but nothing really big is going to happen with Aardvark in this patch.

Question 5 ( v!be<<<Ampersand ):
Hey guys, new to Fortress Forever here, just in case you're wondering why I popped out of nowhere =P Pretty badass mod so far.

That said, I've heard FF is converting to the Orange Box Engine? I'm definitely a Demoman player and I love the way the grenades from his launcher bounce in TF2. Once the conversion is complete, will they bounce that way in FF? Actually, I guess the better question to ask would be; Will conversion to the Orange Box Engine change the game's physics in any way? [forgive me, I don't know a lot about game engines, so sorry if that's a stupid question =\ ]

Answer 5:
So we have a huge question that's mostly about the conversion to the Orange Box.

Let's start with the disappointing news: FF will not be converting to the Orange Box for 2.1. We would have to delay 2.1 for months just to convert the code with the staff we have on hand.

And now, the good news. Conversion to OB is one of our priorities for 2.2. There's a 95% chance that 2.2 will be the debut of Orange Box for FF. What does this mean?

We'll be able to take advantage of all of the nice graphical things that OB has available to it, like the particle system used extensively in Half Life 2: Episode 2.

We'd rather not get into the extreme techincal details of it, but Orange Box will give our developers more tools to make the game run smoother and look nicer in general. The conversion to OB will show a much improved FF overall.

We really wish we could tell you more about it, but there's a lot that we're still planning and thinking about. Saying that anything is definite would be lying.

As for the Demoman, the major Demoman change (blue pipe timer) has been addressed in a previous question.

Dev Interview: redux

Ihmhi: Dux, are ye around?

redux: What's up?

Ihmhi: I'd like to do your dev interview now - do you have time?

redux: sure but i may be in and out for a few minutes

redux: im in the middle of painting a repainting a pinball cabinet and its about to rain again

redux: fire away though

Ihmhi: See, that's interesting material. Let's start with that, rather than my traditional starting question. Why are you painting a pinball cabinet, and what pinball game is it? I personally love how they can turn physical information (gears, switches, bumpers) into a GAME.

redux: I collect pinball machines in my spare time. The game is Spirit of 76 by Gottlieb. It is an Electro Mechanical pinball, which means there are no circuit boards. Everything is driven by electrical switches and gear driven mechanisms. I also own modern solid state games which are circuit board and CPU driven. Most of my games are from the 1990's.

Ihmhi: Wow man, that's the kind of shit I like. I'm the same way with lots of stuff like that. I have this handheld (handheld being the side of a football) video game from Radio Shack that's basically a Space Invaders ripoff. I still play it to this day, so I completely understand where you're coming from.

redux: I picked this game up from another collector near Dallas and figured I'd try my hand at a full restoration. It should look pretty close like it came out of the factory when I am done with it. Parts are hard to find however so we will see how it will turn out.

Ihmhi: Before my next question, I'd like to pimp one of Iggy's favorite websites out to you and the readers - The guys there know a lot about hardware and odds are there's a guy who knows about machines if you have questions.

Ihmhi: Aaand now to my traditional-first-question-which-is-now-the-second-question: how did you come to be on the dev team?

redux: I've helped test Fortress Forever since before the 1.0 release. I never really had the time to map though because I was taking 22 and 21 hour semesters of college.

Ihmhi: Wow. I'm a newbie mapper, and I personally think I'd be frustrated with trying to do anything in the pre-release environment. Server crashes were abundant and fixed very slowly - it must have been a bear to test out new stuff.

redux: It was tough testing sometimes because of a lot of crashing bugs. It was neat though seeing the list of bugs being reduced before release. The mod really has come a long way since then.

redux: It was great seeing all of the content progress even before the release. A change that I really remember best is the Shutdown2 makeover. We thought it was crazy good as it was, then Defrag made it into what it is now.

Ihmhi: I loved the SD2 remake as well. The first one was a good Source map, but it didn't really have its own identity. Defrag made it seem more alive.

Ihmhi: Speaking of mapping, you're working on a new project - return. I've been working with mapping myself, and honestly every time I look at something you, Defrag, Nezumi, etc. cook up I feel like a kindergartner with a finger painting trying to get into the Louvre. What tips can you give to new mappers to add that level to detail to your maps - basically, how do you make your maps look so damn good?

redux: Return was kind of a reintroduction to mapping for me, as the last map I released was in 2002 or so. I am not sure if I want to continue that map as I did a lot of things wrong with it. It was a great start on Source engine mapping as I hadn't done it before. Source mapping is a lot more time consuming than HL1 engine maps were by a long shot. As far as mapping tips go, when I started out I always had problems with lighting. I had a push style map in TFC titled 'pushed' that I was really satisfied with visually, but never really got the lighting right. After it was released, I learned better lighting techniques which I applied to maps after that. I would say ask for a source file from someone just to see how they did things. Things can look a lot different in Hammer compared to in game.

redux: I would also suggest texture variation and application. Simple geometry can look great if it is textured well.

Ihmhi: That's very useful information that a lot of mappers will appreciate - especially myself. Thanks for that.

Ihmhi: On the same subject, I have some very insane ideas for maps. Like most mappers (especially new ones), I'm very protective of them. Do you have any really crazy and/or outlandish ideas for maps that you'd be willing to describe in detail? Basically, your dream map.

redux: To be honest, I think that maps with simple goals are better received. Back in TFC, some mappers tried some crazy stuff and it just never played out very well. The maps that got played were ones with easy to understand goals, such as CTF, AvD, etc. I did like the map run, as it was kind of a crazy idea at the time but worked really well. I think something like that would be great in Fortress Forever. Though not outlandish, I really enjoy King of the Hill style maps. As far as a dream map, I would like to have a map that is a new idea, but simple enough for everyone to understand and enjoy. I'm still trying to come up with that one.

Ihmhi: So basically, the holy grail of mapping. Well, at least people can't say you don't dream big!

Ihmhi: Hey, why not combine two interests into one and make a map that's a giant pinball machine. I'm sure your implementation would be fun and the scoring would be very accurate!

redux: The funny thing is I thought about doing that, even just for novelty's sake.

Ihmhi: Man, you completely should do it. When this Q&A goes up, I'm sure a lot of people will agree with you on that point. I'd love to see it, and you can combine two of your hobbies into one uber-hobby. It's like quad damage, but for fun!

redux: haha, yeah

redux: It would be a fun project.

Ihmhi: See man, now if you don't do it a whole lotta people will be disappointed. So basically I've just guilted you into mapping. I wonder if that's how the big companies do it, haha.

redux: Start waving Dollar bills at me and it'll be out next week!

Ihmhi: Well I know mervaka carries around a lot of Dollar bills, but that's mostly for strip clubs and riding the bus since he destroyed his van. Maybe he'll chip in!

redux: He'd better.

Ihmhi: Well technically he has Sterling Pounds, so that's like two Dollars in one! Very compact.

redux: hehe

Ihmhi: Back onto the mapping topic. You're working on bases now, correct?

redux: Yes, I am finishing it where Defrag left off.

Ihmhi: This brings up an interesting point - no one mapper has really worked on any FF Dev map. It's usually two or more guys working on it during different stages. What have you personally brought to bases?

redux: When I first started working on the map, most of the geometry was done. The ramp room and the small hallways were just an empty shell, and there was only one spawn room. There were a lot of other touches that hadn't been added in yet, such as some lighting, signs, and other brushwork.

redux: The main problem with the map was that it exceeded the brush and entity limits when the bases were flipped. FPS was really bad in most of the places so that had to be worked out as well. I had to tear down and rebuild some areas to get the limits down, while still trying to add new stuff.

redux: This would not have been possible without Crazy Carl who turned in a lot of brushwork into props. He really helped out a lot.

Ihmhi: The other testers and I noticed this blatant cheating and plan to do the very same for our own maps whenever we get around to doing them.

redux: When everything was almost complete, I handed the map over to Elmo-, who is a genius at optimization. He really helped out a lot at getting the frame rate to a good level. When he handed it back, I was awestruck at how he had optimized everything.

redux: Using props in a map is a great way to go as it saves a ton of geometry to be used for other sections.

Ihmhi: A lot of testers initially complained about low FPS and other graphics issues when they came on-board the pre-release team. Part of it was unoptimized coding, but a lot of it was probably unoptimized mapping as well. I'm sure you must have looked at more than one of the VMFs - are there any maps that could have insanely better FPS with optimization?

redux: Most of the ones I have looked at are optimized pretty well. I could see a few spots that could be optimized to reduce compile time though. I imagine Elmo could spot a lot more things than I could however.

Ihmhi: Have you learned anything looking at the optimizations that Elmo- and Crazy Carl have done? Ideally, the dev mappers would learn enough of the tricks where they can't really do much to improve the maps and then they would be on the street, homeless and naked. Well, good for them, bad for us.

redux: I've learned a lot to be honest. Hint brushes and areaportals were areas I really didn't understand until I saw them used correctly. Elmo- went over with me and showed me how to use hint brushes better also.

Ihmhi: Something I've been meaning to ask many of the devs - a lot of you guys seem to work in the game industry or are going to college to eventually get into the game industry. Do you work on games for your job, or do you do something totally boring and normal?

redux: I am still in college, but am considering a job in the game industry when I graduate. Regardless what I do, I will still do it as a hobby.

Ihmhi: More than a few devs have already gone off to work for other game companies. I'm personally excited about trying to get them to confirm what games they've worked on. Maybe five or ten years from now people will be playing a game on the XBOX 720 that you had a hand in.

redux: I just hope that if I do get a job in the game industry i won't end up hating game design.

Ihmhi: Things sort of change when you can't pick and choose what you want to make. I've thought about it and would rather be in a creative position like level design rather than a "make this level happen" position like mappers.

redux: Very true.

Ihmhi: My last question for you - something I personally haven't been able to figure out. What does redux mean? Is that replying to a duck's e-mail? A copy of a duck? Or is it not even remotely duck-related?

redux: Haha, its was in a list of something a friend had back when I was in 7th grade. We were coming up with 5 character nicknames so I picked that one because I liked the way it sounded. In the dictionary it means brought back, or returned. It is also the name of a diet pill that was banned many years ago.

Ihmhi: Oh right, like Apocalypse Now: Redux. How could I have forgotten that? Congratulations, you've made me feel stupid.

Ihmhi: Actually, scratch the congratulations, it isn't all that hard. Thanks for the interview!

redux: Thanks for interviewing me, see you soon.

Ihmhi: The same to you!
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