Worthless Tales #1

Alright, before you judge me too much for making this idiotic image, let me make some things clear:

  • I don’t expect anyone to be impressed by this.
  • The purpose is to show that sometimes everyone overlooks things because they’re afraid to think outside the box
  • I hate when people settle for playing “correctly”.
  • The Demoman remained so unpopular and unpicked for so long that Valve finally turned him into an entirely different character a few years ago, giving him a huge sword and a shield that allowed him to decapitate people and fly around the map with magic powers. Ever since, the magic swordsman loadout is the only thing you’ll ever see somebody use when playing the Demoman. That breaks my heart.

Gabe Newell contradicts Kojima

In a new interview with Gamasutra, Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson talk about their business strategy — or rather, their complete lack of business strategy, at Valve:

Gabe Newell: … our focus is really much on building something that’s cool, and then we’ll worry about monetization.  So we’re not going to worry about that until later.  Premature monetization is the root of all evil.

The entire 4-page interview is pretty much about how Valve refuses to give its employees titles, responsibilities, and how they generally don’t care about market research, but rather focus on simply recruiting people they want to work with and make stuff they think is cool.  This stands in contrast to what Hideo Kojima said previously about his experience with pitching ideas and creating projects, which was this:

Hideo Kojima:  Right now, it’s very similar to movies: You need a lot of money. So rather than doing what you want, doing what you like, you must have a clear idea of marketing and sales. That’s what’s happening to us with FOX Engine; you do not need be an expert in programming to develop a game, but if you have a question, you still need an expert on-hand to provide an answer.

Isn’t it sad that while Kojima — who already has his own production company — talks about how he needs marketing research and sales pitches, instead of being able to do what he wants, Valve is boasting about their “do-what-you-want” strategy and making millions of dollars of profit as a result?  This is exactly the kind of thing I examined in my Metal Gear Online vs Team Fortress 2 series, which I suggest you take a look at after you’re finished with the Newell interview [here].

I’ll conclude with another choice quote from Valve’s leader:

GN: Well, I think, at the end of the day, the challenge is to find exciting, worthwhile projects for smart people to do.  And then whether you’re doing it as an individual, whether you’re doing it as a small indie developer, or you’re doing it as a larger group, if you can answer that question you’re probably going to be successful.

Team Fortress 2 becomes Free to Play forever

Did you know that Team Fortress 2 is the best multiplayer game in the world today? It’s better than your Calls of Duty, your StarCrafts, your Worlds of Warcraft, and better than Farmvilles too. I’ve talked about how TF2 is better than Metal Gear Online at length. The same points apply to almost anything out there today.

And now it’s just a free thing, that you can have and enjoy.

Thank you, Valve. Thank you for being heroes.

New Team Fortress 2 update + site

The Über Update is upon us.

Featuring some mafia-related gear for the Heavy and Spy, as well as a new map, the update will surely be a doozie! It’s also going to include the “Meet the Medic” video (finally!)

Along with that, the Team Fortress 2 blog has been revamped to include class profiles, update history, comics, and awesome artwork.

Unfortunately, all of this content will cost you a whopping zero dollars.

Oh, and if you don’t own the game, you can now play it FOR FREE this ENTIRE WEEK!

Is this a Team Fortress site?

No it’s not.

But maybe it should be, because hey, it’s my site and it’s sure as hell more interesting than any Metal Gear news.

This is a new, fancy, cool comic done by the guys at Team Fortress 2 — ie. Valve Software — for free.

Do you see it? Here’s the link again in case you missed it. That’s 10 pages of extremely well done digital comic, deepening the already surprisingly deep story/world of the Team Fortress 2 universe. Why? Because apparently they wanted to make their new, interesting, completely unnecessary update more awesome. We learn some actual backstory about the Heavy, see pictures of the Sniper’s parents, and (for some reason) have an actual story explanation for the existence of the Meet the Team videos. Allow me to remind you that this is a cartoonish First Person Shooter multiplayer game.

The story also explains why the update is being made: as a cunning plan to allow the Administrator to spy on everybody without having to deal with annoying directors.

As for the update itself, here’s an exciting video that actually explains it.

Basically, TF2 will now feature a “Replay Editor” which can be used to capture, edit and share impressive/funny/memorable moments of gameplay. That may sound lame, but then you watch the video and realize they’re running a contest and giving away a digital award to the people who submit the best movies! There are a bunch of categories, and they can be easily shared on YouTube and Steam.

Why do I mention this? Because dammit, other companies COULD BE DOING THIS KIND OF STUFF.