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Okay prepare for something a bit incredible, but also very, very strange. This is a scene from Toy Story, reanimated and rebuilt using Source Filmmaker. It starts off weird, then it gets kinda hilarious, then it gets weird again.
I can't really explain why, but I totally love it. The fact that it's so jarred, and such a bizarre clunky parody is what makes it all work.
Just a few months after cold, unfeeling automatons came to Valve's hit co-op shooter in Mann vs. Machine, the publisher's unleashing waves of the undead on Team Fortress 2.
According to Polygon, an update to the Team Fortress 2 website announced a two-week Scream Fortress event that will herald the return of necromancer Merasmus, who seeds all kinds of dark magic over the game's usual match types. The new Wave 666 map will be where showdowns against zombies happen and players will also be able to get enchantments that will summon ghosts as part of the event. How long until we get zombies vs. robots, y'think?
It's never cool to bail from your multiplayer game mid-match. It may mean that you won't get another "L" on your record, but it also means you're a quitter who lets his or her team down.
Valve has begun to crack down on people quitting Team Fortress 2's new Mann vs. Machine mode mid-match. From a joking "letter" from Mann CEO Saxton Hale:
Bidwell's drummed up some penalties for any coward he catches running away from the frontlines. If any of you cowards out there find these penalties too harsh, don't worry about it, because see Point #1 (I am coming for you). Whatever penalties you get will seem like a day at the Being Afraid store (or wherever it is cowards like to shop) when I get my big angry hands on your beady little heads.
From the TF2 Blog, some clarifications in the form of an FAQ:
Q: What is "abandoning" a game??
There is a difference between leaving a game and "abandoning" it. It is considered "abandoning" a game if all of the following circumstances are met:
- You leave a game while playing a Mann Up game on an official server; and
- You have not played through a single wave to completion or failure; and
- There are 5 or more players currently connected to the server (including you).
Otherwise, it is safe to disconnect a game without being considered an "abandoner."
Q: What happens if I "abandon" a game??
At first, nothing. (Sometimes you lose your Internet connection and cannot get back online to rejoin. And sometimes, you just have to go.) Penalties will be imposed on players who repeatedly abandon games. These players will be temporarily placed in a low-priority pool and will experience longer matchmaking times.
Q: If I'm thinking about leaving a game, how can I tell if I'd be "abandoning" it??
When you press the Disconnect button on the Main Menu, a prompt will confirm one of three things: that you are not abandoning the game and that it is safe to leave; that you are abandoning the game but will not incur a penalty; or that you are abandoning the game and will incur matchmaking penalties by disconnecting.
Note that leaving a game by pressing the Disconnect button ensures that you will never incur a penalty without prior warning. However, if you disconnect through any other means, such as typing "disconnect" or "quit" on the console, or by accepting a Steam invite, no prompt will be displayed, and you may incur penalties without being notified.
Q: What if I crash or lose my connection??
If you crash or lose your Internet connection, your spot on the game server will be reserved for you to rejoin within three minutes. If you do not rejoin within three minutes, you will be treated as if you had quit the game intentionally.
After a crash or loss of Internet connection, restarting TF2 will give you a prompt to reclaim your spot. This prompt will also tell you what (if any) penalties you will incur by declining.
If you meet the abandonment criteria outlined above ("What is "abandoning" a game?"), AND if you fail to rejoin either because you let three minutes go by or you declined the prompt, then you are considered to have abandoned the game.
Q: What if I get kicked for idling??
If you are automatically kicked due to inactivity, you are considered to have quit intentionally. You may be considered to have abandoned the game if the other abandonment criteria ("What is "abandoning" a game?") are satisfied.
Q: What if I'm vote-kicked?
If you are vote-kicked by other players, you are not considered to have quit intentionally and will not be considered to have abandoned the game.
So, there you have it. Stop quitting, quitters!
Attention, Cowards! [Teamfortress.com]
Abandoning Games FAQ [Team Fortress Blog]
Laura Dubuk is an artist and designer employed at Valve, where her most recent public work was her contribution to the studio's terrific Meet the Pyro trailer.
She's also worked on games like Portal 2, and in this gallery you'll see a collection of some of her best stuff, both from personal projects and from Valve games.
Note that you may have seen that top pic before, especially if you've been to Michael Fahey's house.
If you like what you see, you can check out more of Laura's work at her personal site.
To see the larger pics in all their glory (or so you can save them as wallpaper), right-click on them below and select "open in new tab".
What the hell did I just watch, you ask? Why, the most adorable squees of delight you've ever heard, I respond!
Look at that twinkle in the engineer's eyes. He's like a proud, excited parent, ready to embrace the possibilities of a new future and...
Oh. Oh, my.
Team Fortress 2's long awaited Mann vs. Machine update launched yesterday and so far it's been a mixed bag. As Mike Fahey mentioned earlier today, matchmaking is an unplayable mess, due to the sheer demand and a lack of community servers. Hopefully that will be resolved in the coming days, but in the meantime you can still play the mode directly, using the server list.
And that's exactly what I did!
The video above is from the last wave of a match I played earlier today. As you can see, they've significantly revamped the system to include perks. Near the end, my Engineer's turret was a monster.
Oh, and a word of advice: Beware those sentry busters. They pack a wallop.
P.S. I am aware that I suck.
P.P.S. In retrospect, Engineer was a poor choice for video.
I've been seeing this screen a lot since downloading the Team Fortress 2 update yesterday, and I am not alone. With hour wait times, server connection issues and various other problems, Mann Vs. Machine co-op play is nearly unplayable.
I say nearly because you can still grab a group of friends and start your own server. I made one by myself and it started up fine. Then the robots came, and destroyed me.
But if I try to get into a community game server I get close to an hour wait. Obviously people are playing, but those people are not me, and they aren't many of the irate inhabitants of the Team Fortress 2 Steam forums either.
In the forums players are also reporting long waits for the Mann Up servers, the premium $.99 per completed mission servers , indicating the wait starts small but goes on much longer than indicated. One user claimed to have been sitting at a 10 minute wait time for more than a half hour.
I can't confirm this personally, however — when I tried to buy a ticket the store wouldn't complete my purchase. Take my money already!
At least I can watch! Joining an MvM map on the server list works, but unless there are less than six people playing I'm stuck as a spectator.
So far there's not much from Valve on the matter. We've reached out to the company to see if we can get some sort of update on when everything will be running smoothly, and will update the post should we receive a response.
In the meantime, stick with your friends and you should (theoretically) be okay. If not, make yourself a sandwich and hope the connection doesn't time out.
It's the third and final day of reveals for Team Fortress 2's big Mann vs Machine update, and Valve has saved the most important for last.
Well, most important if you're the kind of person who's still playing TF2. Because if you are, you probably enjoy hats.
The robot wars will include a game mode called Mann Up. Completing these maps (which can be linked together to form "tours of duty") gets you rare loot in the forms of attire and accessories for your characters. But to get onto those maps you have to pay.
Think of it as an amusement park ride. You pay $0.99 for a ticket (this isn't part of the metaphor, it's actually what you pay and what you get), and that ticket is used to get on an official Valve Mann Up server. Once there, you're in line to get the rare loot.
Note that this is purely for cosmetic purposes; the Mann vs Machine game modes are free to play on any non-Mann Up server. And those who do pay are only getting superficial items, they won't be getting better perks or more powerful weapons
Still...this is a game whose entire economy is built around hats. Now that there are better and newer hats, making money shouldn't be a problem for Valve.
Mann vs Machine is now out and ready for download.
Mann Up [Valve]