Community Announcements - SZ
It isn't often documented, but there tends to be a lot of cross-pollination of ideas across the various teams here at Valve. There are a lot of talented folks walking around the halls here, and it's incredibly helpful to show them things and get their feedback, because with each round of feedback we'll manage to solve a problem or even find some new inspiration. Case in point: When the Source Filmmaker team was working on ideas for what the "Meet the Pyro" would look like, one of the ideas stood out. Not only were we amused at the proposed world of the Pyro, but immediately were thinking of how much fun it could be to play inside it.”

Of course, one of the immediate issues with this was how to bring the pastel color scheme and various whimsical storybook elements that made up Pyro's dream world into the textured world of TF2, with its more naturalistic palette and real-world setting. Achieving the Pyroland look would not only require creating a completely new texture set, but would have to be constrained both by texture memory and artistic resources.

Some of the things we ended up creating to solve this included, firstly, a replacement system that let us override the default textures in the game with an alternate version; and secondly, a new graphics shader system that we called "Pyro Vision". Here's what the final result was, but it took a few tries to get there.

<a href="http://media.steampowered.com/apps/tf2/blog/pyromania/pyroland_10_large.jpg"><img src="http://media.steampowered.com/apps/tf2/blog/pyromania/pyroland_10.jpg" width="420" height="240" border="0"></a>

<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=8502">Read the full blog post</a>
Jul 24, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.l4d.com/coldstream"><img src="http://www.l4d.com/blog/images/posts/090/coldstream_available.gif" width="440" height="497" border="0"></a>

<strong>Cold Stream Is Out!</strong>

For PC players, we have some map updates that move the big Beta needle to Release. For Xbox 360 players sorry but the Cold Stream DLC on the Xbox 360 is going to be delayed until next week.

We have almost all the details available here on our <a href="http://www.l4d.com/coldstream">Cold Stream Update page</a> – we just missed one – to celebrate the launch of Cold Stream – <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/550/">Left 4 Dead 2 is 75% off on Steam</a>! Time to introduce some new friends to the Zombie Apocalypse.

<a href="http://www.l4d.com/coldstream">Visit the Cold Stream Update page</a>.
Jul 12, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<img src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/summer_sale_2012.jpg" width="420" height="240" border="0">

To celebrate the <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/" target="_blank">Steam Summer Sale</a>, we’re having our own Mann Co. Store Sale on some of this year’s Workshop items, along with other goodies such as name tags, description tags, and various paints, weapons and hats. We’ve also added new summer bundles, featuring new items from the Pyromania update in various packaging flavors. The sale runs today through July 22.<br /><br />
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.sourcefilmmaker.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/sfm_engy.jpg" width="420" height="245 border="0"></a>

Thanks for your patience, everybody! And a <i>really</i> big thanks to our first round of testers, who were instrumental in helping us make the SFM a better user experience.

They were SO helpful, in fact, that we're happy to announce that SFM Beta is now open to everyone, for free, as of right now. We've also provided a new <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sfm">SFM-specific page in the Steam Community</a> where you can view, rate and discuss all the latest user-created videos.

Plus, just so we don't all overdose on "Meet The Heavy" shorts, we've decided to release a new session, to give all you folks'll something new to riff on. So get out your guitar (and some audio recording equipment) and prepare to "Meet The Engineer".

You can download the Source Filmmaker <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/1840/">here on Steam</a>.

Jun 27, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/pyromania/"><img src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/pyro_day3_blog.jpg" width="420" height="263" border="0"></a>

The <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/pyromania/">third and final day</a> of Pyromania is here, and the update is now <i>live!</i> New new items! New achievements! A new game mode! Pyrovision! Bongos! It's all live right now! In fact, this is such a big deal, we're doing it! We're HITTING THE ALL-CAPS KEY! WE'VE BEEN SAVING THIS FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION, AND IT DOESN’T GET ANY SPECIALER THAN THIS! MAN, IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE SCREAMING! IT'S LIKE A MILLION VOICES CRIED OUT IN TERROR, AND THEN JUST GOT LOUDER!

WHAT'S THAT, ROBIN?

okay, caps lock key is off. we can't even capitalize our sentences now because they took our caps lock key away. didn't take our exclamation mark key though!!!!!! oh hellz yeah okay they just took that too. enjoy the update, everybody.

oh, hey, also: just because this is the last meet the movie, don't think it’s the last update you’ll see from us. we have big plans for the future of tf, so stay tuned [exclamation mark]
Jun 27, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUhOnX8qt3I" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/mtp_blog_watch_now_x.jpg" width="420" height="262" border="0"></a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUhOnX8qt3I" target="_blank">...is here!</a>

Also! Because today's new items contain some Meet the Pyro spoilers, we're gonna hold off on announcing those until the update’s ready later today.

But! We <i>are</i> announcing something else RIGHT NOW: The beta release of the Source Filmmaker, the tool we use internally to make all of our "Meet the Team" shorts. You can <a href="http://www.sourcefilmmaker.com">check it out here</a>.
Jun 26, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/pyromania/cityonfire"><img src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/pyromania_cityonfire_blog_2.jpg" width="420" height="263" border="0"> </a>

At the end of the day, the Pyromania update is a celebration—not just of Team Fortress, but more importantly of <i>you</i>, the TF community, and even more importantly than that, of us, the TF blog post writers, and how great yesterday's blog post was. That Men Without Hats material was a career high. In fact, we decided to never touch this blog again in the hope that it might be preserved in a perfect state for future generations.

You’re probably wondering, then, why we’re crapping up the blog with the crummy words you’re reading right now. Well, if you thought <i>writing</i> blog posts barely qualifies as a job, it turns out <i>not</i> writing them is apparently a lot worse. So as an alternative to getting fired, welcome to <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/pyromania/cityonfire">Pyromania Day Two</a>'s blog post, which we've chosen to use as a moment of quiet reflection on the stellar comedic heights we hit yesterday. We've also only got one more day until Pyromania goes live, exploding into a fireball of new item sets, a new game mode, and of course, Meet the Pyro.
Jun 25, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
You read that right (presumably): the long-awaited final Meet the Team short, Meet the Pyro, is dropping in less than three days, and we decided to assemble a massive update to celebrate it.

<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/pyromania"><img src="http://www.teamfortress.com/images/posts/blog_pyromania_x.jpg" height="155" width="420" border="0"></a>

That only left the issue of what to <i>call</i> the update. Luckily, at the very moment we were thinking about it, someone turned on the radio. Guess what song was on? That's right: 'Safety Dance'.

"That's a pretty catchy song," we said. "Who sings that?" Well, we don't want to upset you, so we won't type it here, but suffice it to say the band that wrote 'Safety Dance' has the most unthinkably offensive name we've ever heard.

Then 'Rock of Ages' came on, off Def Leppard's album <i>Pyromania</i>, so we turned off the radio because it wasn't helping. Suddenly, no thanks at all to music, we came up with the name on our own: <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/pyromania">The Pyromania Update</a>.

Day One of Pyromania reveals <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/pyromania/doomsday">Doomsday</a>, a new map with a brand new game mode that lets you relive one of the darkest days in TF history. It's all pretty heartwrenching, until you discover you'll get achievements, which are also detailed in today's update.

Keep your eyes open, folks. We'll be announcing a bunch of new stuff this week, right up until the premiere of Meet the Pyro this Wednesday.
Jun 22, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=8256">Mmmmph mmmmph, mmmmm mmmmmp mmmmmph. Mmmmmph mpm! Mmmmmph mph mm! Hm mmmmmph, hmmmmph mm mmmmmph mmmmmph!</a>
Jun 21, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<img src="http://media.steampowered.com/apps/tf2/blog/make_a_gun/gun_image001.jpg" width="420" height="262" />

A lot of you have been asking how all those nifty weapons get made for TF2. Well, you’re in luck. TF2 workshop contributor <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/id/jalcober
">Jalcober</a>

volunteered to talk you through exactly how he does it in his own words, tracking the progress of a pretty sweet Pyro gun he made called the Scorch Shot. But why not let him explain it himself...

<a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/post.php?id=8045">Read the full blog post</a>
...

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