Valve has opened the voting for the second annual Saxxy Awards, celebrating cinematography in Team Fortress 2, and a winner shall be crowned on Nov. 30. Why so soon? Well, because the best overall winner is going to be announced at the Spike Video Game Awards on Dec. 7, and the video is going to be shown live.
In that case, my vote is for this four-minute, 45-second retcon of the history of the Saxxy Award (above), and the revelation of its creator, mostly because the whole shebang is 15 seconds under the 5 minute limit and would require Spike to devote 1/20th of its broadcast time to a fan film. The voting page is here. Get to it.
Saxxy Awards [Steam]
Master Source Filmmaker user Zachariah Scott returns once again with an amazing piece of work, this time crossing the world of Team Fortress 2 with that of Godzilla.
It's... look, I'm starting to think Zachariah Scott isn't one man, and that he's instead a complex computer program nestled beneath Valve headquarters, devoted entirely to designing and rendering terrific movies at record speed.
Picking up on a weird increase in trades for "earbuds", a rare item in the game, his investigations led him to discover a closed Steam group that was involved in highly suspicious item trading. The report is a lengthy and surprisingly fascinating read, but for the time-starved, let's cut to his tl;dr hypothesis:
tl;dr A group of Russians bought >5,000 Keys from Store today using illegitimate credit cards and bought few hundred Buds from TF2 Outpost at an ridiculous price of 28-30 Keys (The average yesterday was 25.5 Keys). They have been doing this for quite a long time and their activity today is alarming.
One motive for this could be the hilariously bizarre (if unlikely) possibility that Russian gangsters are using Team Fortress 2 to launder dirty money. Another, more likely outcome is that a band of crims have got hold of some stolen credit cards, and are spending the cash on rare TF2 items they can re-sell.
It might not be tear-worthy, but it's certainly a touching account of the Team Fortress 2 characters coming together in a moment of need. And that song ain't half bad either.
Zachariah Scott, a cinematic designer at BioWare, may have an unfair advantage when it comes to Source Filmmaker clips, seeing as he's not exactly an amatuer, but whatever. If professional videos are what we get when professionals use the tool, then we're all winners.
In this clip, TF2's Medic has an...episode after the loss of his beloved bird. It's far more haunting than I would have thought before I pressed play.
Bad Medicine [YouTube]
Photoshop artist Valentin Baguirov used a combination of Photoshop and Valve's Source Filmmaker to create these movie poster beauties. Drag the slider over to compare and contrast.
You can view the full-sized versions—both original poster and Team Fortress 2 poster—below.
In addition to giving him a giant card (which they do every year), and getting the chance to wish him a happy birthday in person (not to mention pick up some swag), they also presented him with a gift. A box. Which Newell was charged $2.50 to open.
Inside? A hat.
I won't say this often, but well played, /v/, well played.
UPDATE - Now with video.
On the one hand, I'm extremely excited to see an Adult Swim/Valve mix that doesn't just involve a sign-up sheet and a hat.
The claymation is also a nice touch. But this feels more like Adult Swim saying, "Hey, here's a thing that sorta looks like a thing that you play online sometimes," rather than actually doing a proper spoof off of Team Fortress 2. It's kinda silly, maybe even kinda funny, but all around not the kind of witty and on the nose humor you may have expected from such a collaboration.
But then again...Hey! Here's a thing that sorta looks like a Team Fortress 2 thing, and that's neat!
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.