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Meet the Sniper's Assets

October 21, 2009 - Wade Schin

With work on Left 4 Dead 2 calming down for us a bit, we were able to finish up something we promised you a while back—gathering up all the source files for the character models and getting them online. This'll hopefully let you guys get a lot more creative out there with your fan-made content. (We can't wait to see it.)

We've also gotten a lot of requests for models and props from the Meet the Team shorts. So we're happy to announce we've released the first set, from Meet the Sniper (note that these were made for the movies, and haven't been optimized for performance in maps, so keep that in mind). I've outlined some of these below.

The Camper Van
This seemed like the likeliest form of transportation for a Sniper. Can you spot the pun? It's incredibly, unbelievably subtle.

The Payphone
Because sometimes it's nice to hear the sound of a loved one's voice, telling you they think you're a hired killer.

Beware of Headshots Sign
Sniper was on the payphone with City Hall for weeks after they put these up. How's a man supposed to get his job done?

The #1 Sniper Mug
It pays to advertise.

The Old Geezer
Once we'd added the camper van to the Meet the Sniper short, we thought it'd be funny to have something up on the dashboard. A bobblehead seemed like the obvious choice—anything with as big and targetable a noggin as that would be irresistible to Sniper.

Originally, we'd toyed with the idea of the bobblehead being a mascot from one of the many product signs dotting the landscape of the TF2 universe. Someone suggested the "Old Geezer" from Old Geezer beer, and a bobblehead model was born.

The word "apricot" is sniper terminology for the medulla oblongata, a "sweet spot" snipers aim for where the brain and brain stem meet. Hence the Old Geezer holding apricot brandy. During playtests, though, the apricot reference was discovered to be just a touch too obscure; more importantly, nobody had any idea who the old guy was. (Santa?)

We recast the model as the Civilian, an escort class from Team Fortress Classic and a far more recognizable figure to TF veterans. People no longer mistook the model for Santa. They were now convinced it was a bobblehead of Adolf Hitler. So we fixed the moustache and removed the red armbands. (Above.)

The apricot reference, meanwhile, became an air freshener. (Because once we latch onto a clever factoid, we really just don't let go.)

These models will all show up once you refresh the SDK content. Have fun!