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August 24, 2010 - TF2 Team

Since our recent Art Pass Contest, our level designers have gone back to their default state at the TF2 offices, which is to say, doing nothing, taking naps, eating lunch, and complaining. This has become a bit of a poison pill for the rest of the TF2 team, all of whom possess strong opinions about working (against it), naps (pro), lunches (very pro) and complaining (big fans).

As part of the fallout, this morning the writing team refused to do their work for the month, which was to write today's blog post and name some hats. At first we weren't terribly concerned—partly because most of the team wasn't even aware the game had writing in it, but mostly because everybody here, unlike the writers, knows how to perform a skill AND write words. (Here's a pro-tip for you youngsters: Build your career on a skill that isn't something five-year-olds can do.)

But then someone pointed out that, even though writing's incredibly easy work, it's still technically work. So we reached into our comprehensive bag of solutions, and pulled out our well-worn one-trick pony: Community Contest Time!

Fans have been mailing us for some time now, asking for a contest that didn't involve modeling or level design. So now they get their wish. That's right: you'll be competing over who can describe hats the best. Introducing the first ever TF2 Hat Describing Contest. In it, you can compete with other fans to write fictional missives about the glory of your favorite TF2 hat, with the prize of getting your words right into TF2 itself. The text will show up in the item descriptions, so it should be short and fun. Check out the FAQ for the full breakdown.


You probably thought we were done for the day too, but we've barely started this blog post. The fine folks over at Team 17 are about to release Worms Reloaded this week. Being massive fans of their work, all the way back to the original Alien Breed, we thought it'd be fun to do something with them. So, we approached them and politely asked if we could include an iconic element of their game in TF2. The conversation was going swimmingly until they said that the best item to use would be the Holy Hand Grenade. We shuffled our feet and nervously explained that some soon-to-be-fired idiot had removed all of TF2's grenades.

But luckily, we were saved by our own shoddy workmanship. While we removed grenades from the game during early development, we left two of them dangling on the front of the Soldier as a teasing reminder of what once was. So, to celebrate the release, we're going to give a nifty Soldier visual update to anyone who buys Worms Reloaded before Thursday, September 2nd, allowing him to sport two Holy Hand Grenades and a new Soldier helmet. Here's what it looks like in-game:


Finally, a couple of quick competitive notes:

  • At 11am PST on Thursday, September 2nd, we're going to embarrass ourselves in front of the world by playing in an exhibition Highlander match. Six Valve TF2 members are going to join six pros and 6 pub players for a match that will be filled with triumph and heartbreak, most likely a lot of cheating, and maybe even some TF2. LaroLaro has created a nifty poster for the event, because winning the Polycount contest wasn't enough for him.

  • The Electronic Sports League's Season VI Signups are up. Members of their team have also helped us track down a variety of client exploits and file hacking tomfoolery over the years, so give them a hug for us.