Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.
So the new game mode is a sudden-death single-control point mini-match, suited to fewer players. More like suited to no players! Because of how it might suck! Lol!
Seriously, though, I’m guessing the presence of a single control point negates what does suck about Sudden Death: the tendency for both teams to hole up at their base and wait until stalemate is announced. If you turtle up at the point, you can cap it and win rather than waiting for the enemy to come to you. If you turtle up before the point, the enemy can cap it and win rather than coming to you. I’m optimistic.
A delicious new environment for the chaps and Pyro! It’s quite, quite lovely – in some ways, even more stylised than the canyon motif we’ve been stuck with until now. The backdrop in this shot is just a few colours:
I’m a big fan of game environments that can feel cold without just blanketing the whole place in unconvincing snow. This definitely qualifies – can’t you just smell how brisk and bracing that mountain air is?
That set of tips from the SomethingAwful testers has now been proven so right that it’s had to be deleted from the Steam forums. In Arena’s case, knowing the broad picture wasn’t very helpful: the details that there’s a single control point, and it can have any number of players, completely change the prospect to a rather exciting one.
But if you still doubt that the last Heavy unlock will be a health-restoring munchable named the Sandvich that replaces the Shotgun, you are now officially delusional.
More Team Fortress 2
Seniath: I love the look of the alpine environment; as much as I enjoy the stylised canyons and such, a change of scenery is never a bad thing. Just a shame I'm not sold on this game mode, though the prospect of bugger all water and health does excite my inner-Pyro. I guess we'll see some time later today*.
Seniath: Oh crap, I used < >s there, it should've read:
*<Obligatory Valve-time comment>
Niteowl: Oh goodie! Sudden Death all the time! This won't lead to turtling at all.
Gaming communities always trend towards the most civil, all around fun way to play any game, if history is to be UTTERLY and COMPLETELY crammed down a small crevasse and expected to gnaw it's own wrist off to escape.
Tom Francis: Fixed your correction, Seniath, and deleted your correction to the correction. You were on the right track, but need a semicolon after the lt and gt. The zeroth rule of diagnosing coding errors: it's always a missing semi-colon.
Tom Francis: Niteowl - there's only one capture point, so where's anyone going to turtle?
Seniath: Cheers - as someone who programs in C# for a living, semi-colons are my arch nemesis. Give me Python or give me death!
Chijts: That first image is just awesome, I love the look of those rocks. Something that doesn't rock though will be my PC.. it tends to slow down when alot of chaos is on, despite having fiddled with the settings. This gametype is going to take me to new depths of FPS drops.
J-man: Looks good, but I'm worried about the fact you can't respawn. It's just gonna mean a helluvalot of snipers and spies.
Graham: Counter-Strike seems the best point of reference, not Sudden Death. In Counter-Strike, the round ends when an entire team is dead or upon the completion of the objective (planting/defusing a bomb or rescuing the hostages). In Arena mode, the round ends when an entire team is dead or upon the completion of the objective (capping the point).
People don't turtle that often in Counter-Strike, because rounds are long enough that it's boring to do so and short enough that death isn't a severe punishment. Unlike in Sudden Death, where death might mean losing the entire map and being yelled at by a stern British woman.
littleedge: I already love the new map just because of the new environment. And I always loved sudden death (liked the melee sudden death better, though) so I will probably like this one. Graham: Stern British woman are evil little things...>.>
DoctorDisaster: I do love the look of that environment. I am going to suck miserably at arena, though.
Slamhound: Quirky thought: I can't help but feel that Lumberyard looks like a TF2ised version of the area right at the start of Episode 2. Same shed, same train yard, even the stacks of planks stick in my memory. It's just like they took the textures from Episode 2, ran a smudge filter in Photoshop, and stuck them back in.
Wouldn't surprise me if there's a gnome tucked away under a bench somewhere. You'd like that, wouldn't you Tom?
Tom Francis: Heh. People do camp in Counter-Strike, which is as close to turtling as you get without being able to build stuff. But it's because one team is always on defense, so they don't have to go anywhere to win. In Arena, both teams need to get to the same point, or each other, to win. And yeah, being dead for the time it takes to cap one control point is not such a huge deal. A lot longer than regular TF2, but much less than most Counter-Strike rounds, I'm sure. Spectating should be more tense when death is permanent, too.
The more I think about it, the more excited I am. If there's a TF2 mode that's not entirely about Sentries, it could easily become my favourite.
Dante: I'm no doom and gloom merchant, but I'm not all that convinced by the Heavy update so far. Arena seems to be a move towards other, less inclusive, less outright fun online shooters. The Natasha was an idea I came up with myself and then hated and if the last unlock really is a sandwich? Well it's not only broken Valves own rules, but seems rather unspectacular, once the initial novelty has worn off.
Having said that I don't think it will be a sandwich, because Valve are surely too smart to give away their big secret so easily.
I'd also like to see new versions of the new maps with the old gamemodes (if that makes any sense to anyone) one day.
Jason L: Which of Valve's rules do you feel the Sandvich breaks? The stated goal from way back when was to make the big guy more viable without a competent Medic in some simple way - if anything, requiring an unlockable makes the change fall slightly short of its goal. Right?
Dante: They did say at one point that restoring hitpoints should be the medic's domain alone?
Shadowmancer: Meet the Sandvich is out http://steamgames.co... ...y/sandvich
DoctorDisaster: All my qualms about the sandvich have been laid to rest. Why?
Because it is HILARIOUS.
"My BLOOD! He punched out ALL my BLOOD!"