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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.


By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

Heat Signature’s Launch, And First Player Legend

A Leftfield Solution To An XCOM Disaster

Rewarding Creative Play Styles In Hitman

Postcards From Far Cry Primal

Solving XCOM’s Snowball Problem

Kill Zone And Bladestorm

An Idea For More Flexible Indie Game Awards

Teaching Heat Signature’s Ship Generator To Think In Sectors

What Works And Why: Multiple Routes In Deus Ex

Natural Numbers In Game Design

Naming Drugs Honestly In Big Pharma

Writing vs Programming

Let Me Show You How To Make A Game

New Heat Signature Video: Galaxies, Suction And Wrench-Throwing

What Works And Why: Nonlinear Storytelling In Her Story

My Idea For An ‘Unconventional Weapon’ Game

From Gunpoint To Heat Signature: A Narrative Journey

The Cost Of Simplifying Conversations In Videogames

What Works And Why: Invisible Inc

Our Super Game Jam Episode Is Out

What Works And Why: Sauron’s Army

Showing Heat Signature At Fantastic Arcade And EGX

What I’m Working On And What I’ve Done

The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

Heat Signature Needs An Artist And A Composer

Improving Heat Signature’s Randomly Generated Ships, Inside And Out

Gunpoint Patch: New Engine, Steam Workshop, And More

Distance: A Visual Short Story For The Space Cowboy Game Jam

Raising An Army Of Flying Dogs In The Magic Circle

Floating Point Is Out! And Free! On Steam! Watch A Trailer!

Drawing With Gravity In Floating Point

What’s Your Fault?

The Randomised Tactical Elegance Of Hoplite

Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

Heat Signature: A Game About Sneaking Aboard Randomly Generated Spaceships

The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

A Story Of Heroism In Alien Swarm

One Desperate Battle In FTL

To Hell And Back In Spelunky

Games Vs Story 2

Gunpoint Development Breakdown

Five Things I Learned About Game Criticism In Nine Years At PC Gamer

My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection

Not Being An Asshole In An Argument

Playing Skyrim With Nothing But Illusion

How Mainstream Games Butchered Themselves, And Why It’s My Fault

A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot

Arguing On The Internet

Shopstorm, A Spelunky Story

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

E3’s Violence Overload, Versus Gaming’s Usual Violence Overload

The Suspicious Developments manifesto

GDC Talk: How To Explain Your Game To An Asshole

Listening To Your Sound Effects For Gunpoint

Understanding Your Brain

What Makes Games Good

A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

Deckard: Blade Runner, Moron

Avoiding Suspicion At The US Embassy

An Idea For A Better Open World Game

A Different Way To Level Up

How I Would Have Ended BioShock

My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

Team Fortress 2 Unlockable Weapon Ideas

Don’t Make Me Play Football Manager

EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

My Galactic Civilizations 2 War Diary

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

Blood Money And Sex

A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

First Night, Second Life

SWAT 4: The Movie Script

My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

To commemorate my 100th hour playing as him, and since he’s clearly next in Valve’s update schedule, it seemed appropriate to take a swing at a Meet The Spy script.

It’s a moronic undertaking, of course, because the real one will be humiliatingly superior. He’s an easy target, because he’s basically made of dramatic irony – but that also leaves a minefield of awful clichés to step around. Anything that involves someone we believe not to be a Spy turning out to be a Spy is automatically dross.

I love the bit in Meet The Sniper when our man wonders aloud whether he’s been spotted – and is then copiously shot at. Acknowledging the concerns that go through your head playing as him felt truer and funnier than these scenes where the starring class automatically wins against all-comers.

So this script is mostly focused around the characteristic moments of playing a Spy. I reject the perception that he is unwaveringly aloof: aloof, sure, but he’s all about the wavering. No other class experiences more moment-to-moment panic or humiliation.

A warning, though: it’s long.



The title card vanishes to reveal the edge of a table. With a sudden bang, a blue briefcase is slammed down onto it, then clicked open by two gloved hands.

Intelligence, gentlemen. There are those who have it, the conoscenti (gesturing to himself faux-modestly, head bowed) – and those who do not. The – ahem – imbeciles.

Zoom out to reveal a Red Team SPY as he slouches down into a chair, Blue Team corpses of various classes strewn around the briefing room. He takes a wad of papers from the briefcase, licks a gloved fingertip for purchase, and leafs through them uninterestedly. As usual, his accent takes a drunken tour of Western Europe as he speaks.

In my profession, one is lamentably dependent on the latter.

He rips the topsheet from a dossier, draws his cigarette case, opens a small compartment containing tobacco and, in a deft yet impossible to animate movement, rolls it into a smokeable.

When a leopard preys on impala in sub-Saharan Africa, he does not attempt to slaughter the entire herd.

He reaches down and lifts the nozzle of a dead Pyro’s Backburner and lights his intelligence roll-up on the pilot light. He takes a few puffs, then points it at us.

No! He isolates the slowest of the pack, and eliminates the beast alone. (Shrugging:) It is the same in my line of work, but it is those lacking in mental agility on whom I prey.

With a black loafer, he gently kicks the cranium of a dead Heavy at his feet. A lump of part-chewed Sandvich drops from his slack craw and his tongue lolls out.

Of course, some are slow in both senses of the word.


tunnel 2


Our red Spy, running along a tunnel, cloaks. We can still see him as a red silhouette.

Blues pour in: a HEAVY, SCOUT, PYRO, DEMOMAN. The Spy has to flatten himself utterly against the wall to avoid brushing the Heavy, dash to the other side to avoid the Scout, dive clean over the Pyro just as he blasts a gout of spychecking flame, land into a forwards roll, and stand up face to face with the obviously intoxicated Demoman, who chooses that moment to stop dead and take a swig of his bottle.

The silhouette tries to go round him to the left, but the Demoman staggers in that direction as he drinks. He tries the right, with the same result. He gives up and stands impatiently as the Demoman glugs, and glugs, and glugs. The silhouette looks at its watch, taps its foot. At last the Demoman advances, veering drunkenly into one wall then the other, and the silhouette tiptoes carefully around him.

And slams into an identical blue silhouette, shimmering in and out of visibility.

A hunter, of course, must be cognisant of other predators.

Both step back in apparent shock, draw their revolvers, then cautiously circle one another until they have switched. Then, without taking their eyes off each other, they walk backwards in their original direction, and eventually turn to run full-speed.

They may not be your primary target…

The blue silhouette ducks round the corner and decloaks – a fully visible BLUE SPY, smirking. Simultaneously our man exits the tunnel…


tunnel exit


…and slips away to the side, decloaks and straps on a paper mask with a Spy’s face on it.

But it is idiocy to assume you are not theirs.

He waits until the Blue Spy also exits the tunnel in search of him, and gives chase just inches behind. As he does so, a blue MEDIC spots them and gives chase. The three run to:


cap 4 approach


Spy! Spy!

(Glancing over his left shoulder, just as our man darts right:) Please, doktor, endeavour not to tell everyone.

Nein! Spy is Spy!

(Muttering:) That is self-evident.

Meanwhile our man is swishing and thrusting his knife just centimeters from the enemy’s back, and finally he cuts a corner that his target does not. The knife sinks in, our man’s mask drops to the floor, the real blue Spy’s eyes widen, and he drops to his knees.

(Dribbling blood, twisting his head to look back:) You might… have been… more specific…


Our man leaves his knife in his victim’s back, and instead pries the Blue Spy’s knife from his hand before he collapses.

That will do nicely.

We dolly with the Medic as he arrives on the scene, just in time to see the Spy take a different corridor back to Cap 3. We lose sight of the Spy just before arriving back at:


cap 3 wide


We cut to a close-up of his narrowed eyes as they scan his team for suspicious activity, then pan across the team itself:

A SNIPER squats on the control point on the far right, peering down his scope. A SOLDIER trundles forth from the trench in the center. On the left, an ENGINEER and a Spy wearing an unconvincing Engineer mask stand either side of a level three SENTRY, facing away from it in opposite directions. The Medic’s gaze pauses on them, then pans slowly back to the Soldier, none the wiser.

Before the Engineer leaves the frame, he turns and notices the Spy standing next to him. He reacts and thumps his wrench menacingly into his open palm. The oblivious Spy, without looking round, reaches back and slaps an Electro-Sapper onto the Sentry. We pan away before we see the Engy’s reaction, as the Medic suspiciously watches the Soldier rocket-jump over his head, but we hear:

Boys, we got a Spy!

And the sounds of vigorous Sentry-wrenching and sapper-fritzing.

Verdammen! It iz hopeless!

He turns and leaves for the front line.




The Spy is lounging in the same seat where we left him, makeshift cigarette halfburnt and forgotten in his right hand, twirling an Engineer’s hardhat on his left. He contemplates the hat.

(Absently:) One breed of impala wear ridiculous yellow hats, and construct robotic impala to compensate for their shortcomings as male impala – all the hurtful things the female impala said to them in impala college.

The hardhat slips from his finger and clatters to the briefing-room floor behind him. The sound snaps him out of his reverie and he sits up straight.

(Reflecting:) At this point, I confess, the analogy falters.


cap 3 wide


The Engy chases the disguised Spy around the Sentry, the Spy slapping Sappers on the device, the Engy knocking them off with his wrench. By now they’re wading noisily through a heap of thirty bashed-in sappers on the ground. The Engy suddenly reverses direction to catch the Spy, but the Spy doubles back just in time to stay out of range.

Darnit! Where in tarnation are you keepin’ these motherlovin’ things?

Your tiny mind…

He jumps to slap a sapper on top of the Sentry.

…couldn’t possibly…

He ducks to affix one underneath it.


As the Engy pauses to reach each one with his Wrench, the Spy catches up behind him and shivs him in the spine. At the precise moment of impact, his mask drops to the floor.

(Whispering, face-first in the dirt:) Now how in all heck is that any kinda fair?

His eyes close. The Spy begins to brush dust from his suit and opens his mouth to speak, then…


…his eyes widen in alarm, and he dives into the nearby hut under a hail of fire.

We cut to a Sentry’s-eye view: a green nightvision-style view of the scene with an overlayed wireframe. A box around the entrance to the hut is labelled:


After lingering on it for a moment, it pans abruptly to the corpse of the Engineer, draws a box around it, and adds the tag:



The view pans back to the hut, and our Spy is now standing exactly in the “MEATBAG” box wearing the Engineer mask again. The view zooms in on the mask and clarifies the resolution, then a box pops up labelled:


We see gurning mugshots of each of the nine classes flicker past, the Pyro in a party hat, the Demoman holding up an identity plate at a police station, the Scout in the Heavy’s headlock, until it settles on the Engineer, which is labelled “FATHER”. A new line prints below this:



As it writes, the Spy approaches and withdraws another Sapper. This is highlighted in a box labelled:





The Spy slaps a sapper directly over our view, turning everything black except the text.







Our man has his feet up on the table, tapping ash into a Soldier’s upturned helmet on the desk.


Sometimes, to move among the impala, the leopard must become one. He must dress up in their skin, (gesturing:) become fat, oafish… (beat, then with a visible shudder:) Russian.


tunnel exit


Our Spy is trundling along in a theatrical imitation of the Heavy’s gun-burdened waddle, clutching his tiny revolver in both hands as if it is enormously heavy, wearing a Heavy mask and bellowing for a Medic in a pitch-perfect Heavy voice. Soon the Medic returns from the frontline and latches on to him.

I am here, kamerad!

The Spy takes a moment to strap on a new Heavy mask that bears a broad grin.


Soon they reach the four attackers the Spy passed on his way in. As our Spy approaches, we see a close-up of his grinning Heavy mask, and we move into slow-mo as he pointlessly slaps a baleful one on top of it.

His balisong rises gradually in his hand until it is poised to strike, then the three Heavy masks fall from his face in rapid succession: angry, happy, grim, then his real expression: a contorted rictus of fury and dark anticipatory delight. His knife curves slowly downwards, but before it hits we cut to:




The Spy swings his legs down off the table and leans towards us, eyes narrowed, intense.

There are occasions, of course, which do not call for such restraint. When a leopard’s characteristic savoir faire is simply inappropriate. Situations that need no subtlety, subterfuge or deception.

He draws his balisong from his blazer pocket and raises it for emphasis.


Situations, gentlemen, that demand (stabbing the air with each word for emphasis:) swift! Decisive! Action! In which the only possible course of action is a furious (swish!) blitzkrieg (swish!) of steel (swish!) and viscous spurts of hot (he stabs the table) red (he stabs again) blood!

With the final word he brings his knife down a third time, but an instant before we would see it hit, we cut back to:

tunnel 2


Close up on the Medic’s face – a vision of dismay. There’s the characteristic critical-hit backstab boom! and:


My scapula!

We see flecks of blood splatter the Medic’s face, causing his horrified expression to flinch. Another critical-stab sound:


Me lumbar!

Another stab, another splash of blood, another flinch:


Mh mhmphmuh!

Stab, splat, flinch:


My braiaaaahahaaaaghahahaaaa! -ain.

The Medic’s face is now glistening with blood. His eyes narrow, he grits his teeth, spits a gob of swallowed blood to the floor, and we pull back to see him draw his Ubersaw.

Dolly with the Medic as he pursues the fleeing Spy. As they exit the tunnel towards Cap 4, we cut to the chase from the side: the Doc is clearly gaining. But when the Spy reaches the large rock near the cap, he suddenly trots to a halt, spins around and calmly draws his cigarette case. The Medic is an inch from him when he comes into view of a level three red Sentry on his right, which-

Sentry Gun

-pummels him gracelessly into a rock.

The spy brushes at a speck of blood on his suit, and begins:

You’ve got blood on my-

Sentry Gun

Hot spurts of blood geyser horrifically from the Medic’s gibbering corpse, splattering the Spy. The Spy irritably wipes his face with a gloved hand and starts again.

I’ve made quite a-

Sentry Gun

The spy glares at it, soaked in blood.


Sentry Gun

Do not make me silence your infernal machine, labourer!

Cut to:




The usual suspects, the usual tune. Zoomed, of course, to our man.


Sentry Gun (VO)
… … DAKA!

Spy (VO)
Very well.




The Spy is still stabbing the table in a frenzy, woodchips and spittle flinging in all directions, when finally he senses us and looks up, suddenly aware of what he’s doing. His stabbing hand slows until the knife-tip is just tapping gently on the table’s lacquered surface, then he composes himself, flips the knife’s blade back into its housing in a complicated twirl and tucks it back into his jacket pocket.

Ah, yes, of course…

He tosses a dossier back into the briefcase, clicks it shut, takes it by the handle and stands up.


He tosses his lit cigarette over his shoulder as he leaves, igniting the Medic’s coat. He straightens his tie before approaching the camera. We zoom out to reveal:


briefing to intel


The Spy steps through a perfectly Spy-shaped hole already cut in the glass wall between the briefing room and the intel chamber. A Spy-shaped piece of glass is propped against the desk outside. A Soldier, Demoman and Heavy guard the two corridors leading in, all facing away from the Spy, and he mimes an eenie-meanie-miny-moe game to decide who to stab first.

He’s interrupted by a sudden pop! as the now huge briefing room fire reaches the Heavy’s ammo belt. All three Blues freeze, and the Spy winces as a rapid series of small explosions causes everyone to spin round and glare at him. Finally, the Pyro’s propane tank blows the entire glass wall out.

The Spy stands frozen, mid-flinch, shoulders hunched, face screwed up, as the last fragments of glass tinkle to the floor and the three stare expectantly.

Figlio di puttana.


team fortress 2


Team Fortress 2, available now, buy it I guess, yada yada.

More ,

mr. Brit: awesome!

AlexW: Statement: While highly entertaining and delightfully filled with repeated murder of dimwitted meatbags, this is unfortunately too long to fit into a ninety-second video.

AMP’d: "As usual, his accent takes a drunken tour of Western Europe as he speaks."

This is excellent. So excellent.

mr. Brit: Who cares! It's awww-some!

Chris Livingston: Brilliant brilliant brilliant.

The_B: If I had the time, patience, voiceover skills or gifted talent with Garry's Mod I'd totally make this up myself.

I don't. Sadface.

Dante: I'm never sure of the etiquette when encountering another spy, do we draw revolvers and duke it out? Or do we follow moscow rules and nod in recognition, with each going his own way?

Jason L: I especially like the sentry text and 'shudder...Russian' bits, and most of this is excellent. I do have trouble with one segment - the three-man chase scene. The speaking role for the enemy Spy, I think, doesn't fit at all into Meet The. He'd have to have the same voice, and that breaks a pretty deep rule of Meet The - as much as possible, all the guys are singular. We never see two of the same class on the same team, and we never? - very rarely? - even see a guy face off against his opposite number. Even the other parts of that scene flirt with disaster - the encounter in the tunnel is just about OK, but the bit about the ambiguous (and uncharacteristically stupid) medic is angstroms away from HE WAS ACTUALLY A SPY. Better without it, say Oi.

And I'm sorry to do this since I can see you left it out for a reason, but this is the Internet and someone will ask: the last line is dog-Italian - a 'cultured, intelligent' language - for 'son of a bitch...'

ZomBuster: Must push little scroll button!

Some parts are definitly Meet the worthy, but please let valve don't put so much complicated language in it.

Bret: Great, but I agree with the "No way a video that long is gonna fly" statements.

The ending, however is a very nice change from the standard conclusion for these things.

Tom Francis: Thanks all. Racism is always funny. Always.

I can't see a point where we see two of the same class on the same team here. And we do see two of the same class fight each other in the other Meet The Team videos. The canon isn't that there are only nine guys split between two teams.

I'm with you, though, and AlexW: there's intentionally a lot of puppyfat, and Spy Vs Spy is the first thing I'd lose. I just like to have other people tell me that, rather than snip it before publishing and wonder if something I've left in sucks worse and I just can't see it.

The purpose of it was to address Dante's question: is there honour among Spies? My answer being, in practical terms, that it's worth assuming there isn't.

I'm not sure I get your point about the Medic. The cliché I was avoiding is where the audience doesn't realise someone is a Spy, so all the Spies in this are seen as Spies. If you're suggesting that even characters should never be unaware someone is a Spy, it's going to be kinda hard to make a video about the Spy.

Anonymous: 1 - Nice intro - would love to see some of those animations!
2 /3/4 - Liked the spy on spy confusion
5/6/7 - While good and the sentry was funny(almost portal esk) it seems unnecessary and slows it down too much
8/9/10/11/12 - nice bit to end on, awesome action stuff! Plus again sentries are funny
13 - I think it should end with him leaving the medic alight
14 - don't really get what is going on here...also seems unnecessary as the casual ending with the intelligence is much better!

Having said that, it was all pretty awesome and I would love to be technically capable of doing it - you never know, Valve might feel pity on you and make it exactly as you described it!

ZomBuster: That would suck.

Garrus: This is almost too awesome for words. Gratz for such good work.

The constant use of impalas in analogys is hilarious, to a point at which I was reading this script in my best Spy voice just to laugh harder.

Jason L: Racism: It may have been racist as you wrote it, but I'm not sure it was as I read it - I mean, obviously, to a spy with the Spy's accent Russians must be The Enemy. 'Commies! I hate these guys'.

On the Spy Vs. Spy front, I think you might be reading as a chain what I mean as individual objections. Of course none of it really matters since you don't disagree with my thesis, but:
Uniqueness: But we see clone-on-clone violence as seldom as possible, especially WRT the star of the clip. There's no counterSniper in the Sniper vid. The charging team in the Demo's vid is sans Demo. The Scout doesn't meet an enemy Scout, he meets a Heavy. So far, within a class's Meet The, he's the only one in the world.

Stupidity: No, no, much simpler - I'm talking about the Medic's inability to say something like 'The Spy behind you is enemy!' It doesn't seem like his Teutonic accent is enough to force that, so it feels like the gag's stepping on character toes. It's the kind of exchange I'd expect of a Heavy, or possibly a sufficiently drunk Demo. Or, the thought occurs, a Pyro struggling to make himself understood! Unfortunately for the humour, a Pyro is the one person who could instantly and unambiguously resolve the confusion...

Spy All Along: The misunderstanding comes down on the Blu Spy and he has the punchline, so I mentally look at it from his point of view. From the Blu Spy's POV, instead of Ha Ha He was a Spy all along, this segment has Ha Ha He was a Spy all along dressed as a friendly spy like you. Yes, there's an additional layer there but it's preeeeetty thin.

Tim E: tl,dnr

SenatorPalpatine: So good. Good enough to be the video, if it was half as long.

I can't wait to see what Valve does with it.

Tom Francis: Uniqueness: the Soldier trades rockets with an enemy Soldier in Meet The Soldier.

Spy All Along: possibly I didn't explain this well. The Blu Spy never sees the Red Spy disguised - he's behind him. The Red Spy only disguises to confuse onlookers, and it doesn't work. I'll go back and see if I can clarify that.

Though it still sounds to me like you're saying no-one is allowed to be fooled by any disguise at any point, because from their perspective that would be a gotcha. It's certainly possible to exclude disguises entirely, but you'd be missing the essence of the Spy somewhat.

I only object to it when it's being done to the audience, because it's cheap to exploit one's control over their perception.

Tim, your acronym is itself too long: it should be tl;dr.

sQUAKYfOAMpEANUT: It's great. Just one objection: the scenes seemed to drag on a bit.

Ledundead: Great idea, but it drags on a bit. I learned that I'm actually topping the great Pentadact in points in some catagories, and I play the 360 version! You got me in points, I'm 33 with soldier. Most kills, I've got 22 as Soldier. You got me in Sentry kills, I think. I have 10 assists, and you barely beat me. 3 caps as Soldier (Gravel Pit, largest Control point map and everyone hates Well), and you had 12. I've put about 4,500 points of damage as Soldier. We're tied with destructions, and I have 6 dominations in one life, out of 8 players. You got me in pretty much everything in the last column. Still, it's good to know you're mortal.

seymour: the sentry bit was hilarious, and the "spy is spy" thing. all fantastic, you should be making this yourself.

beats the meet the demo vid at any rate.

yer mum: Nice script! Even if the whole thing is too long it could easily be cut down to size.
"As usual, his accent takes a drunken tour of Western Europe" - does anyone else think the spy sounds just like Ralph Fiennes?

Chijts: I thought it was all great, but like others have said (It sounds like there is a final draught to come?) some bits could be chopped. I'd probably chop sections 2 to 7.

I also think it would be cool if the Spy's encounter with the Demoman was changed so that he couldn't actually find a way round his drunken body and the timer ran out on his watch.
[Side view] The spy decloaks infront of him completely indifferent about it, looking more annoyed that he couldn't get by him, whilst the drunken scotsman is aghast, and spurts his whiskey in shock onto [Close up of Spy's face] the Spy's face.
The Spy slowly whipes down his face. [Side View] There's a pause for a moment, then in one swift movement the spy raises his arm high and rams his knife into the Demoman's face. His body falls to the floor out of shot, [Front-right worm's eye view] the Spy walks off in the direction he was trying to go.

The whiskey part would fit in with your bloody spy section; it's a dirty job but someone's got to do it!

Chijts: whipe - wipe. Oh for an edit button!

Wolf The Widowmaker: As others have stated, to long for a regular "Meet the" video.

Hopefully some skilled movie maker reads your script and makes an awesome 3 minute video.

Lack_26: That's awesome, it would have to be cut down a bit, although the sentries bit (where he thinks the new engineer might be his uncle) could go in a meet the sentry trailer, but should be done somewhere.

Tom Francis: Phew. Thanks again, to all the people who said nice things since I last said thanks.

Length: I officially no longer need to be told that it's too long for a Meet The Team video. If I hadn't said it myself twice already, the nine people pointing it out would be enough. I do care if you think a particular scene drags or is weak, though, so please keep those thoughts coming.

I may even come back to it fresh in a week or so and think about cutting it to a realistic size, I just need to a) know what people like, b) work out how long the current script is in real-time - Wolf, your three minute figure sounds likely, and c) leave it alone for a bit.

Chijts - I wanted to avoid too many things that directly contradict the game's mechanics. The main difference between my treatment and Valve's, apart from the vast quality chasm, is that theirs focus on out-of-game character whereas mine is grounded more in what the game is like to play.

Of course, on occasion you can instakill someone with a facestab in TF2, but I think it'd need to be a more obvious nod to that glitch to work in that sense.

J-Man: Fantastic. Too long, but fantastic. I'd cut away some of the first scenes, but the sentry scene made me burst out laughing, truly great. A g-mod short in the works, methinks.

J-Man: Oh crap. Didn't see your comment on length. I hereby retract my length comment.

Jason L: I can see how my criticism re: HWASAA might be read as objecting to any character ever being fooled, but I think the problem in some way results from the fact that the Medic's failing to communicate our man's Spyness after seeing through it. It took me some thinking today to figure out what bothered me - somehow the fact that Blu Spy is getting the information from 'someone else' gets my mind in a frame where 'people' are being 'forcibly' tricked by the writer ala HWASAA. I have no problem with the subsequent scene where the medic's fooled by his Engineer mask, it's hilarious. If the Medic weren't involved in Spy Vs. Spy I'd have no problem, but the only joke left would be the savagery thing. If the Blu Spy met our man in a Spy mask, and nodded to him as a coworker before being backstabbed, I'd have no trouble with it (on HWASAA grounds). If our man were being 'vouched' through a checkpoint I'd start having trouble again - but only if it went as far as another speaking part being taken in. Odd.

'Impotent patch request' resulting from hypotheticals I constructed during the above consideration: Script should include a. execution - or failure, both are funny - of an elaborate secret handshake by a disguised Spy, and/or b. a birthday party scenario.

Niko Kruzel: Nice scenario, but I just have one thing that made me run here and comment. In the Spy stats dropout thing it says "Most health leeched 422" by that are we talking sappers? Or... :|

Cmdt_Carpenter: At one point the spy has to say, "After you." disguised as a spy to an enemy heavy and give a mad smile before we cut.

DoctorDisaster: My favorites are the narration segments and the bit with the sentry, although it could stand to have a few lines cut. To reduce the length somewhat, consider making it follow the Meet the Soldier template a little more closely, where the speech is clearly the core of the video, and the cutaways are brief, action-heavy asides. In other words, prune each cutaway to its essential few seconds and leave out most of the dialogue. Another tactic that could make the asides play a little better might be to break certain ones up into multiple segments: in 7, for example, cut back to the speech after "You couldn't possibly comprehend!" then leave everything up until turret-o-vision implied.

Nonomu198: My idea was to just show him killing the other classes in thier Meet The peaks (like when the sniper taunts after killing the spy [the lack of logic adds to the fun] or when the heavy sloughters the other team laughing) when it comes to action scenes. I don't have any ideas for lines though ;o

Tom Francis: Damn. That's an annoyingly good idea.

KortoloB: This was awesome, though it's too long. If I were you, i'd try to cut it down to around 90 seconds. Who knows? Maybe Valve will like it alot and actually try to make it, or atleast they might publish a link to it in the Update/News thing that pops up every now and then.

My favorite part is where the spy sits on the chair and talks, that's really fun :p

Smurfy: I have a feeling Valve won't be too keen to show two spies in the same scene.

Fat Zombie: I second the "Bloody Good Idea" thing for Nonomu198's idea. I can SEE that working very well. Although it would also require that the Spy's Meet video be done last (if he were to go through all of them), which obviously isn't happening.

Anyway. Class script, Tom.

Ixtab: Although probably my favourite part, the bit from the sentry's view takes too much of the spotlight from the spy so would be inappropriate for the Meet The Spy video.

Also I don't like the bit where the doctor can't inform the spy that there's another spy, it implies that the doctor has difficulty communicationg when that doesn't appear to be the case, also when he turns round and the red spy hides somewhere, how will that work? If he stops to hide the medic will catch up and kill him, if he doesn't stop the spy will see him.

Verity: Considering Valve's reputation for stealing your and Mr. Livingston's ideas, I'm fully expecting to see a 'Meet The Sentry' video at some point in the near future.

P.S. Excellent Futurama references slotted in there.

Tom Francis: Heh, thanks. It took me a second to remember where I'd done that.

Robert Frazer: Rather than being "too long", my complaint would be that it's not long enough, and needs even more! Even if "Meet the..." videos must be limited to a minute and a half, maybe the cut scenes could be carried over into the Team Fortress film that Pixar will surely be making soon. 8)

As for the Medic's scene, I don't have any problem with the content as it stands, but given the scale of his presence, is a "Meet the Spy" video an appropriate place to be defining the personality of another class? It would seem to undermine any prospective "Meet the Medic" video.

I think complaints that some scenes are a little too self-consciously "gameplay" do have some traction. As I've said, they're funny in and of themselves and I'm not complaining about the specific content, but in the context of a "Meet the..." video they're not suitable. We're not playing a game - we're seeing the characters in 'reality', with them treating their relentless war with the Blue Team as part of their working lives, the 9-to-5 grind like ourselves, plus guns'n'glory - that's where their endearing charm comes from. Too obviously emphasising the gameplay aspects in these videos destroys that, and makes witty characters more caricature puppets.

Kapitan Peppermint: Jesus fucking christ.

Talk about detail.

I must commend their efforts.

Also, what the fuck is wrong with this guy?

Get laid. Holy crap. Get laid.

jackrabbit: do not trim the sentry bit. i nearly pissed myself. you are a brilliant writer and i would love to see this animated

Sam: That sentry bit was amazing, they should totally put that in.

Jon Baker: Explain to me again, Tom, why you aren't working for Valve?

Excellent stuff, had me laughing the whole time.

hey douche: @kapitan peppermint

Jesus fucking christ
shut the fuck up you little douche

Lack_26: @Pentadact

Off topic: Do you have any idea about who I should contact about a small idea for Empires total war. If you don't I might look into modding it myself when it comes out.

Basically, the flags look too clean, even in the end stages of the battle. I was thinking as the platoon took more damage the flag appears more damaged, say, a bit tattered. Points would be fairly arbitrary, like 25%,50% strength, etc.

You could probably do moral on it as well, perhaps it gets a bit more muddy or moves a bit lower down the pole. Nothing too strong, I would still want to see which side is which.

The idea is that you that you have a quick glance at the battlefield and see what units are half-dead and close to breaking and where is still holding strong.

Also you don't get 3 men holding a pristine flag while being knee deep in cannon shot and the dead.

Any thoughts or tips on where to look for a email address would be greatly appreciated.

Sam: Back to spy already eh Tom?
Oh well, got some nice kills on you ;).

Azzen: Great script, though I would have to agree with most other people here that it's a tad too long. And, there's a bit of paradoxing going on: There are 2 spies and 2 engies, 1 spy/engie on each team. In the Meet The universes, there is only one of each class. Otherwise, though, fantastic.

I should comment, though, that the Meet the Spy video might not be the next in line. The pyro pack held the Sniper video.

Matt Tavares: Very well written
But like the rest of the people, I have to admit
A bit too long

Ed: The part where you're in the Sentry's point of view is funny. That has to be incorporated somewhere.

XD: Awesome.
the last sentence is in italian. I thought the spy was supposed to be french.

Tom Francis: He says things in at least three different languages in TF2, Italian more often than French. In fact, I did wonder if the French line that springs to mind, "Merde", could be Italian too - "Merda". It's been a while since it came up.

I think the idea, though, is that he's a man of the world with a mish-mash of accents and dialects.

A writer from Valve (just kidding): This is what i think:The class vs class part should be cut-out. Also, even though it is cute, sentry personification is out of the question. even in Meet the Engy he did not talk to his sentry like his pet or something. none of that "hunter in the savannah" thing as it is too complicated. to tell the truth, most of it should be cut out except the part about avoiding the blu guys and igniting the medic. some backstab and sapping scenes would be good, although not the way you put it. also, the ending sounds cool but it a bit hard to understand. many americans don't understand "figlio di puttana". a suitable ending could be, the spy stops in front of the demoman, then with a look of disgust, stabs his good eye and raises it at the sky, skewered on his knife. another scene would be the spy to stab a scout on the forehead, the scout pauses and looks at the sun, blood trickling down his forehead. the spy then decloaks, pulls out his knife and walks away. you should rewrite it and send it to valve. gd luck.

Rarne: @A writer from Valve(just kidding): Everything you just suggested is the equivalent of feces on the bottom of a shoe compared to what Pentadact wrote. Are you serious in thinking your suggestions help the original script? There needs to be no re-writing done. This should be published immediately if not by Valve, then a third party.

Mr. Brit: I do like A writer from Valve(just kidding)'s assumption that because Americans won't understand what it means, they won't get it. An expletive in any language is fairly recognisable because of the distinctive way we swear and since it is plainly Italian even the most retarded yank will realise it's just him swearing in his native(?) tongue.

Rankaratar: Yours is alright, but Valve cannot be topped: ...TfuKAfhLFM

Pilt: I found meet the spy rather disappointing. Technically impeccable, but all of the others released so far sit higher in my affections. Something derived from this script here would have been much better.

Enjay: Meet the Spy was amazing.

I mean, it was action packed, and had some jokes.


It kinda captures the feeling of how a good spy can dominate a team, but a bad spy is easy to kill, on the part where the spy basically says he's invincible.

And it makes him look like a total hard ass. Raping the Sniper at close range, somehow instantly killing a SG, then pulling out his magnum and headshotting the engie, then taking out the medic with his BARE HANDS somehow.

Sure, it wasn't exactly a canon version, but I loved it. My favorite one so far.

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Zig13: Meet the Spy was amazing at being a meet the... video for the spy but this script is amazing as a video about the spy. When Valve release the tools they use to make source engine videos then someone has got to make this. I say someone as my computer can barely run the early source engine games let alone some advanced software.

Post 500, by Tom Francis: [...] A Stab At Meet The Spy Which, as everyone pointed out, was too long. Then Meet The Spy actually came out, and was more [...]