From left to right: Simon, Cyborg, Logan, and me. Cyborg took the picture.
It’s been a good long while since Robotic Boogaloo, the first (and thus far only) community-created update, and I’ve been thinking about it lately. The update never sat well with me and even if we don’t all agree that the update wasn’t that great, we should all acknowledge it wasn’t well-received. But I don’t feel that should be the end of community-created updates. I think the TF2 community can and does do better. If we want community updates to be a thing that people celebrate on the same level as normal Valve updates, though, they need to BE on the same level as a Valve update, as opposed to being a thing of people seeing one is out and thinking “Aw fuck, hat glurge”. The next one, if there is a next one, is gonna have to really knock it out of the park to prove this is a thing worth doing on the regular.
In videogames, with some extremely limited exception, you have no real freedom.
Every choice you are permitted to make – save for exploits and glitches – is afforded to you by the developer of the game. The Stanley Parable is pretty much entirely about this concept.
So after I wrote that last post, I got a curious and decided I wanted to compare the Mystique versions of their games to the PlayAround ones. But strangely, even when you download it with Gigolo as per the PlayAround cart pair and no matter where you download it from, Bachelor Party always has Mystique branding. I wanted to know if this was an oversight in production or if everyone just redistributes the one copy of the ROM so I went a-lookin’.
I never found the answer to that particular question, but I did find another interesting theory.
An acquaintance of mine recently put together a list of games hacked to have playable female characters in response to this article about the erasure of female game developers hacking games to have female heroes in reporting of stories about fathers doing so for their daughters. Obviously playable female characters are a rarity even today, but in thinking about this, I was reminded of a certain company who went out of their way to give women their turn at the controller.
What’s funny about this, though, is this company made nothing but pornographic Atari 2600 games.
So maybe you, like me, are interested in making an item for Team Fortress 2. And maybe you’re new to modelling so you want to look at TF2 models in, say, Blender (though this will get you far enough if you’re using something else). With the new SteamPipe content distribution system, though, shit’s all hidden and confusing now ’cause they converted all the .gcf files into .vpk’s. Even if you’ve extracted stuff from TF2 before, maybe you’re having a hard time now. All the tutorials for how to do this are outdated and I can’t be the only dumbass who couldn’t figure this out in two minutes, so I am gonna put this here for anyone who needs it.
One of the things I think makes Blood Money neat in respect to Hitman as a whole is the way they use Agent Smith.
Agent Smith is a CIA agent who finds himself stripped down to his boxers and needing to be rescued in every Hitman game. (As a sidenote, I find the amount of male bondage and torture in Hitman games inordinately great. I am sure there is some psychological angle of interest to that, given their target audience of STRAIGHT MALE GAMER.) They don't really go into how these things happen in the narrative, so Agent Smith comes off as a hapless failure of a spy and 47 treats him as such. I personally like to think that this is his specialty, though. I can't see why the CIA wouldn't get rid of him otherwise. Perhaps his allowing himself to be captured so often is a part of his missions. He’s obviously very hardy and can take a beating, although he starts to break down from it in Silent Assassin, taking to drinking on the job and becoming even more of an apparent liability.