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.
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 Robotic Boogaloo. The first community-created update. Turned out to be pretty controversial, didn’t it? Half of the “community” are extremely disappointed in the finished product and the other half are giving themselves a hernia trying to defend it. But let’s be real here.
The update was a failure on a lot of fucking levels and just because a lot of people we know and like and admire worked on it doesn’t make that any less true. And protip, guys? Acting like people who are pointing out that updates normally involve a lot more than reskinned hats are being ungrateful to the work that went into this one not will not convince anyone that Robotic Boogaloo is a glowing success either. Because the failings in this update are largely not reflective of the work and effort put in by the contributors. The problems lie in that it ultimately did not produce an acceptable update.