Digital Media Concepts/Team Fortress 2 Culture

Team Fortress 2 Culture is the culture which has evolved from those who enjoy the Team Fortress 2 series. Team Fortress 2 (also abbreviated as TF2) is a First Person Shooter game with 9 playable characters in a team verse team setting. The game was released in October of 2007[1] and the culture surrounding the game is still around to this day. There were many things that contributed to building the culture surrounding TF2 that made it unique amongst other games of the time and even today. The great characters and the release of Source Filmmaker gave the community the inspiration and the ability to make their own works using for The main aspects of TF2 culture was its prevalence and impact in internet culture and the undying passion its community has for the game, refusing to let the game to fade into obscurity.

File:End of the Line TF2.jpg
Fan made TF2 short film made using Valve's Source Filmmaker

Building up of TF2 Culture edit

Gameplay edit

Upon initial release, there were many things that needed to be fleshed out, but even at first launch, people found the game to be extremely fun, with fun movement options and smooth and satisfying attack moves. During the following years, TF2 would receive much needed changes and updates which would keep players engaged and continually coming back for more.

Animations edit

Starting in 2009, The Valve team working on TF2 would release "Meet the Team" [2]animations. Each animation introduced each of the 9 characters and these animations would go on to gain massive popularity, greatly boosting TF2's popularity. These animations would not only look amazing for the time, influencing many up an coming artists, but they would also do an amazing job in making the playable characters of TF2 extremely likeable characters. With each of these animations, came new fans to the game with a passion for the personality these characters and people who wanted to see more from them. Even before Valve published Source Filmmaker (also known as, SFM) for the public in 2012[3], the fan community would already be producing animations with these characters using another Valve game called Garry's Mod [4], so when Source Filmmaker was released making it more assessable for anyone to make their own animation, fan made TF2 animations would cement itself in TF2 Culture. Even today, despite the outdatedness of the program, there are still people producing original works in SFM using the characters of TF2.

Humor edit

The humor of the TF2, even by today's standards, is pretty unique to find in a game. For better, or for worse the somewhat dark but cartoony humor[5] of the game became engrained within the culture of the TF2 and is a part of why people love the game. The silly nature of the game would find itself in players as the terms such as "friendlies" would be used to describe players which wouldn't play seriously and just have silly fun. There are many other terms used to describe friendly players such as a "Hoovy" which is a term for a friendly player playing as the "Heavy" class. [6]

Aesthetics edit

In both the games and animations, TF2's distinct cartoony art style made it stand out from the competition of the time as a First Person Shooter game. Even as the game aged, the choice to not have a realistic art style had the unintentional effect of giving the game a timeless art style which has influenced many other games, both then and now[7]. This timeless art style was just one of the things which kept TF2 fans coming back to the game and keeping the culture alive.

Fall of Team Fortress 2 edit

The release of a game breaking and frustrating update and later on, the abandonment of further development of TF2 resulting in a mass amount of players no longer playing the game. This was especially catastrophic due to the releasing of a newer, more modern character and team based, First Person Shooter game called Overwatch which many players went to in light of the terrible update.

Meet Your Match Update edit

The Meet Your Match Update was released on July 7th 16 and considered one of the worst Updates in history of TF2. This update sought to introduce a competitive and casual game mode but upon release those game modes had a multitude of issues which made playing miserable. Not only that but it got rid of many quality of life features which made finding a game faster or made waiting for a game not boring. Although it didn't kill entire the player base, it made the game almost impossible to play without issues and issues which the update introduced are still issues which haunt TF2 to this day.[8]

Abandonment of Development edit

Aside from seasonal items and game modes, it was reported in 2019 that Valve had practically no one working on TF2[9] and the last major TF2 update was back in 2017, with the Jungle Inferno Update[10]

TF2 Renaissance edit

In 2023, there has been an influx of new players playing TF2, player counts reaching the highest amount of concurrent players ever in the games history at 253,997 on July 13[11]. This is for several reason such the recent movement to "SaveTF2" and although not a major update, the biggest update in the 6 years since the Jungle Inferno update.

SaveTF2 edit

The slogan SaveTF2 was used to get Valve's attention about the ongoing bot crisis in TF2 games. Bots are players which are controlled by an algorithm to do a number of annoying actions such as crashing servers, spamming chats and voice chats, as well as using aim-bot which makes it so that players are unfairly shot. This slogan was passed around the community where people spread it around and even made Artwork supporting it. Eventually, Valve took action by free to play accounts on June 16, 2020.[12]

Fan support edit

Through the drought of content and the increasingly likelihood of no more Updates, fan projects and content creators have kept not just the community up but the also the culture of TF2 alive. Many players within the TF2 community have accepted the state Valve was not going to be doin anything anymore and rather than being discouraged, much of the support for TF2 comes from members such as in the form of Uncletopia tf2 servers[13], where bots are not an issues. Even the most recent update released on July 12th, Versus Saxton Hale, was a community-created game mode that was only able to be added to the game with the work of a single developer LizardOfOz.[14][15]

References edit

  1. Onyett, Charles (2007-10-09). "Team Fortress 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  2. "teamfortress - YouTube". Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  3. "Team Fortress 2 - Pyromania". Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  4. "SHAMK but it's a Gmod TF2 Animation". Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  5. "The Orange Box Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  6. "Hoovy - Official TF2 Wiki | Official Team Fortress Wiki". Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  7. "Team Fortress 2 on PC Review - GameDaily". 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  8. The Day TF2 (almost) Died, retrieved 2023-10-23
  9. "Team Fortress 2 is finally getting new content after almost 4-year drought". Dexerto. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  10. Dwan, Hannah (2017-10-17). "Team Fortress 2 Jungle Inferno update releases tomorrow | Patch notes, Mercenary Park, trailer". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  11. published, Elie Gould (2023-07-17). "After 16 long years, Team Fortress 2 has beaten its own record for most players". TechRadar. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  12. "Team Fortress 2's racist bot problem is finally getting Valve's attention". PCGamesN. 2020-06-17. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  13. "Community provider - Uncletopia". Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  14. "Versus Saxton Hale - Official TF2 Wiki | Official Team Fortress Wiki". Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  15. "Team Fortress 2 VS Saxton Hale Guide". SteelSeries. Retrieved 2023-10-23.