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Achievement Theory

June 23, 2024 - Waugh101
As TF2C’s art lead, I don’t tend to be very involved in the gameplay side of things. Yet it has a lot of topics ripe for these behind-the-scenes blog posts. For a look into one of those topics, I asked our gameplay folks about their process for designing achievements. Here’s some of what I heard.

The game’s achievements can be grouped into three general categories:

Tutorial achievements are designed to introduce players to mechanics that they might not otherwise pick up on. They’re particularly helpful for more obscure interactions, like the Wrench’s ability to defuse thrown Dynamite Packs.

Progression Milestones
Progression milestones are intended to encourage desired behaviors and help build useful habits. For example, rewarding cumulative healing or playing a variety of maps. They also give returning players longer-term goals to look forward to.

Challenges are designed to be more difficult tasks. These give achievement hunters harder goals to push for. They also act to reward more general players for a skillful or lucky move. Examples of challenges include landing a long-range RPG shot or surviving a full round as VIP.

There are some more general considerations, too. For instance, it should ideally take more than a month to complete all achievements, but it should also be easy enough to earn one every day or two. When we release new weapons, achievements should accompany them. These new achievements should also come with counterparts for existing weapons, though. This helps to keep older stock still feeling worthwhile to use. Lastly, achievements should be spread fairly evenly between classes. However, it's important to keep in mind that different classes will get different types of achievements more easily.

To compliment all of this, the difficulty-based completion sounds and increased progression pop-ups help improve the game feel around them.

It was around this point that I asked “So when do you start painting pretty pictures?” I could sense some weird looks behind the screen; I think I’ll stick to the art department. Here’s hoping they don’t nerf my account’s damage or anything.

Continued Refinement

April 23, 2024 - Waugh101
We look for opportunities to continue improving upon our existing content alongside developing new additions to the game. Retroactively updating features helps keep the project feeling consistent and equally polished, something we consider to be one of its strengths. Sometimes we introduce a new visual technique, for instance, and it helps things stay on a level playing field, regardless of when they were first added. It also comes with the added benefit of keeping things a little fresh. Seeing a familiar environment with some touch-ups can be fun.

With that said, we do put a good amount of thought into considering what things should be changed or tweaked and to what extent. One of the driving goals of the project is to capture that old-school TF2 feeling, so ideally changes should enhance it rather than distract. Of course changes, especially visual ones, can be inherently rather subjective. One way to think about these, then, is that they can feel like how someone remembers the game looking, if not representing how it actually did. We also already have a fair amount of content, so it can take some time to implement these tweaks across the board and to fully see them to completion.

Here’s some before-and-afters for a couple of the maps that received updated visuals in 2.1.4:


Oil Canyon



This mindset also means that even after something gets updated it's still open for additional refinement and changes, so feedback’s always appreciated. There’s a lot of tweaks across these maps and the others that received updates in 2.1.4; be on the lookout next time you’re fighting on one of them!

A Year in Review

December 26, 2023 - bobatealee
Hi there! What a year. We have lots of stuff to go over!

Just a few days ago, we released our latest update: the 2.1.3 Patch! It comes complete with weapon rebalances and reworks, visual overhauls, and plenty of brand new festivities. As usual, a few members of the team decided to make a fun little preview video. This was initially uploaded to Twitter or X or whatever, but now you can view it here on the blog or on YouTube!

Speaking of the blog, we haven't forgotten about our community roundups! We've taken a look through all of your awesome submissions, and plan to feature submissions each month, starting in 2024! We're always looking for community content to feature on our socials, so please be sure to email us if you'd like the chance to have your stuff shown off!

Last but not least, we would like to thank everyone in the community for all of their kind comments and feedback this year, and everyone who made the Fight or Flight update possible. It's been a very long road. All that leaves now is the eternal question: when is the next update? And the answer is... soon! Very soon! Early 2024 soon! We won't reveal too much yet, but we have been working on some pretty interesting stuff, and we can't wait for everyone to get their hands on it.

That's all for now. Happy holidays, and here's to 2024!
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