As we wound down the first day of the new year I made the following observation:
About a week ago I also made the observation that based on current information we wouldn’t even hit the amount we did last year, mainly thanks to the loss of one ESEA season. With all this in mind, it brings up the question: how do you separate events in TF2, given that it’s not comparable to other games?
Recognition from Valve is perhaps one of the more delicate topics in the backroom of competitive TF2. Generally, however, it hasn’t really meant anything except being a little validation for someone making a difference, so there really hasn’t been a reason to complain about it audibly.
Recently, however, it’s had much more of an impact, with Valve now allowing those owning Community or Self-Made items to access the competitive matchmaking beta. This is in addition to the initial passes granted to community representatives late last year for the private beta test, passes granted to friends and family, and passes recently granted to mapmakers. Taken together, it’s a clear indication that that Valve is granting VIPs advanced access to the beta outside of the randomly distributed beta passes. I’m not going to argue against this policy in general, because these people certainly have some claim to deserving an invite for their contributions.
It would be hard to name a map with more popularity in the Team Fortress 2 competitive community than Badlands. Since its release in 2008, the map quickly became a staple, forming the backdrop to some of the most exciting competitive matches in history. Badlands’ dominance in the competitive scene stretches nearly 8 years, surpassed only by the perennial Granary in longevity. Badlands has been reworked to come in multiple flavors, with arena_badlands and koth_badlands released in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Interestingly, while the cp_badlands is easily the most famous variation, it is a remake of a Team Fortress Classic map, ctf_badlands. Early on its TF2 development, it was designed as a Capture-the-Flag map as well but this idea was quickly replaced with the modern capture point design.
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A friend recently pointed me towards an article lamenting a current lack of originality in written articles about TF2. I’ll make it simple by saying that I do agree—we are gravely missing some fairly unique content nowadays, and I can’t deny that some of it has been caused by the recent shift in focus of teamfortress.tv.
It seems like quite a few new projects have been popping up in the competitive TF2 community recently. Some of these ventures have been successful, others have fallen, and we’re still waiting for a few. Many will probably know of the one I’ve been involved with, PugChamp, and most would place it in the first category. Given my recent experience and general knowledge about past and present projects, I’ve started thinking about what makes projects successful, and have come up with a list of factors to consider.