Monday, May 11

Team Fortress 2: The Mat.B Update

I'm a big TF2 fan. Love it. But y'know... I find myself loving the art direction a little more than the game itself- mostly because I'm a crap games player. These young kids today have it all over me.

So while I've been in love with the game's art style I thought to have a crack at designing one of its characters... (The rumoured 10th character).

I doubt however Valve will ever take up this idea, nor do a 10th character at all, but anyone keen to do a mod with me- step right up -taking into consideration that I have absolutely no other talent than drawing pretty pictures.

Kudos must also go to my friend (Scar From Lion King) who helped nut out some of these ideas (the Spy section is all his)

And now enjoy this completely fake Valve update... :)

1. Meet The Sparky

He's basically a Nikola Tesla version of a Ghostbuster. The general idea is that a Sparky would be a middle ground between a Pyro and a Heavy, but have unique abilities from the entire team.

The Electrocutioner

The Electrocutioner is a comparitively weak weapon, however it's unique characteristics make up for its lack of firepower. It can destroy Spy's sappers from friendly Engineers' machines, or it can destroy enemy Engineers machines. The beam will also attach to a disguised Spy at a more limited distance than a normal enemy, and won't reveal his disguise even when being electrocuted, but the beam acts like a giant arrow pointing and saying: SPY! The beam won't attach if the Spy turns invisible. Trust me, though, the Spy will get his own back when the Sparky's are duelling, but more on that later.
The beam will damage both the player and the enemies only when fired in water. Allies remain safe unless Friendly Fire is turned on.

(NOTE: Upgrades to the Electrocutioner will have Chain Lightning (mulitple enemies at once) with a wider field of fire, but with a weaker voltage).

(Update: Some very clever individual has just made a faaaar better version of this at Polycount. I insist you check it out).

This is what The Electrocutioner's beam would look like in-game...

And here's what the secondary fire looks like when charging up...
And here's what the secondary fire looks like...
(NOTE: The Ball Lightning is as fast as a Soldier's standard rocket, but more powerful, and will heavily damage Engineers' machines).


SPEED: The Sparky's beam will slow you down if you're hit by it, but only slows you down to a lesser speed. You'll never slow to a stop. You lose 20% speed when being electrocuted. A Scout being electrified is about as fast a Medic.

When two Sparky's clash their beams will link (think the wand battle with Harry Potter and Voldemort at the end of Goblet of Fire) ...and thus begins a tug of war.
If the Red Sparky stopped his beam (or if his ammo ran out) the Ball Lightning would be propelled towards him at a speed relative to the power of the Ball Lightning. A largest sized Ball Lightning would be propelled faster than a rocket, the smallest would be slower than a Demoman's grenade with the same kind of shortened trajectory.

If the original duelist has died during the duel, or abandoned the duel, the duelist's who has been in the longest will be whose beam the Ball Lightning will travel along next, and so on. Duelists can enter or abandon a duel at their discretion. With people entering and abandoning a duel constantly will make the direction of the Ball Lightning more erratic and unpredictable.

Multiple duels (with multiple Ball Lightnings between them) would attract each other, and when in closer proximity, join to form one large duel (and one very large Ball Lightning). A ball lightning will have a limit to how large its physical size can grow to, but not its intensity. There would come a point that no matter which side won the duel, everyone would die.

Some final thoughts about the Sparky...

The Sparky would be the character a newbie would play with because they don't have to aim well, and it's got a satisfying special effect, however because of his unique abilities he'd have the depth a star player would be able to utilise.
His major strength is that he is electric, and that makes him cool. And dangerous.
His weakness is that he would very easily be automatically locked into a duel whenever another Sparky is waving his beam around. It would be very easy to get caught in the trap of waving your beam around willy nilly like you're all that.
His other weakness is that his equipment is constantly humming, buzzing, whirring and clicking, so, along with his lights and noises, there is no way he can ever sneak up on anyone. Stealth is never an option for the Sparky.
In a match, the Sparky contribution is a highly disruptive one. Well-layed plans, or entrenched scenarios would be blown apart with the introduction of a Sparky. They would be as annoying as they would be highly-useful. A well-balanced double-edged sword ...or nipple clamps.

2. The Sniper's Bear Trap

Even though I thought of this completley by myself (honest), I later found out there was a steam forum post about this very thing- then I found out that they have a secret model of a bear trap in the game. Even so, I shall continue on regardless, if for no other reason that I've already drawn some pretty pictures. I introduce to you, the Sniper's Bear Trap!...

Instructions on how to use your new Bear Trap...

3. A View To Stab

This idea isn't mine. It belongs squarely to Carlos Lin (AKA. Scar From Lion King). Basically, whenever you play the Spy and you choose your Dagger you go into 3rd Person Perspective. Simple, but brilliantly useful.

4. TF2 Babes

This is where I fall completely on my face. Not only did I think I was soooo original when I first had this idea, but I started it over a year ago and still haven't completed it. Even now, with this new thrust of ideas, it still remains unfinished. I'll put up this image as a teaser for the completed image, which hopefully tantalise you enough to come back (and motivate me enough to finish it off). Nothing hi-res for now...




Carlos said...

Most excellent :D

Kenny said...

Who ya gonna call, Scoutbusters!

Kenny said...

Who ya gonna call? Scoutbusters!

stephen said...

well, the one problem witht he third person thing is that many people use fast wep swap, so we cycle through wepons faster than others do, but we cycle through them all. i wouldnt like to randomly be froced into 3d person, and if i was i would get effed by 2fort battlements and such.

Katharina said...

Mad Scientist Engineer, how original!

For somebody who says his talent is "drawing pretty pictures" your design for the "Team Fortress Babes" are hilariously bland and unoriginal. The same bodytype for all of them? Seriously? No, I forgot you used "Boobs of Steel" for Heavy. Yeah, that is a really interesting twist and hasn't been done before ad nauseum, cf.

If you really want to pursue a career in the field of character design or anything like that, please consider adding a bit more diversity to your style and refrain from altering existing character designs instead of introducing new ones.

Mat Brady said...

Ouch, Katharina, you sound really... angry about something.

FYI: I originally made her have a big chunky body shape, but she didn't look very attractive, so I went with the babe version instead. They are TF2 "Babes" after all.

That might not jibe well with some people, but, hey, if you don't like that, well... it's my drawing. I draw it the way I like to. Feel free to go draw your own version and have other anonymous people comment on it with their opposing opinions and rude tone the way you've done so here.

It sounds like you're angry about something else though, and quite frankly, I don't really care what that is.

I allowed your comment on my site only because I found it had a modicum of merit- I don't like female stereo types as well, believe it or not- but your criticism is also wrapped in several layers of very immature and obnoxious venom. If you comment with the same tone again your words here will not be published.

Try growing up a little. See how that goes.

Galatea said...

The Sparky is a cute idea, in a Ghostbusters-y kind of way. His silhouette is still really similar to Engineer's, though -- he's essentially Engineer with some cover in the middle. Maybe chunk him up a little?

The genderbend, on the other hand, is rather less cute. The Pyro isn't so horrible - that cigar and what little I can see of her makeup sort of fit in that 60's aesthetic - but the Heavy looks like a pinup from the 80's and Scout looks like a generic SoCal mallrat. The whole picture seems like an excuse to draw women in very little clothing, which is really too bad - the artstyle in the game is so distinctive that generic-looking genderbends are just a waste.

My suggestion is to do more research into 50's and 60's fashion and clothing and then to use those instead of generic "sexy" clothes and hairstyles. You might also want to take a look at some other genderbends -- Chemical Alia's done a couple of great ones and here are Agent Melon's retro pin-ups. Alciha also has a couple of nice genderbends, although hers are quite serious.

Mat Brady said...

Galatea says: "... that generic-looking genderbends are just a waste".

So far you've only seen a very low res version of 3 out of my 9 characters, and you like 1 of them, however you then call my exercise generic-looking and a waste. Strong words, and I don't think entirely warranted. I'm confident that when you see the rest of the characters I've designed you'll soften your words a little, but unfortunately we'll have to wait until they're completely done for that to happen.

I did enjoy your links though. Thanks for that. The examples you linked to had the same problems I had when originally designing female versions. To do a straight translation (ChemicalAlia) creates the problem that they don't much look like women anymore. From a distance they could easily be men. So choosing female fashion of the era (like Alciha has successfully done) doesn't make them look very sexy- which was my aim. And when you attempt to make them sexy you run the risk of making them look like brain dead pin-up models instead of characters that you could actually play with that have attitude and personality. These are the underlying challenges I had to grapple with and explain the reasons why I made some of the design decisions I did.

Finally, I don't want the female TF2 image to take over the Sparky post, so I'll be creating a separate blog entry for my TF2 babes image alone (so all comments will be redirected there).

Magnus Skoradal said...

I really like the idea of a new class, as quite a lot of people craving a medium ranged rapid firing class. Personally i think so too. The Heavy is the only one with the rapid fire (as main weapon), and he is too slow. It really... really pisses me, pardon my French, that there is no "medium class" in the entire game. But what do I know?

But enough personal details. I feel like I need to criticize/endorse the way the Sparky looks. Is he an Engineer with different clothing? The weapons look amazing and original, unlike himself. The concept seems balanced. Don't take my words too hard, I'm only trying to help with feedback. Nice work!

Mat Brady said...

Thanks Magnus!

Believe it or not, I actually designed this character before Hats were introduced. When the engineer finally took off his hat and was bald I realized he looked exactly like him- which kinda sucked for me.

Perhaps I'll do the image again except have a tall lanky character with frizzy hair (polys- ouch). Something like that... Thanks for the comments. I wish someone would do this idea- just as a proof of concept. I think it would be really cool. :)

Farty Sparklebutt said...

I think the sparky should be Chinese or Japanese. Tf 2 doesn't have any asian characters so it would look cool. It's secondary weapon would be a tesla pistol. And it's Malay could be nipple clamps like yours, but there would be other droppable items such as taser or cattle prod. But that's just my ideas.

Mat Brady said...

Farty Sparklebutt, you're a genius.

Yes, the character itself needs a good redesign. I like you're idea of the character being asian.

Was that a pun on his Malay/melee weapon?... groan.