Here’s some more Valve love for you.

Team Fortress 2 has been near the top of my Most Played Games List for some time now. It is a title which keeps on giving, because Valve are continuously supporting it.

Just to be clear, I purchased this game when it was first released as a part of the Orange Box. The Orange Box contained Half Life 2, Half Life 2 Episode One, Portal and Team Fortress 2. So, for sixty of my dollars, I received two of the most acclaimed first person shooters of all time, one of the most acclaimed puzzle games of all time and an expansion pack for one of the aforementioned first person shooters.

If that wasn’t enough, Valve have regularly released new content for TF2 in the form of free updates for each of the game’s nine classes, as well as other content patches to fix bugs and to respond to player feedback.
We’ve seen updates for the Medic, Pyro, Heavy, Scout and now Valve keenly introduce the Sniper Update.

If you haven’t played this game, I can highly recommend it.
There is deep gameplay hidden beneath the cartoon-y exterior. Valve are constantly working to improve their unlock designs to ensure that the new weapons and items do not unbalance gameplay, but rather provide more options in how classes are played. The newly unveiled Huntsman Bow will bring the Sniper down from his corners and long sightlines and closer to the fray. The payoff for the risk being the opportunity to pin his enemies to the wall.



Tip for success #87: When negotiating, instead of saying “Ok, now put a cherry on top”, say “Ok, now wrap it in bacon.”


Shamus Young is an inspiration.
He is able to juggle a large amount of hobbies and responsibilities and makes it look easy. I have a lot of respect for the fact that he finds time to be a father, a husband, get his paid work done and to disport in the same number of hours that I achieve half of those things.

His latest project, Procedural City is best described by outlining its three primary goals (as quoted from his introduction to the project):

1. The goal is to make a nighttime cityscape that is mostly made of lights and suggestions rather than real detail.

2. The city will be entirely procedurally generated. That is, the program will contain no art assets. No textures. No models. Everything must be built from scratch at startup.

3. I’m budgeting a week of nights and weekends for the project. So, probably about 30 hours of time total.

The results are fairly astounding. I love procedural generation. I’m not sure how I feel about the potential reduction in reliance on human artists, musicians or even level designers, but I guess thats the way things are going these days. Having said that, nothing procedurally created can really outshine the loving care that is put into a hand-crafted level, texture or piece of music.

Check out Shamus’ latest video showing off the project.

Shamus has also created some other things which have really grabbed my attention.
He has been featured multiple times on one of my favourite podcasts, Fear the Boot for his ability to run and document his D&D campaigns. These are a really good read if you’re into D&D – they should provide you with some inspiration for your own.

He has also authored one of the funniest web-comic series of all time, DM of the Rings (DMotR).
If you have ever seen or read Lord of the Rings and have either played, or are simply interested in learning about D&D, do yourself a favour and read this webcomic. It has a lifespan, Shamus knew to stop it before it got old which means that it is at quite a readable length.

Keep up the good work Shamus.


If you:

  • Are a geek,

  • Know a geek,

  • Are related to a geek,

  • Married a geek,

  • Work with a geek,

  • Are good friends with a geek,

  • Walked past a geek once and wondered what that smell was,

  • Don’t know what a ‘geek’ is,

  • Aren’t sure whether you are a geek,

  • Would like more of an insight into the life of a geek,

  • or, simply don’t get geeks,

…you should watch the following video.
If you don’t have the requisite hour to spare, the file can be downloaded and watched in parts. The default format is mp4, so great for your iPod.
Wil Wheaton hits quite a few nails on the head.