Thursday, April 9, 2015

LEGO Moc: The Engineer

This is a crosspost from my other blog, SCREWDLE. The Engineer's Hideout is an idea I had way back in 2011 when I started this blog. I've tried to build it in several different pieces of design games, from the very complicated Source Development Kit, which is free level design software from Valve, to the lacking-in-relevant detail Minecraft. The LDD is the first piece of software that has combined the ease of development that allows me to just express my ideas with the design complexity I was looking for to express my designs. I incorporated some LEGO design considerations, with plans to incorporate more on any subsequent redesigns. With 540 bricks it's perfect for the $29-40 price range. Plans for future updates include a hinge that will allow for accessibility to the upstairs work area, and a level 3 sentry with firing rockets.

The entire playset consists of the 2-story hideout, 2 sentry guns, a truck (loaded with stolen intel) and one Engineer minifigure. I tried to stay true to TF2's visual aesthetic while also creating a LEGO set that would be fun to build and play with. The exterior has a vaguely industrial-punk chimney with gears and transformers to give it that special "Engineer" flair. 

Detail of gas tank/dispenser

The first level is a 2-car garage containing a Dispenser, a gas can, an extension cord and a key. Redesigns will include a narrower separator between the two levels in order to allow the intel truck to fit more comfortably into the garage.

The second level contains a workshop for the engineer, with a worktable with a lathe, toolchest, and a tank of gas underneath. There are tools on the wall and a shelf with some more oil cans, spare parts, and (of course) a Saxxy trophy.

I included an intel truck (like the one seen in Meet the Engineer) that contains 6 blue intel briefcases. There are 2 level 1 sentries, each capable of rotating 180 degress. Currently the roof contains a hook to allow a sentry to be placed there. A redesign may be used to reduce the piececount (the roof uses a LOT of of it) and to allow for more viable sentry locations on the roof.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Concept: Lose the Hats

So I had this idea that we should play around a bit more with hats. First of all, because I hate them. Hey, people who predicted doom and gloom in 2009: you were right, they're ridiculous and they diminish in many ways the aesthetic we initially enjoyed in TF2. I hate all hats! Except for the hats that I like. Those are hats are great. God do I love those hats.

The Hatethrower
Level 2 Rare Flamethrower
Airblasts from the Hatethrower knock off hats (this does not affect set bonuses)

Topper Stopper
Honestly, this one is just a name. I don't even know what it looks like.

Thief Kit
Weapons Kit
Dominating an opponent of the same class allows you to wear their hat until the end of the round (or they take their revenge)

Weapons with this kit also feature a unique taunt, with your character gesturing to the hat you're currently wearing.

No Hats Allowed
Sentry Hat
It's a sign that says "no hats allowed"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Android Voice Lines

Thanks to the TF2 Offical Wiki

TF2 has introduced a new character trio: the Asteroid androids. These cute, helpless androids--and I'm going to be calling them androids forever, to disambiguate them from the robots of Mann Vs Machine--represent the game's newest objective and newest characters. Players hunt and kill them in order to harvest their cores, which are worth points. They even have a few voice lines! Which they say pretty frequently.

"Beep boop."
"Path not found."

They say these a lot. So I decided to write some more!

While Idle:
Lovely. Day. For. A. Stroll.
I. Am. Not. A. Robot.
Beep Boop. I. Am. A. Potted. Plant.
I. Love. Being. Deciduous.
Beep Boop. Pollen.
Boop. Roots.
Beep. Xylophloem.
No. Robots. Here.

While Being Attacked:
Please. Don't. I. Have. A. Robot. Family.
You. Have. Voided. My. Warranty.
Warning: Shooting. Robots. Is. Bad. For. Karma.
Minus. 5. Karma.
Simulated. Pain. Still. Hurts.
Evasive. Action.
Please. Spare. My. Robo-life.
What. Did. Robots. Ever. Do. To. You?

This. Time. It. Will. Be. Different.
Hello. World.
I. Wish. I. Was. A. Turret.

Damaged While Invulnerable:
Ha. Ha. I. Am. Invincible.
Problem. Exists. Between. User. And. Gun.

Invulnerability Fading: 
Beep boop. Oh no.
HarmLimitation2.exe has stopped working!

Repairmotron Activating.
Is. Anyone. There? 
Control. Alt. Heal.

B Bot Exclusive:
The. A. Bot. Was. Destroyed. By. Hubris.
No. Harm. Will. Befall. Me. Here.
Nobody. Will. Find. Me. Here.

C Bot Exclusive:
The. B. Bot. Was. Inferior.
The C. Bot. Is. Superior.
Hat. Wearing. Indicates. Superiority.
Don't. Shoot. I. Have. A. Hat.

Tell. My. Robot-wife. I. Cyber-loved. Her.
I. Will. Be. Back.
Nobody. Touch. My. Stuff. When. I'm. Dead.
Only. 2. Days. To. Deactivation.

Attacking Enemy is Killed:
Thank. You. Human. Friend.
See? Being. Shot. Is. Not. Fun.

Some Customization Concepts
Now, most TF2 objectives have a bundle of personality--that is to say, they're internally consistent with the fiction of the game, and even when they're being silly they're still telling a kind of story. But the robots are the first ones to be actual characters. With that in mind, it'd be pretty hilarious if you could customize your team's robots. A robot customization item would make me happy.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Concepts: Friendly Firearms

Here's two friendly firearms, designed to offer support solutions. I always like the idea of weapons which work in nonconventional ways, so firearms that provide support-style buffs is always fun. Now the danger of these designs, as I'm sitting here, is that their inoffensive "support" nature may not make their effects immediately apparent to players. I want to tighten and generalize these buffs a bit, too.

The Starting Gun  
Scout Secondary 
Fires a shot that gives all allies in range the Athletic buff. Works on a charge timer (30 seconds)

Athletic: Grants allies ten seconds of protection from fall damage, plus a scout-style midair jump.

The Signal Flare
Pyro Secondary
Fires a team-colored flare which confers the Firefighting buff to all allies in its AOE,

Firefighting Buff: Melee weapons deal critical hits on flaming opponents.

Complaints? Concerns? Think it's OP? Drop me a line in the comments section!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Concept: Strange Taunts

With plans to add new taunts to the game incoming sometime before the next ice age, I recently had this idea that alternate taunts could be added to weapons with customization tools similar to Strange Parts. Customized items are more valuable in the trade economy and taunts fulfill a particularly appealing aesthetic niche, and it could be an interesting way to incorporate some of these new taunts into the game proper. Parts attached to non-weapons will over-ride the primary weapon's taunt unless otherwise noted.

Now, this idea on its own probably shouldn't warrant a blog post, so I sat down and came up with some new taunts, ripe to be added to your weapons. Also check out this older post featuring some more taunt ideas.

 Weapon Workout
All melee weapons
The Scout swings his bat as a warm-up exercise. 

Booms Brought
Boston Boom-Bringer Part
The Scout poses with his boom-box on his shoulder.

Battalion's Back-Up, Buff Banner, Concheror Part
The Soldier begins juggling for as long as the taunt button is held.

Can be applied to any weapon
The Soldier attempts to snap a neck as a kill taunt.

Can be applied to any weapon (except the Phlog)
Pyro plops down crosslegged.

Any Fire Ax
Adds flashpots to the ax solo

The Red Button
Sticky Launcher Part
The Demoman holds up a remote control with a red button and presses it dramatically, detonating his stickies.

Targe / Veil Part
The Demoman smacks his melee weapon against his shield. 

Saloon Salute
All Launcher part
Demoman salutes

The Reverse Throw
Melee Part
The Heavy attempts to perform a suplex kill taunt. If it fails he lands flat on his back.

Etiquette Lessons
Sandvich Part
The Heavy eats his sandvich in a much more dainty fashion.

Taze Me
Short Circuit Part
The Engineer flexes to show off the Short Circuit, which flashes with electricity

Time Out
Any Hat Part
Engineer  takes out his build PDA and plays a game on it.

Blutsauger Part
Injects himself in the arm with the Blutsauger. "Yes!"

 The Headshot
All Rifles Part
Points fingers at own head meaningfully.
Your Mother!
All primary weapons part
The spy looks at some photos. Killcam pictures are replaced with a picture of the Spy having a nice dinner with the Scout's mom.

All Class:
Melee Weapon Part
Players with 50% health or less will feel their chests, hear a cooing sound, then call for a doctor

Saturday, March 29, 2014

TF3: Portal Fortress

Super Freaking Crazy Idea:
"Portal Fortress". The game takes place inside test tracks in the Aperture Military Hardware Drilling and Home Office Supply Sphere, where Aperture-Brand Military Androids are field-tested to determine combat readiness.

Concussotron (Scout)
Personality: Barely Contained Emotional Breakdown
Weapon: Propulsion Gel Cannon / Rail Hook
This unit is highly mobile and capable of utilizing the robot mobility tracks. Someone pointed out the minor pitfall that those mobility tracks aren't generally available on active battlefields, but the lab boys assure us we can install them for a nominal fee.

Aggressor Core (Soldier)
Personality: Reincarnated Soldier
Weapon: Rockets
A repurposed Rocket Turret. We downloaded the personality of a decorated war hero to make it more deadly, but it turns out that guy was a homeless drifter covered in raccoon bites. Either way, he was willing to do it for $60, paid in expired soup.

Incinerating Unit (Pyro)
Weapon: Handheld Discourager
I'll be honest with you. This one was a pretty bad mistake. We tried to fire the team responsible, but the robot beat us to it. It also fired the files, some furniture, and several visiting astronauts. So we basically just locked the door on that wing, hung a fern on there, and walked away. You didn't put it into the testing rotation, did you?

Pitchomat (Demoman)
Personality: Pitchman
Weapon: Explosives
This midsize robot was actually designed to deliver hot popcorn at baseball games, from back before baseball was outlawed. Currently we're experimenting with a retrofit to make them throw live grenades, but nothing we do can stop them screaming advertising slogans.

Suppressnik (Heavy)
Personality: Angry Janitor
Weapon: Heavy Cleansing Gel Hose
 Originally this fella was just there to pull skeletons out of test chambers and keep blood out of the groutwork, but when one was accidentally left in a live test chamber with a subject, we couldn't get it enrolled in the Combat Program fast enough. We also couldn't sleep for a week. On the bright side, turns out that cleaning hose is ideal for discouraging Concussotrons and Aggression Units from using their Mobility Gel Bombs.

Mobile Apparatus Vent (Engineer)
Personality: Phone Switchboard Operator
Weapon: Sentries
Yes, we're aware some robots were delivered to the Combat Drilling area by mistake. We're pretty busy right now, so we'll get to them in short order. Until then, just tell the other robots to leave them be. They're self-aware learning robots and we just taught them how to assemble the disassemblers for the fifth floor, so just don't let them near any scrap metal, overt violence or anything that might make them want to protect themselves or fear for their safety. I'll be down to move them right after Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.

Assemblybot (Medic)
Weapon: Repairing Magnet

--More Coming Soon--

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Drone

I have to admit, I haven't been playing a lot of TF2 lately. Between my computer's basic unreliability in the arena of "not catching on fire" and a million new games to distract me, I just haven't been thinking about it as much as I did when I started this blog in 2011. I picked up a new shooter, Plants Versus Zombies: Garden Warfare, which scratches that "colorful shooter" itch pretty nicely. However, that doesn't mean I've totally forgotten about my favorite, and PVZ has something I thought might be fun to try and adapt to TF2: the Drone. Used by the Cactus and the Engineer Zombie, the drone weapons are the most interesting gadget designs in that game.

Melee Weapon: The Light Touch
Replaces the Sentry Gun with the Hornet Dock.
Alt Fire while near Hornet Dock: Manually pilot The Hornet
Cannot Haul Buildings

Building: Hornet Dock
HP: 150 / 180 / 215
Battery: 30/60/90

The Hornet Dock is a stationary building from which Hornets are deployed. As soon as it builds, it will deploy its first Hornet, and subsequent Hornets will be deployed within ten seconds of the previous one exploding. The Engineer must use alt-fire on this to pilot the Hornet. While the piloting functions are being used, the Dock will drain battery: one second per unit of battery, plus an additional third of a unit of battery while ascending/descending. When the batteries are spent, the remote uplink will shut down and the Hornet will freeze in place wherever it is.

Sapping this building disables both the unit itself and the Hornet.

Building 2: Hornet
HP: 10
Primary Weapon: Nailgun (fires gently arced rapidfire projectiles)
Maximum DPS: 50 / 75 / 100
WASD controls. Crouch to descend, jump to ascend.
M1: Fire Primary Weapon
Taunt: Laser Light Show Aerial Taunt
M2 / Primary Slot Button / Secondary Slot Button / Melee Slot Button: Exit Pilot Mode

The Hornet is the actual drone sentry controlled by remote uplink. It will hover indefinitely in its current location whenever not being actively piloted. Park these in surprising locations to surprise enemies, or to distract them from fights on the ground.