An impressive video showing Titanfall 2-esque movement and mechs inside Team Fortress 2 makes me mighty excited for the future of mods in Valve's multiplayer shooter. Valve are currently testing new expanded modding features in TF2, letting modders play with the VScript feature supported by games including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Left 4 Dead 2. While it's not yet clear what will happen, a proof-of-concept video mashing in wallrunning, swish grappling hooks, and pilotable mechs suggests great potential. Come watch!
Over the weekend, Valve launched a public beta test branch of Team Fortress 2 with support for VScript. First introduced with L4D2, VScript lets modders fiddle with the game's guts in new and exciting ways with a scripting language.
This being shiny and new still to TF2, we don't have many concrete examples of what modders might make. But one thing we do have is a very striking video recreating bits of Titanfall 2 inside the other TF2:
That modding is the work of Sarexicus, who explained in a Twitter thread that they were "planning to upload my work here" but they were "beaten to the punch" by this other tweeter. So across the thread, Sarexicus explains more of what we're actually seeing here.
"Most of" the wallrunning is adapted from a script made by ZooL Smith for CS:GO, tweaked for TF2 and giving every class a double-jump. The grappling hook expand's TF2's "very rigid grappling system" from the Mannpower mode with "acceleration (through a cvar) + influential momentum based on the player's look vector." Sarexicus says, "It feels so much more fun to use, but I didn't really show it off here for the sake of time."
As for the Titan falling, Sarexicus says "the entire fall setup is actually done with map logic, rather than VScript, using existing particle effects and sounds to achieve the look." But VScript does come in "when I get *into* the titan, which gives me a bunch of separate setups and attributes (including changing my model to Robot Soldier's, although you don't see that)."
Sarexicus isn't done yet either:
Lastly, the future! I don't plan to drop this now that I'm in the full swing of things.— Sarexicus (@Sarexicus) November 9, 2022
- giving the grappling hook a timer and charges, like Titanfall 2
- adding Apex Legends' slide mechanics
- adding ledge grabbing to make the player movement more snappy and fun
As proofs of concept go, this is pretty dang cool. I am excited to see what else might be possible as Valve let modders fiddle deeper in TF2's guts. Might be a while before really cool stuff becomes commongplace (VScript support is still in beta, for starters) but hell, TF2 is 15 years old and still kicking—what's the hurry?
It is good to see Valve adding such a useful feature to Team Fortress 2. They had neglected the game for years, letting it become overrun with cheaters, racists, spammers, bots, and cheating racist spambots. They have started updating it with multiple notable patches following a fan campaign. Letting modders add and tweak more things themselves is a clever way to help revitalise the game.