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Creators.TF Blog
a line of soldiers saluting

Sounds of keyboard clicking, power tools whirring, and explosions detonating permeate the room.

Here at Creators.TF, we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to put too much on our plate create new and interesting experiences for players to enjoy. But we have a problem: we’ve got all these really cool concepts for updates and weapons, and not enough people to work on them!

Step right through this no-collide door and keep reading, because we’re recruiting for the Creators.TF team!

Right now we need additional programmers, artists, and weapon balancers for our team to help with ongoing development. Currently there are multiple positions to be filled, and we need YOU to fill them.

Click a role to expand it's description.

Developers

  • Website Developers
    • Experienced in all of the following: PHP8, HTML5, CSS3
    • Preferred experience in any of the following: JavaScript, NodeJS, ES6, TypeScript
  • Game/Server Developers

    With experience in any of the following: Sourcepawn, C++, and/or srcds game servers.

  • App Developer
    • Experience in any of the following: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript
    • Preferred experience in any of the following: PHP8, Mobile App Design, PWAs, the Web Push Protocol
  • Weapon Balancer

    With experience in any of the following: Game Design or Competitive TF2.

Artists

  • UX Researchers

    With experience in any of the following: designing behavior studies, UX Design Methodologies, and/or interest in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology.

  • Graphic Designers

    With experience in any of the following: Figma, Adobe XD, InVision, Typography, Grids, and/or Patterns.

  • General Artists

    With experience in any of the following: Leadership and listening skills, Diverse portfolio of previous works, and/or Diverse skill set in different mediums.

If you feel like you fit the bill for any of these talents and want to help us on our journey to continue creating cool new stuff, please feel free to click the button below to submit an application!

Applications will be closing September 30th, 2021.

Well well well, looks like I'm back on blog writin' duty, fellers.

It's yer ol' Texas technician Dell here - that crazy fella who usually writes for y'all asked me to take over so he could “take another bath”. Lucky for him, his brain can’t even begin to comprehend what’s being goin’ on in the labs.

While Digital Directive was a hard fought battle for the team, it’s been mighty fine for me. Between killing them brainless bucket of bolt robots with mah sentries and drinking from cases of beer, I’ve been able to perform more in-depth research in them fancy weapon-systems the old coot’s crammed into his new n’ improved killin machines. I gotta’ admit, Gray Mann has really stepped up his game when it comes up with interestin’ ways to kill us.

Our first piece of work: A Brick. Made from hardened clay, melted together at over 1,000 degrees Celsius, supposedly infused with blood -  getting whacked in the head by one of these would cause some significant damage to your enemies noggin’. Learnin’ from this, we’ve taken as many bricks as we could find from around our warehouses and given them to our neighbourhood Sniper by the truckload - now hows that for some southern hospitality! If an enemy gets hit in the head by one of these bad boys from a good way over yonder, the damage inflicted should be mighty painful, more than enough to cause significant bleedin’; That’s gotta smart!

This second one I dug out from the scrap heaps myself: A rusty six-shooter, with my name on it (not literally, mind you.) Now, I think it's been long overdue I get myself a proper piece fit for a Texan, but not just any old skeet shooter will do for this cowpoke.  After some fine craftsmanship from yours truly, this bad boy can have any sorry-ass merc cryin’ for mama in two shakes of a cow’s bell. Suffice to say, if any self-respectin' cowboy comes across someone with this gun, they better high tail it to the next county over, or pray to god they've got the quicker hand.

Next thing we got here is actually a request from that rat-scoundrel Spy, if y'all can believe it.  Barged into my workshop right ‘round 3 in the morning, covered in scorch marks and waving around that piece he got from some wetwork down in the Amazon demandin’ I “make ‘zis thing useful” - I woulda socked him right there in his snail eatin’ mouth if it weren’t for that damn favor he cashed in.   I went and started workin’ on the knife and wouldn’t you know, turns out someone else went to tinkerin’ with it already - there was a whole mess of circuitry embedded under the carvings.   By patchin’ it into the power bank of that fancy spytech watch he’s got, it should have enough juice to send that sentry sapper flyin’ across the battlefield one leap at a time - I reckon that frog’s finally got his legs!

And of course I reckon y’all wanna hear bout them new arenas to test these new fancy, re-engineered, weapons.  Well, fellas, I got good news - the whole lot of us got deeded a couple of world heritage sites as thanks for preventin’ the robot apocalypse for the second time in a row - and seein’ as conundrums of philosophy just ain’t my specialty, I figured it would be best to set em up as exotic new locales for some good ol fashioned roughhousing. 

Alrighty, last thing on this here list before we can all get back to fightin proper.  The latest shipment from HQ ended up being a buncha hats, special ordered to - hold on just a minute, they lefta note for this -  “satiate those crazy sons of bitches before they try killing me in my sleep” - shucks, we really got a reputation goin, don’t we!

Medic cosmetics.
Multiclass cosmetics.
Demo cosmetics.
Allclass cosmetics.
Soldier cosmetics.

So I suppose that’s that then, see y’all out on the battlefield with my new inventions! Don’t forget to suggest any changes in the nearest, sentry guarded, suggestion drop-box. Happy Killin, y’all!

Creators.TF Blog

Hello!

This is a different style of blog post from what you’re used to seeing. Instead of having a guy screaming at you to play our latest update, we’ll instead be taking things back a bit and taking back the curtain to some of the things that go on behind the scenes in Creators.TF’s Development.

Custom weapons prototypes - ZoNiCaL, Qualitycont

NOTE! When we say prototypes, we really mean prototypes! These weapons are subject to change or not be included in a future update at all.

If you’re not a part of our Discord already, we have special channels related to weapon development. Community members can suggest weapon concepts into #weapon-ideas and ideas that get 20 stars (votes) go to our #starboard, where the best ideas get to have their 15 minutes of glory. If one of us sees potential in a weapon, we then recreate the concept in-game. These prototypes get posted in #weapon-prototypes-talk, and the community gives us feedback, so we can further iterate on our concepts.

The Quickdraw - ZoNiCaL

One of the weapons I’ve been working on is called the Quickdraw, a secondary replacement for the Engineer. One of its custom modifications comes from the name itself. When you draw the weapon out, you have one second where any damage you deal with the Quickdraw will become mini-crits. Also in this second: If you shoot another Engineer with the Quickdraw out, it will insta-kill them, similar to the Half-Zatoichi Dueling mechanic. One of our artists, UmKlaiDet, has created a model and uploaded it to our workshop. EDIT: So I originally finished writing this section a few weeks ago before we tested this weapon. Time has flown since then and we were able to have a weapon test with some members from our closed beta community. I got a lot of really positive feedback from the test, and I’m confident that this is going to be a weapon that people will really enjoy :)

The Laser Scattergun - Qualitycont

I have been working on two very different weapons one of which is taken from the starboard and one is an idea I came up with myself. The first weapon I worked on is the “Laser Scattergun” by McNamJam. I ran into a few issues when trying to replicate the stats from the suggestion though. The first major issue that I luckily noticed in advance is the accuracy bonus on fully charged shots. That mechanic would be hell to implement so I just scrapped it entirely. The second part that would be difficult to recreate was the infinite ammo part and since that part only really matters for being like the other energy weapons I got rid of it too. In the end, I was just left with what is essentially a timing-based scattergun since unless you perfectly time your attacks to be when you use your charge shot the weapon is just going to be slightly worse than the stock scattergun.

The Leaping Knife - Qualitycont

The second weapon I worked on for a bit is a Leaping Knife which has no name yet as the concept was made by me. The idea is simple: You press R and you leap at the cost of cloak (while cloaked) but you are a bit more squishy. I haven't been able to playtest this one yet but in theory, this would be great as a positioning tool and allows you to take flanks that the enemy isn't expecting. Since it only works while cloaked you can't really use it for gunspy or just jumping at people and stabbing them.

Hypodermic Rebalance - Qualitycont

The injector was one of the more useful weapons on creators so it wasn’t high on the rebalancing list but it did have one issue: the code behind it was awful. So since HiGPS already wanted the per Medigun effect to be changed to a static effect I decided to add that change along with some other stuff to the complete rewrite I did of it.

Now looking at the changelog it might seem like it got nerfed since the healing required for a charge got increased and the buff went from being borderline op on the Kritzkrieg and stock to be just ok, I would consider it a buff since it can be now used for a greater effect on the Vaccinator. It can now overheal to the max overheal level in MvM and because of an (unknown) mechanic called the healing limit, adjusting that limit made it basically charge at double the rate. I'm surprised nobody found out about the healing limit mechanic before, but basically here's how it works: 

  • Every half-second, all the healing done in the last half a second gets added to the syringe meter.
  • However, any healing above 10 used to just get ignored in the old version. In the new and improved version that limit got upped to 40 so only really big healing like the quick fix Ubercharge or crossbow max ramp up healing gets limited.

Overall, the main change to the injector was that it is actually reliable now and equally strong for every Medigun.

Continuous Integration Pipeline - SysAdmin team

Don’t you hate it when you just create a brand new SourcePawn plugin and then you have to compile it, just to realize you did something wrong and needs to be updated and re-compiled, but in the end, you decide to thrash it and start again from scratch… but now you have need to delete the old one, so it won’t conflict with the new one?

This literally happens all the time, so that’s why we created a super cool Continuous Integration pipeline (CI) which takes care of compiling, updating, and deleting our plugins. After everything has been peer-reviewed and approved for release, our Continuous Delivery pipeline (CD) will take care of pushing that new feature into all of our servers around the world without even having to lift a finger (except when you actually have to click the mouse).

Those with a keen eye and a sharp mind will notice this is where the acronym CI/CD comes from. You may ask: “why do we do this?” We want our developers to focus on what’s truly important: developing and playing Team Fortress 2.

Given that we automated half our job, why not use our newly found spare time and automate the other half? Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing right now (instead of playing TF2). We’re working with an Infrastructure as a Code (IaC) tool called Ansible, which allows us to fully automate the process of converting a blank machine into a fully-fledged Creators.TF server with just one easy command! This tool can also be used to keep all the servers up to date, so we receive the latest security patches for our infrastructure.

PS: This sort of computer magic would’ve got me burnt at the stake during the dark ages of the internet circa 1998.

Creators.TF Blog

Hello everyone. In order to maintain transparency and continue our initiative to keep communication on the up and up, we have some important updates about the Creators.TF project that we would like to share with you all today.  This post is a bit lengthy, so if you want a summary, please note the bolded sections of each paragraph.

A Change Of Leadership And Staff Structure

First thing on the agenda, Nanochip, our project lead, unfortunately had to step away from the project indefinitely due to a medical emergency in his family.  We thank him for his contributions to the project and wish him and his family the very best.

That being said, to continue to facilitate the management of Creators.TF, the position of project lead has been split in two: Sappho and Retr0, two members of our staff, will be working together to take up the role. In the long term, this doesn't mean much -  the project will continue as normal and updates will continue to come out when they’re ready. In the short term however, it means that we’ve had to change some things behind the scenes. Of those things, one of the most important is a new division of labor among the Creators.TF staff. A more organised hierarchical structure will facilitate internal communications and lead to a much smoother release schedule.

Developer Blogs: Creators Corner

Related to the above is the announcement of our new devblog, Creators Corner, wherein we will be detailing and documenting the code-wrangling going on behind the scenes and giving insight to work-in-progress updates as they’re passing through the developmental pipeline.

Our first issue will contain some information about our in-development custom weapons, recent balance changes to the Hypodermic Injector, and a look into our Continuous Integration system on our backend. Our Patrons will be receiving an early preview of these developer blogs, but they will be released publicly after a period of time. Keep an eye out for this post coming in the next few weeks.

Transparency And Project Finance 

Continuing on with the topic of communication comes something that’s been in the works for quite a while: financial organisation and transparency. When a project grows to a certain size, it no longer becomes sensible or viable to manage it’s funding through personal accounts. There were quite a few options to take, but we have decided to bite the bullet and do things officially.

This is why we are today announcing that Creators.TF has officially been registered as a non-profit Limited By Guarantee Company in the UK. 

Companies Limited By Guarantee are widely used for charities, community projects, clubs, societies and other similar bodies. Most guarantee companies are not-for-profit companies -  that is, they do not distribute their profits to their members but either retain them within the company or use them for some other purpose. 

Being a Limited By Guarantee Company means that Creators.TF is now itself a legal entity, able to apply for business banking as well as a whole other range of benefits. Not only will this project benefit from its own banking, but organising our financial records for public scrutiny will be much simpler - so expect to see such information released soon. 

The Road Ahead

The last portion of this blogpost will be focusing on the things that will have the most tangible impact on our players.  For the rest of the year, we’re going to be focusing on smaller updates using our existing tools - such as new maps, cosmetics, and weapons - as opposed to developing entirely new systems. 

We are committing to this as we don’t think we’ll be able to produce a large update to the same quality standard of our past events.  As said previously, we have a design and release schedule in mind that should mean more substantial updates rolling out sometime next year.

Change Of Plans With Digital Directive

Finally, an important announcement regarding our Digital Directive MvM Campaign - On September 1st, we will be totally discontinuing our MvM servers.  The campaign will still be playable on PotatoMVM’s Archive Servers, but will not have any of the integrated loot functionality.  

This goes against our previous statement -  aka, that we would “continue to host a limited amount of MvM servers indefinitely after the event”.  We regret that we must make this decision, but after extensive testing, development, and optimization, it has been determined that continuing to host even a limited number of servers long-term is unfeasible for two main reasons:

  • MvM servers as they currently exist are extremely taxing on machine resources - As it stands currently, MvM servers and standard servers cannot be run on the same machine/disk without the MvM ones causing lag and stability issues for the rest of the servers present on the machine. Hosting entirely separate MvM servers is possible (it is how we have handled it thus far), but even so, the amount of MvM servers that can be hosted on a machine is actually less than the number of standard servers that could be hosted with the same resources.
  • Maintenance and development puts excessive strain onto existing developers - Although our partnership with PotatoMvM has been fruitful, it must be said that none of our existing developers are overly familiar with the workings of custom MvM. The Potato team has been very helpful with handling bug fixes and supporting some of the more strenuous features, but we feel it would be unfair to ask them to support this campaign indefinitely on our behalf.

We apologise to our user base for this decision, but we on the Creators.TF team feel that being honest with our players about the limits of our hardware and development capabilities is the best way to proceed.  One last thing to note is this:  New Zealiums and other rewards previously tied to MvM will be implemented and obtainable via other means in the future.  Additionally, the entire concept of custom MvM is not permanently off the table - given enough time, we may try our hand at it again.

This concludes the prepared announcements we have for today.  We thank you all for your continued support for our project, and wish you all the best going forward.

vanilla+ servers banner

“Yeah can I get uhh… two number nines, and a number nine large, a number six with extra dip. Can I also get… What's that new ice cream flavor you have? Vanilla+? Can I get that too?  ...What do you mean the ice cream machine’s broken??”

This, mercenaries, is what led to me burning down a McSandvichs at 3 in the morning yesterday. As I sat there in the warm afterglow of an arson well committed, I realized something important:  If we can’t rely on soulless corporations to fulfill our needs, then we’ll just have to take a crack at it ourselves!

Introducing Creators.TF Vanilla+ Servers!

As someone important once said: "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unless there are parts of it that need fixing. Or tweaking." These new servers will be just as the name implies:

  • Good ol' Casual TF2 with no server downloads (Goodbye custom hats, weapons, and contracts)!
  • Full-fledged anti-cheat system, no more casual bots!
  • Only the best vanilla & community maps.
  • Valltalk ?, vscramble ?, and server seeding. ?
  • Several remarkable must-have gameplay fixes.

Of course, what would new servers be without new maps to play on? We'll be taking out Dustbowl, Banana Bay, Gullywash Refresh, and vanilla Steel - they’ll be going back into the Mann Co. Vault, to be released thirty years in the future when artificial scarcity drives their value up tenfold and we can make a killing selling them to our millions of superfans at a huge markup.  In their place, we’ll be introducing Frontier, Mossrock, Lazarus, Mercenary Park, and a slew of fantastic community made maps:

Just because they’re vanilla doesn’t mean we can’t cram in the same improvements our normal servers have!  Have you ever sat back and thought to yourself, "I sure do love getting killed by random critical hits?" Well then have I got bad news for you my friend: We've taken those critical hits and turned them into normal hits! Completely sucked all the damage right outta them. And that’s not all: We also turned off random bullet spread - no more obscenely improbable dodging from those scoundrels on the other team! You want more? Because we’re not even close to done: improved autobalance, countless hitbox fixes, projectile fixes - the list goes on!

Screenshot of no random critical hits fix
Screenshot of no Random bullet spread fix
Screenshot of fixed projectile hitbox size
Screenshot of improved autobalance system

Don't forget to subscribe to the workshop collection here so you can get back to fighting ahead of schedule! Today's patchnotes can be found here.

tfconnect2021 midsummer mashup banner

*grabs microphone* Listen up mercenaries! This is a public service announcement! If you haven’t heard through the Teufort Times, our friends over at TFConnect are holding another charity event:

The Midsummer Mashup! From June 26-27th, TFConnect will be broadcasting from Kritzkast’s Twitch channel in support of Stop AAPI Hate. Formed in 2020 in response to racist attacks and bigitroy towards people of the Asian community during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Stop AAPI Hate is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to help track and respond to incidents of hate, violence, discrimination, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

TFConnect is hoping to raise $5,000 for Stop AAPI Hate, and we need your help! Right now you can donate to the event at tfconnect.org/donate. Any amount from your wallet would be amazing and it’ll be going towards a great cause.

So what’s happening during these two days you may ask? We’ve got a lot of segments featuring some amazing content creators, interviews, a showcase of Open Fortress, and lots of fun gameplay with some unwilling participants, some BONK-fueled fun courtesy of Parkour.TF, a punch to the face with our good friend Saxton Hale, a game show courtesy of Jump Academy, and so much more!

So please throw your money at your computer monitor, pick it back up, and then use it to donate to Stop AAPI Hate. You can tune into the live stream both days at twitch.tv/kritzkast, starting at 6:00pm BST, 1:00pm EDT on Saturday, June 26th, and again on Sunday, June 27th. Finally, give TFConnect some love for all of the hard work they’ve done to make this event a reality by supporting their twitter.

Thanks for listening, now go support a great cause!

creators.tf 2021 blueprint plan

Splish splash I’m taking a bath! Stop bothering me to write your blog posts! *whispers* Wait, this needs to get out now? *whispers* Alright, I’ll see what I can do...

*ahem*, Because of the growing headaches with our weapons and hats disintegrating or causing fifth degree burns, we have made the choice to focus this year on improving the systems that provide you with that new inventory. Our talented engineers will be tinkering around the clock for the coming months to make Creators.TF an overall better experience, which you’ll be able to follow via our Trello Roadmap.

Now before you go into a frenzied panic, this does not mean we will be cancelling current and upcoming events. You will still be able to quench your need for robot slaying till September 1st, after which, Digital Directive will be partially retired, with servers and loot still provided.

The two remaining holiday events, Halloween and Smissmas will continue as planned. We also encourage you, disturbingly creative folk, to continue submitting your ghoulish or jolly ideas to our workshop.

If the prospect of holidays and system maintenance doesn't excite you, then we have one last upcoming feature to talk about, Vanilla+ Servers! Not everyone wants to play the game with a myriad of new things mixed in - and that’s okay... really, no feelings hurt *cocks shotgun*.

Alongside our existing Creators.TF custom servers and the MvM servers, we will additionally be hosting vanilla TF2 servers amongst the various regions, with the “+” coming from our gameplay fixes, the curated map pool, and seeding capabilities you already see in action today. We’re working on these servers at the moment, and they should be released for mass consumption in a few weeks.

In the meantime, check out the latest Digital Directive mission rebalances in today’s patch notes.

Creators.TF Blog
a line of soldiers saluting

explosion, big boom sound here Yowza! Did you feel that? That must’ve been an explosion caused by the robots outside our base! We’ve been swamped recently in our recent Mann vs Machine campaign, Operation: Digital Directive. Thank you guys for helping to destroy the horde so far! We’ve seen a great turnout of support and mercenaries willing to put up a good fight.

Now, not everything has been all sunshine and rainbows. Our engineers have been very overworked at the moment and they suggested to me that we recruit more people onto the Creators.TF team. I took one look at them, had a quick laugh, and then threatened to fire them if they didn’t get back to work fixing the bugs... Unfortunately, the actual boss showed up and threatened to fire me if I didn’t give them their special mention.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re recruiting more volunteers to join the Creators.TF Team! We want YOU to join us in fulfilling our commitment to promote community-made content. Made by the community, for the community! We have a lot of positions opening up for people with semi-functioning brick-for-brains! We’re currently looking for positions in the following categories:

  • Community Moderators
    • With experience in Discord and/or in-game moderation.
  • Team Members for the following positions:
    • Website Developers
      • With experience in any of the following: PHP, Javascript, HTML, CSS, NodeJS, Electron, and/or Typescript
    • Game/Server Developers
      • With experience in creating Sourcemod plugins and/or knowledge in C++
    • Writers
      • Such as writing blog posts, landing pages, announcements, or even comics someday!
    • Linux System Administrators




Applications will be closing on May 20th, 2021.