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Team Fortress 2 Has PC/360 Cross Platform Play 79

Posted by Zonk
from the we-can-all-just-get-along dept.
IGN has an in-depth article with Valve Engineer Robin Walker, TF2 Project Lead Charlie Brown, and Marketing Director Doug Lombardi, talking all about the Team Fortress 2 project. Along with details on class clarification, the look of the game, and map design decisions, the Valve folks confirm that 360/PC cross platform play is already in the game. "IGN: So you're actually playing now on Xbox 360s connected to PCs? Doug Lombardi: Technically it's done. Robin Walker: From our perspective, we did the Xbox port of Half-Life internally, and we did that because we wanted to have the expertise from doing that. Like controller expertise and all the sorts of decisions you've got to make that are different on consoles we wanted to have that in-house because we knew we'd be doing more Xbox titles and more console titles. And so the same guys that did that are working on TF2, we have all the tweaks we did to the controls, the sticks and everything."
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Team Fortress 2 Has PC/360 Cross Platform Play

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  • finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:49PM (#18692063)
    a chance to demonstrate why KB+M > gamepad for FPS
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Fallen Kell (165468)
      Too bad they will probably cheat on the console and add in a snap-aim type action...
      • by Jaqenn (996058)

        Too bad they will probably cheat on the console and add in a snap-aim type action...
        Probably as a server variable, and it'll get turned off by some portion of the servers.
      • Yeah, and you totally won't be able cheat/hack the PC version.
    • Re:finally (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mprx (82435) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @03:04PM (#18694051)
      This was already demonstrated with Dreamcast Quake 3 vs PC Quake 3. Overwhelming victory for keyboard+mouse, as expected.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ZDRuX (1010435) *
      Damn! You beat me to this :) I was just going to point out how sorry I feel for all the 16 year old xbox fanboi's out there thinking they're tough shit and watch them scream and cry like little girls as they get chewed apart by PC gamers :)
      • Damn! You beat me to this :) I was just going to point out how sorry I feel for all the 16 year old xbox fanboi's out there thinking they're tough shit and watch them scream and cry like little girls as they get chewed apart by PC gamers :)
        but the 16 year-old "tough shit" PC gamer problem remains unsolved.
  • Oh WOW! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by 0racle (667029)
    I mean this is amazing, no one has ever done this before. Those guys must be so talented.
  • by onion2k (203094) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:52PM (#18692117) Homepage
    Looks like the old "Joypad vs Mouse+Keyboard" debate might finally be resolved then.

    When all of us PC gamers pwn the 360 players to hell, daily, using our superior control mechanism.

    Err...yeah...sorry...that was my inner fanboy speaking.
    • by oni (41625) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:11PM (#18692457) Homepage

      When all of us PC gamers pwn the 360 players to hell, daily, using our superior control mechanism.
      I just came in here to say the same exact thing - but I see that you have everything under control.

      I predict 360-only servers will be set up after a very short time due to all the whining.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MarcoAtWork (28889)
        what makes you think that you'll have to aim as precisely on the console as on the PC to score a hit? Also I think you'll be surprised by just how good some console players are... I wouldn't be surprised if at the top top top level maybe PC players will slightly edge console players, however at lower levels it will be a wash.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by brkello (642429)
          Because there is no way they are going to give you auto-aim in multiplayer even if you are using a controller. Think about it...it is just an input device. If they add the feature to auto-aim for the controller than KB+M players get it too.

          I have no doubt there are people very good with controllers...but the precision and speed of KB+M just blows away a controller. It isn't a slight edge...it is a huge one and the top KB+M player will destroy the players using controllers.

          No argument that there will be
          • Why do you see a foregone conclusion that auto-aim for console clients means auto-aim for PC clients? There's no logic behind that statement at all, and no reason it couldn't be done.
            • Autoaim would be boring. Why even bother playing if there was autoaim? So you can see how good the computer aims for you?

              • by Kelbear (870538)
                Auto-aim is present in the majority of console shooters, and those games are selling just fine. The effectiveness of the auto-aim varies from game to game, and the game mechanics themselves are sometimes adjusted to de-emphasize aiming as the principle factor in victory for console shooters.

                Why? Because it's true, KB+M > control sticks as an input. These changes are put in there to make up for the handicap. If MS would just let KB+M mouse be implemented for the Xbox360, then that's what would be the prim
                • by RexRhino (769423)
                  No it wouldn't... How would I use a keyboard and mouse on my sofa?

                  I play video games as a leisure activity... Keyboard and mouse may offer more precise control, but they are way less fun as you can only play sitting at a desk.
                  • Not really, you can have a tv Tray in from of u on the sofa to use a KB+M, this just shows how inferior console players are.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Some_Llama (763766)
          "Also I think you'll be surprised by just how good some console players are"

          They are good because they have mastered hand eye coordination WITH THE TOOLS AT HAND. The big difference here is that you have 2 completely different control schemes, one that allows for 1000 points of granularity (kb+m) and one that is a very limited range of direct movement (up/down/left/right/diagonal).

          This isn't about a level playing field, the control mechanisms will completely skew this in favor of KB+M.

          Then factor in the pre
          • by Danse (1026)

            If anyone wants a little first hand proof I submit the following.. go get a MS sidewinder game pad, hook it up to your PC and jump in a game of regular quake, CS, TFC, COD.

            Interesting story though, I used to play Unreal Tournament as part of a clan. One of the guys, who was easily in the top 3 of us skill-wise and had uncanny aim, used a joystick to play. Don't remember what kind it was, but it was basically similar to the Saitek Cyborg stick that I had. I actually watched him playing a couple times at l

            • "One of the guys, who was easily in the top 3 of us skill-wise and had uncanny aim, used a joystick to play."

              I have seen _one_ other PC player who used a joystick and trackball combo when playing CS, it is a strange sight (to be sure) but i didn't see any benefit as he wasn't any better than anyone else who used the standard. of course in games with flight (battlefield) he had a distinct advantage because of his familiarity.

              How did he use the joystick? For movement or aiming? I didn't think you could contro
              • by Danse (1026)
                He used the keyboard for movement and the stick for aiming. Don't remember if he used reversed y-axis or not. Apparently it could be done. I just couldn't figure out why anyone would want to do it.
                • I just couldn't figure out why anyone would want to do it.

                  If it was a real joystick (as opposed to those tiny useless thumb sticks that console controllers have nowadays), it would actually be rather similar to aiming a pistol (depending on whether it was configured for absolute or relative positioning).

        • Not just the aim (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ahnteis (746045)
          It's not just about the aim. It's about the ability to turn 90 or 180 degrees with the flick of a wrist. The same "insta-aim" that is possible with a mouse also makes for instant turning and THAT is a huge advantage that seems to be overlooked every time this debate comes up.
          • Why should the mouse position be directly proportional to the angle of the character? It's the way it's usually done, but it reduces it to point and click if you don't have to take into account the physical properties of the character. Imagine playing super mario brothers or r-type using a mouse, where the character directly follows the cursour around the screen. It would certainly be easier, but in what way would it be more fun or rewarding?

            A player will expect _not_ to be in direct control of the chara
    • by Das Modell (969371) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:26PM (#18692673)
      I recently played Doom 3 on the Xbox. I eventually got pretty good at controlling it, but it was still a far cry from playing with a mouse. Pad users will be totally slaughtered in a high speed game like TF2 unless mouse users are gimped or pad users are given heavy autoaim. Gimping mouse users will obviously make them extremely unhappy.

      This can only end in tears. What is Valve thinking?
    • by Traa (158207)
      You know they are going to "balance" the Mouse+Keyboard vs Joypad very soon after those 360 whiners are getting whooped silly right?

      One horrible scenario: On the 360 your targets will 'lock' on when you are aiming roughly in the right direction.

      Next, auto aim.

      *shrug*

      As a member of Clan Erinyes, from the awesome era of Team Fortress Classic (anyone remember us?), I am still really looking forward to TF2.

      Traa-[CE]
  • 2 options (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ben there... (946946) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @12:56PM (#18692201) Journal
    1) Console players will get owned by PC players. Console gamers will either segregate to their own servers or give up.

    2) They give console players auto-aim or some other cheat. There won't be a level playing field so you won't be able to tell how good a player actually is.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      They give console players auto-aim or some other cheat. There won't be a level playing field so you won't be able to tell how good a player actually is.

      After almost beating HL2 I discovered to my dismay that it has auto-aim, and it was turned on.

      I turned it off and things worked much better for me thereafter, although with a gamepad you definitely need it.

      Point is, auto-aim can fuck you up just as much as it can help you. Especially with slower projectiles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tacroy (813477)
      To be fair, if the dev's put in autoaim then it wouldn't be a cheat but a game mechanic that is a pro/con of the control you choose to use. Its class balancing for control schemes.
    • by tzhuge (1031302)

      3)Divide players by skill level based on performance metrics regardless of their control scheme

      I suspect the gap b/t wasd and gamepad user amongst average players will be a lot smaller than people expect. Factors like familiarity with a particular level, and general experience playing a particular game have a big effect on player performance in FPS games.

      • by Danse (1026)

        I suspect the gap b/t wasd and gamepad user amongst average players will be a lot smaller than people expect. Factors like familiarity with a particular level, and general experience playing a particular game have a big effect on player performance in FPS games.

        I think that you'll have both PC and XBox players that get very good at the game and know the levels. And I think you'll find that the top ranks will be populated by the best PC players, followed by a mix of the best XBox players and the good PC pla

  • That X360 servers will be limited to 16 players. PC players can fight against 24 (or more). What motivation is there for PC and X360 players to fight in the same server, especially given the difficulty in balancing keyboard&mouse with the Xbox controller?
    • The motivation will be if PC users are using a 360 controller for their game.
    • by bclark (858016)
      The obvious motivation to me is that you can play with friends who may not have, or may only have, 360s.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mprx (82435)
      For the PC gamers, the motivation is the same as for griefing in any game. Being able to repeatedly kill the X360 players with very little effort is amusing to some people, and given past experience of PC vs console FPS gaming this is exactly what will happen (Dreamcast Quake 3).
  • ..to all you 360 owners, you're gonna get pwnd!
  • by Tickenest (544722) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:23PM (#18692635) Homepage Journal
    It should be noted that back when development on TF2 started, they had this feature working, but at that time it was to connect the Commodore 64 and the NES versions. Due to delays in development, though, they switched to more modern systems over the years several times (I was most looking forward to the Tandy-SNES linkup, myself.)
    • by AndersOSU (873247)
      I don't know my favorite linkup was the Atari 2600 running TFC2 to Apple IIe runnin Duke Nukem Forever.
  • I love TFC, played it for years, but Valve lost a customer the day they added adverts to Counter strike. They were done extremely poorly and they did not belong in the game to begin with.

    Hence good luck Valve, but you pissed on your chips with this guy.
    • Thats weird. Maybe i'm just playing on different servers, but I play CS daily and haven't seen any ads. Are they in the maps or in the client?

      • I know they are in both Dusts and have been for a while in classic CS.
        • I have only seen it in CS 1.6 myself, not in source so far (although some maps do have user created ads, like the one for the money voting mod).

          You can see it when you bring up the scores/player list.
    • The server i play on has ads it's 1.6 CS, and valve didn't really give the game aways for free, the people who made it did, then eventually, due to it's popularity sold it to valve. So cs 1.6 is free if u had HL1, CSS is not free at all.
  • Control mechanisms (Score:3, Insightful)

    by deadhammer (576762) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:43PM (#18692901)
    Differences in control schemes will make a difference, possibly eliminating a level playing field. This leads me to two conclusions: either they're going to somehow tweak the Xbox control scheme (and by "tweak", I mean "enable cheating"), or they're going to dumb down the PC control scheme. Odds on favorite: the latter.
    • This is my fear. I'd already like to give a lot of people at the Microsoft gaming division a solid kick in the nads for creating an environment in which what would have been great PC games end up feeling like half-assed ports because they need to be console (360) friendly. I was already cringing when I heard that TF2 was going to be released for the 360 as well as the PC, and the announcement of cross-platform multiplayer really has me scared. I try to be pretty relaxed about gaming and don't usually eng
  • I want to be there on Day One when the smack-talking 12-year-olds join their first game and get trounced before they can turn halfway around.

    Of course, it's possible that 360 will support key+mouse. Even so, XBox Live is a cesspool of pubescent filth. I tried it exactly once and it convinced me NEVER to invest in a USB headset.
    • by Stevecrox (962208)
      yeah i will be nice to the those annoying kids to get their arse kicked once the xbox players join in be even funnier to see them lose to controllers,

      wait your talking about the xbox?
      • Your lack of capitalization reveals your true nature. Do not attempt further usage of a keyboard, my friend; you may accidentally injure your fingers by jamming them between the keys in a violent display of futility.
  • The link in the summary links to the 2nd page. Don't miss the first page for great information about class changes.
  • Maybe it's the geeks I know, but they're just as comfortable with a 360 controller as they are with a Keyboard and Mouse. They all grew up on PC shooters from Wolfenstein on up. This whole debate has always struck me as largely a form of elitism on the part of PC gamers who are starting to get really marginalized by the newer consoles.
    • by Hatta (162192)
      Maybe it's the geeks I know, but they're just as comfortable with a 360 controller as they are with a Keyboard and Mouse.

      They may have the same level of comfort, but not the same level of skill. If you feel more comfortable playing gamepad vs gamepad than keyboard vs keyboard, that has nothing to do with whether a keyboard vs gamepad match would be fair.

      This whole debate has always struck me as largely a form of elitism on the part of PC gamers who are starting to get really marginalized by the newer conso
      • I think you might be equating "aim" with "skill" which in many shooters simply isn't as true as it seems. In most of the shooters I find enjoyable, it's more about tactics than pure aiming and the map design reinforces this. Most of the maps are more enclosed and/or have strategically important choke-points and quite a bit of USEFUL cover. You may be able to run around out in the open, "twitch-killing" noobs and people with less than 60fps on the PC, but that likely won't work in these games. Your aim

        • Aim itself is not this issue nor skill really. It is speed of aim. When you hit that choke point and see an enemy on the edge of the screen waiting to kill you, it takes longer for a player on a console with its steady one speed panning to turn towards the enemy than it does for PC player with a mouse who can twitch to face a new direction quickly. Consoles impose an artificial response time limitation that a mouse just doesn't have.
          • That's true, it's probably more the speed. The rotation speed you can get with a mouse is almost silly to be honest. I think even a SWAT guy would have difficulty doing a figure-skating style spin while holding a weapon. (It's been a while since I've played CS, but I remember practically throwing the mouse to the side sometimes to spin quickly.) My point was I'm already aiming at the door and don't have to turn and thus faster ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TobyWong (168498)
      K&M is superior to gamepad for FPS and RTS games. In the same way, gamepad is superior to K&M for things like fighting, driving, and sports games (among others). It has nothing to do with what system you happen to be playing.
    • "This whole debate has always struck me as largely a form of elitism on the part of PC gamers who are starting to get really marginalized by the newer consoles."

      I take it you haven't done a lot of gaming on BOTH console and PC FPS?

      I have played both the Halo PC port and the console, I could hold my own on the PC port (and own somewhat, not really my game of choice) but just got trounced on the console... the major factor is mouse speed, in the pc version, with a quick flick of the wrist, you can spin around
  • As I recall from my (extremely heavy) TFC playing days, there are several classes for whom precision of aiming isn't really a concern. You don't have to be super fast to lay a bomb trap, for instance, and I don't think having a mouse will make a turret more effective. Unless they've completely gimped the classes to make them all Battefield style shooters, I don't really see this as being an issue. Console players will just tend towards the non-precision classes and things will probably even out.
    • I dunno, I can't imagine a good TFC team without atleast a few snipers. As a major fan of the engineering class, I'm glad I'll be getting the PC version. Navigating the build menu(s) of the engineer probably won't be as easy on the 360. Unless the pace of TF2 is slower than TFC, I always found speedy turret placement, upgrade, and repair to be very important. I fear (ok, maybe relish) the possibility that 360 teams will be nearly all demos, heavies, spies, and pyros with maybe a few two soldiers, engineers,
  • I was having this discussion with my X-Box toting friends a couple weeks ago, and what really stood out from the conversation was the fact that to them, the KB/M is wierd to use when playing FPS games. One of them uses a console keyboard/Mouse setup because he couldn't make the transition to controllers, and he does not have a clear advantage over his thumb-sticking counterparts.

    I feel this debate is a lot like arguing over which musical instrument is better. Obviously, its the one you've been playing

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @02:45PM (#18693807) Journal
    Yes, as far as I can tell, TF2 plays PRECISELY as well on my PC as it does on my XboX360.

    Somehow, I'm less than satisfied, however. Do you think they will remember my pre-rder from what, 1998?
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      Out of curiosity, does anyone know if any of the team members from the original Team Fortress mod are still involved with the project?

      I ask because TF was pretty much the greatest mod for Quake (and I must have played hundreds of mods), their follow-on Team Fortress Classic (called such to prevent confusion with TF2 of course) was a great mod as well, and both were free, gifts to mankind as it were. That's a lot of positive karma as far as I'm concerned, even if their great plans for the true sequel didn't
      • But if none of them are still on, I'd feel much less bad refering to TF2 as "Team Daikatana" or "Team Fortress Forever". :)

        [Team] Fortress Forever [fortress-forever.com] is already taken.

  • As being a computer game player and an xbox game player, and have played Quake 4 on both... There's no way that I can do a 180 diagnal turn while falling from 200 feet and rail a guy that's also falling shooting at me with a plasma gun on an xbox with a controller... But I can do it all the time on the computer with a keyboard and mouse!
  • Whether it be TF2 or Fortress Forever, we need something to come out that can breath new life into my beloved Girlpower server.

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