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Old 01-03-2011, 02:58 PM   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #1
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Arrow In-Game Item Testing Feedback

Back to the drawing board, genius!

One of the requests we've gotten from community item contributors has been for an easier way to test their creations. We're pleased to announce that last friday's update included a beta version of our new item testing system. Some folks over at the Official TF2 Wiki have already found it and started documenting the system, but we wanted to provide some more information on what's there, and where we're going with it.

There are two main steps to making items that we think need addressing:
  • Building the MDL file.
  • Testing the item in-game.

The item testing system covered in this post is focused on the latter, but we're working on another tool that'll make the first step much easier too, and we'll talk about that when it's closer to release.

So, once you've got your MDL compiled, and placed it in the correct directory under TF (see below), start up TF2.
  • At the main menu, bring down the console (if you haven't done it already, you'll need to enable the Developer Console) and bind a key to "testitem". Then, load the item_test map by entering this console command: "map item_test". Once the map has finished loading, pick a team & class, and you'll find yourself in the item testing room.
  • While in the item testing map, you can hit your testitem key to bring up the item testing dialog.

  • The dialog allows you to test up to four items at once. Specify which classes you want to be able to wear the item(s) you're testing. Note that if you pick a weapon, you'll be asked to select an existing weapon to test with, and you'll be restricted to what classes are able to use that weapon (for instance, shotguns can only be used by Solder, Heavy, Pyro, and Engineer, so you can't test a shotgun replacement with all classes. Most weapons are only usable by a single class.)
  • Click the "Add" buttons in the item slots to bring up the "Add Item" dialog.
  • Here, you can select your MDL file. The directory the File Open dialog opens to is the directory in which your MDL should be placed. For instance, if it's an Engineer item, it should be in the 'tf\models\player\items\engineer' directory. If it's an all-class item, it should be in tf\models\player\items\all_class' directory.
  • Other options are available here, and the explanation text should hopefully handle it. You can select a paint to see how your hat looks in the various paint colors. If your item is an all-class item, and needs to be positioned differently for each class, select the 'Set Sequence to match player class' option, and follow the instructions to the right of the checkbox.

Once you're ready to see your items, hit the Apply Test Items button. If you've left the 'Automatically add testing bots' checkbox checked, the game will automatically spawn the right bots for the items you're testing, and equip them with the items. If you're testing a weapon, it'll also give you that weapon so that you can see it in the viewmodel (note that you'll have to change to one of your testing player classes to see it).
  • If you want to see the player in various animation states while wearing your items, you can use the Bot Controls section on the right. If you want to make changes to the Bot Controls while looking at a bot, you can bind a key to "testitem_botcontrols", which will bring up a smaller dialog with just the Bot Controls section.

Other tips:
  • If you want to see the player in various animation states while wearing your items, you can use the Bot Controls section on the right. If you want to make changes to the Bot Controls while looking at a bot, you can bind a key to "testitem_botcontrols", which will bring up a smaller dialog with just the Bot Controls section.
  • You can use the Save & Load Test Setup buttons to quickly save & load a set of items that you're testing while you work on them. The Load Most Recent button will load the last test setup you saved.
  • You can test your submissions alongside existing TF2 items by adding the existing item's models to your test setup. We'll be adding functionality to make this easier in the next update to this testing system.

This is an early release of this system, and we have plans to improve upon it in significant ways. We released it now because it's still a significant step above the existing hacks that contributors had to use, and we're hoping that this early glimpse will allow contributors to give us some feedback on it. So, if you're working on item contributions, please take a shot at using it, and let us know what you think.

Last edited by BurtonJ: 01-03-2011 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Fixed link to blog - thanks HellJumper777!
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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Nice, but you should have used the TF2 Beta for this instead of team Fortress 2 itself. Also since this is the thread most relevant to the subject...

A list of weapons with some faults in this map:

"Candy Cane" (Badly textured)

Direct hit (He only loads air into the launcher)

Shotgun (No pump sound after the reload finishes) (Pyro only loads air into his/hers.)

Equalizer (Has the sound of a folding shovel when selected in-game)

Heavy's FOV 70 Viewmodels (a graphical glitch at the base of his hands while holding certain weapons on fov 70)

There are a bunch of others that I can't be bothered to search. I don't know if this is just confined to Item_test or not.

Last edited by Leetdumber: 01-04-2011 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Learned this isn't a stats thread. Ok, Helljumper777, I have fixed it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:39 PM   #3
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The link on the blog doesn't point anywhere. It leads to an invalid thread. Fixed.

As for my feedback:
The system still requires that you turn your model into the .mdl format; "skins" act in that manner anyway. One benefit I can think of is the ability to send in items via "Contribute!" without having to send in the .mdls as replacements for existing models.

BUT! I do wait eagerly for the second part of this item_test map! The part that has to do with compiling .mdls. As for now I wait. I did try out my sniper pack and it works perfectly compiled with different names, so that is a huge plus.

I wish you guys came out with this a day earlier since I would have submitted my sniper pack as models with new names rather than ones with pre-existing names that act as skins for items already in-game.

[GLITCHES] More important glitches are highlighted in yellow
  • You are able to achievement farm using this mode. Stats are also not disabled during an item_test map session. This should be patched immediately.
  • If you select a custom model replacement for one class (example: I choose a replacement for the scout's bat) and then change what class you are working with from the testitem menu, the new class will equip that replacement. (Example: I chose soldier without changing anything, and now the soldier can equip the bat). In this manner the heavy can get headshots and the sniper can backstab people.
  • When attempting to replace the shotgun model for the pyro, heavy, soldier, and engineer, the shotgun model gets replaced, but the primary weapon dissapears.
  • Weapons that require a mouse click + release do not function properly with bots. The huntsman is an example. When set to "Fire weapon", the bots won't fire the weapon, they will just pull back the string and sit there.
  • Replacing the Ullapool Caber does not work. Both the view model and world models are the same normal Ullapool Caber model, but upon death, the user drops the custom model instead of the Caber.
  • The Lugermorph doesn't work properly. For the scout, the view model doesn't show up, and the world model is the same old lugermorph. On death, the lugermorph is dropped. Same thing for the engineer except you can see the viewmodel.
  • Madmilk works perfectly with the exception of one thing: when you throw it, the regular mad milk model shows up instead of the replacement model. Same goes for jarate.
  • Knife and Your Eternal Reward replacements do not animate past a certain point in a backstab.

Minor Glitches That won't be patched
  • A model replacing natasha will replace it normally, but the stats are that of the regular minigun. That is, the weapon does normal damage and doesn't slow down enemies. The same applies to the brast beast. It acts just like the regular minigun (sounds and stats).
  • When replacing the Scottish Resistance, the stats of the new model are the same as the regular Sticky Bomb Launcher. Same problem as the above point.
  • The eyelander and UHHH don't collect heads and they CAN randomly crit. The Claidheamh Mor can also randomly crit. The Scottman's Skullcutter has the same stats as the eyelander (same base damage).
  • The sticky jumper and rocket jumper do damage. You also can't stickyjump / rocket jump with them. You can't rocketjump / stickyjump with the regular versions either.
  • Sandman doesn't function. The ball shows up in the view model but it acts like the bat in terms of damage. You can't use the ball, but the sound and taunt kill work just fine.
  • Force'a'Nature doesn't work properly. The kill icon works, but that's it. The sound, animations, stats, and ammo are all of the scattergun.
  • Crit-a-cola functions like bonk.
  • A model replacement for the scout pistol only works for world model. The model doesn't appear in the first person view.
  • The shortstop doesn't appear in the first person view, doesn't have the correct sound, and will fire like the pistol (no spread). It does do significantly more damage than the pistol (about 50-60 at mid range).
  • Candy Cane and the Boston Basher work like the bat (no stat changes from the bat).
  • Direct Hit and Blackbox work like the rocket launcher. All soldier melee weapons work like the shovel (same stats).
    Also, all the revolvers for the spy function like the regular revolver (in terms of sound and stats).
  • You can't taunt with the huntsman equipped. All sniper melee weapons function like the default stock kukri. The Sydney Sleep functions like the sniper rifle in every way.
  • Sniper's SMG works only in the world model. First person view doesn't work properly. There is also a glitch where if you have a custom model replacement, the smg will not reload; instead it will fire away all it's ammo without stopping.

Screenshots of some stuff:

Also, can someone explain to me what this "R" Button is used for?


I got an e-mail regarding some glitches. A couple were indeed "true" glitches that should be eventually patched out, but as for the weapon functions, those won't be patched since this feature is only for testing the look of custom models.

Originally Posted by Robin Walker
...this testing system is purely for testing the models themselves (i.e. it’s entirely visual).

Last edited by HellJumper: 01-04-2011 at 02:31 PM. Reason: More feedback | Email Response to feedback
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:40 PM   #4
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Best way to achieve balance if the community makes it they cant cry about it
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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This looks.. erm.. kind of confusing, but it's probably just my TLDR beeper going off.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Leetdumber View Post
Nice, I hope this will bring in more attention to game balance.
Originally Posted by Drawl View Post
Best way to achieve balance if the community makes it they cant cry about it
Seems these two don't realize that the item testing system is for testing models, it has nothing to do with making new stats.

This system, although new and kinda buggy, is a great step in allowing model makers to test their stuff in game and I'm all for it! Now if only I could figure out how to model.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
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A good feature to add would be the ability to teleport bots to where you're aiming and change their aiming direction/angle via a slider or where you look. Also it'd be cool to change the bot's skin between red and blue (and subsequently their hats) on the fly.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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i dont really care
i think we have enough useless melee weapon.
id rather prefer having less new weapons but more useful and better implemented (no clipping, kill icon taunt etc) weapon.
So id prefer it to make it easier for the community to create own weapon STATS.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #9
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I had high hopes for stat testing when I heard about this, but since I'm not a modeler this is useless to me. I'm sure I simply don't understand the main use, not that I don't believe it has any.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:53 PM   #10
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Should be able to test attributes, replacing models removes the attributes of the weapon.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:55 PM   #11
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WOW Didn't tested this yet but looks cool and usefull! Maybe I'll contribute more models. Thanks
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:30 PM   #12
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(for those mac haters, i agree, windows is better for tf2 and gaming, but there are still many out there that would appreciate this kind of stuff)
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:32 PM   #13
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is this on the beta or regular tf2?
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #14
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I am really looking forward to trying this out!
Now people can see if it fits the THEME of TF2, we need more items that do.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #15
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This looks good. Some movement to improve the game after the big update.
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