Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Team Fortress 2 Character Trailers

I don't know how long these have been around, but I just discovered these little vignettes for the characters in the game Team Fortress 2 (which I would definitely play if I still played video games!). The design, animation and execution are top-notch, and the writing and voice acting is hilarious, too! I love how specific every character is. You know generally where in the world they are from, what their outlook on life is like, and their personality quirks all within moments of meeting them. The design, voice and animation are all working together brilliantly to create characters that are clear and appealing. Makes them all that much more fun to kill.


  1. I have been using a Mac forever so I never really got into videogames. Until last month when I got my new intel based desktop. I installed bootcamp and xp just to try out Portal. The GlaDOS character in that game is amazing.

    TF2 came with the game and I tried it also. It is a great game. The design of the characters and environments is top notch but the way it renders is just beautiful for a video game.

    The excellent design in characters is more than just pretty also. The art direction helps you play the game since you can tell what classs a character is from far away.

    Also here is a great cgsociety article on the design.

  2. I saw one or two of these trailers a couple of months ago. The work that's gone into these on every level is amazing! Great design, great art, great acting and great animation, including the camera work and really smart editing.

    thanks for posting these!

  3. Those Valve guys are hard core. Some of the most inspiring stuff in video games in a long time. I think it's awesome you gave it a shout out here.

  4. Great post Victor. I'm a rabid fan of TF2, and these character intros are one of the many reasons why.

    As Rob said, Valve specifically designed each character class to have a very distinctive silhouette and attitude, so that no matter what the situation, the player knows what they're up against and can act accordingly.

    They chose a cartoony over-exaggerated style because based on Team Fortress Classic (TF2's predecessor) the gameplay action was so ridiculous and over the top at times, a photo real visual style just didn't fit the game.

    I love the style, because in game each of these characters come to life. They talk, yell, laugh maniacally, they even point at things and focus on other players with their eyes. It's all very dynamic, and in an online game environment, such interaction has never been done to a greater degree.

    The really cool thing about those meet the character videos is that they were all rendered in-engine in real time. Source is a powerful engine. These intros are only further proof.

  5. Thanks Victor! All the folks here at Valve working on these really appreciate the shout out.

  6. hey victor if you download the steam client you can get the videos to dl and keep in hi def. Man when i first say this version [ history of how the game progressed is online] I flipped out it looked like they took the incredibles and made a fps game outta it.
    Ps if you get steam you can get the videos in other languages

  7. Yeah, this is one of the best looking games around.

    Time Splitters 2 has some good cartoony animation also. I like that game just for the cutscenes :-D
    Unfortunately, it looks like they toned down the animation for the 3rd one :-(

    Personally, I hate the look of games that try to be photo-real and do not stylize their characters at all. To me, they look stiff and lifeless.

    The games themselves may be fun but the animation just doesn't look good.


  8. Lovely animations! As you said, you can really get a feel for each ones own unique personality. I gota say that "the engineer" one is brilliant!

    Thanks for this my friend :D