Between an Android-based handheld device that streams Steam games and a reported Linux-based living room device that, ah, plays Steam games, you could have been forgiven for cheekily dubbing us PC Games ‘n’ Hardware this morning. But to paraphrase the Ting Tings, that’s not our name. Rather, the site alias I’m pushing this afternoon is PC Games ‘n’ Heart. It begins with the touching news from Valve that TF2 map makers are likely to be better rewarded for their work from now on.
“Though we think we’ve done a good job rewarding community contributors who make cosmetics and weapons, we could definitely do more for TF’s diligent, underappreciated map makers,” said the Team Fortress dev team on their blog.
To that end, Valve are introducing two new payment-promoting schemes to the game.
The first will give players the ability to spawn a trail of large stamps by taunting in a community map they’ve contributed to. Map stamps are ordinarily found on sale in the Mann Co. Store, and correspond to a particular map. All proceeds for stamp sales go to a map’s creators.
Valve will now also track hours played and contributions made to each map in TF2’s store. What’s more, the game will occasionally “gently” prompt players in-store to contribute to their most-played maps.
The second scheme will see map-specific strange weapon filters added to the store. They’ll let you set your strange weapons to only track events on specific community maps.
“For instance, if you only care about kills on ‘Yukon’, you can change the filter on your shotgun to just capture that,” explain Valve. “When filtering stats for a weapon, you’ll also get a custom rank modifier. So, in the aforementioned ‘Yukon’ example, you’d now have a ‘Strange Canadian Shotgun’.”
Why bother? The idea is to let diehard fans of community maps track their stats and promote their choice on other maps.
The result should be a much more visible way to pay back community map makers. And luckily,Valve are clearly aware of the difficult balance they’ll need to strike between friendly promotion and widespread irritation. How well do you think it’ll work in execution?