Valve bring Saxxy back for third year of TF2 video contest

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We very rarely make the decision to back up the PCGamesN News Van – the beep it makes is embarrassing, and reminds us of that awful Kevin Bacon ad with the conga line (no degree of separation is far enough away from that man).

But last week we missed Valve announcing the return of the Saxxys, and that won’t do.

Last year’s awards prompted the creation of some marvellous entries across the Comedy, Replay, Action and Drama categories, and all just a few months after Valve’s Source Filmmaker software was released to the public. Now the TF2 community have lived for an entire year in the company of the toolset used to build those fabulous Meet the Team videos, and the Filmmaker lot are terribly excited to see whether the cohabitation has been explosive as that of Heavy and Merasmus.

“After all the amazing videos from last year, we couldn’t not host another Saxxy Awards!,” they wrote.

The new year has prompted a game of category switcheroo in the name of improving the contest, however. The Replay category has been removed entirely, as Valve have decided that the Saxxys are all about storytelling, not skillshots (or even TF2, necessarily). What’s more, the Original IP category has been merged into its fellows.

“Our goal with that category last year was to encourage you to create new maps, models, textures, and sounds,” explained the Filmmaker team. “Looking at the SFM workshop, as well as the various internet forums and download sites, it looks like that’s something you’re all already working on.”

Finally, a new Short category has been inaugurated to encourage existing creators to edit flabbier entries down to a minute or less, or new creators to rise to the challenge of a short-form debut.

“One minute may not seem like much time, but when you have to animate all 1800 frames of it yourself, it starts to feel like plenty,” Valve warned. “Remember that the first six Meet the Team videos up through Meet The Sniper were only one and a half minutes each, and the Aperture Investment Opportunity shorts were anywhere from 45 seconds to just over a minute.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the quality you can achieve when you’re focused on a shorter experience.”

Submissions will be accepted from 4pm, November 11 until the same time November 18 – though Valve encourage early submission to avoid power cut or time zone-induced disappointment. Do you think you might enter this year?

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