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#1 Technological Achievements in the TF2 Community in TF2 General Discussion

Hi all, I was reminiscing about early TF2, and of course TF2 Lobby came up. TF2 Lobby, for those who don't know, was a 6v6/9v9 matchmaking website, which came out roughly 15 years ago, in around 2009/2010. It was TF2 Center's precursor (if that is still a thing).

Anyway. The state of web technology was quite different in 2009. To create a real-time interactive website with the functionality of TF2Lobby would have been a significant undertaking.

I'm really curious, does anyone know who created it? Their background? Were they a hobbyist, professional programmer, student? How were they so skilled? Was TF2Lobby just a side project? What was the tech stack, vanilla javascript or Jquery I'm assuming. What are they up to now?

If anyone knows, please say so in this thread or send me a teamfortress.tv DM, I will try to check. And if anyone has any other details about early technology in the TF2 community I'm very curious, this is the thread for it. There were a few other interesting things, like the #pugna bot, TF2 Center (obviously), some of the early item trading websites, server mods...

posted 2 months ago
#27 TF bots can airstrafe. in Customization

While we're on nav meshes and airstrafes, this touches on some quite interesting problems in video games and also robotics more broadly.

If you create a map, there are clearly some areas that are not traversible. A human player can find them easily by visual inspection, or by colliding. And we have millions of years of intuition about navigating through 3d space. But how could a robot know which areas those are?

TF2 solves this problem by computing a nav mesh, which is basically a big list of polygons that are "cells," in a datastructure called a graph. Each graph node (a polygon) has some edges that connect it to other nodes (neighboring polygons). Then, if you wanted to navigate from one point to another, you can traverse the graph using an algorithm like A*, which will create an optimal (least distance) path from one point in the graph to another -- and hence, one polygon location in space to another.

If you have ever typed nav_generate on a tf2 map to make a navmesh, you will notice that this task takes your computer several seconds. That's because it has to split the map into a bunch of tiny, probably triangular polygons, with nodes and edges representing how they are joined. Then, when the bots navigate, they can just call an A* algorithm according to their combat logic to move around.

So that is probably how the bots in TF2 move around: precompute a nav-mesh, then do A* (or a variant of A*, there are many). Although I haven't seen the secret sauce.

But there's a special property about robots called holonomicity. Basically, holonomicity says that the movement of the bot through the space does not depend on it's current position. An example of holonomic movement (at least on the 2-D plane) is the bots; you can press WAS or D, and you can stop on a dime and turn completely around regardless of where you are moving. This property makes path planning much more simple, because you don't need to worry about your current velocity vector (or higher order derivatives) when computing your future path. Non-holonomic path planning is much much harder, though: think of an airplane traveling through the air. That is a non-holonomic vehicle. If you want to move from your current position to the position that is just 1 meter to your right in an airplane, you might need to make a series of complicated turns and maneuvers -- you can't just like press a button and move sideways!

If your position at t=1 depends on your velocity and position at t=0, then some areas become inaccessible depending on your velocity at t=0. And, not only that, but the path you take from t=0 to t=1 actually affects your velocity, then if you want to say "I can get from point x0, y0 to point x1, y1" you need to compute many many velocity/position pairs. In fact, you need to compute so many velocity/position pairs that the problem is NP hard at least -- probably worse than NP hard. That isn't even to speak of collision calculation!

So, airstrafing. Airstrafing introduces non-holonomicity. Why? Because during a strafe, you are set to move through the air according to how you jumped or got bounced. Like the airplane, you can't just press "S" and move left of where you are; you have to alter your heading, and then actuate with a movement key, which changes your velocity vector a little bit, and then you're at a new position, thusly influenced.

And even still, there are some areas that are inaccessible to you in an airstrafe. You can't move in like an L pattern for example, like with a sharp bend, there has to be some minimum curvature. Probably, the equations of motion of an airstrafe have some derivative (velocity is the derivative of position, acceleration the derivative of velocity, etc) terms. Which means that an L shape path would violate your equations of motion, as it is not differentiable! You can move through an L-shaped path on the ground: press W for a bit, then S. Not so in the air!

I suspect this is why airstrafing is so interesting and fun as a game mechanic: your motion during an airstrafe is just so much more complex, and it's so much more difficult to find paths, because of all of the aforementioned factors.

posted about 2 years ago
#6 covid-19 = more time to play tf2? in TF2 General Discussion

i've been gaming

posted about 4 years ago
#22 Extreme sports? in Off Topic

i have been known to be pretty extreme at times


posted about 6 years ago
#10 Colleges, majors, and stuff in Off Topic
jetzzzzzif u dont know what ur studying u should probably hold off on college

This can actually be great advice.

I dropped out of college my first year. After a year or two doing nothing, I found work, and wound up working so hard (heh) and being so good at my job (heh) that I owned the company after a couple of years. The education I recieved doing that was far more valuable than what I would have gone into debt for in school -- and it paid me! I've talked to a few of my high school classmates and they are going to grad school now because they "don't know what else to do." Yikes.

My advice:
If you have a connection with anyone in an "interesting" industry -- like, the type of thing that you would go to college to do, not Wendy's -- ask them if you can work or intern for them for a while. It will help you to understand what the working world is like. If your parents, uncles, friends' parents, etc. do anything "interesting," ASK them if they would hire you. Do you know anyone like this? Anyone who works an interesting job? Like a wind power repair technician, or an accountant, or a construction manager? Ask them if you can work for them for a few months, just to see what their field is like. You will not fall in love with their career and discover your inner passion, but you will figure out what you DON'T want to do. It's a big if though -- don't just get a burnout job just to dope around and play video games.

Do not go into debt financing an education to "find urself." College is a little bit scammy for advertising that and saying that you can figure it all out later. You do not want to graduate in 5.5 years with a bachelor's, no work experience, and in heavy debt. And for some people, it can take 4 years to figure out what they really want. It did for me!

posted about 6 years ago
#26 hurricane irma in World Events
manskirtAll_Over_RSisnt kurt eichenwald the guy who watches hentai with his kids?https://i.redd.it/gxuapqh1ye2z.png

good taste tbh

posted about 6 years ago
#149 Whats your honest opinion on b4nny? in TF2 General Discussion

met him at lan, he's a chill guy


posted about 6 years ago
#14 The Engineer in TF2 General Discussion

i believe engineer has the best voice acting in the whole game.

fucks sake guys, we need to make him more viable.

i would start by moving that gear up.

posted about 6 years ago
#18 what is up my dudes in Off Topic


posted about 7 years ago
#16 what is up my dudes in Off Topic
Reeroass or tits?

i take what i can get

posted about 7 years ago
#13 what is up my dudes in Off Topic
radiummiwo, what's up man? how's business going for you?

business is totally going. I've been told we are having a slow year. I've put my position on hold while I'm in school so I'm doing a lot less work for the firm these days. my partners love it because they're making loads more while I'm gone. but honestly it's nice. school kind of rules (also, kind of sucks) compared to work.

poopsharkvalidate my tatsuro yamashita obsession

tatsuro yamashita is amazing!! kind of. very hit or miss & his hits are amazing. ALSO in my research i have found that a lot LOT of those city pop producers were all copying each other more or less during that period so there are actually quite a few tatsuro yamashita like knockoffs, its pretty funny.

overall for a yamashita lover i would say check out sunshower by taeko onuki (earlier and shared producers) and toshiki kadomatsu (a contemporary of TY and kind of a copycat but still good)

posted about 7 years ago
#10 what is up my dudes in Off Topic
Lunacidehey miwo whats up my dude

can you recommend me some cool japanese music like ryuichi sakamoto, i really liked thousand knives

YES dude. sakamoto made a lot of music for YMO but you have probably checked them out.

i discovered this artist named 井上鑑 they have a song called "the beat of pollution" from their album called 架空庭園論, cannot read rune. but the song is that similar style to sakamoto.

hiroshi sato and haruomi hosono was also in that circle of artists that were doing YMO style things in the 80s. honestly ryuichi sakamoto has a very unique sound. i would say check out this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxvjXDAfPhk

not sure how much you like funky japanese music, i got really heavy into makoto matushita after listening to a lot of YMO, my taste trends towards the disco type stuff.

posted about 7 years ago
#7 what is up my dudes in Off Topic

pretty excellent dude. actually GREAT. gotten in good shape. good vibes

also i never told you this but i am a big fan of THEBILLDOZER posts every time i read them on here

posted about 7 years ago
#5 what is up my dudes in Off Topic
burkole return : o


toads_tfh-h-hey there mr. sun! it would appear that for some people, you yourself are in fact what is up! although i certainly can't say the same thing for myself, I thought you might want to know

had to read this three times but yeah definitely, it's kind of dark here and the sun is going down

you guys ever get this feeling where you're bored enough to want to play games but you don't want to actually do it

posted about 7 years ago
#1 what is up my dudes in Off Topic


what is going on

posted about 7 years ago
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