Team Fortress 2 remains one of the most popular games on Steam, despite its upcoming 15th anniversary of release. Unfortunately, for years the information on the game's card about the title being "constantly updated" with new content somewhat misses the truth. As in other similar cases, fans of the brand can only look for leaks about the mythical Heavy Update. Or they can take matters into their own hands. The latter option was chosen by the team at Amper Software, which works on porting Team Fortress 2 to a newer version of the Source engine. This was made possible by the early version of s&box, the Source 2-powered spiritual heir to the iconic Garry's Mod, being made available to selected fans.
The project, codenamed Team Fortress: Source 2 is a huge challenge, more difficult than many similar initiatives. Over the years of more or less modest updates to the old Source Engine, the source code for Team Fortress 2 has evolved into what gamers (including Source Film Maker users) commonly refer to as "Source spaghetti". It is for this reason (and the minimalist "team" currently overseeing TF2) the more bizarre bugs haven't been eliminated in years. Also, Amper Software has encountered some... interesting problems.
The goal of the developers is to faithfully recreate the entire Team Fortress 2 including some strange, but beloved by the players mechanics (including rocket jumps and other fun with the physics engine). In theory, Source 2 makes things easier for fans with its feature to convert content created on the first version of the engine, but the effects are such that many elements (including particle effects and so-called skyboxes) still need to be tweaked or even recreated manually. Even importing the relatively small Arena Well map proved to be quite an undertaking. Add to this the complication of numerous instances of hard-coding, for example for classes and weapons.
As you can see, just a faithful recreation of the basic Team Fortress 2 on Source 2 alone will keep the developers busy. And we also have to add custom weapons for each class (often with unique features like the futuristic Cow Mangler 5000) and taunts, not to mention more interesting gameplay mechanics. What's more, the developers are planning some improvements, such as a modernized HUD (visible on the screenshot above). Nevertheless, Amper Software assures that its members are ready to devote a lot of time (and probably also a big chunk of their sanity) to the project. Who knows, maybe their creation will gain recognition from Valve, just like many other fan initiatives? We keep our fingers crossed.