Thu May 19 02:36:28 PDT 2011
Recently, Valve added replay functionality to TF2. The above video is 47 seconds of me failing to do anything of value at all, then dying. If you, for some reason, want to download a 243 megabyte file of that, rather than just watching it on Youtube, you can.
The Replay update seems to just be a better UI frontend to the existing demo recording and Source Filmmaker program. (Responsible for the pretty good, Valve-created, Meet The Team series; and the pretty stupid, fan-created, nope.avi.) "Better", but not "great"; the replay feature has to, by definition, be able to edit video, which can charitably be described as a fiendishly hard unsolved problem, with a bunch of different competing UI metaphors in use. Valve doesn't quite nail it, so editing is a bit fiddly and non-intuitive, which might account for the... unpolished feel of the above video. Yes, that's right. Entirely the fault of the tools, uh huh.
Heck if I know why they made this update, besides "because the old tools were kinda crappy", and "for the heck of it." Well, except that the proximate result of letting your users edit together movies of your game and upload them directly to youtube is piles and piles of free advertising. Other than that, nuthin'.