Twenty Sided Steam Group

By Shamus Posted Monday Mar 30, 2009

Filed under: Notices 52 comments

It’s been great to meet so many of you folks in Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2. Thanks to everyone who joined the Twenty Sided group on Steam.

I am discovering the joys of Expert-level Left 4 Dead. I normally don’t enjoy lots of trial-and-error gameplay, and I really dislike games where you can be defeated by a run of bad luck, but these restrictions don’t seem to apply to Left 4 Dead. I’m convinced it’s the multiplayer aspect that makes it work so well. If it was just a single-player game then expert level would be a chore.

Last night I very nearly made it through Dead Air on expert. We had a very tough time in the level leading to the airport, enduring a complete wipe three times in the home stretch. It was frustrating, but it was the fun sort of frustrating that makes you want to jump back in and try again. Sadly, this delay pushed the game on too late, and by the final level I was struggling to keep my eyes open. I’d have liked to stick around and see how it turned out, but I was too wiped out to see the finale. When the tank killed me, I had to say good night. Thanks to Caliban for setting up the game. Hope you guys got rescued.

Also a reminder that the Twenty Sided L4D server is there for any of the 200 people who have joined the group. The advantage of the server is that you know you’ll end up in a game with other people from the site. The downside is that it doesn’t seem to have a lobby. The server just runs the same campaign at normal difficulty, and while MrTact gave me access to alter server settings and restart the thing, I don’t see anything that would simply allow us to make those sorts of decisions in-game.

Having demonstrated my ineptitude at running a server, I’m wondering how many people would be interested in a Team Fortress 2 server? Unlike the L4D server, we’d probably need to leave it open to the public to properly fill out the teams, but it would give us a common server to play on. Still, servers are reasonably priced and I’d be happy to set one up if I thought enough people were interested in much a thing.


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52 thoughts on “Twenty Sided Steam Group

  1. Rutskarn says:

    Team Fortress 2 server, eh? Hm.

    Well, I’m not sure it’d be as essential as an L4D server would be. By putting it out there for public players, it’d probably be just as difficult for 20-Sided players to rendezvous on as any other server.

    Still, if the majority consensus falls that way, I have one suggestion.

    You should consider leaving alltalk on. While I understand that it sometimes cuts down on strategy, I genuinely believe that it also contributes to the idea that we’re all just playing a game together. Nobody’s career or life is riding on the match–sharing awesome or bizarre experiences, as well as congratulations and friendly taunts, is a good way to ensure friendly competition.

  2. Danath says:

    Wow, nice, I dont think I have beaten Dead Air from beginning to end on expert myself yet (I usually end up joining a game in progress, and you dont get credit for that, same for Blood Harvest).

    Dang, I need to join up with you again, firey cans of goodness.

  3. Scott says:

    I would have to agree with Rutskarn, a public server for Twenty Sided would just be like any other public server. Might as well pick one out of a hat.

    Joining a server with full teams is easy enough, but joining a server with no douche-bags is nigh impossible. I’d take the latter any day.

  4. vdgmprgrmr says:

    Yes. TF2 server. I am loving this idea.

    I really should try and figure out how to join this Twenty-Sided group thingamacallit.

    Also, I ask of you, Shamus, where has your exceptional dislike of Steam gone? Before, you were all, “Steam requires online-ness and I are not liekz it!” and now you’re all, “Yeah, L4D, TF2, Twenty-Sided Steam group, yeah, woo, yeah!” Quite a change.

    It’s okay, though. I’m a fan of Steam. And Valve. And Va… Er… Yeah, Valve.

  5. lplimac says:

    Dead Air is the easiest of the finishes (I know, not saying much), but getting there is the second toughest, next to the Corn Field. I do so love having a Witch spawn in the stairway just before the second to last Safe House. Or a Tank. Or both. Good times, good times. On the 20 Sided server can a vote change the difficulty (or location)?

  6. Spluckor says:

    I’m pretty sure there are commands in console that can be used to change either the difficulty or the map in a left 4 dead server. It just puts it to a vote with the players.

    It’s also how you have to load up the player made maps that have come out, which are fun but slightly rediculous on expert.

    I swear everything you do in one of those maps summons a horde. If I stepped on an ant a horde would be summoned. Shoot a boomer across the map and nobody gets hit by it, still summons a horde. Also all the hordes decide to summon another horde. It was a nightmare….but some of the most fun I’ve had in that game in ages.

  7. Mad Flavius says:

    I would love a TF2 server, personally. And while I do understand that opening up to the public would be both necessary and somewhat regrettable, I think we should have reserved slots for members of the Twenty Sided group. That way, we never have to worry about connecting (unless for some strange and awesome reason it’s filled with blog readers). One of my biggest frustrations in playing TF2 is that I love playing with my friend, Doc Kirzner, and he and I have to exercise unbelievably quick timing to get into some of the more heavily used (and often lower latency, which seems contrary but seems to be accurate–I guess server [technobabble that describes a “better” server]?) servers together. And don’t even get me started on the finagling to get on the same team.

    In short, TF2 server = very yes, even without reserved slots. But with slots….the awesome commenceth.

  8. RPharazon says:

    I would love a TF2 server. Finding a good server (especially a good non-pub) is extremely hard these days simply because there are so many of them.

    Maybe reserved slots and a pseudo-clan for Twenty-Sided members would be nice as well!

  9. Julian says:

    Can TF2 servers be password-protected? That way you’d keep the general public out of the game, and make sure only readers of this site can access it. Something nice and narcissist, like “ShamusIsTehRox”

  10. mixmastermind says:

    A TF2 Server would be awesome, because I don’t own L4D.

    Also, I’m exactly the 200th member. And that is awesome.

  11. macrovore says:

    I would be all for a TF2 server. Unfortunately, though, I won’t be able to play on it until after Easter, as I gave up video/computer games for lent. But afterwards, I would love to play a lot of TF2.

  12. xbolt says:

    I don’t own L4D, but I do have TF2.

    Ergo Ipso Facto. ;)

    1. Shamus says:

      Thanks for all the great suggestions. I’m still planning if / when but the more feed back I get beforehand, the better.

      One idea might be to have the server open during the week, but have a Friday & Saturday group-only night. That might be a good time to turn on alltalk as well.

      Although, reserved slots would be good. I guess I need to research a bit to see how it works.

  13. Volatar says:

    I would totally love a TF2 server (also don’t have L4D here, not for lack of want)

  14. Kdansky says:

    I do not own L4D, but I play TF2 from time to time. I don’t think a server makes a lot of sense, since you really need more at least 12 players on it or nobody will join. Still, I’d play with you guys :P

    I’m just not sure if it would really work out. But if you want to try it and can spare the money? I’m in.

  15. Fizban says:

    Another TF2/no L4D person here, I’d join up to TF2 with you guys.

    Edit: wha? My wavatar seems to have changed. Shows how long it’s been since my last post.

  16. Kdansky says:

    I will probably buy L4D after my next PC-upgrade, but my current machine will probably not handle it very well. Zombie shooters without shadows, fog or resolution above 640×480 are just not that scary.

  17. I would absolutely love to play on a Twenty Sided TF2 server.


  18. Caliban says:

    Sadly, we didn’t make it on that run Shamus. The other two got taken out by the 2nd tank, and a hunter got me just as the rescue plane doors finished opening.

    I was tired as well, and took break after that. I’m usually up for a game on Monday and Tuesday evenings, some Friday and Saturday mornings, and on Sundays. Look forward to playing with you again. :)

  19. lazybratsche says:

    Another vote for a TF2 server. I just picked up the Orange Box mostly for Portal (fwiw… another example where I pirated it a while ago when I was broke and in college, and now that I have disposable income I bought it to replay.)

    Anyways, I haven’t had a chance to get into TF2 yet, and I’d love to have a server with minimal douchebaggery while I’m still getting my feet wet.

  20. Randy Johnson says:

    There is a way to connect to a single server from the lobby.

    First type sv_cheats 1 into YOUR Console IF your the LOBBY LEADER.

    Don’t worry about this enabling cheats on the server this gets disabled the moment you connect to the server.

    Next Type this command.

    ms_force_dedicated_server ((Server’s IP format

    This will tell the Lobby search engine to search for this server and ONLY this server.
    And as long as its empty it will connect.

  21. Adeon says:

    A twenty sided TF2 server would be fun. A Friday/Saturday night members only event would probably be the best compromise between making sure there are enough for a game while allowing members easy access.

  22. Danath says:

    Dead Air is in my opinion the hardest, with the worst finale (if you dont abuse the defensive room). The corn field, you send one person as bait, when the horde comes, they run back to the cliff face and everyone else protects em, works pretty well.

  23. gelles says:

    I’ve got TF2 and L4d. And one day I’ll get over my shyness and actually play them. :)

  24. Nico says:

    I’m yet another guy who got the orange box for portal, haven’t played TF2 a whole lot, and don’t have L4D.

    So yeah, I’d definitely play on a TF2 TS server.

  25. Edtopia says:

    I’d probably play on a TF2 server, because people here seem pretty cool.

  26. Ell Jay says:

    The fear of playing with the great unwashed online is what keeps me from getting into my Orange Box TF2. A common place with some STANDARDS might get me into it, at least until I have the hang of it enough to carry my weight.

  27. Luke Maciak says:

    Another vote for TF2 server. I don’t own L4D, but I do have TF2 and I’d love to play that game with some civilized folk for a change. :)

  28. macrovore says:

    Well, if we did have the server, what sort of maps would we do? Cycle out everything, or vote on our favorite 3 or 4 to run through? (Turbine, 2fort, badwater basin, gravelpit)

    And how would we do the members-only thing? password-protect it on those days? or do group servers have special options for members-only?

  29. Dihydrogen says:

    I’d play on a TF2 server. Map voting would be good, or just all Valve maps (by that I mean all maps that come with the game, not necessarily made by Valve). I don’t think just having four maps in our rotation would go over well, especially with a server clearer like 2fort.

    I think the public server with private Fridays and Saturdays sounds good Shamus. Although, it would depend greatly on if enough people were free then.

  30. Mad Flavius says:

    I love the strategic aspect of 2fort, but whenever I log on, the one good server that runs it is always full to capacity. I’d love a map cycle of 2fort, badwater, gravelpit…honestly, any of them. I’m just excited about this whole prospect.

  31. Rutskarn says:

    I actually strongly dislike 2Fort, meself.

    Doesn’t seem to me that TF2 is built for that kind of gameplay.

    1. Shamus says:

      I’m crazy about any game that has you pushing the cart. I can’t remember which maps those are. The non-cart-pushing maps are much less fun.

      Then again, I’ve clocked 5.5 hours with the game, 5.4 of which were as a medic. So it’s not like I have this deep and diverse view of the gameplay yet.

  32. TainInfernus says:

    I know that it’s possible to set up a Search Key for the server, so that you can just create a lobby, go into the console, type “sv_search_key ” and when you hit play, it will restart the server with that search key and start the configured game.
    I don’t know how to set up the search key, however.

  33. MrTact says:

    The problem with not being able to change game settings is that the matchmaking UI is ass. In order to set up a game to your liking:

    1. Start a game.
    2. Hit ESC and choose “quit to lobby” (or something that says “lobby,” anyway)

    Once there you can set the game up however you want.

  34. vdeogmer says:

    Payload is the gametype you’re thinking of. It’s also my favorite, it provides a clear focus for the combat at all times.

  35. Coconut says:

    Another vote for a tf2 server! I would be playing with you guys on the l4d server, but my compy cant run it so i got it for the 360 :-/, But i would be all over having a tf2 server

  36. RichVR says:

    I have TF2 and haven’t played it because I despise the cretins that flock to it. I would probably join the Twenty Sided group and play it for the first time if you started a server.

  37. Abnaxis says:

    I would definitely definitely play on a TF2 server. I played it for a long time with my friend on his clan’s server, but since he quit I’ve found the other people on the server too obnoxious to put up with

    I didn’t realize there was a steam group for twenty sided. How do I join? The link isn’t taking me anywhere….

    1. Shamus says:

      Abnaxis: Whoops, my bad. Link is fixed.

      Here also I have provided the link in a you-don’t-have-to-scroll-all-the-way-to-the-top form:

  38. Jiki says:

    So … both those servers are/would be located in the US, right? Which would be sad …. but quite understandable, I figure.

  39. Abnaxis says:

    Sweet! And…joined!

    For my part, I always liked capturing control points in TF2. I’m a lot better at evasive action than I am at shooting stuff (there really is an art to dodging that most people miss, I think), so I usually charge in as a scout and grab points no others think are impossible.

  40. Groboclown says:

    There are server mods you can get that allow for remote admin of the server, and for features like “vote_map” that allows for any player to allow the logged-in players to vote for a new map. Another good one is a Team Scrambler, for when it seems there’s a Plan C in effect (“when plan A and plan B fail, fall back on plan C: team stacking”).

    Unfortunately, I’ve only played on servers, and never hosted one myself, so I have no idea how to go about doing this. A quick search brought up

  41. Dodds says:

    Another vote for a TF2 Server, especially with a members only night on Fri/Sat.

  42. RTBones says:

    *Joined* Woo-hoo!

    Not played either game, though I do have TF2, and L4D sounds like a blast (at least with this group of folks, anyway.) A Fri/Sat night game would be fantastic.

  43. RichVR says:

    Joined. At least I think I did…

  44. Spider Dave says:

    I would defs go for a TF2 server. It’s one of my favorite games.

  45. Marauder says:

    I forget what the key is, but when I was running a private server for a couple of my friends I remember us being able to “cast a vote” to change difficulty/campaign. I’ll look to see what I did…

    Found it. Check out

    “listissues” will list all issues that can go up for a vote.
    “callvote” will call a vote on an issue (such as difficulty or map).

    I believe these can be entered into the console by any player.

  46. Shamus – the official “Payload” maps, as they are called, are Goldrush and Badwater Basin, the latter being the far superior one. I’m not sure what good community pl_ maps there are besides Badwater.


  47. Fizban says:

    Also joined. Though I don’t know how it did it when I wasn’t logged in at the time.

  48. Vladius says:

    Any chance of a World in Conflict server?

  49. Irridium says:

    Shamus, you wouldn’t happen to have any counter-strike: scource or day of defeat: scource servers would you?

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