The Team Fortress 2 Interview: The Evolution is a Game Informer article, talking to Valve's Robin Walker, Charlie Brown and Doug Lombardi about the class based multiplayer game to be included with Half-Life 2: Episode Two. There hasn't really been a whole lot of info on the game so far, but this interview should help.
We spent a lot of time focusing on better ways of making the game accessible. I really want to make sure people don't confuse this with trying to simplifying the game. We felt that was the wrong approach. Instead we tried to find out ways to help people understand what was going on. Probably the best way to explain this is to point to specific features. The freeze-cam feature, when you die. We did a lot of play testing, and one thing we saw in TFC and other multiplayer games was the general confusion about death. A new player often dies. If we bring in a new player in and make him play any multiplayer game today usually he'll die a few times and not really know what killed him. What we tried to do is eliminate that kind of problem. What are the problems new players face when they play these kinds of games, and how do we solve them specifically? "Who killed me? Why did I die?" We want to say, you died, here's the person who killed you. Here's what he killed you with. So on. We take that opportunity to tell you things Â– hey look you're getting better at thingsÂ—which is the stat panel. The persistent stats. All these things are about solving this core problem. Our approach to dealing with all these new players was to try and help them walk them through the game so they understood every step of the way what was going on. How they were doing, how they were getting better and so on.
Charlie Brown picks the best Christmas trees.
I'm looking forward to this almost as much as Ep 2. :)