Happy 15th birthday Team Fortress

15 years ago this week, a team of mod authors released the first version of Team Fortress for id Software's first person shooter Quake. The mod was a team based multiplayer mode that involved several character classes and impressively designed levels and gameplay. This week, Valve is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the original Team Fortress with some special in-game items in the free-to-play stand alone sequel Team Fortress 2.

As announced on the Team Fortress 2 blog site, players will get a new birthday hat for the next 24 hours or so and a free noisemaker that can be used today but can only be used in the future on Team Fortress' birthday. Also, the game's ammo packs and health pack have been remodeled to look like cake and gifts.

The Quake version of Team Fortress was a huge hit online and caught the attention of Valve which was in the middle of making the original Half-Life. The development team hired the three creators of the mod. Just before the release of the original Half-Life, Valve announced that it would also release Team Fortress 2 as a stand alone game. In 1999, Valve released a mod for Half-Life called Team Fortress Classic which was basically a quick-and-dirty port of the original Quake mod. Valve later previewed Team Fortress 2 at E3 1999 which looked like a modern military shooter. However, Valve then put a cone of silence over Team Fortress 2's development for several years. In 2006 Valve finally revealed that it had changed the design and, more importantly, the visual look of Team Fortress 2, making the art style look like an illustrated cartoon. The game was finally released in 2007 as part of Valve's Orange Box collection. Since then Team Fortress 2 has had tons of content updates, all free for the PC version. Earlier this year Valve announced it was turning Team Fortress 2 into a free-to-play game.

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