We hope you already watched the hilarious Meet The Pyro video from Valve. It was made using Team Fortress 2 characters in Valve's Source Filmmaker (SFM) tool, which is just now becoming available in closed beta. (Invites can be requested at the official site.) There's been a bootleg, lower-quality version of the SFM available for awhile, but this new release is official, legit, and amazing. There are no wireframes or pre-rendering going on, as demonstrated by the walkthrough at the end of this post.
"The goal of the SFM was to develop a story telling tool that allowed us to create computer animated movies more efficiently, and with greater creative freedom," said Bay Raitt, designer at Valve. "Over the past five years, we’ve produced more than 50 animated shorts with the SFM. The Source Filmmaker will allow our community to create their own movies in Team Fortress 2 and in their own Source SDK-created mods." [Rock Paper Shotgun]
While most game companies are trying to squeeze money out of us with release date DLC, in-game purchases, and other schemes, Valve went and gave away a gaming-grade engine for story-telling. For free. And you can already see some of the funny, fan-made results below.
Thanks to PCGamer and Engadget for five out of the following fourteen videos. The other nine we found ourselves, and many of them were made with the older, bootleg version of SFM but were too funny to overlook. Brace yourselves. It's about to get silly.
UPDATE: One more perfectly appropriate video (via Kotaku) is now at the end of this slideshow. SH-T JUST GOT REAL.
This one's my favorite. We finally get to see what's under Pyro's mask, and it's unspeakably cruel trolling.
This one wasn't made with the official version of SFM, but it was too good not to share:
And finally, here's the official introduction video from Valve: