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New SteamPipe System for TF2
Written by Unknown and translated by Unknown on 29.04.2013 Time 22:06

01.05.2013 12:10am THE STEAMPIPE CONVERTION HAS BEEN RELEASED! As soon as you start Team Fotress 2, the convertion begins.

Valve converted Team Fortress 2 for the new SteamPipe System on Tuesday, April 30th 2013.

This convertion will take a fair bit of your time (depends on your internet connection) and will use some Hard Drive space(the covertion begins when you start Team Fortress 2).

Steam Pipe


What is Steam Pipe?

SteamPipe is a completely new Content Distribution by Valve for all the games with the Source Engine. It is supposed to make TF2 faster. According to the official SteamPipe FAQ, the following advantages will be to your benefit:


  • faster and more fluid download of Server-Game-Files (eg maps, sounds)
  • faster start of the game and shorter map loading time
  • a more simple distribution, installation and management of mods (eg skins, sounds, HUDs)
  • faster Dedicated Server Distribution and Update extension


Currently, the files are in this folder:

.../STEAM/steamapps/yourname/Team Fortress 2/tf2

After the convertion, there will be a new folder keeping your files:

.../STEAM/steamapps/common/Team Fortress 2/

Moreover, there will be no more .GCF files. Similar to CS:GO and DOTA 2, TF2 will use the new VPK files.

VPK Dateien are basically comparable to.zip archives: they contain several files that can be exported, changed and imported with programmes such as GCFScape or with the upcoming VPK tool.


What is the advantage of VPK files?

The advantage of VPK files lies in the prompt of the game files. Right now, the engine needs to search for the correct path of the custom files. Only after that, the Steam-GCF files can be opened with the repsective game files. Depending on the amount of game files, this can take a while. Though, if all the files can be found directly in VPK files, the enginge can work more efficiently. This results in a faster connection to the server.


What do I have to do before the convertion?

I personally would recomment saving all the currently installed custon fules ( that means all the additional skins, mods HUDs, scripts and so on) and maps in a different backup folder, since they may be deleted during the convertion. However, they should be moved automatically in the repsective new folder ...common/tf2/downloads abgespeichert sein.


What do I have to do after the convertion?

Actually nothing at all, but playing the game. Gameserver-Admins should read throught the official SteamPipe-for-Serveradmins FAQ, since you have to install a new tool for updates & Co.


How do I get the skins and mods back into the game?

It may be a bit hard to undrstand right now, but actually is is rather simple:

  1. Move the respective folder with the custom files (eg the folder "newMedicBeam" with the effect files) in the new directory ...STEAM/steamapps/common/Team Fortress 2/tf/custom.
  2. Open the directory .../common/Team Fortress 2/bin in a new window. There is the VPK Tool.
  3. Drop every custom folder on the VPK.exe and a new .VPK file will be created in the custom folder.
  4. After all VPKs have been created, you can deleted the original Mod folder.


It is important that the folder strutucre of the mod folders is correct!

In the case of Medic Beams, the structure would look like this:

NewMedicBeams - materials - effects - medicbeam_curl.vtf




Text-Tutorial: TFPORTAL FAQ(german)


Have fun and a nice weekend!


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