Boy, this one is a doozy. There's a lot of HUD files to go through here, so take the time to read and understand what needs doing to fix any issues you may be experiencing.
This time around, check out this diff report from Tewgon for in-depth file changes.
Right, let's first dive into the files:
REQUIRED CUSTOM HUD VERSIONING
With this new update comes an absolutely vital and required new system for keeping HUDs update safe. Valve have added a file that gets read alongside the HUD, simply named info.vdf. The inside of the file looks like this:
I've made quite a few changes to the site today, which were posted on Twitter (you should follow that). One that wasn't mentioned was being able to donate to HUD developers for their HUD contributions, because I wanted to make a bigger post about it.
If you've ever thought "Dude, I love this HUD. I wish I could give something back to the Developer for putting time into it", then you're in luck. If that luck is you paying real life money to a real life person. If you've never thought that, fair enough. I guess.
If the HUD developer has enabled it, users can now donate to them via the Donate to Paypal button, which you can find on the More Information tab on any of their HUD submissions. Users have the ability to donate as little as they wish, as to not force a fixed rate. Donations can only be done by Paypal currently, but TF2 item donations may come in the future.
The nice thing about this is that huds.tf doesn't take any kind of commission for these donations. All the money (minus Paypal fees) goes towards the HUD Developer directly. huds.tf doesn't see a penny of your donations. Unless you donate to any HUD that I've submitted. There's no way to avoid that.
Developers: you can enable Paypal donations by going to your HUD page, clicking the Update/Edit HUD button and filling out the appropriate form fields. However, huds.tf is not responsible for any chargebacks that may happen through donations, and are not responsible for any issues you may have through yourself, the donator, and/or Paypal.
This may not be a permanent feature, however. We'll just have to see how well received it is and the feedback we get.
EDIT: Donating to a HUD Developer directly does not give you a special status on huds.tf, as donations don't go through us at all. Thought I'd clear that up now rather than get more questions about it.
Old HUD Directory
As was mentioned when the new HUD Directory and Submission System was made live, the Old HUD Directory has now been retired and is gone from the site completely. This includes all old HUD pages, and for the time being, the HUD Archive. However, I am going to bring back the HUD Archive real soon, it's not going to be a completely deleted feature, don't you worry.
A problem I came across while going through with retiring the old pages was redirects. Google searches still showed old HUD pages, many of which have not been brought across to the new system. So, I've redirected all the old HUD pages to their new pages with old style links. For example, huds.tf/rayshud will take you to rayshud. No need for HUD Developers to change any existing links they had.
Older HUDs that have not been submitted, such as e.v.e HUD, have been redirected to the HUD Directory for the time being. Once older HUDs are resubmitted, their URL redirects will be changed to their newly submitted pages.
Your say on Submissions
I tend to take a look at the HUD Directory very regularly in detailed fashion. I primarily take a look at comments that HUDs are receiving, and one comment I've noticed appear across multiple HUDs is that "this HUD should not be on huds.tf".
One recipient of this feedback is RebelHUD, which is an updated PVHUD with a different name. It is credited correctly and even states on it's Credits: "If the creators of PVHUD ever request for me to take down this HUD I will."
Comments on this HUD in particular motivated me to push an update to HUD pages so HUDs could be reported easier. The reason being is that I want direct feedback from users about their concerns with HUDs that are being submitted to been seen properly, so I can get that feedback sooner and see what I can do to work on their comments. In this particular case, "edits of huds and not actual huds" seems to be the main theme. Let me address this case now and explain why RebelHUD hasn't been removed as of yet.
RebelHUD doesn't actually break any rules, especially in terms of credit. It was submitted as a PVHUD update (with a different name, which yes, isn't the most courteous move, I agree), and because PVHUD has not been submitted on huds.tf officially yet, I accepted the submission. RebelHUD lends itself out to users in a similar way to broeselhud_blue, to give users a similar HUD to one that used to exist that isn't supported by updates anyway. Many people have pointed out to me that slimHUD offers itself as a PVHUD update, but in the description of that particular HUD, it clearly states, "Based on Broesel's hud".
The thing that users love so much about huds.tf is the quality control behind the HUDs that are featured, and I understand that, of course. However, with the new system, there's a lot more freedom for the users to be the absolute defining choice behind what is good and what isn't. There is a ratings system. There are view counts. There are download counts. There is a comments system. All of these things are here for users to display what is and isn't decent quality. That's not to say I let any HUD through the system, though. At the time of writing, I've declined at least 6 HUDs for quality issues. I declined a ToonHUD color edit that changed the primary color to pink. I'm not just letting any old bullshit through; I'm accepting HUDs that users would want. Users want a PVHUD. I know this from the amount of searches of "huds.tf/pvhud" and "pvhud huds.tf" that come through the site stats.
Those are my views on the subject matter, but I really want to hear what you guys have to say on it. If you don't want to make your views on the matter public, you can send me a Private Message anytime.
I want to improve huds.tf by making sure users look at the HUD Directory and find something they like, but I also want to make it fair for HUD Developers who pump in hard work to create and maintain the HUDs that are featured. I honestly think I've struck that balance, but if you have suggestions otherwise, I want to hear them, please.
One last thing: there may be a Major Team Fortress 2 Update coming real soon, so the next news post will probably be covering that.
Cheers for reading this wall of text.