Left 4 Dead Update Next Week

By Chris Faylor, Jun 20, 2009 5:09am PDT Through the Left 4 Dead Blog, Valve has announced it will release a new update for its zombie shooter some time next week.

Focusing on custom campaigns, the update will provide mod authors with non-beta mod tools, which will now include source files for all of Valve's campaign maps, along with an example campaign add-on tutorial map.

The update will also allow content creators to use a new framework that will package their campaign content into a single .VPK file. These can then be installed by double clicking on them, or dropping them into Left 4 Dead's new 'addons' folder.

Lastly the update will rework the game's matchmaking system, providing support for these custom campaigns, while also making it easier to create a lobby.

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21 Threads | 155 Comments*

  • Many people see things very differently than myself and the rest of the enthusiasts who seem to have an issue with L4D2. I think its that casual view, I payed for some content, enjoyed that content and I should be willing to pay for more content, don't be cheap they say.

    But that's not looking at the big picture. First, I'm not arguing that this content is not worth my money. I just don't want another game, another exe to launch. It breaks up the community and limits mod development. It really seems to be the most inefficient way at improving the gameplay experience for everyone invested in the game and just another yearly cash grab like Call of Duty or Madden football.

    A lot of people including myself bought L4D not for what it was, but what it could be. What a company like Valve could mold it into with a couple years of steady updates akin to TF2 which they had promised to do. This propelled me to buy 2 copies of L4D and recommend to everyone I know to buy the game as well. A game sparser in content than TF2 but which sold for more than twice its price. But this is Valve and content will obviously be coming, so we put our doubts aside and bought it anyways.

    The fact that L4D was released in a somewhat unfinished state does not help their case as well. The only content released so far just updated the game to where it should have been on release day. I also doubt a full set of modding tools will ever be released because if they did, modders would just take the L4D2 campaigns and bring them to L4D free for all.

    I think another reason many pc gaming enthusiasts were so upset is because of console gaming slowly eroding what we loved about our hobby. L4D from the beginning was obviously made with consoles in mind. The console version just gets in the way of gameplay improving updates. What few seem to realize is that it can be profitable (at least on the PC) to build a single game, release that game and keep working on improving that game. The more players you keep coming back, the more they will encourage their friends to buy the game, the more they will promote the game for you and the bigger the community will grow. Its not rocket science to know that making your customers happy will increase revenue over the long term.

    Valve needs to just continue to work on L4D. They should bring all the updates, new special infected, new weapons, improved AI, and updated gameplay mode to the first 4 campaigns free of charge. Than charge $25 for the 5 new campaigns and the new survivors that go with them. For anyone new to L4D just sell them all the content for $50.

    Almost everyone on my Steam list has L4D, but rarely does anyone still play it. If released and sold for another $50 I doubt half will buy it. But if they release all these updates, improvements and gameplay tweaks for free it may get them back into the game. At this point they may not have paid for any more campaigns but some of their friends may have. They can still play their friends on the original 4 campaigns but not the new ones and this will encourage them to buy the new content.

    Releasing the content this way will result in much larger numbers of the community making the leap to the new content. This will re-ignite the community and give the enthusiasts something good to say about the game. If they did this I would whole heartily encourage anyone who doesn't have L4D to get it and anyone who has original content to upgrade.

    I'm glad their still working on L4D but they seem to be leaving us to make new content for ourselves as they are too busy with L4D2. I hope some new user made campaigns come soon because I'm so bored of the 4 campaigns in the game.

  • The reason L4D relies on a matchmaking service is because playing a game with such small servers through a traditional server browser is very very annoying. You would either have to join an empty server and sit around waiting for people to find it and join, or join a game that's most likely already in progress. Matchmaking is far better for finding 4/8 people quickly and starting. I agree they should make the support for joining specific servers more intuitive, but it is there.

    Also, best part about this update will be team matchmaking, assuming it goes in as planned. Now if you've got 3 friends and you want to play Versus, you don't have to pubstomp, you can play against another team of 4 doing the same thing. Everybody's happier.

    I don't care much about custom maps(standalone maps usually suck in most games, let alone full campaigns), but hopefully it'll be possible to pack gameplay mods into the .vpk as well, so people can have new game modes or total conversions using this interface.