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Left 4 Dead 2 PC Demo Released

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After a one-day delay, the PC demo for Left 4 Dead 2 preorder customers has been released. The demo offers co-op or LAN players a chance to check out the New Oreleans-centered "Parish" campaign.

The demo will be available for non-preorder PC customers and Xbox Live Gold members on November 3. Last, and most definitely least, Xbox Live Silver members get access on November 10.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 28, 2009 5:10 PM

    I really hope that in this one flashlights from other players cast real time lighting / create real time shadows, but I doubt it :(

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      October 28, 2009 5:16 PM

      Wouldn't that be extremely hardware intensive? I guess some people have octa-cores and the latest GPU so that might be nice as an extra option, something like Ultra High Shadows, and would undoubtedly look sweet and more cohesive with the atmosphere. I may be talking out my ass here saying it is indeed hardware intensive because I don't know but yeah... it seems like that kind of lighting effect would be.. I definitely noticed it in L4D, the lack thereof.

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        October 28, 2009 5:17 PM

        Lots of recent games have this. The question is whether or not Valve has updated its very old engine to utilize it.

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          October 29, 2009 8:52 AM

          I'd love to check out a game that had shadow casting flashlights that everyone could see in MP. Anything specific I should look at?

          Shadow casting lights can be incredibly expensive on the gpu for somewhat fundmental reasons. I'm surprised people were able to budget enough performance for it.

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        October 28, 2009 5:18 PM

        It always irked me in l4d, an option would definitly be nice.

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          October 28, 2009 6:27 PM

          I didn't even notice it until now. Now it's going to bother me. :(

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        October 28, 2009 5:22 PM

        I'd rather have the option to have extra light sources that flashlights can produce and disabling 4X AA, which I get and still maintain 80 fps on a gtx 260 core 216.

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          October 28, 2009 9:44 PM

          don't know of a 'modern' engine that supports more than about 2 shadow-casting lights at a time - most are 2 max (unreal 3 / crytek) and even that will bring most systems to a crawl in complicated scenes. doing the shader calculations for that kind of situation for shadow maps just isn't feasible in most cases.

          you could fake it with dynamic lightmaps potentially, but it would look pretty ass.

          the way that valve implemented it is extremely efficient and is probably the best way to handle it in an online game.

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        October 28, 2009 5:51 PM

        Killing Floor does this.

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        October 28, 2009 6:15 PM

        My guess: All that extra light would affect gameplay pretty heavily. And if some people's graphics cards could show it and some couldn't, you end up with an unbalanced game depending on hardware. The Synergy coop mod for HL2 lets you see other player's flashlights, so the engine must be capable of it.

        But from the singleplayer try I just did, you hardly notice your own flashlight in the daytime, much less the missing light from the other players.

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      October 28, 2009 5:54 PM

      I remember Valve implementing this in EP2, I think? Don't know why they wouldn't in newer Source titles.

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        October 28, 2009 9:55 PM

        I think they said it had something to do with the fact that there would be 4 flashlights all casting separate shadows? I don't remember.

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      October 28, 2009 6:11 PM

      Guy playing it at work was casting them, i think others were too

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      October 28, 2009 6:21 PM

      My guess is that with all the on-screen zombies and crazy action theres not much frametime left for the fancy stuff.

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      October 28, 2009 6:27 PM

      I always hoped that until I saw it in Killing Floor. Found it pretty annoying there

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      October 28, 2009 7:31 PM

      I tested it out, I shined the flashlight on my teammates and their shadow was cast in proper proportions on the wall. Haven't tried on any zombies.

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        October 28, 2009 7:36 PM

        I think the original post means, the flashlights of other players casting shadows on themselves and others.

        And everyone is right regarding hardware being the main limitation.

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          October 28, 2009 7:44 PM

          No shadows or light from other players' flashlights in the demo. Just the little light cones like L4D1.

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      October 28, 2009 7:46 PM

      Spawn four dynamic lights in Garry's Mod.

      It's extremely resource intensive.

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      October 28, 2009 9:59 PM

      It wouldn't look right to have one flashlight with shadows and the others going clean through obstacles. Don't forget that shadows are what make the light look realistic... and 4 separate shadows, along with 4 lights in the scene and you're looking at some serious hardware restrictions.

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