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Left 4 Dead Update Will Bring Completed SDK, Content Sharing Tools

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-word-on-left-4-dead-3 dept.

Games 30

Valve has announced details of an update to Left 4 Dead that is due out next week. To start, the SDK open beta is over, and the final version is being released. They're also adding a framework for easily sharing player-created content, accessible through the menu system in-game. In addition to that, they're revamping the matchmaking system to accommodate custom campaigns (like this Resident Evil 3 mod). Quoting: "Content authors will be able to package up their new maps, along with new posters, models, and textures, into a single .VPK file. To install and activate this content in-game, players need simply download the .VPK and double click on it. ... When creating or searching for a lobby, a new option named 'Add-on campaign' will let you select from among the add-on campaigns that you have installed. You can then find games or lobbies as well as create a lobby for that campaign. You can invite your friends, too. If they do not have the campaign installed, they will automatically be offered and an option to download it."

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Obligatory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400707)

First Post

Hrmm (1)

acehole (174372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400719)

Left 4 dead 3 was announced, they thought that Left 4 Dead 2 has been out long enough.

Re:Hrmm (3, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400829)

They managed 2 make Left 4 dead 1 a legend within 3 days. Don't 4get that it was a 1derful, remarkable 6ess. A lot of zombies 8 brainz. It's 4 this reason that Left 4 dead 2 is being pushed out 2 months after Left 4 Dead 1 reached market sa2ration. Maybe they'll throw you a reb8 if you bought Left 4 Dead 1, but don't expect them 2 just hand it over to every1.

Re:Hrmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28400933)

I really wish that I could mod comments '-1 Stupid' sometimes.

Why are they even bothering? (3, Funny)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400819)

The only reason the Left 4 Dead SDK is of any use at this point is it's supposed compatibility with Left 4 Dead 2, as the first game has essentially five months before it's left for dead.

Re:Why are they even bothering? (1)

Crookdotter (1297179) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400879)

Well, if it is compatible, they are releasing free content creators for a game that's not out until november. That's pretty amazing isn't it? Won't that mean that L4D2 will skyrocket in popularity if the amount of official and fan content is staggering when put together?

Re:Why are they even bothering? (1, Insightful)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400907)

They're bothering because this is exactly the kind of support they promised for Left4Dead.

Let go of the silly nerdrage, you''re blinded by it.

A decent co-op game (a genre all too rare) and full tools for the community to mod with, and you're counting days until you consider abandoned? Seems like an odd perspective.

Re:Why are they even bothering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401399)

What's so odd about it? He presumably paid $50 for an incomplete game (and if not, many others did) and now Valve is releasing tools for the sequel that they just can't seem to rush out the door soon enough.

Obviously the money he spent did not match the value he got out of the game and since it's pretty much impossible to return a PC game the only thing left to do is complain and sour as many people as possible on the next game.

Valve managed the community pretty poorly in this case. It'll take some big backpedaling to get them back.

Re:Why are they even bothering? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402435)

Huh? Since when does it matter that you fulfil what you promise in games?

I mean, when I think of the promises and the final of Spore... Or Windows Vista ...

Re:Why are they even bothering? (2, Insightful)

icsx (1107185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402771)

They're bothering because this is exactly the kind of support they promised for Left4Dead.

Let go of the silly nerdrage, you''re blinded by it.

Everyone expected more content from _Valve_. More campaigns, more survival maps and only thing L4D seems to get is Tools for community to make their own campaigns and survival maps so that Valve can concentrate for L4D2 instead.

However, the L4D2 Boycott group [steamcommunity.com] on Steamcommunity (that has around 18% of people compared to the official L4D Group) made Valve to change their mind. Now they promise more content for Left 4 Dead, the original one and promised not to ditch it when L4D2 is out.

I paid 50$ for the game, i assumed that it would get atleast 2 more campaigns before the end of the year + a lot more content than this, for free. Now 7 months passed after it's release and i've seen 1 _new_ map, survival mode lighthouse. Rest are just warmups for the maps that has been played over and over and over again. Then L4D2 was announced and it's not a suprise for me that a lot of people are dissapointed for the current count of DLC.

TF2 has gotten a lot more content since and so did CS Source too. In the first year of their release, there was amazing count of new maps for these games and new features. L4D is way behind in the schedule.

Re:Why are they even bothering? (1)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404111)

TF2 has gotten a lot more content since and so did CS Source too. In the first year of their release, there was amazing count of new maps for these games and new features. L4D is way behind in the schedule.

TF2 was 11 years in the making. CS Source leveraged from the original CS. Both were based upon mods, so I do find the "mods aren't good enough" bit absurd when the premium professional products compared aren't far removed.

So that's what this is really about I'd say. Time versus money. I'd rather pay $100 in two years to get full content than wait a decade. Of course, it's human nature for most people to want it all, timely and cheap / free. But the expectations aren't reasonable when the release schedule, updates and overall product aren't comparable. In several ways Left4Dead can be considered a bigger project than TF2 or CounterStrike, it certainly involves a lot more design and code.

Maps aren't hard to come by once the tools are available, which is what this is all about.

What's bugging me more than the semantics of promises versus expectations? Some people want free, free, free, but mods aren't good enough for them? Have these guys been paying any attention to Valve products for the past 12 years?

Re:Why are they even bothering? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405295)

TF2 was 11 years in the making.

Eh, kinda. Rebooting your tech two or three times and then redoing the entire thing from scratch two years before launch doesn't really count as 11 years in development. As someone who followed all the news on TF2 over the years... it's nothing like what it was originally supposed to be - a commander class to organize attacks, people cooperating to fire machine guns, a realistic approach to graphics, etc. While all these things are probably inferior to what they actually released, I dunno if it counts as active development. I think TFC counts as their original TF2 mod, actually.

What's bugging me more than the semantics of promises versus expectations? Some people want free, free, free, but mods aren't good enough for them? Have these guys been paying any attention to Valve products for the past 12 years?

TF2 hasn't released its code for modability. Until that happens, then yeah...

Their core product with L4D and TF2 both only held my interest for about 10 hours.

Lack of grateful fans? (2, Insightful)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400883)

Valve is still one of the few companies that puts out full SDKs not only for mods for their engine, but pretty much every game they make on it as well-- Yet it's they're getting much appreciation, at least not by the comments above, and I expect some below as well. It makes me wonder why they bother, although I for one am really glad that they do.

Usually my complaint is that sequels take too long to come out, so I'm a bit at odds with those that are complaining a year is too soon. Seriously? A year = timely.

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401085)

They're not going to get much appreciation, because while custom levels are a nice thing to have, they're not high on the list of problems people have with L4D1. There's a good Yahtezeeism from his review of Little Big Planet [escapistmagazine.com] that drives this point home:

If a game that stands up by itself wants to release level design and modding tools, than Brillo Bananas: good modding communities are the sprinkling of cinnamon on a delicious trifle and hence relying on user made content is like eating heaped spoonfuls of cinnamon right from the jar. I don't want to have to wade through waste-high rendering runoff to get to the good levels, especially when I can do that by just playing the story mode: you know, the levels designed by professional fucking level designers. If I buy a house, I want an architect to design it. If I design it myself, it may have a more personal touch, but it's going to fall over very fast and even if it doesn't the giant fiberglass breasts on the front will be very tacky and the neighbors will complain when the gingerbread garage starts to smell.

L4D1 is not yet "a game that stands up by itself" like HL2 or TF2 are. It was $50 and shipped short of content that was promised by Valve [videogamer.com] but instead rolled in to L4D2. Most people don't want modding tools at this point, they want enough professionally developed content to finish the game - something that satisfies players' baser needs. Then, if the game were finished, the modding tools would be a great addition to get even more out of the game.

So no, you're not going to find a ton of appreciation for Valve releasing the SDK. User made content is not a replacement for true professional content, particularly content Valve said they were going to give out long, long ago.

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (3, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401719)

Well, you just pretty much took the words out of my mouth.

Don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed countless hours on L4D. However I also bought the game based on promises that Valve has shown they can deliver on in the past. And with those games in the past, they didn't release an immediate sequel to them a fucking year later. L4D is stale now, so it doesn't matter how many modding tools they release. They never updated the game fast enough with content. Bug fixes? Sure, they did all of that, but that's already to be expected. If they had released a few new campaigns sooner, well, maybe there won't be this overwhelming bitterness being felt a lot of people.

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28409949)

Bug fixes? Sure, they did all of that, but that's already to be expected.

I disgaree, when selecting a quick match game it still boots you back to the main menu saying that the auto selected game is "full". It would take 5 seconds to code if (gamefull) { quickmatch(); } or something similar for when you hit the quick match button but here we are still lots of lame clicking.

The last update has screwed up the game for me. A fix that makes rendering better for Multicore machines has given me a problem where every 5 minutes the FPS will drop badly for 10 seconds which never existed before.

They still haven't fixed voice chat issues, for example when in the lobby the push to talk button makes some people crash.

The only thing they have really done is fix map exploits and even here they've failed in some respects for example the stupid room next to the elevator on no mercy and hiding under the pipes on Death Toll. Places which don't exist in the survival modes because it's lame. The map fixes though is such simple things to do. In all the cases all they've really done is add a box here, remove an air vent there it's not difficult stuff to do.

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#28430101)

Just because every bug hasn't been squashed or that every exploit hasn't been fixed doesn't mean they didn't do patches to remove some of them. I think you read too far into my comment.

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (1)

icsx (1107185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402841)

If i would have mod points, i would put you up in the sky with them. You said everything so well that i was gonna say.

While i know community mappers will have tons of good campaings on the works, they will not reach the same level of quality as Valve maps are for a quite a while. Professional is always a professional.

What promises? (3, Insightful)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403291)

That link contains nothing but Gabe Newell describing exactly what they've done. Community support, SDK, the occasional gamemode and map tweaks.He talks about TF2 as an example, but did you think they were adding classes to L4D?

I'd be more inclined to agree with you if you had some specific promises that weren't met, or like many (many, many) other games that are bug ridden and missing significant features shown during pre-release. Left4Dead is nearly exactly what they described, so if you were let down, I don't know what game you thought you were buying.

If we were discussing the merits of the game and you didn't like it, I could accept that just fine. It's the premise about unmet promises that's bogus. List something concrete, otherwise you're just tossing rhetoric about your own failed expectations.

The game sold well, got good reviews and is currently played by many. If you didn't like it, fine, write a review, but stop with the high and mighty broken promises thing, it's just childish.

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403487)

I'm gonna have to be the one guy who disagrees I guess. In my opinion, L4D is already worth the cost - it is a genuinely novel game idea that was VERY well implemented. There are some very minor issues, but none that have gotten in the way of it being immensely fun and not growing old at all.

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28448059)

I don't disagree... it was easily worth the 60 + 150 for the 360 that I paid. It cost me 210 (hell add another 39 for the year of xbox live) 249. I guess I paid 249 to play the game and a crippled "console" version at that. Still when I look and see that I've spent over a 100 hours of time enjoying the game it is a bargain compared to many other past times. That's assuming it subsidized completely the cost of the 360 for other games that I've enjoyed.

So I'm excited about l4d2... I may even pick up l4d on the pc just for user created content.

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404837)

Would this new business model at all relate to the difficulty Valve have had pushing TF2 updates onto the Xbox 360 version. Perhaps these parallel console releases are to blame? I'd hazard a guess that survival mode probably pushed L4D on the 360 close to the limit, so it makes its more convienient to release a separate game?

Re:Lack of grateful fans? (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28425101)

I don't recall any promises by Valve to add twice as much content to L4D and give it all away for free. L4D was an excellent and complete game upon launch and well worth the cost.

If you didn't like L4D or enjoy the replayability of the extremely well-designed game rules and levels, that's OK. You're probably also not one of the people who played CS and CS:S for a decade with over half of that time being spent in Dust, Dust2, and Office.

L4D is about well-designed and replayable multiplayer game rules and maps, not about dumping crappy content on users.

WTF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28401721)

They should be working on l4d2 and not l4d. What bullshit. How can they make l4d2 the best game it can possibly be if they are still supporting the l4d2 beta?

What editing tools are available now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28402495)

If the content creation kit is not out yet, what tools are people using to develop alternate maps right now? Are there resources on the web with information on how to hack the game's levels, models, etc? Please post good links to this thread.

Beta Tools already available (1)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403327)

As the article states, the beta for the SDK was already available, so that's what people have been using to develop maps. No need for alternative methods, it's mostly the same SDK. You can download it directly from Steam and follow additional information from their Wiki: http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Authoring_Tools/SDK_(Left_4_Dead)

Valve... (0, Redundant)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404003)

Valve made some AMAZING games in HL1 and HL2.

Here is my brief summary of the history of their success, I don't think their philosophy has changed much so we'll see what happens next.

They made HL1 off the Quake 2 Engine... when it was initially released the net code was terrible! On dialup pings of 600-800 were normal as there was A LOT of data being transfered back and forth.

Then they got crazy lucky, some brilliant person invented the "I shot you, move backwards" mechanic. Basically if I hit you on my machine the lag differential is compensated for.

Now this is a brilliant innovation, the guy who made this is responsible for most if not all of valve's online success. It should be obvious that this person whoever it is, should get A LOT of money, especially because valve is so unwilling to license this technology.

Then came Counter-Strike, now C-S is popular for several reasons, but what's important is that for a LONG time it was the biggest game in the world. It was created by a small team of modders and if it had been a commercial product they would have made millions... but it wasn't. It was put together by the community and they never got organized enough to sell out.

Que HL2, a great game (art design, balance, level design, dialog, plot, etc)... the engine got A LOT better and now they could release CS as a commercial product, which they did.

Now valve built some interesting tools into HL2 online, one of which allows them to track where players move or any other element of gameplay they choose(I can't find the article but you can find the valve TF2 maps colour coded by where players move). This tool is still in effect and they have used it to essentially break their successful game L4D.

For L4D Valve got in bed with Microsoft, who have made popular "Skill matching." This tool does what it says, it matches people based on previous success or failure and is a huge boon for someone trying to play deathmatch against people of approximately the same skill level (Obvious people will be broken up into tiers and be unable to improve deprived of examples of higher and lower skill levels [Yes, terrible players sometimes innovate]). These objections about the long term effects on players aside (I'm good, we're all good! Yaysy!) this system is unsuited for team VS because one player is known by the game to be the weakest link.

Further, L4D seems to be implementing a system where good players are forced to protect weaker players (this is the point of the game) because when something bad happens (which happens frequently in L4D) it is much worse on a good player than a bad player. Further public games have moved beyond the traditional system of simply changing the teams until a relatively proximate skill level is reached, now players who joining "games in progress" (a situation created when 1 of 3 situations occurs: Someone has to leave, Someone is voted off a team, Someone rage quits) are matched such that each team has good and bad players.

Assuming all players want to win this creates a situation where bad players are cycled endlessly constantly being kicked by the good players they are joining.

This has been "resolved" by hurting good players in several ways, first by implementing a scoring system which has nothing to do with the larger objectives of the game (getting from point A to B or preventing the other team from doing the same) which hurts morale as good players may have many less points than unskilled players who will resist the authority of experienced or skilled players based on the validity of these broken scores. Second by actually making it more difficult for skilled players through several subtle mechanations.

These to enforce a climate of mediocrity, under the guise of equality.

Now Valve, I'm sure the person who designed your net code is still working for you... the mindset which created such a brilliant idea and shared it precludes thoughts of exploitation. That person should be given sufficient money to create their own game (perhaps half as personal funds half as investment?)... he/she/they are clearly a genius, and if that is not enough of a motivation that person is also responsible for Counter-Strike surpassing the dozens of similar games which suffer from lag and establishing your brand as successful.

I think you may be able to appreciate the effects on our species of enforcing mediocrity, now please stop.

Re:Valve... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406037)

1. hl1 only used minor quake 2 codefixes and mostly a modified quakeworld (modified quake1)engine 2. cs went commercial and was successful before source

Lack of content is the issue here (1)

Flipao (903929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405493)

The mod tools should have been released when the game came out, and all 4 campaigns should have been available in VS mode. The game was fun, but nowhere near as replayable as CS of TF2.

AS far as L4D2 goes, I would rather they left the yearly sequel thing to EA.
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