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Left 4 Dead 2

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Community Announcements - Chet

Building on the work from our last update, we are now releasing the entire set of “older” Left 4 Dead 1 models.

It was an interesting walk back through our content tree to find all the various pieces and versions. Depending on your definition of the old models, some of these may vary in some slight detail as we work in an iterative process and never internally defined a version of these models. They have always just been Zoey, Louis, Bill, and Francis to us.

We want to give special thanks to Doktor Haus for being more than willing to supply his server and his assistance in testing the mods, starter kits and ZeqMacaw for assisting with testing the mods and starter kits, troubleshooting the mods' compile coding. Thanks!

While we were in the history books we found some other interesting bits.

There are these versions of Zoey with different colors (BlueYellow). A really, really early character concept sheet from September 2005, and the internal release notes for the January 25, 2006 update. The highlights of the notes include:

* NEW: The Hospital Urban map has been split into four separate maps, with HL2-style map transitions. When all living Survivors enter a checkpoint and the door is closed, the next map in the sequence will load. All items, players, and infected will retain their state across map transitions. Checkpoint doors are impervious to damage until all of the Survivors leave the Checkpoint once (with a few exceptions). The "exit" door of a Checkpoint cannot be opened until after the map transition.

* NEW: When a Survivor's health reaches zero, he no longer immediately dies but instead falls to the ground "incapacitated". While incapacitated, the victim cannot move, slowly "bleeds out", and can take additional damage from the Infected, friendly fire, explosions, etc. If a friend can reach the incapacitated Survivor before he bleeds to death, the rescuer can +use him to "help him to his feet", leaving the injured player with a small amount of virtual (blue) health. A First Aid Kit can also be used to revive an incapaciated player, healing him in the process. Incapacitated players can press their attack button to call for help, and can wave their flashlight around to help others find them. Note that traumatic damage (explosions, steep falls) still kill Survivors outright.

- Baseball Bat has been removed

It took us some iteration, but we got that baseball bat back in 3 years later.
Aug 16, 2013
Community Announcements - Chet

As the workshop continues to grow we have been working with some members of the modding community to learn where the tools can be improved and to help remove bottlenecks to creating new content.

Instead of endless emails, chat, or Skype sessions, we thought summer was a perfect time to fly up one of the most prolific modders out there - Splinks, or as we know him Zander.

Zander has been sitting in our office alongside the team for the last few months helping us. Today is the first update thanks to his work. Alongside the additions to the Authoring Tools that involve really technical stuff meant for fellow modders, we have added one fun bit in this update - an older version of Francis. We can’t promise we can get all of the other older survivors working, but we are looking into resurrecting them for forthcoming updates.

This is just the first of a few Authoring Tool updates focused on helping modders and includes:

Starter Kits:
• These are Zip files which include all the compiling files (Reference/Animation DMXs, Reference/Animation SMDs, QCs, and the VTA Morphs) used to create each Item, Weapon, Special Infected, and Survivor. In addition to providing a useful reference, these kits allow modders to start with a fully functional asset and then replace pieces incrementally instead of starting from scratch.
• These packs will also have the proper directory layout used by the game itself, so users will not have to reconstruct and look up where the model they're replacing needs to go.
• Each Starter Kit will have A COMPILE.BAT file which will need to be edited to match the user's local L4D2 install directory.

Maya Files:
These are the skeleton rigs that are used for each Item, Weapon, Special Infected, and Survivor. These allow modders to replace a model by attaching a new custom mesh skinned to the rig. Also included are all the animation scenes for the Items, Weapons, and Special Infected.

In order to compile model files from SMDs and DMX, people will need to setup the SOURCE SDK TOOLS.

This tutorial will show people how to set everything up and how to address issues and fix them.

An example of one of the weapon Starter Kits and Maya files packages.

Jul 16, 2013
Community Announcements - Chet

Ever see a screenshot and wonder - what in the heck Workshop item are they using?

Good news, we can tell you. Just visit the image detail page of the screenshot and along the right side you will see the active Workshop items and a link to each.

To grab your own items for some screen shots, visit the L4D2 Workshop. To see more images, visit the screenshot page on the community hub.

If you need a hint on the above image before you click, it's a Hero from a little game we just launched called Dota 2.
Community Announcements - Chet

Celebrating Left 4 Dead 2’s official release on Linux and America’s Day of Independence, we’re putting L4D2 on sale for a stunning 75% off and it's free to play all weekend!

We know people have a busy weekend ahead of them with BBQs, sack races, blowing fingers off, and other fun summer time activities, so we made it a little more enticing to give it a try this weekend. We are making L4D2 free to play until 10am PST Monday morning.

To all our new Linux players this weekend, Hello.

To our returning players – we are bringing back a special achievement. Good Guy Nick - – “Plays games with free weekend players and helps them survive a campaign.” Who is a free weekend player? You’re going to have to talk to each other to find out or you could always let your friends know Left 4 Dead 2 is out on Linux and is free this weekend. After all, the zombie apocalypse was made to be fought with friends.

All kidding aside, it is going to be dangerous outside this weekend. Stay indoors. Play some L4D2.

Artwork created by Fisher.
Community Announcements - Chet

The Extended Mutation System, Linux support, and other features and fixes are moving to Left 4 Dead 2 proper. Thanks to everyone who helped test all the changes in the Beta Build. You can find a complete list of the change notes here.

The Linux conversion is ready for primetime so we are opening it up to more people and releasing it officially on Steam. This will let us get feedback on more builds and distros.

Some of you may have noticed a quick update to your game last week. That was our conversion over to SteamPipe. For L4D2 it was quick and painless as our system was already using VPKs. What does this change mean? For server operators there is an easier update path and smaller downloads. For clients, we have improved the downloading experience and you can now install L4D2 on any drive. You can get more details on the support page.

Extended Mutation System.
The EMS takes the current idea of mutations and mutates it into a powerful tool for modders. They have been busy at work creating a bunch of new Mutation and game modes that will begin to be uploaded to the L4D2 workshop today. With names like Vicious Infected, Boomer Peril, Stranded, Vampirism, Plague of the Dead, Zombie Run, and Tiny Terror, there is something for everyone.

Later this week, we will highlight some of our favorites.

For now, make sure to checkout Holdout. It is a multi-map Mutation that includes the concept of resources and buildable items. It was created to showcase some of the functionality of EMS and as a byproduct, it is pretty damn fun.

You can find our original EMS blog post here, or jump into the developer wiki here. If you want to get cracking on it, you can also join in on the discussion here.

We will be adding the most popular EMS creations to the official servers.
Community Announcements - Chet

Left 4 Dead 2 now has trading cards.

If you are in the beta, you can view them in your profile under badges. While we love that the community created their own cards in lieu of L4D2 being in the first batch of cards, our first series is concentrated on the Special Infected and in the style of the Mutations.

How do you earn the cards?

You receive 4 card drops for owning L4D2. A card drop earns you the right to receive a card by playing the game. You can get four cards to drop by playing L4D2. One problem, you can only get 4 this way. To get the complete 8 you need to trade among friends or even strangers. Who knows, you might even meet your new best L4D2 friend ever trading. You two realize you have more than L4D2 in common, get married, settle down, raise a family and then complete your set when your third son earns the Spitter Card and trades it to you.

What happens when you complete all 8? You can craft an L4D2 badge and earn an L4D2 emoticon item, profile background, chance to get a discount coupon, and 100XP for your steam level.

If you have more questions, we have this extensive FAQ to help explain the entire system to you. So read it. We will be asking for a book report on it next week.
Community Announcements - Chet

This week we updated both the L4D2 Beta and L4D2. As we get closer to the Linux release, we will continue to merge in some outstanding bug fixes and issues we have been working on.

Thanks to everyone playing the Beta and helping us test. The update today consists of changes that were tested in the Beta. Check here for the complete change list for the Beta and the patch notes for today’s L4D2 update are available here.

We have seen some discussions about some of the sample Mutations with shipped with the Beta. Some of these like Holdout are fully formed game modes. Others are tests or example code for other people to play around with.

A good example is with the L4D1 Mutation. It is a sample Mutation to show how easy it is to change the game. Don’t like some of the choices? Change them. The code below is the script file for that mode – 52 lines of script. You can see how simple, yet powerful the new scripting mode is. For more information visit the L4D2 EMS Wiki.

Msg("Activating Mutation L4D1\n");
DirectorOptions <-
ActiveChallenge = 1
SpitterLimit = 0
JockeyLimit = 0
ChargerLimit = 0
weaponsToConvert =
weapon_shotgun_spas = "weapon_autoshotgun_spawn"
weapon_defibrillator = "weapon_first_aid_kit_spawn"
weapon_ammo_pack = "weapon_first_aid_kit_spawn"
weapon_sniper_awp = "weapon_hunting_rifle_spawn"
weapon_sniper_military = "weapon_hunting_rifle_spawn"
weapon_sniper_scout = "weapon_hunting_rifle_spawn"
weapon_vomitjar = "weapon_molotov_spawn"
weapon_adrenaline = "weapon_pain_pills_spawn"
weapon_pistol_magnum = "weapon_pistol_spawn"
weapon_shotgun_chrome = "weapon_pumpshotgun_spawn"
weapon_rifle_ak47 = "weapon_rifle_spawn"
weapon_rifle_desert = "weapon_rifle_spawn"
weapon_rifle_m60 = "weapon_rifle_spawn"
weapon_rifle_sg552 = "weapon_rifle_spawn"
weapon_smg_mp5 = "weapon_smg_spawn"
weapon_smg_silenced = "weapon_smg_spawn"
function ConvertWeaponSpawn( classname )
if ( classname in weaponsToConvert )
return weaponsToConvert[classname];
return 0;
weaponsToRemove =
weapon_grenade_launcher = 0
weapon_chainsaw = 0
weapon_melee = 0
weapon_upgradepack_explosive = 0
weapon_upgradepack_incendiary = 0
upgrade_item = 0
function AllowWeaponSpawn( classname )
if ( classname in weaponsToRemove )
return false;
return true;

Community Announcements - Chet

We have had plenty of people asking about the L4D2 Beta showing up in their steam catalog. So in case you missed it or were confused, here is some more info.

Currently, changes to L4D2 will first appear in the Beta before they appear in the main game. The Beta will change often. This mean this build is very active so you might want to avoid it if you have bandwidth caps. Today we released another update for it. You can read the release notes for the update here.

Right now the Beta is the only place you can play L4D2 on Linux natively. If you run Linux, load it up and give it a try. If you have problems, let us know. You can post here and share your experience.

While the biggest changes are for Linux, those changes actually have the possibility to impact Mac and Windows players as well, which is why it is helpful for even non-linux players to test the Beta.

The Beta also contains an update to the Authoring Tools to allow you to work in the new EMS. These tools are only available for Windows users and only currently available in the Beta. You can check the developer wiki here for more information.

While the tools are only available on Windows, everyone in the Beta can play the new EMS content.

We do not have servers running for the Beta yet as we concentrate on client issues and fixes but the server code has been released and is working - so let us know if you have any issues with Windows or Linux servers. We will be rolling out our own dedicated servers in the near future.
Community Announcements - Chet

Thanks to the efficiencies we were able to achieve with Linux, we skipped Valve time and are delivering the L4D2 Beta Linux build today as planned. The Beta build not only allows Linux owners to play the game natively, it is also the testing ground for our new Extended Mutation System.

If you currently own Left 4 Dead 2, You should see “Left 4 Dead 2 Beta” in your library. If it doesn’t show up, restart Steam. This is a complete build of Left 4 Dead 2, so the build is as large as the current game.

You also receive access to the Left 4 Dead 2 Beta Authoring tools and Left 4 Dead 2 Beta Dedicated Server. This will allow you to start working with EMS.

The Beta version also contains updated Windows and Mac clients, so even if you are not running under Linux you can help by testing the Beta.

Current changes in this build include:
- Server operators can now specify whether or not custom content is allowed when playing on their servers. This can be set on a per game mode basis - see cfg/addonconfig.cfg for details.

- Fixed main menu not refreshing after workshop add-ons have been loaded. Custom UI skins should display correctly now.

- Reworked add-on management to improve stability and properly support custom mutations.

- Prevent an intermittant crash when browsing the add-ons screen.

To give us feedback on the Beta, please use this brand new forum.

If you aren’t up for downloading the beta, we are trying a new experiment with our friends over at Pinion. On the additional official servers they are hosting, we have added four new community campaigns so that you can get the stock L4D2 experience on some great community maps. It was tough work playing so many great custom campaigns as we narrowed it down to four. To quote Daniel from Pinion, "Diescraper has some of the best levels I've played in L4D2!!". Yes it does… And with campaigns only a mouse click away thanks to the Workshop, make sure to give them a try this weekend.

Here are the current list of supported Campaigns.
Diescraper Redux
Urban Flight
Back to School
City 17

Thanks to everyone who voted on the campaigns in the workshop and helped us make our selections. If you have any feedback on the servers or campaigns, please let us know in the forums.
Community Announcements - Chet

The L4D2 Beta is mutating. Not content to just be the testing ground for the new Extended Mutation System, we will be adding Linux to the Beta. And not content with the number of testers in the Beta, we will also be opening up the Beta to all L4D2 owners.

Huh, what?

The L4D2 Beta build is a separate download from the main game. This is where we are testing new features to the game – currently we are testing EMS. Starting next week, we will be testing Linux there as well.

This code churns more frequently than the main game depot, so if you are bandwidth constrained, you might want to wait for the changes to move to the main game.

If you are playing the Beta game, you can only connect to other players in the Beta and to Beta servers.

Next week it will appear in your library alongside the main L4D2 game.

You do not need to enter a code to gain access and it is totally voluntary to download and participate in the Beta.

For modders currently in the Beta, now would be a good time to update your current work and get ready for a whole bunch of new testers.

For players, not only is the Linux build new, but the Window and Mac versions are also updated, so we need plenty of non-Linux testing as well.

When the Beta expands next week, we will post on how you can help give feedback and participate in the Beta.

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