Kotaku

The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter KönigPeter König is a concept art legend. Over the past quarter of a century his creature designs, sculptures and animation work have been featured in blockbuster hits like Jurassic Park, Starship Troopers and Cloverfield.


Which is all well and good, but he's also spent the last four years working as a concept artist, modeller and texture artist at Valve, where he's lent his talents to the Left 4 Dead series, Portal 2 and DOTA 2.


While there sadly aren't any images from Portal, and only one from DOTA 2, König's Left 4 Dead stuff is a treasure trove of the walking dead, rotting flesh and rejected designs for special infected that involved shooting rats out of a zombie's stomach.


You can see a nice collection of König's body of work, both in games and cinema, at his personal site.


Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists. If you're in the business and have some concept, environment or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!

The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König
The Half-Eaten Valve Art of Peter König


Kotaku

These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're PostcardsIain Andrews' site Steam Postcards has long been my wallpaper supplier of choice. Why? Because he plays games and takes screenshots that aren't the kind of thing you'd find in a magazine or popular internet video game website.


He instead takes, well, postcards. Scenic shots of the background, or the walls, or the sky, or whatever, finding stuff that just looks good, instead of stuff that makes the game look good.


His current subject of choice is id's RAGE, but scroll down the Tumblr page and you'll see games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mirror's Edge, Mafia II, Team Fortress 2, Red Orchestra and even Kane & Lynch.


The images maybe aren't nice enough to print out and frame, but like I said, they're perfect for wallpapers!


Steam Postcards [enwandrews]



You can contact Luke Plunkett, the author of this post, at plunkett@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards
These Aren't Video Game Screenshots, They're Postcards


Kotaku

Unlock Left 4 Dead's Next Map Early By Play-Testing "Dead Air"The importation of original Left 4 Dead maps into Left 4 Dead 2 rolls on, with the latest update to "Dead Air" delivering a new version of the Terminal map. Valve says the update brings matters "pretty close to being complete" but "at this stage what we really need is more testing." It's found a way to get you to do that.


Play a complete game of Versus in "Dead Air" and you will get an achievement, Valve says. When 60,000 people earn that achievement, the beta version of "Blood Harvest," the next map to be released, will be unlocked the following weekday.


"60,000 is going to be hard," L4D2's team writes on the official blog. "You can't rage quit and you need to work together."


Valve asks that gamers who get the achievement help others reach it as well, and post feedback and bugs to the Steam Forums and on the game's Facebook page. Progress toward 60,000 will be announced via Twitter.


Connecting Flights [Left 4 Dead Blog]


Kotaku

Your Official Valve Action Figures (and Replica Portal Guns) are Coming In 2012Toy company NECA revealed at Comic-Con today that its range of merchandise based on the intellectual properties of Valve will start shipping in 2012. Oh, and they also let us know what they'll be!


While there are sadly no pictures yet of the figures or merch, here's what you'll need to be saving your money for next year:


HALF-LIFE 2


Gordon Freeman action figure


PORTAL 2


Atlas & P-Body action figures, replica Portal gun, "resin and plush" weighted companion cube


TEAM FORTRESS 2


Pyro, Heavy & Demo action figures

LEFT 4 DEAD 2


Boomer & Smoker action figures


So, mostly good news then! Bit of a shame about the L4D ones, though. I'd have liked to see the humans, Bill especially, up first.


Kotaku

Left 4 Dead 2's Mission to Play 'Cold Stream' is A Mission Accomplished, Classic DLC Due EarlyEarlier this week, Valve issued a challenge to the Left 4 Dead 2 community: if 20,000 players beat the in-development "Cold Stream" campaign by Sunday, they'd get the re-release of "Dead Air" early. That goal was met in about four hours.


That means Left 4 Dead 2 owners will get the tweaked Left 4 Dead campaign early. No later than July 22, Valve says—barring an outbreak of Valve Time, naturally. The developer says its testing and finalizing the "Dead Air" re-release, as it's not yet ready for prime time.


Also interesting is that the Left 4 Dead team says it's "working on and testing a new version of the 'Dark Carnival' finale and some gameplay changes for finales in general." Dark Carnival clearly has its own final quirks, but I'm interested to see what Valve has planned for other finale changes.


Link Chevron [L4D Blog]


Kotaku

Valve's asking players to test Left 4 Dead 2's Cold Stream campaign. If 20,000 players finish it by Sunday, they'll release the Dead Air campaign early! Coincidentally Left 4 Dead 2 is on sale for $5 on Steam.
[L4D.com]


Kotaku

Spoiler alert? Only if you planned to play community made campaign "Suicide Blitz 2" in Left 4 Dead 2, currently the officially featured fan-created add-on for Valve's zombie horror first-person shooter, the game that has a very neat Portal 2 Easter Egg buried within.


Watch as two Left 4 Dead 2-loving ladies discover the existence of a portal into the world of Aperture Science, commenting excitedly along the way about every machete, Companion Cube, propulsion gel and special infected zombie they run into. Really, you may want to turn the volume down just a notch.


You can grab the "Suicide Blitz 2" campaign right here, straight from Valve.


Link Chevron Left 4 Dead 2 Suicide Blitz 2: Portal 2 Easter Egg [YouTube via NeoGAF]


Kotaku

Payday: The Heist Will Bring Team-Based Bank Robbery to the PSNGamers work well in teams. We've slaughtered zombies, repelled rebels, routed RED (or BLU)—all with the help of our friends. Now we get to rob banks.


In a bit of pre-E3 flirtation, Sony Online Entertainment has announced Payday: The Heist for the PS3 and PC, a squad-based cooperative shooter that casts players in the role of a "hardened career criminal" attempting to orchestrate a number of dicey, large-scale heists. Developer Overkill Software promises prospective gamers the chance to raid a bank vault, manage hostages in a hijacked armored car, and infliltrate a top-secret, high-security facility.


The mission structure appears reminiscent of Valve's Left 4 Dead; law enforcement agents—rather than zombies—will spawn in waves, their deployment and behavior patterns guided by a "dynamic" and "adaptive" scripting system. SOE's press release describes "FBI agents repelling down on ropes through the skylights, SWAT teams crashing through the windows...special units crawling through the ventilation shafts," and emphasizes the importantance of cooperative teamwork in repelling foes.



Players will be encouraged to revisit missions in order to develop their character along a "massive progression tree," and will be given the option to select one of three specialties: assault, sharp-shooting or support.


Payday: The Heist is due to launch later this year on the PlayStation Network and PC via digital download, and, according to Sony, will run for "less than half the price of a retail game."


We've been told that we'll get a taste of the game at SOE's booth at E3— we'll try to keep you posted on the how the title shapes up.


Kotaku

The pint-sized ceramic co-star of Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 may be deserving of his own video game, as evidenced by the trailer for the sadly nonexistent Gnome Chompski: The Game.


Expertly crafted in Garry's Mod by the folk(s) at Fine Leather Jackets, Gnome Chompski: The Game has everything we now demand of our video games: jet packs, zombies, miniguns, dinosaurs, driving sequences, pointy hat-wearing figurines of German origin. Hell, there are a few memes thrown in for good measure, ones that we're not even that tired of yet!


Please, someone with the talent to make video games playable, make Gnome Chompski: The Game playable.


Kotaku

Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignEarlier this week, Valve released the beta version of "Cold Stream," the community-made campaign coming to the PC, Mac and Xbox 360 in the next big Left 4 Dead 2 update. Let's see what it looks like, shall we?


Cold Stream is a mix of things old and new. There's no real story to speak of in this four chapter campaign, but it does offer a mostly fresh-feeling outdoor setting. You'll face Uncommon Common infected types like Mudmen and Riot Police Zombie throughout the campaign, plus you'll see a few new tricks, like the opportunity to be washed away by strong currents.


The campaign is currently in public beta. Valve is accepting bug reports from PC and Mac users. Cold Stream is planned to ship alongside three campaigns (Dead Air, Blood Harvest, Death Toll) from the original Left 4 Dead at some unspecified date, hopefully sometime this year.


If you haven't already played the beta version—which is very clearly in beta, due to its sometimes funky textures, geometry and other quirks—see it in 32 screen shots and one video in the gallery above. (Click on "expand" in the bottom right of each image to see full size.)


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignThis is your opening view at the beginning of Cold Stream. You're going to want to follow the path of that creek ahead of you.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignA short bridge in the opening chapter, Alpine Creek.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignYou'll need to make your way through this small, two story house.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAnd come out on the other side, through this window.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAnother bridge? Yes, a makeshift one, a felled tree.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignYou'll walk across that tree at half speed and can easily be pulled off the thing.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignThat's a safe house dead ahead. Don't let that left pointing arrow sign fool you. Break through those planks to reach safety.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAfter leaving the safe house in the second chapter, South Pine Stream, you'll be temporarily blinded by the sun.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignSoon your eyes will adjust...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAfter walking downstream for a few hundred yards you'll find this ladder... oh shit! Taaaaank!!!! (He seems to like to spawn here.)


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignHead down this road...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignBut avoid flaming helicopters, something of a recurring problem in Cold Stream.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAfter traveling by road for a few feet, it's back into the stream. Watch out for Mudmen.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignWhere do you suppose these stairs go? They go up.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignShoot the barrels and they'll (spoiler alert) explode, opening up your pathway and alerting some zombies to your presence.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignDon't cross the stream.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignThat water continues to flow into the stairway here. Your molotovs are useless here.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAfter emerging from your sewer safehouse, this is how chapter 3, Memorial Bridge, starts—with the Survivors surrounded. Walk up those stairs.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAnd you'll see a familiar looking bridge. This plays a lot like The Passing.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAll that stands between you and rescue is this burning fuel tanker. Blow it up to clear a path...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignYes, you're going to have to walk across that...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignThen you'll need to drop down here by shimmying down the mast of a sailboat. This is a very, very easy way to die, as zombies will climb it and knock you off, sending you to your death. Not a fan.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignBut at least the boat's name is amusing...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignA familiar looking parking lot... again, reminds me of The Passing. The safehouse lies just beyond here.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignAs you start the fourth chapter, Cutthroat Creek, you'll call for rescue from the safehouse. I've had zombies spawn in here with the door closed, something I hope is a bug. Anyway, that's your rescue vehicle. Just kidding. It crashes.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignBack into the woods...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignBack onto the stream...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignNo turning back here...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignFinally, the rescue vehicle. Just past these confusing woods, designed to scatter your team.


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie CampaignJust climb this ladder...


Let's Play Left 4 Dead 2 'Cold Stream,' The New, Outdoorsy Zombie Campaign...but don't look down.


Here's a not-so-great playthrough of the first two chapters of Cold Stream, just a taste.


...

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