Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

OH GOD. It's a lot colder than I thought it was going to be.

‘Twas more than a year ago that Left 4 Dead 2′s Cold Stream DLC first stirred beneath the grave of Valve’s nearly immortal undead sequel, and then – as though cast in the world’s most anticlimatic horror movie – it just kind of sat there. “I’ll rise and kick off the end of all human civilization tomorrow,” it thought to itself. But tomorrow never came. Until now! After gobs of testing and fine-tuning, Valve’s finally deemed Cold Stream fit for public consumption.

(more…)

Jul 24, 2012
Community Announcements - SZ
<a href="http://www.l4d.com/coldstream"><img src="http://www.l4d.com/blog/images/posts/090/coldstream_available.gif" width="440" height="497" border="0"></a>

<strong>Cold Stream Is Out!</strong>

For PC players, we have some map updates that move the big Beta needle to Release. For Xbox 360 players sorry but the Cold Stream DLC on the Xbox 360 is going to be delayed until next week.

We have almost all the details available here on our <a href="http://www.l4d.com/coldstream">Cold Stream Update page</a> – we just missed one – to celebrate the launch of Cold Stream – <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/550/">Left 4 Dead 2 is 75% off on Steam</a>! Time to introduce some new friends to the Zombie Apocalypse.

<a href="http://www.l4d.com/coldstream">Visit the Cold Stream Update page</a>.
Jul 24, 2012
L4D Blog

Cold Stream Is Out!
For PC players, we have some map updates that move the big Beta needle to Release. For Xbox 360 players sorry but the Cold Stream DLC on the Xbox 360 is going to be delayed until next week.

We have almost all the details available here on our Cold Stream Update page – we just missed one – to celebrate the launch of Cold Stream – Left 4 Dead 2 is 75% off on Steam! Time to introduce some new friends to the Zombie Apocalypse.

Visit the Cold Stream Update page.
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Left 4 Dead 2 have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

- Made all mutations accessible from the main menu

CRASH COURSE

Crash Course 1:
- Fixed survivors being able to climb into infected-only territory from the top of the white truck in the early alley.
- Survivors can no longer leave the map bounds near the riverfront.
- Closed off a shortcut method to bypass the howitzer event.

Crash Course 2:
- Survivors can no longer jump on the generators in the finale area.

DEATH TOLL

Death Toll 1:
- Moved car near the tunnel entrance away from the drooping traffic light, as standing on parts of the car near the traffic signal could put you into a permanently stuck position.
- Moved a traffic sign that allowed survivors to climb the drooping traffic light prop up to the top of the tunnel entrance.

Death Toll 2:
- Added an infected ladder leading in to the upper pipe in the large drain room.
- Survivors should no longer be able to cross the bridge-lowering event before the bridge has fully lowered.
- Survivors should no longer be able to access the infected-only areas toward the end of the level.
- Survivors should no longer be able to leave the playable areas of the map from the areas beyond the saferoom.

Death Toll 3:
- Added "Checkpoint" flag to the nav square at the end of the intro saferoom to prevent versus rounds from starting when survivors stand next to the door.
- Removed a nav square by the next-level saferoom door to prevent infected players from standing there to prevent the round ending.
- Tweaked saferoom level transition trigger brushes to prevent infected players outside of the saferoom preventing the transition.

Death Toll 4:
- Players can no longer access the right-hand corner just outside the starting saferoom. This is to address a permanent-stuck spot when the saferoom door is opened.
- Survivors can no longer climb over the van in the ally leading to the onslaught area, which allowed them to skip most of the level.
- Survivors should no longer be able to leave the map/enter infected-only areas outside of the onslaught even street.

Death Toll 5:
- Made the roof of the picnic area inaccessible to survivors. This resolves an invincible spot.
- Players can no longer jump on the electric box prop facing the water on the side of the lakehouse.

DEAD AIR

Dead Air 1:
- Moved a bookshelf in front of the window in the second interior area (before the ladder climb) to prevent players from skipping parts of the level.

Dead Air 2:
- Move the trailer below the office building out of jumping range to prevent players skipping the offices.

Dead Air 3:
- Moved the fence and fence-climbing props at the entrance to the construction yard further back into the alleyway.
- Several tweaks to the area near the construction yard to prevent survivors from setting off the barricade fire event before they enter the event arena.
- Boarded up a window in the construction yard to address survivors accessing an invincible area.
- Survivors should no longer be able to jump over the barricade.

Dead Air 4:
- Infected players should no longer get stuck climbing over the rubble that divides the start of the map from the balcony leading to the escalator side .
Dead Air 5:
- Fixed a visual bug caused by a cube map being hidden inside of a prop.

BLOOD HARVEST

Blood Harvest 1:
- Survivors should no longer be able to leave the map by jumping to the left toward the end of the rope bridge..

Blood Harvest 2:
- It is no longer possible for survivors to climb in the vent above the alarm room.
- Survivors can no longer stand on the horizontal pipes under the catwalk in the area following the alarm door event.
- The high pipes along the sides of the train tunnel are no longer accessible to survivors.

Blood Harvest 4:
- The roof of the starting safe room is no longer accessible to survivors..
- Survivors can no longer jump on top of the “Richardson Atlantic” building.

Blood Harvest 5:
-Removed some of the crossbeams in the hay storage building.

COLD STREAM

Cold Stream 1:
- AI infected can now access the roof of the watchtower.
- Survivors can no longer jump on top of the roof of the single-storey cabin at the far end of the area after the rope bridge.

Cold Stream 2:
- It should no longer be possible for survivors to jump up to the top of the tunnel entrance pipe near the start of the map.
- Survivors should no longer be able to jump over the fence on the bridge toward the end, skipping the barrel explosion event.
- Changed the M60 spawns into weapon_item_spawn to be more mutation friendly.

Cold Stream 3:
- The walls toward the back of the bridge (opposite of the direction players go to progress the level) are no longer accessible to survivors. This is to prevent survivors from getting into infected-only areas below the bridge, which they may not be able to escape from.
- Changed the M60 spawns into weapon_item_spawn to be more mutation friendly.

Cold Stream 4:
- Hooked up a quick conversation between the chopper pilot and the triggering survivor.
Announcement - Valve
During this week's Midweek Madness, save 75% off the Left 4 Dead 2!

Also, make sure to check out the "Cold Stream" update today! This 5 campaign DLC includes Crash Course, Death Toll, Dead Air, Blood Harvest and the community created Cold Stream. The update also makes all mutations available to play any time.

PC Gamer
Left 4 Dead 2


A new official blog called Valve Linux has popped up, put together by an 11-strong team of developers on a mission to "strengthen the gaming scene on Linux, both for players and developers. This includes Linux ports of Steam and Valve games, as well as partner games. We are also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers."

The team was set up last year, and have been experimenting with porting Steam and Left 4 Dead 2 over to popular Linux operating system, Ubuntu. "We’re just starting development and working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are. It reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster," say Valve.

That's just the beginning, however. "Based on the success of our efforts around Ubuntu, we will look at supporting other distributions in the future." They've got Left 4 Dead 2 running natively on Ubuntu, and a basic version of Steam. They're planning to polish both up over the course of the next few months and look into porting more games onto open source platforms.

"We’ll be posting more information about those projects (and others) on a regular basis. Since this is a new effort for the team, we’d love to hear your opinions about the blog so shoot us an email. We also encourage you to leave comments and ideas for future postings. We want this to be a community of game developers, communicating with each other and talking about current efforts and future efforts in a powerfully creative environment."

You can take part and let your view be known over on the Valve Linux site.
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Valve has muttered and murmured about bringing Steam and its Source engine to Linux before, and now it's revealed the plan--port Steam and Left 4 Dead 2 to Ubuntu 12.04, then work from there. Steam will come to Linux in all its glory, and Valve's building a speedy OpenGL version of Source it can use for more of its games too.

The Valve Linux Team already has Steam and L4D2 up and running natively on Ubuntu, the 11-person group formed in 2011 explains in its first blog post. They need a bit more work before we can all play with them, though, and Valve notes, "Our goal is to have L4D2 performing under Linux as well as it performs under Windows."

Why Ubuntu? The team explains, "First, we're just starting development and working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are. It reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster. Secondly, Ubuntu is a popular distribution and has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities."

Depending on how well it goes down, the team will look at bringing Steam to more distros. And, naturally, Valve wants to bring more of its games to Linux.

Linux users have enthusiastically supported efforts to bring proper games to its platform (sorry, Tux Racer), consistently paying far more to the Humble Bundles than Mac and Windows folks.

PC Gamer
Valve Jason Holtman


You love Steam sales. I love Steam sales. EA, however, don't love Steam sales. Just a few weeks ago their senior vice president made his opinion clear, claiming that they "cheapen" intellectual property. A few days ago the Origin Summer Sale kicked off anyway.

We asked Valve's director of business management, Jason Holtman, whether Steam sales have any affect on day-one purchases during last week's Develop conference. He doesn't agree with EA. Not even a little bit.

"If that’s what we thought was happening, or that’s what we saw happening, we wouldn't do it. Actually, all the data is contrary to that. A promotion is not a policy; a promotion is just a feature to give people more value," said Jason, speaking to PC Gamer.

"It’s not as if a 75% offer or a 50% off sale at some point in time cannibalises a sale that would have happened earlier, it’s just not true. We’re actually seeing both of them growing. We don’t see one cannibalising the other. If we did, we wouldn't do it." he continued.

Steam sales go from the sublime to the ridiculous-ly cheap. There's even one going on right now. Check out this real time evidence of a Steam summer sale in progress. It's a wonderful time for bargains.

"We put Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal 2 on sale. If we thought that was killing our franchise, or hurting the value of games, or hurting the revenue we could generate as a company, we wouldn't do it," continues Jason. "We've even gone so far as to give away Portal for free a couple of times. Whole days where it's not free for a day, it's just free."

Valve's sales still weren't dented: "We looked at this amazing data afterwards. The day after the sales were exactly the same, if not more," he says.

"People aren't making a decision thinking 'I'm always going to wait for perfect pricing.' There are time elements to it, there are fan elements to it, there are value elements to it. People sometimes like paying the full amount on the first day because they want to play it now and they want to be a fan.

"Those features you’re talking about - like the sales - we just think of them as customer features. They're not policies or mandates. Things like this are super smart: this would be fun; people would play this game; they’d pick it up if they didn’t have it; they’d tell their friends about it."

For more from Jason, check our story on how TF2 inspired Greenlight. We've also posted his views on Greenlight's rating system.

Thanks to Dan Griliopoulos for the image.
Jul 13, 2012
L4D Blog
It has been too long since we had some stats, so we took a break today to run some numbers from yesterday’s (July 12th) activity on the PC.
237,412 Players played 7,147,979 minutes for an average session time of 30 minutes.
L4D Blog
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