L4D Blog

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.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

Making Left 4 Dead campaigns is an interesting challenge. You’re building levels for a game that decides when and where to attack the player, and you have almost no control over those moments. It means your focus is in creating the world and in making it an interesting space for the players to exist in. You can’t guarantee that the cleverly designed chokepoint you made will ever be used as one, but you can make it the prettiest damn corridor the player will ever see. The setting is one of the biggest considerations you have, and then you have to have the talent to pull it off. It’s why I think most L4D campaigns take such a long time coming. Dniepr’s a Left 4 Dead (1 and 2) campaign that’s set in the Ukraine, including Pripyat, and has been three years in development. There’s a quite startling pair of trailers below. (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Don’t be nervous, but Valve still wants to measure your sweat">rsz_tf2_medic



There may come a day when preparing for the next chapter of a Left 4 Dead game will include wiping down your sweaty palms and taking a deep, deep breath. If you don’t, the zombies will get faster.

In remarks during the 2013 NeuroGaming Conference and Expo (via VentureBeat), Valve’s in-house experimental psychologist—Wait, hold on. Did you know that Valve employs an experimental psychologist? I wonder if he has lunch sometimes with the economist.

Anyway, Valve’s in-house mad scientist, Mike Ambinder, discussed experiments where players’ overall nervousness and agitation were measured, in part by recording sweatiness. If players began to show signs of nervousness or fear, the game would speed up. This new control scheme—mouse, keyboard, sweat-measuring skin pads—added another way for the player to interact with the game. Shoot zombie, reload pistols, keep calm. Signal for rescue, throw molotov, keep calm.

Ambinder also described other experiments in game design and biofeedback—which Valve has been talking about for a few years—including a version of Portal 2 that was played via eye tracking. Exploring the next generation of possible gaming inputs shows once again that Valve continues to operate, and plan, on a whole different level.

So good for you, Mike Ambinder. Just stay away from the mega-baboon hearts and everything will work out just fine.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Don’t be nervous, but Valve still wants to measure your sweat">rsz_tf2_medic



There may come a day when preparing for the next chapter of a Left 4 Dead game will include wiping down your sweaty palms and taking a deep, deep breath. If you don’t, the zombies will get faster.

In remarks during the 2013 NeuroGaming Conference and Expo (via VentureBeat), Valve’s in-house experimental psychologist—Wait, hold on. Did you know that Valve employs an experimental psychologist? I wonder if he has lunch sometimes with the economist.

Anyway, Valve’s in-house mad scientist, Mike Ambinder, discussed experiments where players’ overall nervousness and agitation were measured, in part by recording sweatiness. If players began to show signs of nervousness or fear, the game would speed up. This new control scheme—mouse, keyboard, sweat-measuring skin pads—added another way for the player to interact with the game. Shoot zombie, reload pistols, keep calm. Signal for rescue, throw molotov, keep calm.

Ambinder also described other experiments in game design and biofeedback—which Valve has been talking about for a few years—including a version of Portal 2 that was played via eye tracking. Exploring the next generation of possible gaming inputs shows once again that Valve continues to operate, and plan, on a whole different level.

So good for you, Mike Ambinder. Just stay away from the mega-baboon hearts and everything will work out just fine.
Shacknews - John Keefer

Valve has offered a treat to Linux users with the release of a Left 4 Dead 2 beta. A Portal beta for Linux is also available, but Valve has been a bit mum on that release. If you own any of those three games, the betas should appear in your Steam library.

The Left 4 Dead blog announced the release, revealing that they will use this build as a testing ground for the Extended Mutation System for script authors. Players will also get access to the authoring tools and the beta dedicated server. The Linux version is the same size as the original game, so go grab some food while you wait for the download.

BluesNews is also reporting that the Linux versions of Portal has started showing up in user libraries as well, so check for it if you own the game.

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Valve has thrown a bit more of its weight behind Linux with the release of beta builds of Portal and Left 4 Dead 2. If you own either (or both) games you should find that beta versions have materialised in your Steam library - along with Portal 2, according to some. The Linux build of the first-person puzzler has so far gone unheralded by Valve, but here's a blog post describing the latest beta version of Left 4 Dead 2. In addition to letting Linux users play Valve's zombie hit, the download acts as a "testing ground" for its new Extended Mutation System. Thankfully, you can try the beta on Windows and Mac too.

The beta version of Left 4 Dead 2 is the same size as the main game, so you have a hefty download ahead of you. (I assume the same is true of Portal.) Steam for Linux officially launched in February, so it hasn't taken too long to get Portal and L4D2 on there. Half-Life 2 next?

Thanks to BluesNews and Kotaku.
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.
L4D Blog

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.

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.
L4D Blog

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.


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