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.
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.
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.
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.
There are still a few more weeks to submit your character skins before we “review” them and see which ones we like the best. Who knows what the best ones might get besides being added to the official collection...
While you are busy at work on those, take a few minutes to vote for your favorite campaign. We will be featuring a new community campaign on our servers in a few weeks.
We have released the first of the Resident Evil 6 replacement creatures into the L4D2 workshop. You can have Napad replace the current Tank skin by simply going to its Workshop page and clicking subscribe. Why subscribe instead of download? Because if we make an update to the skin, everyone instantly gets the new updated version. By subscribing, you will always have the latest version.
If you check the Resident Evil 6 tab on the Workshop, you can see a few of the very first of the RE6 entries. Is anyone surprised Splinks was already working on some? The best entries will be included in a special Resident Evil 6 collection and might even get a few goodies thrown their way.
Past that, testing is continuing on both the Left 4 Dead 2 version of Linux and the Beta version of L4D2 which includes our new Extended Mutation System. Both are testing well and the team is embracing 8 hour days of play testing.
The artwork used for this blog post was created by AgentGraven. You can check it and other community created art in the Artwork tab.
This trailer shows the RE6 mode The Mercenaries: No Mercy, which pits Coach, Ellis, Nick and Rochelle against Resident Evil enemies, plus brings in the Witch and Mini-Tank from L4D2. This mode and the L4D2 characters and monsters are included for free in the PC version of Resident Evil 6.
When you are done watching the video, make sure to get to work on your Resident Evil 6 character for the L4D2 workshop or if modeling isn’t your thing – sit back and wait for the Resident Evil characters and creatures to invade L4D2 next month.
Have you added any Workshop items to your game? If not, time to do it. The creative modders of L4D2 continue to add new content every day. The Cat mod pictured above changes all the common infected into cats. Do you shoot them or do you hug them? A little tip, hugging will not end well and shooting them is really, really hard. To download and keep your cats and other mods up to date, just click the subscribe button on the item page. Next time you start the game you will see the game automatically downloading the custom content.
Right now that content is set to not play on Valve dedicated servers – but that is about to change. We are working to allow the custom content to be usable in non-competitive modes like Campaign and Survival. For now you can see it by playing on third party servers or local games.
We have a few more things in the works.
We are hard at work on the Linux release. While we don’t have a solid ETA yet, we are internally testing on Linux, MAC, and PC. Right now, it is looking pretty good. We will have more news as we get closer to release.
In Left 4 Dead Beta our new scripted mode – EMS (Extended Mutation System) continues its testing with more mods and features being added. When this is released, we will also be updating some match making features to let you more easily find games and lobbies for your favorite Mutations.
Lastly, this Friday we will have a few special little teases for the L4D2/RE6 mashup. Until then, we saw this great piece of concept art posted over on Reddit. I think combining this with Splink’sCat mod would be perfect. It just leaves us with one question, is that a new special or a new survivor?
Thinking of pre-ordering Resident Evil 6? We now have six more reasons to do it. The first four are Nick, Coach, Ellis, and Rochelle. All are crossing over to fight monsters in the new PC exclusive game mode for RE6 - The Mercenaries No Mercy.
They aren’t coming alone. Joining them from the infected side is the Witch and a special version of the Tank. The Tank even comes in a new form - the Mini Tank. It is all the ferociousness of the giant Tank but in a cute cuddly but deadly package.
That covers L4D2 in RE6, but what kind of self-respecting mash-up only goes one way? Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered. First up, we are adding three RE6 creatures to the Left 4 Dead 2 Workshop - Lepotitsa, Napad and Ogroman as Special Infected replacements.
For the Resident Evil 6 characters we have a different idea. This is where you come in. Both the Left 4 Dead 2 and Resident Evil 6 communities are invited to create their own take on RE6’s original cast and submit them to the L4D2 Workshop.
To create a character and submit it to the Workshop you will need access to the L4D2 Authoring tools. And just in case you have been living hole, covered in cement, at the bottom of a lake to protect yourself from the zombie apocalypse and you just now came out of said hole and still have not purchased L4D2 - we have even put L4D2 on sale this week for an incredible 75% off!
Just remember when you submit your RE6 character - include the Resident Evil 6 tag. That will make sure it shows up in the Resident Evil 6 tab and we will pick the best ones to add to our official Resident Evil 6 Collection.
Eddie Riggs from Brütal Legend has taken a break from fighting Doviculus and to help us in Left 4 Dead 2 land with our little zombie problem. He is sending over his battle-axe and guitar, so this weekend players can rock out and slay hordes of zombies.
Thanks to Double Fine, you can find Eddie’s weapons in the Brütal Legend’s Collection inside the L4D2 Workshop. Just visit the workshop, click subscribe, and next time you load up Left 4 Dead 2, you will have two new “axes”.
With today’s update, we fixed an issue with dedicated servers and workshop content. This should resolve some of the consistency issues people are seeing while playing on a dedicated server.
Server operators will need to move workshop content from addons to addons/workshop for it to work correctly – sorry about that.
To celebrate, we are adding Helm’s Deep Reborn to our own official servers. Gone is the long explanation of how to download and install the campaign. Now – just visit its workshop page and click subscribe. Next time you open Left 4 Dead 2 it will begin to download. If the campaign gets updated – it updates automatically for you. It’s that easy.
Make sure to choose official servers when you play to join one of our servers. It is a survival only campaign, so it is not playable in other modes and you need to make sure it has finished downloading to play it.
We are also continuing to work on the Extended Mutation System in the L4D2 Beta with an ever widening group of modders pushing gameplay into new and old places. We just released a new example mutation that allows you to play L4D1 style inside of L4D2! We are working with the content creators and adding features before we release this new tool and its many creations onto the world – stay tuned.
Today we are releasing an Expanded Mutation System for the L4D2 Beta program. Modders from around the world will help us test the expanded tools before we roll them into the main game and the workshop.
What is EMS? It is vastly improved scripting system that allows script authors to go past modifying existing scripts and write custom script logic, spawn and control entities, and much much more.
Mod authors will now be able to create deep custom experiences that can be played on any map or tailor create something for new or existing maps.
We have included numerous examples including a new survival mode called Holdout, other all new game modes, and numerous other examples to help show mod authors how to use the new tools.
We have also included a wiki walking through some of the simplest examples and this week we will be online in the Beta group chat and forums to help modders learn the new tools.
How long will EMS be in beta? Long enough for us to achieve our goals: - Find out what new tools people use, and how well they work. - Find out what are the most important missing features we can add. - Drive out as many bugs and issues as possible.
For everyone else waiting to play these new creations, we have some changes coming up for the workshop and our servers based on community feedback.
*The screenshots with this post are from the example game modes shipped with the beta.