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I couldn't say how much inspiration the mod took from L4D2 but it has a hybrid feeling of both games. It certainly feels ahead of the original L4D1 campaigns in terms of detail and game mechanics... —Glenn (www.halflife2.net)

Archive for March, 2009

Mar31

Left 4 Dead hates open spaces!

Posted by Marc in Development, Media, Progress

Tags: , , , ,

A few days ago, we unveiled our new project I Hate Mountains and this website was already visited by more than 3,000 people. This is quite impressive and it motivates us for the next part of the development. We’d like to thank you all for your support and your confidence. It’s now our job to try not to disappoint you, and believe us, it will not be the case.

Talking about the campaign, here’s some fresh news.
In our first level, the forest, a big part had to be reviewed and redone after the release of Left 4 Dead. At the beginning, it was quite an impressive and vast open-space: fun to play, hard to optimize and finally… it had some problems to fit in the Left 4 Dead gameplay.

Making a Left 4 Dead level is not only a question of level-design and geometry. You can’t build it and play it straight out of the box like most of Valve’s games. You have to complete another important task, the nav mesh creation. The goal is to mark the paths for the game, these nav meshes contains a lot of informations for the artificial intelligence. Where can survivors and infected walk ? Where is the event ? Where can they respawn ? and stuff. The Director also needs it to build the gameplay during the game.

Problem is, when we got our first playable version of the level and tried to build the nav meshes, the process took three hours to reach 1%. Finally, we never managed to get a fully working version of the level. The game didn’t knew how to compute the path from the spawn point to the first safe room because there was way too many combinations in this vast open-space.

Conclusion ?
We found out that Left 4 Dead was not really suitable for open and vast environments. Something had to be done. This is why I spent the last weeks trying to transform this open-space level in a corridor-like version. This is not something we wanted to do, but we had to resign, and after a lot of talking and babbling with the team members, we found several ways to transform the level without loosing this precious open-space feeling.

Today, this first level is mostly finished and we believe the creation process recently reached 75% (unless the late release of the SDK messes everything up, wouldnt be such a surprise).

Concerning the other levels of this campaign, our progress is constant. The third level is already beeing tested right now. We’re trying to push the director to the limits, forcing him to make mistakes and telling us what’s wrong with the level and the nav meshes.

Francis hates fire

Stay tuned for more developer banter until the release.
PS: The screenshots page is now open.

Mar28

Talking with NoFrag about the SDK

Posted by Nicolas in Development, General

A few hours after the first showcase of this campaign, we talked with the guys at NoFrag.com, a french FPS community. It’s in french and we’re talking about what are the drawbacks of mapping for Left 4 Dead without a proper SDK.

Check it out:
http://nofrag.com/2009/mar/28/30989/

Mar24

What the hell is this all about ? (bis)

Posted by Nicolas in General

Tags: , , , , ,

Here we are. Almost half a year passed since we began communicating on our previous project Portal: Prelude, and we believe it’s time to unveil our next plans. Welcome to IHateMountains.com!
Beware, the following is a shameless copy of the about page.

What? You hate mountains?

I Hate MountainsNo, it’s not a joke, and no, we don’t really hate mountains (only Francis does).
“I Hate Mountains” is the name of a brand new Left 4 Dead campaign made by three french friends. This campaign is built the Valve way, we are not trying to revolutionize anything, we just want to provide more content to this awesome game.
Read ahead to learn more about it.


Why are we doing it?

Because we friggin’ love this game.
We are playing Left 4 Dead together since the early days, during the Festival du Jeu-Vidéo in Paris, in 2008 (before the release). We played this game so much and always on the same campaigns that we believe it needs fresh new content, quickly.

More details on the campaign

The I Hate Mountains campaign is divided into 5 different maps, just like Valve did with their own campaigns.

Forest Forest
Our survivors crashed their bus in an utility pole of this dark mountain forest while fleeing. They must now find their way through the trees.
Manor Manor
Now that the survivors managed to get out of the forest, they must reach the highest point of this manor and try to launch a distress call from the radio.
Underground Underground
Escaped from the manor, the survivors are now fleeing though an old system of caves and tunnels running through the mountain.
Lumberyard Lumberyard
Freshly escaped of this oppressing cave system, our survivors are now looking for help and rescue in the lumberyard nearby.
Lakeside Lakeside
Fleeing the now infected and deserted lumberyard, the survivors are now stuck and eagerly waiting to be rescued by whoever could see their signal.

Who are we?

Mostly people from the Portal: Prelude team.
We are three friends with a professional, a student and an amateur background of the videogame industry. Check out the Meet the team page for more details.

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