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We've seen the Left 4 Dead SDK be used to create some truly impressive, zombie-infested levels, but this one might just take the cake. —Griffin McElroy (

Finally, a poster and a lumberyard

Posted by Marc in Media, Progress

Tags: , ,

When we began to think about a campaign title and a slogan, we naturally tried to highlight our montainous environment with a catchy title, just like every official campaign. Once the title and slogan found, the second step was the creation of a movie poster, an essential step for every Left 4 Dead campaign, because this will probably be the first thing people will see before downloading it. With his artwork/photoshop/drawing skills, Geoffroy decided to work alone on this task using the photoshop poster template built by Adam “Supernorn” Riches. Once the global layout fixed, we all had a meeting to discuss every little detail of the poster and compare a good dozen of different versions.

This poster wasn’t unveiled until then simply because the website design already uses it to some extent. It allowed us to start releasing material without repeating the same error than most custom campaigns seems to do. Which means, find an idea, make a kickass poster, don’t show anything more for two months and reward people with a few crappy screenshots that don’t even match the campaign poster. Now that everybody seems to know what we’re doing, it’s time to unveil our poster:

But unveiling the poster is also and above all an opportunity to talk a bit more about the campaign, and especially the fourth map which ressemble the poster the most. Lumberyard begins when underground ends (what a surprise), after travelling through a long underground tunnel system, the survivors finally reach fresh air again using the railway passing through the mountain. While walking in this fourth map, you’ll realize very quickly where you are (vertically talking) and this is also where the mountainous background at the origin of the title of the campaign will make its greatest appearance.

Walking through the fourth map, you’ll have to travel along a lakeside road, inspired by Canadian landscapes. This road is larger than most roads you’ll have already faced during the campaign, these are not forest trails anymore, and this one is scattered with corpses and multiple car crashes. It seems to have been used for a mass exodus who went terribly wrong. Then, what happened? In the distance, along the lake, some buildings stand out from the horizon: the sawmill. Why do they all seemed to head for this installation? This is what you’ll have to discover when the campaign will be ready to play.

From the developer viewpoint, Geoffroy, who is in charge of the level, always tries to keep a significant coherence. This credibility problem is reflected through the architecture of the level and the placement of the various buildings and props. Thus, the sawmill was entirely built for the sake of realism even before it had a gameplay layout. It may seem like a controversial way of building a map, but lumberyard was entirely imagined this way, the gameplay often adapts to the environment and not the opposite. Each 3D prop, each car on the road, each bush and tree was scattered in a realistic way, which is kind of our main goal with this campaign after all. We’re trying to put a bit more design work than what Valve did with the poorly designed survival maps released with the recent update (who said smoky rocks, invisible walls and uncrossable 2 foot height fences?). Just kidding, we love you Valve <3

Witches hates buses

Stay tuned for more developer banter until the release.


20 Responses to “Finally, a poster and a lumberyard”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanx for your work guys. Can’t wait for this level :)

  2. Yotho says:

    Comme toujours c’est du bon boulot !

    J’ai une question: aller vous utiliser des textures perso ? si oui, utilisez vous “SSbump Generator” ?

    Je pense que le “ssbump” augmenterais encore plus la qualité de vos textures.

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. guillaume says:


    I’m definitly in love of the “messy exodus” aspect.

    Can’t wait to play to your campaign ?

    Do you need a (french) beta tester ? :)

    Keep on this good work, guys !

    Bon courage pour la suite !

  5. kondor7 says:

    “Now that everybody seems to now what we're doing"
    => know ?

    The glommy atmoshere seems to be well rendered !
    I heard a owl in the night…

  6. Nicolas says:

    Fixed, thanks!
    Also, you’ll here owls in the night, we used the work of a pro sounder for this.

  7. Nicolas says:

    For the moment, we don’t need beta-testers, even french ones. We have far enough people in our direct entourage for this.

  8. guillaume says:

    Hey, proposition is on the table :)

  9. Froyok says:

    Hello people !
    You do not have a problem of division on your posters? It looks like of hurdy-gurdy tracks white of division stayed. Later I know not really l4d.

  10. Sl@yEr says:

    Nice work again!
    I really love the part with “car crashes”!!!!

    Bon courage!

  11. Faildir says:


    Will there be versus and survival modes for this campaign? Or just a campaign mode?


  12. vince&emi says:

    Hi, already asked for versus and survival map too but no answer yet :(
    I remember looking at your progress on Portal: Prelude on your website few months ago on a daily basis. It was hard to wait already at that time, it seems that things are repeating again and again, but today I know it’s worth to wait !!
    Well done guys I am must admit that I am REALLY impressed and would love to help you.

  13. Nicolas says:

    @the last two guys:
    Nothing’s really fixed for the moment. If it’s not too difficult to convert the coop into a versus version and cut it down to a few survival maps, why not. But if it requires months of work, we may wait a bit before releasing the versus and survival versions.

  14. mind says:

    salut desolé je fais pas l’effort de parler anglais :) je vois que y a encore du nouveau apres P.P et ca semble bien parti par contre sur “lumberyard” il y a l’air d’avoir de gros soucis de light nan? sprite moche sur le lampadaire et pas de lumiere au sol!! mais bon j’imagine que c’est temporaire :) a plus, votre ancien compaire de M-A

  15. Geoffroy says:

    Comme tu le fais remarquer, c’est une version de travail

    As you said, this is a work in progress

  16. tokelazor says:

    Hey, Loved portal prelude, was curious to know tho if you guys have dabbled in the beta “authoring tools” for L4D.

    if so can we expect this map as soon as valve releases their matchmaking update?!

    even if its long while till you release your campaign… really looking forward to it!

    keep up that great work!

  17. xxxxx says:

    Hi, you must know by now, but

    the L4d SDK beta is out.


    BTW, good work, i love Portal Prelude

    Good luck with the new mod

    The L4D SDG is out

    It is out. Haahhaahha

  18. Anonymous says:

    when its ready to play?

  19. Good article. I realize this is not exactly on topic, but I just wanted to add that this site theme here is pretty cool. Is there a name or something? I do not know where to look.

  20. Adley says:

    Very good write-up! I’m also gonna publish a blog article about it… thanks