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One of the things really worth mentioning [...] is the environmental details. It is truly captivating, the solitary lanterns and the fireflies combined with the ambient sounds give it a unique beyond-realistic atmosphere. —The_Garden (www.l4dmods.com)
Mar4

The light at the end of the tunnel

Posted by Marc in Media, Progress

Tags: , , , , ,

Like we said on our Twitter feed a few days ago, we recently decided to restrain ourselves to a few deadlines. The work is nearly over (I know we’re always saying that), the first deadline was 4 days ago, and we only missed it by a few days. Unfortunately, we still can’t give any release date yet because we’re waiting for Valve to fix the game (else we can’t even play the campaign properly), but we’re definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

What’s left to do you may ask? Well, it kinda depends on our regular playtests (we always find a few things to tweak), but I’d say there’s still the extraction vehicle to export as a Source engine model, the fourth map (Lumberyard) to polish a bit, a few tweaks to the navigation meshes, a few more particle systems, various small optimizations and then, the coop should be finished. But when I said we missed our last deadline by a few days, it wasn’t really true. Most of our tasks are linked to a particular actor of the project and for some of them, there’s no other way to proceed, it’s not like anyone else could do the job. That why while Nicolas’ still finishing the last tasks, I’ve already started to take care of the Versus side of the campaign.

You read well, we never really decided if we were going to implement a Versus mode or not (mostly because we don’t care about versus), so the question was still on hold until a few days ago. We finally decided that we had to do it for the fans, but I need to warn everyone about something: we’re definitely not going to deeply playtest versus. The campaign is playing good in coop mode, we’re just providing space and paths for the infected to roam around. Basically, every map will have some special infected that won’t play particularily well:

  • Forest: Works well for Smokers and Hunters, not really for Boomers
  • Manor: Works well for Smokers and Boomers, not really for Hunters
  • Underground: Works well for Smokers and Boomers, not really for Hunters
  • Lumberyard: Works well for Hunters and Boomers, not really for Smokers
  • Lakeside: Works well for the three of them

Finally, I’ll repeat some of the things we already said recently: Why aren’t we planning an open beta? Because that’s not the way we work. Read about Agile software development and its “produce less, iterate more often” guidelines. Why is this taking so long to release? External people can’t really understand how hard it is to come up with something like what we’re doing when there’s already hundreds of campaigns out there. We’re not just building another campaign, we’re building something from the ground up with a different approach. There’s a bunch of other campaigns doing the same, and most of them are in development since shortly before I Hate Mountains. We know what we did, we know what we have to do, we know that the campaign is fully playable since months, but “playable” doesn’t mean “finished” and even less “polished” or “bug-free”.

“Stay positive guys, I have a good feeling about this!”

 

31 Responses to “The light at the end of the tunnel”

  1. Nicolas says:

    @Dizzy:
    I think Coop is the actual game while Versus is just some extra.

  2. vince&emi says:

    Thanks to your almost 2 years experience (at least) from Portal Prelude to IHM, when did you plan to write a kinda "how to create awesome mods for noobs" ?
    I'd love to read it ;)

  3. Daniel says:

    Nice read, have to say that im looking forward to your work when it gets finished. And i love your approach to rls to, that you wont rls it until its finished. Respect!
    Not only me thinking that way it seems. =)

    Still, keep up the good work and I feel your pain when it comes to maping. You seem to have had a fair deal of problems with your maping.. Then think about how it is for me thats an "avarage" mapper >.<
    Darn they should fix the maping tools for l4d1 so that a noob like me can enjoy it without being forced to go bald in the process =< Gah, talk about ranting about nothing again.. But again, good luck and keep up that good work you seem to be doing. Looks awsome!

  4. I've never been as excited to play a L4D addon campaign as I am for this.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow, by the comments on Twitter, the most desired campaign is almost done.

    Good news, very good.
    Congratulations to the team can´t say enough about it.

    And, btw, i agree with Nicolas the Coop campaigns are the real game, the vs is a feature.
    Good luck people.

  6. Emily says:

    Etant donné que Valve vous a enfin aidé, je suppose que la sortie d’une release devient imminente.En tout cas, bravo à vous pour vous être démener corps et âme pour fournir une campagne avec du contenu de qualité.Après la prestation Portal Prélude, celle-ci sera j’en suis sure encore meilleure !A très vite sur cette campagne qui promets :)