Subscribe (rss)
This is a very very nice campaign. I reinstalled L4D1 today and just so happened to hear someone talking about this, so I decided to give it a try.. and I’m definitely glad I did! :D —orlyarly (on our website)

Archive for May, 2010

May18

It’s gonna be legen— wait for it —dary!

Posted by Marc in Development, Progress

Tags: , ,

I do think it is time to give more frequent news about what’s going on and react to what people say to us via Twitter and the commentaries on the website. Here are some insights at what’s going on:

  • First of all, yes the campaign is finished. We just need to sort out a bug that appears on the fourth level and then it will be fully okay. But again, this is not mandatory, we just want to avoid any potential problem in the future related to this issue, it could quickly become worse.
  • Then, we’re not working on a Left 4 Dead 2 version anymore for the moment. We want to release the Left 4 Dead 1 version first, gather some feedback and then try to port it to Left 4 Dead 2 if it’s possible.
  • Also, we’re building a little bonus section on the website to show you a bit of behind-the-scene materials. We really missed doing this after Portal: Prelude because we didn’t keep anything during the development. Basically, it’s a lot of screenshots of the evolution of the levels though the months, reference pictures and sounds, music drafts, graphs, statistics, studies and such. I takes some time to gather and build the pages, but so far so good, it’s almost done (it should be by Friday). We hope you’ll find the credentials to open it in the campaign (it’s not hidden very well), but our ultimate goal is not to piss people off, you will probably find the password on the Internet a few hours or days after the campaign is released.
  • After the campaign is released, we’ll open a little forum on this website to allow players to talk about the campaign and report feedback to us. It’s already ready, it should be fast.
  • Finally, we do have a bit more work to do on a video trailer but it’s basically finished too. It will go live at the end of the week or at the beginning of the next one. Don’t freak out though, it will be very simple and rushed, we don’t have more than a few days to waste on a trailer. When it will go live, it will necessarily mean that everything is done and that we’re ready to take one week away from the project before we release to think about things we could have missed and take a break.

Aside from this, some people don’t seem to understand that releasing something as important as I Hate Mountains is not quite a piece of cake and seems easier done than said. Believe me, this is not the way it works. We put more than one year of work into this, and it’s not the moment to rush things out. One little wrong move could led us to flood the network with a flawed version and believe me, it happened once with Portal: Prelude and this is definitely not something we want to experiment again. Files on the Internet tend to replicate themselves at an alarming rate.

More than any of you, we know it’s been a very long time this campaign is being delayed. It may piss everyone off, but at this point we really don’t want to do any mistake. Stay tuned for the video trailer and we hope you’ll talk about it around you once it’s released!

May14

New “promotional” screenshots

Posted by Nicolas in Media, Progress

As promised last week, here are a few of the new screenshots of the campaign we’ll be using to promote our work in the upcoming weeks. These are taken from the lastest stable build and should represent what you’ll get once you’ll finally be able to play the campaign.

Be sure that releasing something as big as I Hate Mountains sure takes some preparation, we’re in the middle of a lot of different things for the website, for the “press”, for the fans, etc. But we sure are close to it nonetheless. It’s only a matter of a few days or more, but not more than two weeks (again, speculation, but this time, it should work out).

By the way, there’s more screenshots (10 for each level) on the new “Ambient screenshots” page. Don’t hesitate to take a tour and tell us what you think about it in the comments until we finish to setup the forums.

1: Lost in the Woods

The survivors crashed their bus in an utility pole of this dark forest while fleeing. They must now find their way through the spooky North American mountains.

2: Climbing the Manor

The survivors got out of the forest and must now reach the highest point of this manor and try to launch a distress call from the radio broadcasting some tape loop.

3: The Underground Way

Escaped from the manor, the survivors are now fleeing through an old system of caves and tunnels running under the manor and through the mountains.

4: Lumberyard Evacuation

Freshly escaped from this oppressing cave system, survivors are now looking for help and rescue in the lumberyard nearby where military forces set up their outpost.

5: Lakeside Finale

Fleeing the now infected and desolated lumberyard, the survivors find themselves blocked by a lake and are eagerly waiting to be rescued by whoever could catch their signal.

May7

Valve to (finally) support community-made Left 4 Dead content

Posted by Nicolas in General

Tags:

Three days ago, Chet Faliszek (one of the project leads on Left 4 Dead at Valve) posted on the Left 4 Dead mailing-list to announce something that they never really did until then. I don’t think it’s our role to relay this information, but I also think this is too important to confidentially stay on the mailing-list. Here’s an extract from the message he posted:

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 5:14 PM, Chet Faliszek <chetf@valvesoftware.com> wrote:

With “The Passing” just released, I just want to cover a few things coming up in the near future directly affecting the mod community. […]

We are going to start including community content on our dedicated servers. We have our first test up in our data centers. For this test, each data center has 40 instances dedicated to community content. What this means. If the custom campaign is on our servers, while players will still need to download it from one of the other sites (l4dmaps.com etc), they will be able to play on dedicated servers. This should improve the experience for most players. We will also be making posts and promoting the campaigns on our blog in the coming weeks.

I currently have 2 campaigns up for testing. You can mail me a link to your campaign if you would like to be included. We do ask that your campaigns only include work that you have the legal right to use and for the start, we are only looking for finished campaigns (we will update them at your request of course but looking for campaigns with a lower churn rate at first because I am doing this by hand for now). We also always reserve the right to not host any Campaign.

The first two up for playing are Dead City 2 and City 17. Make sure to give feedback to the designers, be it on this list, in forums, or on sites. Please try and connect and play on our dedicated servers, let me know how it is.

[…]

While this sounds like really good news, I can also remember they promised a Q/A session in January and that it never happened. I can also remember them saying “we’re going to fix it this month” a dozen times and it never happened either. I know they can’t do everything, but I’m pretty confident that they’ll keep their promises this time. I just want to make sure not only mappers and modders know about this, so that the decision can have a little bit more attention from everyone and hopefully prevent them from ditching u.

We’re actually discussing if we want to send them the final version of I Hate Mountains before it goes live for real. On one hand, it couldn’t really hurt anyone but on the other hand, that would potentially delay the release by several weeks… and we sure don’t want to wait for it. What do you think about this? I’m pretty confident we can obtain a quite good coverage via gaming websites and partners we gathered from the Portal: Prelude era, but official support from Valve would officially be kick-ass.