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I Hate Mountains is the best looking custom add-on campaign you will find for Left 4 Dead 1. —Glenn (www.halflife2.net)

Posts Tagged ‘maps’

Dec24

Clarification, campaign overview, screenshots and merry Christmas!

Posted by Nicolas in Lamentation, Media, Progress

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Okay, I don’t know for you and your country, but in France, we just entered Christmas Eve day. For a few days (probably more than two weeks), we’ll keep silent and take a break with family. But before we leave, we wanted to say a few last things about the campaign.

We know it’s taking a bit longer than expected to get this campaign done. In fact, this is taking way longer than expected. At first, we thought we could have a release for the end of the summer, eventually it didn’t happen. Then, we thought we could do it for November, and we worked at a fairly sustained pace to keep up, but eventually it didn’t happen either. Finally, we thought we could finally have a release for Christmas (that would have been awesome), but you guess it, it still won’t happen for a number of reasons.

There was the great debacle of the Left 4 Dead Authoring Tools, that didn’t helped us as soon and as much as expected since most (if not all) of the components Valve initially promised never really showed up. But that’s OK, we didn’t really care anyway. Then, each one of us got back to work or school after summer, and as we’re all at the beginning of our professional life or at the end of our scholar life, it consumes a lot of our time. But that’s OK, we could bare with it. Finally, there was the big disappointment and excitation around the release of Left 4 Dead 2, which sucked up a lot of our time and motivation and brings us to the second point.

To be honest, at that point, we really thought it was time for us to give up. Until a week ago, as a leader I wasn’t really sure if we were still headed somewhere at all. We saw the numbers, we saw Left 4 Dead 1 leaking players faster than ever, we saw it fall behind Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, the Garry’s Mod, and even regularly Day of Defeat: Source, which hasn’t even been supported for years (July 2008). Even us weren’t playing Left 4 Dead 1 anymore, that really frightened us to hell to think that our project was already obsolete before its completion. Valve really didn’t left us enough time to build something serious.

For your information, on the official Left 4 Dead Mailing List a few beta-testers are talking about the upcoming Left 4 Dead 2 SDK. Let’s be honest, for the moment it looks particularly promising, but then again, if we really want to be honest, the SDK of the first one looked promising too and nothing happened. For a while, we considered switching to Left 4 Dead 2, finish our campaign and wait for the SDK to be released (OK damn, the SDK was released while I was writing this news, so… everything might change again, except the following statement). Don’t freak out though, because we made our decision. I Hate Mountains will be released on Left 4 Dead 1 or won’t be.

Okay, now that things are getting clearer, here’s a bit of information about our progress. Basically, it’s finished. Now, when I say “it’s finished” I mean that the whole campaign is complete and playable. That doesn’t mean the campaign is ready to be released, it means that we’re entering the polishing stage. We have this huge folder full of bugshots (screenshots of bugs) to fix, we need to tweak the navigation of bots and infected, we need to throw a few animations here and there, and more importantly, we need to test it full-scale. We know for sure that the gameplay works quite well, but it won’t hurt anyone.

Wooo, that was quite a long news. Now that you’re all bored, you may need some new materials to cheer you up. So here’s one overview and 20 new action screenshots of the last two maps, taken from of our last playtest.

I Hate Mountains Complete Campaign Overview (spoilers ahead, 875 KB). Now you can see how much work has gone into building different paths and ensure good re-playability.
Complete Campaign Overview

20 brand new action screenshots taken from the Lumberyard and Lakeside level during our last playtest (no spoilers here, don’t worry).



















Until next time, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the I Hate Mountains Team!

Nov2

Advertising and notifying

Posted by Nicolas in General, Progress

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Just a quick note to tell everyone to try the Suicide Blitz campaign for Left 4 Dead 1. We don’t know the guy who made it, but kudos to him, we were asbolutely thrilled when we played it yesterday. The campaign is brilliant and beautiful, full of details and sweet lighting. Plus, the ambience is really great, the difficulty high enough for a great challenge and the optimisation is quite good too. The five maps and the overall campaign are a bit too long (took us almost 3 hours in advanced) but it’s definitely worth a try. One of the best campaigns we stumbled upon for the moment.

Aside from this, we’re still working hard on the campaign. And as you can see with the semi-chaotic release of Dead Before Dawn a few days ago, we were absolutely right when we talked about how bad Left 4 Dead 1 was supporting custom campaign. That encourage us to wait more and more, until Valve releases the patch they’re talking about for months.

On the bright side, our maps are finished. Two of them are in the optimisation process, four of them are in the final navigation meshing process, and then it should be finished for good. We won’t give any hint on a possible release date for the moment, we’re not planning anything since there’s too much unanswered questions for the moment. What’s sure is that we won’t release anything until Valve fixes Left 4 Dead 1 for good. But for the moment, they still have some time.

PS: Ok, the guy’s named R.T. Frisk, see in the comments.

Oct4

Fresh news from the front

Posted by Geoffroy in Media, Progress

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It’s been a while since we last gave you some real news about the content of the campaign itself and most of you had been pretty patient until now. We never stopped working on the campaign, but we’re not working on it full-time either, so it takes some time. You already know that the first, second and third maps are finished ; it still need a few tweaks here and there, but nothing really hard to do. Lately, there was some huge progress on the fourth and fifth levels too.

For the moment Geoffroy and Marc are working hard on these fourth and fifth levels while Nicolas is waiting for them to finish in order to create the navigation meshes and link everything together. These last two maps are almost finished, we’re probably somewhere around 85 or 90% of completion. In this article, we’ll focus a bit more on the Lumberyard level, right after Underground, where survivors are back to fresh air. We could also talk about the final Lakeside level but… we kinda want to keep some mystery around this one in order to avoid spoiling too much.

As we said in previous articles, we try to care a lot about details and background while building the campaign. It gives a better credibility and allows a better immersion in the apocalyptic Left 4 Dead universe (that’s probably why it takes time to build). Until now, Lumberyard‘s pictures showed a massive exodus, a mountain road and… contaminated people finding their way through the exodus and starting a panic event. Where were these people headed ? That was the mistery. They were trying to reach a lumberyard, transformed in a heavily defended, mobile, state-of-the-art evacuation and decontamination center by the military.

When survivors finally reach the lumberyard, everyone’s already gone through the backyard’s road and all is left are the remaining people that thought they could find their salute here too… but were a bit too late. Geoffroy tried to give all these building a realistic touch, trying to build what could look like a real lumberyard. Honestly, we don’t really know how a lumberyard is supposed to work, probably like 95% of our future players, but still. We think it’s important to add some credibility.

This map is also a huge optimisation challenge, since it’s completely open and offers a lot of paths to the end. For the moment, everything’s still going fine and we can finally see the end of the tunnel. So, stay tuned for more developer stuff until the release that we hope will occur before Left 4 Dead 2. If that’s not the case, we don’t know what we’ll do and it will only depend on how much of that promised inter-operability Valve managed to built in before the launch.