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This may be a fan-made project, but it's a must-play if you are looking for a reason to revisit Left 4 Dead. —Ben Kuchera (arstechnica.com)

Posts Tagged ‘problem’

Apr30

New website and Left 4 Dead 2 compatibility

Posted by Nicolas in Lamentation, Progress

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A few months ago, I told everyone we needed to migrate our website before the end of march because Google was dropping Blogger‘s external publishing feature. Finally, they extended the date to mid-april, and then to the first of may and since procrastination is my religion, it’s been only two days I started migrating the website. So far everything seem to have gone well with the import, but if you seem to encounter something strange, please report it directly to me :
nicolas@ihatemountains.com.

For the moment, there’s nothing more to show you unfortunately. We’re in the process of making what have been done on Left 4 Dead 1 compatible under Left 4 Dead 2 and this is not as easy as Valve said it was going to be when they released the so-called Left 4 Dead 2 Add-on Support. Basically, the thing is crippled with problems, there’s content from Left 4 Dead 1 randomly missing everywhere. Sometimes it’s a texture definition file although the texture itself is present, sometimes it’s a model that only lacks its textures, and sometimes they even replaced a perfectly valid Left 4 Dead 1 model with another model from Left 4 Dead 2 (like a mop changed into a bucket or a caboose into a wagon railing). Not to mention the content from Crash Course, which is entirely missing.

Of course, this is not helping us to make the campaign compatible. So far, we repackaged all the missing content, but there’s still a few issues to solve, like a violent crash when starting the fourth level. For a tool that was supposed to allow us to easily port our Left 4 Dead 1 campaigns to Left 4 Dead 2, I guess it totally misses the point. Anyway, that’s not much a problem anymore since we’re used to it now, it just takes longer.

By the way, stay tuned because we’ll update next week (if everything goes as planned) with the promotional screenshots we’ll send to various websites to notify them about our upcoming release.

Mar28

The light at the end of the tunnel was a lie

Posted by Nicolas in Lamentation

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Hey everyone, I hope you’re not too desperate by our silence and that you still have some faith in our project. We don’t have a lot to say and most of our babbling occured on Twitter recently. Sorry if you don’t like it, but it’s far more convenient when you just have a few words to say.

Over the course of the last month, we managed to find solutions for all of the major problems that were getting in the way of the release since half a year (which is a little miracle in itself). The problem is that “finding the solution” doesn’t exactly mean “knowing how to fix it” and eventually, it took time. Last week, we found the solution to our well-known lobby connection failure that prevented any player from hosting a dedicated server on our campaign (which is kind of a deal breaker). I talked about it with people on the Left 4 Dead mailing-list, I talked about it with people at Valve, I talked about it with the team and believe me, this is not what you could call a minor problem.

Basically, the campaign is now finished (with escape vehicle and everything working) but you can only play it with bots or using console commands to control the server you’re playing on because the matchmaking system is giving up before servers hosting our campaign can reply. The solution to this problem is fairly simple: there’s no solution. The only way we can fix this is by making huge changes in the way three of our levels work. At first I seriously considered giving up and calling it a day. It’s been 14 months, we’re tired, we’re sick of working on this campaign, this was the most annoying thing that ever happened to us and it’s happening only a few days before the release… but eventually, we found some motivation to try to fix it.

We don’t know how many time it will take us, we don’t even know if it will fix the problem for good, but it’s still worth a try anyway. The release was supposed to occur next week but this won’t be the case anymore, sorry. Thankfully enough, Valve is supposed to release the Left 4 Dead 2 DLC soon and it will probably help everyone waiting.

Feb7

Don’t worry…

Posted by Nicolas in Lamentation

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Don’t worry, we’re not posting articles anymore because we’re migrating our website to WordPress. Google is slowly giving up on the external publishing and hosting features on their Blogger platform. This is quite a sudden decision on their part, and it seems that all they want is to gain control over all the blogs they’re hosting and save a few bucks.

Even if we see the advantage of letting Google take care of the server, I can see a lot more advantages in hosting it ourselves. Of course scalability is their main advantage, I can still remember this server, down on its knees when I released Portal: Prelude back in 2008, but still, this was only for a few days. The problem with this approach is that we’re losing all control and giving it back to Google. It prevents us from building our site the way we want, optimizing it for our needs and adding pages as we see it.

There will be a Bonuses/extras section on the website (it’s not a secret, there’s a disabled link on the left), plus one or two other things when the campaign will be released. We want to be able to build little dynamic systems and stuff. Of course, migrating the website to WordPress isn’t quite a piece of cake. Sure it can import everything from Blogger but it isn’t compatible with what we developed in the background and our design… soooo… it slows us down. Yeah, yet another excuse.

As for the anecdote, we’ve been in touch with people from Valve in the last few weeks. We told them about our problems with the game, the bugs we’re facing and the issues with the VPK system. For the moment, our campaign can’t be launched from a lobby, and it’s apparently something they’re aware of and trying to fix. Unfortunately as I said in our twitter channel, they can’t help us with any of our other issues (such as the few models making the game crash). I guess they fear an overwhelming increase in people asking for help, and we can understand their choice. I hope they’ll change their mind once we’ll send them an early build of what we did :D (dreaming is still free).