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August 16, 2013 - L4D Team


As the workshop continues to grow we have been working with some members of the modding community to learn where the tools can be improved and to help remove bottlenecks to creating new content.

Instead of endless emails, chat, or Skype sessions, we thought summer was a perfect time to fly up one of the most prolific modders out there - Splinks, or as we know him Zander.

Zander has been sitting in our office alongside the team for the last few months helping us. Today is the first update thanks to his work. Alongside the additions to the Authoring Tools that involve really technical stuff meant for fellow modders, we have added one fun bit in this update - an older version of Francis. We can’t promise we can get all of the other older survivors working, but we are looking into resurrecting them for forthcoming updates.

This is just the first of a few Authoring Tool updates focused on helping modders and includes:

Starter Kits:
• These are Zip files which include all the compiling files (Reference/Animation DMXs, Reference/Animation SMDs, QCs, and the VTA Morphs) used to create each Item, Weapon, Special Infected, and Survivor. In addition to providing a useful reference, these kits allow modders to start with a fully functional asset and then replace pieces incrementally instead of starting from scratch.
• These packs will also have the proper directory layout used by the game itself, so users will not have to reconstruct and look up where the model they're replacing needs to go.
• Each Starter Kit will have A COMPILE.BAT file which will need to be edited to match the user's local L4D2 install directory.

Maya Files:
These are the skeleton rigs that are used for each Item, Weapon, Special Infected, and Survivor. These allow modders to replace a model by attaching a new custom mesh skinned to the rig. Also included are all the animation scenes for the Items, Weapons, and Special Infected.

Tutorials:
In order to compile model files from SMDs and DMX, people will need to setup the SOURCE SDK TOOLS.

This tutorial will show people how to set everything up and how to address issues and fix them.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=163206031

An example of one of the weapon Starter Kits and Maya files packages.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=159047840

What Mod Is That?

July 16, 2013 - L4D Team




Ever see a screenshot and wonder - what in the heck Workshop item are they using?

Good news, we can tell you. Just visit the image detail page of the screenshot and along the right side you will see the active Workshop items and a link to each.

To grab your own items for some screen shots, visit the L4D2 Workshop. To see more images, visit the screenshot page on the community hub.

If you need a hint on the above image before you click, it's a Hero from a little game we just launched called Dota 2.

Good Guy Nick Returns!

July 4, 2013 - L4D Team



Celebrating Left 4 Dead 2’s official release on Linux and America’s Day of Independence, we’re putting L4D2 on sale for a stunning 75% off and it's free to play all weekend!

We know people have a busy weekend ahead of them with BBQs, sack races, blowing fingers off, and other fun summer time activities, so we made it a little more enticing to give it a try this weekend. We are making L4D2 free to play until 10am PST Monday morning.

To all our new Linux players this weekend, Hello.

To our returning players – we are bringing back a special achievement. Good Guy Nick - – “Plays games with free weekend players and helps them survive a campaign.” Who is a free weekend player? You’re going to have to talk to each other to find out or you could always let your friends know Left 4 Dead 2 is out on Linux and is free this weekend. After all, the zombie apocalypse was made to be fought with friends.

All kidding aside, it is going to be dangerous outside this weekend. Stay indoors. Play some L4D2.

Artwork created by Fisher.

Left 4 Dead 2 Beta is out of Beta!

July 2, 2013 - L4D Team



The Extended Mutation System, Linux support, and other features and fixes are moving to Left 4 Dead 2 proper. Thanks to everyone who helped test all the changes in the Beta Build. You can find a complete list of the change notes here.

Linux
The Linux conversion is ready for primetime so we are opening it up to more people and releasing it officially on Steam. This will let us get feedback on more builds and distros.

SteamPipe
Some of you may have noticed a quick update to your game last week. That was our conversion over to SteamPipe. For L4D2 it was quick and painless as our system was already using VPKs. What does this change mean? For server operators there is an easier update path and smaller downloads. For clients, we have improved the downloading experience and you can now install L4D2 on any drive. You can get more details on the support page.

Extended Mutation System.
The EMS takes the current idea of mutations and mutates it into a powerful tool for modders. They have been busy at work creating a bunch of new Mutation and game modes that will begin to be uploaded to the L4D2 workshop today. With names like Vicious Infected, Boomer Peril, Stranded, Vampirism, Plague of the Dead, Zombie Run, and Tiny Terror, there is something for everyone.

Later this week, we will highlight some of our favorites.

For now, make sure to checkout Holdout. It is a multi-map Mutation that includes the concept of resources and buildable items. It was created to showcase some of the functionality of EMS and as a byproduct, it is pretty damn fun.

You can find our original EMS blog post here, or jump into the developer wiki here. If you want to get cracking on it, you can also join in on the discussion here.

We will be adding the most popular EMS creations to the official servers.

I’ll trade you two Boomers for a Spitter

June 6, 2013 - L4D Team



Left 4 Dead 2 now has trading cards.

If you are in the beta, you can view them in your profile under badges. While we love that the community created their own cards in lieu of L4D2 being in the first batch of cards, our first series is concentrated on the Special Infected and in the style of the Mutations.

How do you earn the cards?

You receive 4 card drops for owning L4D2. A card drop earns you the right to receive a card by playing the game. You can get four cards to drop by playing L4D2. One problem, you can only get 4 this way. To get the complete 8 you need to trade among friends or even strangers. Who knows, you might even meet your new best L4D2 friend ever trading. You two realize you have more than L4D2 in common, get married, settle down, raise a family and then complete your set when your third son earns the Spitter Card and trades it to you.

What happens when you complete all 8? You can craft an L4D2 badge and earn an L4D2 emoticon item, profile background, chance to get a discount coupon, and 100XP for your steam level.

If you have more questions, we have this extensive FAQ to help explain the entire system to you. So read it. We will be asking for a book report on it next week.