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Personalize your apocalypse

May 15, 2009 - Yasser Malaika


Today we are opening the beta of the Left 4 Dead Authoring Tools to the public. It is available as a free download for all owners of the PC version of Left 4 Dead, and can be found under the "Tools" tab in Steam.

The L4D Authoring Tools include modified versions of the same tools we used to produce Left 4 Dead.

Using the L4D Authoring Tools, you may create your own campaign maps, character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music and load them into the game.

Here's what's included:
  • Updated version of Hammer, the source level editor
  • Updated suite of command line compiling utilities
  • Updated Particle editor
  • Updated Faceposer
  • Example maps, common infected, props, and explosives

This release also introduces a pair of plug-ins for SketchUp, a 3D modeling program you may download for free. You may use these plug-ins to create building blocks and props that can be imported into Hammer for use in game levels.



So how can other people play the maps you create? Don't worry, we are updating matchmaking to fully support the new maps.

Our plan is to release a beta of the Authoring Tools now so the community can start working on maps in the full environment. In a few weeks we will then release the updated match making to allow users to play those new maps and campaigns.

If you want to get started on the beta, we suggest joining two mailing lists:
http://list.valvesoftware.com/mailman/listinfo/l4dmapper

And the general Source mapper's list. http://list.valvesoftware.com/mailman/listinfo/hlmappers

This is beta software, so if you have any problems or issues, please send them to the l4dmapper email list.

We have also updated our developer Wiki http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Authoring_Tools/SDK_(Left_4_Dead)

And don't forget. The matchmaking system will be updated in a few weeks so everyone can play your hard work. We will be releasing additional information and tools next week to show how you can package up your maps and how they are delivered to players. We want to make sure everyone has a smooth experience as they download and new Versus maps, Survival mode maps, and single and multi-map campaigns.