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Cold Stream

February 16, 2011 - L4D Team


Sorry for the recent lack of updates, we have been working on a surprise and here it is.

Matthew Lourdelet (2 Evil Eyes) has been working on a new community campaign – Cold Stream. We loved 2 Evil Eyes and Cold Stream looks even more promising with innovative game play arenas and effects. Matthew has really shown that there are still plenty of new ideas in L4D2 modding.

He recently shared it with us and we love it so far but it isn’t done. We were tempted to have him quietly finish it with our help and release it as part of an upcoming DLC.

Tempted… but we decided against that. Instead, we think we have a better idea. We want you the community to be part of the process of taking his unfinished campaign and releasing it as DLC on the Xbox 360, PC and Mac.

Since Matthew already has a start on the campaign, we need to back up a little in the process before we go forward.

The very first step in creating a new DLC is deciding on the larger goals and constraints for the DLC. The Sacrifice and the Passing were story heavy, so we want to see what the other end of the spectrum looks like. For this DLC we start with wanting to experiment by releasing a map pack that wasn’t about story. It would just be new campaigns for Left 4 Dead 2.

That makes the first constraint no new audio or story.

The easiest starting point for new campaigns is the three remaining Left 4 Dead 1 campaigns, so the DLC will include those. We also want something brand new and Cold Stream is the perfect fit.

That’s the start of the DLC. We have the basic information but we don't even have a name or release date yet.

We will hold off on the name for now.

That leaves the release date. The answer to when the DLC will be released is simple for now, sometime after Portal 2. Why don’t we set some date in stone right now? Because the real answer to when we are going to release something is always – when it’s ready.

Quality is a function of time and resources. So we can throw more people at the problem and/or take longer. We like to not constrain ourselves by either, so at this point we are willing to say - “Let’s not set a date yet, we’ll know better later.” Of course, that is also why the concept of Valve Time exists but later you will see why “Valve Time” is a good thing, not a bad thing.

For now, that’s it.

In the next few weeks we will add Cold Stream to the UI (user interface) and we will all begin testing it. As we receive feedback and test data we will also share some data we collect on player experience and show how we put that data to use. We will include you with regular posts, polls, and updates.

We have created a special forum just for feedback on the campaign and this project (Cold Stream Forum). While the beta will only be available for PC and Mac users, we appreciate feedback and ideas from the entire community. This is an experiment for us, so please let us know what you think and what you would like to see in the DLC – just remember the constraints.