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Valve Explains Quick Left 4 Dead Sequel

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the so-many-zombies,-so-little-time dept.

Games 130

Valve's announcement that Left 4 Dead 2 would be released only a year after the first game has generated a great deal of controversy among fans of the game. There are concerns that Left 4 Dead will not get any additional content, the community will be divided, and that the quick development cycle won't do justice to the sequel. Now, Valve devs and execs are going out of their way to address those concerns. Left 4 Dead project lead Chet Faliszek said, "It just became very clear that this was a cohesive, singular statement we wanted to make, not a more slow update thing... too much stuff was tied together with too many other things." Developer Tom Leonard was quick to point out that work wouldn't cease for the first game: "We are doing updates across the summer, adding new matchmaking features, and new features to facilitate user maps after the SDK is out. ... Additionally, those maps can be transported into Left 4 Dead 2." Doug Lombardi said simply, "Trust us a little bit," explaining that Gabe Newell is "always talking about providing entertainment as a service — it's not about making a game any more."

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130 comments

Why I cry at night... (5, Insightful)

SchizoStatic (1413201) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220319)

"Gabe Newell is "always talking about providing entertainment as a service â" it's not about making a game any more." " Which is why most games suck now.

Re:Why I cry at night... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28220361)

If people are still worried about l4d1 by the time l4d2 comes out in novemeber (a full year after the original), it means they've hit on something 99% of games don't hit on- longevity and level repetition not being overwhelmingly boring.

If, after one year of playing their $50 game, they want another $50 to play for another year, I'm ok with that- it works out to around $4 a month.

Re:Why I cry at night... (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220579)

Okay, if you say "this is your game and that is it" for $50, and you sell another later, even a few months later be my guest.

However if you say "we're going to add a whole lot of shit down the road, more maps, etc", and don't deliver, or start to deliver (as they did) but do a half assed job, do you expect people to rationalize it at the cost per month? Answer: no. Gamers aren't sheep like that.

If L4D1 doesn't add more stuff before November it will affect L4D2 sales for that reason especially even more now with them saying that L4d1 maps can be brought into L4d2. Never promise something you can't keep.

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220763)

When has Valve said they will be adding content constantly? That is just an assumption. If you read http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/06/04/valve-on-l4d2-trust-us-a-little-bit/ [rockpapershotgun.com] aswell, you'll see that Valve is fairly aware that they're taking a new route. Read the rest of the article however, and you'll see they note they will keep supporting l4d1 with new stuff aswell.

So before the thing actually gets released in 6 months, stop making stupid assumptions. Its half an year still and l4d1 will probably see lots of updates before it, and even maybe after that.

Re:Why I cry at night... (4, Insightful)

alexhard (778254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220877)

They were constantly touting the constant updating as a major selling point.
 

[Gabe] said: "One of the things that we're doing is we seem to be in a transition between games as a package product and games more of a service. So if you look at Team Fortress 2, one of things that's really helped grow the community is the continuous updates, where we release new maps, new character classes, new unlockables, new weapons. And we tell the stories about the characters, like the meet the sniper, or meet the sandwich. And that ongoing delivery of content really seems to grow the community.

"So each time we've released one of those for Team Fortress 2 we've seen about a 20% increase in the number of people who are playing online. And that number is really important because it determines how many community created maps there are, how many servers are running, and so on. So we'll do the same thing with Left 4 Dead where we'll have the initial release and then we'll release more movies, more characters, more weapons, unlockables, achievements, because that's the way you continue to grow a community over time."

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220933)

Haven't they updated it constantly tho? TF2 and L4D are the only games developers (valve) keep tweaking as much as blizzard tweaks world of warcraft. There has been many updates, new gamemode, and new campaigns for versus mode.

I'd say its really justified to make a sequal with l4d2 new content than push it freely for the existing users.

Re:Why I cry at night... (2, Insightful)

alexhard (778254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221025)

more movies, more characters, more weapons, unlockables, achievements

None of those has happened. The campaigns for versus should have been in the game from the beginning and the new mode is a ridiculiously tiny update which they probably hacked together over a couple afternoons. How is it justified to sell the updates which were promised to be free, as a new game?

Re:Why I cry at night... (4, Insightful)

Sqweegee (968985) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221297)

There's only really been one content update, everything else has been patches.

The added versus campaigns weren't new, they were just the ones they didn't have time to balance properly for vs play before the original release. People have been expecting actual NEW campaigns. The quote from Gabe also mentioned new weapons, new infected, improved AI in the original game, all that seems to have been moved to the sequel.

Survival mode, well that was a decent addition, but it only added one small map, all the other survival maps were just expanded panic events from the existing content.

SDK beta... at least we can make our own content now, but how many horrible hack job maps are we going to need to sort through before finding anything good.

Re:Why I cry at night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28224163)

Actually the versus maps were in the game (PC version). You just had to start them from the console, and they weren't very balanced. About two months before release it was actually pretty common to join a game in progress that was running one of these 'unreleased' maps.

So in total, we've gotten a new game mode, and a tiny level (it's literally just a 4 room house and a small fenced off plot of land). This is by no means "more movies, more characters, more weapons, unlockables, or achievements."

That said I'd probably pay at most $20 bucks for the new game if it's coming with as much content as the first (which by the looks of it, it is).

Re:Why I cry at night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28221575)

Who touted it? When did they tout it ? I've seen forum members say things like that, but I've never heard valve "promise" content updates.

Re:Why I cry at night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28223233)

It came from the mouth of Gabe Newell, who by all intents and purposes IS the Valve Co. How can you argue against the quotation you replied to? You are either short a couple marbles or working for Valve.

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220957)

Even beyond what someone said when they replied to you, there are 2 other parts:

1: they have already released one addition. If they stop there people will go "WTF?"

2: people will get bored of the game if it isn't constantly updated. Although there is a huge retro-gaming crowd, any game that isn't constantly changing, with new things to achieve will start to lose people's interest and then lose popularity.

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224507)

Gamers aren't sheep like that.

You're right, that would be insulting the intelligence of sheep. I've never seen sheep "t-bag," nor heard them misuse racial slurs over xbox live in their high prepubescent voices, nor have I seen them get into angry ridiculous arguments about how gaming platform x is better than gaming platform y.

(In the interest of full disclosure: I am an avid gamer and enjoy lamb chops occasionally)

Re:Why I cry at night... (2, Interesting)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222161)

I'm okay with paying $50 for a sequel to a good game. What I'm not okay with is the feeling of being shafted by Valve, not because of this announcement, but because of the excruciatingly slow pace of development for DLC and bugfixes, and the fact that the game wasn't even completed (missing half the versus maps) until a relatively short while ago.

I thought at the time that they just pulled everybody off the L4D team after they sold, so they wouldn't have to invest any more resources in keeping people who already parted with their money happy. I guess I can stand corrected now; they pulled everybody off maintaining L4D1 to work on L4D2.

Meh. I hope they provide at least some marginal discount to L4D1 owners, just as a show of respect.

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

runlevelfour (1329235) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220423)

Exactly. What is Valve thinking? Why on earth would you release a full fledged sequel so soon? Expansion packs? Nah, screw it just go ahead and split the community to turn more bucks? So are they telling us they are such great game creation gurus that within a short period of time a compelling sequel can be developed, that they only needed a year to fix any complaints, and add more content? Or should we see it as they screwed us with a watered down version before deciding to make the full version? Did we just pay $50-60 to play an introduction to the real game? Seems a little credible given that L4D was blasted for the meager content in the first place which of course Valve promised to add more of later. Tell you what Valve, how about we go back and call the original Left for Dead 0.5 and the new one just Left for Dead. This way I feel a lot better for having paid retail price for a game that only had four scenarios and a handful of guns types.

Re:Why I cry at night... (4, Funny)

SchizoStatic (1413201) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220457)

But remember it had that great AI system to make the game a different play style each time :)

Re:Why I cry at night... (4, Informative)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221741)

It did! But, there's really only so many times you can run through Mercy Hospital before the experience becomes a little dull. Unpredictable certainly(to a point). But the difference between meeting a witch on the roof verse the reception area is kind of moot by the 50th playthrough.

After a while, even Left 4 Dead became routine. Despite the procedural content, after a few playthroughs you simply got to know the game and all its little tricks. The unpredictability became tactical, not strategic. I've played with people who can call smoker and hunter spawns before they even happen. People who know and scavenge every drop off point. People who know zombie dispersal patterns and bottling strategies. People with flawless plans for every panic event. Essentially, there are only 4 maps, so this wasn't very hard.

The game needed new expansions. Proper expansions. New maps, new campaigns, new game modes, new special infected, new survivors, new weapons, etc, etc. To keep things fresh. It was more than feasible. When you see how one man recreated the police station from Resident Evil 2 [kotaku.com] as a L4D map, Valve's tardiness in bringing out new maps becomes more incriminating.

Personally, I think the reason behind a new game verse new expansions has less to do with technical issues, and more to do with Microsoft. Specifically, the 360 port of L4D. Basically, Microsoft promote paid downloadable content, and weren't happy with the free updates for L4D that Valve were pushing out on the 360. In addition, all new achievements on the 360 must be tied to paid content, meaning Valve couldn't release new maps for free and give achievements for them at the same time.

In short, the 360 port of L4D has tied Valves hands with the entire game. For any major update they create, they'll invoke more of Microsoft's ire and that of their fans. A brand new game allows them to break the deadlock, but will probably end up creating a new one. You can fully expect that in future, L4D games will have minimal expansions and new games will be preferred to expansions in all cases.

Re:Why I cry at night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28222907)

Yeah. It is sad. You summed up the shittiness that Valve is displaying. I can only think of one thing to do (which I will do even if I'm the only one). I purchased L4D, and want the content I was promised when I bought it. I don't give a rats ass that they have to please the XBOX crowd, Valve is a PC game developer who ports to XBOX, not vice versa. So here's what we do:

Boycott L4D_2 until they release everything promised for L4D_1. Don't give them a red cent until they realize their lies. Why? Because if you buy L4D_2, you are telling them you are OK with them telling lies and marginalizing your gaming experience for more $$$ for the XBOX. Just forget you e ver heard of L4D_2. I bought L4D_1 and have been sorely dissapointed, so why on earth would I buy a full-priced sequel?

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 4 years ago | (#28223103)

Essentially, there are only 4 maps, so this wasn't very hard.

L4D appeared to be so cool. I haven't bought it though. Seriously how am I gonna pay real money for a game with so little content? Glad I waited.

Now I've got this reinforcement to keep waiting until a single game is presented with enough content that I feel the purchase is worth it by the time any money leaves my wallet.

Buy a full-priced game on the promise of future content? No thanks!

Re:Why I cry at night... (2, Informative)

scalarscience (961494) | more than 4 years ago | (#28223673)

Left4Dead is only $29 if you buy from somewhere like Amazon, and it has been on sale on Steam as well. Give it more time and you'll see it for less I'm sure. I got in excess of 100 hours out of the game, and while the last 20-30 hours has been a bit 'easier' due knowing everything about the game including the new game mode inside & out, I can't say that I'm upset about it.

I would like more content but am content with user-generated content & lobby support for 'discovering' that content and playing it with other people in a stable fashion (even with the beta sdk it's a bit of a hit & miss affair right now). But they have been working on the SDK & Lobby support so I would imagine we'll see that in the next month or so.

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28226421)

L4D appeared to be so cool. I haven't bought it though. Seriously how am I gonna pay real money for a game with so little content?

GP got it wrong - it's not 4 maps; it's 4 campaigns, 5 maps each. Plus one Survival map.

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

scalarscience (961494) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224003)

Actually I agree, I think the Xbox360 is playing a huge role in this. And I do think Valve is trying to cut a path here that keeps the console & PC versions in parity in terms of new features, which are far easier to introduce on PC+Steam than the 360 when you take the console's DLC requirements into account (especially given MS's pricier harddrive policy). Orange box was Valve's first serious attempt at a 360 title, and it has some well known "issues" versus the PC release. Still a perfectly playable and enjoyable game, but compare it to what PC users get in terms of support & updates...

So Valve responds by giving PC players a 'lobby' when Left4Dead debuts and limiting the amount of DLC released for the PC L4d to what they can match on console. That limits not only availability for expanding the PC version, but also slows down the PC timeline to match the 360 "DLC approval" rate. In fact it seemed for a while as if Valve wasn't even sure if the last DLC for L4D was going to cost money, then somewhere that got 'cleared up'. (That was at least the impression given via the blogs & game/review sites from a layperson's position.)


So this time what I can see is Valve saying "it's going to take ages for MS to 'approve' the DLC (which doesn't even seem to prevent obvious bugs for some reason--see fallout3's repeated issues there) then why not just go whole hog and make some major tweaks we've been wanting to do all at once?"

What was interesting to me is that noone decrying this move from Valve has bothered to note that EVERY major dev for consoles announced almost nothing besides sequels which may or may not even bring 'major changes to the core gameplay' (a big complaint about what's been shown for Left4Dead2 so far.) Also very few people lamented this move from Valve and then took note of Square Enix announcing yet ANOTHER final fantasy when the current one is still only just coming out. Valve would have had to announce Left4Dead 3 immediately after the L4D 2 preview to equal that kind of 'bold' move.
Me? I'm find with buying Left4Dead 2 if it means the game gets more polish than it would have otherwise. And from what I can see it does, though I'm not sure I'll appreciate some of the changes: some of the melee weapons are a bit too 'dumbed down' seeming from the gameplay footage I've seen and the daylight is a big turnoff since half the mood for the previous one comes from the idea that you move in low-light conditions to avoid being seen. Still, with the increase in world detail that I've seen and the improved zombie animations, dismemberment of said zombies and so on I'm willing to bet that there would perhaps be a considerable number of Left4Dead 1 players who would have seen drastically reduced performance (meaning some mechanism for scaling back those features would perhaps be necessary.) I say this because I know a lot of 'poor' gamers that I play the game with whose systems seem to take ages to load a map, and many have shared that they were surprised to be able to play a modern title. There have been 2 or 3 graphics 'fixes' from Valve that addressed various gpu/driver bugs, and each fix unfortunately brought reduced framerates and the accompanying complaining from the userbase. Push out a 'free' DLC that forces people to upgrade their computer....?

Also there's still no news about Ep3...

Re:Why I cry at night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28224241)

Actually I agree, I think the Xbox360 is playing a huge role in this. And I do think Valve is trying to cut a path here that keeps the console & PC versions in parity in terms of new features, which are far easier to introduce on PC+Steam than the 360 when you take the console's DLC requirements into account (especially given MS's pricier harddrive policy). Orange box was Valve's first serious attempt at a 360 title, and it has some well known "issues" versus the PC release. Still a perfectly playable and enjoyable game, but compare it to what PC users get in terms of support & updates...

So Valve responds by giving PC players a 'lobby' when Left4Dead debuts and limiting the amount of DLC released for the PC L4d to what they can match on console. That limits not only availability for expanding the PC version, but also slows down the PC timeline to match the 360 "DLC approval" rate. In fact it seemed for a while as if Valve wasn't even sure if the last DLC for L4D was going to cost money, then somewhere that got 'cleared up'. (That was at least the impression given via the blogs & game/review sites from a layperson's position.)

So this time what I can see is Valve saying "it's going to take ages for MS to 'approve' the DLC (which doesn't even seem to prevent obvious bugs for some reason--see fallout3's repeated issues there) then why not just go whole hog and make some major tweaks we've been wanting to do all at once?"

What was interesting to me is that noone decrying this move from Valve has bothered to note that EVERY major dev for consoles announced almost nothing besides sequels which may or may not even bring 'major changes to the core gameplay' (a big complaint about what's been shown for Left4Dead2 so far.) Also very few people lamented this move from Valve and then took note of Square Enix announcing yet ANOTHER final fantasy when the current one is still only just coming out. Valve would have had to announce Left4Dead 3 immediately after the L4D 2 preview to equal that kind of 'bold' move.

Me? I'm find with buying Left4Dead 2 if it means the game gets more polish than it would have otherwise. And from what I can see it does, though I'm not sure I'll appreciate some of the changes: some of the melee weapons are a bit too 'dumbed down' seeming from the gameplay footage I've seen and the daylight is a big turnoff since half the mood for the previous one comes from the idea that you move in low-light conditions to avoid being seen. Still, with the increase in world detail that I've seen and the improved zombie animations, dismemberment of said zombies and so on I'm willing to bet that there would perhaps be a considerable number of Left4Dead 1 players who would have seen drastically reduced performance (meaning some mechanism for scaling back those features would perhaps be necessary.) I say this because I know a lot of 'poor' gamers that I play the game with whose systems seem to take ages to load a map, and many have shared that they were surprised to be able to play a modern title. There have been 2 or 3 graphics 'fixes' from Valve that addressed various gpu/driver bugs, and each fix unfortunately brought reduced framerates and the accompanying complaining from the userbase. Push out a 'free' DLC that forces people to upgrade their computer....?

Also there's still no news about Ep3...

Final Fantasy is a story based game, with X hours of original game play.

L4D is a MP-only game with B hours of original game play.

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

Crossmire (1393021) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225995)

To keep the game interesting, my friends and I impose our own restrictions on gameplay to make it tougher or to force us to play with unusual tactics. An example of this is all four survivors using pistol only for the entire campaign. Our current favourite is doing Left 4 Dead speed runs, we're working on passing all each of the four maps on expert in 20 minutes or less. With restrictions like that in place, it doesn't really matter if you know the maps or not (actually, knowing all the maps by heart is essential). Each game we play is pretty unique, some involving three people in spectator mode cheering on the lone survivor making a solo dash for the safe room. The game certainly isn't routine when played like this, because it requires you to be at the top of your game to get the best possible time, the same can't be said for sitting in a closet easily disposing of a few waves of horde and two tanks. To get longevity out of Left 4 Dead you have to play it competitively rather than merely fighting to survive like an intelligent person might suggest in a zombie apocalypse.

Re:Why I cry at night... (2, Insightful)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#28226245)

It did! But, there's really only so many times you can run through Mercy Hospital before the experience becomes a little dull. Unpredictable certainly(to a point). But the difference between meeting a witch on the roof verse the reception area is kind of moot by the 50th playthrough.

After the 50th playthrough (each of which takes 30-60 minutes depending on your team's skill level) of one map (out of four) of one playmode (out of two, or three if you include Survival), one could argue that you got your money's worth out of that game (especially if you got the $37.50 package deal or the $25 half-price deal).

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

alexhard (778254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220619)

Software as a service is good, if done properly. Look at TF2! You buy the game, and keep getting awesome new content constantly.

However, if you see gaming as software as a service then the logical thing would be to keep providing content for L4D instead of releasing another game..

Re:Why I cry at night... (2, Insightful)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220639)

While normally I'd agree with you, Valve games tend to keep the quality high with their releases. And with Steam, they don't have to make games for income anymore, so anything they do create is created out of love of the craft. This is probably why they constantly miss their deadlines. They have enough money that missing a deadline is preferable to releasing a crappy product.

Re:Why I cry at night... (4, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220783)

Electricity is a service. Pizza delivery is a service. The difference is that I'm not obliged to make a large capital outlay on Electricity Meter v2.0 or Doorbell v3.0 every year in order to continue paying for their service.

Y'all listening, Gabe? You're speaking the language of the salesman. We're games players. We want to play games, not subscribe to services.

Re:Why I cry at night... (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222049)

It could be good, it could be bad. I would pay a monthly fee for access to all of the Steam games.

"...entertainment as a service." (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220337)

Just after I've bought^h^h^h^h^h^hlicensed an EA game and am presented with the EULA, I certainly feel like I've been served.

What's all the fuss about, anyway? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28220449)

Am I the only one who thought Left 4 Dead was mediocre at best?

Re:What's all the fuss about, anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28220499)

Yes, all anonymous cowards agree with you.

Re:What's all the fuss about, anyway? (2, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225011)

Am I the only one who thought Left 4 Dead was mediocre at best?

No, and I'm not afraid to say it either. Particularly since I paid considerably more for it than I paid for Team Fortress 2, which is, hands-down, a better game.

Will there also be a sequel to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28220533)

Left 4 Head?

What about Guitar Hero? (4, Insightful)

bryansj (89051) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220593)

Who's going to explain all the quick Guitar Hero sequels?

Re:What about Guitar Hero? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28220759)

they could also have been better released as expansions to the old game (or not given the diff bitween Console and PC)

Re:What about Guitar Hero? (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221853)

they could also have been better released as expansions to the old game (or not given the diff bitween Console and PC)

Expansions to the original game can be used on pretty much every platform those games are available for.
Many games that come out for PS3/360 get patched to fix bugs or inmprove gameplay long after they were released. There are track packs available for Wii and PS2, and the 360, PS3, and (I'm assuming) PC versions all support DLC, and have track packs available as well for those that don't want to spend Live points or $$ on PSN.

With Consoles now having harddrives, patches, network connections, etc; and PCs now being able to connect effortlessly to HDTVs, the difference between Console and PC now is getting blurred to the point that there is very little anymore.
You can connect keyboards and mice to both the 360 and the PS3 (and the PS3 has a browser, nevermind how poor it performs though), and my media PC has gamepads which are modelled after the PS3 controllers (or you could just attach 360 controllers to it).
Realistically, the only difference I see between my PS3, 360, and HDTV-connect HTPC is that my PS3 plays Blu-ray (although I could add support for it to my HTPC), and my HTPC has a huge harddrive with tons of pre-recorded TV shows available through a simple interface [XBMC] (although much of that content can be played over the network by any DLNA compliant player, of which the PS3 and 360 both are). The HTPC also performs better at web browsing, which is nice when you want to see the HD trailers from games displayed @ E3, but don't want to watch it on a little 13-17" laptop screen.

The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (1, Informative)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220595)

It has been "coming soon", since last fall, I wonder if Valve plans to only release it for L4D 2, forcing the current players to buy the new game if they want to create mods.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (2, Insightful)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220677)

Or (forgive the less cynical view point) they just wanted to focus on improving the game and getting it to a very high level of "it's done" before opening it up for modding (since they're still updating L4D as it is, let alone L4D2). I'd also be very surprised if the SDK was L4D2 only (considering they're effectively the same game at heart, I would expect any SDK to let you choose the version being targeted, like the way the SDKs let you target HL2, or Ep1/Ep2 etc. depending on features used)

As it is, I'd much rather have them thinking about the game and its sequel, than making mod tools to some that could still be polished up even more.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (4, Informative)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220689)

It has been out since a couple of weeks...

Hell, it was even posted on Slashdot [slashdot.org].

And even before that, it was possible to create maps with a little tweaking of the Hammer editor.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (1, Insightful)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221123)

No it's not.

Even though the Slashdot poster did call it SDK, it is not a SDK.

An SDK will allow you do modify how the game behaves, create rules such as autokick/ban players who teamkill over a certain limit, create flying monsters etc ...

What Valve has released is just, as the name implies "authoring tools for Left 4 Dead" and it does only let you "author" new content, i.e. graphics and sounds/music/maps.

The gameplay is still the same.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222871)

Hm... maybe they're afraid people will just clone the L4D2 features in L4D1 rather than buying the new game, if they make the editor too full-featured?

Supreme douchebaggery on their part, if that's the case.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28224459)

They're not going to release the source code to L4D if that's what you're asking. They haven't done that with TF2 or Portal and never will. It's not douchebaggery, it's common sense.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225159)

The poster to whom I was responding listed a number of customizations that will be impossible with the editor they are releasing. These are customizations that I've seen in numerous other online FPS games.

I'm just saying that if Valve is refraining from allowing deep modifications so that they can have a monopoly on new game modes and such then that's a dick move, given their prior behavior and norms for the FPS modding scene.

I mean, not even being able to create new enemy types (aside from new skins)? That blows.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (2, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224587)

Even though the Slashdot poster did call it SDK, it is not a SDK.

An SDK will allow you do modify how the game behaves, create rules such as autokick/ban players who teamkill over a certain limit, create flying monsters etc ...

I'm pretty sure you can mod L4D just like any other Source game. There's even Metamod: Source [sourcemm.net] (lower level) and Sourcemod [sourcemod.net] (higher level) to help you there. Both appear to work on Left 4 Dead.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220779)

Its been out for weeks. Go to your Tools tab in Steam.

Re:The Left4Dead SDK isn't even out yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28221373)

From what it looks like, L4D2 is basically the same engine with new content and modified code. Nothing that couldn't have been done with a good mod had a proper SDK been released.

Never happy, are we? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220651)

When bad games are announced, we cringe (rightfully I think). When good games are announced, we cringe again with arguments like "Too Soon!" as if the publishers had made a dead David Carradine joke. It's clear that Yahtzee Croshaw was right:

Fans are a crying whinny lot who will never be happy with any concession you make, and the sooner you shut them out, the happier you'll be.

Re:Never happy, are we? (2, Insightful)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220711)

When bad games are announced, we cringe (rightfully I think). When good games are announced, we cringe again with arguments like "Too Soon!" as if the publishers had made a dead David Carradine joke.

I think the question is not about cringing because the game is good but rather because people fear it's going to be bad due to too short a developing span.

Fans are a crying whinny lot who will never be happy with any concession you make, and the sooner you shut them out, the happier you'll be.

It's just the fans' concern that their favourite franchises are being raped for a quick buck. It's stupid for developers to ignore their fans because the fans are the ones who make them money.

Re:Never happy, are we? (5, Interesting)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220765)

I don't think the reason is purely because it's so soon. Read this emboldened quote of Gabe from last October:

Valve intends to support hotly anticipated zombie survival shooter Left 4 Dead post-release with new characters, new maps, new achievements and new weapons in order to grow the community, Gabe Newell has revealed.

Speaking to VideoGamer.com at Leipzig Games Convention, the Valve co-founder and managing director said the developer intended to follow a similar downloadable content policy as it has with Team Fortress 2.

Left 4 Dead, set for release on PC and Xbox 360 on November 21 in Europe, is primarily a four-player cooperative game that sees a group of Survivors battle through four 'Movies' and against 28 Days Later-style zombies called The Infected.

Newell said that Valve's support of the game post-launch will be essential for growing the community.

He said: "One of the things that we're doing is we seem to be in a transition between games as a package product and games more of a service. So if you look at Team Fortress 2, one of things that's really helped grow the community is the continuous updates, where we release new maps, new character classes, new unlockables, new weapons. And we tell the stories about the characters, like the meet the sniper, or meet the sandwich. And that ongoing delivery of content really seems to grow the community.

"So each time we've released one of those for Team Fortress 2 we've seen about a 20% increase in the number of people who are playing online. And that number is really important because it determines how many community created maps there are, how many servers are running, and so on. So we'll do the same thing with Left 4 Dead where we'll have the initial release and then we'll release more movies, more characters, more weapons, unlockables, achievements, because that's the way you continue to grow a community over time."

Remember, people were buying the game with this in mind. The game shipped incomplete at full price, with only two of the four campaigns available for use in Versus mode (pretty much the main mode). This was only recently corrected.

Besides bugfixes the only thing they added was survival mode and one very small map for it. There were no new weapons, characters, movies or unlockables.

I don't share the outrage that seems to be commonplace right now, but at the same time I'm not particularly enthusiastic about a sequel and I can see why people would be annoyed in light of what Valve promised.

Re:Never happy, are we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28223975)

IIRC, a large portion of Left 4 Dead's sales came after the game dropped in price. Don't get me wrong, given the press last year, it wasn't unreasonable to expect your 49.99 bought L4D and some content updates. I'm thinking this may be a case of "what the developers wanted" - a game with constant updates sales to match - versus reality, where programmers don't work for free and the game wasn't selling as well as they hoped. How many new players bought TF2 when new maps came out? Granted, they usually corresponded those releases with a marketing push and "free weekend," but there has got to be diminishing returns. There comes a point where you've got to work on your next new product. Granted this leads to some bad PR because it contradicts earlier statements, but dating back to the early major content patches for TF2, I was seriously wondering on how they were paying for it.

Re:Never happy, are we? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224679)

How many new players bought TF2 when new maps came out?

I personally have bought 6 copies of The Orange Box... 1 for me, and 5 more for friends. Not only that, but I've gotten at least 1 coworker and 3 more friends to buy the game.

I regularly post topics on my own forums and the forums of related communities about Team Fortress 2.

You'd be surprised how well word of mouth works.

Re:Never happy, are we? (1)

CMF Risk (833574) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224901)

Exactly.

It's not that I didn't have fun with L4D, and it kept my attention for about a month or so after release, but pretty quickly all that content was devoured. Playing with friends we had everything down to a science. Only when playing with random people did it feel dangerous and exciting again because there would be varying levels of player skill.

With no updates and expansions my friends and I quickly lost interest and went on to play other games.

The sort of irony I feel about this is I would *gladly* pay for all the content we've been given for Team Fortress 2. I still play TF2 quite regularly and have gotten more entertainment out of it than any game in recent memory.

Maybe I'll just buy L4D2 as sort of my TF2 "tax"

Re:Never happy, are we? (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225819)

My guess would be L4D content is more intensive to produce than TF2 content. Creating a four map campaign with attention to detail and crescendo/finale events with a good flow of zombies and hordes is a non-trivial task. If they add new weapons or new infected they probably have to retrofit them into previous maps to be able to use the terrain appropriately for instance.

Some of this is just lack of foresight, I think they got to a certain point and realized that doing the things they wanted to do with the base L4D game was just not economically feasible. They decided to throw in all the bells and whistles and make a full fledged sequel. L4D2 is its own content tax.

I was happy with what I paid for with L4D though, most games when you play the hell out of them for a month end up pretty stale outside of multiplayer. It was something new and different. If L4D2 is significantly better I'll put down the cash. If I don't think it's worth my time then I won't pay for it. It's not a big deal, I've put down money for four Valve games that have lasted me a combined total of a decade. Through Steam I've got great deals on the last couple of games I've played from other developers as well.

It's pretty easy to explain (2, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220681)

This isn't that hard to explain. There is profit to be had. They make more money by selling a new game then by releasing free maps for an old one.

Look, companies only understand one thing: sales. Gamers are notoriously bad at speaking with their wallets. They're a hype driven group. Sure, right now people are all pissed off about this. When L4D 2 comes out, those same people will all be lined up on day 1 forking over money for it and caught up in the hype. That pattern gets repeated over and over again.

When gamers as a whole start acting like intelligent customers and less like drug addicts looking for a quick hit, you'll see companies not do this type of quick sequel. In the mean time, there's no consequences for them to do it, so why wouldn't they?

Re:It's pretty easy to explain (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222019)

This isn't that hard to explain. There is profit to be had. They make more money by selling a new game then by releasing free maps for an old one.

I believe that releasing major new updates for free would probably pay for itself, as more new people would then purchase the game. Regardless, if money is there worry, they should release an expansion pack, Not a sequel. This is, more than likely, a side effect of also having a console version. Those things aren't capable of doing anything be yearly sequels.

Re:It's pretty easy to explain (1)

GeekDork (194851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225979)

Regardless, if money is there worry, they should release an expansion pack, Not a sequel.

Their customers would then be whining about how the expansion pack is too expensive, has too few maps, the quality is generally lacking, and waaaah waaaah waaaah. It is really easier and more profitable to market a proper sequel. Gamers are an especially whiny bunch that gets upset and all pee-in-the-eyes at the smallest issue, and no amount of goodwill from the game makers will fix that.

I'm disappointed (2, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220683)

Why are games supposedly provided as a service instead of a product? As in, a fully-featured product with the vast majority of the content already there upon release? Seems like each game these days is supplied incomplete and the rest comes through DLCs after release.

Take Tomb Raider: Underworld for example. There have been two DLC chapter addons available for it (and only for the Xbox 360), and these chapters aren't simply side chapters - they're actually a continuation of the story line which was part of the ORIGINAL GAME. In other words, if you didn't have an Xbox 360 and/or didn't purchase these DLCs, you wouldn't actually "finish" the game as it was suppose to be finished. The story would be incomplete. So screw anyone who thought that buying TRU would mean a full game, nah, you have to PAY for the full story line! Now given the DLCs were in part funded by Microsoft, I'm not surprised they're only available for the 360, and it wouldn't have mattered much if they were just side quests that didn't continue the story. But they do.

I don't mind bonus packs that cost a bit but provide extra features, but I do mind cash grabs that seem to emphasize the "release early, finish development later" mentality. Works somewhat for open-source content but shouldn't be tolerated for paid products.

Re:I'm disappointed (1)

zach297 (1426339) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221075)

The do this so used gamers have to pay for the full game. Because you cannot buy used DLCs the used gamers have to pay the publisher to get them. Now the publisher gets money from used games. They only release them on the Xbox because it has a much larger used game market than the PC. I agree that it sucks, but it works.

Re:I'm disappointed (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221521)

I agree that it sucks, but it works.

Indeed. The more it becomes obvious the publishers care less about the quality of the product and more about the ways in which they can take money from customers, the less likely people will be to deal with them. The publisher-customer relationship isn't set in stone, and being greedy bastards simply means someone can move to another publisher who won't be so unfair.

Assuming the customer is savvy of course, but we aren't all brain-dead.

Wont do justice? (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220735)

The original game had like 6 guns, 4 levels and about 5 types of enemies.

You could do justice to that in about a month with a mod team, let alone in a year with a full blown dev team.

I was really looking forward to L4D when it was announced, but as games go, L4D was probably the one game I can point to with the most dissapointingly small amount of content I've seen in the last 5 years.

It really did feel like an HL2 mod and nothing more. The idea is fantastic, but the execution of it left a lot to be desired IMO.

I understood why Valve didn't bother with a storyline, but generally if you're not going to bother with that you make it up by making sure there's a ton of levels, game modes, weapons, enemies and so on to deal with. The problem with L4D is that it was devoid of any meaningful amount of any of these things. It had few maps, few enemy types, few weapons, few gameplay modes.

For £30 - £35 I expect a game, not a mod.

Re:Wont do justice? (5, Insightful)

Novotny (718987) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221077)

I'm not wishing to be rude, but I think you kind of missed the point about L4D: it's all about the execution and not the content. Hell, I played CS constantly for more than half a decade over maybe, 4/5 maps, at most. Getting the game to play and flow so well was their goal, including 27 variants of weapons was not. I'd far rather have 5 excellent monsters than 10 ok ones. It seems they spent their development schedule on testing and perfecting the gameplay, so people talk about the mad tactics they can pull in VS mode and create their own little stories, all as a result of the fluidity of the gameplay. I reckon there will be loads of content over the next year.

Re:Wont do justice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28221395)

I know the above sounds like a rationalisation but i really think it deserves to be modded up - he pretty much nailed it.

I was disappointed by the lack of content at first and though it would get boring fast. But it really hasn't. Almost each game of VS i play takes a different spin, some are fast, furious and bloody; the next will be a slow but steady shooting-fest that requires tactics, both to play and to beat.

The key is the experience of the game in each round changes because the players change. More random elements (as opposed to just random triggers for specials) would improve on that - but whats there has been enough for a good few months of play.

This might depend how much you guys paid for it though. I got it for £20 which is about half of standard new game.

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221431)

There wasn't even enough content to be creative in how you played it though.

Even your example of CS had countless different weapons including multiple weapons for each weapon type.

The game didn't flow well because of the stupid safe room idea, the levels were too small and relatively linear (yes there was a few areas where you could follow a different route, but barely so).

If you look at coop games where you can create your own story, it tends to be games like Crackdown and Saints Row 2 and it works because there is a silly amount of content and you can mix and match that content. The point is with L4D there isn't even enough content to do that. About the only example in the whole game I can think of is using the petrol canisters to shoot, but that gets pointless and boring very quick.

Even really old games like Duke Nukem 3D had the trip mines and such which were infinitely more fun.

Re:Wont do justice? (2, Insightful)

Novotny (718987) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222163)

It's about two teams of four outwitting eachother - at least it is for me. If you're only playing offline or co-operative then you're really missing out on what L4D's all about - you're only playing bots, after all, and how dull is that? In CS, you only really use 4/5 weapons and the same number of maps. There may be more - but they don't get used. Sometimes for a laugh, sure, an odd map is played, and league play tends to bring out the odd strange one to throw a spanner in the works, however you'll find that most cs players will spend the evening on probably a max of four different maps - the same old four, too. Anyways, we'll probably just have to agree to disagree. I think we're coming at it from different angles, you seem to be after more of a single player experience, I'm more into online, competitive-type stuff.

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224487)

Okay, to put it another way.

Why should I pay £35 for that when I can pay the same for something like Halo 3 or Gears of War 2 and get better graphics, more weapons, a massive single player campaign, more maps, more multiplayer modes, better gameplay?

In other words, what does L4D actually bring to the table if you're going to play it only as a multiplayer 4 vs 4 game when there are other games out for the same price with far more content which is much better?

The main selling point with L4D was the uniqueness of a 4 player coop zombie survival game.

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

Novotny (718987) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224699)

Well, we're just going to have to completely disagree. I thought Halo was dreadful though haven't played Gears of War 2, so no opinion on that. I'm just not really into console-style shoot-em-ups. Each to their own!

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28226485)

Why should I pay £35 for that when I can pay the same for something like Halo 3 or Gears of War 2 and get better graphics, more weapons, a massive single player campaign, more maps, more multiplayer modes, better gameplay?

Because neither of those actually offer better gameplay than L4D Versus mode. Of course this is entirely subjective, but given how popular L4D ended up being, I'd say a lot of people agree with me on that.

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224827)

It's about two teams of four outwitting eachother

Congratulations, you just described an 8 player game of Team Fortress or one of its sequels, the most recent of which is Fortress Forever [fortress-forever.com]... er... I mean Team Fortress 2 [teamfortress.com].
Except that people don't seem to be playing the same 4/5 maps over again on Team Fortress 2. Maybe it's because Valve's actually updating that game, unlike Left 4 Dead...

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28226509)

Congratulations, you just described an 8 player game of Team Fortress

Have you actually played L4D? Your comparison is completely pointless - L4D Versus is very different from TF, or most other team FPS for that matter. I won't even bother explaining, since comparing is pointless without playing it.

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

Novotny (718987) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221117)

I mean, look at chess - still only one bloody map released, but we're still playing it

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222285)

Yeah, but I heard they're releasing a goty edition with some extra pieces - A "lady in waiting" thats like a queen, but can only move 3 squares, and a kitchenhand, who moves the reverse of a pawn, but is really an illegitamte son of the king. If you get the two together on the same square, he gets promoted to king as a third colour.

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

sfarmstrong (1106577) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224025)

For £30 - £35 I expect a game, not a mod.

And L4D2 is a mod because it uses the same engine? By that logic, wasn't Half Life a Quake 2 mod?

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224393)

Mods don't have engine changes.

HL was built on a modified version of the Quake 1 source, one of the most major changes being that it was switched to C++ and the code base made object oriented.

L4D doesn't seem like it's really had any engine changes. It also has the lower amounts and quality of content you would expect from a mod than a full priced game.

Re:Wont do justice? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28226523)

The original game had like 6 guns, 4 levels and about 5 types of enemies.

Where does this "4 levels" bullshit keeps coming from (I'm seeing it in a lot of posts here)? It's 4 campaigns, 5 maps each.

LD4 1 was supposed to see free updates (1)

Synn (6288) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220857)

The current L4D was very light in content as is and the devs have been promising more would be added to the game. More maps, more weapons, more infected boss types. So I guess now instead of doing that, they're just going to wrap all that new content up, call it a sequal and charge 50 bucks for it. Very sleazy.

Poor Gordon Freeman (0, Troll)

ticklejw (453382) | more than 4 years ago | (#28220911)

Looks like Half-Life 2 Episode 3 is going to go the way of Duke Nukem Forever at this rate... Come on Gabe, quit fscking around with these little franchises and give me some damned closure!

Re:Poor Gordon Freeman (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221485)

The hero saves the day and gets the girl; all without saying a word.

No report yet on that beer he's owed.

Sorry to ruin it for you.

Re:Poor Gordon Freeman (1)

otopico (32364) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225433)

The working title to HL2e3:

"Gordon says something funny."
or
"G-man hears a theoretical physicist."

Just you wait, Gordon is going to say something.

DAMN YOU VALVE! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28220989)

Damn you valve, you've swindled me for the first, but last time!

I expected updates, which were promised, and I don't get the, there is no compromise, I WANT CONTENT!

And what if there was nothing to complain about? (2, Insightful)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 4 years ago | (#28221805)

There are concerns that Left 4 Dead will not get any additional content, the community will be divided, and that the quick development cycle won't do justice to the sequel.

If Valve were to add an additional year to the development cycle, would the fans be whining that it was too long to wait?

Re:And what if there was nothing to complain about (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222207)

If Valve were to add an additional year to the development cycle

Knowing Valve, it'll be delayed by at least that much.

Re:And what if there was nothing to complain about (1)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222311)

No, but Valve's HR dept might be looking a bit more closely at the payroll budget.

"Trust us a little bit," (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28222543)

Im a politician.

Where the hell is Half Life 2: Episode 3? (1)

dstyle5 (702493) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224039)

Forget LFD2, where the hell is HL2: Episode 3? How about making a game for the millions of people who bought Episodes 1 and 2 Doug? "Doug Lombardi said simply, "Trust us a little bit"." I find that somewhat difficult to do. It seems like Valve care more about milking money out of you than giving people what they want. It's probably taking so long for Episode 3 cause they are making some other stuff I don't want to throw in with Episode 3 and give them the ability to charge $60 instead of $15 - $20 for Episode 3 itself.

Promises? [Citation needed] (1)

sfarmstrong (1106577) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224151)

The most serious complaint seems to be that "significant content for L4D1 was promised," and L4D2 means that L4D won't get the promised content. Does anybody know where these promises are coming from? I don't remember reading anything about that. If this is just some fans griping because TF2 got significant post-release content and L4D didn't, I don't really see the problem. TF2 launched with three or four maps; L4D had 20.

Re:Promises? [Citation needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28225627)

I don't think you can compare L4D and TF2 etc., because both are inherently different game types, also, L4D campaigns are strictly co-op, whereas TF2 and many others are versus. Also, there were promises for new campaigns and characters as well, given by Gabe I think in an interview with...videogamer? If you're really interested, you should be able to find it easily in L4D2 or L4D's steam forum.

I can see both sides to this argument (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#28224361)

I understand what Valve is saying but I think they may be making a douche move here.

Back when Half-Life came out I was saying to myself how it would be great if they released episodic content on the same engine. The story was so huge in Half-Life, it was fully half of the gameplay. I would have been interested to see more of what was happening with Gordon Freeman. Charge $50 for the first game which covers the cost of engine development, release two or three quality add-ons over the next few years, not the faffing about like OpFor and Blue Shit but real, proper new chapters, just as long as the original game, and then when the tech has improved that's when you release the sequel for $50 again. They tried this with HL2's episodic content except those games were expensive, short, and take just as long to come out as a real game.

When looking at the hardcore wargamer market, it seemed reasonable that something like this could be handled along a subscription model. You pay $50 a year and get a constant stream of updates, more scenarios and models and such. Every five years or so the engine gets an overhaul to bring it up to date and that's part of the release cycle. I figured this sort of thing would make sense in the internet age because there would be such close contact between developer and fanbase. But what this sort of thing has devolved to in real life is like the sports games where a new engine is created for a new console and then the only thing that really changes each year are the team rosters and stats and you get charged full price for that minuscule update.

I can tell you what the game publishers are probably drooling at replicating here -- game store revenues. That's what DLC is about. When you're a D&D player or, God help you, a Warhammer guy, you're constantly shelling out money each month. New books, new figurines, dice, etc. What the publishers like is even if the physical game is resold, it doesn't come with that DLC. (the only exception is when they decide to release a game of the year edition that specifically includes all the add-ons.) So if the game is resold, the DLC doesn't go with it and so the same content can be resold to the new player. Eventually they're hoping for physical media to go away altogether and all distribution will be online with no right of resale. Expect major dick moves all the way along here.

I wonder how successful episodic gaming could really be, if the episodes were priced very low and the publisher kept up a consistent release schedule with relatively short intervals. I know I almost never buy a game at full-price and usually pick them up for $20. If a publisher released quality episodes for $10 a pop and each episode was about a sixth the length of a full game, I could easily end up paying the full $60. If the episodes were good enough, I wouldn't even mind.

Yes, the L4D2 content WAS promised for L4D1 (3, Interesting)

Devistater (593822) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225163)

http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/41219/Left-4-Dead-DLC-Promised [ign.com]
"Chet Faliszek said that Valve plans to get the DLC rolling much more quickly with Left 4 Dead than it has been able to for Team Fortress 2. Plans already in the works call for new campaigns, weapons, and boss infected (the game's zombie enemies). In addition, there were strong hints at a flamethrower coming not long after launch."

Yes, the valve team promised L4D 1 content, including new special infected AND weapons AND new campaigns. Turns out they saved all that for L4D2 instead. L4D2 will have a new special infected (charger), new weapons, and new campaigns. And no, they didn't add any new campaigns in L4D1, just tweaked versions of the old ones for versus, and a single new mini map for survival (the rest of the survival levels are just portions of the old maps in old campaigns)

That same guy at valve in an interview said they have been working on L4D2 since the launch of L4D1.
http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=1138 [shacknews.com]
"Shack: When did development on Left 4 Dead 2 start?

Chet Faliszek: Pretty much after Left 4 Dead launched."

Going with their mind set (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28225361)

Given:
1) Valve has delivered the Orange Box before
2) The Valve developers are feeling the heat
3) The two games seem to be compatible
4) Doug Lombardi said "Trust us a little bit"

While I don't know how much Mr. Lombardi keeps his words...but from Valve's track record so far and the above givens, I think there is a fair chance that the new contents in L4D2 will be available for download for the original user (either as a free add-on or for a minuscule fee...say$5?), while the L4D2 buyers can do the same for L4D's contents as well.

This is probably one of the better ways to keep their reputations, appease the fans by addressing their major concerns, while not stopping the money flow by acquiring new users with brighter settings, etc. Also, this should not stop people from buying the original L4D now.

This Explains A Lot - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28225453)

"Doug Lombardi said simply, "Trust us a little bit," explaining that Gabe Newell is "always talking about providing entertainment as a service â€" it's not about making a game any more."

Which explains perfectly why Valve hasn't made a decent game since Half-Life. Half-Life 2 was a glorified tech demo at best, the subsequent episodes of which have all been just as lifeless and pale compared to their late 90's predecessor, both Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead were released in a somewhat fun but half complete state and haven't improved one iota since release (sorry fanboys, but the updates for the former have been universally bad), the Source Engine is held barely above the abyss of obscurity by Valve's own mediocre productions, and Counter Strike has been a negligible offering ever since Valve got its greasy mitts on it. I don't know about you, but it seems almost like the more successful someone in this business gets, the more detached from reality they become. Instead of realizing that fans wanted fun games like Half-Life that were actually easy for a layperson to modify, Valve drank the Engine Salesman Koolaid, almost went bankrupt because of it, and is now more a publisher than a producer because of Steam. Not that Steam itself is bad, it's Valve's greatest contribution to gaming and I'm thankful to have the service, but for buying and playing games not made by Valve because they're just plain bad at it now.

I'd probably be singing a different tune if the Source SDK and Hammer weren't trash, but Unreal 3 is today's modder's paradise. Better stick to your publishing outfit, machinema-based false advertising (I'm looking at you, 'Meet the Team'), and bad in-game memetic humor, Gabe.

And nothing new was said (1)

Dracil (732975) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225943)

They keep saying they'll still support L4D1, but all we see is stuff that was already going to be released. Everything else after that is "the users will do the work and we will claim credit for the additional content". Sorry no, the modding community has already stopped work on L4D1 content to focus making maps that will make use of the new features of L4D2 (and so far it looks like the compatibility is 1-way, otherwise we can easily just copy the new campaigns from L4D2 into L4D1). They have said exactly nothing about support AFTER L4D2 is released. They're still being intentionally misleading about "continued support", just like they were with that quote up there about new stuff for L4D when they really meant L4D2.

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