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Valve spills the beans on custom content for the popular game, Left 4 Dead.

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Some more news has been released via the Left 4 Dead blog about how exactly the new user created custom content is going to be implemented into the game. This will all be done by using an add-on platform and the new VPK file system.

Valve wrote: Third party campaigns are designed to be installed using a new Add-On framework. Content authors will be able to package up their new maps, along with new posters, models, and textures, into a single .VPK file. To install and activate this content in-game, players need simply download the .VPK and double click on it. Alternatively, they will be able to drop it into a new "addons" folder. The list of installed add-ons will be viewable from a new item on the 'Extras' main menu flyout.

It's nice to see that Valve has decided to make installing and playing custom content as easy as possible, and with the update to the matchmaking system if players do not own the VPK files needed for the custom campaign then it will be offered to them to download.

Valve wrote: When creating or searching for a lobby, a new option named "Add-on campaign" will let you select from among the add-on campaigns that you have installed. You can then find games or lobbies as well as create a lobby for that campaign. You can invite your friends, too. If they do not have the campaign installed, they will automatically be offered and an option to download it. We've also made it easier to create lobbies by adding a 'Create Lobby' option directly from the 'Play Online' menu. Once you're ready to go, the new matchmaking system will automatically try to find any dedicated servers nearby that have the custom add-on campaign installed, or you can make your own local server.

On my quest for answers on what exactly the VPK file is I managed to find that everyone's favourite Source SDK development program GCFScape now supports VPK files too. It turns out VPK is just a another variation on the GCF file that populates most Valve games, so being able to use others work looks like its possible, not sure what the copyright would be on that either. The last piece of news from this update is that as of this patch going live the L4D Authoring tools/SDK will go live as well. I would still like Valve to give modders access to a full SDK for L4D as the director in modding hands could see some great things be developed, but as of right now it does not look like it's going to happen. A shame really.

CptKaboose - - 59 comments

I cant wait!

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gizzle - - 31 comments

Yeah really a shame after all that happened, well perhaps we will se it a year after l4d2´s release :=)

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SneakySoft - - 340 comments

so the only way you can download a l4d campain you don't have, is searching for it on the internet or getting an invitation from a friend?

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Midnitte - - 128 comments

Thats about the same as every other source game, except now you download the map while in the lobby instead of while a game is in progress.

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KEEP_IT_UP! - - 1,444 comments

sounds great... so MOD-DEV's LETZ GO! ^^

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myles - - 854 comments

That's nice.. most games come with an add-on system as standard.

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NGS616 - - 364 comments

No, not most.

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kEEn_ - - 34 comments

Most should :O

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gizzle - - 31 comments

Why did you delete the first post ?

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zawmbabwe - - 89 comments

Valve slow.

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medve - - 1,475 comments


new piece of **** valve matchmeking system. how the hell can we play a newly released addon? no server will have it...and i wont ****** host the game with the worst netcode EVER.

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DuckSauce - - 969 comments

worst netcode EVER?
it's got many npc's being dynamically spawned, it's a wonder it's not even more laggy, there's only so much that can be done without turning the graphics down(like with Iron Grip Warlord, good game and the graphics suit it fine but apparently not as graphically advanced due to many NPC's)

Must say though, the matchmaking system is rubbish, what was ever wrong with the server browser?

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RockerFox - - 359 comments

it was put in for the X-box people and then ea went to Valve and said " Durrr wE On Wat Cp Peopel Mies Outzzz" and that is why we have the current match maker system. Also they wanted to make it so you don't game no the same server with the same ppl so you could meet new players of your level of play(Easy, Medium, Advanced, Expert). But aside from that the add-on thing sounds good.

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MrMattWebb - - 1,803 comments


Who cares. We wont get it until after L4D2's release and Im tired of waiting and hearing about L4D in general.

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Ryswick17 - - 416 comments

it says its coming out next week

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ghost_rider - - 211 comments

Where does it say that?

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sbnewsom - - 656 comments

In a Steam News post.

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Orion - - 587 comments

Yea, L4d.com

2nd Paragraph down it states it'll be released next week.

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Cobra_D - - 11 comments

Valve doesn't want people modding the AI Director because then it would be easy for them to recreate the "AI Director 2.0" or whatever, thus proving that L4D2 is just an expansion pack (and robbing them and EA of more money)

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RockerFox - - 359 comments

I got a thought about why the full Sdk isn't released yet. Maybe its because its ten times less user friendly then Microsoft Excel right now so they are still trying to make it easier to use and less of a pain. Yes it may sound like I'm in a dream world on that one but still you never know and I'm not saying that it will be that, just wishful thinking for a change instead of the "everything is crap" treatment.

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purplehaze412 - - 368 comments

Hmm, From my pretenses, This will not reach the Xbox 360 Version, Although I am hopeful.

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mastersrp - - 132 comments

This IS going to be PC only. Unless Valve does some weird update thing, which i HIGHLY doubt. But one can always hope eh? :]

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Lucífer - - 3,393 comments

**** the console users.


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Martanz - - 479 comments


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Earthbound_X - - 159 comments

Awesome, I didn't know there would be an option like that to add extra campaigns.

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vfn4i83 - - 692 comments



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Afnopo - - 1,253 comments

Dead Before Dawn, here we come!

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Dug - - 34 comments

Epic, simply epic.

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Darkieus - - 75 comments

I'm skeptical this is going to work out as planned, We'll see.

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Guest - - 688,744 comments

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