Interviews

Valve's Chet Faliszek Part 1

On Left 4 Dead, the community and what's next

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When the Left 4 Dead 2 was first announced there was a lot of talk from you guys about investigating how to link the communities of the first and second games together. Did you ever work anything out there with stuff like putting the new special infected in the old campaigns?

Faliszek: One of the things is direct connection doesn't really work because there's just been so much work done with the underlying systems. We've radically changed what the game is.

In Left 4 Dead we started with two programmers, then we had three, five and at the very end it ballooned. With Left 4 Dead 2 we started with six programmer out of the gate because we wanted to redesign the systems; redesign how creators work, redesign how weapons work, redesign how the AI director works with the maps and the level designs.

So these underlying systems really radically changed the game and we can't simply put something back in the old. But if you're online playing Left 4 Dead 2 you can actually see your friends playing Left 4 Dead and on the PC it's seamless - if you own it you can just press start and join a game with them. On the 360 you'll have to put the disc in.

How will Left 4 Dead 1 user mods work with the sequel?

Faliszek: One of the things we're going to do - and this might change slightly, so don't shoot me on this - is we're either going to include on the PC disc all of the assets from Left 4 Dead 1. If not we're just going to make it so that you can download the add-on assets and all of the previous add-on maps would just work.

So if somebody's working on a Left 4 Dead 1 map now, they'll be able to move it over to Left 4 Dead 2. We've been talking to a lot of those guys, explaining to them how the system's going to work, why they might want to stay in Left 4 Dead 1, why they might want to move to Left 4 Dead 2. Some of the things we've done for the modders in Left 4 Dead 2 is expand how you can control the AI director and other things.

We're just trying to make sure the path is really clear for them and they can do this really easily. As players you'll be able to see any map and it should work.

Are you guys still committed to supporting Left 4 Dead 1?

Faliszek: Oh yeah. We still have updates coming out. I thought an update was coming out this weekend, it didn't. So there's an update coming out very shotly... any minute now.

I think it's going to have the 4-vs-4 matchmaking and I'm not sure what else to be honest. We talked about a bunch of stuff before we left.

Look for part two of our interview on CVG shortly.

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