Left 4 Dead Tweaks, Scripts, and Campaigns

Recently, my computer has been running slowly. There’s no viruses (virii?) on it, its relatively well optimized, but it just can’t keep up with the demands I’ve been placing on it. I should buy some more RAM for it eventually.

In the mean time, I still would like to play Left 4 Dead, my favorite game this year (so far). It has, however, become incredibly annoying to play the game for about 30 minutes, only to have it start to take its toll on my system; My computer would overheat, or overcache, or something, and would start to drop frames (i.e. there were blips every second or so). Naturally, I went a-digging and found this neat little modification, so to speak, that will up your performance (Thanks to my brother for the find). On top of that, I found some other things that might interest you like hints, tips, and discounts (thats right, discounts) for Left 4 dead.

First off, some new campaigns.

Tons of people have been begging for new campaigns. While I can’t promise anything official will come out anytime soon, I’ve found 2 community-made campaigns that should tie people off in the mean time. Thanks to LoyalKNG.com for the heads up.

The first one is called the Museum of Unnatural History.

Description: (Created by Pure Stunts)
“Start off inside of a Natural History Museum where you must make your way to town. Along the way, you will stumble across an old abandoned mine and a underground train station where they must wait for the generator to start the train.

1/5 Maps Available
– The Museum
– The Rooftop
– The Broken Town
– The Abandoned Mine
– Subway Station Finale

How to play Museum Of UnNatural History:
Install maps to /maps/ folder; Open console ~ and type “map l4d_history01_museum.”

DOWNLOAD HERE.

The second one is called SubAway Train.

Description: (Created by Edwil)
“Survivors start off down in what seems to be a storage/workplace in the subway. With most the exits collapsed, the survivors need to battle through the infested subway system.

1/4 Maps Available
– The Storerooms
– The Subaway
– The Station
– The Streets

How to play SubAway Train:
Install maps to /maps/ folder; Open console ~ and type “map subway1beta.”

DOWNLOAD HERE.

Ok. With regards to boosting performance…

Here’s what I did:

  1. Open up Steam, and go to the “My Games” tab.
  2. Right click “Left 4 Dead” and click “Properties”
  3. Click “Set Launch Options…”
  4. Type this in, EXACTLY. Heck, copy and paste it.

    -dev -console -dxlevel 80 +mat_antialias 0

  5. Close it, and start up Left 4 Dead

Its that easy. I’ve noticed a few things that (apparently) have occurred with other people as well. First off, alt-tabbing doesn’t work. So don’t try it. Ever. Secondly, as that little snippet of code implies, some of the models in the games won’t be antialiased. What does that mean? Well, when you have a diagonal line, it is often kinda chunky. Antialiasing fixes that. Take a look at the picture on the right. Sure it looks strange and pointless, but when you zoom out a lot, it makes all the difference. Look a the words “alias” and “Anti-aliased.” See the difference? No? Well, too bad. I’m going on anyways.

Hints and stuff. Eat up, noobs.

Some other things you should know if you want to play the game, well, better. First of all, turn on in-game subtitles. It may seem like a waste of time, but it really helps if you want to clarify things like hunter, smoker, and boomer noises, as well as tanks, witches, and mobs (and the music that goes along with them). Turn ’em off if they become annoying.

Secondly, learn some secrets about maps. There are tons of areas, rooms, and spots that make driving off hoardes of zombies easy and fun. I’m not going to tell you specifics (seeing as there are dozens), but play with experienced people. They’ll show you where to camp (i.e. sit still and shoot), hide, and retreat to.

The last thing I have to say is less of a hint than an actual rule of thumb; stick with your teammates or you will die. If you die, you lose. Enough said.i

Scripts

Scripts are packaged lines of code that execute commands in game. An example of one would be a button that puts the view in third person, or a line of code that automatically assigns you to your favorite character (if its not taken) when joining a server. My friend is part of a team developing a really nice pack of scripts for Left 4 Dead. His name is Steven, but he also goes by dieckmann215, and I use his scripts all the time for most of my Steam games. Seriously, the guy knows what he’s doing.

Lemme clarify one thing first. No, scripts are not cheats. They are completely allowed, and I know Valve doesn’t consider them cheats (seeing as they’re built into the game). Yes, they can be used cheaply, like making weapons like pistols shoot automatically, but they are in no way, shape, or form ‘illegal.’ That being said, this script pack I keep talking about has the following features, as quoted from the website:

sv_search_max_ping 80
This setting guarantees that as a Lobby Leader, you will not search for any servers above 80ms ping.
cl_timeout 60
a workaround for premature disconnect on server delay bug
thirdpersonshoulder mode
F9 now toggles thirdpersonshoulder cam, the default offset (in)accuracy has been minimalised so the mode is now usable and actually nice to play in (shotgun sounds are still bugged, we cannot help that one in any way). Mousewheel now enables you to zoom.
scoreboard & net_graph
TAB press now shows your ping, fps and other information along with the standard scoreboard and server information.
incremental 1-key demo recording
Sets F8 as the default key toggle for demo (.dem) recording and stopping in _demo_##.dem incremental naming fashion. Be sure to backup any demos you want to keep as the script will mercilessly overwrite them on game reset (there is no other way of avoiding it in L4D so far).
hd avi demo recording
F7 now works as a non-incremental toggle for Source AVI recording. This recording is capped @ 30fps and a codec can be selected from drop-down menu. You can as well set your game visual settings to maximum, since the recording speed is not influenced.
mouse invert
toggles on F12 key press
3-tap vote difficulty
F3 now let’s you quickly vote difficulty (1-tap Normal, 2-tap Advanced, 3-tap Expert).
2-tap disconnect/retry
F4 is now used to quickly disconnect from server on a single tap and forces a retry on 2-tap.
walk & crouch double tap toggles
Default CTRL (crouch) and SHIFT (walk) keys now have toggle functionality too if double tapped fast
autorun toggle
CAPS LOCK has now an autorun functionality to make writing on the move more convenient.
my glow
Changes the item & character glows to use more logical coloring than the default ones. The colors have been tested with various people and should be well balanced and pleasing to the eye.
More information, screenshots and customizations here.
items & incapped color pulse
Incapped survivors, items & Infected ghosts now use a glow pulse instead of a single color. (F11 toggles functionality). Mind that console timing works differently during demo playback and the pulses will behave weirdly.

annnnnd…

Download Here

One thing I’d like to add is that the script is updated quite regularly. I’ve heard plans for 2.1 including some customization features, although I’m not too sure exactly what they are. It’s gone from version 1.0 to version 2.0 (roughly 10 releases) in a week or so, so I recommend that you pop over every so often to make sure its up to date, if you like it. Which you should. I mean, how couldn’t you? Sheesh.

What can you expect in the near future? [Updated!]

I’m giving you a fair warning: if you’ve never played the game, you can somewhat read the article and enjoy it to some extent (barely). After this point, things will totally stop making sense. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Now that that’s said and done, I want to talk a bit about what’s going to happen later. Left 4 Dead 2 has been anounced, and has had some cool trailers thrown around on the web, so that’s exciting. The video below demonstrates some of the new game’s features; melee weapons, special bullets, ‘Uncommon’ common (or common infected that have special abilities like being fire proof), the Charger (a cool new zombie), Witches that wander around in daylight, and a whole other slew of updates. The game takes place in New Orleans, with 4 new survivors, a TON  and a lot more of a ‘daytime’ setting than the previous game.

Here’s a quick vid on the update:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14UqsmudD7I

There have been sketchier rumors about incapitated survivors being able to crawl around, but I’m not so sure that that would ever happen, let alone be useful.

The game also apparently uses a new engine to show how zombies get ‘hurt.’ So if you were to, say, shoot one in the arm, it’d get hurt in its arm. Cool. On top of this, in-game events aren’t so much “flip a switch and

Ok. thats a lot of writing for one post. If you don’t have Left 4 Dead, get it here. Honestly, the game’s reputation preceeds it, and I mean that in a very good way. They had a sale last weekend (50% off), which is one of the nice things about valve; regular discounts. Keep your eyes peeled.

And if you ever play, I’m [BOA-A] Pulse, so find me or something.

  • http://www.michaelaulia.com/blogs/ Michael Aulia

    Nice post. I’m playing it with a few of my friends and we’re getting a bit bored with the current maps/campaign

    We might grab those fan-made campaigns as a starter

    • http://www.technoheads.org Salem

      Thanks a ton for the comment. The subway one looks a lot like Mirror’s Edge (from the screenshots, at least), which kinda takes away from the valve-ish feel. Oh well.