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Left 4 Dead: Forage
Source Engine

Forage is my initial attempt at level creation with Left 4 Dead. The goal was to create an open-ended survival level that would not force players into a specific location to hold out, or specific defense strategy, while also acting as a practical exercise in creating and editing navigation graphs for Left 4 Dead maps in preparation for creating a full-fledged campaign upon the release of the Left 4 Dead 2 toolset. Owing to the survival gametype offering an enclosed area, and the idea that the map is set shortly after the spread of the infection, I opted for brighter light settings in this level, as well as the use of some lighting outside of the playable space - while this goes against some concepts in Left 4 Dead campaign maps, which cue and direct players with lighting, the survival gamemode does not necessarily require such cues, as players are already restricted to a certain playable portion of a level and are fighting against the clock, not attempting to reach a goal location.

While elements like vehicle lights direct and attract players to weaponry and the triggers to begin the survival event, a well-organized team of survivors may find other locations that are not highlighted advantageous or more applicable to their play styles. Be it a team of four random players or four friends communicating over VOIP with a high degree of cooperation and precision, the map is accessible to both for survival matches. The timeframe for overall level and package creation was approximately two weeks; including initial playtesting. All art assets were created by Valve Software and are stock assets included with L4D's toolset.

You can read some player reviews before downloading the map at this l4dmaps.com mirror. (Corrected the link as of 3/22/13 - oops!)

The current playable revision is Beta 6 and may be downloaded here.

The source file is available here.

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