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Final crit

29 Apr

First off, the CIA and CWRU tournament was CANCELLED! Lack of sign-ups from CWRU came as a surpise and the event has been rescheduled for next semester. BRING IT ON!

Final critique for our Ideation and Presentation major day class is today and we’ve had the chance to reflect on the semester and look at where we’ve come from, see what we’ve got, and think about where we’re going.

With regards to stage 1 (My scene), the basic layout of the map has long been finalized, and details are being added such as a traffic accident scene very early in the scene. This offered up a wonderful opportunity to try something new with the level, and making the acquisition of weapons in the game a narrative element. Screenshots below explain.

The nav map has successfully generated for my level, much to the dismay of others on the team, and we were able to playtest the map to a degree that (despite not having the frills and details) is pretty close to the final thing. The backtracking element will surely benefit from the details that are yet to be applied, but the nav (and the zombies it brings) help to make the experience a little more challenging.

To sum up my semester of work, having learned hammer from scratch, deconstructed existing valve levels, generated an extensive tutorial for the benefit of the community, and actually made, revised, rebuilt, and playtested my map, I can safely say that the experience has been an excellent one and that I can’t wait to keep working over the summer with the team to hopefully get a campaign we can play through from start to finish.

Awesome semester!


Screenshot teasers –



Experimentation : This will sting a little…

7 Apr

I’d like to introduce myself to the blog! I’m the English guy…

Experimentation was the best term we could come up with that suited the role of figuring out the Source SDK and it’s capabilities when creating a new Left 4 Dead campaign. I have accepted this role despite having the least experience in mapping for source games, the idea being that I can get up to speed and move ahead into the ‘backdoor’ territory of mapping for L4Din a pre-official L4D SDK world, for the projects sake and my own. So far this process has been successful and I’ve really got the tools under control.

As a result of these investigations I’m creating a simple text document with details on how to work with L4D specific controls in the SDK, such as appropriate names for entities and how they work.

My most recent How To is available right here for all to see, and in the end, I hope it provides simple enough access to the information not only for the team, but also for the source modding community as a whole.


Putting the Citrus Back in “Safe-House”!

5 Apr

Welcome to The Escape Route: a blog that documents & presents the live growth of our Left4Dead level design project. For a while now, you’re going to see a lot of orange – A LOT of orange. We’re approaching this as gameplay first, visuals second – so things are looking a bit under-construction for now. Although, if you’re familiar with Valve and its Source engine, the citrus drywall should feel right at home.

I’ll keep this brief, so more details on the team, our goals, & individual roles will arrive with the next post (soon). We won’t leave you empty-handed, though. For now, here’s some instant gratification, which is probably a bit more rewarding for us being made from scratch, showing custom content working just fine.

Help us escape this tangerine nightmare:

-The Pumamen