Set in the immediate aftermath of the zombie apocalypse, Left 4 Dead's survival co-op mode lets up to four players blast a path through the swarming zombie hordes and terrifying mutant monsters. Guide your survivors across the rooftops of an abandoned metropolis, through rural ghost towns and pitch-black forests in your quest to escape a devastated Ground Zero crawling with infected enemies.

Post news Report article RSS Feed Left 4 Dead Beta SDK Released

Left 4 Dead SDK Beta is out, find out the info here!

Posted by Henley on May 15th, 2009

I've hinted at it, guessed it would come out earlier but it never happened. Until now that is. Valve has finally released a beta version of the Left 4 Dead SDK so modders can now officially start creating their own maps with custom content, like music, models and skins.

Valve wrote:Using the L4D Authoring Tools, you may create your own campaign maps, character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music and load them into the game.

Here's what's included:

  • Updated version of Hammer, the source level editor
  • Updated suite of command line compiling utilities
  • Updated Particle editor
  • Updated Faceposer
  • Example maps, common infected, props, and explosives

This release also introduces a pair of plug-ins for SketchUp, a 3D modeling program you may download for free. You may use these plug-ins to create building blocks and props that can be imported into Hammer for use in game levels.

Right now you can download the update free if you own a copy of Left 4 Dead. Simply navigate to the tools tab on steam and start the download. As of right now you won't be able to play the custom maps just yet although they have their reasons...

Valve wrote:Our plan is to release a beta of the Authoring Tools now so the community can start working on maps in the full environment. In a few weeks we will then release the updated match making to allow users to play those new maps and campaigns.

FYI Valve, people started making maps a very long time ago. Aw well its a step in the right direction, so start preparing, as Left 4 Dead just got more popular.

Post comment Comments
dufake May 16 2009 says:

Great!! Finally....!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
awesomepossum May 16 2009 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
w1ngzer0 May 16 2009 says:

Groovy beans!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Squeebo May 16 2009 says:

I've waited so long for this...!

+1 vote     reply to comment
oasojdfklasf May 16 2009 says:

Some one please make a tropical map, a dense jungle/swamp map, and a dense forest map!

-1 votes     reply to comment
freeze_L May 16 2009 replied:

would not be to great, too big, difficult to make fun, gamers get angry when there are invisible walls!

0 votes     reply to comment
s4ikD May 22 2009 replied:

no we dont...

+1 vote     reply to comment
desp1zer May 16 2009 says:

thats so friggin gay that we cant play them =[ any1 no of a way we can play them just in singleplayer

-2 votes     reply to comment
Daystranger May 16 2009 replied:

With full release they'll add custom map and campaign support.
VALVe released SDK early so you could start mapping right away.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ratchet66 May 16 2009 replied:

The custom map support will be released next week.

+4 votes     reply to comment
w1ngzer0 May 16 2009 replied:

crap! i thought it was full, oh well it is a start.

+1 vote     reply to comment
KILLER89(FIN) May 17 2009 replied:

It's been mentioned in several places, that it's a BETA.

It's a whole different thing, if people have smartness to see the BETA - word.

+1 vote     reply to comment
enablerbr May 16 2009 says:

seeing as you can play the non offical sdk maps. i don't see how the offical sdk can stop you playing maps.

with no source code. there will be no new player created game modes.

+2 votes     reply to comment
naah May 16 2009 says:

Sweet! Been waiting for this forever! :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
AlCool May 16 2009 buried:


Attention whores fail at getting attention. Such a coincidence they release their first "beta" sdk at such a weird time...

-6 votes     reply to comment
treat May 16 2009 buried:


Killing Floor is going to run this **** into the ground. I wouldn't be surprised to see custom KF maps hitting servers by the end of next week.

-11 votes     reply to comment
wazanator May 16 2009 replied:

LOL killing floor is a joke that thing is was way to buggy to release go look at killing floors forums and look at the errors section its already got 5 pages worth of bugs and its been out only how long?

+1 vote     reply to comment
treat May 16 2009 replied:

I was wrong. Custom maps hit servers today. 2 days after release.

0 votes     reply to comment
VagabondPraetor May 17 2009 replied:

Yeah, one had a benefit of a couple of millions in budget.

The other is practically a one man job.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Daystranger May 16 2009 replied:

Same way as Red Orchestra is better than TF2.
Grow up and stop trolling.

0 votes     reply to comment
spellman23 May 16 2009 says:

about time

+1 vote     reply to comment
jacksonj04 May 16 2009 says:

I wonder if the SketchUp plugin will find its way back into the main Source SDK?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Midnitte May 16 2009 replied:

I'm hoping they release a plugin for blender, I mean... who the hell uses sketchup? :(

+1 vote     reply to comment
Robots! May 16 2009 replied:

This guy does amazing stuff with it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
RedeemerEngaged May 16 2009 replied:

I actually like google sketchchup, it's just so easy to work with, love it

+1 vote     reply to comment
Daystranger May 16 2009 replied:

No need.
SketchUp ALREADY(with VALVe plugins) could export in SMD or VMF which ANY version of Source SDK could use.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Otreum May 16 2009 says:

WOW, how ridiculous, you all finally get an SDK, and now you all complain? hahahahaha, have fun doing that, i'll be having fun making some L4D maps :)

+7 votes     reply to comment
VulpineComplex May 16 2009 replied:

I already had fun making Left 4 Dead maps months ago. Now I want to actually be able to play them with people.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Otreum May 17 2009 replied:

Good for you, but my point is, that for those who hadn't started mapping yet, and have just got the SDK to start mapping, they shouldn't be complaining.
At least they have some official tools now, heck, it's still in beta, they didnt even have to release these tools, they could have done their own in house testing so eventually they could release a final version, but they've released a beta, yet people complain.
It's one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations.
All i'm saying is be grateful you've got anything at all from them at this stage rather than complaining like a bunch of school children.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AgeNt_ May 16 2009 says:

but the code base wasnt released :'(

+1 vote     reply to comment
GIJames May 16 2009 says:

"Steam Error: The steam servers are currently too busy to handle your request. Please try again in a few minutes."

Can't say I'm surprised...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sousuke_Sagara May 16 2009 says:

Nice source code? No Total Conversions? ç_ç

-3 votes     reply to comment
LongBottom May 16 2009 replied:

You were never getting mod support / code / etc. Although nearly everyone of you failed to believe some of us when we said (including the moddb people). But meh, now it's a reality.

+3 votes     reply to comment
enablerbr May 16 2009 replied:

yet would have been nice to get hold of their offical co-op code.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride May 16 2009 replied:

That's what the Source SDK is. Duh.

+1 vote     reply to comment
EchoDelta May 16 2009 says:

Im a bit confused how to scale all the decals down in hammer

there ******* huge

+1 vote     reply to comment
DemonProwler May 16 2009 replied:

Use overlays instead of standard decals. It allows scaling.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Killer_man_1996 May 16 2009 says:

WOW!!! and it's adding a plug in for SketchUp!


+1 vote     reply to comment
enablerbr May 16 2009 says:

seeing as you can extract the collada model from a sketchup file. you could already import that into most 3d modelers used for exporting the Source format.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Daystranger May 16 2009 replied:

Sketchup > Hammer
sounds better than:
Sketchup > HUGE professional software which costs many $ > Hammer

+1 vote     reply to comment
enablerbr May 16 2009 says:

Milkshape3D isn't exactly expensive. Blender is free. XSI Mod Tool is free for non commercial stuff.

though having Sketchup officaly supported it nice.

+1 vote     reply to comment
willy-wilson May 16 2009 says:

im kinda disapointed i was hoping for better support for some of the major 3d modeling application's because its a pain getting something from maya into source properly, even more so with the newer versions like 2009

+1 vote     reply to comment
DAK1LL3r5009 May 17 2009 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
JacobStar1000 May 17 2009 says:

How do i make a face next to my Post?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Vengful_Soldier May 27 2009 says:

FINALLY! I'm really good with Sketchup and could create very well done maps, my one hamper has been the fact that I couldn't convert it to XSI or anything like that with the free version I have!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Left 4 Dead
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