Left 4 Dead (engine branch)

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The Left 4 Dead engine branch was released in 2008 with <Left 4 Dead> Left 4 Dead, and continued in 2009 with <Left 4 Dead 2> Left 4 Dead 2. It was maintained side-by-side with the Orange Box branch, but was ultimately discontinued with the release of [Portal 2] Portal 2.

Unlike other branches, L4D does not require earlier versions of Source to be installed. It stands entirely alone.

Features

New since the Orange Box is:

Subtitles for intro movies and other Bink-based videos
Allows subtitles (including custom ones) to be put on timelines for when they should show
"Counter-Strike bot" AI
Source's original AI routines appear to have been completely replaced by the successor to Mike Booth's Counter-Strike bot. As well as unknown changes to code structure, the old nodegraph system has been superseded by polygonal navigation meshes that are automatically generated by the engine.
AI director
A "dungeon master" for the entire game which controls NPC spawning, music, weather effects, map layout, and more.
VPK add-ons
An archive format for easy mod distribution.
Lag compensated props
prop_physics entities can be selectively lag compensated.
Split-screen
Up to four players can play on the same screen at once.
Shader and effect detail options
New options that allow for better performance on low-end machines.
Swaying trees
A material parameter that gives the effect of trees swaying in the wind.
VScript (New with Left 4 Dead 2)
A powerful new scripting system using Squirrel.
Flowmaps (New with Left 4 Dead 2)
Water can now flow through a map using flowmaps.

Availability

Source code for this branch is not available. However, server plugins are possible, and authoring tools exist for custom content.