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Left 4 Dead includes matchmaking

For real this time? :: March 2nd, 2007 :: Steam Community :: 21 Responses (Feed)
Left 4 Dead logo
As a co-op game, L4D is particularly vulnerable to disruptive players.

It’s come, it’s gone, it’s come back again. Eurogamer have now confirmed that a “bespoke matchmaking system” is in development for Turtle Rock’s Summer 2007 Left 4 Dead.

As a four-player co-operative game, L4D clearly needs to regulate the people playing with each other in the public server space. With the increased intimacy from your team-mates being close by at all times there is very little room for poor players — in both senses of the word.

Although perhaps at first only Left 4 Dead and RACE (which we can say with reasonable confidence was planned to ship with a version) will make use of the system, other games are sure to benefit; Arkane’s enigmatic The Crossing is bound to have an unusual use for it in particular.


21 Responses to this post:

16 Comments

  1. Kevin Says:

    That’s interesting. I’m really looking forward to that system – I’m curious to see how it works. On a side note, I really hope that matchmaking will also appear in the recently announced RACE 07, provided that it follows it’s predecessor to the Steam platform.

  2. Greg Moroney Says:

    It will be interesting to see if it actually makes it into the game and what it will be like. I’m going to be watching this one closely, i was disappointed when i discovered Matchmaking was not to arrive with Race.

  3. ATimson Says:

    Good idea. Interesting how we’re only seeing this as Live Anywhere nears its debut; I wonder if Valve is going to try to position themselves as a competitor to that. Maybe even offer the same cross-platform features?

  4. Tom Edwards Says:

    Maybe even offer the same cross-platform features?

    Unlikely, I’m afraid. Even if it does happen, it’ll be entirely on Microsoft’s terms.

    I’ve signed up for the Games for Windows Live beta, so if I get into that I’ll do a preview on it as best I’m allowed. It’s definitely going to rival Steam’s community features — grind them into dust in fact, if the transition from the 360 has gone well.

    As for how matchmaking would work, I’m still quite fond of the mockup I made a couple of years back:

    Matchmaking mockup

    Friends integration and a cross-game UI. 🙂

  5. Andy Simpson Says:

    Cross-game UI if the game supports VGUI.

    Heck, have any recent games even used GCF?

  6. ATimson Says:

    Heck, have any recent games even used GCF?

    I want to say that the last non-Source one was Sin 1?

  7. Tom Edwards Says:

    Cross-game UI if the game supports VGUI.

    I was thinking more in terms of one interface for all games, and being able to search for servers running multiple games at once.

    Heck, have any recent games even used GCF?

    RACE uses them.

    It’ll only be for games plugging into Steam anyway. It’s not like the Call of Duty master servers can be retrofitted. 😛

  8. ATimson Says:

    They could be. It’d also require a client patch, though. 😉

  9. Andy Simpson Says:

    I suppose indeed. It’s just a shame that so few games are actually using the potential inherent.

    *sigh* In my head I can see a hundred tech nirvanas enabled by one piece of tech or another, and due to a whole bunch of stupid reasons none of them ever come to pass.

    Mostly, they’re when people are too proud to use a piece of technology developed by someone else as so hack together something themselves that does the job a hundred times worse and isn’t interoperable.

    Like, all instant messengers should use XMPP and federate together. There are no excuses.

    I just hope Valve and the Steam team are doing everything to make sure they have a sane platform. Stuff like Friends, the server browser, and matchmaking should be built as a bare API, with their VGUI implementation serving as a “reference implementation” over the top. That would allow third parties to get good integration into their own systems without having to shoe-horn VGUI in there.

    It’s still horribly disappointing that only GoldSrc/Source games currently support Friends, for instance.

  10. ATimson Says:

    Like, all instant messengers should use XMPP and federate together. There are no excuses.

    Except it’s not in their best interest to do so. Instead, it’s in their interest to try to get their users to convince their friends to convert…

    It’s still horribly disappointing that only GoldSrc/Source games currently support Friends, for instance.

    You can’t expect any non-Steam-only games to support it, though, which leaves only two (I think?) games without it that should support it.

  11. Andy Simpson Says:

    The problem is that the inertia is all in the wrong place.

    The problem with something like instant messaging being tied to proprietry protocols and systems is that you lose the pervasiveness.

    Can you imagine a world where each big software vendor had their own version of email, or the web? Or heck, even a version of TCP/IP each? It’d be horrific. Yet we put up with the same thing in IM software.

    If Friends became an XMPP based system, that would for one thing generate a lot of inertia towards XMPP. It would make supporting Friends a much better value proposition too for games that aren’t Steam-only as it wouldn’t be tied to the core Steam platform, it’d be fully interoperable.

    I guess this partly ties into my one major complaint about Steam – it is horribly inflexible. The Steam client itself is too big, too monolithic. Steam should be split into as many seperate units as possible, with as few hard dependencies between them as possible. It’s a legitimate complaint that the full Steam client is overkill for a lot of the games on Steam at the moment.

    If it was more lightweight and with more flexible licensing terms maybe it would get used more as middleware. I could see a lot of companies potentially licensing Steam components to do things like server browsing or Friends or CD-Key authentication without the need to bundle that with content delivery or making people have Steam accounts.

    It’s still baffling to me as to why it’s an absolute requirement for you to have an account. Why is it necessary to have an account to play a demo? Why do I need an account if the game I bought has a CD-Key? Especially if it’s a singleplayer game. Half-Life was fine for a long time without needing accounts for things.

    Ah well. That got a tad ranty.

    Wonder how they’ll implement the matchmaking?

  12. Tom Edwards Says:

    Why do I need an account if the game I bought has a CD-Key? Especially if it’s a singleplayer game. Half-Life was fine for a long time without needing accounts for things.

    To prevent people from using the same key over and over. When Steam first came out I recall Valve saying that tens of thousands of people had tried to register one single HL1 key.

  13. JeremyR Says:

    Matchmaking is a feature I’ve been wanting for a while now. Hopefully L4D won’t be the only game to receive it. CSS could use it to weed out the poor players so decent players play with decent people (skill and maturity).

  14. Schuyler Silva Says:

    CSS could use it to weed out the poor players so decent players play with decent people (skill and maturity).

    The problem with this thought, is that, how could they determine a person’s maturity level or skill level. One person might seem mature to some, but very much so to others. And some people do better on different maps. Now on just overall skill, yes it is calculated on steam, but the maturity issue could not be dealt with fairly. Alot of people would be pissed off, I’m sure, if they even tried to judge other’s maturity levels.

  15. Schuyler Silva Says:

    I meant people might seem mature to some, but not at all mature to others.

  16. fdsjl Says:

    Too bad it uses steam. Otherwise I would have bought it.

5 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. Matchmaking to feature Achievements - The Steam Review
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