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Sept - Dec 2023   |   Solo Project   |   Level Designer

I made a custom survival map for Left 4 Dead 2 using Valve's Hammer editor. Learning how to use Hammer was fun! 

I started by getting some photo references for the kind of environment I wanted to make. I decided to try to recreate the underground tunnel system of Montreal, also known as the RESO.  With this being my first time using the Hammer editor, I wanted to do something not too complicated; and the underground setting of the RESO seemed to be something I could get right in Hammer without too much trouble.

Map References (1).png

I also spent some time doing some tests in Hammer before designing my level. This gave me a chance to get a sense of scale for assets in the Hammer editor.

Next, I started by drawing out a rough plan for the level, and then refining that plan.


After finishing my map blueprint, I started work in engine. As I started working on the level, I came to realize that making the full map as planned was outside of the scope for the time I had for the project. This led me to focus on polishing the first shopping area of the map, which I would make into a survival map rather than a traditional campaign, as survival has players stay in one area rather than walk from a set start and end.


Above you can see my blueprint compared to my initial work on the graybox.

I decided to flesh out the back closets that were originally intended for zombie spawns into places players could actually walk around. For one, this made more sense than having counters that players couldn't jump over. It also created more space for players to explore, which was necessary now that players would be spending more time in this area with the switch from a traditional map to a survival campaign one. I have the back storage rooms connect to two different stores each, which makes the whole map flow together better, as there aren't so many dead ends.


Left is the map in engine, and right is the map at runtime
(some objects are missing in the right image because of the draw distance)

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