[Left 4 Dead] How to block paths without being cliché?

First off hey guys. Doubt anyone will remember me here since I haven’t posted in years, but it’s nice to be back.

I’m working on a 4-part campaign for Left 4 Dead 2 at the moment (after a hiatus of about 2 years!) which involves a stroll down some train tracks. The train tracks bend off at different points, but I want the player to follow a specific path.

It would be easy to chuck a few road blocks, a crashed or static train, or a fallen tree down to block the path and usually if used sparingly something like this would work. I have a few different paths leading off though and to block them all with objects like this would seem cliché.

If it was you, how would you get around this problem?

Edit 1: Example of what I mean.

I have this problem so fucking much it’s not even funny.

make a quick ms paint depiction of what youre talking about

You honestly can’t picture this situation in your head?

not well enough to give any useful advice

If you insist.

The red arrows are the path I want the player to follow, the red X’s are paths I’d like to block.

Obviously this image is non-specific… I’m looking for general solutions.


make the parked train lead back into an area too narrow to navigate on foot

just an idea

Well, what I would do is let the player have SOME freedom, but still funnel them through. Make many paths all to the same place. It would feel less linear and be more intresting

Then the train could have stopped halfway into a narrow train tunnel somehow, so the players would be able to move up to the tunnel and notice the train is blocking it off, but they can’t go inside of it?


I like the idea, just trying to think of a reason why there would be a fence or a gate over a train track.

And yeah Stiffy360 I plan on letting them roam.

**Edit 1: **The tracks in my map actually lead into a tunnel already. It starts off with a train crash which I’m using to block various parts of the path, so I’m looking for solutions other than static trains.

I’m assuming that’s some sort of storage facility, right?

A fence would be useful for keeping out unwanted people, it could have a gate right where the tracks are, to open when needed

kind of a lame idea i know

Military outpost on the track with bull pens behind, derailed trains blocking the path, rubble, crashed helicopters, fire.

These are all great ideas but unfortunately they don’t work too well with my map. I know I’ve been kinda vague… the map itself starts out in the countryside of Georgia. It’s also set pretty early on in the zombie apocalypse, so not everywhere is prepared for it.

Maybe a crack in the road? though that’s more of an earthquake thing, not zombie apolcalypse :x

Heck, I live in georgia. I would suggest large trees such as pine trees an I would suggest cliffs since its a lot more hilly here than you think. There is a lot of shale here also. :V

I guess a few barrels, gates and fences would do, together with a player clip field. You don’t HAVE to make it cliché, so some debris would do the trick too. Mingle around a little, and you’ll find a good trick.

For one of the spurs, maybe just have it be short and give the players the option to go down it for supplies or something. That way you still have a branching, realistic looking track but it just ends in a short siding.

A collapsed overpass.

One thing that I see in a lot of Valve’s L4D maps is how all of the branches lead to the same place which gives the player the illusion of freedom. They could take the side alley, or they could go through the house, but ultimately they end up on the rooftops no matter which route they take.

That’s the challenge I’m stuck with here. I want to allow branching, but I don’t want the players to have to back track.

[editline]2nd August 2012[/editline]

One of the ideas I’ve put down here is a collapsed bridge which I don’t think would be too cliché.