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It seems the only option for playing Left 4 Dead with my friends is to have all computers online, even though I bought the 4 pack from Valve. Is there anyway to plan a LAN game on Left 4 Dead 1?

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It is possible. If you use srcds to set up a dedicated server and note the LAN IP of the computer hosting it, you can enable the developer console in-game (under Keyboard settings then advanced) press the ~ key (on foreign keyboards, it is usually whichever key is next to the 1 key) to open it and enter the command connect <LAN IP of server> into it. You'll then be dropped into the game. Make sure to edit the key of the server so that random people don't start joining. Consider setting it to LAN-only.

If you're using a non-QWERTY keyboard, sometimes binding the developer console may not work. If so, you can edit the launch options and add --console. Then, whenever you launch the game, you'll have console open.

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All clients have to be connected to the internet throughout, though. Steam DRM still applies. –  DrFish Mar 13 '11 at 13:23
1  
@Bora Nope. You can run Steam in offline mode, and play it on a LAN. I've done it before. –  user56 Mar 13 '11 at 13:39
    
Ok, scratch the throughout part. You have to connect to Steam once to switch to offline, at least. –  DrFish Mar 13 '11 at 19:16
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@Bora Also not true. If you reboot your computer without a working internet connection, Steam offers you the option to switch to offline, assuming you have logged in some time before that. –  user56 Mar 13 '11 at 23:37
    
I was referring to the "some time before that" part, which might render the whole process inconvenient, just for the sake of getting around the DRM process. –  DrFish Mar 13 '11 at 23:58

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