Death in Left 4 Dead is surreal even by videogame standards. If you die, you respawn in a nearby closet, bathroom, or other small space. One of the other players must then come along and open the door for you. (Even in the case of the bathroom, when the lock on the door should actually work the other way.)
Unlike my comic, the characters never actually discuss the death. They sort of pretend it never happened. You just walk right over to your dead body and loot it. (Assuming your teammates haven’t done that bit for you.)
It’s great for keeping the game flowing while at the same time giving a tangible penalty for failure. You’re out of the game, but not for too long, and you depend on your teammates to get you back in.
Also, to answer the question everyone is asking:
This series is going to run on for a while. The plan is for a story arc which resembles one of the campaigns in the actual game. I think we’ll take the occasional intermission when the team hits a safehouse, just to break things up a bit.
Shamus Young is a programmer and writer by trade, videogame nitpicker by inclination. If you have the patience for more of his ramblings, they can be found at ShamusYoung.com.