This deserves its own thread.
[WARNING] may contain spoliers [WARNING]
I played through Portal yesterday. One and a half times. And a bit again with the commentary. And 5 of the Advanced maps [ number 6 perplexes me like an optical illusion, persisting in its evident impossibility despite the knowledge that that cannot be so ]. I'm still remembering bits of it, mulling over what I'd like to replay the most, and where the design will be taken next.
While I'm sure no-one will have anything particularly bad to say about it, I still suspect Portal might be overshadowed by the understandable attention on the extravagantly continuing adventures of Gordon Freeman through the Half-Life story, and the incredibly stylish-yet-accessible fun-focused Team Fortress 2. This game will be considered the young, humorous, but slightly odd little sidekick. It might often be described as "quirky" and "innovative". It is those things, but it is more. I think it's a brilliant brilliant piece of game design, arguably better than its older siblings. And I [heart] it.
There are many things that Portal gets right, and ( at the last count ) only one thing overall it gets wrong. Just to get that out of the way first: the black sciencey insulation shielding texture used to cover surfaces not portalisable is....um...a tad black. It looks the part, exactly the sort of thing NASA would build in a giant test lab. And shiny is good, that helps distinguish it from the muted whites of pretty much every other surface in the game, but surely they could have used shiny gray. The problem was, there are sections where carefully maneuvering off ledges is required, but the ledges are black-paneled and almost totally unlit. So there was no way to see where the ledge I was standing on actually stopped and the one below poked out. I fell off a couple of times. When I didn't mean to :(
So what does Portal get right? Everything else.
I intend to ramble on at length about it, but before I bludgeon you with my intellect, how can I convey to the Func readership why Portal is a great game? What example can I cite?
Well: this is a game with an entire sub-section explicitly devoted to loving crates. It has actual consenting adult cratelove. With hearts on it. The game, via the equally brilliant AI overseer character, even warns you what to do if the crate starts talking to you.
And this isn't some pretentious gag self-consciously pasted on top of an otherwise conventional map in a desperate attempt to seem hip and clever. The crate is actually critical to your progress, while preping you for a later combat. And the humour is very much part of the unnerving ambience in which you find yourself. Top stuff.
It Is Pretty Much The Most Brilliant Game In A Very Long Time
A lot of that comes from the writing.
Too bad it is so short. Oh well, I still have the challenge levels to try.
I really hope things pick up with custom levels for this, I'm going to give it a spin as soon as the SDK is released.
Hey do you remember that time I said I was going to give you cake but instead I tried to murder you and you were all like 'No way!'?
I Didn't Have Any Problem With The Unportalable Texture Being Dark
Are you sure you didn't smear cake all over your screen?
Re: antiportal shielding
TBH, it was only in those one or two locations that I got annoyed. If they'd added a thin light trim around the edge of the ledge ( oooh, this rhyming thing is infectious ) that would have solved it. Dark I don't mind. Dark and light is even better. But this just looked like an all-black texture. Particularly a problem in a game where the premise itself is physical interaction with the architecture.
Maybe my monitor gamma is just lower than everyone elses. Wouldn't be the first time :(
Are you sure you didn't smear cake all over your screen?
I didn't, but I may try that now you mention it. Why, where do you smear your cake?
I Smear It Here, There, Everywhere
Internal and external use only.
I'm stuck on the map with my weighted companion cube cause I <3 it so much. ^____^
(That's a lie, I killed it as fast as I could and GLaDOS congratulated me ^____~).
So yeah, Portal rocks, the writing is brilliant, the levels are great, it's too short. =(
The challenges are bloody difficult, but great fun if you're into bashing your face against white walls to figure stuff out.
The cake was good.
(metallic Voice): Weeeeeeeee
A couple of days ago I would not have expected Portal to be some of the best game writing I have seen in a long time. o_O
I've been going back over the first few levels with the commentary on and the amount of thought put into every little thing is amazing as well.
Best Credits Ever:
Massive massive spoilers in this by the way, so if you haven't played Portal yet don't listen. :)
Just Finished It
and loved every second of it. Great head scratching fun! There were a few puzzles that I was stuck on for a few minutes but then the solution suddenly appears in your head :) Still got to try the advanced chambers...
The "boss" battle at the end was fantastic! It was actually harder for me because I was laughing so much while trying to place portals in the correct places :)
"Actually, that thing is a waste container, go and rub your face in it!"
Absolutely fantastic, also, for those of you that have played most of Ep2, you will know how portal links in with it ;) ...
<<end spoilers>> ...
Association Of Amputees Of The Weak
so whats the story with portal? i know very little about it. does it fit with the half-life world? donal duck?
Portal is set in the same universe and Half-Life, but the rest of the story can be picked up from the game. If you want a bit more info, go to the Aperture Science website at
Type "login" without quotes and press enter to being. Be sure to read the instructions carefully!
You'll need to know the password for the site, which is PORTAL. Any login name will do. Then just feel your way around.
Why do you guys even want to download Portal? Its just confusing and wierd..
well, the site is very.... confusing? :-)
i gave up half way through and then i remembered the powers of wikipedia, but i stopped reading the plot description, since its like a big spoiler in a way (waking up without remembering and all).
i can say that i am very intrigued now. i thought it was some lame ass arcade thing! hehe. man, this makes me sad since i'll probably wont get portal or half life episodes anytime soon :'-(
what struck me about at the 3rd or 4th challenge was that this puzzle game actually had a really good story!
i actually played this first, before ep2, because at the time i only had about an hour to play. when i got back, i started up ep2, but went back to portal before i even got half way through it.
i absolutely love the feel of this game. it feels like cube, which is one of my favourite movies with a bit of ss2 psycho computer mixed in. all it needed was moving rooms and gruesome death traps. :P
although, a map with moving rooms alone would still be awesome.
the last few challenges (before the escape), where you can see that there really is a world outside of the test chambers were well done. the empty observation booths scattered throughout the place give a really eerie feel.
honestly, i'm not sure if i'd really be interested in making maps for it, nor would i really play many custom maps. it wasn't really the gameplay that kept me going, after all. it was the wanting to see wtf it was all about. :)
as much as i too lamented the shortness of this game, i think it was a good call. it's a puzzle game after all, and while i would have liked to be immersed in the labrat mood a bit longer, it probably would have gotten worn out.
also, one thing that really bugged me was the 19th challenge. the actual challenge isn't hard at all, but because of the way the view angles swing when you go through a portal at certain orientations, it can cause the view to swing in wierd, unpredictable ways, which makes shooting new portals at the proper places and making sure you're still aligned with the old portal a real pain in the ass.
second, although i agree with kell and hate the grey/black squares for unportalable surfaces, i didn't like the textures because it looks really poor... reminds me of some ancient custom q1 textures from like 1998... :(
Like I said in my post in the PC Games thread, I think this game is absolutely brilliant; it's one of the best things I've seen in years, and certainly in my top five or so games ever.
1) The excellent progression. I was constantly being challenged in a good way, without ever feeling super frustrated. It's hard to get those "wtf?!?"-->-->"ah-ha!!" moments in a game just right, and this game manages to string together a long sequence of them.
2) The puzzles themselves are cool, and it's a nice touch that there are different ways to solve them. I'm making my way through the advanced levels now (I've done 5 out of 6), and it's amazing how you can do more with fewer resources if you put your mind to it.
3) The overall atmosphere is great--especially the humor. It's pretty rare that I actually LOL for real while playing a game (the last time was actually relatively recently though, while playing Bioshock. One of the crazy dudes suddenly yelled "Everything's covered in semen!!" which was an insightful comment on the overuse of specularity in games if I ever heard one). In any case, Portal made me laugh a few times with the AI dialog; it's great writing and great delivery and timing.
I think I'm going to have to wade into Hammer and see if I can come up with some sadistic levels...
That bit before "moments" should be:
I Will Look Forward To That Line
Finding the first hidden room was such a joy. I went in hearing it was short and expecting 19 tests of a proof-of-concept, when suddenly it all starts to get sadistically different as soon as you learn that THE CAKE IS A LIE. The wierd tachikoma-ish instructor voice went from cute to suddenly terrifying.
anyone else find the secret login/pw? I'm poking through what it reveals right now.
Kell, the no-portal surface were perfectly well lit for me everywhere. I have no idea what you experienced. Please take screenshots.
The Bonus Levels Can Take Quite A While
Getting that cute little guy to \o/ three times in a row is not exactly easy.
I figured out advanced no. 6, too. Yay!
Just finished it. Thank goodness it's short, becuase the only way I was able to stop playing was after i beat it. :)
Also, who'd expect that the best thing about a good puzzle game is the writing?
More later, I must sleep.
Im Gonna Go And Buy It
for me 360!
I did the first five of the six last night before stopping for sleep. The one with the sentries in cages was annoying, but I suspect I might have been making it harder than it was by missing some approach or other.
I very much liked the one with your Weighted Companion Sphere(tm) though.
On to the final one and the Challenge levels tonight.
The One With The Turrets
I ended up portaling to behind the two that are overlooking the room with the Weighted Companion Cubes and the 1500 Megawatt Super Colliding Super Button, then portaling all the Weighted Companion Cubes around me so they shielded me from the turrets when I crouched. Then it was just a matter of patience while I crouched all the way to the 1500 Megawatt Super Colliding Super Button while moving the Weighted Companion Cubes along with me.
Every time I picked one up a turret would go I can seeee yoouuu! and I would go Eeeek! but nothing happened.
I tried to do some thing where I would make a portal in the floor beside the 1500 Megawatt Super Colliding Super Button and then throw a Weighted Companion Cube from my safe spot and onto it, but it always fell back and knocked me into the danger zone.
I don't hate you. =]
For some reason I never even tried crouching--I just thought "Well, my head will be sticking up, so..." I pushed stacks of two cubes around in a fussy painstaking manner whilst standing behind them and occasionally cursing.
I love the sense of humour and writing. It would probably have gotten a bit dull without the computers talking to you all the time, so thank god Valve know what they are doing and know how to polish a good idea and turn it into a great game.
Oh, and the final couple of levels were a little bit a of a surprise. I wasn't sure what was going to happen toward the end, but the change in mood and sudden decrease in difficulty of the puzzles was interesting.
Plus the ending was totally great :)
I still have to play ep1 and ep2 along with Metastasis! HL2 is a gift from the gods.
Oh, and I've got Bioshock to play at work. PCs are great.
No, They're Horrible!
that's why PC gaming is dead. didn't anyone tell you? you're supposed to be playing halo 4.
So who is actually mapping for this yet?
Has anyone gotten their hacked Portal .fgd up and running? Or are we all waiting for the official SDK (who knows when that will come out?)
Hacked Portal Fgd?
is that like the hacked thing to be able to mod for sin eps?
Same Thing For TF2 ...
(end credit song, spoiler)
Portal was the greatest gaming experiance ever. GLaDOS and the turrets and the companion cube are the greatest characters ever and they aren't even 'alive'.
Yeah, I Saw That
link to the temp solution, but I'm not bothering. I'm not in *that* big of a rush; I'll just wait for the actual SDK update.
Also, someone apparently got portals working in some variety of MP. You can see, shoot, and throw things through them, but if you try to go through, the game crashes.
Also, Valve will be selling plush companion cubes sometime soon. :)
the song was yet another brilliant touch. Reminds me of those cheesy "corporate anthems" that some companies have, which was fitting since the computer character had a sort of android-middle-management -marketroid vibe to her/it.
Also reminds me of that Jonathan Coulton song, "Re: Your Brains" -- http://www.jonathancoulton.com/mp3/Re%20Your%20Brains.mp3
Jonathan Coulton Wrote The Portal Song Too So Maybe That's Why
well, then that makes sense.
I fired up Hammer for the first time today, it was kind of comforting to see the familiar Worldcraft interface hasn't really changed in the past nine or however many years since they bought it. It was then extremely distressing when I remembered the Worldcraft interface is clunky as hell now I am used to Radiant. :(
Is Portal any good then??
It Will Make You Wet Yourself
in every direction
It's a ton of fun, but it's not as good as I thought (it's the only reason I bought orange box in the first place, but TF2 turned out to be lots of fun.)
Still, once they release the SDK expect a flood of maps for it.
what i'm hoping to see is maps that are more about logical stuff than just shooting portals fast. as i replay this, i'm actually starting to warm to the idea of mapping for it. unfortunatly, i'll have to learn hammer from scratch. >_<
hammer is extremely easy and solid, if a little clunky, but hey, so's your mother.
Portal Is Awesome
I got a crush on GLaDOS. Maybe we should drink a glass of wine (subtle hint that I am playing it using wine, hohoho) together and get busy.
Portal 2D Platformer In Flash:
For that metslime, now I know why eveyrone's raving about it.
If a flash game can be that engrossing then the real thing must be something special indeed.
Speaking Of The Flash Portal,
why weren't there crushers in portal? :(
refused to deal with the extra mess crushers cause compared to other forms of mutilations.
Everyone is so sad to lay eyes
on Companion Cube's firey demise
but I wasn't impressed
and I couldn't care less
cuz it's still just a crate in disguise
played Portal myself yet. But the flash version was maddening enough. I gave up at task #9
Necros, There Were Crushers
In the area after your escape. They mushed you against the ceiling, as I recall.
I even got crushed by that fast door in "room" 19. :D
In the commentary they mention something about the high frustration of one-touch-kill-things so probably that was the reason.
is the previous game by the developers. I haven't tried it but it should be fun too (even without GLaDoS <3 ).
I highly recommend Portal. The lead up to the end and closing credits are worth the little money it costs. The gameplay is fun, addictive, and never too overwhelming. Everyone should go out and play it -- there is cake after all ;)
Nice Flash Game!
wasted an hour when i should have been working though, god damn internet.
i wont be able to play it until i get a new motherboard and then a videocard because i fucked up the pci-express slot mama on it. :(
hopefully they'll bundle it again when ep3 comes out? that be the shit, since i haven't played ep1 or ep2. even if i got orange box i cant play them really. i need it all 3!
will there be an ep4 too? or its just 3?
pretty sure i remember reading somewhere that there's just 3 episodes.
not sure if they'll bundle it again for ep3. there'll probably be some big all encompassing package with all 3 eps and hl2 or something. i would guess tf2 and portal would be sold individually (and for less than the 50 of the orange box) by that time.
Fantastic game! Shows there is still a lot of life left in the FPS genre.
Still Havent Played It
Girlfreind might get me for christmas! Already played HL2 and Ep1. Ep2 > Ep3 > HL3?
Portal looks interesting, wasnt there a quake mode with a teleporter gun once?
Seems a bit like Prey - that game had interesting portals and physics and gameplay
I Mean A Quake 'mod', Not Mode^^^
The Cake Is Not A Lie
My friend just came over and presented me with this:
She is the best friend I have ever had.
I might now very well be the first person in the world to eat
their Weighted Companion Cube.
that is the greatest gift of all
help me find my jaw... it's somewhere on the floor over there...
Kell, Can I Have Your Friend Please?
You can send her in the mail... I don't mind the wait.
On second thoughts, my wife might object. You better keep her. :D
Yeah, definetely the kind of friend you want to lock up in your dark basement for eternity to make sure you never lose her. ^__~
But actually, you're not the first to devour your weighted companion cube I think, someone posted a cake like that in the steam forums a while back too, it didn't look half as good though.
(We need a cake icon!)
Man, now THAT'S what I call a girlfriend. :) That's awesome.
Aww, That's Sweet
"You devoured your faithful Companion Cube more quickly than any test subject on record. Congratulations."
This game is prime for speedmapping. Limited texture set, very straightforward game mechanics, and in general very boxy. Hope the 'offical' SDK comes soon, I don't have enough hd space to try the work around.
i don't think a portal map needs to follow along with the original theme.
i think a map done in, say for example, q1metal could be really cool, as long as the rules are consistent from start to finish.
any news on the sdk? i haven't been able to get the haxored version of portal map editor working. :\
But who is converting q1metal textures to source engine format? I'm just saying the test chamber theme and gameplay favor speedmapping alot.
If it hasn't been linked yet -> Hammer hax to make portal levels: http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/User:Ts2do/Portal_SDK_Work-Around
I've heard that valve was aiming to have the SDK out by the end of October but seeing as its the 30th, I am not holding my breath.
Neg!ke put up that q1 portal mod a while ago. Its kind of crappy but I guess it would work.
dont you guys have womens???
So many wasted times in other games...
go play Quake and STFU!!!
finished it! i came to my friend in the evening, he showed me the game, i started to play it and couldn't stop until i finished it. then i looked at the time and found it was almost 7 a.m.
fantastic game. a great version of the monsterfree concept. interesting gameplay, humor of the crazy computer, great song in the end and a CAKE!!!
we need more puzzle fps games or maps.
Re: The Portal Song
Here's an interesting interview with Coulton about writing the portal song:
And here's an even more interesting one with Ellen McLain, who sang it:
The updated source SDK is available with official portal support. Appears that building cube maps is still broken though. But good news, regardless.
SWEET (i dunno what cube maps are, but SWEET about portal.)
Cubemaps are a way to get semi-accurate reflective surfaces by projecting screenshots from selected surfaces onto those reflective surfaces, instead of you know, real-time pixel by pixel reflection in the engine. It somehow involves putting a series of env_cubemap entities in the map and selecting surfaces. For instance, the texture for the shiny chrome-looking piston support things that move the wall tiles around in the game, that shows up as a full black texture unless cubemaps are built.
Apparently there's some way to build them in other source mods so some people are copying the portal content over to CS:S and building them there.
At least that's my understanding, someone feel free to correct me.
That's pretty much right, but for a metallic sheen typically you'd use a much simpler image - 64 sqaure of wobbly, watery looking shapes, which is rendered as an environment map, probably with a mask so that the whole thing isn't reflective.
But I don't know source at all.
Cubemaps are usually used for big stuff, like water.
No In Source They Use Cubemaps For Just About Everything
You can set them to be rendered as small or as large as you like, but they're still a cubemap so you get the impression of the correct colored light being reflected off a surface, even if the actual reflection isn't visible.
need 1024x1024 at least!
I've been trying to make a super-colliding super-button based off of the test_chamber.vmf mappy, but my button doesn't work properly. Anyone know how to make super-buttons?
super. That should do it.
FYI I've followed several of the tutorials, and since everyone is still figuring everything out, quite a few of them are inaccurate or contrary to what valve actually did. I get the most help from looking at the decompiled official maps. ( http://www.fpsbanana.com/threads/95314?5
Zwiffle, if that's not enough, I can send you my testing map where I'm just getting familiar with all the mechanics, super-buttons included.
I Think I'm Going To Have A Go
at mapping for this. This game kicks ass.
Some pretty good custom maps have already been released. The first two (the RenTests) on this page are good:
This is still in beta, and just crazy fucking hard. I spent a couple of hours on it last night, and made some progress. I'm still trying to get a companion cube:
From What I Saw
from Ray's links a companion cube is a prop_physics with a model portal/metal_box and skin 2 (the one with the heart shape.)
I'm working on how to manipulate portals, like opening/closing them etc etc.
No, I Meant
I was still trying to get one in that last level. During gameplay.
How the fuck do you get past the jumping puzzle in patterns?
Patterns? Is that a custom map? What the hell are you talking about?
I just re-scanned the whole thread, thinking I had gone senile.
Of course, me not finding anything re: "patterns" doesn't disprove much.
After you get up from the Trajectory part of the map you go into the Patterns part. =/
I didn't even remember seeing the "Patterns" label.
I assume you've ridden the lift up, and are trying to get over to where the energy ball is going into the room on the other side?
Until told otherwise, I'm going to assume that you want a relatively subtle hint (and I don't want to spoil it for others), so...
If what you need isn't nearby, you may need to expand your search.
I finally finished the level tonight. Great ending. I had to get a hint in one part after being stuck for a while with no idea whatsoever.
I probably spent more time solving shmitz's level than I did playing through the entire game.
Did that hint help at all, or do you want me to just tell you?
Just trying to make sure I'm not being an asshole...
Cake For All!
i was just wondering how many of you managed to beat this thing.
i based my head against it for half an hour and gave up. i didn't really enjoy it tbh. obviously, it's much more difficult than stock portal, but i think there could have been some kind of hints or something. it seemed more like he simply tried to hide the correct solution instead of making it something you could solve logically. is there somewhere that i can see the solution and see if i'm correct? :P
I Tried It
and gave up on the Patterns portion of it.
I thought it was ridiculous tbh. I also didn't enjoy it very much.
I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. :)
Patterns spoiler (reversed): .mutnemom yrassecen eht teg ot ti otni nwod pmuJ .)detrats uoy erehw nwod( aera tsrif eht ni kcolb detnals eht no nwod latrop ecnartne eht ecalp dna ,ssorc ot gniyrt er'uoy moor eht fo roolf eht no latrop tixe ruoy ecalP
The point after that (with the rocket launcher bot) is where I got stuck: .ebuc a teg ot ereht ni pu teg dna ,wodniw noitavresbo eht ta dekcor a erif ot rehcnual tekcor eht teG .gnirreh der a s'taht tub ,ni si ebuc eht ebut eht yortsed ot ti teg dna tekcor a latrop ot deirt I
necros, if there's a particular point you're wondering about that I didn't mention, feel free to ask.
fuck! i read the first paragraph before i noticed what the link was. >_< :P
what about the very first room? :P i tried using the slanted block to launch myself into the hole in the cieling, but the angle is wrong, and i just land on the far ledge, which doesn't get me anywhere that i can see.
It Might Get You Somewhere...
if there were a portal on the far ledge to land in...a time or two...
I probably should have put the link first.
Sorry about that.
the only way i can play this map is with "host_framerate 0.001". thank god they never bothered to change the console commands! :P
this kind of thing is way too fast for me. i really hope other mappers will focus more on logic and puzzle solving instead of just twitch stuff. i disliked the twitch maps the most in stock portal. :(
the thing is though, that twitch maps are probably the easiest to create. i goofed around a bit, but coming up with some inventive puzzles is pretty tough. this requires much more planning than quake ever did.
problems 2 and 3 are less twitchy than that first bit. :)
I actually don't mind twitchy stuff if it's also quick. (In other words, if I fuck up, it's over in a matter of seconds and I can try again.)
What annoys me (and I've seen in a couple of maps I've played so far) are things where it takes quite a bit of time and skill to set up right, and then if you screw up you have to start all over.
Example, I just played one map where you have to build up momentum by repeatedly going from a high to a low portal, and then you get a bit higher on the arc between the two each pass. Eventually you get high enough to get over some brushwork that's blocking your path.
Problem: There's a field just below the critical point, so if you don't hit the lip just right on your first opportunity, and fall back, your portals are gone and you have to start over. Fuck that. That replaces "challenging" with "tedious".
You're right about twitch maps being easy to create. That's actually what I liked about the next two parts in that particular map; they force you to think outside the box a bit. (Actually a lot, with part 3.)
Offtopic, Yet Not...
After necros post about portal map making requiring more planning than Quake did, I was wondering if anyone actually did make puzzle-themed maps for Quake? There's no reason it can't be done, even without qc changes. Anyone up for it?
I have been playing a bit more of Portal (360), and I wouild like to say that I can do a lot of the stuff like the moves outlined in #94, 98 and 99, but I'll be damned if my girlfriend can!!!
Its quited hard really - Which I like :-P
Shmitz Chamber is an interesting map, there are some good ideas in it, but I really don't like the harder trajectory bits. The first 'puzzle' is the hardest probably, the rest was fine.
The SDK is updated? I know what I am doing this weekend!
Cursing The Vile Interface Of Hammer?
yeah, getting accustomed to WC after gtkr is painful. i wonder if there's a way to convert from q3map format to hl2map format... :P
anyways, about the maps, i think it's still too early to tell. i know we can't be the only ones out there, so i'm sure there will be some more slow puzzle heavy maps out.
necros: yes, it's possible, but probably quite limited. There's some kind of "import old-skool HL map file" thingo, which imports .map files, probably limited to whatever format HL used. Worked great for me back when HL2 was newish, imported a Quake map, and fixed up all textures in WC.
it would be great to see some maps that were more real-world/HL2 themed but with the addition of the portal gun.
You mean like ep3 is gonna be?
yeah, wow. That's gonna be amazing.
Portal not long enough for you? Want to test out ideas for Portal mapping with a simple editor? Try out Narbacular Drop and it's level editing tools.
I just can't get enough of this game concept.
Well, my understanding is that Narbacular Drop is the base of Portal (Valve hired or contracted the developers).
i have a fetesh of the words there is no cake
the cake is a lie
the cake is a lie
the cake is a lie
The Device Has Been Modified
gay techno music must die!!
#116 Was Me Btw
I can see why you'd eager to claim that gem.
...but anyway, i'm gonna get portal one of these days. say it for $14 at the local store. cheap stuff. :)