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Portal 2, behind closed doors at E3

By: BatRastered Jun 19, 2010 | 6 Comments

GoukiJones and I paid a visit to Valveā€™s meeting room at E3 to take a peek at Portal 2

Goukijones and I paid a visit to Valve’s meeting room at E3 to take a peek at Portal 2. The game was not playable, it was demoed as a Blu-ray video, so don't expect this to be released anytime soon. Valve has only said "some time in 2011".
Portal 2 Screenshot

Valve showed us several new pieces of Aperture Science equipment:

  • Excursion Funnels are liquid tunnels that can carry you or any cubes you may need either horizontally or vertically and can be redirected through a portal.
  • Aerial Fiath Plates are sections that launch you (or a storage cube) across the room in a certain direction.
  • The Thermal Discouragement Beam is a laser that can either take out a turret or activate certain switches, it can be redirected through a portal or with a Weighted Pivot Cube (basically a mirrored storage cube).
  • Pneumatic Diversity Vent is a tube that sucks up anything underneath it, you can as expected drop a portal underneath and use the other end of the portal to remove any obstacles in your way.
  • Propulsion Gel is an orange goo that, when spread on the floor, allows you to travel much faster than usual.
  • Repulsion Gel is a blue goo that you will bounce off of (much higher than a jump).

There were some funny notes in the instructional slides shown before the demos of the different equipment. You can see that the humor of the original game is very much present in the sequel, even at this early stage. Here's the text in case you can't read it in the youtube video.

Excursion Funnels – are part of an investigation into how well test subjects can solve problems while travelling through a churning funnel of liquid asbestos. Results so far have been highly informative: They cannot.

Aerial Faith Plate – are part of a larger trust experiment designed to help the enrichment center discover whether the capacity for trust is effected by being catapulted into space.

Propulsion Gel – Designed as a diet aid and marketed under the name “Propulsion Pudding”, this sweet, largely non-toxic liquid form of fiberglass insulation increased the velocity of any food that followed it through the digestive tract, leaving the body no time to absorb calories. Propulsion Pudding was pulled from the shelves when it was discovered that digestion plays several crucial roles in the eating process, such as breaking down food into small, manageable chunks before it is violently expelled from the human body.

Repulsion Gel – Apeture’s second attempt at a dietetic pudding substitute resulted in Repulsion Gel, a much sweeter, slightly less non-toxic form of fiberglass insulation that caused subsequently ingested food items to bounce off the lining of the dieter’s distended stomach and out his or her mouth. For various reasons, this was also pulled from the shelves.

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Portal 2 PS3 Steam details released

By: BatRastered Jan 17, 2011 | 6 Comments

Get a free PC/Mac copy with the PS3 version.

We just recieved a press release from Valve via email.

Exciting news, if you buy the PS3 version of Portal 2, you will get a free Steam Play copy (on Mac or PC). Valve has also confirmed cross platform play. Unfortunately the XBOX 360 has been left out of this since they won't support Steam.

Here's the full press release:

PORTAL 2 PLAYSTATION 3 STEAM FEATURES REVEALED

January 18, 2011 -- Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the Steam features shipping with the PlayStation 3 (PS3) version of Portal 2.

            Marking the debut of Steam functioning on any next generation console, the features shipping in the PS3 version of Portal 2 include cross platform play (PC/Mac vs. PS3) for multiplayer games, persistent cloud-based storage of PS3 saved games, and cross platform chat (PC/Mac and PS3).

            In addition, those who purchase Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 may unlock a Steam Play (PC & Mac) copy of Portal 2 at no additional cost by linking their PSN and Steam accounts.

            "We made a promise to gamers at E3 that Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 would be the best console version of the product," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "Working together with Sony we have identified a set of features we believe are very compelling to gamers. We hope to expand upon the foundation being laid in Portal 2 with more Steam features and functionality in DLC and future content releases."

            "We designed the Portal 2 PS3 experience to be very straightforward for gamers," said Josh Weier, project lead on Portal 2 at Valve. "PS3 gamers will be able to simply drop the Blu-Ray disc in the PS3, link to their Steam account from inside the game, and all their Steam friends (on PC and Mac) will be visible and accessible for chat and game invites."

            These features are made possible thru the use of Steam, Valve's platform for the delivery and management of games and digital content.

            Portal 2 is due for release on the PlayStation 3, PC, Mac and Xbox 360 this April.

            For more information, please visit www.thinkingwithportals.com

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PS3 Steam Details Revealed

By: BatRastered Apr 13, 2011 | 3 Comments

Much anticipated details on how the PS3 Steam client that ships with Portal 2 will work.

Here's the full press release.

Portal 2 for PlayStation®3: Steam Details Revealed

Valve's Highly-Anticipated Title Prepares for Launch On PS3

April 13, 2011 - Valve, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today disclosed details regarding the Steam experience designed for the PlayStation®3, which is set to debut next week with the release of Portal 2.

The first title to support Steam on a console, Portal 2 offers cross-platform matchmaking, gameplay, friends, chat, and achievements, all powered by Steam. Steam on the PS3 also saves co-op game progress and single player saved games to the Steam Cloud, enabling players to pick up where they left off on any PlayStation®3.

The Steam overlay for PS3 provides access to both PSN and Steam friends, displaying their in-game or online status and providing a quick pathway to text chats, player profiles, friend requests, and game invites. Steam Achievements are earned in lockstep with PSN Trophies and are also accessible within the Steam overlay.

Steam on the PS3 provides access to all of these features once the player has linked their PlayStation® Network account with a Steam account, which is done right within the game. A Steam user can login to an existing account, and anyone new to Steam can create an account with the click of a button.

In the spirit of Steam Play, linked players of the PS3 version of Portal 2 can also access and play their copy of Portal 2 on any PC or Mac by redeeming an in-box access code on their computer. The Steam client verifies the linked customer and then lists Portal 2 among their library of Steam games for PC and Mac.

For more information regarding Steam on the PS3, visit the Steam Support knowledge base. For more information regarding Portal 2, visit www.thinkwithportals.com.

Read the PS3 Steam FAQ here:

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=5477-WPJM-9388

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Aragrist

Valve's games got a frame rate boost on Macs

By: Aragrist Aug 19, 2010 | 5 Comments

Apple just released a graphics update that Valve claims up the frame rate 120%.

Yesterday, Apple released Snow Leopard Graphics Update, designed to address issues being experienced with high-performance games on Mac OS X 10.6.4. The issue was brought to light by Valve Software, which had recommended that Mac gamers not update to Mac OS X 10.6.4 until the issue was addressed. Valve, which has been working closely with Apple and graphics card companies to improve gaming performance on the Mac platform, has now posted a technical explanation of the steps it has been able to take to improve performance as facilitated by the new software update. While the details are certainly interesting, the bottom line is that frame rates have been increased by 15% to 120% on some newer Mac hardware. We are seeing dramatic performance improvements on iMac (Late 2009 and Mid 2010), Mac mini (Early 2009 and Mid 2010), Mac Pro (Early 2009), MacBook (Early 2009 and Mid 2010) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010) and MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2010) models. Depending on the game, video settings and the hardware, we have measured frame rate improvements from 15% to 120% on these systems. On older systems, we are generally already operating at the limits of the hardware, so it is not obvious that any significant performance improvements can be achieved in the future. Valve has made a significant investment into the Mac OS X platform, working to bring its entire library of high-profile games to the Mac while also opening up its Steam game distribution platform to allow other developers to easily offer Mac versions of their titles.

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Create your own Portal 2 level for free

By: iorilamia May 11, 2011 | 8 Comments

Valve releasing a free Beta for "Portal 2 Authoring Tools"

Beta for Portal 2 Authoring Tools is now available guys! It is currently in Beta and FREE. It is PC only and you need a Steam account to run it. It will be found in the "Tools" tab. They said that these are the same tools that used to make Portal 2. In this bets we will be able to create our own singleplayer and co-op maps, new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music.  

This is what they include:

- Updated version of Hammer, the Source level editor
- Updated Faceposer
- Example maps and instances to help build new maps
- Updated suite of command-line compiling utilities

Portal fans who like to sit down and build your own amazing creations for hours (Minecraft anyone?) Well here we go. If this is honestly the same tools they used for Portal 2, then the fun should be endless. I haven't gotten a chance to try it yet, but will soon. what do you guys think of it? Don't be a jimmy and tell us what you think in comments below.

 

If you wan't to check it out, here is the official Portal2 blog http://www.thinkwithportals.com/blog.php?id=5443

Review

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Portal 2 Review

By: BatRastered Apr 21, 2011 | 7 Comments

Was this a triumph? Can Portal 2 possibly live up to the hype? Yes, yes it can.

The original Portal, shipped as part of The Orange Box in 2007, was a ground breaking game for so many reasons. Obviously, fans have been looking forward to the sequel since that time and expect the same level of quality plus a full-featured stand-alone game. Portal 2 is an amazing game if only for the reason that it had such high expectations that seemed so unreasonable, yet lived up to them fully. I won’t say that Portal 2 is a perfect game, the single-player campaign is a tad too easy, especially if you’ve been doing speed runs of the original for 4 years.

portal 2 screenshot

While Portal 2 won’t give the hard-core gamer a serious challenge, what it does have, to borrow from the viral video “Friday”, is fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun. Even after finishing the solo campaign, I wanted to go back and re-do many of the rooms to see if I could find hidden areas, solve them faster, or do some other tricks that I passed up the first time through. It’s always great to hear the terrific script and voice acting again too. As an added bonus, just like the original game, Valve has included a developer commentary mode where you can play through the game and click on text bubbles that pop up throughout to hear what the devs have to say about a particular design choice. And you’ll want to hear it too, as the level design is top-notch in Portal 2.

In addition to the original portal gun, you’ll also find some new things to use in your environment, including propulsion gel (an orange goop that makes you run faster on it), repulsion gel (a blue, super bouncy surface), and lunar gel (a white gel  made from moon rocks that allows you to put a portal on any surface it touches). You’ll also interface with light-bridges, extrusion funnels, and aerial faith plates (a sort of catapult built into the floor or wall). Of course the weighted storage cubes make their return along with your friend, companion cube. (Not to mention, the “edgeless safety cube” in co-op... yes it’s just a sphere.) Also be on the lookout for the trademark turrets that really “don’t hate you”.

The co-op campaign is a whole new game. It uses much of the same basic mechanics, but has a whole new set of puzzles as you have four portals (2 each) at your disposal. You will get a few new commands to help you out too, including the ability to see what your partner is seeing, signal them to put a portal over there, or start a countdown for those tricky timing based maps. Granted, there’s not as much of a story here, but it’s still a lot of fun to run through with a friend, and GLaDOS is just as mean to the two co-op robots as she is to Chell (the main character from the solo campaign).

Co-op trailer:

Speaking of which, the humor in Portal 2 is just as good, if not better than, the original. GLaDOS is just as maniacal as you remember, and is always putting you down at every turn. Stephen Merchant is brilliant as Wheatley, the personality core who tries to help you escape at the beginning of the game. Also new to Portal 2 is Cave Johnson, the founder and CEO of Aperture Science and one time shower curtain salesman of the year. These characters just don’t get old, and the jokes are great. Be sure to explore thoroughly, as some of the voice overs are triggered by you trying certain things.

Check out a Cave Johnson sample:

 

After a year reviewing (and watching FnJimmy reviewing) a bunch of games, I can say that Portal 2 is easily one of the most well-tested games this year. I ran into zero glitches, invisible walls, or other frustrations. Hats off to Valve for that!

Overall, games coming out later this year have a new high water mark to meet if they want to be considered for the coveted Jimmy Gems game of the year award.

Verdict: Buy it!

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Portal 2 DLC Announced

By: BatRastered Apr 29, 2011 | 9 Comments

Did you like Portal 2? Do you want more? Do you want it for free?

Good news everybody!

Valve has some DLC in the works for Portal 2; it will release this summer and be free!

Portal 2 DLC #1 will offer new test chambers for players, leaderboards, challenge mode for single and multiplayer modes, and more.

Targeted for release this summer, Portal 2 DLC #1 will be offered free of charge for the PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PS3.

I'm super excied for the leaderboards and challenge modes, hopefully there will be a similar style to the advanced mode in the original where you can be ranked on how quickly you solve the room, fewest portals, fewest steps, etc.

Oh, and did I mention it's free?

 

Like the music in portal 2? Like free stuff? Come on in.

According to Valve the portal 2 soundtrack is going to be released in three installments. The first one is here, and they're letting you download if for free. It's six  twenty two amazing songs you'll recognize from the game. That's right 22! That's more than I was expecting on the whole soundtrack. I can't wait for the rest. If you like the sciencey feel of the portal 2 music, and want to re-create the atmosphere of aperture science labs wherever you go, now's your chance. 

I'll be sure to keep an eye out for when volume 2 shows up and let you guys know. 

 

Source:http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php

 

 

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Portal 2 Wheatley voiced by Stephen Merchant

By: BatRastered Aug 24, 2010 | 3 Comments

Stephen Merchant is announced as the voice of Wheatley, an orb who accompanies you through your missions.

You may remember Stephen Merchant from the Ricky Gervais show (or podcast).

Check out the video, the new lighting effects are amazing.

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Valve and Aperture Release Second Video

By: BatRastered Mar 28, 2011 | 8 Comments

Valve, in partnership with Aperture Science dba Aperture Laboratories, released today a new installment of its "investment opportunity" video series. Called "Bot Trust", it is the second of four videos leading up the April 19th release of Portal 2.

In this week's informational video, Aperture Science founder Cave Johnson explains why robots'll get you the biggest bang for your testing dollar. Don't wait until April 19th to get in on the ground floor. Invest in documentary game futures today!

Aperture Investment Opportunity #2: "Bot Trust"

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Portal 2 video: Turrets (Third in series)

By: BatRastered Apr 5, 2011 | 5 Comments

This week's reason to pre-invest in Aperture Laboratories: CEO and founder Cave Johnson's announcement that the applied sciences company is making its military-grade turret line available to consumers.

Aperture Investment Opportunity #3: "Turrets"

Valve, in partnership with Aperture Science dba Aperture Laboratories, announced today the release of "Turrets", a promotional video for the long awaited consumer version of Aperture's military-grade turret line.

I think this one is pretty self explanatory.

A while ago I posted a story up on here that said the first Volume of the portal 2 soundtrack was out, and that it was free. Well It still is, but now you can pick up part 2 as well. Part 1 contained 22 songs, and part 2 contains 18. I think that valve is really cool for giving away such an awesome soundtrack for free, and that it's the whole thing. They've already given us 40 songs, and part 3 has yet to arrive. This soundtrack is supremely great too. If you liked the music while you were playing the game it feels just as good driving down the road. 

 

I know we all like free stuff, and I'll keep my eye out for part 3. But for now, download and enjoy part 2. 

 

EDIT: Here's the link. Derp http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php?2

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