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Portal 2 Authoring Tools Beta Released

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the contribute-to-science dept.

PC Games (Games) 47

Valve has announced the beta release of a set of authoring tools for Portal 2, allowing users to create their own puzzles and challenges in the name of science. "The Portal 2 Authoring Tools include versions of the same tools we used to make Portal 2. They'll allow you to create your own singleplayer and co-op maps, new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music." The tools are available for free to anyone who owns the PC version of the game.

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47 comments

Warning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103440)

Too much cake will kill you!

Re:Warning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103578)

If you can't make up your mind

Re:Warning! (1)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104164)

There is no cake in Portal 2. Sorry, no cake for you!

Re:Warning! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107870)

But there are lemons--lemons that will BLOW YOUR GODDAMN HOUSE UP!!

In game sales. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103472)

Can I make a map of a hat shop?

best part of narbacular drop (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103512)

Custom maps was by far my favorite part of Narbacular Drop [wikipedia.org] , giving much more challenging maps than portal or portal 2. With such a comparatively huge user base, it'll be interesting to see what people come up with.

More challenge (3, Insightful)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103588)

Like you, I really enjoyed the more difficult puzzles in Narbacular Drop and Portal.

When I finished the story mode in the original Portal, I immediately went on to some of the packed-in challenge chambers and modes for some more complex puzzle solving with portals.

When I finished the story mode in Portal 2, I looked for the more challenging content and found... nothing. It seemed like quite an oversight at first not to even include a feature like that that was in the original game.

I get the feeling it's more difficult to create a good puzzle in Portal than in most puzzle games. Here's hoping that the community will quickly fill that gap with some high-quality puzzles.

Re:More challenge (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104924)

The demo videos show a lot of test chambers that were cut from the final game; most of which were a lot harder than those in the final release. It looks like Valve decided they needed more polish, which is why we're going to be getting a DLC [thinkingwithportals.com] . For free. So don't fret yet.

If you wanted to be more cynical, you could suppose that Valve was deciding whether or not to make it free (after the five-dollar robot hat thing, they're not exactly afraid of amusement park gift shop pricing) but I think they're going to make Portal 2 into their TF2 for "everyone else".

Made for consoles (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105026)

Portal 2 was made with casual console gamers in mind -- you probably noticed that those tricks in Portal that required good reflexes and precise aim are gone. Now all the challenges really just involve figuring out the order to place portals, with lots of auto-aim to help you hit the right spots. It removed most of the skill from the game and left only the puzzle solving.

Don't get me wrong, the later challenges were for the most part fun and reasonably difficult. I'm just looking forward to seeing some made-for-PC custom maps. There's a lot of room for variety and difficulty.

Re:Made for consoles (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106900)

I don't recall any puzzle in the original game that required reflexes better than basic flinging to solve. You could almost beat the game with one hand literally tied behind your back. In fact with a little practice and planning I'm sure you could beat it with only one hand (either aiming or walking, never both).

=Smidge=

Re:Made for consoles (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108416)

Actually, if you played through with the director's commentary on, the reason they cut the hard stuff was negative feedback. People were thinking it would be super hard because very fine timing would be reqiured in order to speed up through the portal, place another one at the end while avoiding crushers.

For casual gamers, repeating the same level 10 times because it relies on a lot of coincidental timing is not just a turn off - it's a game killer.

It's the same reason the final level didn't have all the stuff they wanted as well (crushers and the like) - people would end up distracted trying to portal the bombs in the right place they'd miss the crusher.

There's a puzzle where Valve went for the fun solution rather than the proper one as well - it's where you have to put a portal on a wall and use the funnel to ride out and escape (it's nearly the end - Chapter 8 or Chapter 9, I can't remember which). Playtests reveal that players would often place the wrong portal and fall which hurt the gameplay moreso than having the game make it foolproof and let you put any portal there.

And I don't believe Portal originally had many tricky timing related puzzles, other than the flinging - heck I finished it (didn't do challenges though). There may have been a few more "think fast!" moments where the puzzle was to figure out the solution in a few seconds (last test chamber, for example) in the original Portal, but that was it...

Re:More challenge (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107846)

>When I finished the story mode in Portal 2, I looked for the more challenging content and found... nothing.

Valve have stated that there's a big load of free Downloadable Content coming very soon.

Re:More challenge (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36109094)

Like you, I went in search of usermade Portal maps. I found some, but there were not many and certainly not of the same quality. Perhaps, I should look again. When I do pick up this latest version, I already have an idea for using some gel, ramps, and precise timing to do a puzzle. Of course, I'll have to make sure the idea isn't already in the game ;)

Re:best part of narbacular drop (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111096)

Wow, thanks for the link. That's some interesting back story there. And a great success story for those DigiPen students.

Just in time... (2)

HawaiianToast (618430) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103526)

Bin Laden's Hideout should be available in all games.

More stuff to work with (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103540)

Many new elements of gameplay they introduced, it really felt like there was a lot more they could have done with them than they did, at least compared to the way the portals were used in the first one. I didn't have much desire to play 3rd party maps on the first portal, since I felt like I had seen every concept that could be done with two portals. Not so with portal 2. I was still thinking of things they could do with, for example the hard light bridges by the time the game was over. There's more in the co-op levels, but it feels like they were trying to make as many new mechanics as they could to encourage the 3rd party maps.

Single player maps without the portal gun, that might be interesting, but there was very little of that in the game, and the parts that were, it was just platforming and exploring, none of those new things like the goo. It wouldn't have worked well with the story. I think it will be interesting to see what people come up with.

I'm not as excited about the inevitable parodies of GLaDOS, or a "the cake is a lie" reference in every map.

Re:More stuff to work with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104210)

Many new elements of gameplay they introduced, it really felt like there was a lot more they could have done with them than they did, at least compared to the way the portals were used in the first one. I didn't have much desire to play 3rd party maps on the first portal, since I felt like I had seen every concept that could be done with two portals. Not so with portal 2. I was still thinking of things they could do with, for example the hard light bridges by the time the game was over. There's more in the co-op levels, but it feels like they were trying to make as many new mechanics as they could to encourage the 3rd party maps.

Single player maps without the portal gun, that might be interesting, but there was very little of that in the game, and the parts that were, it was just platforming and exploring, none of those new things like the goo. It wouldn't have worked well with the story. I think it will be interesting to see what people come up with.

I'm not as excited about the inevitable parodies of GLaDOS, or a "the cake is a lie" reference in every map.

Portal Prelude [portalprelude.com] is worth checking out, there are a few interesting new mechanics that build on the original Portal.

Re:More stuff to work with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104476)

GLaDOS: Hey, this is one of my tests!

Authoring Tools User: Not entirely. There's a wall with the word "test" on it, so that's brand new.

Re:More stuff to work with (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104612)

none of those new things like the goo

I feel like the goo really has a lot of unexplored possibilities. I was actually expecting to be introduced to it much earlier in the game. The parts that had it were good though.

Hopefully they've got the engine to the point where anything users mash together will be workable in their physics engine. In the commentary to portal 1 the developers mention an edge case where a piston pushes you up through a portal and how they had to do a lot of engine work to get that in, but thought it was worth it simply so level designers would not be limited by that.

There's still science to do (1)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36112674)

Hopefully they've got the engine to the point where anything users mash together will be workable in their physics engine.

From only playing the story mode so far, I get the feeling there's more work to do on this front. I noticed some glitchiness in the story without looking for it, especially in carrying objects. Some of the fancier (and even not-so-fancy) elements in the game won't let you carry an object onto or past them. I noticed this especially in the later GLaDOS test chambers. In the one with a line of turrets you burn with the laser, the objects from rat man's area won't go through the panel that slides up. They hit an invisible wall. In another, you can't take them onto a lift--again, at the edge, they hit an invisible wall. These are things I'm sure they noticed in testing but weren't worth fixing before release.

Hopefully Valve patches they things in a timely manner as developers start to get creative.

versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103546)

>versions of the same tools
Versions?

Re:versions (1)

aiht (1017790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103614)

>versions of the same tools
Versions?

As in, versions that don't bring up a message box saying "Assertion 'p != np' failed! Get Dave to fix this!" when you enter an out of range value, or whatever.
Let me guess... you've never had to convert an in-house tool to be used by the outside world?

Re:versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103962)

Let me guess, you've never used Hammer? :p Plenty of crashes in that bring up a message box saying "Contact a programmer!!!"

I'm not really sure what he means by "versions"... I was under the impression the SDK the community gets is always a version or two behind what Valve are using, they just push out an updated version every 6 months.

Re:versions (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104406)

It could mean that the tools have been updated slightly since they were actually used to create the Portal levels. The last work on the levels involving those tools might have been done a couple of months before the release of the game so there could be some bug fixes and improvements made.

Also if they are tools they use for a range of titles they might have removed features that are not relevant to Portal 2, either because they are not implemented at all in that game or would cause problems specific to it (perhaps some geometry options cause excess hassle for the through-portal rendering, for instance). Internally you can expect people to know (or find out from documentation when they hit a problem) what features are not relevant/useful to a given game engine (or version of that engine), when you hit the real world you will instead get an infinite number of angry entitled idiots posting in forums how crap the editing tools are because feature X doesn't do what that person interprets from what it says on the tin.

They may also have had to remove any in-jokes (that t hey don't want the rest of the world knowing about) and curse words (or other things that may cause offense, which might include in-jokes again!) that somehow got as far as to be present on the interface or in the documentation.

With the new tools and elements they put in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103678)

People's imaginations will run wild. People can make the most insane puzzles because Valve leaves that option to us.

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Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103930)

I can only assume that none of these maps will be available to the xbox users. Perhaps the PS3 if it ever gets back up since it is supposed to be cross-platforming.

Now I wish that I had gotten the game for PS3 and just wait for the network to get back up.

Re:Microsoft (1, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104926)

Haha shoulda thought of that before you bought a console instead of a PC!

Split-screen and level editors on one platform (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106662)

I'd buy a gaming PC, but its games tend to lack split- or otherwise shared-screen for when friends visit. I'd buy a console, but its games tend to lack level editors. So why isn't it possible to have split-screen play and level editors on the same platform?

Re:Split-screen and level editors on one platform (1)

Medevilae (1456015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107068)

Bah. Real multiplayer gaming is done over the internet anyway. :P When you want someone sitting next to you cussing about the way you play, just play the console version on your PC. (Assuming you have money for a big enough screen.)

Multiple gamers in a household (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108088)

Real multiplayer gaming is done over the internet anyway.

This is true in cases of only one gamer in the household, but as video gaming becomes more popular, it becomes fun for the whole family.

When you want someone sitting next to you cussing about the way you play, just play the console version on your PC.

PCs can emulate only discontinued consoles and the Wii. Why don't more PC native games have modes designed for an HDTV and gamepads, especially since PCs can easily use the same gamepads as an Xbox 360?

Assuming you have money for a big enough screen

HDTVs like my Vizio VX32L can accept VGA and DVI signals from PCs. Six months ago, HDTV penetration in the United States was up to 56 percent [broadcastengineering.com] . So yes, a lot of people do "have money for a big enough screen".

Re:Split-screen and level editors on one platform (1)

Cley Faye (1123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107248)

Granted, Valve could have added this as a menu option, but there IS split screen for Portal 2 on PC, you just have to fiddle a bit in the config files

http://segmentnext.com/2011/04/20/how-to-play-portal-2-split-screen-coop-on-pc/ [segmentnext.com]

(not tested, but since it's based on the L4D split screen trick that worked...)

Wine version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104430)

Perhaps they should get Portal2 to run on Wine?

Re:Wine version? (1)

Medevilae (1456015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107100)

Steam itself was in the works (and possibly still so,) of being ported to Linux. They focused on the Mac version, however, and wanted to get it out first. I haven't heard anything recently about it though. :(

Vacuum Tubes (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105830)

In one of the early drafts of the game, there were supposed to be tubes that you (or other objects) got sucked through, to land somewhere else. They were removed, although you can see them in action in the added Portal 2 level of The Ball [theballthegame.com] .

Will they be something you can use in your own levels?

Lunar Magic (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106752)

If you want the player to get sucked through tubes, you can always go get Lunar Magic and edit Super Mario World.

Excellent news (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106088)

I was so excited when I started making portal maps for the original but I quickly realized that there wasn't really anything particularly new about my maps, since the Portal team themselves pretty much explored all the possibilities in the base game.

But with Portal 2, there are so many things I thought of when playing that didn't show up. I think custom maps may definitely be something to look forward to this time.

PC Only? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106224)

I see that the tools are for your PC (duh), but I don't see any mention if the levels created there will be able to be ported to the console versions of the games. Any word on that?

Re:PC Only? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107956)

Gabe Newell at Valve said back in January that user created content was going to be made available "on all platforms." Not sure how that is going to work, but that is what he said.

If I could get to my PC version... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106260)

Yeah, if I could get to my PC (steam) version (that I bought and paid for with the console version I purchased)... I would be using this already.

Hey, Valve how long are you going to let Sony's rampant incompetence punish your users and give steam a bad name?

Re:If I could get to my PC version... (1)

Medevilae (1456015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107132)

What are they supposed to do, push Sony's DDS right off their own platform?

Re:If I could get to my PC version... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107988)

Sony's incompetence isn't Valve's fault. Anyway, it works just fine on the PC and Xbox, if you're that impatient. Sony is supposed to have PSN back up in a few weeks, anyway. Good luck finding anyone on the PC who hasn't already completed the coop section by then. I just finished it on the 360. It was a lot of fun.

Yes, but... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107104)

Does it run on Linux?

Re:Yes, but... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108008)

They're working on it. Just keep praying and one day it will happen. But it won't happen until your faith is strong enough.

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36110448)

I have been watching the comments on the WINE website and apparently there is a bug in Portal 2 that makes it crash at the opening screen for some users, which for whatever reason seems to affect almost all WINE users and a small proportion of Windows users, so Valve is working on a fix. Some Linux users have reported that the game works fine once past the opening screen.

The possibilities are endless! (3, Funny)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 3 years ago | (#36109248)

Great! Now I can work on my brilliant map idea where you redirect tub-girl's 'propulsion gel' so that you can accelerate up the ramp to the goatse exit! If I can get the map done in less than half an hour I might be the first person to post it!

Portal 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36116468)

Again only for the PC version nothing for PS3 yet again you get left out for not having two versions of the game

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