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Now You're Thinking With Portals

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed-you-fail dept.

171

Valve's got a new game in the works, and it's quite the mind-bender. Portal is a puzzle/FPS hybrid that will utilize holes in space to do the impossible. From the Ars Technica post: "That video makes my brain hurt in all the right ways. The set up and voice-over are both hilarious, and at first it seemed rudimentary to me. Then everything goes crazy and you start to realize just how much you can do with this technology. I'm looking forward to seeing fan-made videos hit the 'Net with all the insane stunts and tricks you can pull off. This seems to be one of those games that you'll have as much fun playing with the game as you do simply playing through it." This is a title definitely worth checking out for yourself.

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Original... (0, Troll)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745434)

Looks to me like they saw Prey do it and wanted to do it too...

Re:Original... (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745519)

Agreed. When I first saw this, my mind screamed "PREY!"

Re:Original... (3, Insightful)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745609)

I was going to contradict you on that point, but Tycho over at Penny-Arcade is more elloquent than I, so I'll just quote him:

"I've heard the ideas it presents dismissed as ripping off Prey, and if there is a more ignorant statement to be made regarding these two games it has yet to be discovered. Prey's portals aren't user created. What's more, they're used in a completely different way: Prey is a first-person shooter, while Portal is clearly... something else."

Re:Original... (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745999)

Right, because a user-created portal and a portal that's on the side of a box are just SO different.

It'll have a more significant impact on gameplay, to be sure, but after playing Prey (ok, just the demo) this isn't as impressive.

Re:Original... (1)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746044)

The difference is signifigant enough to put the games in compleatly different catagories.

It's not as if Prey is the first game to have a portal mechanism either. This thread is full of examples to the contrary. However the common reaction is to think Portal is a Prey ripoff, mearly because Prey contains the most recent incartation of a vaugly simmilar concept. In reality, there isn't much basis for comparing the two games, and such comparisons would be of limited usefulness.

Re:Original... (2, Insightful)

Phu5ion (838043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745698)

Looks to me like they saw Prey do it and wanted to do it too...

Reading the description that was the first thing to pop in my mind too. But after seeing the video and some of the test they will put the player though, I think it will definately be able to set itself apart from Prey, think more puzzle and less FPS.

Except (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745760)

That it's been in development since before the release of the Prey Demo.

Re:Except (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15745804)

So has Duke Nukem Forever. That doesn't mean they haven't stolen other good ideas along the way.

Re:Except (1)

mikezs (856820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746657)

That makes no sence, they cant have come up with the name and no concept of the game. They cant have called it portal, waited for another game to come along, and then stolen the portals idea.

In 'development' since 1997 (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746658)

Seeing as Prey had been in 'development' (I use the term lightly since it was techically canned), I find it hard to believe Valve had the idea of using portals for almost a decade now and simply chose NOW to make an actual product out of it.

Forsaken (1)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745821)

Hell, Forsaken (the Descent-alike) had portals too, that did odd things. Closest thing you could get to a MUD's magic maze.

Gravity, not so much.

Re:Original... (1)

greyghst168 (940238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745901)

Except that in Prey, you can't manipulate where the portals are, whereas in this game, you have full control of both the entrance and exit portals.

A DigiPen Game (5, Informative)

rizzuh (594786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745437)

Portal is based on a game called Narbacular Drop [nuclearmon...ftware.com] that was developed by a group of seniors at the DigiPen Institute of Technology [digipen.edu] . Valve ended up contracting the entire programming team to work on Portal. It's interesting to see how a game school's relatively small-time project has become front-page news on dozens of gaming sites.

A 'Bitchin' Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15745720)

"It's interesting to see how a game school's relatively small-time project has become front-page news on dozens of gaming sites."

Now maybe some of the slash-bitching about the game industry will disappear.

Re:A DigiPen Game (3, Interesting)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745782)

I just played that game. It's the same general idea as Portal will use, so it's fun to play around with the physics and all before the game comes out.

One fun thing to do is shoot a blue portal in the ceiling, a red one in the floor, and then fall though in an infinite loop thing... and then as you fall shoot a blue portal in a wall, you go flying out like in the Portal trailer. I used it to get over a lava pit (I think it might have not been the correct solution, but it was fun. :)

Re:A DigiPen Game (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746076)

What I want to know is what happens to objects that go through a portal before there's an exit? In the trailer, didn't they create the exit portal before they created the portal underneath the turret and box? What if the portal was created underneath the objects before another was created on the wall? You they just sit there until they have an exit? Of course, I'm just assuming that an entrance can be used as an exit and vice versa.

Re:A DigiPen Game (2, Informative)

usrusr (654450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746803)

there's a simple answer: input/ouput portals are not first/secondary fire, but are even/uneven "shots".

so a situation where an "input" exists without an output does not occur.

you should also note that the video displays traditional hl2 "grav gun" functionality too, so it's probably like this: primary: make in/out portals, secondary: grip/release with grav gun (or switched)

Bandwidth Limit Exceeded (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746143)

Too bad Narbacular Drop's Web site says: Bandwidth Limit Exceeded ... :( Coral Cache didn't work well on it either. :(

Re:Bandwidth Limit Exceeded (2, Informative)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746640)

Try this [fileplanet.com]

Re:Bandwidth Limit Exceeded (2, Informative)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746653)

Wait, even better: just put in a fake email addie [digipen.edu] . No annoying fileplanet.

Narbacular Drop (4, Informative)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745451)

This game is based off of "Narbacular Drop". The guy that made "Narbacular Drop" got hired to Valve, and went on to make this.

Lots of people keep calling it a "Prey" ripoff, whether his idea came from "Prey" or not, its a completely different game imho.

Re:Narbacular Drop (1)

Erioll (229536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745567)

On the wiki article on this [wikipedia.org] they mention how this game has been in development before Prey was released, and as mentioned, the guys from Narbacular Drop were HIRED to do this. So accusations of copying would be rather hard to make stick.

And besides, I'd rather have good ideas taken wherever they may go. The danger of course is to lose the thing ABOUT the feature that made it good in the "original," but as this seems to be only enhancing the possibilities, I say "go for it Valve."

Re:Narbacular Drop (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745783)

On the wiki article on this they mention how this game has been in development before Prey was released

Read the wiki article [wikipedia.org] on Prey. It's been in development since 1995. (!) I remember the original PC Gamer spread which discussed all the cool features that portal technology would allow. As it worked out, however, the technology was a bit too complex and was shelved. A new version was later created with a different codebase and released in 2006.

So I think that it's hard NOT to say that Portal was influenced by Prey. A total ripoff? Probably not. But definitely influenced.

Re:Narbacular Drop (1)

metsu (601943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746006)

I haven't played the new prey.
I do remember there was a circa '98 video interview showing the neat portal tech on the old prey build. the protagonist putting down portals and shooting himself through them.
They also scrapped the whole destructible levels concept that was shown on this video.

Re:Narbacular Drop (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746161)

So I guess I can just announce some crazy technology, and then delay the game for 10 years. Anything in the interim, you know, people who actually made it, are just copying me!

Prey had 10 years to show off their portal tech. They couldn't do it. Narbacular beat them to a release, plain and simple.

Re:Narbacular Drop (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746266)

Prey had 10 years to show off their portal tech. They couldn't do it.

This is blatently incorrect. Prey DID show off their portal tech. (To just anyone and everyone they could!) What they couldn't do was make an actual game out of it. Cool tech, but it ended up being nothing more than a research project.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Any game maker who wants to implement Portal Technology is going to study 2 examples. The first one is Descent's 360 degree engine. The second is the Prey portal technology that allowed worlds to collapse in on themselves. Once you understand how portals work (it's a bloody easy concept [flipcode.com] ), creating those effects follows quite easily.

So again, it's impossible to say that Portal and its predecessor were not influenced by Prey.

Re:Narbacular Drop (1)

charstar (64963) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745597)

Rip off or not, I was doing stuff similar to this in Decent years and years ago with the DEVIL editor. It's not a new concept at all.

Re:Narbacular Drop (1)

oni (41625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745769)

oh good point! I wish I could still play descent II, but it requires the CD and my CD was scratched. That was a seriously ground-breaking game!

Re:Narbacular Drop (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745865)

I've been doing it in TinyMUCKs ever since you could attach links to objects other than rooms.

Re:Narbacular Drop (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746275)

I was doing portals before the first dinosaurs walked the earth. There's nothing new about this.

One feature makes it a ripoff? (1)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745611)

I'm with you on that one - let's count the similarities, shall we?

Both games are 3D FPSs with portals whose names start with P.

What about the differences?

Prey: spirit walking, gravity manipulation, Native American protagonist, "living" level design.
Portal: at-will portal creation, portals don't have to share horizontal/vertical orientation, "futuristic" level design.

This isn't including the assumptions one could make about the gameplay: knowing Valve, the player character will be silent, where the Prey protagonist is extremely visible in-game. Physics puzzles will most likely be a big part of Portal, where gravity/spirit walk puzzles are the major focus of (what I've played of) Prey. Portal looks like more of a multiplayer-focused game, where Prey has a pretty complex single-player aspect.

Ripoff or not, I think they both look like a lot of fun. That's still what's important, right?

(Somewhat off-topic: I created Prey-type portals -- you know, the static ones? -- back in the original Unreal Tournament. Good times.)

The Middle Ground (2, Funny)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745683)

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter


Heck ya! Native american protagonist. Spirit mode. Futuristic levels. Lot's of portals. What more could you want?

OT (1)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745707)

My name is Adam, and I support this comment.

Re:One feature makes it a ripoff? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745882)

What about the differences?

Prey: spirit walking, gravity manipulation, Native American protagonist, "living" level design.
Portal: at-will portal creation, portals don't have to share horizontal/vertical orientation, "futuristic" level design.

What do you mean "share horizontal/vertical orientation"? There are rooms in Prey where a portal takes you onto a wall in the same room, or drops you through a ceiling in another room, etc., meaning your orientation shifts as you walk through it.

Must have missed them. (1)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745899)

I must have missed that: all the portals I saw were either horizontal on both ends or vertical on both ends. The general point still stands, though.

Re:Must have missed them. (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746059)

One example off the top of my head is in the demo.. right after you get off the little planet ("That was fucked up..."), there's a room with monsters crawling on the wall opposite you ("No, *this* is fucked up!"). The portal on your floor leads out onto the wall. It's around 19:05 in this video [youtube.com] .

Re:Narbacular Drop (2, Interesting)

webrunner (108849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745721)

The thing people need to realise is that:
- In Prey, portals are a new thing that level can do to the player
- In Narbtacular Drop and Portal, portals are a new thing that the player can do to the level.

Re:Narbacular Drop (2, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745861)

With the right mods [filefront.com] , players can "do" portals to levels in Prey too.

Re:Narbacular Drop (2, Informative)

webrunner (108849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745920)

Well, it's not in question that Prey -supports- the same kind of portal stuff as Portal, the same way that the DooM 3 engine -supports- physics simulation, but it's hl2 that really made it the focus of the game and a major gameplay element through the use of the gravity gun and physics puzzles.

Doom 3 physics:half life 2 physics::Prey portals:Portal portals

Re:Narbacular Drop (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746706)

The idea of portals has been around for ages. Anyone who knows anything about 3D programming should know about the differences between Portals, Octrees, BSP trees, and so on.

In fact, if I remember right, Duke Nukem 3D was played essentially as a portal system with all the limitations of Doom. For instance, I once made a fun level which had a long ramp/tunnel that sloped downwards, but otherwise went straight to an elevator, and you bring the elevator up and you're at the top of the ramp, even though the elevator was just taking you straight up.

Another example was a secret level which was shaped like this (warning, ASCII art):

_______
| ___ |
| |_| |
|_____|

Yeah, my ASCII art sucks. Anyway, like that -- square/donut shaped -- only bigger. The inner room was huge, the outer hallway was narrow, and in each of the four cardinal directions, there was an open doorway between them. Only the inner room was a completely different room depending on which door you were going through.

In other words, because of the way Duke Nukem fakes 3D, you can think of it as if the outer hallway was a spiral ramp going down, and the four versions of the inner room were actually stacked on top of each other. It functioned that way except for one thing: the hallway was not sloped, and the inner rooms actually took up the same physical space.

Hard to explain, really.

Then, just for fun, they added these tubes in the middle room. Each tube was an invisible teleporter (obvious if you were looking for it) that would make you appear at the top of another room -- so basically, each room had a tube that lead downwards to each of the other rooms. And it was certainly conceivable that you could have that feedback loop of falling into the same teleporter repeatedly.

Anyway, I realize this is new and very cool, especially to put it in the hands of the user. But portal technology is not actually that new -- in fact, it's quite old, almost as old as BSP itself. It usually doesn't work well except for wholly indoor environments, but it's certainly nice with a mix of other methods, so you can use the portals for things octrees simply can't do. If they're doing it right, though, the doorways in that game are possibly nothing but portals also, meaning it should be possible to walk through a doorway into a room and suddenly find yourself falling forwards...

Re:Narbacular Drop (1)

usrusr (654450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746819)

this is about gameplay and not about culling methods.

I think my brain just snapped (2, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745459)

Wow, I've played through Prey and the portals in that game really mess with your mind but being able to create portals at will certainly makes for some messed up stuff. Reminds me of the black circles they used to have in old cartoons were they'd just throw it in the ground or onto a wall and walk through.

I'm curious how they plan to let you get yourself out of an infinite portal loop like a portal in the floor the drops from the ceiling back into the portal in the floor. etc. unless of course said portals are only good for X number of uses. Even still This one looks to be much cooler then the gravity gun.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745474)

I'm curious how they plan to let you get yourself out of an infinite portal loop like a portal in the floor the drops from the ceiling back into the portal in the floor.

Looking at the video on their page it seems they'll allow it just fine. This game looks very nifty!

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

Senzei (791599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745533)

I'm curious how they plan to let you get yourself out of an infinite portal loop like a portal in the floor the drops from the ceiling back into the portal in the floor. etc. unless of course said portals are only good for X number of uses.
If it were up to me the solution would be single-player: You can still access the menus, load from your last save. multi-player: Have a timeout period on multiple uses where you are blocked by the portal's surface instead of going through it.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15745691)

You guys are just overthinking it. If you have a problem with infinite portals just shoot another portal somewhere else. From everything we've seen so far you can only have 2 portal holes up at a time (for 1 combined portal)

Re:I think my brain just snapped (2, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745706)

From the video the solution is quite simple.

The portal-gun looks like it will only allow 2 portals to exist at once (one leading to the other), so to break a loop you just fire your gun anywhere else, and the first portal created will disappear and be replaced by the new one.

OW!!!! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746721)

If portals work the way I think they do, you'll be accelerating if you're in that kind of a portal loop (floor to ceiling) just as if you were falling an indefinite amount of distance. Remove the portals and SPLAT! You have become a small crater.

Of course, it would help for a floor to floor fall, as in that case, you're constantly changing direction, so you never pick up any real speed. Still, I think the real solution is the same as the solution to not blowing yourself up with a rocket launcher: Don't be a dumbass.

Re:OW!!!! (1)

usrusr (654450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746846)

falling damage is a parameter that can easily be set to 0

i don't think a game like this would give much about physical realism, instead it would only care about making for interesting gameplay. instant-death loops are not part of that. i guess they would even implement some kind of (not too high) upper limit for falling speed, because otherwise you would quickly end up with funny temporal aliasing effects between frame rate and loop speed. this would probably be interesting for us techies but be harmful for immersion.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745708)

"I'm curious how they plan to let you get yourself out of an infinite portal loop like a portal in the floor the drops from the ceiling back into the portal in the floor. etc."

From the video it looks like infinite loop portals would be allowed. To get out you'd just shoot to make a new portal on the wall next to you. This would change the location of one of the two portals breaking the loop.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745727)

I'm not sure they'll let you get out of an infinite loop alive. Portals violate conservation of energy, so you end up falling faster and faster, leave the infinite loop and you're gonna go splat I think.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745767)

> I'm curious how they plan to let you get yourself out of an infinite portal loop like a portal in the floor the drops from the ceiling back into the portal in the floor. etc.

Simple. Fire off another portal to the side while you're falling through that loop. You'll fall through the portal one more time, then you'll pop out of the new one, hopefully away from the hole.

What would really be a gas would be fake portals that pass light but not matter. Fire a real portal over a fake one, run through. Remove the real portal. Watch your opponent bonk into the wall. The Wile E. Coyote effect, if you will. You could even portal an oncoming train into the real-then-fake-then-real-again portal just to complete the comedy.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746755)

Simple. Fire off another portal to the side while you're falling through that loop. You'll fall through the portal one more time, then you'll pop out of the new one, hopefully away from the hole.

I don't think that will work, but if it were possible -- maybe right-click for portal A and left-click for portal B, make them different colors? -- then that would be an awesomely cheap way of doing insane things. For instance: I don't think the Source engine measures the speed with which you impact a wall, only the ground (while falling). Thus, you use your portal loop to store kinetic energy, then fire a portal at the wall and BOOM! You go flying across the room like you were shot out of a cannon! Or if the portal gun has limited range, and there's a clifside in front of you, just start a portal loop indoors, pick up speed, then drop a portal on the ground in front of you and you'll go flying straight up!

Fire a real portal over a fake one, run through. Remove the real portal. Watch your opponent bonk into the wall.

That's only fun if impact with walls can cause damage. Your opponent speeds up with a portal loop, then launches themself at your portal, only to smack into a wall.

But that may be taking it a bit too far. I don't really see fake portals as anything but a nuscience, kind of like making a Counter-Strike spray of a terrorist firing at you.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

usrusr (654450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746867)

i strongly assume it's "click: red -> click: blue -> click: red..." and so on.

where one color means input and the other means output, effectively you will always have exactly one pair of portals. if the last portal you made for your loop was the output in the ceiling then "shooting" anywhere else will result in you hitting the floor where the input portal was before and if the last portal you made was the input in the floor then the next will be the output, so you will fall into the input and emerge where you last shot at at infinite-loop-falling-speed (which is probably limited, think of increased air friction). iirc they even demoed this effect in the video.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

whyrat (936411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745919)

I think the voiceover covers how you get out of an infite loop:
"If at first you don't succeed, you die."

Re:I think my brain just snapped (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746034)

ahh.. at work I have no speakers... I got no voice over.

Re:I think my brain just snapped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746222)

Take a look at http://forums.3drealms.com/vb/showthread.php?t=193 35 [3drealms.com] -- supposedly a mod for Prey that adds dynamic portals.

Meep, meep! (3, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745490)

Reminds me of the ACME portable holes they used to have in the old Road Runner cartoons :-)

Cool! (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745497)

Portal technology has been around for quite a while...

It's so obvious I'm embarassed I never thought of it myself...

Kudos for Valve for pointing out the obvious to all of us!!

Y

Cool!-and obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15745831)

"It's so obvious I'm embarassed I never thought of it myself..."

Good thing no one's patenting this obvious implimentation of an idea.

Re:Cool! (2, Interesting)

KIFulgore (972701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746040)

Kudos to Valve for taking a trip over to Digipen's career day and nabbing the whole Narbacular Drop team ;). I was a DP student when they were working on Narb, my head still hurts when I think of the difficulty level of the puzzles you can create with it. I believe in their demo they had to nerf the difficulty several times for us mere mortals.

About time (1)

DigitalBubblebath (708955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745531)

Shocking really, but this technology/technique has been around for a long time and no one has been created enough to apply it as a gameplay element. Really will look forward to playing this!

Re:About time (1)

MortimerV (896247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745757)

It's actually been done in at least one instance, but nowhere near as nice. The original Unreal had a mod called Unreal Forever which had a quantum singularity generator. If you shot the wall in two different locations, you could pass through. However, objects and shots couldn't go through it the portal, and you couldn't see through it.

Whether it's an original idea or not, this portal implementation is definitely the most polished I've seen.

Re:About time (0, Redundant)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745925)

It's kinda been done [filefront.com] as a mod for Prey.

Gameplay (4, Insightful)

Tester (591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745600)

its nice to see that some people are still working to improve gameplay with innovative ideas instead of just focusing on technological details (such as how exact and good looking the shadows are).

Its all in the gameplay!

Even older than Prey... (3, Interesting)

Pfhorrest (545131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745735)

Bungie's Marathon series used a portals-based (though still "2.5D") engine way back in the day, and there were plenty of maps which used made use of what we called "5D space" (two different rooms occupying the same 3D space at the same time, yet not actually being the same room). I know this isn't precisely what the article is talking about, but it's still an application of portals technology for the purposes of interesting gameplay. One of the maps that shipped with the first game was even called "5D space", and was basically a maze that folded around and intersected itself. You could run around a 270-degree curve of hallway on level ground and not intersect the same bit of hallway you were travelling down before you hit the curve...

Re:Even older than Prey... (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746056)

To add to the fun, explosions (grenades, rockets, etc.) occured in all overlapping spaces. Whether this was a bug or a feature was debatable. (Hi forrest!)

Re:Even older than Prey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746235)

The original Descent (I and II) engine did this too, except I'm pretty sure it didn't have the problem/feature of overlapping explosions. Combine this with Descent's propensity for getting you disoriented to begin with, and things got weird very quickly.

Re:Even older than Prey... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746773)

Duke3D also did this, and had some secret levels that demonstrated it. They used it to allow things like elevators and stairs and multi-story buildings while still being 2.5D. Even some of the normal levels that make sense in full 3D have some amazing tricks for this, but it really gets fun when you start messing with the level editor. An elevator that looks and feels like it travels vertically, but you end up a mile away horizontally? Swim across town underwater and surface in the exact same spot? All possible, and very fun to play with.

Speaking of which, I wish the newer Duke3D source ports would work for me...

Valve, Huh? (-1, Flamebait)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745739)

If it requires STEAM (Spyware/Trojan Entertainment Access Manager), I won't be playing it.

Schwab

Re:Valve, Huh? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745802)

meh I'll just wait for it to come out on a console...

I will. (-1, Troll)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745916)

You play with your root-kit inducing copy "protection" and I'll play with my "spyware" online validation. Well, except apparently you won't be playing. But hey--that's your choice. Now why did you feel the need to tell us all?

Offtopic: Steam (3, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746481)

Now why did you feel the need to tell us all?

This is off-topic. But since you asked...

I feel it's important to remind people that, no matter how slick the packaging or magnificent the graphics or interesting/useful the application, this piece of software comes with an enormous downside: You have to install spyware in order to play it.

Ordinarily, that would be the end of the discussion:

"Hey, check out these really slick animated cursors!"
"Dude, it's spyware."
"Hey, isn't my new screen buddy cute?"
"Dude, it's spyware."
"Woah, look at this uber-cool screensaver I installed!"
"Dude, it's spyware."
"Wow, this free solitaire program I downloaded is much prettier than the one that comes with Windows."
"Dude, it's spyware!"

If a vendor distributes spyware, they are correctly pilloried by the community. Yet, for some reason, Valve gets a pass. No one has been able to make the argument that distinguishes Steam from other spyware suites out there. And no, claiming that Valve is trying to develop a new revenue model doesn't cut it, because Gator and BonziBuddy and CometCursor were also trying to develop a new revenue model.

Anti-cheat measures? A reasonable feature, but PunkBuster did the same thing with Quake3 without being a requirement.

If I seem just a bit more strident about this than most, it's because I'm still annoyed at Valve for breaking my copy of HalfLife. I had a perfectly working copy of HalfLife -- in fact, two copies, because I'd bought a second copy bundled with Counter-Strike because I didn't feel like spending hours downloading it -- when one day Valve announces Steam. I said, "No, thank you, Steam's 'features' are not valuable to me, and certainly not worth as much as what I'll lose in personal privacy and system stability. My copy of HalfLife works just fine the way it is." I made an economic decision; I voted with my wallet. That's what everyone here says to do, right?

Well, that wasn't good enough for Valve, who apparently threatened or bought off the GameSpy3D and All-Seeing Eye publishers into refusing to list non-Steam game servers (of which there were plenty), and shutting off the old authentication servers. In other words, they broke my copy of HalfLife to try and force me to install their spyware. I have stuck to my principles, and continue to refuse to install Steam. This means I don't get to play TFC or Counter-Strike any more, despite the fact that there's nothing, technically, wrong with the copies I own. A considerable fraction of the value in the software I bought and paid for has been destroyed.

Valve tried to change the terms of the sale in a big fscking way long after the fact. If they did it once, there's every reason to suspect they'll do it again. Sorry, you don't get to do that, not with my machine and not with my dollars. I feel it's still important to make people aware that the cost to them may well be far greater than simply the dollars they'll part with.

Schwab

P.S: If anyone knows of any master servers listing non-Steam TFC and Counter-Strike servers that will work with the old WON-based versions of HalfLife, I'd appreciate knowing about it.

Re:Offtopic: Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746747)

If anyone knows of any master servers listing non-Steam TFC and Counter-Strike servers that will work with the old WON-based versions of HalfLife, I'd appreciate knowing about it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WON2 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Valve, Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746086)

Your loss.

I'll buy it, but not for Windoze (2, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745747)

Hopefully they'll make a version for some non-Microsoft platform.

doubt it (2, Interesting)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746087)

double the development time, double the support issues for an additional one percent in sales. just isn't worth it. yeah you can re-use much of it from one platform to the next, but you also have OS specific problems with each.

I don't know why they don't put games on boot disks, whatever OS they want to use. Would solve a lot of the problems that normal end users have with bad performance due to viruses and spyware, plus the game developers would likely use a linux based system. no compatibility issues, no install issues, no software conflict issues, seems they'd save a bunch on support

but what do i know. (goes back to writing SQL queries)

Re:doubt it (2, Informative)

KIFulgore (972701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746138)

Most developers use DirectX, and you can't legally distribute that on a boot disk. You could with OpenGL but most devs are getting better performance and shader support from DX now (so say some of my Digipen graphics programmer friends, who could be wrong).

Re:doubt it (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746279)

That is all accurate, you're friends are correct...

I think though that if you're designing a game from scratch there's no reason that OpenGL wouldn't work just fine though... like pacific storm, for example [google.com]

Re:doubt it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746546)

Most developers use DirectX, and you can't legally distribute that on a boot disk.

Uh, you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about [microsoft.com] . But nice try.

The real issue is that you can't legally distribute a bootable Windows disc, and the OSes you can distribute don't support DirectX.

Meanwhile, making a bootable linux disc is a stupid idea too, because you can't update drivers without making a new disc.

Re:doubt it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746528)

double the development time, double the support issues for an additional one percent in sales

The second part is true, but the first part is not. If supporting an additional platform doubles your development time, it had better be because you're doing a complete rewrite for each platform - which would make you an idiot.

The situation is even sillier than that since you can use OpenGL, OpenAL, and SDL on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and if you write sufficiently portable code you'll have little work to do to get it working on all three platforms.

It's the support issues that are the real bear. That, and the overwhelming tendency to just use DirectX.

Re:doubt it (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746580)

Linux development tools don't hold up to VC/DirectX yet. So a linux bootdisk as the target doesn't work well. A windows bootdisk would have license issues with MS.

And even if linux were more viable ... you'd have to ship with soooo many drivers for good performance (a boot disk that works well on all systems doesn't use the advanced 3d features of cards that games would need).

Re:doubt it (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746807)

nah, what they should do is just hire some other shlubs to get it to compile in linux. All of the hard work is done, you just have to switch the renderer across to openGL, switch the sound system to openAL and probably also re-write steam (Since that's where they're going with their whole business strategy.). It's nowhere near the 5 years development time to do this, mebee 6 months work absolute maximum if the guys they get to do it have done it before.

Re:doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746810)

"I don't know why they don't put games on boot disks..."

So, this game requires me to spend 2 minutes rebooting (and again when I'm finished), stops my torrent running, prevents me using my IM program to set up the game with my mates or my voice chat program to communicate with them when inside it, stops me playing mp3s, requires me to input my network connection settings separately instead of doing it once for the OS, and probably needs me to somehow combine it with the graphics card drivers for my new card. Great idea.

I don't even like it when games require the CD in the drive. Click on the icon to run is perfection, you couldn't make a better system without telepathy. And if the idea of a multi-tasking operating system somehow offends you there are always consoles.

Re:I'll buy it, but not for Windoze (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746606)

Hopefully they'll make a version for every non-MS platform except the one you use.

Adventure! (2, Insightful)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745801)

Maybe someone can get a working version of the Bridge from Adventure using a similar technique to these portals. I remember the Quake 3 attempt couldn't get it.

I wouldn't care about all these fancy pants graphics if I had that bridge....

Limits (4, Interesting)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745806)

I wonder how many portals the source engine can handle, each portal is a new point of view to render from.

If there was multiplayer, imagine a wall with 16 portals on it, the other side overlooking the 16 portals again... from 16 different angles...

Re:Limits (1)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746110)

If you look at the levels in the video, the levels/texturing was extremely simple. This means that the engine could render each view into a texture (some tricks are involved if it is nested) relatively easily. If there were 257 views (from 16 portals looking at 16 other portals), but each one was just a plain box, then rendering it would still be relatively fast on today's hardware.

Re:Limits (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746600)

No obvious reason for it not to be arbitrary, except for performance limitations. I'm guessing by fuzzing your view through the portal they limit the depth they need to render through the portal, but for number of portals, there's no obvious reason you can't just render scene after scene into each portal texture.

Section Z - RIPOFF (1)

sottitron (923868) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745876)

Okay, not really, but for some reason the portals video reminded me of Section Z. Maybe its time for a 3D update?

But you can go weirder! (3, Interesting)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15745930)

Portal technology allows you to join arbitrary regions of space so that light travels from one to the other, So here's a room divided into 4 quadrants: +-------+
+.A...B.+
+.......+
+.C...D.+
+-------+
Go east from A, say, and you get to B. With portal technology you can throw away D and join the south edge of B to the east edge of C. The next result: you walk 270 degrees around the room and you end up back where you started! This is essentially what physicists mean by a curved spacetime. In this case the spacetime is "piecewise" linear with all of the curvature concentrated at the center of the room. And when you join regions with portals you can potentially use any affine transform you like. For example you could have a ring corridor with the property that when you walk around it once you are half the size you were when you started. You might see yourself half size (or twice as large) if you look far enough. This is similar to the way a mathematician might build a manifold using 'charts' and 'atlases'. (A non-orientable manifold would be one where walking through a certain door reflected you, or the universe, depending on your point of view.)

(Note, I don't mean that there are 3 rooms, A, B and C. I mean one big room with 3 regions, and maybe a thin pillar in the center. It would look like an ordinary room until you dropped some objects and started walking around it. And of course it would get very tricky to deal with someone in one of the other regions shooting at you. You'd see them in multiple directions.)

You can even do weirder things like make portals work in spacetime...

Re:But you can go weirder! (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746024)

In all seriousness, that might actually help people understand some aspects of Relativity, if done correctly. (Do not, for instance, get stuck up the ass with making an "educational" videogame and take out the shooting or something.)

And trying to understand Relativity definitely makes me want to just pick up a videogame...

Re:But you can go weirder! (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746441)

I'm not sure it would help with most aspects of relativity.

It might help people understand the notion of a quotient space [wikipedia.org] , a topological space that is constructed by "gluing" different points together so that they are treated as the same point.

Re:But you can go weirder! (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746515)

My idea is that the hard part is breaking people of Euclidianism, if that is a word. It doesn't have to be actually the geometry of Relativity.

Re:But you can go weirder! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746791)

It could also help with the idea that an orbit is really a straight line. An infinite corrodor is a good start for that. You could even let people look off to one side and see the sun, and on the other side of the sun, see the very corrodor they're in.

Portal progression (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15745984)

From what I can tell (from looking at the video over and over), when you make your third portal it replaces the second one. Eg:

Blue
Red
Red
Blue
Blue
Red
etc.

When you create a new entrance or exit, it "overwrites" an old one, and the old one disappears.

Now, from what I can tell, if you make a new entrance, you can get to it via the existing exit, basically how the system works basically, but in reverse. However, if you create this new entrance and go through it, without placing a linked exit, you're now going against the natural progression of the portal system, and something weird happens. I think I've determined the action as either
- Being teleported to a random place in the level
or
- Being teleported through the "opposite face" of the existing exit, thus ending up on the other side of the wall.
or
- Something Else(tm)

At least, I think that's how it works o_O It's mostly guesses, and utterly confusing. It looks great though, and I'm thoroughly looking forward to playing it.

Re:Portal progression (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746208)

I'm gonna guess that you just can't go through it till theres another end of the portal.

Straight to video (2, Informative)

fractalrock (662410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746270)

Here's a link [gamespy.com] to an .mpeg so you don't have to deal with the annoying script on Gamevideo.com's page.

The Beatles did it Best (1)

iridium_ionizer (790600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746561)

Have you ever watched the Beatles' animated The Yellow Submarine film? There is a Sea of Holes. Anyway you should watch it, and not while smoking or licking anything because that would be bad.

By the way, the Beatles didn't actually do the voices for their characters except for the singing because they were busy saying "screw you" to the capitalistic society that gave them the free time and wherewithal to meditate on how screwed up the capitalistic society was. Or maybe they just respected Billy West's opinion.

Backdoor in game let's you win immediately. (3, Funny)

neo (4625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746829)

If you just turn around and shot the wall, you can travel to the final level immediately. What a rip off.
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