Feb 28, 2013
Cartoonist Stephen Lester is "currently on a mission to fill his home with vintage video games and video game memorabilia". Part of that involves his guest bathroom, which is becoming a themed shrine to Valve's Portal series.
Portal may not seem like the most romantic game ever, seeing as how it's populated with a bunch of robots and only a single human character. But even all these years later, people still haven't gotten over protagonist Chell and her doomed relationship with the heart-decorated Companion Cube.
The folks at Random Encounters Entertainment (not to be confused with Jason's weekly JRPG column) have put together this heartwarming duet between Chell and her cube. They seem so happy! Ah, but happiness is fleeting.
The DS still is home to a robust homebrew scene, as we see here in this Portal port that modder Smealum has been working on for about the past six months. "Still nowhere near playable," he writes under the latest video, but it's brought along Portal staples like turrets, cubes, switches and energy balls.
"This is still extremely early footage so please don't be too harsh," smealum writes. "Lots of debug features are present, including the ability to fly, see portals through walls and move cubes from a distance. Also, keep in mind this was shot in an emulator which provides good but still less than perfect rendering. As such, be aware that most (not all, but still) of the graphical glitches you can see in this video don't happen on hardware (mostly the portal transition is a lot nicer on an actual DS)."
Feb 7, 2013
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - email@example.com (John Walker)
The faux movie poster that five minutes and Photoshop made.
Gabe Newell and director J.J. Abrams conversed on stage this morning at the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) summit in Las Vegas. After a back-and-forth about player agency and storytelling (via Polygon's live blog), Newell revealed that the duo had been "recapitulating a series of conversations going on," and that they're now ready to "do more than talk": Newell suggested "either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie," and Abrams said he'd like to make a game with Valve.
Abrams is the currently reigning king of big franchise sci-fi filmmaking, taking his throne in the director's chair of both the Star Trek and Star Wars series. He's also known for producing Fringe, Cloverfield, and the maddening tale that was Lost.
In 2010, Newell told us that if Valve were to make a Half-Life movie, it wouldn't hand over control to any Hollywood studio, saying:
"There was a whole bunch of meetings with people from Hollywood. Directors down there wanted to make a Half-Life movie and stuff, so they’d bring in a writer or some talent agency would bring in writers, and they would pitch us on their story. And their stories were just so bad. I mean, brutally, the worst. Not understanding what made the game a good game, or what made the property an interesting thing for people to be a fan of.
"That’s when we started saying 'Wow, the best thing we could ever do is to just not do this as a movie, or we’d have to make it ourselves.'"
There are no details on Newell and Abrams' project—be it game, film, or both—outside of the tease that they're talking. But they're talking, so how about some fun speculation? Who would you cast as Chell? Alyx Vance? Gordon Freeman? We love Bryan Cranston for the latter role, but he may have aged beyond Freeman. Is Hugh Laurie still a favorite?
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - firstname.lastname@example.org (Nathan Grayson)
I’m off in the strange, far-away land of Las Vegas right now, and I just got done watching Gabe Newell and JJ “Warring Trek of the Stars” Abrams chat each other up on stage. I’ll have more from the talk for you soon, but here’s the big take-away: Valve and Abrams are officially collaborating. “What we’re actually doing here,” Newell said at the talk’s conclusion, “is recapitulating a series of conversations that have been going on [between Abrams and I]. This is what happens when game and movie people get together. And we sort of reached the point where we decided that we needed to do more than talk. So we’re gonna try and figure out if we can make a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie together.” Meanwhile, Abrams added: “And we have a game idea we’d like to work with Valve on.” Finally, Gabe wrapped it up: “It’s time for our industries to stop talking about potential and really execute on it.”
Appearing with the director J.J. Abrams at D.I.C.E. Summit today, Valve's Gabe Newell said the company would "find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie."
Polygon reports that things may be a little further along than that. Speaking after the panel, Abrams told Polygon "We are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas."
However, "it's as real as as anything in Hollywood ever gets," he added. Which means it could be a sure thing, or could amount to nothing, or could take forever to bring to life. Like, well, Half-Life 3.
Gabe Newell and J.J. Abrams spoke about storytelling in each of their mediums. When the panel ended, this exchange happened:
Abrams: There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on.
Newell: We're going to find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie.
And the two men walked off, without any further details. Both creators are renown for keeping secrets, so don't expect any details about these proposed projects anytime soon. But just the very notion of a collaboration between the company behind Half-Life 2 and the man behind Lost is a tantalizing prospect.
Portal is a natural theme for Valentine's Day, as we saw with these cards Valve released in 2011 before Portal 2's arrival. This one is the best of a Valve-themed series done by Tumblr user applenail, which got a lot of attention over the weekend and yesterday.
Print them out and put one in a friend's locker next Thursday.
Mirrors lined with blue and red LEDs have long been a staple of Portal-themed decoration. Taking it to the next level, however, is jamin101wolf. He bought the Portal gun prop available through ThinkGeek and Amazon, then plugged the two mirrors into remote-control power boxes. With this he pulls off the effect of firing a red and blue portal (which are located on opposite walls, creating the requisite hall-of-mirrors effect.)
The remote control is not built into the Portal gun; as we speak, a more skilled modder may be integrating it with the toy's trigger. jamin101wolf said he didn't want to risk destroying his. Still, it's a neat trick and one I wish I'd thought of first.
Portal Mirrors Build [imgur. h/t Victor B.]