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)."
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.]
Those wanting to work for WibiData better have impeccable Portal problem solving skills. Part of the application process for the San Francisco tech startup involves completing a custom level, based on the company's offices, says the New York Times.
A teaser of the custom level can be seen above. WibiData, a computer engineering firm, created the mod as a test for new applicants. The company's CEO said that playing Portal (and Portal 2, upon which this mod is based) he felt the game challenged his reasoning in the same way as a complex programming problem.
WibiData commissioned modder Doug Hoogland to create the level, which features WibiData's offices and a secret (nonexistent) test laboratory beneath them. Hoogland, notes PC Gamer, came to WibiData's attention after he built a wedding proposal mod in Portal for a customer of WibiData.
The level is available for download at WibiData's website.
Jan 26, 2013
Unable to get any satisfaction from Glee, 20th Century Fox Television, or its lawyers, Jonathan Coulton has put his version of of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" on iTunes, called it "my cover of Glee's cover of my cover," and will give proceeds from its sale through February to charity.
Coulton put the song on iTunes today under the title "Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)." For good measure, he changed his iTunes icon to a picture of him making the L-for-Loser hand gesture, which is used in Glee's logo.
Coulton is the artist who wrote and composed Still Alive, the iconic closing-credits song of Portal.
The video above is a Turret Anthem, internally known as Megadub, and it's a fantastic song. The video is great too, of course, as you watch the tiny turrets slowly overtake GLaDOS in her confusion.
Definitely something I will listen to on repeat.