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Peter König is a concept art legend. Over the past quarter of a century his creature designs, sculptures and animation work have been featured in blockbuster hits like Jurassic Park, Starship Troopers and Cloverfield.
Which is all well and good, but he's also spent the last four years working as a concept artist, modeller and texture artist at Valve, where he's lent his talents to the Left 4 Dead series, Portal 2 and DOTA 2.
While there sadly aren't any images from Portal, and only one from DOTA 2, König's Left 4 Dead stuff is a treasure trove of the walking dead, rotting flesh and rejected designs for special infected that involved shooting rats out of a zombie's stomach.
You can see a nice collection of König's body of work, both in games and cinema, at his personal site.
Or is it a protest for Half-Life 3? Whatever.
The point being, This weekend over 30,000 members of a Steam group will sit down and play Half-Life 2. Calling themselves "A Call for Communication", the group says "we have decided to gain Valve's attention by delivering a basic message: Your oldest and longest running fanbase would like better communication."
That "better communication" would come in the form of any communication as to the whereabouts of Half-Life 2: Episode 3, or as it's more commonly believed to be these days, simply Half-Life 3.
Will it work? Probably not. But hey, any excuse to play through Half-Life 2 again is a good excuse!
A Call for Communication [Steam]
Black Mesa is an independent remake of the original Half-Life that's been in development since the end of the First World War. It hasn't been seen for years. Most people now assume the remake, like Half-Life 3 itself, is an apparition. A mirage.
But...maybe not. After such a long blackout, the webmaster of the project's current site has posted a note on its forums, saying:
It was said that once the soundtrack is released, one could expect the launch of black mesa two weeks after. I can now say that a new website will be launched with the soundtrack in preparation for the mod. Fuck if we care about the current website. Just take a good look at it because it will be gone soon enough.
Could be good news, could be more teasing. The only sure thing being it's a bummer the old website is going away, which has me using the words "HOT SHIT" in the only piece of promotional quotage I've ever personally endorsed.
Hubicorn [Black Mesa]
The work of custom toy creator Christian Hooton is no stranger to Kotaku. Whether it's StarCraft or Portal, Hooton's craftsmanship dazzles. Check out his latest creation: a 7-inch Portal 2 Wheatley light-up toy.
Hooton worked about a month to finish the Wheatley, which is made from lightweight plastic and has a moveable center "eye" that also lights up. According to the sculptor, "The weird thing about this one is that it's dangerously close to able to be used as a puppet. The eye is mounted on a gyrroscopesque [SIC] hinged in the center of the ball, and there are thin fishing line like strings keeping it a neutral position."
More photos on his blog in the link below.
That Cave Johnson portrait? It's not a print, it's actually a hand-painted original. That test chamber panel? It's not just a picture, it lights up, just like the real thing. There are even a few lemon grenades on the shelf, just in case life wants to throw something at you.
You can read more about the project, and check out a massive gallery of the room under construction, below.
My Portal Room Project [Telnets]
Reader Michael has spent over 100 hours putting together this music video, in which the narration from Godspeed You! Black Emperor's The Dead Flag Blues is played over visuals from Half-Life 2.
Gameplay aside, the world of Portal 2 plays such a large role in making Portal 2 a rich experience, and I'm sure you all have something to say about the game's memorable story moments.
As with our past two meetings, the discussion today isn't chronological. There will be spoilers from the entire game, including the ending. Since today's discussion focuses on the plot, today's meeting will be especially jam-packed with spoilers.
If you're joining us for the first time, Our goal at Kotaku Game Club is to play games as a community so that we can share our thoughts as we're experiencing the game. We meet each week in the Game Club's comments section to discuss our experiences with our game of the month.
Our meetings generally start at 4pm Eastern every Thursday, and last an hour or so after the post is published. The Game Club is here to get everybody talking with each other, so don't be afraid to speak your mind and to start a dialogue with other posters.
As for our question of the week: Is there such a thing as too much GLaDOS?
In the original Portal GLaDOS accounted for 100% of your character interaction. (No, I don't count the turrets.) She was your guide and your nemesis for a few sentences between each puzzle. In Portal 2, her presence has grown, but her role has not. In fact, it's shrunk—GLaDOS never plays that double-role the same way. Shrunk into her personal story, GLaDOS, once an instrument of narrative utility, is now a superfluous flourish to the player's experience. So here's the larger question: Can a story that's compelling but tangential to your experience be as compelling as one that effects you directly?
Don't miss our last meeting about Portal 2 next Thursday! We'll be looking at the co-op levels and what makes them special. That's Thursday, February 2nd, at 4pm Eastern.
YouTube user Blitzkrieg1981 has, after spending around 55 hours pausing and examining episodes of the hit TV show The Office, gone and replicated the entire thing as a map in first-person shooter Counter-Strike.
Fans of the original British series, sorry. This is the American version.
Remember that round three of Kotaku Game Club's Portal 2 discussion series starts tomorrow at 4pm Eastern!
Nanotechnology engineering student TheObviousTrap created a 300 nanometer thick Aperture logo in an undergrad class. Bravo!
"Obtaining the image using scanning electron microscopy is probably overkill but that was only equipment I had access to," TheObviousTrap wrote on Reddit.
Portal players will be familiar with Aperture—the in-game scientific corporation. Nanotechnology students will be familiar 300 nm thick creations.
Engineers make small things in class [Reddit Thanks C W!]