Jan 29, 2012
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.
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.
Jan 25, 2012
Remember that round three of Kotaku Game Club's Portal 2 discussion series starts tomorrow at 4pm Eastern!
Jan 22, 2012
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!]
Howdy folks, welcome to week two of the Kotaku Game Club's discussion series looking back at Portal 2. This week we're going focus on the game's mechanics: The building blocks that come together to make the game's puzzles.
Remember, since our Portal 2 discussions aren't chronological, there may be spoilers from the entire game today. So only join in if you've finished the game or have no problem hearing about parts of the game you haven't seen yet.
Here's a little rundown of the Game Club in case you're a first timer: Our goal is to play games together so that we can share our experiences and discover the game as a community. We meet each week in the Game Club's comments section to discuss our experiences with our game of the month, including its narrative and mechanical themes and our own responses to them.
The meeting kicks off at 4pm Eastern every Thursday, and lasts an hour or so after the post is published. The Game Club is here to get everybody talking, so don't be afraid to speak your mind.
Here's our question of the week: How does seeing a potentially game-breaking element like Portal 2's white conversion gel change the way you view the game?
If Portal 2 wasn't a well crafted game, the addition of an element like the white gel, which can potentially allow you add a portal to any scene, could have made every puzzle easy (or at least easier) to solve. At the very least, it takes control out of the hands of designer. Do you think that adding that potential adds to the game? Does make the game's design more transparent? Most importantly, do you even think about it while you're playing?
Next week we'll be discussing Portal 2's story. The discussion kicks off on Kotaku next Thursday, January 26th, at 4pm Eastern.
Remember Game Clubbers, we'll be continuing our series on Portal 2 tomorrow at 4pm Eastern. Be there!
What Mass Effect, Portal 2, Deus Ex, and BioShock have in common are memorable worlds and visual flairs. Not sacrificing either, artist Pieceoftoast traded the games' high-def graphics for pixels. The result is stunning.
Seeming to channel Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, the art not only captures the feeling and mood of each game, but also their settings. Have a look in the above gallery. Beautiful stuff.
Welcome back everyone! Today is our first Kotaku Game Club meeting of 2012, and the opening discussion of our series on Kotaku Game of the Year Portal 2.
Since this month's game was released last May, we've changed the traditional Game Club formula a little bit. Instead of basing discussions around chronological portions of the game, this month we'll be looking at different design components of the game each week. Today we'll be discussing puzzle & level design.
With that in mind, a reminder that every meeting this month may include critical spoilers. If you're playing Portal 2 for the first time, I'd say you should get through the game and come back.
If you're one of the many Kotaku readers whose New Year's resolution was to join the Game Club before, here's a quick crash course: Our goal is to play games together so that we can share our experiences and discover (or rediscover) the game as a community. We meet each week in the Game Club's comments section to discuss our experiences with the chosen game, including its narrative and mechanical themes and our own responses to them.
Our meetings start at 4pm Eastern every Thursday, and last an hour or so after the post is published. The goal of the Game Club to get everybody talking, so don't be shy about putting out your ideas - That's what we're here for.
So here our puzzle-centric jump off question for the week: Is there any single learned skill that you think should have been more reinforced or explicitly taught?
Every puzzle in Portal 2 has a purpose: Each room either teaches a new technique or asks you to combine some of the ones you've learned until that point. As a result, our progression is very transparent. While there is something magical about the way Valve combines those learned ideas into complex puzzles, that intricate progression is built around the idea that, once you've finished a puzzle, you fully understand all the moving pieces.
That's not necessarily true, though. You can get stuck, get confused, and then suddenly solve a puzzle without fully understanding how you did it. If that happens, the lesson is lost: If a similar concept is introduced in later puzzles, you approach it as if you never even tried that earlier, which can cause more confusion. Can we identify those instances and see if there's a way that they could have been prevented?
Next week we'll be discussing the mechanical elements of Portal 2 (how gels work, etc). Let's meet here on Kotaku next Thursday, January 19th, at 4pm Eastern.
Jan 11, 2012
Make sure to be on Kotaku at 4pm Eastern tomorrow to help us kick off the Game Club's Portal 2 retrospective!
Over at Kill Screen, they've done their yearly "High Scores" poll in which each of their contributors send in a ballot of games, assigning points to any game from 2011. The results of the vote are in, and Portal 2 is the clear winner.
Bastion, Dark Souls, El Shaddai, The Binding of Isaac, and Jetpack Joyride are also honored, among others. Also worth looking through are the critics' ballots, in which each writer lays out the case for the games on his or her list.
It's also worth visiting the page just to check out the great illustrations by Michael Rapa, a small segment of which is featured above. Can you spot all the games?
High Scores: The End of 2011 [Kill Screen]