Three months ago Skyrim unleashed the Creation Kit on Steam. Not only did it let users create amazing mods for an amazing game, it allowed them to browse, download, and share those mods using the Steam Workshop.
Now we're introducing the Perpetual Testing Initiative (PeTI), which combines a powerful, easy-to-use Puzzle Maker with full Steam Workshop integration, and will be available free for the PC and Mac on May 8th.
The Steam Workshop
There are already hundreds of incredible Portal 2 puzzles in the wild, but chances are you haven't played them. They're hard to find, hard to install, and hard to manage. We're changing that. Now that we're adding the Steam Workshop to Portal 2, you'll be able to browse a virtually endless stream of community-crafted puzzles, then install and play them with just one click from any web browser. Play the most popular maps in the world, or just what your friend created last night.
The Puzzle Maker
With the Puzzle Maker, you can create test chambers of all shapes and sizes. It's incredibly easy to use jump right in and start making cool stuff. When you're happy with your work, publish it to the Workshop for your friends. or even the whole world, to play. Get feedback, gain followers, and build collections of puzzles to break people's brains. You're the designer now; let's see what you can dream up.
Make sure to check back next week for more information on the Perpetual Testing Initiative!
The Steam Workshop, which lets users publish and download custom mods, is now available for Skyrim. To celebrate, Valve and Bethesda have teamed up to bring you a mod called "Fall of the Space Core, Vol. 1", which'll let the aggressively space-centric little robot tag along on your adventures in Tamriel.
Also, since Skyrim was the only major release of 2011 without Nolan North in it, you should consider this mod a patch to fix that problem. You can now feel free to include Skyrim in the "Nolan North" section of your video game library, which is to say, your video game library.
Ooh! We forgot to mention something yesterday: One of the awards we were up for at the VGAs was Best Character. We can't say for sure if we came in second, but we definitely didn't win, so Wheatley's acceptance speech was never aired. Until now!
Speaking of not winning, guess who didn't win Destructoid's Game of the Year. If you guessed Portal 2, we hope you didn't actually call your local sports book and put any money on that guess, because we won! WE'RE #1! Unless you're reading E-Online, in which case, WE'RE BACK TO #2!
Look, we understand that awards season is a turbulent emotional hell ride. But you know what would probably make you feel better? Buying things. It just feels good. With that in mind, we've put a bunch of Portal 2 merchandise on sale. For example, this incredible 1970s-style Portal 2 movie poster is 50% off! And if you're planning to go out to eat for the holidays, you should know that many restaurants now require shirts, something this 50% off "Wheatley Laboratories" tee is 100% guaranteed to be. Frankly, there's figuratively literally too much Portal 2 stuff on sale to list in one blog post, but you can check it all out here. If you order forty bucks worth of stuff, we'll throw in a FREE Aperture Lanyard. Just add it to your cart and then enter the code "COMBUSTIBLELANYARD" at the checkout.
And just so you don't think all we're trying to do is sell you stuff, here's a sentence where we don't try to sell you anything. Now that that's over, J!nx has some excellent Portal gear, including the world's only Portal-themed baby onesies. Between now and December 22nd, you can get ten bucks off a thirty-five dollar order by entering the code "MILKANDCOOKIES" when you checkout.
Finally, do you like Portal 2? If the answer to that question is "no", then, man, did you make a wrong turn somewhere on the Internet. For everyone else, how would you like to celebrate those warm feelings every time you move your mouse? Because now that's possible with SteelSeries' new Portal 2 mousepad. It won't be available to order until tomorrow. But from then until December 26th, you'll be able to buy it for 15% off by using the code "SSP215".
In our last blog post, we announced that both the VGA and X-Play awards had nominated Portal 2 for Game of the Year. How'd things turn out? Well, you'll be happy to learn, we just barely lost both of them, helping cement our frankly historic dominance of the Second Best Game of the Year category. And the good news doesn't end there: We also grabbed the number two spot in Paste Magazine's first annual GOTY list, while clawing our way to a dramatic second place victory on C-Net. Just so you don't think we're getting cocky, though, the Associated Press and MSN UK put us at the top of their respective lists. You can't not win them all.
To celebrate all this runner-uppering, for the next twenty-four hours, Portal 2 is 75% off on Steam. If you're paying in US dollars, that means you can buy Portal 2 right now for seven dollars and fifty cents! If you're paying in non-US dollars, you'll have to boot up a spreadsheet and do the math yourself, but we guarantee the result will be just as startling.
And if you already own Portal 2, might we suggest you buy a few copies to give away as gifts? No? Well, unless you somehow skipped the last couple sentences, too late - it's suggested. Good luck getting the idea out of your head. You may as well buy some copies before it drives you insane. Sure, it's the second best gift you can give this season, but at a price you'd expect from the seventeenth or eighteenth best gift. Plus, let's say you give someone the number one game of the year. How are you going to top that next year? You'll have to buy them a car. Be smart about this.
Well, it's awards season again, which can only mean one thing: somebody might give us one. And unlike a lot of gaming blogs, we won't snow you with a lot of false modesty: Winning is great and we would like an award, please.
Luckily, it looks like we're off to a good start. Portal 2 has been nominated for eleven awards in X-Play's Best of 2011 Awards, including Game of the Year.
We bet you're thinking that eleven nominations sounds like a lot. First, it is. But second, we're up for twelve nominations at this year's VGAs, which will air live on Spike TV Saturday, December 10th (8pm EST). If you have a spare minute and an opinion about Portal 2, you can vote for us in their Reader Poll.
Now you're probably thinking, "Wow, you guys are nominated for a lot of stuff, but you haven't actually won anything." Well, how about this? You just made us cry. Congratulations, big man. Maybe you should swagger over to Macworld to see who got their Editor's Choice award? Or a little magazine called TIME, where we didn't technically "win" anything, but came in a very respectable second place for Game of the Year.
Could TIME Magazine's Second Favorite Person of the Year Award be far behind? We're feeling pretty confident.
After we released the Portal 2 Authoring Tools earlier this year, we were thrilled by how quickly over 700 player-created puzzles were released into the wild. As successful as that was, the feedback we got was that many aspiring puzzle designers were finding that because of the complexity of the tool set, becoming the next GLaDOS was much harder than they expected. On top of that, it was too tedious and time consuming to actually find and play the puzzles that players were creating.
We're going to fix all of that. The next major update to Portal 2 will make it far simpler (and more fun) to create and distribute your own Portal 2 puzzles.
The simplified puzzle creator will let players easily carve out their creations in a straightforward but powerful way. They'll then be able to immediately upload those levels to their Steam Cloud and share them with other players online. We're also building a community site to host all of these player-created puzzles. The site will allow players to quickly find new puzzles and add them to their game, ready to play, with a single click. Players will then be able to rate the puzzles they've played, leave comments for puzzle creators, and follow creators they like.
We're positive there are a ton of great puzzle designers just waiting for the right tools, and we're working hard to tap into all that creativity. We'll keep you posted as we continue to make progress with the update. For now, here are some screenshots of the puzzle creator to get the ideas flowing.
Portal 2's "Peer Review" DLC is live and available everywhere, and to celebrate, some friends have decided they want to give you things.
First up is Dark Horse, who will be publishing "Valve Presents", a collection of comics from the Portal 2, Left 4 Dead, and Team Fortress 2 universes. Their contest? Recreate your favorite scene from any Valve comic in-game as machinima. If, like us, you not only don't possess the skill sets to do any of that, you don't possess the skill sets to know what any of the words in that last sentence meant, we've got two words for you: sock puppets. What can you win? Signed copies of "Valve Presents". Plus, the first place winner will also receive an original Michael Avon Oeming drawing. If all of this sounds like a complicated way to get a copy of a book, you can also just go to Amazon and give them pieces of paper for one.
On Jinx's blog you can post a link to your self-created Portal 2 art and win one of ten signed Portal 2 1970s Action Movie Posters and a $150 J!NX Gift Certificate. We're going to hazard a guess that screenshots aren't art, so be prepared to do some actual work (or at least put a Photoshop filter on your screenshot).
Steel Series needs some help picking out a Portal 2 mousepad. You can help them by visiting their site. Ten random participants will get a prize package made up of Steel Series peripherals. The Grand Prize winner, also chosen at random, will win a large format "Aperture's Requiem" Portal 2 print.
So there you go. As with all third party contests, we urge you to visit the sites linked above to learn more about each contest. We have no idea what the actual rules or legal requirements are for this stuff, and assume no responsibility if you accidentally get a keyboard lodged in your forehead while making machinima.
An all-new co-op adventure starring Atlas, P-Body and GLaDOS, the free DLC "Peer Review" takes place an unknown period of time after the events of Portal 2. You and your co-op science partner are once again awoken and assembled for a dangerous new mission. Did we say "dangerous"? We meant routine. Everything's fine. That slight note of terror you're hearing in GLaDOS's voice is probably just an audio calibration error. Anyway, on with your suicide mission. And when we say "suicide mission" we mean it would be suicide not to take this mission. Because it's so safe. Everything's fine.
"Peer Review" is being rolled out across all regions on Steam, Xbox LIVE and PSN as we speak. The free DLC is available to all owners of Portal 2 for download on PS3 and Xbox 360, and will be automatically downloaded via Steam on PC and Mac.
And if you're not an owner of Portal 2, don't sweat it, we've made it easier to become one: To celebrate the release of the free DLC, Portal 2 is on sale for 50% off on Steam through Thursday.
We were chatting with Portal 2 Lead Composer Mike Morasky the other day, and he casually mentioned that Songs to Test By Volumes One and Two have, to date, been downloaded close to two million times. We said that was nice, even though it didn't have anything to do with what we'd been talking about (bass fishing), and we asked him if we could go back to talking about that. Mike said okay. Then he asked us if we'd ever been bass fishing a million times, because if we had that would mean we'd fished for bass half as much as the Portal 2 soundtrack's been downloaded. This is why we don't talk to Mike.
Anyway, the third and final volume of Songs to Test by is now available to download. We're not sure how many times the last two volumes were downloaded--five times, maybe, or six, if we had to guess--but according to the number currently being sky-written by a plane outside Valve's windows it was actually two million. Make it two million and one now.
Oh yeah, by the way, before we forget, the first Portal 2 DLC, "Peer Review" will be out next Wednesday. For free.