Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

GRaDUATE

Have you ever idly wondered whether GLaDOS might have been up to more research and testing than the Portal games let on? A study from Florida State University into the effects of playing Portal 2 on a variety of skills won’t do much to ease your fears, then.

According to the study, spending eight hours playing Portal 2 is more effective at improving a range of cognitive skills than a dedicated brain training program called Lumosity.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

GRaDUATE

Have you ever idly wondered whether GLaDOS might have been up to more research and testing than the Portal games let on? A study from Florida State University into the effects of playing Portal 2 on a variety of skills won’t do much to ease your fears, then.

According to the study, spending eight hours playing Portal 2 is more effective at improving a range of cognitive skills than a dedicated brain training program called Lumosity.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

In almost every strategy, management or sim game I play, I will immediately turn off the music which comes with the game in favour of my own. That means that Steam Music Player sounds like a good idea to me even if I long ago abandoned mp3s in favour of streaming. The built-in functionality, which lets you browse your music library and control playback from in-game using the Steam overlay, has just left beta after its initial announcement back in February.

To celebrate, Valve have made the soundtracks for some of their games freely available to those who own the associated games, including Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and its Episodes, Portal, Portal 2, and the Dota 2 documentary Free to Play.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

So saxxy it hurts.

Every year Valve hold the Saxxy Awards to encourage and round-up the very best Source Filmmaker creations, and every year the submissions are almost solely set inside the Team Fortress 2 universe. That’s perhaps because they’re Valve’s most expressive characters and because TF2′s manic world is most easily bent towards drama and comedy, but for the just-announced 4th annual Saxxy Awards, Valve are encouraging submissions from other games. Mainly: Portal 2.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

A Portal game without portals? “Why, that’s like removing puppies from the Puppy Bowl,” you might say. “What is even the point?” The point, fellow small dog enthusiast, is paint. Physics-affecting paints (think bouncy gel, etc) were part of Portal 2, but they weren’t the main focus. Paid standalone mod/game Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative puts them front and center, and it looks like sticky, slippery, hundreds-of-feet-in-the-air-hurtling fun. It’s out now, and a trailer’s below.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

You don't need money, don't take fame

An oversized revolver, a chunky pump-action shotgun, a bolt-action rifle, and seeing my own legs: the four things I most want to see in first-person games. Perhaps the first three wouldn’t fit too cleanly into Portal 2 but that fourth, yes, certainly! And joy of joys, a new mod has added that very feature, so I spent half an hour this morning running around staring at Chell’s toes as if the mod turned Valve’s puzzle-platformer into Kyphosis Simulator 2014.

I suppose technically the ‘main feature’ in the Thinking with Time Machine mod is a time machine which’ll have you creating time loops to solve puzzles with the aid of your past self, which is great and all but look, LEGS.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

We’ve heard tell of the Steam controller‘s ins and outs (and ups and downs and lefts and rights and Bs and As and starts) from many a developer, but still skepticism reigns. And with good reason: Valve’s haptics-powered Franken-pad is kinda bonkers. But now, at the very least, we can see – with eyes or echolocation – how it functions moment-to-moment. Go below to see it power through Portal 2, Civilization V, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Papers Please.

(more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

I do love a strangely shaped worldPortal 2 wasn’t nearly as messed-up as it could have been. I loved it, and still pop in now and again to enjoy the physics and writing, but I always wish they’d went further and curly-wurlied the gravity and surroundings. Every time a room was fixed in front of me, I wished the same tech was used to just turn everything upside down, inside out, or that it would twist the testing chambers into odd, broken configurations. I am a very needy person. With that in mind, I’m interested in this Greenlight begging puzzle game, Tri. A FPS puzzle game where you drag out triangular walkways to cross the world. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

It's like they say: you can't squeeze blood from a stone. You have to use a really, really big axe.

You might remember that DOTA 2 officially launched not too long ago. This may in part be due to the fact that it’s one of the biggest PC games ever>, making it difficult to forget about in the same way that a herd of rhinoceroses just kind of hanging out in your living room would at least spend a fair amount of time in your peripheral vision. It is, of course, already quite good, but Valve plans to continue updating it until the Earth molts away its wriggly organic shell, leaving behind naught but dust and roaches. The first step in that process? A (very) soon-to-be-launched update fittingly titled First Blood. It includes LAN play! Also lots of other things, including Portal’s own wise-cracking cracker of psyches GLaDOS as an announcer. Details below.

(more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Words by Hamish Todd.>

Portal has the best-designed first-person puzzles I’ve ever seen. They’re surprising, focused, and concise. They are also designed very perceptively, and we can learn a lot from looking at this perceptiveness. Read on for an analysis of Portal’s level design, and some lessons about what learning from it can do to improve game design.

BE WARNED: This article uses multiple animated .gif images on the same page, and might be tough to load on slower connections. (more…)

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