Kotaku

The World’s Smallest Aperture Logo?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!]


Kotaku

We're Talking About Portal 2 at This Week's Kotaku Game Club!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.


Kotaku

Remember Game Clubbers, we'll be continuing our series on Portal 2 tomorrow at 4pm Eastern. Be there!


Kotaku

Mass Effect, Portal, and More as Things of Pixelated BeautyWhat 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.


~pieceoftoast [DeviantArt via Video Game Nostalgia]


Mass Effect, Portal, and More as Things of Pixelated Beauty
Mass Effect, Portal, and More as Things of Pixelated Beauty
Mass Effect, Portal, and More as Things of Pixelated Beauty
Mass Effect, Portal, and More as Things of Pixelated Beauty


Kotaku

It's Time to Review Our Portal 2 Testing with the Kotaku Game ClubWelcome 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.


Kotaku

Make sure to be on Kotaku at 4pm Eastern tomorrow to help us kick off the Game Club's Portal 2 retrospective!


Kotaku

Portal 2 Beats Out a Lot of Other Games for Kill Screen's Game of the YearOver 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]


Kotaku

Portal 2, The Best Game of 2011 is the Kotaku Game Club's First Game of 2012!Welcome back, Game Club! It's a brand new year, and we should make sure to start it on the right foot, right? There's no better way to do that, I think, then to play a game we know is going to be great. Since we just gave Portal 2 our Game of the Year Award, I'm pretty sure it's a good choice.


I know we normally try to play new games that we haven't tried before, but we've never played Portal 2 together, and there are so many things to so see, do and experience that we'll find another play-through rewarding, especially when we get to see it from so many perspectives.


In case you've never participated in a Game Club before, here's the deal: 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 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. (Not that you can't keep it going.) 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.


Since many of us may have already finished the game, I think we should take a different approach to our meetings this week. Instead of discussing the game chronologically, we'll be tackling a different aspect the game: Story, Mechanics, Puzzle Design, and Co-Op. That doesn't mean you shouldn't all play the game again, but this will hopefully will allow everyone to speak freely without worrying about spoilers. There will still be a suggested pace for our play-through, but every discussion will be about the whole game, rather than where we've played to.


Here's our schedule:


January 12th: Puzzle Design (Chapters 1-3)
January 19th: Mechanics (Chapters 4-6)
January 26th: Story (7-9)
February 2nd: Co-Op (Co-Op Campaign)


As usual, we will remind of each meeting with a blip on Kotaku the day before, and we will also post to alert you of any scheduling changes or other complications should they arise. See you next week!


Kotaku

Portal 2 Takes Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award for Science, You MonsterAfter several weeks of debate, discussion, and deliberation, Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award came down to a simple vote, and the majority voted for science.


We voted for Wheatley, the delightfully ditzy but well-meaning artificial intelligence that unwittingly guided us to our potential doom. We voted for GLaDOS, the power-hungry robot with a heart of solid gold spite, with whom our relationship grew closer and stranger than ever before. We voted for Cave Johnson, founder and CEO of Aperture Science, whose words of wisdom will guide us til the end of our days. We voted for Atlas and P-Body, a mechanical consciousness built for two. We voted for Chell, history's most resilient guinea pig.


We voted for the team at Valve that delivered such a solid and entertaining experience, building an extremely clever puzzle game into something far greater. We voted for Erik Wolpaw, Jay Pinkerton and Chet Faliszek, the writers that kept us in stiches at every turn.


We voted for Portal 2.



Not all of us, mind you, but enough that it would take the assassination of at least two of our editors to make the voting a tie.


Portal 2 Takes Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award for Science, You MonsterThe outcome came as a surprise to many of our editors, especially with a powerhouse like Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim hitting hard and deep so late in the year. Indeed Skyrim was my original pick for Game of the Year (Luke Plunkett's as well), but then it took an arrow in the knee (I am so sorry).


That arrow was Evan Narcisse's impassioned argument for Valve's Portal 2. Game's released towards the front end of the year (Portal 2 hit in April) are often at a disadvantage when it comes time for Game of the Year arguments, but Evan's nomination and subsequent explanation reminded many of us how nearly perfect Portal 2 was.


Of course this doesn't mean that the other three games (nothing doesn't count) we nominated this year are failures. They still represent the very best titles we played this year. Portal 2 was just better than that.


Be sure to check out the stories below to experience the process we went through to get to where we did today, and if you see anyone from Valve's Portal 2 team today, be sure to give them a vigorous face licking for us.


Portal 2 Takes Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award for Science, You Monster


Who Will Win Kotaku's Game of the Year 2011 Debate?

What was the best game of the year, according to those of us here at Kotaku?
We don't know.
We don't know... yet.
Throughout the week of December 26, we will present five Game of the Year arguments. More »



Portal 2 Takes Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award for Science, You Monster


Is Skyrim Kotaku's Game of the Year?

Oh look. Somebody is voting for Skyrim as Game of the Year. How shocking.
Truth be told, I very nearly voted for something else. Total War: Shogun 2 had me hooked for most of the year, and its near perfection of the series' blend of strategic planning and real-time tactics seemed to make it, for... More »



Portal 2 Takes Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award for Science, You Monster


Is Sword & Sworcery EP Kotaku's Game of the Year?

I played a ton of games in 2011. More, probably, than any other year of my life. So when it came time to choose the best from among them, I spent a lot of time thinking back, sifting through the triumphs and the frustrations, the unexpected joys and the unfortunate disappointments.
Arkham City and... More »



Portal 2 Takes Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award for Science, You Monster


Is Nothing Kotaku's Game of the Year?

This may sound off-key coming from the guy who nominated the 12th edition of annual sports franchise for overall GOTY last year. But I'm inclined to say "None of the above," this year. More »



Portal 2 Takes Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award for Science, You Monster


Is Portal 2 Kotaku's Game of the Year?

What Valve did this year seemed impossible: they improved on the perfection that was the first Portal. That feat was accomplished, surprisingly, by making everything about players' return to Aperture Science less perfect. More »



Portal 2 Takes Kotaku's 2011 Game of the Year Award for Science, You Monster


Is L.A. Noire Kotaku's Game of the Year?

The hardest thing at the end of the year is to parse yourself from the hype you're experiencing and think back to the games you played during the summer, the spring, and yes, 2011's early months. More »



Kotaku

Portal Boots Look Great in the Real WorldOnce again, Volpin Props knocks it out of the park. Though in this case, they've knocked themselves out of the park. And fallen a great height, only to land safely, thanks to these Portal Long Fall Boots.


Master prop builder Harrison Krix's efforts continue to amaze, these boots looking like they jumped straight out of the game and landed squarely amongst the rest of us in the real world.


Which, since these are real boots, I guess they have.


Chell's Heelsprings (Portal) [Volpin @ Flickr, via Super Punch]


Portal Boots Look Great in the Real World
Portal Boots Look Great in the Real World
Portal Boots Look Great in the Real World
Portal Boots Look Great in the Real World


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