I showed the Companion Cube underwears to a female friend of mine this morning, who responded with "OMG everyone needs those." I'm inclined to agree, though since they do not make them in a size that would fit me, I grabbed a pair for someone with lady parts to obscure from view.
I have purchased one of each of the items you see above, one for me and two for the special lady in my life, who doesn't read Kotaku enough for this post to spoil the surprise. The Chell art nouveau tee is going on my body. The other two are going on hers. And to make it a little sweeter and a lot less pervy, I also grabbed a pair of companion cube creepers for the boys. It's a family thing now! Eventually we'll wind up on the cover of a JC Penny catalog with our tattoos and piercings airbrushed away.
Other fine Valve items appearing at Jinx include this love "Meet the Pyro" lithograph...
...which I also purchased, some Portal 2 posters, a coffee mug — you know what, just go see for yourself.
We featured a work in progress last week, the beginnings of a music video looking at Chell's life after Aperture.
Zachariah Scott has finished his work now, and sent the new link along to us. "After Aperture" is a slow, meditative, thoughtful look at Chell from outside the first person perspective. What exactly does one do with one's life after a couple hundred years down at Aperture Science?
Scott has added notes on his source of inspiration, as well as a few asides on the limits of Source Filmmaker. There are only so many assets available for Chell (as generally one plays Portal in first person), and that limited the available shots. But the Companion Cube really is that large, to scale. All in all, it adds up to a lovely take on a character whose thoughts we rarely get to see.
(Caution: Portal 2 ending spoilers ahead!)
Portal 2 had a satisfying, if ambiguous, ending. The player, in the form of Chell, finally got to breathe the air free of Aperture. There was no deer.
But what comes next for our silent heroine? One fan started this music video using Valve's new Source Filmmaker. It's the very early stages of a work in progress. It doesn't tell us what Chell's future holds. Not yet. But it does look gorgeous, bird, cube, and all.
exile vilify, rough pose work [qqmoarz tumblr]
In the spirit of the many "Meet The" videos from Team Fortress 2 comes this fan-made video by Harry Callagan. Made mostly in Premiere Pro and Photoshop (not in Source Filmmaker!), it's an impressive showing, considering that Callagan describes it as something that "started as a very quick visual test, but grew into something a little bigger."
Props to the voice cast for doing their best to keep up with Stephen Merchant and Nolan North. The whole thing is a lot of fun.
Last week, my misidentification of a laser engraving on a space part suggested the wrong personality core from Portal 2 was symbolically being flown to space (a fate echoing the game's story.) A team of 18 teenagers from Nevada stepped in to restore order, and properly send the Space Core—or, well, a plushy version of him, anyway—to near space.
That image above is of Space Core (and an Energizer Bunny) at about 91,000 feet, which were launched yesterday by the University of Nevada-Las Vegas' Summer Advanced Gifted Education Academy—aka smart kids. One, named Jake, enrolled in a class called "Project: Space!" whose goal was to send up two weather balloons. "In the first week, I found out that the majority of the class were huge Portal and Portal 2 fans when we sung both 'Still Alive' and 'Want You Gone' from memory," Jake writes.
After seeing the story last week, Jake proposed the idea of launching a Space Core into space, which was immediately supported. He wrote Valve, which quickly sent back its thanks and encouragement and the Space Core plushy. (The Energizer Bunny was the group's hat-tip to the battery maker, which supplied the power source.)
"After much preparation and anxiety, we sent up the weather balloon [Saturday] morning and retrieved it in the afternoon," Jake wrote. "The balloon ended up going up about 91,000 feet (we could have done better, but the wind decided to make our lives harder)."
The photo above is blurry because the balloon's camera lens still was fogged by a cloud it had passed through. The image is of the balloon just before it burst.
"Lots of things have been sent into space before, but I think this is the first time a space core was sent up," he noted in conclusion. Indeed.
The project team, Flying Apple Space Technologies (so named because Newton's fell to Earth, theirs is going in the opposite direction) is working on uploading a full video of the Space Core's flight. They also have another launch coming up and are keen to find supporters so that they can send up more scientific instruments. Previous launches by the SAGE Academy have included Geiger counters, weather loggers and a flight predictor.
You're about to see what happens when a team of "speed-runners" knows enough about the progress and timing of a game that they can finish something that normally takes hours in just over eight minutes.
The run, with video slightly edited for your viewing pleasure, is above, while this online document is full of notes detailing how they actually did it.
For the doubters, there's this:
There were no cheats, hacks, or modifications made to the game while the speedrunning took place. Everything you see in this video can be done on a current Steam version of Portal without using any console commands. Any part where the video "stutters" or when a "console box pops up" signifies a segment. The console box is a demo artifact, and we couldn't fix it from popping up.
And if that's not enough, there's a link to download a demo of the run in full below.
Portal Done Pro-er - Portal Speedrun - 8:31.93 - WR [YouTube, via Beefjack]
Gaming Heads, the creators of fine Team Fortress 2 statuary, opens the valve on its new Portal 2 line with this gorgeous 16-inch turret replica, ready to fill speaking and non-speaking roles in your home security regime, depending on how much you're willing to invest.
Can you really put a price tag on quality replica home security? Well yes, you can, and that price tag is $300. That money can secure you one of 750 Portal 2 turrets upon their Q4 2012 release, packed lovingly in foam with a certificate that ensures that this is a high quality product and not something you made in shop class.
Just look at this thing. Are you not pleased to the tune of $300?
Perhaps you need to see a more detailed view. Did I mention the motion sensor activated light?
Still not convinced? What's wrong with you? You act as if you don't have $300 to toss about frivolously on video game paraphernalia.
I can understand that, so I won't even tell you about the Gaming Heads exclusive edition, which adds voices from the game to the statue for a mere $30 extra. It's limited to 350 pieces; you probably couldn't have secured one in time anyway.
Portal 2 Turret Preorder [Gaming Heads]
Portal 2 Turret Exclusive w/ Sound Preorder [Gaming Heads]
If you've played games like Team Fortress 2 or the Portal titles, you know that Valve loves making players learn. The company's already got a foothold in bringing their games into the educational space and that commitment's going to get bigger.
Today, at the Games for Change conference, Valve's Leslie Redd and Yasser Malaika announced that they'll be giving away their hit game Portal 2 for free, via the new Steam for Schools initiative. After signing up for a beta, educators will be able to get the popular sequel, the recently launched Perpetual Testing Initiative level maker and sample levels. Students making levels won't be able to share levels outside of a physical classroom, though. For more info, head over to learnwithportals.com
Mean, witty, and slightly crazy, GLaDOS is one of the most memorable gaming characters in recent memory—no wonder she's a fan fav. And no wonder all these folks decided to dress up as her!
Here's a look a handful of cosplayers tackling the same character. It's like when people show up to a party, dressed in the same outfit. Have a look in the above gallery and see who pulled off the best GLaDOS.