Portal 2 Blog
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.

   
Oct 6, 2011
Portal 2 Blog

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.

Portal 2 Blog

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.
Portal 2 Blog
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.


Visit the music site

Portal 2 Blog

The Portal 2 Music Video Contest for The National's Exile Vilify is over. Everyone who made a video is a winner, but here are the real winners.
Portal 2 Blog
Give your ears the gift of sound and let them relive the glory days of testing in full fidelity, without the distracting hisses and pops that accompany being submerged in acid. Songs to Test By: Volume 2 (of 3) is now available for download. Plus: Free!

Visit the music site

Portal 2 Blog

The Summer Mapping Initiative has been completed and thinkingwithportals.com has selected the winners. There were 280 entries that took the 13 Judges over 140 hours to play.

Patent Pending was the overall winner with Infinifling grabbing second place. The voting was so close, we added an honorable mention for Edifice.

Since we all know that the appreciation of your fellow man is not a real prize, they will all also be receiving the following:

Jinx Portal 2 Gear

Gels and a Shirt from Think Geek.

Gear from Glitch

More Shirts than you can wear in a week, enough Posters to wallpaper your cell, and more from Valve.

Not pictured because we haven't even released them yet - the winners will also receive a Wheatley Laboratories Glow in the Dark T-shirt and the super cool 70s Portal 2 poster signed by the entire team.

Right now we know what you're thinking, "I'm an idiot. That's a ton of cool stuff! I should have entered that contest!"

First. You're right. Second, don't worry you still have a chance. This prize package pales in comparison to what Valve and The National have for the winners of the Portal 2 Music Video contest. Check the rules here and then get to work! You still have time to make your video, so no excuses - your wardrobe needs it.


In case you're not sure how to check out the winning maps, here are the instructions:

1) Download the map file from ThinkingWithPortals.com.
2) Open up the .ZIP file after it has downloaded.
3) Find the location of your Portal 2 installation on Steam. This is most typically found under:
Windows PC users: C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\steamapps\common\portal 2\maps.
Mac users: ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/common/Portal 2/portal2/maps
Note that your installation location may vary, depending on your initial install directory.
4) Copy the .BSP file located in the downloaded file to the directory above.
5) Start Portal 2
6) In the game's main menu, select "Options->Keyboard and Mouse"
7) Set Allow Developer Console to Enabled
8) Press the tilde (~) key to access the console
9) Type map "mapname here"
10) Solve the puzzle!
Portal 2 Blog
Sharp-eared music fans will have already found the haunting track "Exile Vilify" by The National in Portal 2. Clearly Rat Man is a big fan of of the song, based on some of the art decorating the walls of his dens. But as any museum fan can tell you, there's nothing a fancypants painting can say that a YouTube video can't say a hundred times better.


Visit the video contest site

May 25, 2011
Portal 2 Blog
With Aperture-brand turrets, boots, bots and panels flooding the applied science aisle of your local department store, you could forgive the up-and-coming test lab for taking a breather. Judging from their latest press release, though, their laurels remain untouched by backsides. Bolstered by recent breakthroughs in the field of jazz smoothing, Aperture announced today the first of three downloadable aural stimulus packages.

Whether you're a mega-science corporation with decades of test experience, or a young start-up liberating your first test subject from non-testing with a chloroform-soaked rag, Aperture guarantees results. Wake up your test subject, open the chamber door, and press play--let Aperture's patent-pending rhythmic compliance enhancers do the rest.



Visit the music site

Portal 2 Blog
If entertainment has taught us anything—be it films; TV shows; or films for people who hate fights and explosions, books—it's that at some point in every story, the villain will tell the hero, "You know, we're a lot alike, you and I." It always sounds like a really smart thing to say to somebody, even though it's never actually true.

But now, for the first time, thinkingwithportals.com is giving you the opportunity to make it true. Show them that not only are you like GLaDOS, you're better than GLaDOS, by designing your own diabolical test chamber.

From now until June 6th, thinkingwithportals.com is accepting entries for their Summer Mapping Initiative. Test chambers will be judged on their puzzle complexity, visual appeal and tonal fidelity (50s design, contemporary design, etc.), so steeple those scheming-fingers, write some nasty passive-aggressive insults on index cards for easy reference, and show GLaDOS how it's done.



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