Community Announcements - the gish
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. <a href="http://youtu.be/ymMrwlsbtrI">Until now!</a>

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 <a href=" http://www.destructoid.com/the-winner-of-destructoid-game-of-the-year-2011-218043.phtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Destructoid+%28Destructoid%29"><i>we won!</i></a> WE'RE #1! Unless you're reading E-Online, in which case, <a href="http://www.eonline.com/photos/gallery.jsp?galleryUUID=4186#159051">WE'RE BACK TO #2!</a>

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 <i>good</i>. With that in mind, we've put a bunch of Portal 2 merchandise on sale. For example, this incredible <a href=" http://store.valvesoftware.com/product.php?i=P2229">1970s-style Portal 2 movie poster</a> 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 <a href=" http://store.valvesoftware.com/product.php?i=CP216 ">"Wheatley Laboratories" tee</a> 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 <a href=" http://store.valvesoftware.com/index.php?g=9">here.</a> 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 <a href=" http://www.jinx.com/shop/coll/portal2/srt/new/ps/70/ ">excellent Portal gear</a>, 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.

If you have enough shirts and/or no babies, ThinkGeek has some crazy Portal 2 inspired non-clothing products like an actual, working <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/science/eb0a/?srp=16 ">PotatOS science kit</a>, a <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/lights/ea43/?srp=37">Wheatley LED flashlight</a>, and an <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/collectibles/ea60/?srp=46">honest-to-God talking Cave Johnson Portrait</a>. Until December 22nd, you can get five bucks off a thirty dollar order or ten bucks off a fifty dollar order by entering the code "YOUSAVED SCIENCE" at the 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 <a href=" http://steelseries.com/products/games/portal2/steelseries-qck-portal-2-edition?utm_source=valve&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=portal2qck">SteelSeries' new Portal 2 mousepad</a>. 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".
Community Announcements - the gish
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 <a href="http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2011/12/the-20-best-videogames-of-2011.html?p=2">Paste Magazine's first annual GOTY list</a>, while clawing our way to a dramatic <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/2300-9995_7-10010423-9.html?s=0&o=10010423">second place victory on C-Net</a>. Just so you don't think we're getting cocky, though, the <a href=" http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_YE_TOP_10_VIDEO_GAMES?SITE=MOSTP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT">Associated Press</a> and <a href="http://games.uk.msn.com/galleries/top-20-games-of-2011">MSN UK</a> put us at the <i>top</i> 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 <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/">right now</a> 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, <i>too late</i> - 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 <i>one</i> 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.
Community Announcements - the gish
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.

<a href="http://media.steampowered.com/apps/portal2/media/map_editor_01.jpg"><img src="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/blog/posts/017/thumb_01.jpg"></a>
 
 

<a href="http://media.steampowered.com/apps/portal2/media/map_editor_02.jpg"><img src="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/blog/posts/017/thumb_02.jpg"></a>
Oct 6, 2011
Community Announcements - the gish
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 <a href=http://www.darkhorse.com/Blog/663/valve-ign-and-dark-horse-present-machinima-contest>Dark Horse</a>, who will be publishing <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Valve-Presents-Sacrifice-Steam-Powered-Stories/dp/1595828699/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317923143&sr=8-1">"Valve Presents"</a>, 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 <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Valve-Presents-Sacrifice-Steam-Powered-Stories/dp/1595828699/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317923143&sr=8-1">Amazon</a> and give them pieces of paper for one.

On <a href="http://www.jinx.com/blog_entry.aspx?id=1514">Jinx's blog</a> 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).

<a href="http://steelseries.com/portal2">Steel Series</a> needs some help picking out a Portal 2 mousepad. You can help them by visiting their <a href="http://steelseries.com/portal2">site</a>. 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.
Community Announcements - the gish
<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/620/"><img src="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/blog/posts/015/midweek450.jpg"></a>

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 <i style="font-style: italic;">Portal 2</i>. 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 <i style="font-style: italic;">Portal 2</i> 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 <i style="font-style: italic;">Portal 2</i>, don't sweat it, we've made it easier to become one: To celebrate the release of the free DLC, <i style="font-style: italic;">Portal 2</i> is on sale for <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/620/">50% off on Steam</a> through Thursday.
Community Announcements - the gish
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.

<a href="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php">Visit the music site</a>
Community Announcements - the gish
<center><a href="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/videocontest/"><img src="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/blog/posts/014/puppet.jpg"></a></center><br />

The Portal 2 Music Video Contest for The National's Exile Vilify is over. Everyone who made a video is a winner, but <a href="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/videocontest/">here are the real winners.</a><br />
Community Announcements - the gish
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!

<a class="bold_link" href="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php">Visit the music site</a>
May 25, 2011
Community Announcements - the gish
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.

<a class="bold_link" href="http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php">Visit the music site</a>
Apr 29, 2011
Community Announcements - the gish
We feel like we've talked enough about Portal 2 the last few months. Luckily, now that it's been released, other people have started talking about it, including the people who pick Time Magazine's Person of the Year, Time Magazine, which gave Portal 2 "our first perfect 10."

It's also being called "one of the best games of this generation" by 1up.com, "one of the best games ever made" by Destructoid, and "as good as entertainment gets" by the Boston Herald. Still not convinced? What if we said all that stuff again, but with a pumping soundtrack?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iFDPEO6vYA">Check out the video here.</a>
...

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