Valve developed the upcoming Portal board game

Publisher Cryptozoic says Valve's prototype required "minimal input".

Recently board game manufacturer and publisher Cryptozoic Entertainment announced that it was working on a Portal board game and that Valve was involved, but it's now been revealed that Valve created the board game and pitched it to Cryptozoic, not the other way around as one might think.

Valve's Jeep Barnett, one of the founders of Narbacular Drop - the student game that inspired Portal - explained in an interview with Polygon that the Seattle-based studio worked on the board game for a full year before approaching Cryptozoic to "add a final layer of polish."

"In general there's been two to three people actively working on it at a time, but in total about a dozen people have been involved," Barnett said, who noted that Valve has toyed with board game development internally before but "this is the first that we're sure [it] meets the quality bar that customers expect from Valve."


The Portal board game - tentatively titled Portal: Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game - is due in late Q4 2014 and will be an up to four-player competitive game about test subject fighting over who gets to use the most desirable test chambers.

Cryptozoic's president and chief creative officer Cory Jones noted Valve's pitched prototype was "a really solid, functioning game" and that it required "minimal input" from the board game company.

Previously Cryptozoic has worked on such video game board and card game spin-offs as the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, Batman: Arkham City Escape, and Assassin's Creed: The Board Game.

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Jeffrey Matulef

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