Portal

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This Portal-themed HoloLens mod is a triumph

Get ready to never stop thinking with portals.

Someone has managed to make an augmented reality mod that brings Portal's titular device - and its iconic companion cube - into the real world via Microsoft's HoloLens AR headset.

VideoHow Valve found Portal

Here's a thing.

Before Portal, there was another game. Designed by a handful of students at DigiPen Institute of Technology, Narbacular Drop wasn't much to look at: it was brown and buggy and the word 'Narbacular' doesn't actually mean anything at all. But it had something incredible going for it. It had portals.

Former Valve employee is suing the company for $3.1m

Alleges developer exploited minors for free labour, discriminated against transgender staff.

A jury ruled in favour of defendant Valve on 2nd November 2017, finding the plaintiff was not discriminated against for transgender or disability reasons, nor dismissed for such.

Portal fan film director helming surprise Cloverfield sequel

Surprise! Found footage monster movie Cloverfield will get a sequel directed by Dan Trachtenberg, the amateur filmmaker behind excellent Portal fan tribute No Escape.

10 Cloverfield Lane will be a "blood relative" to the original Cloverfield, producer JJ Abrams told Collider last night after a trailer for the film unexpectedly appeared online. "We wanted to hold back the title for as long as possible."

Trachtenberg had been announced as shooting a low-budget post-apocalyptic thriller for Abrams' production company Bad Robot back in 2014. It's only now - with the movie shot and ready for release - we know it will be the long-rumoured Cloverfield follow-up.

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VideoVideo: The best end songs ever

Sing when you're winning (at video games).

When Lethal Weapon 3 got its cinematic release in 1992, my parents dutifully went along to the cinema to watch it. At the end of the credits, they were delighted to discover, there was one last scene - an easter egg to reward those who watched all those names scroll past on the screen. So began an excruciating family tradition.

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.

Games of the Generation: Portal

This was a triumph.

Over the next two weeks we'll bringing you our pick of the games of the generation - and today we're starting off with Portal, Valve's exceptionally smart puzzler that was the surprise highlight of The Orange Box when it launched in October 2007.

GLaDOS voice in new Guillermo del Toro film

Pan's Labyrinth director a fan of Portal.

Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro has revealed the first trailer for his new monster movie Pacific Rim, which stars GLaDOS voice actress Ellen McLain as a robot AI.

MOMA Mia! Plans for beefy video game collection next year

"Are video games art? They sure are..."

Video games struggle to be taken as seriously as films or paintings or books or other pieces of culturally accepted works of art. Yeah, thanks Duke Nukem. But there are signs of change; today, New York's prestigious Museum of Modern Art announced the beginnings of a considerable video game exhibition.

Valve's first hardware slated for beta next year

Valve's first hardware slated for beta next year

Weta makes a nifty Portal turret, too.

Valve is planning to put its first hardware into beta sometime next year, noted Valve employee Jeri Ellsworth in a report by Endgadget.

The hardware division's goal is "to make Steam games more fun to play in your living room." To start with that includes Big Picture Mode, which makes Steam's UI more conducive to browsing with a gamepad on a TV, but eventually it would like to go beyond that and make mouse and keyboard games more accessible to the console crowd.

How it will do this is anyone's guess. Will it be a new hybrid controller, a console, or perhaps a real-life turret gun made by Lord of the Rings special effects gurus Weta? [Shown below.]

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Portal Lego set goes into review

Portal Lego set goes into review

Get ready to think with Legos.

An official Portal Lego set may be on its way after a fan-made prototype received the 10,000 votes required to be considered for production on the Danish blockmaker's crowdsourced platform Cuusoo.

This means that the set will go into review at the start of the next quarter in September. At this point, a "Lego Jury" comprised of designers, product managers, and other key team members will determine if it's a viable concept. This will be based on criteria such as playability, safety and fit with the Lego brand. This process could take several months.

If it meets Lego's standards and goes into production, it will take several more months while marketing materials, instructions and packaging are manufactured.

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Valve counters EA's Steam sales "cheapen intellectual property" accusation

Valve counters EA's Steam sales "cheapen intellectual property" accusation

"If we thought having a 75 per cent sale on Portal 2 would cheapen Portal 2, we wouldn't do it."

Valve has countered EA's accusation that Steam sales "cheapen" intellectual property, saying they in fact benefit games, publishers and gamers.

Last month EA's David DeMartini, who runs rival digital platform Origin, said Steam sales, which often see discounts of up to 75 per cent, "cheapen intellectual property".

Vowing not to copy Steam's popular 75 per cent off sales, DeMartini said: "The game makers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom."

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Valve does have managers, says ex-Portal lead

Kim Swift offers her take on Employee Handbook leak.

The image of Valve as a manager-less utopia where staff have free rein to do as they please, as painted by its recently leaked Employee Handbook, is a little wide of the mark, according to former Portal lead designer Kim Swift.

What is Indie?

DIY developers discuss what it means to go solo, and whether the label really matters.

Back in the early '90s, the definition of 'indie' music went under a transformation. What had started as a tag for any act that released music without the help of a major record label became a way of describing - and selling - a sound and a lifestyle. Once it was all about crudely recorded cassette tapes and direct, intimate fan interaction; today it's Coldplay, with all the corporate fixings.

Portal sells nearly four million

Hours after releasing Portal 2 on Steam, creator Valve has announced predecessor Portal has sold close to four million units.

But Portal has likely sold substantially more copies. As GameSpot reports, the four million figure excludes digital download sales from Steam.

Portal launched in 2007 as part of the superb The Orange Box compilation.

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Why Chet Faliszek is Valve's Mr Awesome

"I walk around the hall with my iron fist."

On Valve's website sits a profile page, and on that profile page sits an entry for Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek. It reads: "We are all still trying to figure out exactly what it is that Chet does at Valve, but at the very least he occupies office space on the 11th floor as self-proclaimed Mr. Awesome."

Lionhead loves BioShock and Portal

Shining examples of storytelling.

Seminal shooters BioShock and Portal are shining examples of great videogame storytelling and character design, Lionhead audio producer Georg Backer told an audience at the Develop Conference in Brighton this afternoon.

Valve updates Portal end sequence

Valve updates Portal end sequence

We're already in the party position.

Not content with teasing us last night with something potentially Apple-related, Valve has also added more tease to Portal.

The latest PC patch for the developer's excellent first-person puzzle game claims it has "Added valuable asset retrieval" - another cryptic description following on from last week's transmission business, which left players scrambling around the game with a radio listening for information.

Following some lightning internet detective work (collated by Rock, Paper, Shotgun - thanks chaps!), fans have uncovered a new end sequence, already on YouTube. It's worth having a watch and listen.

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Valve teases with mystery Portal patch

Valve teases with mystery Portal patch

Fans unravelling multi-layered puzzle.

Valve has updated the PC version of its first-person puzzle classic Portal with an enigmatic patch which has set fans on a trail of code-cracking and puzzle-solving.

The patch notes for the update simply, but enigmatically, read: "Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations."

What it didn't mention was a new Steam achievement for the game called Transmission Received. Completing the achievement involves carrying a radio around the game and receiving broadcast interference noises in certain places.

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Gabe Newell wins GDC Pioneer Award

For work on Steam and influential games.

The organisers of the Game Developers Conference have announced that Valve co-founder Gabe Newell is to receive the event's Pioneer Award this March.

Narbacular Drop

John Walker corners Kim Swift about the game that spawned Portal.

Kim Swift sprang to fame as the project lead on Valve's wonderful first-person puzzler, Portal. It was a game that managed to be brilliantly clever, incredibly funny, and yet accessible to a wider gaming audience. It's with this philosophy that Swift begins her new job heading up a team at Airtight Games. We took this chance to look back over the path that took her here, beginning with the game that inspired Portal, Narbacular Drop.

Chunky Orange Box PS3 patch released

Chunky Orange Box PS3 patch released

Should remedy many of the problems.

EA has sneakily released a beefy patch to address problems with The Orange Box on PS3.

The 1.10 update is 128 MB, and unhelpfully has no associated documentation to outline the changes.

Early reports suggest friends not appearing on lists and certain accounts not connecting to the EA servers should no longer be a problem.

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Portal song heading to Rock Band

Elsewhere, Kim Swift says "Portal 2".

Portal end-credits song "Still Alive" (oh come on, you must know that by now) is set to join the ranks of downloadable tracks in Rock Band.

Another Bethesda Portal map

Since Valve's still quiet.

Developing Fallout 3 might sound like a lot of hard work, but evidently it's not because all Bethesda Softworks seems to do these days is make new maps for Portal. Here comes another one.

Valve's Doug Lombardi

Chatting about Portal and whether Orange Box will return.

On a recent trip to Germany to see Left 4 Dead, of which more soon, we sat down with Valve's VP of marketing Doug Lombardi to talk about things. Things like Portal, and whether we'll see an Orange Box 2. Like everyone at Valve, Doug's job title is a bit misleading; he does a broad range of things across the company, and has even - as he points out here - dabbled in development to some extent. He also plays Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead with us when we fly over to see Valve, which is nice of him (it's nice of him to let us win all the time, too). Anyway, enough being nice about Doug - here are a few selected excerpts from our discussion, with more to come when we're allowed to talk about what the developer was actually in Germany to show off...

"More Portal for sure" - Valve

Plus news on Gordon's whereabouts.

Valve has said it will definitely be making more Portal, confirming plans to add significantly more than just "a bunch of new puzzles".

The Orange Box

The Orange Box

We pit EA's port against PC and 360.

Google "Valve's Gabe Newell and PS3" and you'll see why I approached this review with some trepidation.

Valve's Gabe Newell comes down hard on PS3

Valve: PS3 a "total disaster on so many levels"

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Those of you with brains like computers will probably have worked out that you can use your Portal gun in other Source-powered games like Half-Life 2 and its pair of episodes.

Portal

Portal

Holy!

The portal gun is the most exciting thing to happen to FPS games since the gravity gun, and it's no surprise to discover that Valve is agonising over whether to give it to Gordon Freeman. Its function is simple: bridging gaps. But, in doing so, it alters the way in which you approach an FPS environment so radically that it's hard to think past it. Give it to Gordon, and Half-Life will never be the same. Better to keep it in the family, but away from the action. That's what Portal does, and the results are interesting.

Waking in a small glass room at an unknown location, you're welcomed ("again") to the Aperture Science Enrichment Centre, a sequence of 19 scenarios designed to test your ability to use portals to bypass concrete walls, transport crates over impossible obstacles, slingshot yourself across chasms and overcome mischievous gun turrets. The first levels serve as a gentle introduction to the various concepts at work, and it's a good few minutes before you gain access to the weapon itself, and even longer before it's fully operational. Once it is, you can fire a blue portal at one surface and an orange portal at another, step through either and exit the other.

Levels demand a mixture of skills, all of which make use of portals in some way and your new tool when you acquire it. Some involve transporting crates to red switches in other areas of the test chamber; others, redirecting flying energy pellets to power up doors and platforms. The gun turrets, armoured on the sides and alarmingly powerful, represent a more dangerous obstacle, cutting you down if you stray into their sights for even a second, and need to be knocked over to disable them, or avoided altogether. Framing the gameplay are the portal placement restrictions - grey concrete floors, walls and ceilings can accept a portal, but reflective black sections, moving surfaces, doors, glass partitions and other world-objects cannot - and those springy metal rods tied to your calves, which allow you to fall over vast distances without incurring damage.

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Orange Box pre-load begins

Portal and Episode Two files.

Valve has started to pump up the volume along with the stereo and pre-load files for Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Portal.

Orange Box pre-orders get TF2 beta access

Valve has made The Orange Box available to pre-order on Steam ahead of what is now a 10th October activation date - and those who pre-order will be able to play the Team Fortress 2 beta from 17th September.

Orange Box will sell for USD 49.95 on Steam, and pre-purchases will get a 10 percent discount on that price, as well as a free copy of Peggle Extreme.

The compilation release - which consists of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal - is also being produced for Xbox 360 and PS3. The 360 version will launch at the same time (at European retail 12th October) while the PS3 version is due a few weeks later.

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Valve's Gabe Newell

On Orange Box, Steam, Wii controls, next-gen.

Gosh! It seems like only 3 months and 8 days ago that we last sat down for half an hour with Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, which is probably because that was when we last sat down with him. He said lots of things back then, so for our Games Convention chat this past week we were able to skip some of the pleasantries and talk in more depth about Orange Box, Steam, Wii controls and which is better PlayStations or Xboxes. Only kidding. Sort of. Plus we talked about those excellent TF2 movie shorts - have you watched the Soldier one yet? Read on also for Gabe using a swearword, which we think is an exclusive. Enjoy.

Valve narrows down release date

Valve narrows down release date

For EpTwo/TF2/Portal.

Word on the vine of grapes is that Valve has narrowed down Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal's cluster-release to 9th October.

The date comes courtesy of Shacknews, who spoke to Valve about it yesterday. When we popped over last month they were saying October, so it would seem to tally with that.

If the games do emerge on 9th October on Steam and at US retail though, we'd anticipate a wait of a few days before they emerge in UK shops, which traditionally toss out new games on Fridays.

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Valve's Gabe Newell on, well, everything

Episodic, in-game ads, Steam, XBL, EA, you.

Originally published on GamesIndustry.biz, today's wide-ranging interview with Valve co-founder Gabe Newell touches on everything from the decision to extend Half-Life 2 episodically and introduce advertising to online multiplayer game Counter-Strike, to the future of the Steam business and what to expect from the next five years of gaming hardware. It also offers an insight into how Valve is structured, and why the developer believes listening to its customers is paramount to its success.

Remember Adrian Shephard? The star of Half-Life 1 expansion Opposing Force hasn't been seen since, although that hasn't stopped gamers speculating on the future of the US Marine Corporal who found himself caught up in the original Black Mesa research incident that propelled Gordon Freeman to fame.

Portal

I can't go if someone's watching.

Kim Swift gives me performance anxiety. "Now you're thinking with portals," says Portal. Unfortunately I'm not. It's a flaw in Valve's preview approach. Most scenarios in Portal have to be solved by firing a portal entrance and a portal exit at different bits of wall. You then either enter one to exit through the other, or move an object through. And if you can't immediately see what you're meant to do, every second lost to the solution's pursuit gives the invisible man chiselling "dunce" on your pride the chance to add a flourish. By now mine's backlit serif, and twinned with a town in Castilla-La Mancha. Freed of the pressure of having the lead designer sat behind you the entire time you play, you can probably think more clearly. The impossible will be easy. At least to start.

Portal only four hours long

Plenty of time to flummox you.

It won't take forever to finish Valve's Portal, reckons level designer Kim Swift, who guided us through a playable demo of the game at last week's Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Valve embracing DirectX 10

Episode 2 and TF2 to support it.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Team Fortress 2 will both support the advanced functions introduced in Windows Vista's DirectX 10 API.

HL2: Episode 2 in winter

Orange and black box details.

Half-Life 2: Episode 2 today moved one step closer to completion as EA announced a winter (2007/2008) release date for the retail version of the game (last we heard it was summer).

Portal teaser site

Try cracking Aperture Science.

Speaking of Half-Life 2: Episode Two (I just was, you see), some of those Internet men - at 1UP - have uncovered a cryptic teaser site for Portal.

Valve details Leipzig showing

Valve details Leipzig showing

Real-time demos, says Lombardi.

Valve's trio of new titles - Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal - will be shown in real-time at the Leipzig Games Convention.

"We'll have a real-time demo of the games behind closed doors," Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer last night.

"It will not be playable, but will be new, never-before-seen items."

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Episode 2/TF2/Portal at Leipzig

Valve heading to GC 2006.

Valve Software is planning to show off Half-Life 2: Episode Two along with bonus add-ons Team Fortress 2 and Portal at the Leipzig Games Convention.

Half-Life 2 Portal video

See Episode 2 extra in action.

Valve has released a short video demonstrating how Half-Life 2: Episode 2 extra Portal will work - and you can watch it on Eurogamer TV now.