Portal is AWESOME!

Completely off-topic, but Valve just finally released the Orange Box yesterday (and of course being a HUGE fan of the HL series I pre-ordered it long ago) and it comes with a game called Portal (see video here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=GWzmL05OlYA) and it’s an extremely well-done game.  I just beat it, but the utilization of physics, creative problem solving, graphics, and hilarious game-play makes it right up to the level of game-play you can expect from Valve’s game.  I’d highly recommend it.

I really thing as independent developers we can really learn a lot of this type of creative game.  It really would be relatively simple to reproduce the basic premise of problem solving using physics.

Anyway, I know this sounds like a big-time advertisement, and no I don’t get any money from sales of the game, but I just wanted to share my impressions on it. :slight_smile:

i agree. portal is ingenious.

Why do I remember playing portal like a year or more ago…?

yeah why do you? i don't even remember what i did yesterday…

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

It is the more interesting idea I've ever seen in game design history.

renanse said:

Why do I remember playing portal like a year or more ago...?

Maybe because the video has been around about that long? :o

No, I think it is because I played a student project they based it off of.  (see Narbacular Drop: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narbacular_Drop)

Very cool, I had never seen that before.

Nuclear Monkey software?!  :-o

Maybe there's a potential merger with jMonkey Engine in the works?!

Awesome to see that those same people got the chance to go work for a great gaming company and bring something like that to a huge audience.  Sweet.

renanse said:

No, I think it is because I played a student project they based it off of.  (see Narbacular Drop: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narbacular_Drop)

the makers of portal ARE these students.

I'm guessing Valve had one or two other people working on it as well.  :wink:

2005 - Narbacular Drop

2006 - Prey (portals were  shown in use in its 1997 showcase)

2007 - Portal (started 2005)

It has been done in pre-1997 games, but visually it has never been compelling till lately.

Duke Nukem 3d had many bugs in its map maker, some which were taken advantage of to make portals.  I recall they did it by mixing a camera with a mirror surface and a regular teleporter.  So I view this as an old idea thats only gonna get better.

I also had a teacher show us portals way back in 2002, using the stencil buffer.  Rendering to a texture is definitely the 'better' way to go about it tho (like in Prey).  Also, OpenGL has a few advantages for directx for doing portals, can't really recall why tho, probably the frame buffer object, and the ease of RTT in OpenGL.

Tech demo (stencil buffering):


Portal wrench-mod:


A very 'spartan' portal Halo mod:


Prey portal demo from 1998… notice they HAD portal spawning mines:


For my space game I have been envisioning a spherical portal that once you enter it, the wrapped RTT around the sphere morphs to match your square screen.  So from afar it looks like a distortion, like a crystal ball seeing into another world.  With mainly stars for background the portal would be less noticeable unless their was a huge disparity in their environment or simple viewing angle with a planet or whatnot in view.  Then for the man made ones I was gonna have spinning rings around the sphere, which then align so that you can enter through it.  The view from the other end of the man made portal should be damn interesting when the rings are spinning.  I figured quick and easy way to spawn the portals would simply be to enlarge them from a point.  Then I was thinking that large ships might have to have tools to widen the portals, for example a beam that strikes the spherical portal then splits and spreads around the surface (probably along the vertexs), should look damn cool from both ends.

If you looked at a portal as a ship came through it on the opposite side of the portal, you'd see the interior of the ship (that'll be fun to program).  And if the portal collapses while a battleship is half in/half out… then the ship would be split, with a spherical portion of the ship completely gone.

Probably just use a regular plane RTT portal in the beginning, but I think spherical is the way to go, maybe even abstract shapes later on.

Cool, the "Prey portal demo from 1998" was really interesting to watch.

It took a while to develop, but its really a cool game.

yes - but the portals were never really used for something else than a teleport.

I love the credits song XD … I finished it this morning.

Yeah, even if the game sucked the ending would make it all worthwhile. :slight_smile:

The Portal song is pretty cool :slight_smile:


with a program called GCFScape you can extract the Portal soundtracks from the .gcf files.

also very very very cool: Portal as a Flash Game

that's funny. :slight_smile:

GCFScape reminds me of .net framework. :frowning:

I actually played the Portal Flash Game before I played the actual game :wink:

will i receive anything if i get all achievements?