This is a triumph.

No… not really.

Portal requires a ton of lateral thinking in creating the levels and the puzzle. I gotta say it was incredibly challenging and fun to try and dream up one. Not only that, the established aesthetic style allows for a lot less thinking in terms of trying to give the place a decent look. But man, what started as somewhat cool and difficult puzzles get incredibly streamlined through play-testing.

I like my first room a lot better than my second room. It feels a lot more portal like in the use of the basic puzzles and some lateral thinking that might get some people on initial play throughs. It’s not entirely difficult just a little different. Interestingly, this room I manage to cobble together in about a night, sans all the polishing and decals. A couple more days for some changes to the playtest. For instance, that window in the center wasn’t there previously, but players didn’t know what the 2nd level button (not pictured) did. So I moved it around and showed that the button lowered a block on the ceiling. Added indicator lights to make the point. If anything, the window makes the room look nicer.

The room originally started with the idea of playing around with the physics of the boxes. This particular room is inspired by map that can be found on myaperturelabs, Boxytricky to be exact. It took some work to get the drop right. A note on playing with physics in source; it almost always doesn’t work out like you imagine it to be. Sometimes it does, and you get to fling boxes with a satisfying tinkle through glass.

Like this puzzle. But when the physics doesn’t work the way you want it, you get this.

It took me the better part of a week just to get the numbers of the pulley weight system right. No wait… scratch that. I never got it right. Had to jury-rigged a solution based on an excellent suggestion by Kian Boon. Man, if I know to do that earlier, I possibly could have spent more time working on making a bigger level, or coming up with more puzzles. But after messing around with the physics, I got seriously fatigued. Before this, I was also using spheres, because they had a smaller footprint. But those are incredibly unpredictable in their bounce and control. It was tedious, even after a whole mess of practice.

I’ll probably try to make more portal levels later, especially once Portal 2 comes out.


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