Valve will make it easier to create, download Portal 2 test chambers

By on October 28, 2011, 6:00 PM

Although Portal 2's witty humor and slick co-op gameplay captivated gamers earlier this year, many players criticized the title's length. Fortunately, Valve has vowed to deliver polished downloadable content (one co-op add-on was released earlier this month). What's more, the company released Portal 2's authoring tools earlier this year, allowing the community at large to produce custom puzzles for fellow gamers.

So far, folks have created more than 700 puzzles. While that's considered a fantastic success, many aspiring modders have complained that the toolkit is too complicated to use. Likewise, many gamers have said it's too difficult to find and play the community-generated test chambers. In response to that feedback, Valve plans to resolve both problems in a future update -- though we haven't seen a specific release date.

Valve will supply the masses with a puzzle creator that offers "simplified" but "powerful" controls. The company didn't offer many specifics on the new authoring tools, but it did post two screenshots that resemble the cutesy visual style seen in Portal 2's promotional videos. After designing puzzles with the refined toolset, modders will be able to upload their creations directly to their Steam Cloud and share them with others.

You'll be able to find and rate puzzles quickly, and you'll be able to add them to your game with one click. "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," the Portal 2 team writes.




User Comments: 5

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yorro said:

User created content is always great.

JasAce said:

This is GREAT news! Anytime a company allows user made maps or mods to be created, it really extends the length of a game from months to sometime years.

I'm still playing an 11 year old mod from Quake3 called Urban Terror, hehe. So I'm living PROOF! :P

PinothyJ said:

JasAce said:

This is GREAT news! Anytime a company allows user made maps or mods to be created, it really extends the length of a game from months to sometime years.

I'm still playing an 11 year old mod from Quake3 called Urban Terror, hehe. So I'm living PROOF! :P

Valve have allowed you to make Portal 2 maps from before the game was even available to buy so this is a farce. It will allow more people to make crappy, unoptimised content that will lack any of the subtle complexities that can be created with the current tools.

FTL...

StrayEagle said:

pinothyj said:

Valve have allowed you to make Portal 2 maps from before the game was even available to buy so this is a farce. It will allow more people to make crappy, unoptimised content that will lack any of the subtle complexities that can be created with the current tools.

FTL...

I think your underestimating what valve can do. The tool that they release may be better then the current one for creating maps.

They only said that they were releasing an optimised tool for map creation anyway. You can probably still use the old tool if you want.

Guest said:

I tried out the current tools and my main complaint is the navigation controls.

As someone who uses Autodesk Maya and ZBrush, I found that navigating through the scene was not intuitive at all.

For example, In Maya

Roll = Alt+Left click and drag

Pan = Alt+Middle click and drag

Zoom = Alt+Right click and drag.

Not to mention the pivoting of the first person camera is very disorienting to me.

Also, I hope they make it easy/possible to import obj files. I couldn't find any plugins to help me with this. I can model/sculpt, UV map and texture in Maya and ZBrush, then import them into the level.

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