Portal 2′s Final Hours: The Book

By John Walker on May 18th, 2011 at 12:20 am.

I think it's about TF2.

Portal 2: The Final Hours is a digital book about… wait, don’t tell me… no, it’s gone. The book is either called “The Final Hours of Portal 2″ if you believe Valve’s emails, or if you place your trust in Steam it’s called, “Portal 2: The Final Hours”. Will those two ever learn to get along?

It’s a big old thing, absolutely packed with information, interviews, pictures (one so close to his beard you can see what Chet ate for breakfast), videos, audio, interactive photographs, and thoughts on the process. And it’s all slidey and interactive, in a way that books are in films about the future. For £1.50, this seems a decent chunk of information. And you can find out what car Erik Wolpaw drives.

MEN.

The book is written by games journalist Geoff Keighley, who is perhaps most famous for being the only one with a brain in that infamous discussion about Mass Effect on Fox News (below). The book really is just jam-packed with stuff, and it’s even quite fun to play with. It goes into intricate detail about not only the final hours of Portal 2, but the entire history of the game, the developers, their days and routines, Old Man Murray, DigiPen, and on and on and on. I strongly recommend it. Although none of the panorama pics work for me, and the polls don’t seem to be active yet.

Here’s that Keighley video. I still can’t watch to the end, three years on. Once that panel starts it’s either switch it off, or tear my face off.

__________________

« | »

, , , , , .

79 Comments »

  1. el_murph says:

    Was just looking to see if this was out on anything other than the ipad yet. Good stuff.

  2. QualityJeverage says:

    I can’t watch that video either. I need to go punch something (Or someone) after a minute or so.

    EDIT: Boy, that’s a perfect idle frame on the video too. Geoff’s just sitting there wishing he were talking to someone smarter.

    • Hayvic says:

      Typical aggressive behaviour from a gamer.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      @Hayvic

      I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY ELITE GAMER SKILLZ IF YOU DARE TO SUGGEST GAMES CAUSE VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR!

    • Tacroy says:

      @ReV_VAdAUL

      Lemme guess, you’ll WASD him to death? :)

    • edit says:

      My relatively limited exposure to Fox News (in general, not in regards to gaming in particular), and the idea that millions of people get their “news” and a good chunk of their worldview from it, has filled me with so much more murderous rage than any simulated violence ever has. Fox News should be class-actioned for false advertising for using the word “news” to describe their filth. Most mainstream media is pretty depressing, but at times Fox News just makes me want to give up and fricking gut myself.

    • phuzz says:

      @edit
      You know their motto is ‘Fair and Balanced’ right?
      In the UK that would be a breach of the Trades Descriptions Act right there…

      (I prefer to think of Fox as a massive practical joke played on the american people by an aussie, it’s that or beat my head against the wall)

    • arccos says:

      There actually was a lawsuit against Fox News in which Fox argued that they in fact have the right to knowingly lie in their news broadcasts. They won, unfortunately. See here for more info or Google “Fox News right to lie”.

    • Ezhar says:

      This is why the rest of the world thinks americans are stupid. Stop making TV shows that prove us right!

  3. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    My god, that video is making me want to tear my ears off!

    • aerozol says:

      “Look Darlin…” + 1 to getting rid of my ears/ face.

    • godgoo says:

      ‘Greoff..Greoff, I have to refer to the research’ (quotes research that does not relate to the points made by Greg)
      [removes eyes]

  4. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Worth getting just fir the epic photo of Gabe Newell dressed as an Aperture test subject.

  5. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I like Geoff Keighley, he can does the promo stuff on GTTV with dignity intact, which is really hard to do + he knows his stuff.

    • BrendanJB says:

      I cannot stand Geoff Keighley. He knows his stuff, but he sounds like an old cat warbling as it dies a slow, painful death.

    • somini says:

      I like him too, especially after seeing the video for the first time. Despite the fact that Gametrailers is almost a giant advert, their reviews are not that bad, and Bonus Round is actually very interesting.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Having bought and read this extremely expensive posturing magazine article I agree completely with BrendanJB. What a hunk of shit the writing is. Blah diddy blah, let’s take all day turn the most mundane sentence into an uninteresting story so that the reader has to figure out what fact is hiding under all those frilly ribbons of prose. Let’s take a horrible ipad interface and throw it in the way of the content so that you have to scrolllllllll everything for no reason! Let’s interject a bunch of pointless flash toys and stick them in the middle of a sentence!

      The writing is flowery and awful. The layout is so needlessly gimmicky that it makes the content harder to digest. The usability of the application sucks and the clickable hotspots are tiny and frustrating.

      I am fucking pissed off having bought this garbage for $2. I know this digital magazine concept works because EGMi (http://www.egmnow.com/) does it very well. This portal thing is insultingly shitty though. Take my advice and read news from real journalistic sources because this prose is so purple it will turn you into Prince.

    • ADarkHorse says:

      I have to say I totally respect the guy after attempting to make a fair and balanced educated point against a presenter/panel/audience who is so completely blinkered to a real world analysis of the situation. I am appalled at how quickly they cut him off after what I can only presume is their production team realising that their “news” article isn’t being presented in exactly the way they want it to be.

  6. orta says:

    +1 on the iPad book, it’s really good. I read it when Portal came out and it’s been cool to talk about a lot when people wanna talk spoilerific Portal 2 stuff

  7. WASD says:

    £1.49? 10p more and I could buy an animation/gesture for that price in the Portal 2 item store! Decisions, decisions???

    • Kadayi says:

      Buy a life already.

    • fuzzyevil says:

      @Kadayi

      …what?

    • Conor says:

      I applaud you, Kadayi.

    • WASD says:

      @Kadayi; Valve hasn’t started charging for extra lives yet.

    • Kadayi says:

      ‘Valve hasn’t started charging for extra lives yet’

      Who said anything about extra

    • edit says:

      I paid more for a coffee yesterday, yet found this e-book considerably more inspiring.

    • Tatourmi says:

      I CALL BULLSHIT ON YOU!

      Nothing is more inspiring than coffee.

    • kael13 says:

      @Kadayi

      … Might wanna give your sarcasm detector a little tap and check if it’s still working.

    • Kadayi says:

      @kael13

      Check out WASDs Valve rant on the forum

      http://rockpapershotgun.com/rpsforum/topic.php?id=4599

    • WASD says:

      @Kadayi; That thread isn’t a rant, it’s a work of art!
      It helps if you read that ^ in the style of Cave Johnson.
      It helps if you read that ^ in the style of GLaDOS.

    • subedii says:

      So basically you’ve been called out and now you’re being this guy:

      http://files.sharenator.com/Trollface_RE_my_best_troll_yet-s755x1255-123762.png

      Please stop being this guy.

    • subedii says:

      No, for continuously making daft comments whining about Valve even in places where it’s not really relevant, and then trying to pretend it was deliberate trolling on your part instead of being daft.

      It’s not like you’ve obtained a sudden case of amnesia with regards to your posting history so far.

    • Kadayi says:

      “No, for continuously making daft comments whining about Valve even in places where it’s not really relevant, and then trying to pretend it was deliberate trolling on your part instead of being daft.”

      Indeed. The jumping to the ‘I’m all about the satire me’ life raft when the ‘angry gamerz up in arms at Valves day one DLC’ ship sailed over the horizon of the zeitgeist weeks ago (after Valve announced the free Portal 2 DLC), stinks of a certain desperation to laugh off a legitimately cringe-worthy episode on his part. Satire serves a purpose only when it’s relevant.

  8. FunkayM says:

    Wow. Shocked by the Mass Effect clip, which I know is old news, but still… Stunning ignorance on display and all credit to Geoff Keighley for standing up for the game but he was on a hiding to nothing. I feel sorry for the people that look at that clip and automatically reach for the pitchforks and swear an oath to destroy these evil games.
    In other news, the Portal 2 ebook looks really interesting.

  9. Lazaruso says:

    Or, WASD, you could spend all £1.59 on liquor and get so drunk you’re incapable of posting anti-Valve messages.(Is it even possible?)

    • WASD says:

      Anti-Valve messages?

      Where have I posted anti-Valve messages Lazaruso?

    • Stijn says:

      All over the damn site. I can’t view a comments or forum thread remotely Valve-related without you endlessly whining about Valve’s supposed greed and how they sold out and whatnot. Could you please shut up about it? It’s really tiresome and you’re just repeating yourself anyway.

    • WASD says:

      It’s not whining. It’s observational didactic tributary satire, laden with facts.

    • JB says:

      No, no, it’s whining.

    • Kadayi says:

      “It’s not whining. It’s observational didactic tributary satire, laden with facts.”

      The Earth revolving around the sun is a fact, your hysterical doom mongering rants less so.

    • WASD says:

      @Kadayi; Quit whining!

    • godgoo says:

      The irony of this message aside, I urge everyone not to respond to anything WASD posts. Ever.

  10. Leelad says:

    Is it the same as the iPad thing?

    • Matt says:

      Yes. Except you have to touch it with your mouse cursor instead of your fingers.

  11. Ridnarhtim says:

    “Destroy Aperture Science by wiping your fingers over the screen.”

    How will this work on my PC, exactly?

    • WASD says:

      Sounds like a port to me. : )

    • Auspex says:

      No, no, you just have to wipe very firmly. There are some who call it a punch (but not after I’ve wiped their face).

  12. thatman says:

    I love how the woman in the video says “… it is a new role playing videogame” as if she knew what that meant…

  13. Ralud says:

    I lasted 39 seconds, now off to my appointment with Geralt for some proper f#&%ng and gambling.

  14. Mr_Initials says:

    I lasted the entire video but almost stopped with the phrase “begs the question”, the person quoting a “study” that agreed with her opinion, and the woman asking about Atari. Mostly i thought it was hilariously ignorant people pandering to their audience.

  15. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    Stop talking about that video and buy that book thing already.

  16. Hatsworth says:

    Listening to Geoff Keighley in various gametrailers videoes I shouldn’t have watched made me hate him. The things he was saying probably wasn’t written by him, but I can’t help it. Now that I think about it, that defence is not applicable to the interviews. I want this, but I don’t want to give him money. My brain hurts.

    • noclip says:

      The ebook has whiff of that vibe to it but it isn’t drowning in it. I was definitely surprised to see interesting long form reporting from him given the personality he plays in the TV/Gametrailers stuff. I guess having to check his brain at the door is a price he’s willing to pay for access to a mainstream audience.

    • subedii says:

      Dude, Geoff Keighley’s been writing about games for well over a decade now (I linked a couple of articles below if you’re interested).

      And yeah, for the Gametrailers reviews, he doesn’t write them (or at least not all of them IIRC), he just does the voiceover for them. It’s similar with X-Play and their reviews I think.

  17. noclip says:

    It’s a really buggy iPad to Adobe AIR port but worth muddling through the bugs. The article itself is a little too glossy and mainstream for what it claims to be but doubtless worth reading nonetheless.

  18. HexagonalBolts says:

    grrrrrrrrrRAAAAAAAAAAAAARRGHHH.

  19. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Glad to see this released for those of us who haven’t been indoctrinated into the cult of apple yet… more dangerous than scientology people, fight the power.

  20. TheTourist314 says:

    Good lord, I had never seen that video before. I cannot believe these people are allowed to stand in front of a TV and give their opinion so obnoxiously. “I DON’T KNOW NOTHIN’ ABOUT GAMES BUT SEX IS BAD.” Poor guy. If it were me, the rage meter would have just overflowed into my “beat the shit out of people” meter.

  21. Grey_Ghost says:

    ALT Text made me laugh, thank you.

  22. Brumisator says:

    On the topic of mainstream TV “journalism” and portal 2:
    http://kotaku.com/5802908/portal-2-finds-a-way-to-offend

    Orphan jokes, oh noes! Must destroy videgames!

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      I find a certain irony in the fact that the section they pick up on is where [whoops] picks apart [oh, hello]‘s adoption/fatty based childish taunting.

    • arghstupid says:

      The joke gently mocking the mentally ill made me cringe a little, that sort of thing works very well when coming from the mouth of someone you know to be an arsehole (there’s an alan partridge episode that does it brillitantly and there’s a lot of that sort of thing in the office) but it felt a bit tasteless coming from your friendly companion.
      Was much more tame then you get in most prime time standup routines let alone anything you’d hear in comedy clubs tho and whining about the orphan stuff does seem a bit bonkers, considering the context.

    • subedii says:

      I think that you’re sort of right about knowing who it comes from, but I think that’s the point. Wheatley’s supposed to be taken as being a bit stupid, just unintentionally so, and his comments reflect that. He also makes comments about hating to look after smelly humans (and then desperately back-pedalling) and how stupid kids are with their science experiments.

      He’s good natured but quite clearly a bit gormless. He just doesn’t necessarily mean to be.

    • MajorManiac says:

      Yikes that was a little close to the bone. However the WBTV news people “improved” the first video clip of Portal 2 by adding Glados’s response much earlier in the conversation then it actually happens and thus taking it out of context.
      For proof here is the original scene – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SUWirDGJZc&feature=related
      I do get frustrated by how news programs can take things out of context without consequence.

  23. subedii says:

    For those that don’t know, Geoff Keighley actually has a pretty long history with Valve. Apparently one of the first articles he ever wrote was “The Final Hours of Half-Life”, for Gamespot, and then again, “The Final Hours of Half-Life 2″.

    Both of which are also well worth reading (although because the first one’s so old now it’s a bit messed up). And which naturally lead on to him making this one for Portal.

    http://uk.gamespot.com/features/halflife_final/index.html

    http://uk.gamespot.com/features/6112889/the-final-hours-of-half-life-2

    Simplest way to try and read the first one is probably just to hit ctrl-A.

    Since he moved over to Gametrailers he’s also visited Valve as part of the show probably more than any other dev I’ve seen them cover. Maybe something like 3 or 4 times over the course of the series (Gamehead / Gametrailers TV)

    Suffice it to say,Geoff Keighley’s probably a bit of a not-so-secret Valve Uber-fan. :P

    • cytokindness says:

      The ‘Readability’ website fixes up the first page.

    • Donkeydeathtasticelastic says:

      I seriously love stuff like this.

      Masters of Doom was an amazing read about the story if id Software, but for now I haven’t actually played Portal 2, so…

    • djbriandamage says:

      @cytokindness I wish I could ctrl-A this Portal 2 bullshit too. Scrolling might be fun with an iPad but on PC the interface is sheer obnoxiousness.

  24. Reiver says:

    You have to stay to the end though. Otherwise you miss out on classic quotes like “Luke Skywalker meets Debbie does Dallas”. Bioware, you know what quote to put on the ME3 box now!

  25. Oryon says:

    “It’s up to parents to control what their kids are seeing.”
    “It is, unfortunately and it makes my job as a parent a much harder job.”

    What?
    WHAT?
    BRING ME MY RIFLE

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      You don’t understand. They already have to pilot the helicopter.

  26. abigbat says:

    Oh lord, I just watched that flipping video again.

  27. Spliter says:

    Damnit valve! Stop making me spend money every day!

  28. Atic Atac says:

    Just read it and it’s a very engrossing read. Love it. Hope Keighley continues doing stuff like this.

  29. Dogun says:

    This is the most depressing clip I have ever seen. How did they even find 5 people that willfully misinformed? (I say ‘willful’ because there is no way you can construct their narratives without actively seeking out bad information and opinion).

    I really fricking hate Fox.

  30. sassy says:

    Wow that video is stupid. I feel a little dumber just having watched it.

    I can’t not put a list on just how many stupid things I heard

    1- Research shows it’s adolescent teens playing video games and not their dads … I can’t remember the average age of gamers but I believe it’s about 35 right now.

    2- Women are treated as objects of desire … Umm these are presumably male teens you are speaking of, it doesn’t take a game to make them think like that. Not only that but this game is light on sex, I see more just walking on the street for ages the shoe store novo used a naked women with only falling water obstructing viewing of privates, a freaking shoe stores adverts are more graphic then the game). Ignoring that, men are treated the same way as women in the game.

    3- Age verification on website is too easy to get past … a non graphic website isn’t allowed to be easy to access?

    4- Kids will get home and while unsupervised play their fathers video games … valid, except for the placeguards mentioned earlier in the video to prevent that. Not to mention that it takes time to get to any type of sex and if the child saved then they would be caught.

    5- Calling the ESRB out for rating the game M … they think they know better despite openly having admitted they never played it?

    6- Research shows that violence desensitizes people, well sexual situations do too … a study about violence does not mean you can apply the research to any situation “Research shows that violence desensitizes people , well burgers do too”

    7- who can argue that luke skywalker meets debbie does dallas is a good thing? … do I really need to go in to this?

    Bah I could keep going on for a long time on just how stupid this is but I can’t keep going. These people are just opinionated morons that work on nothing but sensationalism.

  31. SpeedyDesiato says:

    You know, that panel had a good point:

    What ever DID happen to Pac-Man?