Gametrailers Interview Erik Wolpaw

Coming soon to a plushie near you.

Gametrailers have a lovely interview with Valve’s Eric Wolpaw, chatting about Portal 2. They cover all the territory you’ve probably already encountered, accompanied by footage you’ve already seen, but it’s succinct, and fun, discussing both the single player and co-op campaigns. And it’s always entertaining to see someone encountering the “G-Man is Gordon from the future” lie for the first time.


  1. ChaK_ says:

    I want HL3 damnit !

    Do you read that valve, we (*cough* I) want something HL related or….or I’ll do bad bad things !!

  2. LewieP says:

    I dunno, I think there are a million more interesting questions he could have asked.

  3. jeremypeel says:

    Hahah, I really like Erik Wolpaw. I’d like to take him out for a pizza and pick his brain.

    Also, it’s pretty tragic that I’ve come to accept that exclusive interviews for most big games I’m interested in will be conducted using exclusively moronic questions.

  4. The Tupper says:

    Without wanting to go over old ground, I reckon that the potetntial for a ‘Citizen Kane’ moment in games that was discussed last week happened when Portal was released.

    I’m actually not that big a fan of either ‘Kane’ or ‘Portal’, but I can see the way that both of them changed their respective artforms fundamentally and irrevocably.

    • Tei says:

      HL1 and HL2 are more influential.
      HL1 got us scripted AI plus decent AI. Also got us that part where the combat has not started.. Probably another world building tool. It also made modding professional (and you can say thats a bad thing).

      HL2 refined and perfected storytelling without cutscenes, with the player free roaming. Also the phis-gun re-introduced the idea of gimmicks as central in a game.

      Portal is influential in super-short games, but that a bad idea. What else? moving the story forward and worldbuilding with graffity? only Valve is following that idea.

      Valve is more influential to himself than other people. Other companies take like 10 years to understand and use effectivelly the lessons that the Valve games make.

    • markcocjin says:


      Portal’s making the environment tell the story is a more enhanced version of what was in Half-Life 2. Portal’s storytelling bits is also carried unto Left 4 Dead’s style of leaving behind signs of a story for people to stumble into and figure out.

      What Portal did was bringing Portals not as a gimmick or a cool way to move from one space to another. Since it’s already been done before, this game gave so much more. Valve and their newly hired showed us a new way to move. It wasn’t flying. It wasn’t walking.

      It was hurtling across space…. with style. It’s like doing better than how Quake players skated and bunny hopped but less stupid looking. Speedy things come in, speedy things come out might sound simple but a physics professor would let you know that such a thing is magnificent.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Mark, rocketjumping has always been cool.

    • jeremypeel says:

      “Portal is influential in super-short games, but that a bad idea.”

      Until recently Tei I would have agreed with you, but what percentage of games you’ve played this year have you actually finished?

      Randy Smith’s been making me wonder about it after this blog.

      link to

      I don’t think he’s entirely right, but I think it’s something that might benefit from being applied on a subjective basis.

  5. panth says:

    That interviewer was annoying

  6. MartinNr5 says:

    Geoff Keighly is not a good interviewer and mostly just ruined the interview if you ask me.

    I’d take Minkley over him a hundred times.

  7. Hides-His-Eyes says:

    The accents, they burn my ears!

  8. Skinlo says:

    I wish gametrailers didn’t get these exclusives, and RPS did.

    They are so annoying with all the loud flashy rubbish, and always lack on the quality questions.

  9. markcocjin says:

    When asked about Cave Johnson, the reply was that he used to be human.

    Digital Cave Johnson confirmed as was leaked two years ago:

    link to

  10. benjamin says:

    Gordon is G-man from the future! I knew it!

    …oh wait, damn.

  11. Vadermath says:

    Hmmmm….am I the only one who doesn’t really want another human character to be in the game? I wouldn’t mind more robotic characters, but a human being present (other than Chell) kinda feels wrong for me. I can’t think of any possible humans except for Johnson and Ratman. Ratman is dead, and Johnson is either in stasis (like Chell), or he had his brain somehow digitally uploaded to a computer (or a robot body). I’d prefer it if he was a computer, but not really a Glados-type computer, something like our PCs, with a gigantic screen with Johnson’s face on it or something.

    • Skinlo says:

      I’m predicting the creator of Apperture Science as a boss fight robot.

  12. anget says:

    God, this interviewer is obnoxious. He comes across as reeally pushy..
    Quit pressuring the guy for plot details! If he doesn’t want to tell you about the cube, stop grilling him!

  13. JB says:

    Whenever I see Mr. Wolpaw in an interview I get an urge to pat him on the head and ruffle his hair. He’s just so……lovable? I dunno.

    Good interview on his side of things, shame someone else needs to go back to interviewer school. Seriously RPS, I have no doubt you guys could do miles better.

  14. dAniel says:

    What would you have asked?
    Also this was the first time I saw that guy… he’s really cool. Somehow really hard to read and I felt like he was constantly analyzing what was said on somer higher level.
    – I believe the question came up already, but why would Gladdos create Robots instead of just runnning a Simulation?

    • Dominic White says:

      Why build robots instead of running simulations? Simple – it’s not real science unless something is either exploding, or at risk of exploding.

  15. somnolentsurfer says:

    Wow, Erik Wolpaw has no ability to resist pressure. If Valve were any other developer he’d be in some PR strategist’s office right now: “Dammit Eric! The answer’s not ‘I can’t tell you. Er… maybe. OK, yes.’ The answer is ‘you threw it in an incinerator burning at 4000 degrees Kelvin. What do you think?'”

  16. Anthony says:

    When I saw the gels I instantly thought of this indie game I couldn’t remember the title of. But I looked it up (the game is Tag: The Power of Paint) and apparently the development team was hired by Valve to work on Portal 2. Should be interesting.

    link to

  17. The Dark One says:

    The way Wolpaw described the relics reminded me a bit of Raz tracking down emotional baggage in Psychonauts.

  18. Quizboy says:

    Everyone should go and read the fragments of text that were revealed as part of the brief viral puzzle/game thing around the time the extra bit of ending was added to Portal. They’re (a) hilarious, and (b) packed with Cave goodness. He was definitely dead, definitely in a computer of some sort and definitely mad as a brush when everything went wrong at Aperture.

    Bets on GLaDOS only being the antagonist until the two of you inadvertently discover and wake AI Cave, who wants his company back, leading to our heroine having to form a shaky alliance with her callous, silent murderer. He’s so central to those text tidbits I don’t believe for a second he’s not a major part of the game.

    • Merzbau says:

      Where can we find these?

    • Quizboy says:

      Oops, yeah, stupid of me to go on about it and not link the thing: scroll down to the BBS Resouce List bit. Most are screenshots or bits of art, but there are four fragments of text from Cave. The first one is partly re-used from markcocjin’s link to the script leak from a casting call a couple of years ago, where Cave goes on a bit further about the inky digital void in which he now finds himself, the others are new. And mental.

  19. Eric says:

    Nice to hear some stuff about the game, but Geoff Keighly is a terrible interviewer and was pretty much being a dick for a good third of it.

    Asking him to name “the phrase everyone will be saying”? Seriously? Why would you even do that?

    • Eric says:

      Ugh – I paused the video to post that… watching the rest of it, it gets even worse. Just the most awkward and pointless badgering.

      Please give his job to somebody else.

  20. Thiefsie says:

    where is all this backstory from portal coming from?