Portal 2 Summer Mapping Initiative Winners

I wonder what Excursion Funnels taste like. Blood, probably
Ah, summer. The lazy days, the warm breezes, the gigantic storm clouds, rain showers and lightning storms ravaging the local area. You know, I think I’d be better off staying inside. But that’s alright, because the Portal 2 Summer Mapping Initiative winners have been announced! Or rather, one winner and two plucky runner ups have been chosen from the 280 entries into the grand map-making competition for the well-received physics-bending puzzler. Who’s it going to be? Drumroll, please…


First Place: Patent Pending by Ebola

Second Place: Infinifling by MrTwoVideoCards (oooh, get you)

Runner Up: Edifice by Omnicoder

They each win bags of lovely Aperture Science themed swag for their troubles, the talented trio. We’ll give the maps a go tonight and see which is Best.

If you’re looking at All The Stuff! with jealous eyes, then maybe you’d like to give the other compo a shot? Much like Valve’s earlier Midnight Riders promotion for Left 4 Dead 2, the second competition is to make the best music video to accompany The National’s soulful Exile Vilify, the featured song from Portal 2. The contest closes on July 15th, and there’s more loot up for grabs including a real-life guitar signed by The National, so break out the camcorders and get filming! In fact, we’ll have a roundup of the better entries in a future post.

For comparison, here are the winners of the Midnight Riders competition.

Protip: Don’t make the Exile Vilify one like these.


  1. Stinkfinger75 says:

    I’ve played a ton of Left 4 Dead 2 but never have I heard most of the quotes in the first Midnight Riders video. Where do they come from?

  2. Vandelay says:

    Ah, good to hear that Portal 2’s mapping community is already in gear. Will try a these tonight.

    As an aside I’ve been replaying Portal 2 with the Razer Hydra and been enjoying it very much. I know the naysayers will stick with the mouse, but it does work very well, after the initial learning curve. It’s not so great in games that just have a profile, particular FPSs, but with the true support Portal 2 offers it is a nice alternative. I would certainly choose it over a pad.

    • steviesteveo says:

      My view of the Hydra was always that it was better than playing with a mouse and keyboard but that it takes a lot to be $140 better. It’s more the basic economic problem than naysaying for me.

  3. Matt_W says:

    The instructions for how to actually play the custom maps are hilarious. Like, you need a computer science degree to do it. Not sure why Valve, whose commercial success is due in no small part to its modding community, wouldn’t just make this easy. Portal seems like the perfect game to unleash the levelords or the world on.

    • Dominic White says:

      The instructions include ‘Put map in maps directory’ and ‘open console and type ‘Map *mapname*’. If you can’t figure that out, you’re probably not the sort to be downloading third-party levels.

    • skinlo says:

      Its very simple??

    • Xocrates says:

      You can just place the files in the right place and double click the map file though

    • wazups2x says:


      Have you ever use it a PC before? This is nothing hard. Simply download the file and place in folder.

      Actually, I think since it a VPK you can just download file and double click the file. It should install itself like it does with L4D.

    • Matt_W says:

      Ah yes, I had a momentary lapse and forget the vituperative nature of gaming forums (link to penny-arcade.com). Oh people so much smarter than me, what would I do without your derision. My point was that “download map, find game folder in obscure location, copy map there, start game, set obscure console option, start console, type command” is not exactly an intuitive or easy way for the game to provide access to custom maps. Unlike you smart-asses, apparently, I can actually imagine how those instructions might sound to someone who is not a 10th level black belt in PC-game-installation arcana. The standard for most games these days (c.f. LBP, for instance) is more like “start-up in-game map browser, select map, play.” I personally think that making quality PC games impenetrable to outsiders is bad for PC gaming, but that’s just me.

    • Donjonson says:

      It’s really not that hard though, I don’t know much about computers but I was able to follow the instructions.. and then when it worked I felt like a 10th level black belt in PC-game-installation arcana, hopefully some pleb will stumble along soon, so I can pour derision on them :)

    • Mo says:

      Totally agree Matt. Really, the whole process should involve: (1) downloading a file, (2) double-clicking said file, (3) having fun.

      Comments like “If you can’t figure that out, you’re probably not the sort to be downloading third-party levels” should not even happen. Imagine if downloading and opening a Word doc was this difficult?

    • Kaira- says:

      Being forced to open maps via console in this day and age is just stupid. Hell, it was stupid back in the 90s.

    • choie says:

      Am I missing something? I’m incredibly far from an expert PC tinkerer, but all I had to do was a) copy file to the steamapps folder, then b) doubleclick the “play Patent Pending” icon. No console commands whatsoever. Are some of the other map contest entries different?

    • Matt_W says:

      I’ve never tried it, so I’m glad it’s actually easier than that. I was going off the instructions on Valve’s contest webpage:

      In case you’re not sure how to check out the winning maps, here are the instructions:

      1) Download the map file from ThinkingWithPortals.com.
      2) Open up the .ZIP file after it has downloaded.
      3) Find the location of your Portal 2 installation on Steam. This is most typically found under:
      Windows PC users: C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\steamapps\common\portal 2\maps.
      Mac users: ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/common/Portal 2/portal2/maps
      Note that your installation location may vary, depending on your initial install directory.
      4) Copy the .BSP file located in the downloaded file to the directory above.
      5) Start Portal 2
      6) In the game’s main menu, select “Options->Keyboard and Mouse”
      7) Set Allow Developer Console to Enabled
      8) Press the tilde (~) key to access the console
      9) Type map “mapname here”
      10) Solve the puzzle!

    • Jahkaivah says:

      While it is true that Portal 2 lends itself very well to custom map content and Valve should do more to promote said content and make it accessible from the game (maybe make it so you can download and play Valve approved maps from the in game menu). Claiming that console commands is complicated stuff that requires computer science degrees is none the less rather amusing.

    • Matt_W says:

      Claiming that console commands is complicated stuff that requires computer science degrees is none the less rather amusing

      I certainly hope so:

      –noun Rhetoric .
      1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.
      2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

    • Jahkaivah says:

      I had taken your hyperbole into account.

    • steviesteveo says:

      I think Matt_W’s main problem, rather than forgetting the “vituperative nature of gaming forums”, is forgetting that you shouldn’t assume everyone is as ignorant as you.

  4. airtekh says:

    Been waiting for new maps since I finished the single-player.

    I love me some Portal.

  5. Brumisator says:

    Apparently I’m not a complete moron, since I managed to finish “Infinifling” quickly enough.
    Then how come I’m hopelessly stuck 3 seconds into “Edifice”?

    • Xocrates says:

      Infinifling was fairly easy, though still rather clever. Patent Pending was often really clever and quite enjoyable, but so far Edifice has not been to my liking (although I only finished the first room at this moment)

    • LTK says:

      Bad design. It’s not clear that there are portal surfaces on the walls adjacent to the door. I only found out after some haphazard portaling everywhere. The rest of the puzzles have pretty obscure solutions as well, at some points I was using cube-flinging to cheat because I couldn’t figure it out. I got the right solution the second time around, though.

    • Vandelay says:

      Ediface was the first I tried and enjoyed it enough. It didn’t feel quite as clever as the other two, but it certainly required a little bit of thought. Didn’t take me very long to complete to be honest; perhaps I just got lucky.

      Infinifling was great. What initially looks incredibly daunting all fits together very nicely. Very simple and only a single chamber, but a great one.

  6. Outright Villainy says:

    Odd that this hasn’t been released in an update, considering how often tf2 updates. The map sizes are hardly outrageously big or anything.

    Why can’t I download it myself?
    Well, I… play it on PS3.

    I’m going to get lynched now, aren’t I?

    • Edawan says:

      But if you have the PS3 version, you should also have the PC version, right ?

    • Vandelay says:

      I might have imagined this, but wasn’t one of the big things with Portal 2’s PS3 release access to custom maps?

    • Delusibeta says:

      As DLC, perhaps. Certainly no mention of the PS3 supporting maps fresh out of Hammer.

  7. LimeWarrior says:

    Great stuff!

    Patent Pending: Good design, challenging but not difficult puzzles.

    Infinifling: Easy. Used the same puzzle mechanics as Portal 2, but still good fun.

    Edifice: Once you get past the bewildering nature of the first 3 seconds, this map is brilliant. The puzzles are lean and mean, difficult to solve. I loved the challenge.

    These community maps are exactly the challenge I wanted out of the Valve Portal 2 maps. Now I feel like I have a more complete game.