Portal 2 Map Creator Trailer Is Wonderful, Has Squids

I think we've all had days where we feel like this.
Once Valve gets around to releasing its magical future goggles, I’m hoping it’ll just start constantly beaming clever trailers for its games straight to my eyeballs. Between TF2’s “Meet The ___” series and Portal’s cavalcade of comedic excellence, I could spend all the rest of my days awkwardly cackling to myself on buses, in restaurants, and while committing the most unforgivable crime of them all: wearing sunglasses at night. Everyone will hate me and take tremendous pleasure every time I stumble blindly into low-hanging signs or taller-than-ordinary children. Which brings us to Valve’s latest bit of advertorial brilliance: the story justification for the Perpetual Testing Initiative, as narrated by Aperture founder Cave Johnson.

It’s out on May 8. I want to be a giant squid monster. And in the game. So then, does this balance out the immaterial trailer forces of the universe after yesterday’s somewhat regrettable showing from Ubisoft?


  1. Dawlight says:

    Hilarity aside, I’m going to take the last few seconds of this trailer as an accurate representation of the final product that is the new editor. That is one slick-ass looking level editor.

    • DrScuttles says:

      Garry Newman tweeted a link to a youtube video of the editor in action, and yes, that’s exactly what it looks like.
      I tried Hammer or Worldcraft or whatever it was years ago, got scared and ran away. But this looks great.

      • hench says:

        Looks neat. Hopefully they’ll update Hammer with CS:GO. It’s such a primitive tool to work with.

      • Domino says:

        New working link, for the time being :) Press release is out tomorrow anyway. link to youtube.com

        • Richeh says:

          Hah, I love the honesty of the video; “we just simply add a laser, compile and… it, uh, doesn’t work because there’s a little more to it than that.”

          “It’s a bit rough for a commercial map, you wouldn’t want to make a game out of it, but it’s great for jotting ideas down.”

          All brilliantly honest, nothing anyone could reasonably hold against it, but I think also not something a commercial company, even Valve, would put in a real public communique. Which is a bit of a shame.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Slick maybe, but that slickness looks like it will come with a heavy price, the price being flexibility.

      • LTK says:

        You are building test chambers from a collection of square panels and puzzle assets. How much flexibility are you going to expect?

      • fitzroy_doll says:

        Even for serious creators this will be useful for rapid-prototyping ideas and level layouts. Looks very handy.

        • subedii says:

          Indeed. And you can load up the levels in Hammer after that as well.

          Seriously, this is a Good Thing.

          • jon_hill987 says:

            Ah, I didn’t realize they had released Hammer with Portal 2 support yet, that being the case the lack of flexibility in this does not matter.

          • dsi1 says:

            You’re missing out then, just a couple weeks after release there were some insane custom maps released.

            I remember one using world portals to do physics defying stuff.

      • LionsPhil says:

        But that’s fine, because if there’s one kind of game that can thrive with sort-of-cubey-tile-based mapping, it’s the puzzler.

        I suspect you won’t be able to make behind-the-scenes overgrown maps, or at least make them well, but for chambers it should be pretty great.

      • Bhazor says:

        Theres definitely a loss of control. My fear is that this will lead to a Little Big Planet problem where because everyone can make a map you end up with millions of the fuckers and the good ones are outnumbered 10,000 to 1.

        But it’s good they’re finally getting rid of the Hammer tools or what ever they were called. Those were getting really outdated.

        • Donjo says:

          Accessibility comes at a price I suppose, but a vast amount of maps isn’t an expensive one :) Hammer tools haven’t been got rid of, it will still be necessary to open maps in Hammer to fine tune.

        • RobF says:

          I wouldn’t say it’s a problem with LBP, it’s awesome. I love that I might stumble into “my first map” or “here’s something I did for my kid” or “because I can” things.

          If you want the best of the best, that’s what the curated picks are for. But man, no. Not a problem. It’s amazing what some people are doing there.

          • Phantoon says:

            yeah, like the dude that built a working calculator off rotary wheels

      • nibbling_totoros says:

        How could this possibly be MORE flexible? Telepathy?

        • Xocrates says:

          You understood it in reverse. Flexibility being a price means it’s LESS flexible, but MORE slick.

          • Phantoon says:

            His ability to understand things in a linear fashion was an expense for his telepathy.

        • Geen says:

          Tentacles. They ARE pretty flexible.

  2. airtekh says:

    ‘Meet the Pyro’, bottom of the screen at 1:12 ?

    • Dawlight says:

      I think you may actually be correct. Unless anyone else can think of some other Valve-related character or thing that spews fire toward the sky in a flamethrowery fashion.

    • CheesyJelly says:

      Yeah – that matches the still from the video they’ve got on the TF2 site.

  3. Syra says:

    lol there’s so clearly one guy watching porn around 1.17

    • Skabooga says:

      Ha ha! It’s the realistic touches that really make it shine.

      • Phantoon says:

        Yes, and there’s the guy with the massive diamond from one of the earlier videos too!

        • droid says:

          Not to mention the diamonds produced as waste by the corner cutting machine. But since that’s not its primary purpose they just let them fall to the floor.

          Correction: It has a rack of diamonds that it cuts with, it replaces the cutting diamond after each cut.

  4. Mr. Mister says:

    Okay, thisn is the first time I’ve seen such a magnificient icnlusion of the map building tools into the lore.
    Oh, silly multiverse…

  5. Tran says:

    Some of the best stuff in the trailer was actually the text in the bottom left that you need squint *really* hard at in some cases

    • Dawlight says:

      “This is not a dramatization. An Earth where mollusks have created an advanced land-based society with wholly inappropriate bipedal keyboards is guaranteed to exist.”

      • LTK says:

        I was just about to point that same tidbit out. This stuff is hilarious.

        • Phantoon says:

          I’m convinced all comedic genius comes from both ex-members of Old Man Murray.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Have you noticed that the octopus-aperture has different door logos?

    • lurkalisk says:

      Percentage of peanut dust in atmosphere: 34%

      Sounds fun.

  6. Howling Techie says:

    People have been analysing the video and the clip on one of the monitors is a clip of meet the pyro (it’s the same part of the video where Valve got the preview shot from that they use on the TF2 website), and that is clearly an Octopus!
    But otherwise, I look forward to searching through hundreds of terrible maps to find the occasional good ones.

  7. Inigo says:

    So how long has Danny Elfman been working at Valve?

  8. Drake Sigar says:

    I’m gonna’ bust out and find me a nice Japanese girl.

  9. Tei says:

    In Steam theres the 1920×1080 version of this video :D

    I hope this is really a isometric builder, I think Doom2 as a simplisted map builder too, but that was literally ages ago.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      There’s a 1920×1080 version on Youtube too. :D

    • soldant says:

      Doom 2 was sector-based, not true 3D geometry (i.e. no rooms over rooms or floating platforms) so you could have a really simple, grid-and-line-based map editor. That goes for all the sector games (except DN3D which did have limited room-over-room support, but it was a rendering trick). The problem with things like Portal (or going back as far as Quake) is that you have true 3D geometry, so the map editor now becomes a lot more complex.

      This new one is great, but as others have said it’s not going to be as full featured as Hammer. Which is expected, but I also wish they’d rip the heart out of Hammer and make something that doesn’t suck.

  10. Ergates_Antius says:

    Has squids?

  11. UnravThreads says:

    That’s an octopus, not a squid.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Indeed. Shame on RPS for disrespecting octopodes in this manner.

    • Crane says:

      Ya know what kinda man can tell the diff’rence ‘tween an octopus and a squid?
      That’s right, a ceph-lover.
      Ya like those godless, rubbery tentacles, do ya?

      Break his arms and legs, boys!

      • westyfield says:

        Sorry bud, but octopuses have arms, not tentacles.

        • Ravenholme says:

          And squid technically have two tentacles and 6 arms.

          • emertonom says:

            Actually squid have two tentacles and *eight* arms. A total of 10 noodly appendages.

        • Geen says:

          And one of the “tentacles” happens to be his ****.

    • Srethron says:

      That’s no octopus. It’s a space station.

  12. RagingLion says:

    “Look at that sad little octopus .. huha.”

    I want that to become a new meme. I just don’t know in what context it could get widespread usage.

    • marcusfell says:

      In reference to a commenter who is clearly wrong/confused?

    • vivlo says:

      i do promise to try.

    • kud13 says:

      “L-l-l-look at you, octopus. A pathetic creature of hemocoel and tentacles, scuttling through my test chambers. How can you challenge a perfect, deadly neurotoxin dispensing machine?

      here’s my attempt

  13. Suits says:

    One dude with a censored monitor :o and apparently you can create maps with one hand

    • Dozer says:

      By bashing your hand repeatedly on the keyboard, no less. I think I’ll use that technique to write comments fvdbd sfrewsbsdfer3wbvde fb rdeebg fbv

      • Mistabashi says:

        I’m fairly sure bashing your appendages on a keyboard is how 70% of the internet was made.

        • identiti_crisis says:

          “Mr. Bashy” sounds like a pet name for just such an appendage… : P

          • caddyB says:

            oıoıhhıfgıy8hıoşlmouıp8976fbjlşy80mşl0yh8hv llıugvobyxırsze5uguobğkpşml pg7y7dt5xsrue

  14. Tuskin38 says:

    haha, the disclaimer at the bottom left during the “How it Works” part

    “This is not a dramatization. An Earth where sea mollusks have created an advanced land-based society with wholly inappropriate bipedal based keyboards is guaranteed to exist”

  15. Big Murray says:

    That … is a very sweet looking level editor.

    They’re obviously delivering on their promise to update Hammer into something less painful than having root canal surgery. I’m just worried that it’ll lose a lot of the functionality in the process. If it has a friendly UI interface while having options to go deep into the mechanics of it … I’ll be a very happy bunny. And also hoping that they’d roll it out to all Source games.

    • identiti_crisis says:

      I may be wrong, but I don’t think that this editor is intended to supplant Hammer (I still have to stop myself from calling it Worldcraft.) There’s a video further up the comments where a beta tester opens up his creation in Hammer; I guess the idea, for serious modders / mappers, is to use the new editor to prototype puzzles and spaces and then fine tune and optimise everything in Hammer.

      Hopefully Hammer can be “updated”, too, without losing any flexibility. That’s a bit more involved, though.

  16. Doomsayer says:

    Only a matter of time until someone gets a Portal 2 level to be a computer.

    • LTK says:

      You know, even in a game that doesn’t consider itself to be a sandbox, I think it might even be possible.

    • Skabooga says:

      I’m envisioning a series of launching pads and cubes, or maybe lasers and laser activators.

      • LionsPhil says:


        Turrets. The sound of Science is “aaaaAaaa*dakkadakkadakka*AAAaAaAAA”.

      • emertonom says:

        Lasers sound simplest. Lasers A and B are outputs and are refracted or reflected (I forget quite how they operate–it’s been a few months) to aim in the same direction. Laser detectors A’ and B’ activate doors, or platforms, or what-have-you to in some way reversibly block lasers A and B. That makes a NAND gate; perform induction at your leisure.

        It’d be way harder to do with dispensers of blocks or turrets, aerial faith plates to redirect, pressure plates and what not. You’d have to worry about getting the blocks back off the pressure plates, and avoiding the streams colliding, and synchronizing clocks, and all sorts of stuff.

        It might be more awesome, however.

  17. PopeJamal says:

    Valve has been in dire need of a new editor for years. Spend more than five minutes in UDK for a comparison, and you’ll wonder why anyone would still consider using Hammer.

    I’m pretty sure this also coincides with their “teaching kids physics stuff with portal” initiative. Good stuff!

  18. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    Puchasing Portal II on May 8.

  19. Ravenholme says:

    Valve make me so, so happy.

    That video left me grinning

  20. CptSqweky says:

    0:55 – Soylent Green is made of Lobster!