Portal 2 ARG Unleashes Flood of Concept Art

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Portal 2 ARG Unleashes Flood of Concept Art

Valve's confounding Portal 2 ARG has at least given us one thing we can understand: dozens of gorgeous concept art images.

The alternate reality game Valve is currently running for Portal 2 is incredibly dense. It involves mysteries hidden in 13 Steam games from the "Potato Sack" bundle along with a series of emails sent by Gabe Newell. Trying to understand it right now is like trying to understand why dogs have tails. Thankfully, those of us without brains like Sherlock Holmes can still enjoy one aspect that has come out of it: concept art.

These dozens of images were siphoned out of secret login screens found in the Potato Sack games. The art shows alternate Portal 2 covers, new outfits and looks for Portal main character Chell, concept art for Portal 2's co-op bots (and other bots), and scenes from Aperture in addition to what look like motivational posters that would have been placed around Aperture's HQ.

Here's the Portal 2 cover art:

And Chell:

The robots:

And finally, Aperture:

Who knows if this is really concept art, or part of the ARG, or just created to mess with fans, but it's cool nonetheless. I really want to know what that giant chicken is all about.

Portal 2 will be available on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on April 19.

Source: Valve ARG Wiki

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This looks really neat. I actually got to play a couple of levels of Portal 2 the other day, and I'm super excited for the release.

thenumberthirteen:
This looks really neat. I actually got to play a couple of levels of Portal 2 the other day, and I'm super excited for the release.

O.O
HOW?

God, this is such a awesome thing to do for Portal 2, imagine what they'll do for Episode 3's release! I'm expecting something like Gordon Freeman's face ectched into the surface of the moon with a giant LASER.

HankMan:

thenumberthirteen:
This looks really neat. I actually got to play a couple of levels of Portal 2 the other day, and I'm super excited for the release.

O.O
HOW?

It involved an awful lot of rope and a chisel.

Actually there was a demo at Kapow Comic Con in London last weekend. It was only 2 levels, but I got to see a couple of the new features like the Arial Faith Plates. GladOs was still her usual snarky self.

Beautiful. Definitly prefer some of this concept art for the box cover to what they're using.

Tremendous. I like the fat robot with the red belly button best.

in the words of Kaylee
look at all the Pretty!!!

icyneesan:
God, this is such a awesome thing to do for Portal 2, imagine what they'll do for Episode 3's release! I'm expecting something like Gordon Freeman's face ectched into the surface of the moon with a giant LASER.

0.o
Now if they don't do this, I'm going to be pissed!

The 10th image of the Aperture series has two typos in the text. Intentional? Good show, Valve.

That is one giant chicken!

thenumberthirteen:

HankMan:

thenumberthirteen:
This looks really neat. I actually got to play a couple of levels of Portal 2 the other day, and I'm super excited for the release.

O.O
HOW?

It involved an awful lot of rope and a chisel.

Actually there was a demo at Kapow Comic Con in London last weekend. It was only 2 levels, but I got to see a couple of the new features like the Arial Faith Plates. GladOs was still her usual snarky self.

I spent a while waiting for a guy to finish, and in the end gave up. I was surprised that it was meshed in with the other games, I was expecting it to have it's own little section, similar to what Operation Flashpoint had.

Instead it got stuck with Cars 2 O.o

OT: Some of that box-art is brilliant. Way better than what they actually stuck with.

Personally I'd be happy with box art that is similar to the original's but with more color or something. All of those extra shapes and needless diagrams seem too complicated.

Also, why is there concept art for Chell? She already has a design and a ragdoll in Garry's Mod. Even her ankle braces look fine, though some of the art looks really interesting.

Invariel:
The 10th image of the Aperture series has two typos in the text. Intentional? Good show, Valve.

That image had 3 typos. Tomorrow had an extra 'M', and too had only one 'O'. Aperture Science had an extra A. Two of them needed to cut down on half of the overused letters, one had to put in a letter.

2 cut downs. Or HALF.

3 typos.

Half Life 2 Episode 3.

Now I'm really getting paranoid about this whole ARG thing.

...That gallery of cover art is so much better than the one I saw on Steam... Especially the eye ones and the one with panels that make me think of Magritte. Why didn't they go with either of those?

It appears artists came up with some really hideous costume ideas for Chell...and apparently wanted to change her race. I'm glad that they finally settled on the Michelle Rodriguez look.

PS:

I wonder how much the box art artist at Valve earns. I mean, he/she just needs to put out like one piece of work ever few years. Lulz.

Jonny49:

thenumberthirteen:

HankMan:

O.O
HOW?

It involved an awful lot of rope and a chisel.

Actually there was a demo at Kapow Comic Con in London last weekend. It was only 2 levels, but I got to see a couple of the new features like the Arial Faith Plates. GladOs was still her usual snarky self.

I spent a while waiting for a guy to finish, and in the end gave up. I was surprised that it was meshed in with the other games, I was expecting it to have it's own little section, similar to what Operation Flashpoint had.

Instead it got stuck with Cars 2 O.o

OT: Some of that box-art is brilliant. Way better than what they actually stuck with.

I know. You could easily have missed it. When I first saw it I thought it was Portal 1 because there was so little fuss. I mean there was LEGO Batman in the same line of XBoxes which came out years ago. I would have really loved some Portal Swag like I got from Red River (T Shirt and Badges).

Though it was an unexpected highlight of the convention.

Just an FYI. A lot of these images contain secret second images which you can find using photoshop. Those images are of various locations in Seattle. People found the locations IRL and when you map all of them out using google maps it (mostly) spells the word PRELUDE. Thats actually what the state of the ARG is at the time of writing.

Sgt. Sykes:
I wonder how much the box art artist at Valve earns. I mean, he/she just needs to put out like one piece of work ever few years. Lulz.

There are multiple artists, and they have to put out a lot of concepts that go through testing from both focus groups and the general populous.

Dhabih Eng drew the cover artwork for all the Half-Life games, Andrea Wicklund did the Left 4 Dead games, and I'm guessing somebody at EA with access to clip art and Excel did the Orange Box. They went through loads of drafts just for the boxes alone, and both also did loads of concept art, modeling, texturing, animations and etc...

V TheSystem V:

Invariel:
The 10th image of the Aperture series has two typos in the text. Intentional? Good show, Valve.

That image had 3 typos. Tomorrow had an extra 'M', and too had only one 'O'. Aperture Science had an extra A. Two of them needed to cut down on half of the overused letters, one had to put in a letter.

Extra 'm' in "tomorrow", check.
Extra 'a' in "Aperture", check.
"companies" should be "company's" (possessive, not plural.)
"its" should be "it's" (contraction, not possessive.)
Missing 'o' in "too", check. [Edited in.]
Extra 'a' in "Aperture", again.

That's five six now.

(And there is that extra 'o' in too. Not sure how I missed it this time around... I'll go edit that in.)

The Youth Counselor:
They went through loads of drafts just for the boxes alone, and both also did loads of concept art, modeling, texturing, animations and etc...

I know, I just couldn't resist the obvious joke :)

I'm still willing to believe there is a link to Half Life 2 Episode 3 in there...

Some of that box art is waaay better than the actual design.

I'm fond of image 21 and image 1.

Anything that shows off the core gameplay mechanics in a very minimalist way. I've never liked the whole floating, slightly transparent head approach to box art, glad they didn't go that way.

Had to refresh the bloody captcha about six times before I got one that was legible.

Y'know, some (Note: some, definitely not all) of those box art designs are way better then what they ending up going to with.

Also, I strongly approve of tank-top Chell.

Just saying.

Damn, some of that boxart is mindblowingly good.

Wieke:
That is one giant chicken!

Yeah, I saw that too. I really hope there's a giant chicken in the final game.

castlewise:
Just an FYI. A lot of these images contain secret second images which you can find using photoshop. Those images are of various locations in Seattle. People found the locations IRL and when you map all of them out using google maps it (mostly) spells the word PRELUDE. Thats actually what the state of the ARG is at the time of writing.

Wow, really? Jesus, that's impressive. The only people crazier then the guys who come up with this stuff is the people who figure it all out.

I'm happy with the one they went with, I felt the others didn't quite reflect the game properly - I have yet to play the game of course, my info is based on trailers, teasers and the original Portal game.
Some of them, especially the retro-futuristic ones, would make nice collectors editions tho for those that already know about the Portal 'Verse and would just like a pretty cover.

I tabbed into the pictures by clicking on the first Box art (many of those are distinctly better than the official box art, btw) and saw that it said 1 of 30. I said "ooh 30 Pictures in total. Not bad, Not bad at all!"

Then I realized that first slide-show was for Box Art only O_O

Image of chicken trashing office: Image saved!

Wieke:
That is one giant chicken!

On what pic is the giant chicken!? cant fucking find it!

Ok, so I guess most of this is concept art for Portal 1 and not 2? The chicken thing sort of looks like an alternate "what are Aperture about" suggestion, before they came up with the shower curtain thing.

With all those awesome box arts to choose from, how could they pick the one they did???

An Aperture scientist with an afro? I just hope we get to meet that guy!

The giant chickens are obviously the main component in constructing portal guns. As we all learned from Bionic Commando a organic brain is the only way to get electronics to work. (Robots made the same way). So simple.

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