Next Portal 2 DLC Lets Players Make Custom Test Chambers

Next Portal 2 DLC Lets Players Make Custom Test Chambers

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Valve is letting aspiring scientists create their own Portal 2 puzzles with a new in-game editor.

Less than a month after the release of Portal 2's "Peer Review" DLC update, Valve Software is hard at work on a new addition for its award-winning first person puzzler; an in-game map editor that will allow eager test participants to create their own single player and co-op test chambers. Players will also be able to share their maps with the rest of the Portal 2 community, along with voting and checking out the works of other fans.

Although technically one already can make their own Portal 2 content using the Source Developers Kit, it's far from being easy process. The average player may find it to be a borderline ulcer-inducing experience trying to create a simple map from scratch, let alone working out how to include custom made textures and sound effects. While Valve has stated that the new editor will be "easy-to-use", so far it's been vague on what aspects of their SDK have been streamlined to make it more accessible in the upcoming DLC pack.

Valve hopes that fans of Portal 2 will be able to experiment with the DLC map editor in early 2012. Realistically, it'll probably arrive later on the year when one takes Valve's somewhat quirky release schedule into account.

Source: Joystiq

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Cool, hopefully one day they'll get around to adding an easier way to access custom maps in game without the use of the dev console in the future.

Ya, I tried the SDK to make portal map...I was utterly confused.

I'd love it if it showed the map you were working on and placement of things like in GECK for FO3 and FO:NV. Make it a bit "simpler" and better overview, in my opinion atleast.

That looks like the most user friendly level editor I've ever seen.

I hope that the PS3 users get the same love as the PC version, or at least give them the chance to download maps created on the PC version.

I worry that the level editor is going to be severely underpowered, not allowing for things like entire campaigns, custom sounds, etc.

P.S. Thanks

Covarr:
I worry that the level editor is going to be severely underpowered, not allowing for things like entire campaigns, custom sounds, etc.

P.S. Thanks

I would assume that you'll still be able to load your maps into Hammer to do more advanced modding.

Covarr:
I worry that the level editor is going to be severely underpowered, not allowing for things like entire campaigns, custom sounds, etc.

This is Valve we're talking about. They'll probably have some way to let you throw your own sounds in. Full-fledged campaigns... the simplest way would be to make a bunch of chambers and play them sequentially, loading each one from a menu which I imagine would be implemented. Though that would kinda kill the flow of playing a campaign.

On Topic: Yesss... I've been waiting for a level editor that's friendly to first-time map makers for years. The SDK is too complex for someone just getting into it who has no idea what they're doing.

Eaten post, please ignore this.

Alright, I'll add Portal 2 to the games I want to buy...

That makes my list look like this:

- Portal 2
- Chantelise

I'm just afraid of Sturgeon's Law overtaking this like most other user-generated content. Hopefully there will be some option if you want to play the top 10 maps, or only from a list of users of your choice, or some way that I can play the best, while filtering out the inevitable tidal wave of dross.

SupahGamuh:
I hope that the PS3 users get the same love as the PC version, or at least give them the chance to download maps created on the PC version.

This is Valve we are talking about. They are the ones who believes in "gaming as a service" and they have Steamworks on the PS3. Everything we know about Valve, points to a yes.

That's good news because Hammer is just way too outdated and they should make a new level editor for every Source game.

therandombear:
Ya, I tried the SDK to make portal map...I was utterly confused.

I'd love it if it showed the map you were working on and placement of things like in GECK for FO3 and FO:NV. Make it a bit "simpler" and better overview, in my opinion atleast.

You already have that... It's just that new maps in Source start as an empty space.

YAAAAY.

I'm happy with this.

This sounds pretty cool.
The Portal 2 SDK is incredibly powerful, but confusing as all hell. I'm no novice to Hammer myself, and quite a few of the things Valve does with Portal confuse me, so having someone who knows nothing about Hammer try and make a Portal 2 map would no doubt be next to impossible.

I wanted to make test chambers, so I downloaded the Hammer SDK. I suck at it.
Maybe this will be better.

Hammer is actually one of the easier-to-work-with game editors out there (at least for a game that allows full control over world creation), but it's still tough for newbies to get a grip on. Maybe this new tool might be a sort of bridge.

Just when I thought I couldn't love Valve anymore, they do this.

BUT! Does this mean with the endless amount of user created maps there will be no more room for unique puzzles from Valve? Thus shutting the Portal franchise down or evolving it into a free roaming action game like Portal 2 started to do.

Maybe I'm looking too much into it, but damn it I want a Portal 3!

Hmm, I imagine how this is going to work in-game is that the in-game engine will give you a pre-defined space to work with and you can choose things like walls, test elements, and so on from so sort of easy to use "brush" menu, somewhat akin to LittleBigPlanet. I imagine that, from a technical standpoint, maps made with the in-game editor will be far simpler than something Hammer made, but thus is the trade-off for accessibility.

Oh, I'm going to go ahead and call right now snobbish elitism within the Portal mapping community when it comes to maps made in-game instead of Hammer. Perhaps even with a derogatory name. Something like "n00b boxes", perhaps.

CardinalPiggles:

BUT! Does this mean with the endless amount of user created maps there will be no more room for unique puzzles from Valve?

No chance.

I don't doubt there will be some terrific designs to eventually come out of this, most of the things that it spawns will be little more then interesting freudian glimpses into the playerbase of Portal 2. Professional and experienced level designers are going to have nothing to worry about, this is just going to buy them a whooooole lot of time.

OT: The article doesn't say this is PC only, so can I hold a hope this will wing its way to a console near me?

And this will not be on the console versions i assume?

Great! I'm not that technical, so easy-to-build rooms will make it more fun to fiddle around with it.
Also read they will finally make it possible to load player-created test from in-game. So annoying to exit the game everytime you want to play another room.

I was thinking about making my own chamber, but I couldn't make a complex, jet good chamber.
It's really hard to do right.

I can easily make a hard and challenging chamber, but it would be more frustrating than hard. But making a hard chamber without it being frustrating, that's a really challenge.

That's cool.
I hope it really is simple: like Sims simple or else I probably wont have time for it.
I have some crazy ideas for some really sadistic test chambers that will literally drive people mad.
Forgive me a cruel chuckle...
heh, heh-heh.

I don't understand why this isn't first on the list of things a developer produces for their engines. Doing this first makes producing levels way faster and quicker, easier to change and makes bug testing faster. Doing level design in hammer for 8 hours a day would drive me insane.

 

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