Valve's upcoming title Portal is now the subject of an apparent alternate reality game/viral marketing effort at the recently launched aperturescience.com website.
Visitors to aperturescience.com will find what initially appears to be a terminal screen, blank except for a flashing cursor and prompt. Typing "LOGON" results in request for a username and password. The username can be any text, but the password is "PORTAL," the title of Valve Software's upcoming puzzle-based game.
With some basic DOS commands, logged in visitors can access an apparent "test subject application process," which consists of several humourous and often cryptic questions to which the user must respond. More tenacious investigators of the site, including those at the HL Fallout forums, have identified an apparent subliminal image, a hidden password, and more.
Valve announced the development of Portal earlier this July, apparently near the same time they registered the aperturescience.com domain. "Aperture Science" is a fictitious company previously introduced in Valve's video demonstrations of Portal.
Portal is a first-person puzzle game with roots in the Valve's Half-Life science fiction universe. It is currently scheduled to be released for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in early 2007, and will be bundled with other Valve titles including the Half-Life 2 series and Team Fortress 2.