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Portal for Dummies
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Yapette
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June 6, 2010 - 12:57 pm
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Oh, I know many people worked on the game. On all games, many people. To state my wondering more clearly: it's as though, say  (just making this up) level 1 & 6 & 11 & 16, 17 were designed by the same team/person. Whose logic syncs so well with mine. In contrast, (just making this up) level 2 & 4 & 7 & 12, 13 were designed by a person/team whose logic will remain eternal mysteries to me.

 

It's the so right! vs. so huh?!? with regularity that makes me wonder about a developer pattern behind the scenes. Not only in this game.

 

Pokey, thanks for checking. I have deleted my saves, not going back. Certainly not for bonus (harder) levels! Although I'd like to play anew the easy to figure & execute parts. [Image Can Not Be Found]

 

Spike, you are at the part where I said, "wtf? no way!" Figured my game was over.

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Spike
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June 6, 2010 - 2:40 pm
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Yapette said:

 

Spike, you are at the part where I said, "wtf? no way!" Figured my game was over.


 

My reaction exactly.  I was about ready to call the game "OVER" right there.  Then I remembered that I'd had that feeling on a couple of other levels, and even twice on lvl. 18.  But yet, I made it this far, so I guess I shouldn't chicken out when I am so close to the end.  After some lookin' & thinkin' time, staring up, up, and more up, I could see where I need to end up, and had an idea about how to get there, and that deep dry pit is a tip-off to the need for much momentum.  I was able to reach the second of the platforms, but that was it.

Do you have to do all of this in one go, or can you take a rest on a platform once you've shot a portal into the next higher platform while you were in the air?  'Cause I tell you, I can't imagine doing it all in one go.  I get turned around, and forget which portal I need to shoot, and I HATE HEIGHTS!

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Spike
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June 6, 2010 - 2:52 pm
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Yapette said:

Oh, I know many people worked on the game. On all games, many people. To state my wondering more clearly: it's as though, say  (just making this up) level 1 & 6 & 11 & 16, 17 were designed by the same team/person. Whose logic syncs so well with mine. In contrast, (just making this up) level 2 & 4 & 7 & 12, 13 were designed by a person/team whose logic will remain eternal mysteries to me.

 

It's the so right! vs. so huh?!? with regularity that makes me wonder about a developer pattern behind the scenes. Not only in this game.

 


 

Portal started life as Narbacular Drop as a senior project by 6 or 7 students at DigiPen in Washington state.  The game was "discovered" by Valve, and the students were hired to morph the game into what is now Portal.  You might be right about "this level was designed by X, and that level by Y".  One person will think (either inside the box or outside it) differently than the next.  I wonder if this might be a good thing in a game.  As you say, one part/level/puzzle/etc.  will make perfect sense to you, but another is wtf.  Maybe this ensures that more people will find something in a game to which they can relate and/or feel successful about.  Maybe it's just laziness on the part of developers:  "Time's up, kiddies, forget the continuity, we gotta get this baby published."

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Spike
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June 6, 2010 - 2:58 pm
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Pokey said:

I loaded up my save for level 18 to take a look at it. It didn't look anything like I remembered and I finally figured out that I was in the bonus or advanced level and there were no energy balls. I had to jump to the platforms and knock the androids off. I accomplished that but still have to get the cube back through the big door.

 

The last part of the level requires a rhythm and the correct portal at the right time. I do remember falling a lot. I think one of the updates made it a bit easier.


 

When did you play, Pokey?  And what format...download, or hard copy.  And what platform?  I downloaded from Steam when it was free 2 weeks ago.  I'd guess that would mean that I have the most up-to-date game.  If your version was harder, I cringe to think how I would have fared on lvl. 18.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Pokey
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June 6, 2010 - 3:25 pm
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Spike, my save in level 18 has the date June 2008. I don't think this version is any more difficult than with the energy balls. I don't know how I got there since I loaded the save just coming into the big room. I noticed right away that it looked diffferent. The revolving energy ball blaster was missing and the one on the wall was dead. I just had to jump out of the walls to the platforms.

 

I have a hard copy for PC. Yours would have been updated. I had a wait for mine to update since I forgot to turn the updater off for that game. You can do that by right clicking on the game on the list and choosing properties and then updating.

 

Good luck on those platforms.

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Yapette
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June 6, 2010 - 6:32 pm
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Spike, I may be wrong about this but my knowledge is based upon many failures. Surely that learning experience counts too. [Image Can Not Be Found]

 

Absolutely, go ahead & save on any ole platform. But on reload, you won't have enough momentum to make it to the top. [Image Can Not Be Found] Gotta have that initial momentum from the first jump down. I know. From bitter experience. I could with much effort make it to platform 3 (domino dots), then I'd shoot the next portal in the wrong color. Over & over & over....[Image Can Not Be Found]

 

Finally, finally, insight. I had been kinda mentally going orange, blue, orange, blue....paying no mind that I must be aware of when I exit the highest portal, and only then shoot the opposite color. Same theory as Sparky's in/out & replacing portals but I didn't realize while spinning upside down & sideways. 

 

 

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Spike
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June 6, 2010 - 10:25 pm
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I told myself it would be days before I could get past all those platforms – IF I could.  So I decided to keep my left hand off the keyboard and just see what would happen.  Down into the pit and through the portal on the first platform…bouncing, bouncing.  Then I saw that if I just let the bouncing continue I would eventually get a good shot at the next platform.  Finally did.  More bouncing.  Third platform in view…shoot portal.  Well, you get the idea.  I made it to Lvl. 19.  Now the REALLY hard stuff comes, huh?

 

Image Enlarger

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Spike
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June 6, 2010 - 11:53 pm
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So I made it to here with lots of trial and error, much drowning, then finally some well-placed portals, and with saving after each success on the moving platform, with some more drowning for good measure.  She promised me a party and cake.  There was even a picture of cake on a tile embedded in one of the walls along the platform route.  This is not the level from hell.  It is the level IN HELL.  Stuck on the platform/catwalk/whatever it is, looking at a door I can't open,Image Enlarger and another platform/catwalk/whatever it is opposite me that I can't get to.  Tried accessing the ropes (via portal) hoping to swing over to the other side.  No go.  Now it is time to take a break.  I want my cake!

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Yapette
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June 6, 2010 - 11:57 pm
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Congrats!

 

Lvl 19 isn't especially hard nor is it easy. Nor is it short.  Prepare to go on, and on. And when you think it must be nearing the end, you go on. 

 

Nothing for me was so awful as lvl 18. Not that I can remember. By now you'll face problems & say to yourself, "oh I know what to do, I remember learning how way back when." Implementation....that's something else altogether.

 

I love the way this game teaches you something, then expands upon that skill, and finally sends you out to apply your knowledge in new situations.

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Spike
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June 6, 2010 - 11:58 pm
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Duh.  I didn't realize until just now that if you click on the black image of a mouse in the upper right hand corner of a small image within a post you get a larger image in a new window.  Slow...to...learn....

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
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June 7, 2010 - 9:27 am
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I'm still not sure why it defaults to that black-mouse thumbnail instead of the full picture. I'm looking into it.

 

Congrats on Level 19, Spike! Assume the Party Escort Submission Position!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
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Steerpike said:

Congrats on Level 19, Spike! Assume the Party Escort Submission Position!


 

I refused!  I bow to no disembodied voice.  Besides, it's becoming increasingly clear that there is to be no cake.  Why go prone when there's no prospect of cake?  I'm now up many levels, having traversed both horizontally and vertically moving pistons.  What is this…a Tomb Raider game?  I seemed to get to a level with no way forward.  I was tired, so maybe I just didn't see it.  Then again, I might have to backtrack to the room with the 5 vertical pistons with platforms.  Maybe I used the wrong one as a "jumping off" point.  No matter.  I am so happy to be done with lvl. 18 that this almost adventure-y level is fun.

P.S.  Yap, this level makes your point, I think.  It is so different than lots of what came before.  From the mind of another dev?  It's  Portal, but Portal with a bit of Lara Croft thrown in.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Yapette
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June 7, 2010 - 3:17 pm
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No backtracking necessary. Turn around, look up. Remember momentum.

 

Speed does not necessarily require jumping into ready-made, lower leveled pits.

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Spike
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June 7, 2010 - 6:54 pm
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Yap, I'm way past the point of my second screenshot of last night (the fire and brimstone place).  I've gone up and up and up and over and over from there since that post.  That said, you could be very right.  It was almost 2am and I was tired when I quit for the night.  So I might have missed an opportunity that I wouln't have if it had been 11pm - which is probably what it will be when I get back to it tonight.  At this point I have mixed feelings...after the struggle that was lvl. 18 I'm kinda looking to be done.  But I've had lots of fun with Portal (except for lvl. 18), and I don't want to be done.  Then there is the different feel to lvl. 19 that I am loving and having great fun with.  And looking forward to Portal 2, which I know will kick me 6 ways from Sunday.  The jumping has been much easier to get used to than I thought it would.  My hatred of heights didn't kick in much because I was aware of being in a virtual, not real space.  If I fell, well, there's reload.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Spike
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June 11, 2010 - 9:41 pm
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I finished last night.  I thought this was a terrific game, and I'm disappointed that Portal 2 is postponed until next year.

I loved level 19 from the moment I finally got past the moving platforms until I discovered what I had to do at the end.  It took many reloads to get my speed to the point where I could finish the task in the time alloted.  What fun!

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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xtal
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June 12, 2010 - 3:47 pm
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For whatever reason that final level of Portal really took it from a gold star to a fucking massive gold star, at least for me. The entire experience up until that point was totally brilliant and game of the year-worthy, but it was that unexpected coda that really solidified it as One Of The Most Important Games Ever.

 

This is what surprises me most about the existence of a sequel. Sure, Portal 2 will be fucking amazing and fun and shit but it just seems to me like Portal should be Valve's undoing. Their writer's block. Their swan song. Their Abbey Road. I guess I just half-wish that Valve would coke their brains out, put a figurative shotgun in their gaping maw and pull the trigger.

 

Seriously. What the hell do you follow Portal with? H-L 2: Episode Three with a portal gun? No, you blow your own damned head off and cement the legend. (With a portal gun, if possible.)

 

*(This is coming from someone who infinitely loves the Half-Life universe and wants to complete that story, but would totally understand if Valve just went and shuffled off this mortal coil, you know?)

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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June 12, 2010 - 3:55 pm
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Assume the Party Escort Submission Position!

 

Cake and grief counseling will be available at the end of the test!

 

Why don't you marry that thing if you love it so much!

 

Wait - did you just throw that thing we don't even know what it is into an Aperture Sciences Emergency Intelligence Incinerator? That has got to be the stupidest thing thatwhoa-whoa-whoa-WHOA

 

I have played a lot of Portal. 🙂

 

Congrats, Spike! You're one of us now! [Image Can Not Be Found]

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
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Steerpike said:

Congrats, Spike! You're one of us now! [Image Can Not Be Found]


 

And it only took 6 years and Fallout 3 and Portal.  Why didn't someone tell me about this years ago??   [Image Can Not Be Found]

I was so intent on what I had to do that I tuned Gladys (that's what I've been calling her) out so that I could concentrate on that last job.  I think I might load a save and listen to her again.  She's a hoot.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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xtal
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June 12, 2010 - 7:42 pm
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I think I'd like to see some hybrid of comedy-horror game featuring the evil ultra-computer: GloDAN 9000.

 

"Open the pod bay doors, you pathetic creature of meat and bones.....and then there will be cake."

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Jarrod
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June 15, 2010 - 12:37 am
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Grats Spike!

 

What did you think of the song at the end?

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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