Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blue Portals 2 Canceled?

Ever since we were developing Blue Portals, we kept imagining how awesome Blue Portals will be in the Portal 2 engine with Blob tech, dynamic lighting and the whole bit. When Portal 2 went live, we config the Alien Swarm Authorizing Tools and started to work on Blue Portals 2 that May. It was in development on and off. We would be actively updating the mod for a solid week or two, then development would halt. Now there is more then one reason why we are pulling it.

Blue Portals is a Portal mod that takes advantage of the I/O system. The mod showed how clever configuration of this system can produce neat things like Portalable light, Fans, Box types and many more! The original Portal did the same with its elements, as you needed to put together many entities to get box droppers, buttons and ball catchers to work, so the elements in Blue Portals worked liked that. In Portal 2, everything is coded, and when you compare it to the clunky I/O elements, the custom elements seemed more sloppy then the coded elements of Portal 2. 

One thing I hate about the newer source games is that the flexibly I fell in love with source for, is almost not there anymore. You got the vpk system, rebuilding sound caches, and a editor that 'times out' and crashes. There is work around methods for the vpk, and other stuff, but its really annoying to compress overrides everytime, and the bigger the file is, the longer it will take, same with the sound cache. I understand it may be better for Valve, and Steam, but its not easy for us, the modders. 

Due to all the overrides, sounds, materials, and the resource junk you need, the mod sprang up to 2 GBs in no time. I can understand if this was a total conversion mod, or a indie game, but TWO GIGS FOR A PARTLY DONE MOD IS JUST RIDICULOUS! Blue Portals was very close to a GB when we released it, and a little over with Extended Play. But there is stuff that you needed to port over in-order for the mod file to work, and that was costing us. I don't have the net power, or Dropbox space to keep all the Blue Portals 2 stuff, while also working on Portal: Alive and Kicking. 

And the all the resource things you need to port are menu scripts. And I spent a solid week and a half trying to learn how the new UI system works, and I just gave up. Valve made the UI really messy and everything references to HL2, L4D, Or L4D2. Its not a big deal when you have a line or so, but when you have lines and files of that crap, you would go in a rage, and quit. And I never found out how to link my chapters to the menu, because Valve cut the "chamberX.cfg" system. I was looking for map names in the resource folder, but again, I just found more things referencing to Left 4 Dead 2. So the mod would have been released with the user entering map names in the console, or a hack in the Extras menu.....

And finally and overall, the mod was not fun to work with. I'm the type of person who if so motivated to do something, I'll do most as I can. But once that motivation dies, I don't feel like working on it. The above reasons just made the mod more work then fun, unlike the original Blue Portals and Portal: Project-Beta. Mapping will always be a joy to do, but coming up with a new portal puzzle after you made so many for Portal 1 and a little for Portal 2, you get idea blocks more and more which also delays the development of a mod. I think its save to say that how I much I love Portal, I'm getting sick and tired of mapping for it. I did 19 maps for Blue Portals, 22 maps for Portal: Project-Beta, 1 map for Portal: Project-Alpha, A few test maps for the Portal 2 Collab (Pre-Portal 2) along with the Portal 2 Demomap, A Little Higher for Portal 2, (That was 5 maps.) and the Alive and Kicking maps. Minus the Alive and Kicking maps because they are not really my ideas, that is 48 released Portal maps. Add the Blue Portals 2 maps and you will get 63. then add the on going Refresh maps for Blue Portals and that bumps up to 65, but I may need to do more. I'm not joking. Hopefully you'll understand why we are canceling Blue Portals 2, and the reason why your seeing more Half-Life 2 maps from me.

Now, I will still do Portal 2 mapping, but it will not be the number one thing. Again, I do what I feel determined to do. All of my I/O contraptions will be done in Portal/Portal2, but real mapping will be done in Half-Life 2. We rHetorical are making plans to do after Alive and Kicking, so stay tuned for that. 

Here is a few media of Blue Portals 2.

Usually an artist never shows what he or she is not happy with. But I'm very happy about it, its just that its too big for what its worth.

I would like to thank the people who helped out Colossal, The Hamter Alliance, Hunterbrute, Updat3 (A Personal friend), and PsychoDuck. I may reuse the content for other things or perhaps a Blue Portals 2 in the Portal 1 engine, although it will not be taken as seriously by me, the devs, or the community due to Portal 2.

And before anyone asks:


Thanks for understanding, and I hope you stay tuned for Portal: Alive And Kicking and  upcoming projects!