Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Plans for 2016

I believe I was 16 or so when I was developing Blue Portals, and boy, I dreamed of having it on Steam. Being able to deliver updates easily was something I always wanted for the project; in-fact, that's why it was officially supported on that Desura platform. But time went on, and I started to look at Blue Portals more and more critically then I've done before. The mistakes we've made, and the complaints of users of the time just started to make more and more sense. It's not a bad mod, but I always thought it could be better.

Since Steam Greenlight became a thing, I thought about putting Blue Portals on there. It's a mod that people ether really liked, or didn't like at all. But I felt that it was a mod for it's time as there were many fling and timed puzzles; commonly like how most community maps were at the time. It wasn't until a month ago, I told Colossal to put it up there and see what would happen.

Now, my teenage dream came true. Blue Portals was lit (Thanks to all who voted!) and as of today, the full Blue Portals mod is now on the steam servers, with it's own app id, and fully playable! While this was at first supposed to be a quick thing of "put the mod together on Steam and move on", Something tells me that this opportunity can't be wasted. Colossal wanted to update his textures, and I wanted to fix a few map issues. After all, I wanted some reason for people to play the mod again on Steam. So, let's dive in and see what needs fixing, it can't be much... Right?

Blue Portals started as a mappack, and only became a mod because I wanted an easy installation among users. That being said, half the mod didn't fit with the second half, and there were a few elements that were just used once, and never again. There was also 'gimmicks' that were cool, but useless. Also, sometimes they plan didn't work and broke maps. (Something that started to happen as of recent.) We've did a lot of good things, but also a lot of poor things.

Of course, I knew most of these issues while I was developing Blue Portals 2; as with that mod, it was more of solving puzzles with the new elements, and how they worked with portals rather then the BP1 approach of "Here's a fling puzzle with a few magnets, a timer, and a fire cube. Good Luck!" I get asked about Blue Portals 2 a lot, there were a lot of things we liked about it, but our resources, and skills needed for the project at the time was way over our heads.  We did not know how to set up a mod for Portal 2, didn't fully understand how the file system or vpks worked, and I was just making puzzles with no real direction or goal. In-fact, the puzzles in the demo reel where the best ones.

So what about Blue Portals: Anniversary Edition? As of right now, the mod is working on our end, and fully playable. However, we would like to take the time to make it more special for us, and our fans. We have a few ideas and paths we might take, but overall it's gonna be a lot of work unless we just decide to release the exact mod how it was before.

With that being said, I'm no longer a teenager anymore. If I could live just making mods, Blue Portals 2 might have picked up again. It was just that since I graduated high school, I decided to look into developing a "real game" and for the past three years now, while my skill set increased, the project seems to keep going around in circles. Regardless, It made some progress seeing a playable demo, but as a full game, It's something that needs a lot of work and time that I don't seem to have anymore if I wish to commit the time I want for Blue Portals again.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and being that the new year is around the corner, Blue Portals picking up steam, and all, I decided to start a Patreon campaign,

For those who don't know, Patreon is a service in which you donate creators much like myself to continue doing what they love, in return for perks. While I can't offer a lot due to my slow internet speed, and limited cash at the time, I hope to make it grow, and reward patrons over time. You can add in a max donation limit, and cancel at any time! Any support would be helpful, since I really enjoy making content that you guys can freely enjoy.

I'll keep you posted. Feel free to give me feedback about the Patreon campaign and help it make it more of a win-win system.