May 9, 2012
VALVe has officially released the update for the popular puzzle action game Portal 2. The update features a brand new in-game map editor which can easily add features into your map in the click of a button. This is a completely free update to all those that have purchased Portal 2 since the release of the game. However it is only available for those who own a PC or Mac system as consoles do not support this new update.
A day before the update was released, there was a message from Cave Johnson. You can see a video explaining about the Perpetual Testing Initiative here. The in-game editor has been available to beta testers for a few months before the initial release of the update, mainly for obvious testing, but also so that they can create great maps for you to enjoy on the day of release.
The Map Editor
Once I downloaded the 816MB update for Portal 2, I decided to test out the new in-game map editor, seeing as a while ago I made some maps for Portal 2 within the Source SDK application Hammer. I found it quite an interesting experience in which the interface for the design tools used for creating the map were fluent and easy to find. When you are designing the level using this in-game editor it is really quite easy to use. You can add buttons, gel droppers, box droppers, lasers, emancipation grids and more all at the click of a button. To link up the box droppers and buttons etc to other things you simply need to right click on the object and click on “connect” in which will help you connect it. You can then just compile the map by simply pressing F9.
Portal 2 Steam Workshop
The new updates means that Portal 2 is now integrated into the Steam Workshop. This allows for players who simple want to play a map that you or somebody else has created, and be able to find it with ease. With the ability to search and browse by rating, popularity and most recent it means that you don’t have to work hard to find a challenging but fun map! The Steam Workshop is also for those map creators out there. In which after they have made their map with the in-game map editor they can publish it to the Steam Workshop, with the option of making it public or just to their friends on Steam.
But wait…no co-op?
One thing that did disappoint me was the fact that you could not make co-operative maps with this new editor. I do suppose it is due to the fact that you don’t play as an actual person whilst playing user created map. You play as the animated person icon that has featured in all of the Portal 2 animations. There is no ability to be able to link maps as part of a series of chambers in which a player has to complete. However when you download a set of maps, if you place them in order in the queue then they would follow one after the other.
So what are you waiting for? You have the tools and I’m sure you have the ideas…so get playing and building exciting and fun levels!