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Everything You Wanted to Know About Portal: The Video Game

Passionate about video games, our Guest Blogger Matt Wood is a young writer from the great city of Seattle, Washington. He is almost always listening to music and his all-time favorite video games include Sim City 4, Halo 2, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and the classic game Frogger.

Here is his article for readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com .

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Portal Screen ViewPortal Screen ViewLooking into the face of evil isn't so easy for some of us, but what about facing a simple, easily solved obstacle?

Well, you might have to give a little on the simple part, or even the easily solved part, but there are sure to be obstacles in the new video game Portal, being developed by the creators of Half Life 2: Episode Two. There are rumors about whether the game will be only one player, or if it will somehow incorporate multiplayer situations. Not only this, it's not clear to whether Portal will be a standalone game, or if it will ship as a kind of "minigame" to the Half Life 2: Episode Two game itself. I recently watched a video showing what Portal would do and I must say... I'm drooling already.

What would you do if you were standing on one side of a room, and you had to go through the door on the opposite side of this room? Well, you'd go through it, wouldn't you? Not so easy, though, buddy... Between you and that door is a 10 foot wide "canyon" in the floor, and above you the roof is slowly coming down on you. Pulling out a small gadget, you shoot a portal into the wall on the other side of the room, as the exit portal, and a round blob hits the wall and turns purple. Soon after, you shoot the wall next to you, and this blob also turns purple, but almost immediately turns into a kind of camera looking out of the portal you put on the other side of the room. You can even see yourself through it! Walking through it, you exit out the portal you set in the wall across the room. Looking back, you see the spiked roof coming down on where you were just standing through the portal.

This brings an interesting element to the game. The game will set forth certain obstacles, and you must overcome them. This may seem trivial, but some things they show in the video seem actually quite tough. For example, early in the video, they go from single level obstacles to multiple level obstacles. How do you get from the second floor of a room, to the third floor of the room, with the requirement that you must touch all the floors? In the video, the player shoots an exit portal on the third floor wall, shoots an entry portal on the floor of the first floor, and falls into the entry portal, to come flying out of the exit portal, landing on their feet on the third floor. While these portals sound quite familiar to all of those who have played Prey, this is quite different because you can place the portals anywhere that you want them.

One of the most interesting things I saw about the game was the fact that you can see yourself through portals if you do it just right. In one sequence, the player had created two portals in the corner in a manner so that as the player was running through them rapidly, he could see himself running through the next room through the portal ahead of him.

Another very interesting concept stemming from this game was the idea of moving objects through space. At one point, the commentator says "Remember, there are holes in the sky, through which objects can fly." Although it sounds corny, it's true, and displayed when the player shoots an exit portal over a defensive gun and shoots an entry portal underneath a box, and the box flies out the side of the wall, hits the gun, and knocks it over, rendering the gun useless.

How this video game will be released, whether it is on its own or with Half Life 2: Episode Two is still unclear. In fact, most things about this game are still unclear. However, from what I've seen of this game, it deserves a high level of hype and until I get the chance to actually play this game... Well, the video showing what the game will do will be on repeat on my computer.

Until then, cheers!

Matt

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