Although the game has been out for well over a year, it is nice to see Valve committed to offering post-launch support for Portal 2. Of course, that shouldn’t be surprising as the Seattle-based company is widely regarded as the most personable studio in the industry. The first piece of (free) downloadable content was the Peer Review pack, giving those hungry for more devious Portal puzzles a whole new set of challenges to complete. Just this week, Valve released the Portal 2 Perpetual Testing Initiative, giving players an unprecedented level of access to create their own Portal test chambers. As you can see in the video below, building maps has never been easier. [youtube width="550" height="344"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfSGVJQVx2Q&list=UU-rF6eZM1ObHLB9kcZMiCsA&index=1&feature=plcp[/youtube]
The Portal 2 level editor (available for free on the PC only) is the best looking map editor on the market. While most editors, like Valve’s own Hammer Editor, can be incredibly daunting for novice users, the Testing Initiative can be used by those of any skill level. Adding objects and adjusting the size of the map is comfortable and easy and the minimal transition from editor to in-game build is staggering. And the best part? All published maps will be made available on the Steam Workshop for free.
Before jumping in, I’d recommend spending a few minutes orientating yourself with the editor and peruse the documentation. Now go forth...in the name of science!
Teen Services Librarian by day, Darkstation review editor by night. I've been playing video games since the days of the Commodore 64 and I have no interest in stopping now that I've made it this far.