It?s almost time to take another journey through Aperture Science laboratories, and in Portal 2 you?ll have to deal with more than GLaDOS? warp-related puzzles.
Valve?s latest will introduce various physics-based elements that will affect the way you play the game. It will also seek to provide something of a deeper narrative, thanks to the vocal talents of one Stephen Merchant.
After having a good run on the introduction stages of Portal 2
, I was able to sit with Valve?s Chet Faliszek for a few moments to talk about the anticipation for the game, how they came across the British actor and what the success of the original puzzle game means for the future of the series.
How does it feel to be showing Portal 2
to the masses?
I?m excited. It?s always fun to see people getting to play the game and to experience the voice work of Stephen Merchant.
How did you discover Stephen Merchant? Did you already have him in mind, did you know of him from The Office
Well, we?re fans of British comedy in general, so we just started looking at British actors because of that. We wanted the kind of voice that gives a different kind of vocal range.We actually had Merchant in our heads at the very beginning, because of his pacing and his timing in delivery. Although we did look at some other actors as well - but we found that we preferred Merchant so we picked him.
Are you surprised by Portal?s
success? You must not have thought it was going to be as popular as this.
It would have been hard to judge exactly how big it was going to be when we packed it into The Orange Box
. We had some people in the forums saying 'Man, I don't know if The Orange Box
is going to be worth my money - who cares about this student project they've thrown in there?' We all knew internally that it was a great game - we said to those guys 'Nah... You're going to care about this.' - and we were all excited about it, but you never know what's going to catch on or not.
Valve is a very community-focused developer - you guys listen to your fanbase all the time, right? When Portal 2
was a go, did that add any pressure to you guys?
There was definitely concern there - especially when trying to figure out how to expand the game and make it so much better while maintaining that Portal
feel. That was always really important to us, as we added new gameplay elements we were careful to make sure we were doing that.
Has it been difficult to think of new puzzles?
Well actually, when we started adding these new gameplay elements the new puzzles kind of came naturally.