Monday, October 20, 2008

Some news regarding the upcoming update

Posted by Nicolas (permalink)

Ten days after the release, here are some news regarding the upcoming patch we're working on.
Here's what we did for the moment:

  • Upload sountrack artworks
  • Add ID3 Tags to the MP3
  • Reupload a compilation of all the MP3
  • Change the soundtrack page
  • Fix elevators when you can get stuck under
  • Upload the walkthrough to MetaCafe
  • Add a disclaimer when the game starts
  • Fix the uneven difficulty of the first levels
  • Find out why advanced and challenges stay locked sometimes
  • Add hints between the 18th and 19th test chambers
  • More than 50 various bugfixes
  • Recompile lunch bag model
  • Add an english part to the commentary, to point out that there's subtitles for non-french speakers
  • Make new "directional sign" textures for the 19th level
  • Fix the dialogues and subtitles
  • Change the particles color for disintegrators
  • Change the particles color for "only-portals" fizzlers
  • Rework a few textures for the BTS part to look less old
  • Clean the level geometry

In case you're not too fond of long text lists, here are some screenshots too.
We don't have any release date for the moment, as we're waiting for the translators to finish their translations.

Patch Overview 1Patch Overview 2Patch Overview 3 Patch Overview 4Patch Overview 5Patch Overview 6

24 comment(s)

Comments

  October 20, 2008 1:02 AM, Anonymous Markus [GER] said :
Very nice! I can't wait for the patch :]

Thanks for your awesome work guys! You make me happy :>

  October 20, 2008 1:15 AM, Anonymous ZedoMann said :
will we need to download this or will steam download it for us?

  October 20, 2008 1:53 AM, Anonymous André said :
Congratulation again for the work maded by the team of PP.

I admire your dedication to make this game perfect and be so friendly with the commuity despite some harsh criticism from people.

Your entire team deserves to get a job on the industry of games since you prove your great qualities.

Good luck for you.
Great Game it is Portal Prelute.

  October 20, 2008 2:13 AM, Anonymous Andre said :
About the cleaning of
behind the scenes.

If i am allowed to suggest, i wouldn´t change the behind the scenes area.

These "human" furnitures (desks, chairs, parts) make

the behind the scenes appear more

humanly, more interesting to play and see.

If not for a gameplay issue, i don´t see why this feature would be changed.
I liked very much the way it was maded.

But, anyways, it´s your game so i will wait and see.

I want to mark my opinion that the

BTS areas are perfect and has an humanlly feeling on it.

  October 20, 2008 2:55 AM, Blogger Nicolas said :
@Andre:
We're not changing anything apart from wall textures. As some people said it before, it should not look like it's abandonned, as the employees must still be using it at the time the mod takes place.

  October 20, 2008 5:21 AM, Anonymous A-NOM-ynous said :
Does "Fix the uneven difficulty of the first levels" mean they'll actually be...easier? Because from what I've read on the forums, that sounded like something that was entirely off-limits/never-going-to-happen-because-the-game-is-for-hardcore-players.

  October 20, 2008 7:31 AM, Blogger Anders H said :
I hope "Fix the dialogues and subtitles" means improving the English spoken/read throughout the game. That was really the only part that made the game seem like a mod and not a professional game.

  October 20, 2008 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said :
I found out, that the chamber-signs are low-res pictures and when I press new game those chapter pictures are low-res too. I don't know is it only to me because of installing error or something. Do you others got a same problem?

  October 20, 2008 2:26 PM, Anonymous Marcus Oliveira said :
Portal Prelude was reviewed by an important jornal in Brazil! \o/

The link in the official site of the "O Globo" newspaper:

http://oglobo.globo.com/tecnologia/mat/2008/10/20/portal_ganha_preludio_nao-oficial_com_novos_mapas_maior_dificuldade-586022301.asp

Wonderful!!

  October 20, 2008 5:47 PM, Blogger Nicolas said :
@A-NOM-ynous:
Just look at the screenshots.

@Marcus Oliveira:
Thanks for pointing this out!

  October 20, 2008 8:08 PM, Anonymous Stuff 'n' Co said :
I think the advanced chambers and challenges stay locked if you don't click the "Bonus Rooms" button on the menu once you unlock them. For example: there are advanced chambers on chambers X and Y. I complete X and right after Y, but I only visit the Bonus Rooms window after completing Y, so X stays locked and Y is unlocked.

I'm not completely sure, and sorry that my english is not so good (mon français n' est pas bon, aussi :P)

  October 20, 2008 8:13 PM, Anonymous The_Underscore said :
@anders h
Do you mean the usage of voice synths?

  October 20, 2008 8:22 PM, Blogger Anders H said :
@The_Underscore:
No, I mean the actual English which is written in the subtitles and spoken by the voice synthesis (which for the most time is the same). There are errors here and there, not so much in spelling (I assume a spell checker has been used) but rather in grammar and in the use of the language in general.

It's not bad English. But compared to (most) professional games, which have close to perfect dialogue, there are a lot of small things to be annoyed of. Maybe this isn't the thing that you put the highest priority in as a developer, but making those subtle corrections would improve the general impression.

And there are some problems with the voice synthesis as well. In some cases the voice mispronounces words because they are connected when they should have been written apart.
Example: One time I believe the voice says "portalgun". In strict grammatical terms, this is incorrect as the words should be separated (i.e. "portal gun"). This also causes the computer voice to pronounce it incorrectly, putting the emphasis on the "a" in "portal", instead of the "o".

Just looking at the voice software, I think it does the job really well. No need to record actual voices for this mod...

  October 20, 2008 10:28 PM, Anonymous LTR.2 said :
you gonna do something with the testchamber 19?

  October 21, 2008 1:19 AM, Anonymous Jon Snow said :
I know you guys are trying to placate to the people who don't know how to play this game (or just can't learn), but changing the difficulty would be a diservice to the game and all the hard work you guys put in.

I really hope you decide to keep the difficulty the same, because all that is really needed is the following disclaimer:

"This game is for 'hardcore' gamers, or for gamers who are able to learn and adapt to puzzles and challenges. If you feel you can't meet those two requirments then please do the following now: Press and hold 'Alt' then press 'F4'. To the people who are still reading this I hope you enjoy the game!"

Aside from the above disclaimer and bug fixes and the like, thats all that should be in this patch, but its obviously your mod and your choice, and I just hope you make the right one.

Thanks for a fun challenge! and a great game!

  October 21, 2008 4:33 AM, Blogger ragecg said :
I LOVE the fact that this mod was made for FREE and that it was released the day before my birthday......and I took it off from work to play this game all weekend:)

Can't wait for the update!

Great job guys!

  October 21, 2008 8:25 AM, Anonymous ColbyWolf said :
Jon snow - Not everyone is a 'hardcore' gamer who has hours to devote to "learning" now to play a game.

I'm glad they're reducing the difficulty of the first few levels.

perhaps it is changing the original vision of the game, but it's possible that their vision was for something that everyone could play... and they failed to realize that the amount of accuracy needed to beat them was more difficult then they had intended for it to be.

Thanks for the patc... can't wait to see it and download it. I"ll play Prelude then :)

  October 21, 2008 9:40 AM, Anonymous Chris said :
Colbywolf, I agree. Some of the challenges are a bit difficult. They are difficult not so much for their intellectual requirements to figure out the puzzles themselves, but are simply difficulties in doing the tricks themselves.

If you listen to the commentaries included in Valve's games, (Portal, Ep1 and Ep2 specifically) you will learn what's known as the "rule of three." First, the player is given a simple task. It is made obvious to the player what he must accomplish. The second time, the skill must be used again. However, this puzzle is sort of a challenge. The third time around, the puzzle is incredibly complex, usually with enemies shooting at you. Some of the techniques used in this game are not as obvious, crouch jumping for instance.

Also, make the timing puzzles easier by giving the player more time to complete the task if the difficulty setting of the game is set to "easy." There IS a way to do this in Hammer.

One more thing that did annoy me a bit was the overuse of cutscenes where control is taken from the player. I'm specifically referring to the last level. Without creating spoilers, the "flashback" scene is not necessary, and neither is locking the player's view during the original sight. If you want the player to notice something in a room, try to create some sort of visual aid that naturally draws her eyes there.

There were three instances in the game where the view lock is acceptable. These are at the beginning, the end, and at that... scene that occurs after pressing the button in... that room. I understand that at that point, things are going on that would be difficult to animate, so the player is forced to view something else.

--WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD--
Other than that, great job! At some points in this game, I sat at my desk in a deep fear, similar to that during a book by Stephen King. This was also the game where, for an extended period of time, I could think little more than "oh crap. oh crap. oh crap. oh crap..."
-- END POSSIBLE SPOILERS ---


tl;dr:
1) Make timing puzzles easier on Easy mode

2) Use fewer cutscenes

3) Excellent job, excellent ending

  October 21, 2008 5:30 PM, Anonymous LTR.2 said :
i want the testchamber 19 fixed, i mean. when i pass throught the 'emantipation grill' when i go back behind the stairs the portal has been deleted and i can't get out because there is not a visible concrete wall to shoot a portal. and the flying is hard. and i will like some turrets in this chamber...

and it will be much better is the ending is explained in the game,in the readme.txt or something.

  October 21, 2008 6:34 PM, Blogger Nicolas said :
@LTR.2:
Sorry, we won't do anything like that. For you first problem, you can go back, there's concrete if you look between the stairs.

  October 21, 2008 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said :
Will you fix the bug where the err... ball you have to find to beat the boss (not saying its name because of spoilers) gets stuck when you open the door and it's stuck between the door and the wall?

  October 21, 2008 11:51 PM, Anonymous thinking with portals said :
i just can't believe you guys are really going to weaken the game

i played portal as well as the flash map pack and both were fun but somehow too easy

now we have portal prelude and it's awesome as for the difficulty compared to portal and the flash map pack

and now i have to read about crippling some of the levels or rooms, building handlebars to move up from the toilet seat and ramps for wheelchairs

i mean what the fuck ... you don't make money out of it (you probably could) so there's no need to change this mod in a way it attracts all the dumb masses who are probably dumb enough to have to look up solutions for portal and the flash map pack and are now complaining about the difficulty of portal prelude

i say fuck them ... try or die

how about a difficulty level ? :

- for suckers
- thinking with portals

or how about a way to update the "maps" separate from everything else so people who like the rooms the way they are can leave them that way and people who are suckers (haha) can update the rooms to the lowskill versions

  October 22, 2008 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said :
@ Chris-
there is no difficulty choice, there's only one set of chambers plus the advanced ones. no easy mode.

  October 22, 2008 11:32 PM, Anonymous Sarda [CP<3] said :
@ thinking with portals:
if you thought the flash map pack was easy, then why did you think this was hard? the flash map pack has some levels that are truly for portal ninjas, harder than the advanced chambers here.

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