Valve Gave Control Over Portal 2 ARG to Potato Sack Devs

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
14,499
0
0
Valve Gave Control Over Portal 2 ARG to Potato Sack Devs



Valve enlisted the brains of the Potato Sack indie developers to help create the Portal 2 ARG.

The invade [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109286-Valve-ARG-Gives-Fans-Power-to-Release-Portal-2-Early] the Steam Potato Sack bundle, 13 indie games made available at a discount for a limited time. You might think that Valve brought these indie developers into a lair and forced them to do its bidding, but as it turns out Valve handed over the reins and made the ARG a collaborative process.

The Potato Sack games were altered in various ways to make it seem as if GLaDOS was trying to use them to come back into existence. Audiosurf's Dylan Fitterer told Edge how this game about. "Valve invited a bunch of us indie developers to come out last December for a 'Cross Game Design Event,'" he said. "It was a bit mysterious, but definitely sounded like fun."

"Jeep [Barnett, Portal 2 programmer] coordinated with us most closely, but Gabe kicked it all off," Fitterer added. "He asked us to work with them in creating an event that put launching Portal 2 into the community's hands. We were given free rein to design it and were also given access to any IP we wanted."

Ichiro Lambe of Dejobaan games revealed that Valve gave each developer a basic framework involving GLaDOS and said: "Go make it happen." Can you imagine being invited to Valve and getting to be involved in something so secretive and integral to a major franchise? I would have freaked out.

Thankfully, the Potato Sack develolpers put things together pretty nicely. Puzzles, secrets, and entire Portal levels were added to games like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Super-Meat-Boy-Ultra-Pc/dp/B004NS77OM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1303419239&sr=1-1" tar
get="_blank">Super Meat Boy and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Amnesia-Pc/dp/B004FZ9822/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1303419217&sr=1-1" tar
get="_blank">Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The craziness surrounding the Portal 2 ARG only makes me wonder what Valve has in store for the pre-launch of the next Half-Life entry. It'll probably involve time and/or dimensional travel. And maybe donuts.

Source: Edge [http://www.next-gen.biz/news/potato-sack-developers-helped-design-portal-2-arg]


Permalink
 

RejectWoW

New member
Sep 28, 2009
16
0
0
The work everyone put into this really helped hype me up for Portal 2 (which I was already as pumped as I could be for) and was really an interesting and exciting way to promote a game. Congrats Valve and all the others, and thanks for a great game. :)
 

Denizen

New member
Jan 29, 2010
259
0
0
It was an amazing pre-launch event. I loved what Amnesia did especially. Their "Justine" expansion was very enjoyable and paralleled Portal 1 in a very twisted way that somehow fit into the setting for the main amnesia game.
 

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
14,499
0
0
Launch for Half-Life 3...


well, the Combine invade of course.......

about ten years after we lose the war, Civil Protection goes door to door hadnign everyone who survived a free copy of Half-Life 3.


OT: You have to love Valve for how they treat indie developers, seriously though, I would be a bit freaked out if I was given the reigns on a way to get a big-name game out to the fans hands.....


I mean, what if they had messed up horribly?
 

JaymesFogarty

New member
Aug 19, 2009
1,054
0
0
Ah Valve, we all love you! I really can't wait to find out what ARG they'll make for Episode 3! Although that's unlikely to ever happen. One that matter, without spoiling any of the story of Portal 2, (haven't received it in the post yet, sadly) could anyone tell me if the story, or the ending of Portal 2 links in with the Half Life world, or suggests anything? I'm dying to know!
 

LiquidGrape

New member
Sep 10, 2008
1,336
0
0
Justine is a perfect example of how to do additional content. It was obviously inspired by Portal, as was its intention, but it went beyond mere reference and instead channeled that idea through the filter of its own microcosm.
I think I might actually prefer it over the game "Amnesia" itself, simply due to the sheer focus of it.
It had the most deliciously morbid denoument, too.
 

Jodah

New member
Aug 2, 2008
2,280
0
0
Granted I only saw the effect on Defense Grid but I thought it was pretty good. They had Glados taking over the computer assistant in the game that tells you wtf to do.
 

qbanknight

New member
Apr 15, 2009
669
0
0
The Potato Sack was one of the most clever uses of cross-promotion and marketing. While I HIGHLY disagree with Kotaku that the Potato Sack ARG made Valve lose credit with gamers, I believe people have much more faith in Valve who reached out to lesser known developers and gave them an opportunity to bask in their glory. This article only shows just how collaborative and unique Valve is in an industry that's so hellbent on turning over a profit. Valve wants to make the big money, but that doesn't mean it can have a little fun to get that success
 

Fake Nicker

New member
Mar 31, 2010
20
0
0
qbanknight said:
The Potato Sack was one of the most clever uses of cross-promotion and marketing. While I HIGHLY disagree with Kotaku that the Potato Sack ARG made Valve lose credit with gamers, I believe people have much more faith in Valve who reached out to lesser known developers and gave them an opportunity to bask in their glory. This article only shows just how collaborative and unique Valve is in an industry that's so hellbent on turning over a profit. Valve wants to make the big money, but that doesn't mean it can have a little fun to get that success
I agree fully with you. Also why bash valve for letting small indie companies make money and spreading good games? I could see why, if it was valve made mini games for iphones/android lasting 20 minutes and charging 4$ per game, but as it is its perfect standalone games not even made by valve.

Offcourse its a puplicity stunt... everything in buisness is... but that said it doesnt necessarily mean its all evil, trampling the small and sprawny. Maybe its sincerely good natured.