Portal 2 :: Game Production Focus

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Old 07 July 2011   #1
Portal 2 :: Game Production Focus

Hey,

The Valve guys have delivered a strong answer to gamers wanting an extension to the Portal world. With a bunch of progression shows and video breaks, CGSociety talks to Project Lead Josh Weier and a couple of the talented Valve artist team to describe their process for Portal 2.

Click the image to go to our feature.

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Old 07 July 2011   #2
Valve are such masters of perfection, they leave little over to coincidence, its always fun to read how these megaprojects come to life
 
Old 07 July 2011   #3
It's funny that awhile ago I was criticizing portal 2 for its graphics. I thought that they, while nice looking, didn't really seem to quite match what was available in other games. Especially when it seemed that alot of the spaces were rather small, closed off environments. I attributed this perceived lack of quality to several things: Console development, possibly an engine showing its age regardless of it obviously being updated, maybe even a choice by the art team.

I completely missed the obvious answer that, even small enclosed spaces, when using it's portals, could quickly double and even quadruple the amount that's possibly seen on the screen. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Valve did plenty of testing to see exactly where the line was and where and when it could be crossed and cause a drop in framerate etc.
 
Old 07 July 2011   #4
Originally Posted by spurcell: It's funny that awhile ago I was criticizing portal 2 for its graphics. I thought that they, while nice looking, didn't really seem to quite match what was available in other games. Especially when it seemed that alot of the spaces were rather small, closed off environments. I attributed this perceived lack of quality to several things: Console development, possibly an engine showing its age regardless of it obviously being updated, maybe even a choice by the art team.

I completely missed the obvious answer that, even small enclosed spaces, when using it's portals, could quickly double and even quadruple the amount that's possibly seen on the screen. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Valve did plenty of testing to see exactly where the line was and where and when it could be crossed and cause a drop in framerate etc.



That makes sense but I still can't play that game because of the horrible graphics. All I see is aliasing and crappy textures everywhere. I loved the first one and only got halfway through the second level on the second game when I quit for good.
 
Old 07 July 2011   #5
Originally Posted by BigPixolin: That makes sense but I still can't play that game because of the horrible graphics. All I see is aliasing and crappy textures everywhere. I loved the first one and only got halfway through the second level on the second game when I quit for good.


wow you where annoyed by the graphics from a puzzle game not being up to par?
from what I can understand its still the halflife 2 engine brushed up, so in a way it does look dated, but that didn't bother me in the slightest, portal 2 is much more driven by the gameplay and silly characters
 
Old 07 July 2011   #6
Originally Posted by j00st81: wow you where annoyed by the graphics from a puzzle game not being up to par?
from what I can understand its still the halflife 2 engine brushed up, so in a way it does look dated, but that didn't bother me in the slightest, portal 2 is much more driven by the gameplay and silly characters


Agreed. Portal's graphics were sufficient - it was the design itself that really carried the visual appeal. Portal just isn't one of those games that requires high end graphics like some no-brain games like most other 1st person shooters.
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Old 07 July 2011   #7
Loved the game. Really couldn't care less about the graphics not being on the same level as other games; Portal is about puzzles, not detailed environments.
 
Old 07 July 2011   #8
Originally Posted by leigh: Loved the game. Really couldn't care less about the graphics not being on the same level as other games; Portal is about puzzles, not detailed environments.


+1
Who cares about graphics in Portal? Nobody. The Game Design is too good.
 
Old 07 July 2011   #9
Wait, what? I thought the graphics were great. They did their job, the communicated important gameplay concepts in an easy to understand way and the overall design was very consistent and well done. Yes, it's obvious that a large portion of the environments were brush-based, but the texture quality was still top-notch and the art direction was way more consistent and subtle than a lot of other games out right now.
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Old 07 July 2011   #10
Yeah i don't think it needs high end graphics, I just couldn't see past it. The graphics were better in the first and they weren't good graphics in the grand scheme of things.
May of been the combination of the sub par graphics, 55 inch led tv, and playing it on xbox because all I seen were dancing jaggies everywhere.
PC version on a smaller monitor is probably way better.

Edit: Yes the xbox version suffers from horrible AA compared to the PC(of course), with the PS3 looking slightly better than xbox.
http://www.gamespot.com/features/63...hics-comparison

Last edited by BigPixolin : 07 July 2011 at 04:50 PM.
 
Old 07 July 2011   #11
Crappy Anti-aliasing?... must have been on a console.

P2 is genius, the graphics are pretty good considering what it needs to do, but more importantly the DESIGN is beyond stellar and the story/writing is perfect. Loved every minute of it.
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Old 07 July 2011   #12
I agree about the design and story. Its funny I never finished the first portal. I think something came up, I was kinda bored with the testing chambers, made the mistake in thinking thats all it was and never finished it. Bought and completed Portal 2. Loved it so much redownloaded portal 1 from steam and then played/completed it. Then played Portal 2 again. lol

Having said that, there were times in Portal 2 that I kinda thought the graphics were 'meh'. I know portal 2 is absolutely killer at what it's good at, but you know what? I'm a cg artist, I have a pretty high standard as to what I think is really good graphics. And while I may have thought the visual quality of the game was a bit average at times, it didn't stop me from enjoying the game. More then once. But I still noticed it.
 
Old 07 July 2011   #13
Originally Posted by BigPixolin: Yeah i don't think it needs high end graphics, I just couldn't see past it. The graphics were better in the first and they weren't good graphics in the grand scheme of things.
May of been the combination of the sub par graphics, 55 inch led tv, and playing it on xbox because all I seen were dancing jaggies everywhere.
PC version on a smaller monitor is probably way better.

Edit: Yes the xbox version suffers from horrible AA compared to the PC(of course), with the PS3 looking slightly better than xbox.
http://www.gamespot.com/features/63...hics-comparison


wow interesting article. Yes I played the PC version, and I do remember asking myself why there seemed to be alot of shadows lacking in areas. funny that in places the consoles had better or at least existing shadows that were missing from the PC version.
 
Old 07 July 2011   #14
I didn't notice any problem with the graphics (and I absolutely loved the style and designs of the robots), but I also have a new DLP 52 inch Samsung tv. If you didn't like the graphics here, then by all means don't play the new Duke Nukem. Dear God.
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Old 07 July 2011   #15
Great game, good article, but the second-to-last line reads as really unprofessional to me and killed all the momentum that the article had.

It was interesting to hear about all the thought process that went through designing the different levels (colors, light, etc).
 
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