The Final Hours of Portal 2 Blog is Live

I have been blown away by the kind words and comments about The Final Hours of Portal – thank you for your interest and support! Sales on the App Store have been very strong, we are the #1 News App for 3 days straight.  On this blog I’ll keep you updated on the story, potentially post some excerpts, and also answer your questions.

First, let me get the biggest questions out of the way:

1.) Why is the story only available for iPad? As I mention on the main page FAQ we are working on versions of the story for other devices and platforms. These versions are not going to take months or even weeks to appear. I’ll keep you posted, but rest assured we are (and have been) working on other platforms. The iPad was ready first because it was the base platform for development.  I love the iPad and think it’s the perfect way to experience this story.

2.) Why did you charge money to read this “article”? The answer is pretty simple: This App cost a lot of money to develop and we need to try and cover our production costs. One of the reasons you don’t typically see an article like this online is that traditional banner ad revenue models can’t support a story with this level of production.  This is not just an “article” or a “review” of Portal 2; it is a full blown “making of” book about the game’s creation.

Do you have a question about something you read in the story or my time at Valve? Feel free to post questions below and I’ll respond to them here on the blog.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Luis asks “Whats your next “The final hours” story?? LA NOIRE? Mortal Kombat??”
I have yet to decide when I’ll write another Final Hours story, but no, I am not planning a story on Mortal Kombat or L.A. Noire.  I won’t be able to discuss other Final Hours projects until they are released.

PJ Collazo asks, “How did you mange to keep this a secret?”
Part of my agreement with any developer involved in a Final Hours story is that I will not publicly talk about the story while it is being written.  This allows me to have relatively unrestricted access to the game and the team during development, something that is necessary in order to tell a compelling narrative. I also don’t talk about these projects in advance because I am not always sure they will end up being released. I have other obligations and, as we know, games can always be delayed or cancelled.

Dan asks, “At the very end of the article you write that ‘Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game with an isolated single-player experience.’…Was this based on reading general industry trends, or something specific you heard from Valve?”
Good eye! This is coming from Valve, although I don’t have a lot more to share other than what is in the story. I agree it’s a provocative statement, especially given the amazing single player storyline in Portal 2.  Keep in mind Valve said “probably,” so I get the feeling that this could change.

Onlineatron asks, “Did you ever hate the idea of finding out story spoilers before playing through the game?”
Great question, and yes, to avoid spoilers I played through the game before asking the writers detailed questions about plot. I did know about some of the general twists before sitting down with the game, but Portal 2 is so rich and complex that it felt very fresh to me on my first play through.

Nathan asks “What do you mean it wont take months or even weeks for alternate versions? Do you mean it will take longer, or they will be here soon?”
They will be here soon.

Niall asks, “Is there a possibility of an iPhone app being one of the platforms?”
I’m flattered someone would consider reading 15,000 words on an iPhone. We’re looking into what’s possible.

 

 

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9 Responses to The Final Hours of Portal 2 Blog is Live

  1. Geoff says:

    Post any questions below and I’ll try to answer them!

  2. Luis says:

    Whats your next “The final hours” story?? LA NOIRE? Mortal Kombat??

  3. PJ Collazo says:

    How did you manage to keep this a secret?

  4. Dan Bruno says:

    Hi Geoff,

    I have a question for you. At the very end of the article, you write that “Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game with an isolated single-player experience.” I’m interested in the future of single-player games and was surprised by that prediction — I have a hard time imagining a new Half-Life game without a single-player campaign, for example — so I was hoping you could speak a bit more about it. Was this based on reading general industry trends, or something specific you heard from Valve?

    Great work to you and everyone involved with this app.

  5. Onlineatron says:

    This may be a dumb question given how exciting it must have been rubbing shoulders with the greats at Valve, but: Did you ever hate the idea of finding out story spoilers before playing through the game?

    I found myself actively closing webpages, that mentioned Portal 2 in any capacity, between the US launch and UK (when I could get my hands on it). I was terrified of spoilers! It paid off though, as discovering the plot, and secrets for myself was the most fun I’ve had whilst gaming for years.

    Apologies if this encroaches on/contradicts anything discussed in the app. I haven’t got an iDevice (or an Apple store nearby) so I haven’t been able to view it yet.

  6. Nathan says:

    What do you mean it won’t take months or even weeks for alternate versions? Do you mean it will take longer, or they will be here soon?

  7. Niall Gosker says:

    Is there a possibility of an iPhone app being one of the platforms? I understand this would involve quite a large restructuring but it would definitely it be worth it in terms of expanding the exposure of what seems to be a must read feature for gamers.

  8. Brock says:

    Hey Geoff,

    I loved your work here and appreciate you pulling the connotations of video games from worthless geeks living in their parents basement, to the sophisticated, mature and relevant modern business that it is.

    My question is if you ever felt Valve had a truly clear sense of how this world of Portal and Half Life really worked and intertwined? In essence, do they have a set of “ground rules “before making decisions as far as story and plot that they check against? (i.e. LOST had to be really careful not to contradict itself and keep everything plausible within their vision for the series).

    Thanks again, best of luck in your many ventures, and keep up the great work!

    All The Best,
    Brock Smith
    http://www.OculusStudios.com

  9. Devin says:

    Have you considered releasing this as an audiobook or to other mobile platforms such as Android? Also, gotta have the obligatory “Anything on Half Life 2: Episode 3?”

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