Can you visualize Portal without GladOS?
Well, according to an interview with PC Gamer with Valve’s Robin Walker, right after almost a full year of growth work, GladOS didn’t even can be found yet. At that point, the game was partly playable, with 14 fully functional amounts. But the deceptively evil AI, voiced by Ellen McLain, that types the beating heart and soul of Portal was nowhere to be found.
The interview and GladOS revelation occurs the 10th anniversary of The Orange Box. Valve’s 5-in-1 video games collection is also notable for getting Half-Life 2 and Team Castle 2 to consoles, but its greatest hindsight success is unquestionably Portal.
Valve realized during the game’s earlier playtests that it wasn’t clicking along with players. The notion of a first-person problem game was a foreign concept when this occurs, and that meant anyone who sat right down to play didn’t have a frame associated with reference to guide them.
“Players were having fun, but they seemed to think about everything they played as simply training leading up to something else”
“There was no GladOS, the player simply moved from puzzle to problem without any sense of progression or even reward beyond the increasing difficulty of the puzzles, ” Walker described. People were enjoying the core technicians, but they felt it was all simply an extended tutorial.
Summed upward, the prevailing attitude was: “This is really fun! When does the overall game start? “
“Players were having a good time, but they seemed to consider everything these people played as just training prior to something else, ” Walker said. “Considering the entire game was really just a procedure for learning about the core gameplay auto technician, this scared us a lot, producing us worry that weâd need to create a whole other section of the overall game afterwards. “
That’s what playtests are for, of course: To emphasize the uneven bits of an incomplete game. And from these tests, Control device discovered that something was missing within Portal.
“After much debate, we settled on the idea that it had been the lack of threat or pressure. Absolutely nothing in the game pushed back on the participant. There was no real failure, complimentary to mistakes, nothing overall to be afraid, no larger goal to shoot for, and hence no real reason to progress, ” Walker said. Â
The team tossed around various suggestions, but the idea of a central bad guy made the most sense. But not a good overt one. Remember: The disembodied voice of GladOS is at first just guiding force. It’s just over time that her sinister aspect starts to come out. That’s really the final amount of Portal‘s story arc.
As it turns out, that was the entire idea.
“The antagonist [as we originally conceived it] could start as a narrative device for introduction and reward, inch Walker explained. “Over time, [it would] become the thing that pushed back again on the player, eventually giving them the particular core goal of the game. “
GladOS is also just a voice for many of the game, and even that was influenced by Portal‘s development constraints. The particular game’s art team was really small, so hinging the character’s existence primarily on dialogue provided a simple solution to a logistical problem.
“players seem to start ‘Portal’ discussing the gameplay, but after theyâre done, all they talk about is usually GladOS. “
This is the key sauce in game development, obviously. There’s no shortage of ideas on earth, but the trick is executing upon those ideas using the technology, the particular resources, and the workforce that’s available for you. It’s unthinkable to imagine a Portal without GladOS, and yet she has been only added to the game after a calendar year of work had been completed, as well as for a very specific reason.
“In the end, there are many important decisions following this that were critical to GladOS operating as well as she did, such as the girl entire personality, ” Walker mentioned. “But her genesis begins using a straightforward process of us trying to resolve the core gameplay problem within Portal.
“Even today, itâs always fascinating to us that will players seem to start Portal discussing the gameplay, but after theyâre done, all they talk about is usually GladOS. “
There’s much more in order to PC Gamer‘s interview with Master and we highly recommend you take the time to take a look.