Valve is a wonderfully unusual company, so it's sensible that it would open its doors especially wide to similarly-novel coverage. Journalist Geoff Keighley's in-depth piece on the company, which debuted on the iPad and is now available on Steam, is properly novel - it's a slick, occasionally-interactive 'digital book' which investigates the creative processes and interpersonal relationships which culminated in the release of Portal 2.
The $1.99 download features 15,000 words and a variety of multimedia supplements, including 360-degree panoramic photos of Valve's office; audio from Jonathan Coulton's song in various stages of development; a puppet-able Wheatley; and an interactive portal diagram. Among the reveals teased in promotional text are "that Portal 2 actually began as a prequel to the first game without portals or GLaDOS," and "video of a never-before-disclosed project, Two Bots, One Wrench."
We checked out the iPad version when it released, and found the whole thing very palatable. For a couple bucks, serious lovers of Valve and Portal ought to be pleased, and even if you're not a slobbering Valve fanboy (that being your perception... we think of ourselves as "sophisticated enthusiasts"), the company's story might ensnare your interest anyway. Or maybe 15,000 words is "too short" for you. Man, you're a jerk, Mr. Straw Man.
May 17, 2011