Based on comments made throughout the development of Portal 2, it's apparent that Valve's process includes the conception of and testing of a slew of ideas, many of which are eventually scrapped (it even discussed music-based puzzles at one point). According to lead writer Erik Wolpaw, who recently spoke to EA in a brief interview, one of the Portal 2 ideas which made it to testing was a gel, like the bouncy Repulsion Gel, which allowed players to walk on walls. Unfortunately for the cool idea, it was too disorienting for Valve's test subjects.
"At one point we had a new Gel that allowed players to walk up the side of walls. While this added a new twist to the game, the effect was so disorientating that it made people nauseas," said Wolpaw.
"While working on a first-person game you always have to be aware of that issue so we removed that Gel. We also made changes to frame rate and movement that will help anyone play Portal 2 even if they do experience a feeling of nauseas while playing other first-person games."
EA's odd spelling of "nauseous" aside, it's always fun to learn about the creative and technical process behind games - especially Valve's, as its creative techniques are usually fascinating. We do sort of wish we'd had a chance to try out the wall-walking gel, though - it worked in Prey without making us hurl.
But we suppose that Portal 2's twisty-jumps alone have made some queasy, so added disorientation was probably best avoided. Did anyone experience motion sickness during the game?
Apr 25, 2011