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Portal 2 would have contained a wall-walking gel were it not so nauseating

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

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23 comments

  • Zanthis - April 26, 2011 11:37 p.m.

    I've never experience motion sickness from games, but I know people who do. Sure the wall walking gel would have been cool, but Portal 2 was so good on its own. It was cut for a reason.
  • mockraven - April 26, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    Beat the game twice now. Loved all of it. I played through normally then played through again with the commentary. I have to say that the play testers must have been easily confused in some of the rooms that talked about simplifying the puzzles. I'd love to see some DLC with the extra gel and tools as well as with some more challenging levels. The game was awesome, the story great, now just pump out a few more awesome puzzler levels and higher difficulty would be totally fine!
  • CAPST3R - April 26, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    "wow way to make it even more obvious that they was basicly copying TAG: the power of paint" They hired the developers of TAG to help them; it wasn't copied, it was TAG. I think they should add it as DLC, because I think that'd be fantastic. I'd happily just stay at hope, playing Portal, and puking in a bucket. Probably be lethal for bulimics though. GET RID OF THIS FUCKING RECAPTCHA
  • Leghar - April 25, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    God dang it! wth... I want that to be released as bonus content... hell i'll even test it... nauseas... maybe, doubt it... but even so, you'll get used to it eventually... need moar!
  • Crimmy - April 25, 2011 11:41 p.m.

    Now tell us what happened to Pneumatic Diversity Vents. All bossiness aside, this sounds like it would have been awesome. However, if it slowed you down, I'd not like it as you are slow enough already (c'mon, after using that gel, you think it too).
  • austincharlesbond - April 25, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    DLC!
  • Riche666 - April 25, 2011 10:32 p.m.

    I would like to see a gel that allows you to bounce your portals. Think about it, bouncing portals off of the restrictive walls onto portable-able walls. Genius.
  • HankVenture - April 25, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    DLC gel plz?? I thought the puzzles weren't extremely hard, sorta simple in fact. I would love to get some new ones that would include music oriented and walking on walls gel, just add a huge warning before purchase lol
  • Redeater - April 25, 2011 10 p.m.

    That sounds like it would have been fun but I trust Valve. I think it wouldn't have been as fun as it sounds and it might have broken the pace. @Tyler Wilde Fantastic review of Portal 2. I still found it short but I can live with a game that ends to soon and leaves me wanting more then a game that I get bored with half way through. Besides......I bought Duke Nukem for N64 when it first came out...full price. Ah the pain I still feel when I think about the hard earned cash I pissed away buying that stinker.
  • nadrewod - April 25, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    I can just imagine what a level might have been like without the removal of the tubes and wall-walking gel. Chell wanders into a condemned test chamber, and notices a big pipe saying "old air" on it (this is assuming GLaDOS never tells you that the air is recycled). Since the only way to get new air is to get it from the surface, and there is only so much space for the air to take up, the "old air" pipe must go to the surface (or at least a pumping station closer to the surface) However, there are no ground portal-able surfaces, the ceiling above the pipe is black, and there is no running/bouncing gel nearby. Instead, you have a weird "green" gel that is spraying onto a nearby portal grate (i.e. something you can shoot a portal through, but you can't go through yourself) right beside a water sprayer over another portal grate (i.e. you can use the water to wash off the green gel). You decide to spray the wall using the one other wall that you can see the white-side of. You then walk against it, only to suddenly have the whole level twist. As you near the end of the gel-covered area, another white-wall becomes visible, allowing you to spray more area and keep climbing. You eventually have covered the ceiling directly above the pipe, but have a problem. The gel won't let you jump off! Instead, once directly overhead, you shoot a portal underneath the water grate and on the ceiling-sprayer wall. Suddenly the thick gel becomes thin green water. The pipe sucks the falling Chell in, brings her farther out of the pit. Also, @FizzyPop, READ THE FREAKING NEWS ONCE IN A WHILE! Portal 2 didn't "rip off" Tag, it "assimilated" Tag (by hiing its developers), much like Valve didn't "rip off" Narbacular Drop with the first Portal, it "assimilated" it (by hiring its developers for the first game and giving them the resources necessary to be a big success on their own) P.S. I played Tag, which came complete with only 3 gels: bouncy, fast, and sticky (as in, BOUNCE to greater/equal heights, run FAST through/across deadly obstacles, walk up the side of STICKY walls to gain access to greater heights/new ramps for the other two gels). I have successfully beat both Tag and Portal 1/2, both with no sense of nausea (no motion sickness).
  • Crabhand - April 25, 2011 9:49 p.m.

    "it's always fun to learn about the creative and technical process behind games - especially Valve's, as its creative techniques are usually fascinating." I agree, it's for this reason that Valve games are completely awesome. Developer commentary sprinkled throughout the game that not only tells you, but shows you, what they are talking about.
  • Vitreosity - April 25, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    The Valve playtesters were apparently terrible at solving puzzles. Portal 2 was a bit too easy. And come on, too nauseating? Seriously? Gravity puzzles would have been incredible. And D0CCON, they most likely took out Pneumatic Diversity Vents because, think about it: It can tear panels out, and take away turrets. What else could they do with them?
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - April 25, 2011 9:16 p.m.

    NausEAs? They're subliminally planting a message in our heads... "Our games are sick." Terrible pun, I know. I just wanted to be part of it all. I reckon it would have been fun to do the walking on walls thing :D
  • D0CCON - April 25, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    I'm fine with what they had. I was hoping to use those pneumatic diversity vents though (the machines that sucked up turrets, panels, etc.) I didn't know why those weren't used (hopefully DLC). Besides that, I loved the game to death. Got it yesterday morning and beat the single player yesterday night. Truly spectacular, I have no idea why people were complaining on Metacritic (even if it wasn't the longest game ever).
  • AngryScotsman - April 25, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    I kept thinking that that was what the white gel did. I felt like a moron before I realised that the whole time I was trying to get it on the walls I was actually using it for what it was supposed to be used for: to make portals where you couldn't before.
  • kingdom - April 25, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    "The [Tag Team] has since been hired into the Valve Corporation, using the concepts of Tag as new puzzle elements to their game Portal 2." Gosh they so stole those completely innovative and never before conceived ideas! /Sarcasm off Thats pretty cool, I would like to tinker with it but I can definitely see it causing a problem for some players. Wikipedia Link to that quote - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag:_The_Power_of_Paint
  • JD_Method - April 25, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    @FizzyPop The developers say they got ideas from Tag: The Power of Paint in the developer commentary.
  • HitmanSB07 - April 25, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    @FIzzyPop, Valve hired the devs of tag to work on the same stuff in Portal 2, so it's pretty obvious from the start
  • bigwill1221 - April 25, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    Hmm... really I'd love the see the data for this wall-walking gel that was deleted from game... since there is hardly any game play to begin with...
  • HitmanSB07 - April 25, 2011 8:20 p.m.

    They never put in that suction tube either, though it wouldn't have fit in to the puzzles I don't think.

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

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