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The (wedding) Cake is (not) a lie.
August 22, 2011 6:52 PM   Subscribe

This was a triumph. A very special, very custom Portal 2 mod serves as Gary Hudston's proposal to his girlfriend Stephanie. He commissioned Douglas “TopHATTwaffle” Hoogland and Rachel “Miss Stabby” van der Meer and a the talents of a special guest as the icing on the cake. Via RPS.
posted by Verdant (85 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite

 
'Cause if you like it you shoulda put a weighted companion cube on it.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:00 PM on August 22, 2011 [49 favorites]


It's gonna really suck when they have to throw that companion cube into the incinerator.
posted by kmz at 7:10 PM on August 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


A cake at their wedding would be a real shame.
posted by Gorgik at 7:11 PM on August 22, 2011 [15 favorites]


My friends had a weighted companion cube wedding cake.
posted by jb at 7:12 PM on August 22, 2011


FUCKING. SOLID. WOW!

Incredible level design, incredible script, GOT GLADOS TO VOICE IT, oh man. I was all swoony and teary.

Of course, I tried to explain this to my wife "H-h-he made a custom level mod with a great puzzle to propose to his girlfriend!" she was all like "o.O" but hey, she's not a gamer. I'm certainly thinking he knew his girlfriend liked the game!

Dude!
posted by cavalier at 7:13 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


"in order to be fully engaged", ho ho ho.
posted by kenko at 7:13 PM on August 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Awesome! I gather the level can be downloaded from topHATTwaffle's site.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:31 PM on August 22, 2011


"By the way, how are you with multiple choice," was a perfect line. Well written and clever, so I'm glad they managed to get the authentic voice.
posted by absalom at 7:33 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, serious bonus points to whoever wrote the script. Fantastic.
posted by polymath at 7:38 PM on August 22, 2011


I was all "Really, six mini-puzzles? You're just stalling." But then the heart, and... *sniff* So beautiful.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:42 PM on August 22, 2011


"I'd hate to be trapped with one person for the rest of their life, wouldn't you?"

Harshlarious
posted by fullerine at 7:42 PM on August 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


the real voice was mandatory. having the puzzles take a while was necessary. but the writing was perfect. for the right girl, it does not get better than this. fantastic. thanks for sharing this. "you can say no" indeed.
posted by davejay at 7:45 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude. Wow.

As I said to my friends on watching this: "Dude, keep her. She beat that map. Lady, keep him, HE DID THAT FOR YOU!"
posted by strixus at 7:47 PM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


BTW, a bit of a tangent, but there's some Portal related goodness in the Steam version of Bastion: A Bone to Pick with Cave. And a new secret weapon.
posted by kmz at 7:48 PM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


If I were playing a video game and something like this happened to me, some part of me would probably respond with permanent paranoia. They're supposed to be impersonal, and to have it address me by name and start mentioning people in my life...

I mean, it's romantic and sweet and was obviously a lot of effort. But fuck. There's a part of my brain which would find this completely creepy, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that feeling.

Anyway, best wishes to the couple for a long life together.
posted by hippybear at 7:49 PM on August 22, 2011


Imagine proposing like to a non-gamer girl. I don't think I could convince my wife to pick up a controller, much less complete an entire level. "no, the cube.. that thing... no the cube.. now pick it up.. square button. SQUARE BUTTON. Come on, just a little more.. damn it.. nevermind.. Lets just go somewhere with a jumbotron."
posted by jlowen at 7:52 PM on August 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


Sweet set of levels, from multiple perspectives. (I loved the layout of the thermal discouragement beams on the second test.)

Making a note here: huge success.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:56 PM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think we can move on from the line of discussion entitled "If this was not for the right person they would not like the proposal handled in this fashion."
posted by jscott at 7:56 PM on August 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


How the heck did he keep the incredible shit-eating grin and look of sheer terror off his face while she played through the whole thing? That was wonderful.
posted by zachlipton at 7:57 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow.

It's hard to understate my satisfaction.
posted by eriko at 8:03 PM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would totally marry the fuck out of someone who proposed to me like that.
posted by egypturnash at 8:11 PM on August 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


So awesome. I'd marry on the condition that the companion cube could remain an important part of our future lives.
posted by msbutah at 8:34 PM on August 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dude's confident...
posted by sfts2 at 8:38 PM on August 22, 2011


Oh. This isn't a live play through. Wonder why he didn't record it. I mean, he went to all that trouble.
posted by FJT at 8:50 PM on August 22, 2011


I am so jealous it is ridiculous, worthy of ridicule
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 PM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I seriously hope they can find a turret to officiate their wedding.

But I'll settle for the space sphere.
posted by schmod at 8:53 PM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would totally marry the fuck out of someone who proposed to me like that.

This. I'd drag them to the nearest city clerk's office and apply for a marriage license right then and there. I mean, why wait? You've obviously found the Perfect Guy.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:56 PM on August 22, 2011


This. I'd drag them to the nearest city clerk's office and apply for a marriage license right then and there. I mean, why wait?

It's easier to use a wedding escort robot for that.
posted by FJT at 8:58 PM on August 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is very sweet.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:14 PM on August 22, 2011


Pure awesome.
posted by Gelatin at 9:16 PM on August 22, 2011


I would totally marry the fuck out of someone who proposed to me like that.

Dude. I'd marry him in a heartbeat just for proposing to someone else like this. Plus, I'm male and not gay. I'd marry him anyway. That's how impressed I am.
posted by baf at 9:32 PM on August 22, 2011 [13 favorites]


I actually teared up during the church sequence.
posted by empath at 10:02 PM on August 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


The varigated methods of proposing available now make me secretly hope for the abolition of marriage.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:35 PM on August 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I assume the Animal King will conduct the ceremony.
posted by homunculus at 11:14 PM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


From one who has no idea, how much work goes into creating one of these custom maps/puzzles? In the past, custom maps were (usually) made up of drag&drop elements (a wall here, a trap there, a monster there, etc.) But this one seems to have a lot of customized elements, both in terms of the environment, as well as the level objectives. How much work did this require?
posted by ShutterBun at 11:34 PM on August 22, 2011


Jesus. And I thought MY proposal was nerdy!

LOVE that they some how got Ellen Mclain to do the voice. Brilliant.
posted by disillusioned at 11:40 PM on August 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


In the wake of such stunt proposals as the Captain America proposal at Comic Con, I've become aware that "insufficiently memorable/dramatic" proposals are in fact subject to retroactive griefing by the interested party.

It appears I am WAY out of touch when it comes to what really matters for a wedding/marriage. Not only are we expected to contrive a "cute meet," but it apparently extends to a "cute propose" and "cute get married" and even a "cute honeymoon."

Thanks, internet.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:12 AM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


How much work did this require?

According to the mod author on reddit, 60+ hours per chamber.
posted by empath at 12:14 AM on August 23, 2011


Awesome, but could have made it harder to show respect.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:20 AM on August 23, 2011


How much work did this require?

A lot. A lot a lot a lot a lot. A LOT. 60+ hours per chamber feels really low - but a quick look at his site shows he's an expert on Source modding (he's on video tutorial #88 for Portal modding). I can't do what he did in anywhere that time frame, and this is the kind of stuff I do for my job.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 12:51 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, it involves both creating the physical objects, as well as their behavior? Damn. Yep, way more than 60 hours, by my watch.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:55 AM on August 23, 2011


It appears I am WAY out of touch when it comes to what really matters for a wedding/marriage. Not only are we expected to contrive a "cute meet," but it apparently extends to a "cute propose" and "cute get married" and even a "cute honeymoon."

OK, I get your crankiness; really, I understand. I think in some cases these "cute" videos are done for the wrong reasons, like attention seeking. But think about it: the work put into proposals like these are not a requirement for a relationship, but rather, in many cases, a reflection of what does matter in a relationship: devotion. They also often reflect something special about the couple, like what their common interests are. Creating a "cute" video can be a way to show family and friends what is special about their relationship.

I think a creative gesture like this one is a whole lot better than the empty tradition of spending loads of money on a particular kind of rock.

That's not to say these proposals can't be attention-seeking, creepy, and coercive. I'm just arguing that in many cases, they aren't; they hint that the couple has the "right stuff".
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:11 AM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nevertheless, videos like this are sure to give other spouses-to-be ideas about "what constitutes a compatible couple" and "why can't WE mind-meld like these two?"
posted by ShutterBun at 3:27 AM on August 23, 2011


Experimenters Log, Entry 2601

Installed a new action-reward dopamine drip behavioral conditioner in the test subject's population container. The animals are congregating around it, and seem to perform some kind of ceremony. They seem fond of the blinking lights and have taken to imitating the mechanical actions of the device. Marked for further study.

posted by krilli at 3:31 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


You think that's something...I proposed to my wife at a party while we were both drunk with the words "Hey, wanna get married?".

I am totally suave and not at all weeping in a corner now.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:33 AM on August 23, 2011


Mr. Bad Example, can I just say you are not alone? (granted, I did it on New Years Eve and had some help from local fireworks displays, but essentially...)
posted by ShutterBun at 4:05 AM on August 23, 2011


Wow, would have been super-awkward if she'd had to consult a walkthrough.

Seriously though, a lot of nerdy/public proposals leave me cold, but this is pretty damn special. If she's enough of a gamer to have worked her way through these puzzles, this is pretty much a peak experience. Congratulations to them both and that modder should get a job at Valve. I'd play the shit out of any DLC he put together.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:05 AM on August 23, 2011


60+ hours per chamber feels really low - but a quick look at his site shows he's an expert on Source modding (he's on video tutorial #88 for Portal modding).

According to his reddit post, he's also 18 years old.

If anyone wants me I'll be over here feeling decrepit and unaccomplished. Sigh.
posted by fight or flight at 5:13 AM on August 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


Awesome, but could have made it harder to show respect.

I don't think this is her playing through. It looks like someone who really knows how to solve these puzzles is playing it, so that's why it looks easy.
posted by King Bee at 5:48 AM on August 23, 2011


Jeesus. That's an awesome level.
posted by odinsdream at 5:54 AM on August 23, 2011


Interesting, the husband of the Portal voice actress is the voice of the Sniper in TF2. "Feelings?! Look, mate, you know who has a lot of feelings?"
posted by exogenous at 5:58 AM on August 23, 2011


Thanks, internet.

It's really not a competition. Me, I kneeled in a restaurant. Couple one table over bought our dinner. Went home with a fiance, then got a wife and two kids.

I'm good.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:23 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't wait til they have a kid. THEN they'll learn all about deadly neurotoxins, won't they?

But they'll hope, as most parents do, that he or she will become a doctor. In fashion. From France.
posted by PapaLobo at 6:23 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


i'm making a note here, "huge success".
posted by radiosilents at 7:30 AM on August 23, 2011


LOVE that they some how got Ellen McLain to do the voice.

This, to me, is absolutely key. If your boyfriend is a kick-ass Portal mapping god, and he gets you to play this new Portal level and it has this puzzle that makes a heart out of laser beams, you're going to be expecting shenanigans.

But if he just said, Check out this new Portal level, and it's got Ellen McLain's voice, it might have kept her thinking it was some actual Valve DLC until GLaDOS addressed her by name.

And I too would have to guess that, for anyone able to complete those puzzles, this whole thing -- the writing, all the foreshadowing, the way the levels morph, hearing GLaDOS speak her name -- would be mindblowing in an utterly wonderful way.
posted by straight at 7:35 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's the participation of Ellen McLain that elevates this to awesome. WELL DONE, MS MCLAIN!

This is the most dorky and most heartwarming thing I've seen in a while.

I expect that when the gf and I decide to actually do the marriage thing, it'll be a case of "so, um, we've been talking about this. should we actually - ya know - do it?" and that'll be okay. but this is kind of epic in fabulousness.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:50 AM on August 23, 2011


Actually, come to think of it, it'd be really lovely if they played Cara Mia at their wedding....
posted by schmod at 7:55 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


but rather, in many cases, a reflection of what does matter in a relationship: devotion

I disagree that something like this is a reflection of devotion. I mean, to me, there's a time component to devotion. The only way to show that is to give your life. I mean, in terms of devoting your life to someone or some thing, not necessarily getting yourself killed.
posted by FJT at 7:59 AM on August 23, 2011


So I was wondering, how did Ms. Mclain get access to the F/X, posting, etc, to make her sound so much like the GLaDOS. I'm guessing, ehnh, she rented her own studio time, or she has her own studio because she and her husband are VO gods, or, you know, whatevs.

But I'm reading around that apparently Gary went through VALVe to get her, and Valve being valve -- shit, they were in the middle of recording her for Portal 2's DLC anyway, so they just tagged this on to one of the days. Nicely done, Valve. Now hire this kid already.
posted by cavalier at 8:13 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to the anniversary level next year.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:17 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or the Doom-mod divorce paper serve.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:39 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or the Doom-mod divorce paper serve.

Capture the assets.
posted by kmz at 8:42 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I disagree that something like this is a reflection of devotion. I mean, to me, there's a time component to devotion.

Because clearly, there was no time and creative energy spent on this?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:48 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beautiful. According to the post on Reddit, he's an 18-year old guy who built the level for free. Now a bunch of people in that thread are donating to try and buy him a ticket to the wedding. If you wanna send him a couple of dollars, his website is at tophattwaffle.com.
posted by Magnakai at 9:13 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Went home with a fiance, then got a wife and two kids.

What, like on the way? That must've been awkward for your fiancée.
posted by kenko at 9:39 AM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I proposed to my wife at a party while we were both drunk with the words "Hey, wanna get married?".
...
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:33 AM on August 23 [+] [!]


Eponysterical.
posted by jewzilla at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The varigated methods of proposing available now make me secretly hope for the abolition of marriage.

Lord, you can say that again. When I proposed to my fiancee, I just waited until she got home from working late one night, and caught her right as she was changing in to her PJs, so that she had to stop what she was doing and cry and hug and say "yes" all while topless.

ROMANCE ACHIEVED
posted by saladin at 10:49 AM on August 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Geek love.
posted by Decani at 11:11 AM on August 23, 2011


Or the Doom-mod divorce paper serve.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:39 PM on August 23


I see that being better handled by a Half Life II fast zombie, actually.
posted by Decani at 11:12 AM on August 23, 2011


A headcrab carrying a ring in its maw as it leaps at her... how romantic!
posted by benzenedream at 1:01 PM on August 23, 2011


No, a headcrab carrying a discovery subpoena.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:09 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is adorable, and the level looked quite well-designed. I could easily have believed that it was part of some official DLC.

Also, someone left a great comment on the video:
"Cave Johnson here. This marriage proposal has just come to my attention, and all I have to say is: knock it off. If you two lovebirds want to marry something, marry Science. Unlike marrying another human being, Science won't produce children that will grow up to resent you, and it doesn't require fancy candy or ties for Father's Day to keep it happy. Go back to the testing chambers and I'll personally wed you to some repulsion gel, then call it even. Cave Johnson, we're done here."
posted by Tau Wedel at 1:37 PM on August 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


I proposed to biscotti over the phone. Top that, you romanceless screwheads.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:04 PM on August 23, 2011


If nothing else, I have to admire the hell out of her speed on solving those puzzles.

Also; everything about that was awesome. Everything.
posted by quin at 5:41 PM on August 23, 2011


When I first watched this, I thought:

a) If Ellen McLain really did the voices for this, you can barely tell it from stuff spliced together from the game, which I guess is alright but...; and

b) As soon as the player jumped across the first abyss and bounced off the blue-gel pad, I thought, "Wait, there's no way to go back! What if you forgot the ball on the other side or just didn't know to take it with you? Valve would never make you fail a puzzle for something so trivial! STUPID MOD"

So I never got anywhere near the part where it turns into a wedding proposal. Oops.
posted by chrominance at 5:45 PM on August 23, 2011


Proposals like this are pretty cool. However, the expectation of proposals like this is a decidedly horrible side effect. I really hope any woman who may deign to be interested in me in the future is not into such pomp and ceremony, because I really couldn't be assed to put such time and expense into what is essentially a proposal to consolidate finances
posted by tehloki at 6:22 PM on August 23, 2011


Must Watch: ‘Portal: No Escape’
posted by homunculus at 7:09 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


b) As soon as the player jumped across the first abyss and bounced off the blue-gel pad, I thought, "Wait, there's no way to go back! What if you forgot the ball on the other side or just didn't know to take it with you? Valve would never make you fail a puzzle for something so trivial! STUPID MOD"

Watch it again. I can see at least one--maybe two--ways to get back.

The video is basically someone who knows the level doing a speedrun through it, so you shouldn't be surprised if you don't catch all the nuances of the puzzles.
posted by straight at 7:50 PM on August 23, 2011


Yeah, I hope people don't think this is a video capture of the fiance's original session.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:06 PM on August 23, 2011


When I proposed to my fiancee, I just waited until she got home from working late one night, and caught her right as she was changing in to her PJs, so that she had to stop what she was doing and cry and hug and say "yes" all while topless.

Heh. People mocked Woodrow Wilson saying that when he proposed to Edith Galt she was so excited she fell out of bed.

I wonder how many people now can even imagine why that was ever funny.
posted by straight at 7:04 AM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. The Cave Johnson comment is fabulous.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:40 AM on August 24, 2011


Yeah, I hope people don't think this is a video capture of the fiance's original session.

Otherwise we'd be pushing each other out of the way to marry her.
posted by jscott at 1:34 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rubik’s Companion Cubes
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


PC Version of Portal 2 Outsells Console Brethren
posted by homunculus at 10:45 AM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why Portal’s Publishers Don’t Fear Piracy, Competition
posted by homunculus at 11:13 AM on August 30, 2011


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