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June 17, 2010 4:39 PM   Subscribe

It's well-known at this point that Valve Software hired the team of Digipen students who made Narbacular Drop to turn their student project into Portal. But even people who drooled over the new mechanics in the Portal 2 E3 videos may not be aware that Valve has hired another team out of Digipen for that. If you're looking for a preview, you should probably download and play Tag, the game the new mechanics are based on, in which you explore a grey, cell-shaded world by spraying paint on it.
posted by Pope Guilty (28 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tag previously.
posted by lekvar at 4:49 PM on June 17, 2010


You can actually download Narbacular Drop from Digipen, and the 2D Concept Demo plus other goodies from the early development stages.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:51 PM on June 17, 2010


I searched and everything. Ah, well.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:53 PM on June 17, 2010


I think the new context should let the post stay, no?
posted by griphus at 4:54 PM on June 17, 2010


Not really. It's the same content.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:58 PM on June 17, 2010


Just to be clear, I have no complaints about this post. Tag looks like a lot of fun (still haven't played it though) and that's the kind of creativity that will draw my attention to a big-name game like P2.

Now, just out of curiosity, PG, are you implying that Tag's mechanics are being rolled into P2, or just the creative team?
posted by lekvar at 5:00 PM on June 17, 2010


A cursory read of this post may give the reader the impression that a DigiPen degree gives you great job prospects.

According to a couple of friends of mine, this would be a laughably optimistic view.
posted by gurple at 5:01 PM on June 17, 2010


Tag's mechanics are being rolled into Portal 2, yeah. What I've seen of the videos suggests that there will be fonts of the gels/paints and you can use the portals to direct them onto the surface you want to paint.

Everyone really should play Tag. It's tremendously fun, and there's several moments where I just found myself grinning my head off like the first time I played Portal.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:04 PM on June 17, 2010


SOME of Portal 2's new mechanics incorporate the surface property-altering effects in TAG, but some of them are totally new also, such as the Aerial Faith Plate, the Thermal Discouragement beam, Redirection Cubes, etc.
posted by hellphish at 5:23 PM on June 17, 2010


Oh goddamn now I've watched those preview videos I've been avoiding DAMN YOUR POPE-Y TEMPTATIONS!

I'd say those additions look damn fine.
posted by graventy at 5:25 PM on June 17, 2010


Is this like The Unfinished Swan? a game where you discover the world by shooting paint balls? (Which I am still waiting to play based on the super cool youtube demo?)
posted by cogpsychprof at 5:28 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah Digipen. I was in the last year of their animation program when they were still in Vancouver before they moved down to Redmond.

I'm glad to see folks busting out good games out of there.
posted by yeloson at 5:37 PM on June 17, 2010


I KNEW I RECOGNIZED THAT PAINT
posted by grobstein at 5:43 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Raise your hand if you literally got chills from GlaDos saying "it's been a long time."


You monster.
posted by The Whelk at 6:02 PM on June 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


A shared interest in Invader Zim is what brought the original Narbacular Drop team together.
posted by hellojed at 6:24 PM on June 17, 2010


I'd played Tag and was aware Valve was incorporating the paint mechanic into Portal 2, but I'd imagined you'd have some separate paint gun or something.

Using portals to direct paint gushers looks much more fun, as well as being more streamlined and also making it easier for the game designers to keep you from being tempted to use paint all the time even if it's not fun.

Tag is fun too.
posted by straight at 8:00 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What new gameplay in the Portal 2 trailer? It looks cool, but I'm not really getting a feel for any gameplay at all...
posted by heathkit at 8:12 PM on June 17, 2010


"We've both said a lot of things you're going to regret"
posted by Tenuki at 9:38 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wizball did the whole painting portal-ridden monochrome landscapes thing years ago.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:17 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, those guys got hired huh? That's cool. One of those guys is friends with a guy I know.

A cursory read of this post may give the reader the impression that a DigiPen degree gives you great job prospects.
According to a couple of friends of mine, this would be a laughably optimistic view.


From the people I've talked to it's not that laughable. Any jobs you go after is like any other. You have to be able to network and sell yourself, and your prospects are actually better because companies do scout out of there. There's also the added advantage of quite a few game companies within a short driving distance of the school. Although the degree(s) you can get from there, from what I've heard, are not anything special.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:29 PM on June 17, 2010


From what I hear, the best way to get a job in games is to demonstrate that you can deliver. Digipen projects seem very well-geared toward that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:06 PM on June 17, 2010


The gameplay videos are the three following the trailer in the playlist.
posted by mek at 3:36 AM on June 18, 2010


Tag reminded me a lot of Portal (I played Tag after Portal) in the way that when you're first starting the game you're like "No way I can do that, but I'll try... holy shit, I can actually do that!"

It's good to see that Valve can recognize that sort of talent and then hire it.

Regardless of how sick I am of hearing nerds yammer on about the veracity of that dumb fucking cake, Portal 2 should be a blast.
posted by codacorolla at 8:07 AM on June 18, 2010


Digipen projects seem very well-geared toward that.

Agreed. I don't mean to make Digipen out to be the bestest school in the world because they do run you throught the gamut there but you also have some distinct advantages. This got me interested so I went looking for a bit of info on the job placement rate there and ended up on GameDev.net:
Folks, if you're looking into any college, just make the realization that wasting your time there, getting mediocre grades, and partying all night/every night amounts to buying a brand new car every year. In 1, 2, or 4 years time you've paid out (or have to start paying back) all that money for a product that you've only partially used! So when you make a decision on where you want to go, take the steps to achieve that goal, or you've just wasted all that money for nothing else than a piece of paper with your name on it. Sure, it will get you in the door, but it's your knowledge of a subject that gets you hired - not a piece of paper.
Anyway I think the projects speak for themselves, but I know there were a few big hurdles to get across to make Narbacular Drop and Tag work. Having a good idea and the having the the ability to implement and make them work are two vastly different things.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:55 AM on June 18, 2010


From what I hear, the best way to get a job in games is to demonstrate that you can deliver.

Exactly. The things that get you hired are good portfolios and prior game credits. In the places I've worked, we found the applicants we got from Digipen and Full Sail and the like usually weren't as good as other applicants, but it's not like we threw out their resumes when we saw the names.

Personally I always tell people to avoid game schools, because you get such a narrow education. Even if you want to change careers within the games industry, it's much harder if the only thing you know is animation.
posted by Sibrax at 10:24 AM on June 18, 2010


How do you load saved games in Tag?
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:04 PM on June 18, 2010


Those Portal 2 vids made me excited and filled me with dread in equal degree. The lasers and tractor beams look cool. The gels look kind of gimmicky. The vacuum looks like something it'll be easy to make funny videos with. And the Jar Jar Binks personality sphere....ugh. Even my wife, who never plays video games and only knows Portal because of overhearing it multiple times, though that guy was a huge mistake.
posted by DU at 5:58 AM on June 21, 2010


I just wonder how many character-driven puzzle games your wife has made.
posted by hellphish at 3:29 PM on June 21, 2010


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