Defense of the Ancients
is a MOBA (what's a MOBA?
| comprehensive history of MOBAs
) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International
(whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars.
While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream
the esports craze with helpful
noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final
and a simulcast on ESPN
, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility
and a very steep learning curve
. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary
] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting
, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable
. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes
, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS
, Bastion's Rucks
, and... a pirate
. ＤＩＧＩＴＡＬ ＳＰＯＲＴＳ!
GLaDOS teaches fusion and fission for NASA
. Ellen McLain lends her autotuned voice to IRrelevant Astronomy, a video series
produced as part of the education & public outreach mandate of the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope
Untold Riches: An Analysis Of Portal’s Level Design
, from RPS, who have been looking at level design in their Level With Me
series of interviews. Meanwhile Valve will be announcing something
Monday morning - probably not Half Life 3.
Alternate Reality Game puzzle design
- Adam Foster of Valve talks about the design of the Portal 2 ARG, (previously
) and do's and don'ts for future ARGs.
: the studio that produced the surprisingly high-budget fallout Fan series: Nuka Break
(with Dougie Jones
) have turned their attention to the office politics of our favorite hive of mad science: Aperture R&D.
French group Golden Mustache contemplates the sex lives of various video game characters
(video, English subtitles, surprisingly SFW, wait for Tetris)
Dan writes about games for a living. Dan's dad does not play games. Dan plays games with his dad. Much amused frustration is had by both parties. 2011
. Individual Youtube videos after the jump. [more inside]
"The Turret Anthem"
- Portal turrets get their revenge. (SLYT)
is a video of a game which replicates Portal's physics system in 2 dimensions on the TI-83 graphic calculator. The game
was developed by a 20 year old student studying game design. A download link is available here
"The experiences of women may not be easy to portray in the aggressive world of videogames. If such a game is made - and I hope it is - it will be because its creators demanded to be heard. It will be created because women made it." (Source)
While the vast majority of video game titles are designed primarily by men, women have been a part of video game development
since the earliest arcades. Here are some of their games: [more inside]
Teach With Portals.
Last summer, a New York Times review
of Portal 2
made the following prediction: "Somewhere out there an innovative, dynamic high school physics teacher will use Portal 2 as the linchpin of an entire series of lessons and will immediately become the most important science teacher those lucky students have ever had."
With Teach With Portals
's new education initiative, this just might be possible. [more inside]
With a little bit of help from Aperture Laboratories, these guys created a real Portal gun
25 extra minutes of Cave Johnson
- taken Portal 2's Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC.
No GLaDOS. No Chell. No portals. Set in the 1980s. Competitive multiplayer. Multiple endings. The Portal 2 That Could Have Been
is a fan-made mash-up of Nintendo and Valve Software's games, with a 4-player co-op mode and a level editor. And as a nod to Team Fortress
, there are hats
. Downloadable for PC, OS X and Linux.[via
The Nightmare Before Christmas' " This Is Halloween " sung by everyone's favorite turrets and murderous AI in " This Is Aperture
Have you every wanted to try GLaDOS' chocolate cake
or S’Jirra’s Famous Potato Bread
with a Nirnroot Salad? We've got Starkos
straight from the streets of Hillys, and steak skewers
prepared in Inaba's finest lunch stops. If you're thirsty we've got some NukaCola Quantum or Lon-Lon Milk
, and there's always FK
in the coffee. All these recipes and more from your favourite virtual worlds can be found at Gourmet Gaming
Mari0 is a Super Mario Bros and Portal mashup
currently under development
. Previously, the same developer made Not Tetris
; a faithful reimagining of the original game, but with the addition of realistic physics and geometry.
Portal: No Escape
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
has finally hit the streets, and despite a somewhat rocky start
with their controversial promotional ARG (previously
), it looks to be a huge success. Interestingly for such a critically-acclaimed blockbuster, the title's core ideas steam from a pair of concept projects from student design school DigiPen
: the original portal system from Narbacular Drop
) and the sequel's physics-altering gels from Tag: The Power of Paint
). Combine these innovative ideas with some Lost
-meets-Life After People
level design, excellent voice acting
, and top-notch writing, and it's easy to see why so many people called in sick
this past week. But playing the game is just the beginning -- look inside for a collection of easter eggs, story theories, videos, and other goodies from the post-mortem. [more inside]
You say potato, Valve say... potato.
Just over a year after the Portal 2 announcement ARG (previously)
had people dialing up a mysterious BBS, on April 1st Valve pushed out updates to thirteen indie games
through Steam, under the tag #potatofoolsday. Some of the games got
a little starchy
straight away, but more interesting was the appearance of cryptic glyphs
, which seemed to link to other games in the set, and nonsense phrases
. Alongside a cheeky coded shoutout
to members of the Facepunch
forums, a hidden frame in the latest Aperture Science Investment Opportunity video (1, 2, 3)
appeared to confirm there are 16 glyph-and-letter sets, and 13 phrases to be found in and around the games.
But what to do with them even when the set's complete? And what of the uplifted talking raccoon
and the blogger
has been kidnapped by sentient potatoes
? [more inside]
Something has happened to the world. Everything has been flattened into 2D - except you. Now the world needs you to put things back to normal. Antimatiere
is a small puzzle game where you move 2D objects around on walls and floors to solve problems. It also has a slight resemblence to Portal
in that placing doors and windows punches holes through the mentioned walls, allowing you to pass between different rooms. Warning: Requires the Unity Web Player
plugin to run. [more inside]
Meet the Gifford Children's Choir
out of Racine, Wisconsin as they perform Still Alive
from Portal. [more inside]
While controversy erupts again
over the corrupting influence of video games, some developers are working on projects it is very hard to get angry about. Chime
, an XBox game to be released for PC tomorrow, is one such project. [more inside]
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.
So Raymond Hamilton
never killed anybody. If he can make a jury believe that I8m willing to come in and be tryed my self. Why dont you ask Ray about those two policemen that got killed near Grapevine
? And while you are at it better talk it over with his girl friend. Bonnie
and me were in missouri when that happened but where was Ray? coming back from the West bankjob wasn't he? Redhot too wasn8t he? I got it straight. And ask him about that escape at Eastham
farm where that gard was killed. Giess he claims he doesn't know fire any shots there don8t ge? Well if he wasnt too dum to know how tp put a clip in a automatic he'd hace fired a lot more shots and some of the rest of the gards would got killed too. He wrote his lawyer he was too good for me and didnt go my pace, well it makes a me sick to see a yellow punk like that playing baby ad making a jury cry over him either/ He stuck his fingerprint
on a letter so heres mine too just to let you know thjis
is on the leve;
, the hugely popular online videogame distribution network, is now available for the Mac
. MeFi favorite Portal
is also free via the service (both Mac and PC) until the 24th.
Anyone who grew up playing video games understands the impact of the music.
But the internet has allowed all sorts of people to express their love
in many different ways. [more inside]
On Monday, Valve software
issued a small patch for Portal
. A New achievement
("Transmission Received") for the game was unlocked if 26 radios
in the game were carried to the end of the levels. Each radio had it's own sound file
, and concealed in those sound files were Morse code
, and an md5 hash string containing a phone number
which, if called via modem, has an interesting login (from Gladios 3.11
) and seems to be streaming some strange ascii art
Ever wonder how the physics of Portal's
? Or how Mario could walk on space rocks
in Super Mario Galaxy
? Games Demystified
seeks to answer these pressing questions, with code samples and working demos. [more inside]
is a new flash gaming portal.
Games include Captain Dan V Zombie Plan
, reminiscent of Berzerk,
, an unusual platformer that combines level manipulation with quick-reflex timing and jumping,
, an acrobatic timed racer and a ton more I haven't even tried yet.
What sets bonus level apart from other gaming portals is that it's headed by three great names in game development, Wouter Visser (Wouter), Tõnu Paldra (tonypa) and Jean-Philippe Sarda (JP). Part of their philosophy is allowing anyone who registers to make and share levels for their games, as well as giving budding designers access to the flash APIs
used to create all of bonus level's games.
DIY Portal Gun on flickr,
with a few other pictures and build notes
. You want of your own, you can either contact this guy
or just ask Aperture about working at their test facilities.
So you've spent the holidays playing games, but now you have to be back at work. How to get your gaming fix during commutes and lunch-hours, whilst keeping up with that resolution to Learn Something New this year? Well, you could make a Sack-Boy.
You can keep your portable games device warm with a Zelda cosy
. You can knit up a Pacman scarf
or a Space Invaders bag
if you're feeling retro. Or you can make a pocket ninja
, an invincibility star
to get you through the afternoon, a maqgnetic Katamari ball
to spring-clean that desk, or a friendly companion cube
. (and if you're too cack-handed to knit, you can sew a friendly cube with the pattern here
and tutorial here
Nostalgic for a time when robots tried to kill you while being condescending? Well, Hunted Forever
isn't Portal, but if you're jonesing for some Flash Friday, it might be right up your alley.
Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth.
"Like giant, cosmic chutes between the Earth and sun, magnetic portals open up every eight minutes or so to connect our planet with its host star
. Once the portals open, loads of high-energy particles can travel the 93 million miles (150 million km) through the conduit during its brief opening, space scientists say." [Via]
Do you miss blasting with your orange and blue space-warping cannons
? Surely you miss Companion Cube
... Nine months of work by a dedicated modder: NykO18 (and team) has crystallized into what amounts to an epic prequel to Portal, called Portal: Prelude
, whose story arc focuses on the "pre-GlaDOS
epoch". It's said to have more gameplay than even the original: 8 chapters, 48 challenges, 6 advanced maps and more than 400 lines of speech. [more inside]
MIT TechTV [beta]
. Like YouTube for braniacs (minus the scandalous invasion of privacy)
and it shall be given
. Also, here's
what Knight Industries has been working on for the past 20 years. Seems like they went backwards
It's been almost a year since Roger Ebert responded to Clive Barker
on the debate over whether games can truly be "art."
In support of Mr. Barker's position, here are some of the most artistic moments from games in recent years - the tragic
, the trippy
, the Saturday mornings
, the darkly comic
, the downs
and the ups
, and the rare phyrric victory. [more inside]