GameSpite Quarterly 2, #43: Portal + a preview

43. Portal
My favorite moment of Portal isn’t any of the usual Internet touchstones, the Companion Cube or the cake or the song. No, it’s the moment where you first see the protagonist, who is never depicted directly, in game or out. You have to improvise a solution, and when it actually works despite the seeming impossibility of it all, it’s a surprise in the vein of Metroid‘s ending. Brilliant.
And now that we’re in the final third of issue two reprints and issue three’s final submission deadline is today, I figured this might be a good opportunity to offer a glimpse of what’s in store for GameSpite Quarterly 3. Please click through for a sample article header from the next volume — and don’t worry, the type will show up far more clearly in print than in this downscaled graphic.

11 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly 2, #43: Portal + a preview

  1. Also, regarding the article: what was said there is pretty much the reason why I don’t think I’d like the average fighting game that much; there is no reason why a well-designed game needs to abstract functionality from the user in the form of button combos.

    Great read.

  2. I just got Gamespite Quarterly 1 and 2 as a birthday gift this month, and I absolutely loved them. Can’t wait to get the third!

  3. Eeenteresting. Makes me wish for a GSQ #3 cover design that looks like the box art to a first-generation NES title.

  4. I’ve been showing my dad Portal this week. Each time I show him one of the clever gameplay parts, he says NASA will fall behind because America’s best minds are inventing video game logic like this.

  5. Portal is my favourite game ever, and although this article didn’t articulate my feelings exactly, it did bring up some great points. For me, the best part about Portal is how the whole time you feel as though you’re breaking the rules of them game, even though you know you’re not.

    Also, does this mean that GSQ3 is going to be about videogame characters? Because that’s pretty sweet.

  6. I liked Portal, but it felt to me like a really impressive tech demo rather than anything substantial. Perhaps years of listening about how good it was over-hyped it to me.

    And Jeremy, you see the protagonist about 3 seconds into the game. The “making of” clips even mention how they had to put springs on her heals so beta testers would quit asking why she was able to fall so far and never take damage.

  7. …you constantly see the protagonist during gameplay. Just set up two portals next to one another. They’re like mirrors. :

  8. Parish doesn’t say she’s not seen in the game; he saying the exact same thing you are, that you have to view her indirectly through the portals.

  9. at 1:16

    Rand is right.
    To see the character you don’t have to improvise a solution. You wait in the beginning room until a portal opens on it’s own. In this first portal, you see the character.

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