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Portal song photo
Portal song

'You Wouldn't Know' is the third Portal song by Jonathan Coulton

From LEGO Dimensions
Sep 25
// Darren Nakamura
The reveal of LEGO Dimensions earlier this year was kind of bizarre. How can Traveller's Tales get all those different licenses? Jurassic Park, Scooby Doo, Batman, and Portal 2? It's like every kid's toy chest in video game f...
Homebrew photo

The Homebrew Launcher comes to 3DS, despite Nintendo trying to stop it

Download YouTube while you can!
Aug 17
// Joe Parlock
Homebrew has become a bit of a Hydra for Nintendo recently. They pulled down IronFall due to an exploit which allowed non-approved software to be run on the 3DS, and in response almost the same exploit has now also been rele...
Portal VR photo
Portal VR

You can now watch a full playthrough of the Portal VR demo

Tremble before the science giant
Jul 21
// Laura Kate Dale
For the last few months Valve have been using a brand new Portal game to show off their Vive VR headset. Short clips of the demo have surfaced online in bits and pieces, but thanks to a recent game jam in London, you can now ...
Portal 2 mod photo
Portal 2 mod

Portal Stories: Mel is an intriguing new Portal adventure

Free mod for Portal 2 owners
Jun 25
// Jordan Devore
It's been a while since I've thought about Portal 2, but the time is right. Portal Stories: Mel is out now on Steam, free to anyone who owns the core game. This is a standalone mod with its own voiced storyline, soundtrack, a...

Pinball FX2 Portal photo
Pinball FX2 Portal

Zen Studios' Portal pinball table is pretty faithful, and fun

Not going to make a 'you monster' joke
May 22
// Chris Carter
I'm not as crazy about pinball as say, Chad Concelmo, but with the right theme, I'm on board. The South Park Pinball pack hit the spot with numerous references to the show, and more recently, the Portal board h...
Portal Pinball photo
Portal Pinball

That Valve/Zen Studios collaboration is Portal Pinball

Now you're plinking with portals
May 05
// Darren Nakamura
The teaser is less than a week old, and now we have some more details on the collaboration between Zen Studios (best known for its pinball games) and Valve (best known for not developing Half-Life 3). It's not the excellent p...
Portal: Outside Influence photo
Portal: Outside Influence

After five long years, Portal: Outside Influence nears completion

Morris' labor of love also features some of my favorite industry personalities!
Feb 08
// Rob Morrow
It seems like we were just posting about Portal mods the other day, doesn't it? Well, we've got another one for you to look at today, but there's a quite a bit more going on under the surface of this stel...

Super Source Bros. Melee

What if?
May 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
What if Valve made their own Super Smash Bros. game, but with characters from Dota 2, Half-Life, Portal, Counter-Strike, and Left 4 Dead? What if?!
Nvidia Shield photo
Nvidia Shield

Portal on Nvidia Shield next week, Half-Life 2 coming too

Okay then
May 08
// Brett Makedonski
Hey, have you played Portal before? It's supposed to be pretty neat. I won't spoil anything for you, but there's a lady that's really funny and she talks about a cake. On the off-chance that you have played it, do you wa...
Portal short photo
Portal short

GlaDOS kills everyone in this live-action Portal short

Spoilers! You monster.
Oct 10
// Steven Hansen
Is GlaDOS killing everyone really a spoiler? Anyway, this live action Portal short is fairly well done. Some nice lighting. A scientist gets exaggeratedly bumped into so he can spill papers off a walkway so the floating papers can be shot from underneath all art-like. It all checks out. Little portal use, though.
Valve VA infographic photo
Valve VA infographic

Beautiful infographic charts all of Valve's voice actors

Mmm, that design sense
Jul 01
// Steven Hansen
I'm a sucker for a good infographic. You can take something ordinary and uninteresting, like a list of all 50 actors who have provided voice work for Valve's 174 characters, and make something magical. It becomes an adventure...
Portal 2 free DLC photo
Portal 2 free DLC

Portal 2 gets some free DLC on the PS3

Sweet, d00d!
Jun 07
// Chris Carter
People often love Valve because they're the company that keeps on giving. Today, you'll be able to bottle some of that love in the form of free Portal 2 DLC, exclusively for the PS3 version of the game. The DLC is said to be...
Valve photo

Valve has experimented with sweat-monitoring Left 4 Dead

Still interested in biofeedback
May 06
// Jordan Devore
At the NeuroGaming 2013 Conference and Expo this month, Valve's Mike Ambinder spoke about biofeedback experiments that the company has been working on, reports GamesBeat. Most notably, he mentioned that Valve put together a s...
Portal 2 photo
Portal 2

Behold, Portal 2's freakish Frankenturret brought to life

Wheatley's abomination is just as scary in real life
Apr 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Frankenturret, as they're officially called, are the Portal 2 turrets merged with a weighted storage cube. Wheatley had fun creating them in the game, and I'm sure artist corroder666 had fun making the Frakenturret in re...
Toys photo

ThreeA shows off their Portal 2 and Lost Planet figures

Atlas and P-Body are almost ready to science
Apr 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
ThreeA toys showed off their Portal 2 Atlas and P-Body concepts nearly a year ago, and since then we haven't heard a thing about them. That was until at the ThreeA event held at Beast Kingdom Toys in Taiwan recently. Personal...
Poker Night 2 leaked! photo
Poker Night 2 leaked!

Telltale Games' Poker Night 2 screenshots leak out

Features Claptrap, Brock Samson, Sam, GlaDOS, and Ashley Williams
Mar 29
// Conrad Zimmerman
Telltale Games has a teaser site running right now referring to a "key party," and showing an image of a dish which has seen the addition of various sets of keys over the last few days, with the promise that all will be revea...
Music photo

Some classic game songs with a Middle-Eastern twist

Contra, Mario, Angry Birds, and more all get covered
Mar 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
I've listened to plenty of videogame musical covers in the seven years I've worked at Destructoid. Yet, this is the first time I've heard of a musical cover montage with a Middle-Eastern twist to them. There's even some games covered here I'd never expect, like Alley Cat. [Via The Awesomer]

Trends of this Generation: Gamification

Feb 19 // Daniel Starkey
The Xbox 360 got the ball rolling on gamification with Gamerscore. Sony and Valve added their own achievement tracking systems. Each of these companies, in one form or another began rewarding players for in-game accomplishments with a cute sound effect and a small bit of text. There’s a lot of commentary and discussion about whether or not achievements and systems to track them have been good or bad for the industry as a whole; there can be no doubt that Valve, Microsoft and Sony have some major precedents, creating, in essence extrinsic motivators for in-game tasks. “Gamification.” People devote quite a bit of time to explaining and trying to understand how achievements can be used to encourage certain kinds of actions for the player. Since the discussion began among academics and game designers, countless people have implemented these subtle psychological tricks into their systems and into their software, especially in the realm of social media. Websites like Klout and the prevalence of social games have only accelerated the spread of these techniques. Hell, Raptr even gamified games themselves.  Gamification is used to help add to traditional MMOs, free to play games, not to mention the potential real-world applications. It’s a big world out there. And, bit by bit, we’re turning it into one big game. I'll admit to falling into the gamification trap, to a degree. Earlier this generation I was steered way from Wii games because there was no way to track my progress and show it off to friends. I use services like Yelp to try to get some of the badges, and that encourages me to check-in everywhere and earn coupons.  These kinds of achievements are a sort-of sucker punch to our ancient monkey brains. They use little traits that we have picked up over the years to help us combat laziness. When we receive small rewards for things, we're more likely to keep doing them. It help keeps us engaged and active, and is a small safeguard against boredom.  The issue here is one that relates to a lot of free-to-play titles, in that players are drawn in, then kept there by manipulating the natural way their brains are wired. It is disingenuous and manipulative, but as I see more and more studios closing their doors or getting bought up by the juggernauts, I can't help but think that for many it's their only choice.  Achievements and such aren't universally bad, though. Valve, forever the innovator, has layered them into its games in ways that encourage exploration, unique ways of play or even using them to reinforce the events of a game.  For example, in Half-Life 2 there's quite a few achievements for finding random things. This is used to encourage more lateral thinking as well as exploration of the environment. In Portal 2 (minor spoilers ahead) there's a chapter called "This is the part where he kills you," a character that says "This is the part where he kills you," and right before "he" kills you, an achievement pops-up with the same message. Similarly, at the end of the game, there's an achievement called "Lunacy" with the text "That just happened." Anyone who has finished the game knows just how ridiculous that scene is, and having that little friendly sound effect accompanied by some hilarious text, only serves to reinforce the experience.  Achievements are something I guess I've learned to live with. I don't really like them, but at the same time, having some method of tracking progress on a website like Fitocracy has actually been pretty good for me overall. I've used gamification to my own advantage whenever possible and I feel like I'm steadily becoming a better person because of it. That said, I know now to avoid those products which I feel will try to manipulate me into investing more than I am ready or willing to.
Gamification photo
Achievement unlocked!
Leading up the possible PlayStation 4 announcement on February 20, I've been looking into some paradigm shifts we've seen over the past generation. This is stuff that will likely be with us for a while; these are things that ...

Games to play with your boyfriend on Valentine's Day

Feb 14 // Caitlin Cooke
Portal 2 Who doesn't love to play adorable robots that can hug and high-five each other all day long? Atlas and P-body are like mini versions of your relationship, only they’re more prone to falling off ledges! For those of you new to the co-op portion of the game, GLaDOS, your evil (or maybe just misunderstood) A.I. guide leads you and your partner through various rooms in order to retrieve data disks for a certain unknown but most likely evil purpose. Portal 2 is a great way to bond with your boyfriend, especially if you’re both into puzzle-solving hijinks! Saints Row: The Third Nothing says “I love you” like taunting your boyfriend with a big fat purple dildo. Saints Row: The Third is the sandbox game you wished for and finally received -- it’s fantastically silly, loads of fun, and extremely self-aware. To be honest, I haven’t played through much of the game because I’m too busy doing stupid stuff like skydiving out of airplanes and crashing parties, but from what I've seen it’s the perfect game to play with that someone special. So, what are you waiting for? THQ isn't getting any younger…oh wait. Torchlight II Surprisingly, killing lots of things can be delightfully romantic. Created by members of the original Diablo II team, Torchlight II pays homage to those long lost yet reawakened hack-n-slash dungeon-running games. The music will give you all kinds of nostalgic lady boners, and you even get to choose your own pet, ranging from a panther to a random made-up animal like the Chakawary, featured above. As an added bonus, you and your boyfriend no longer need to fight over loot -- you both get your own! Gone are the days of “No, honey, YOU take One-eyed Willy’s Other Eye!” Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game This Valentine’s Day, you and your boyfriend should wreck the s*@$ out of Ramona’s 7 evil exes. Why? Because nothing says romance like kicking some side-scrolling ass to amazing chiptune music, that’s why! Even if you haven’t read the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels (which if you haven’t, you totally should) the game is a blast. The sprites are adorable and the game puts a totally unique spin on traditional side scrolling beat-em-ups by just being…completely silly. My personal favorite characters to play are Scott and Kim - they were meant to be together anyway, right? Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed Go back to your roots and share something special with your significant other, like your favorite Sega characters! AiAi, Beat, B.D. Joe, Tails are just some of the few playable characters which you can level up. Even better, the levels in this game are insanely immersive -- in addition to your standard driving you can also fly and float your way through the track (which, by the way, often falls to pieces during the last lap). Racing Transformed will soon win your heart and become your go to "kick your boyfriend's ass" game.  You Don’t Know Jack Boyfriend doesn't game much? You Don’t Know Jack is the ticket - everyone loves a super difficult, zany trivia game. The only catch is that you’ll probably end up as an ex-couple by the end of it. Every round contains 10 questions plus a few bonus rounds, and a “Wrong Answer of the Game” in which you have to keep your eyes peeled for an answer related to the “sponsor” (which can be anything from Banana Toasters to Granny’s Roach Butter). Overall YDKJ is a quick and fun way to enjoy each other's company this V-day. Plus, who doesn't love a game where you get to screw your significant other? Honorable Mention: Having your boyfriend cuddle up and watch you play Condemned…in the dark. 
Games to play w/ your boo photo
Romance is just a game away!
Valentine's Day isn't always about getting taken out to dinner and receiving fancy treats and trinkets. Okay, well maybe it is, but who's to say that you can't get a little gaming on the side? Consider spending some quality time with your boyfriend by reeling him into the following co-op games. If he resists, consider your future with him wisely...

Portal on DS photo
Portal on DS

Do want! Homebrew Portal gameplay on the DS

What's not to like?
Feb 11
// Chris Carter
There are many things that make me proud to be a gamer, and one of them is the homebrew/fangame community. To me, there's almost nothing better than a group of passionate fans getting together and creating something ...
Dtoid Show photo
Dtoid Show

Half-Life & Portal Movies? Rayman Delayed? What MADNESS!

Also: The Destructoid Show is being weird and stupid again
Feb 08
// Max Scoville
What a bunch of wacky news today about the video games! There's the ongoing Rayman Legends debacle, with it being delayed for a multi-platform release, causeing devs and fans to speak out. Meanwhile, J.J. Abrahms a...

Can a Half-Life or Portal movie really work?

Feb 06 // Brett Makedonski
Valve is well-known for having developed two of the most highly regarded videogame franchises of all-time -- Half-Life and Portal. Despite the intertwining series’ seemingly bottomless well of lore, Valve took a somewhat counter intuitive approach to creating a robust, believable world. In an era when central characters have become increasingly chatty in efforts to enhance storytelling, Valve told stories through the sealed lips of silent protagonists. Much has been said about Half-Life’s Gordon Freeman and Portal’s Chell over the years, but it’s interesting to note how Valve has taken decidedly unique approaches to the exposure of each respective character, and how it affects the lasting impressions that the player is left with. Gordon Freeman, despite never speaking, is a very memorable hero. Valve’s decision to include his portrait on the box art of each game is a contributing factor, but the effect goes much deeper. Freeman’s legacy is cemented by the reactions of the world around him. Everywhere he goes, people marvel at his very existence. Leading up to the initial experiment gone awry at the beginning of Half-Life -- the player’s first introduction to Freeman -- Valve paints their intentions for Freeman with broad strokes through the various Black Mesa personnel’s acknowledgements of him. Specifically, the entire facility seems to hinge upon his arrival to partake in the experiment in the testing chamber. A lot of Half-Life is a “Lone Wolf” story, but once Freeman closes the portal to Xen and saves the world, these reactions are exponentially compounded, and rightfully so. Throughout the entirety of Half-Life 2, HL2: Ep. 1, and HL2 Ep. 2, it seems as if each new character met comes standard equipped with a glowing verbal exaltation of Freeman. Truth is, the praise is well-deserved. He’s the reason the world still exists (albeit, not under optimal living conditions). He’s the face of the Resistance. He’s the shining pillar of hope in a sea of despair. Throughout the entirety of the Half-Life canon, non-playable characters consistently rely upon Freeman. At all times, through Freeman’s very actions, there is both the implication and the very realistic realization that he is humanity’s savior. Not too shabby for a physicist with a crowbar. With Gordon Freeman, Valve has been able to develop a surprisingly deep character despite a complete void of dialogue and emotion. They have been savvy enough to create Freeman based entirely around one-sided interactions. But, to their credit, it works to perfection, and Freeman is rightfully regarded as one of the strongest and most recognizable characters in videogames. Portal’s Chell is an entirely different story. In spite of also being a silent protagonist, she differs from Freeman in that she may be the very essence of a forgettable character. Like Freeman, Chell’s legacy is also cemented by her surroundings. However, her environment is abandoned (save for a sentient robot), and her character development directly reflects it. If asked to name the identifying features of Portal and Portal 2, most would immediately default to the puzzles, GLaDOS, the turrets, or a handful of other core characteristics. Almost no one would actually describe Chell, the one facilitating the entire experience. The reason for this is that Valve has kept the audience relatively in the dark as to who Chell really is. Only through extensive research and minute details do we have an idea what her backstory is, and even that isn’t necessarily 100% confirmed. We aren’t given the opportunity to view Chell, except through the manipulation of portals. It’s almost as if Valve doesn’t view her so much as a character, but rather as a vessel for the experience to be had through. Instead, Valve seems to be more intent on telling the story of Aperture Science than the story of Chell. It would appear that, to them at least, the history of Aperture Science and Cave Johnson, and the scientific arms race to develop portal technology between Black Mesa and Aperture Science, were the important takeaways for the audience. Chell was just their way of getting those points into the players’ heads. Through similar means, Valve has created two drastically different main characters for their Black Mesa/Aperture Science realm. Gordon Freeman has most of the classic characteristics of a strong action hero, but remains unique enough that the players care about his saga. Chell, on the other hand, is almost completely nondescript. She is so entirely overshadowed by her charming and idiosyncratic surroundings that it’s easy to forget that she exists at all. Despite these distinctly different levels of character development, both franchises are universally critically-acclaimed and beloved by the public. It definitely seems as if all silent protagonists are not created equal. With Abrams pursuing  Half-Life and Portal movies, it almost certainly will require him to opt out of using a speaking lead role. Silence is too engrained into the very nature of both Freeman and Chell; adding voice would risk undoing the entire essence of who they are. At least one thing's for sure -- the dialogue will be easy to write. [Main image by Michael Shanks, for the short film When Gordon Met Chell]
Half-Life Movie? photo
It would require the hush-hush approach
With today's somewhat startling revelation that J.J Abrams and Valve intend to collaborate on Half-Life and Portal movies comes speculation as to how these movies are actually going to work. Specifically, the notion that Abra...


Half-life & Portal films are happening, J.J. Abrams says

"As real as anything in Hollywood ever gets"
Feb 06
// Allistair Pinsof
Director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) and Valve are cooperating on film adaptations of Half-Life and Portal, with early ideas already being tossed around Hollywood. Abrams also dropped hints that a game collaboration might be in d...
Portal turrets photo
Portal turrets

'The Turret Anthem' is the greatest SFM video yet

It's Portal magic
Jan 25
// Tony Ponce
Zachariah Scott spent six months tooling around Source Filmmaker to produce a music video that would make every other amateur filmmaker his b*tch. Was he successful? Let me check one more time just to be certain... Hmmm... Yes. Yes, he was. To download an mp3 of "The Turret Anthem," hit up the SoundCloud page of the song's composer, Lars Erik Fjøsne. The Turret Anthem [Steam Community]
GlaDOS movie voice photo
inSANE is also nearing a publisher
If you've seen the trailer for Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming film, Pacific Rim, you might notice a little someone popping in to lend a guest voice. Yep, Portal's classic crazed computer GlaDOS is making a cameo...


Our first glimpse at Portal 3 or just a DigiPen game?

Perspective continues DigiPen's legacy of creative first-person games
Dec 17
// Allistair Pinsof
Who knows if Portal 3 will ever come about, but if it does, I have a feeling that Valve may snatch up the students behind DigiPen project Perspective: A 2D platformer played on the walls and objects of a 3D space. In a bad s...

Portal 2 In Motion DLC arrives on PSN next week

Time to dig out the ol' PS Move controller
Nov 01
// Jordan Devore
As announced on the PlayStation Blog, the In Motion content for Portal 2 that was originally playable using the Razer Hydra motion controller will be releasing on PlayStation Network this Tuesday, November 6. You might recall...

ThinkGeek's pint-sized Portal gun won't break the bank

Batteries not included
Oct 19
// Jordan Devore
With Halloween fast approaching, ThinkGeek's new Miniature Replica Portal Gun ($59.99) is going to be hard to resist. It's got appropriately colored LEDs, a working trigger, and movable claws. Parents, think about how much c...

These custom gamer skirts make me mad I'm not a woman

Oct 03
// Tony Ponce
Have you ever gone into a Target or a Spencer Gifts, seen those gamer-themed boxers, and wondered (A) why such high fashion has to be concealed by pants and (B) why girls don't receive similar treatment? Maybe you haven't, bu...

Valve: if Steam sales killed games, we wouldn't do them

Jul 17
// Jim Sterling
Valve has defended its policy of offering insane discounts during Steam sales, responding to Electronic Arts' hypocritical accusation that such discounts cheapen intellectual property. Business development boss Jason Hol...

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