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sp_gravity

Map Vault > Completed Maps

map screenshot

star star star star star
(5 votes)

[More Screenshots]

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By satchmo (See more)
2nd June, 2011

Portal 2
Hosted Externally - RMF, BSP
1115 views
264 downloads
28 comments

Last edited: 5th June, 2011

download

A nifty small test chamber. Not much to look at, but I hope you enjoy solving the puzzle. It took me many sleepless nights to come up with the puzzle.

I updated this map (version 1.4) on June 4, 2011. Many thanks to ZombieLoffe and Trapt for their valuable feedback.

Comments

avatar Captain Terror says: 2nd June 2011, 23:36 PM
wish i had portal 2 ='(.
avatar brendanmint says: star star star 2nd June 2011, 23:38 PM
I couldn't complete with out cheats, im probly jsut to damn slow, but, the turret, wtf? and also, the wall texture. Instead of using white_wall_tile003g, please use white_wall_tile003a. PLEASE. white_wall_tile003g has that annoying ass yellow box and shit. But 3 for puzzle, it was nice.
avatar 2muchvideogames says: 2nd June 2011, 23:44 PM
wish I had portal 2 too.

What's funny is I'm imagining brendan, this adolescent man, talking to this doctor, using such terms as 'wtf' and 'shit'. Pretty funny.
avatar satchmo says: 3rd June 2011, 00:36 AM
Was anyone able to solve the puzzle without cheating?

The turret in the beginning was a joke. I guess you did not find it funny.
avatar Trapt says: star star star 3rd June 2011, 02:03 AM
Yeah I just did it without cheating. I'm sorry to say satch but it's just not intuitive at all...

It took me a couple minutes before I found the way to portal into the little glassed-off button room.

Once I got in there and pressed the button, there is nothing to indicate there's any kind of delay on the release of the cube, or in fact that the button is connected to the cube dispenser at all.

Use of the light surface to catch the cube worked alright, but having to make the jump to reach the cube is kind of difficult especially with such a short run up space. (idk if that's what you're supposed to do, i saw no other way)

Once you've got the cube, you place it on the button and think you've solved it, but then of course you need a way of taking the cube off to actually rise to victory! I didn't think using the light surface for this was particularly intuitive either, I actually found the solution by randomly shooting a portal in the right spot lol.

Not a bad effort for your first go I guess, probably better than anything I could come up with. I guess it's difficult to see if a solution is intuitive since if you're the one who made it, of course it is!!!

Keep it up, maybe submit on thinkingwithportals if you haven't already. More likely to get feedback there.

3 stars.
avatar satchmo says: 3rd June 2011, 04:29 AM
It's great to get some feedback. You are the first.

I submitted it to Thinkwithportals.com, but I haven't received any feedback yet.

I didn't think the puzzle was that challenging. I felt that it was comparable to the official Portal 2 puzzles, which are pretty tough. I definitely did not want to make it too easy, and I wanted to explore some original puzzle elements that are not in the official Portal 2 single-player game. It's hard to come up with original ideas.

There should be the timer sound effect once you press the button, to indicate a delay. Did you not hear it? I wonder whether that's a bug.

You can either jump onto the light bridge or you can walk along the very narrow ledge along the glass-off room, which is suppose to increase the tension of the gameplay.

Removing the cube using the light bridge is my most original idea. It's not intuitive because this type of strategy does not appear in any of the official (either single-player or coop) Portal 2 levels.

At least now I know it's humanly possible for another player beside the mapper himself to solve the puzzle. And I also know that the puzzle is definitely not too easy.

Thank you.
avatar satchmo says: 3rd June 2011, 05:17 AM
Just got some feedback from Thinkwithportals.com

"But the last part with the moving platform was really nice, that was my favourite part"
avatar Trapt says: 3rd June 2011, 09:37 AM
I can't remember if I heard the ticker or not, but I was thinking those light blue button indicators leading to the dispenser, with the diminishing circle which usually indicates a delay of some sort would probably be a good idea. I hope you know what I'm talking about, they're surprisingly hard to describe lol.

Might be worthwhile putting the angled surface used to catch the cube a little lower at less of an angle so it's easier to jump onto perhaps. Or move the glass cased area back a bit to allow a bit more of a run up.

I think you've got the basis of a good puzzle here, the execution is just a bit off. Need to give the player more cues rather than just stumbling around 'til they find the right solution.

Since you've included the vmf I might give the SDK a bit of a twirl and see if I can implement any of my proposed changes. If I do ever get around to doing it I'll shoot you an email with the copy of the vmf.
avatar ZombieLoffe says: star star star star 3rd June 2011, 11:49 AM
Note: this review contains some spoilers as how to solve the puzzle in the map, so if you have yet to play it, don't read on.

I just finished it, without cheating, and I must say I'm super impressed with the puzzle itself.

To preface, I say this with no experience of Portal 2 mapping, nor have I played any custom Portal 2 maps before this, so I might not be up to date with all the Portal 2 mapping quirks, but here's my take on the map.

I was a bit stumped during the first part, but once I got to thinking about the light path I solved it fairly quickly.

What I like about the puzzle is that it doesn't just blindly copy Portal 2 problems, but instead uses familiar concepts - the Light path, slanted white walls (seriously, when I see a slanted white wall I know it's serious business), propelling yourself with a catapult, timed buttons - to come up with a really innovative puzzle. You had to actually think about new ways to use the existing tools, and as such I think it was hugely successful. You really felt that familiar "Got it!" feeling once you figured it out, the feeling we all know and love from Portal 1 and 2 themselves.

I don't at all mind that you force the player to stand on top of one of the glass walls. It is indeed fairly unintuitive, but this is not a bad thing in and of itself. It forces the player to re-examine the map and re-think their presuppositions of how Portal 2 puzzles "should work". In my opinion, Portal 2 did a bit too much "hand-holding" in some of its puzzles, e.g. leaving the mechanics too obvious. If anything, the white walls above the glass chamber are very pointed hints as to what the player needs to do (white walls, again, are a major signal that stuff needs to happen in that area).

One thing where I think the player needed a bit more of a hint was the "skill jump" required to fetch the Cube from the bottom of the slanted ramp. I had to quicksave there and do a few jumps before I made it. A little protruding platform or some other (visual and ´physical´) aid to the player to help with that jump would've been nice.

Puzzle mapping, as I see it, is a very hard to maintain balance between what's obvious and too hard. Make it too hard, players will give up or become frustrated, make it too easy and it's not a puzzle, just a going-through-the-motions exercise. I feel this map struck a great balance between those extremes.

Now, as for the cons of the map itself, I'd say the visuals. The entrance elevator fits the Portal 2 feeling superbly (and I, for one, liked the turret. Was a bit of a "Whoa!" before the map even started) and I like the run-down "broken" feel of the elevator room. The lighting especially was awesomely moody and gloomy. That goes for the exit elevator room too.

The test chamber itself, though, is a major let down in the visuals department. It's little more than a blocky, monotone sparse-looking chamber, very reminiscent of Portal 1 (and honestly, that's not a good thing). Portal 2 did wonders with its visuals and atmospheric test chambers, and I'm a bit disappointed there wasn't more of that "broken" feel to the test chamber itself. In Portal 2 the test chambers always hinted superbly at the immensity of the Aperture Science facility, that's what I'm missing from this map.

The audio is all good, I liked the addition of that ambient sound and even a music track at one point, but nothing remarkable.

To summarize, the negatives were in the visual and atmosphere departments. But these flaws are easily shadowed by a superb puzzle that really brought back the puzzle solving feeling of the games themselves while not using obvious or repetetive solutions to problems.

4 out of 5 stars, with the visuals and atmosphere being the only real obstacle towards full score.

Very nice!
avatar satchmo says: 3rd June 2011, 15:20 PM
Very comprehensive review. Thanks Zombie.

I am glad that the puzzle worked well--not easy, but not impossible either.

Interesting to hear about the jump into the poison pit. I probably attempted the jump 20 times, but I only missed once. That's why I didn't think it's unduly risky.

I can work on the visuals. That should be the easy part. I spent so much time on refining the puzzle itself that I neglected the visuals.
avatar Trapt says: 3rd June 2011, 15:54 PM
Satch, I've just fired off an email (to the address in the readme) attached with an updated version containing a whole lot of changes which I felt made the puzzle more intuitive. You may find it too easy. Still, I'd appreciate if you got back to me with your thoughts.

Oh, and thanks for the source vmf. Great gesture, imo.
avatar brendanmint says: 3rd June 2011, 17:20 PM
I used the turret to help me complete it the second time =)
avatar satchmo says: 3rd June 2011, 17:40 PM
Thanks for the changes, Trapt. I'll take a look when I get home.

How the heck did you use the turret?
avatar satchmo says: 4th June 2011, 05:55 AM
I took many of Trapt's suggested modifications, but I made some changes of my own as well.

I actually added more white panels (while removing other ones) so that it's not too obvious you have to just shoot the very few white panels. I felt that the solitary white panel on the side makes the puzzle too obvious. I do like the fact that there's more room for the player to maneuver against the wall.

The biggest change is the area around the pit. I lowered the barrier so the player can access the light bridge directly from the edge near the entrance. This way, the player does not need to make a daring leap of faith into the chemical pit, which both Trapt and ZombieLoffe had issues with.

I also modified the lightmap grid density so the shadows look more interesting, plus some minor changes.

I decided against making the chamber look dilapidated. It's just a matter of taste, I guess.

Many thanks to ZombieLoffe and Trapt for their playtesting feedback.
avatar Trapt says: 4th June 2011, 07:16 AM
satch, as far as i can tell you've just reuploaded the old files lol. Modified on the 2/6/2011. Tried the one on thinkingwithportals too and that was the same thing...
avatar satchmo says: 4th June 2011, 18:10 PM
I don't know what happened. I could swear that I replaced the archived files with the newer version.

I'm away from my computer right now, but I'll do it later.
avatar ZombieLoffe says: 4th June 2011, 23:08 PM
Great to see that you're accepting feedback and refining! Professional quality level design right there, bro. I'll definitely play the updated version when it's up.
avatar satchmo says: 5th June 2011, 00:11 AM
I realized that after I increased the lightmap density, the file size increased significantly, just exceeding the 2 MB TWHL internal hosting limit.

So I tried all afternoon to find an external hosting service. Eventually, I used Sugarsync to host it, but TWHL would not accept the link from there directly (because it's HTTPS protocol). So I had to re-direct it to my blog.

I hope the external download works. I checked it several times, and it should download properly.

Let me know if you experience any problems. If not, enjoy the updated version.
avatar Dimbeak says: star star star star star 5th June 2011, 00:13 AM
Magnificent! Magnificent! Magnificent! Well-structured, puzzles weren't that confusing, and I actually got to think with portals! You deserve a five, my good man.
avatar satchmo says: 5th June 2011, 01:38 AM
Thanks.

Did you use the external download link, Dimbark? I hope it worked.
avatar Trapt says: 5th June 2011, 02:38 AM
Yeah, external download link works fine.

As for the puzzle, this version is much improved. I was pleased to see you implement some of my changes (and some of your own). I think the compromise is probably better than either of our first versions.

Wish there was a way to change my rating, it deserves a fairly solid 4 stars in its current state.

Good job satch.
avatar satchmo says: 5th June 2011, 04:07 AM
Thanks. I don't expect to win the compo at Thinkingwithportals.com Some of the maps look pretty elaborate, even though I think I have a more elegant puzzle.
avatar ZombieLoffe says: 5th June 2011, 10:46 AM
Just played the updated map.

I like what you've done with the glass chamber, it's a bit easier to see how the pieces of the map fit together now. The timer on the wall is also a nice edition (that wasn't there before, right?) Plus, no need for skill jumps to get the cube. All good!

However, I did find one bug which was fairly interesting. I was a bit stumped as to how to get at the button when I played through this time: in the previous version I'd just stand on top of the glass wall and jump down, hitting the button in the fall. In this version, that was impossible because of the black block on top of the glass chamber. I eventually got the proper solution, to use the catapult to propel yourself upwards from the bottom of the chamber, but before I found that I actually did this:
http://www.failreactor.com/images/sp_gravity0000.
jpg

It only happens if you put it in the right spot, if it's too high it just runs into the glass wall, like this:
http://www.failreactor.com/images/sp_gravity0001.
jpg


Even though it's a bug, maybe it could be a sort of alternate way of getting to the button, perhaps if you raise the glass chambers a units off the floor so the player can clearly see that a light path fits under there. Dunno, just a suggestion.

Anyway, all in all good changes!
avatar satchmo says: 5th June 2011, 13:12 PM
Hmm, very interesting. I never thought you could portal a light bridge through the surface of the floor.

I think I will leave the map as is, and that will be an alternate, and definitely less intuitive solution to the puzzle.

The timer indicator on the wall is courtesy of Trapt. He suggested and added that for me, using the VMF. Thanks Trapt for raising the ceiling for me.

Falling through the glass pit and pressing the button on the way down was a bug. I did not intend the player to be able to do that. I wanted the player to use the aerial faith plate to catapult upward from the bottom of the pit. I tried over and over to press the button while falling, and I cannot do that anymore. I am glad that you confirmed that this bug was fixed.

I made a few very small cosmetic changes to the map this morning. There was an overlapping texture glitch near the origin of the light bridge, and I fixed it. I also adjusted the lightmap grid a bit more, so the shadows look even better.

This should be the final version.
avatar satchmo says: 5th June 2011, 20:40 PM
While playing it with my son, I noticed a strange bug.

If the player dies in the toxic pool and re-spawns, upon returning, the cube dropped from the dispenser always falls into the toxic pool instead of staying on the light bridge.

This never happens when the player attempts the map without re-spawning. But it occurred over and over again for me after re-spawning.

As for the glitch ZombieLoffe found, I was unable to reproduce it. I am sure it's possible, but it's hell difficult to accomplish.

Another question for ZombieLoffe is that if you jumped down from the ledge of the glass chamber and pressed the button on the way down, how were you able to shoot a portal so the light bridge catches the cube as it drops? It seems that there simply wasn't enough time.
avatar Skals says: 6th June 2011, 07:34 AM
wish i had portal 2 also ='(.
avatar satchmo says: 6th June 2011, 15:34 PM
[WARNING]: The following video has spoiler for the puzzle. Don't watch it if you want to solve the puzzle yourself.

Someone actually recorded a video playing through an early version of my map.

I am surprised that it took him longer figuring out a way to get to the button than solving the final lift puzzle, which I thought was more difficult.
avatar Archie says: star star star star 7th June 2011, 05:24 AM
I really enjoyed this, actually :D
It's very short, but it's a nifty little puzzle. I never played earlier versions, but this one was certainly very intuitive, without treating the player like a complete idiot.
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