Portal 2 Puzzle Creator Coming Soon -- Hey Valve, Please Let Creators Sell Their Levels on Steam!
Very cool platform for user-generated content coming soon: The next update of Portal 2 will come with a puzzle creator, with a pretty intuitive-looking user interface that should make building new Portal 2 levels relatively easy. "They'll then be able to immediately upload those levels to their Steam Cloud," the Portal 2 blog announces, "and share them with other players online. We're also building a community site to host all of these player-created puzzles." As a huge fan of Portal 2, I can't wait. As a huge fan of user-generated gaming content, I think this could be huge in ways that might surprise even Valve. When the company behind the classic PC game Thief was shut down shortly after the sequel came out, its fans continued the franchise by creating new missions with the level builder, many of which were as good as the original, professionally-made levels. I'm positive Portal 2's even larger and just as passionate fanbase will begin creating new adventures for Chel and GLADOS that will rival the work of Valve itself.
One thing I don't see in the announcement -- any hint that the best fan-made levels will be available for sale on Steam, Valve's online distribution platform. I sent an e-mail to Valve about this, and will update if I get any details. However, given that Valve incorporated fan-made content into the latest version of Team Fortress 2 and split the revenue for the creators, I would not be surprised if that move were next. That would help turn Portal 2 into a great, 12 hour gaming experience into an ongoing, evolving, endlessly innovative 3D creation platform developed by fans and original developers alike.
Hat tip: James Allenspach.