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The Final Hours of Portal 2

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The Final Hours of Portal 2

Geoff Keighley




Video game design


Ola Balola LLC

Publication date

April 21st, 2011[1]

The Final Hours of Portal 2, also known as Portal 2 - The Final Hours, is a Windows, Mac and iPad interactive book chronicling the development of Portal 2. Written by Geoff Keighley who also authored The Final Hours of Half-Life (2000) and The Final Hours of Half-Life 2 (2004), it was released on April 21, 2011 on iPad and May 17, 2011 on Steam, and is available for $1.99, €1.99 or £1.49.

The book provides exclusive information about the game's development, as well as numerous previously unreleased concept art images and early screenshots. It also contains interactive features set around standard text.



Foreword by Geoff Keighley[edit]

About the author[edit]

About the game[edit]

About the developer[edit]

Chapter 1: Let the Games Begin![edit]

Describes a typical day at Valve.

Chapter 2: Prince Squid and Judge Dredd[edit]

Talks about the origins of Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek and their hiring into Valve.

Chapter 3: A Triumph, Huge Success[edit]

Summarizes the origin of the Digipen game Narbacular Drop and its transformation into Portal.

Chapter 4: Two Bots, One Wrench[edit]

Talks about the Two Bots, One Wrench design experiment as part of the "Directed Design Experiments".

Chapter 5: Eccentric Dead Billionaire[edit]

Describes the fifth Directed Design Experiment, F-STOP, or the failed attempt at a Portal prequel that did not feature any portals.

Chapter 6: The Aha Moment[edit]

Documents Valve's issue of how to make a storyline-filled game from Portal and how Personality Cores were the answer.

Chapter 7: Just One Person[edit]

Introduces a Valve employee, Karen Prell, and her former work for Jim Henson, and talks about the design of Wheatley.

Chapter 8: The Power of Paint[edit]

Talks about the introduction of the paint mechanic to Portal 2 by way of the Digipen student project Tag: The Power of Paint and how they created the underground areas to introduce it to the player.

Chapter 9: The Odd Couple[edit]

Describes the announcement of Portal 2 and the creation of ATLAS and P-body and the co-op campaign.

Chapter 10: Making Games is Hard[edit]

Summarizes the "surprise" Gabe Newell made at E3 2010 and Valve's need to delay the release date for 2011.

Chapter 11: Used to Want You Dead[edit]

Describes how Jonathan Coulton worked with Valve on making "Want You Gone".

Chapter 12: The Final Hours[edit]

Talks about the last few steps before completing Portal 2, including details from inside the "test chamber", or playtesting area.

Chapter 13: The World is About to Change[edit]

Closes the book by describing the thoughts and feelings of Valve after Portal 2 was finished and released.

Chapter 14: Unlikely Architects[edit]

Describes development on the Portal 2 DLC Peer Review and the Portal level editor.

Bonus: The Art of Rattmann[edit]

A gallery of the artwork left by Doug Rattmann through the Enrichment Center made by artist Andrea Wicklund.



See also[edit]


External links[edit]