Unlikely Architects was just released earlier today, for free, obviously. It’s 10 pages long, and has been placed at the end, just before “The Art of Rattmann”. It focuses on how the DLC came about, and how it evolved, from its inception in late April to its release in early October. More importantly, it talks about the way some developers, “unlikely architects”, as Keighley puts it, whether they’re professionals or amateurs, can find and harness the potential within them, in order to open the gates to a whole new career.
There’s a lot of great stuff about early visions of the DLC, but the really interesting stuff comes near the end, where Keighley is shown a level browser that allows players to download and upload user-created custom maps from and to an easy-to-use interface. Think LittleBigPlanet. Of course, LittleBigPlanet wouldn’t be what it is without its simple, yet incredibly versatile level editor. So Valve is working on a brand new map creation tool that will make level design as simple as editing a photo. Using the universally loved isometric infographics, this program will allow you to easily move testing elements and sculpt architecture in real-time. The best thing? They’re looking into giving this level editor a voice and a personality. Imagine hearing GLaDOS throw a passive-aggressive remark after you delete a testing element from a level.
It remains unclear if these are the authoring tools Valve has been working on for a while, as the story implies these new Portal 2 tools haven’t been in development for that long. We also don’t know if this simplified level editor might get ported to the consoles, nor if it will be present in the second DLC pack. But what we do know is that we will probably be seeing the level browser interface within the second Portal 2 DLC pack, to be released on all platforms.
So what does the new Portal 2 SDK look like? Well, take a look:
Looks pretty promising. We can’t wait to hear more about it. Be sure to check out the Final Hours of Portal 2. It’s really, really great, and it’s also quite cheap. You’re getting a lot of bang for your buck, even if the PC porting process seems to be rather lackluster.