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Analyzing The New Portal 2 Puzzle Maker

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In little over a week, on the 8th of May, Valve will release the Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC, for Portal 2, or PeTI. Featuring a simple, yet versatile puzzle creator/editor toolkit that can interface with the advanced Hammer Editor, and integration with the Steam Workshop, allowing you to freely upload, rate, comment, and download anyone’s puzzle chambers – it may not be a new singleplayer test course or a set of advanced chambers, but it will give Portal 2 new life, and keep its community active for the foreseeable future.

A trailer for the PeTI was released yesterday, and while most of it is another hilarious Cave Johnson infographic short, it includes a sneak peek at the PeTI’s puzzle maker in action towards the end. Let’s take a look!

Analyzing The New Portal 2 Puzzle Maker

These are stills taken from the official PeTI trailer, showing the Puzzle Maker putting together Test Chamber 5 of Portal 2’s first testing course during “The Courtesy Call“. They offer an interesting glimpse at how the Puzzle Maker really works. Here they are:

Pretty authentic. Obviously, the whole decrepit test chamber design is missing, but I suppose that the Puzzle Maker’s built-in support for exporting to the Hammer Editor will mean that we’ll have to put together that design outside of the PeTI itself. But of course, you can upload Hammer maps straight to the Portal 2 Steam Workshop, which is excellent. Hopefully that’ll mean we see far more than just custom maps – I’m looking forward to some more significant mini-mods and such.

This Monday, the preview version of the PeTI will go live. If all goes well, we’ll have some lovely coverage of the Puzzle Maker then. Stay tuned!


  1. It is already as flawed as Hammer. Sigh………….

  2. Hey Vic if you want a video check this :

  3. wheres the defective turret, and the cake?

  4. So Valve is finally getting around to streamlining and modernizing Source’s infrastructure. Trouble is that Portal is pretty much the only game this will work for, but it definitely means they have it in mind.

    • Well, the thing is – this Puzzle Maker wouldn’t really work outside of Portal itself. Aperture’s test chambers are strictly, and simplistically angular in design. As such, moving this to the Source SDK, the L4D SDK and the CS:GO SDK wouldn’t really work without a thorough expansion/revamp of the Puzzle Maker itself.

  5. Also, the edit goes into beta on Monday as far I know (not full release).

    That’s what I concluded from the mail I got from my contact anyway.

  6. This looks sweet!

  7. Steamcast linked to an in-depth video of the Puzzle Maker on twitter today, but the video has been taken down since. Probably because of NDA-issues. You don’t need to compile the map with Hammer. It can be compiled in the Puzzle Maker.

    • Yeah, I saw it – everything is directly integrated with the game itself. Pretty impressive!

    • I imagine the tools are run in the background when you hit compile, so you could still wind up with long ass compile times.

      I saw the video TophatWaffle put up. It’ll be good for basic layout, but you’ll spend a lot of time fixing its mistakes once you’re ready to release (if you want to make a high quality map).

  8. Nice, thanks for the screenshots!

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