Poll Question 273 – Will you try the new Portal 2: Perpetual Testing Initiative?

5th May 2012

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Five years ago I wrote an article called Hammer Made Easy, asking for more or less what Valve are releasing in a few days.

I don’t claim to have been the first to ask for it, and definitely not the last, but it’s pretty damn cool to see it finally arrive.

The biggest problem will be finding the good ones to play and I am sure some gems will be overlooked.

Anyway, I wonder whether this will be the start of new mapping endeavours for a number of new mappers?

It’s clear that Portal 2 was the perfect option for the initial release but I am not convinced it’s the right one in the long term. I suspect that the kind of people who want to make portal puzzles are already doing it. Yes, they may continue using this and the fully fledged Hammer and it will introduce a lot of new mappers but would those mappers have learnt Hammer anyway?

It’s whether it can be adapted for Half-Life games, that’s the really interesting thing for me.

I believe the mentally required for making puzzles is very different from making action games. Yes, of course, some people can do both, but they are rare.

If the editor allowed you to create the basics and then export for more detail control that might be the perfect solution.

Time to Vote!


  1. Can I please recieve a reason why not ?
    I mean, I will be finally able to make a nice basic chamber with comfort.

    No more removing walls like an idiot only to add one passage.
    This editor will do it for me, I will just open the VMF later and add a few details.

    This has to be the best improvement in Hammer accesibility since… the creation of Valve.
    It will also bring a new wave of modders and leveldesigners to the community.

  2. Nah, I’m content with using Hammer. Besides, I am not particularly interested in making Portal 2 maps.

  3. Not for half life games, because half life games are not just chambers, blocky chambers.. with set puzzle elements.

  4. zonbie

    i’ve been wanting to make some portal-style maps and this will give me the chance to simply get my ideas out of my head without fighting my computer or the painful hammer editor.

    as to whether or not the darg-and-drop editor should be expanded to the half-life 2 universe, I think not. I really prefer the extreme control I can exert of the world by using the hammer editor. things that make it horrible mainly have to do with a lot of random program crashing, and the huge pain involved in creating and including custom content (when compared to UE3, it is a pain).

    valve must improve the functionality of the hammer editor or else it will die a slow death.

  5. Radu Tanasie

    I wouldn’t see myself using it, because of it’s limitations.

  6. Jim Partridge

    I’m saying No but not for the reasons you say above.
    For folks who don’t want to learn how to use hammer it’ll be great. I’m sure the finished product will be OK but there’s no way you’ll be able to reach the level of finish you can achieve with Hammer.

    Also, the shipped a level construction tool like this with Alien Swarm, and no one used it…

    1. I don’t think anybody expects the final product to be a polished as with the fully fledged editor, but if it is an introduction to mapping then it could encourage more to try it.

      Also, Alien Swarm isn’t a good comparison as nobody really plays it anyway.

  7. Error 404 Not Found

    I would absolutely love to give it a go. I think it’s a really good idea releasing a simple map maker to test your skill at making maps. It would be horrible to spend ages learning to use something like Hammer and then discovering that you’re just not good at making maps. This way you get to test the water before you dive in at the deep end.

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