Portal 2 Community Test Chambers - How to Build Your Own Testing Area

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Posted May 16, 2012 - By G4 Staff


Portal 2 Perpetual Testing Initiative Tutorial »

(To explain how to build your own room in the new Portal 2 Community Test Chamber, we turn to the only writer on staff who has the mental fortitude and cunning intellect to help you create your own devious test. But he got sick, so we threw it to the new guy.)


Hello, test subject. This is Cave Johnson from Earth 92543395...well, there are infinite universes, so the chance of my Earth’s numerical designation having any finite number of digits is mathematically zero. Let’s just move on.

In your reality, I’m probably the head of the best damn applied sciences company on Earth. In this one, I’m a writer for G4. Just as good. As a tribute to my other, uh, alterna-Caves, I’m gonna teach you, test subject, how to design your own test chambers. That might be a conflict of interest. Don’t care.

Head over to the new Community Test Chambers option, then to “Create Your Own Test”. The map editor loads up a small room with three required components: an entrance, an exit, and a large observation room. You can move these around, though their placement somewhere in the chamber is required.

You can add test elements from the pop-out panel on the left. Nearly every primary testing element is included, and can be added to any surface in the chamber. Most items can have their properties altered...simply right-click the item in question, and a context menu opens. Select any options you need here. Many of the elements require connections...buttons, switches, and so-on. You can access these through the context menus as well, though the keyboard shortcut ‘K’ speeds things up. If multiple switches are connected to an element, all switches are required for the element to activate.

Many elements can be rotated or resized. Look for small “gizmos” on specific items when highlighted, allowing you to manipulation position and orientation.

Manipulating the geometry of the room can be a bit taxing. You can use the scroll wheel to zoom, right-click to pan, and left-click an empty space to rotate the camera...getting the right view is crucial, and can get a bit annoying.

Exclusives put PS3 ahead this week: Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, SOCOM 4

Now, there are two types of selections: surface selections and volume selections. You can create a surface selection by clicking and dragging along a planar wall, or simply double-clicking to auto-select a full surface. Here, you can drag an edge forward or backward to create or reduce space. The plus and minus keys do the same things, respectively. Finally, our most important key: press P to toggle the portalability of any selected surface.

Volume selections can only be created by clicking and dragging into a three dimensional space. Once a volume is selected, you can expand or contract the volume selection using the small yellow spheres on the corners of the volume. To actually move the volume, you’ll need to click an edge and drag in the appropriate direction. This won’t always work, depending on what test elements fill the volume...look for anything highlighted in red to indicate an error.

Finally, your test chamber might be a little dark. Use the small observation room and strip lighting elements to add some dynamic lighting to the scene.

To compile and try out your creation, hit F9 to compile the map! Once it’s compiled, you can use the tab key to seamlessly move between the editor and the game map itself. Be sure to perform proper playtesting! Many players may be able to break the chamber using a method you didn’t see, bypassing the challenge of the room, so show it to as many people as possible. When you’re ready, you can give the test chamber a name, description, and publish it to the Steam Workshop for the world to play.

So, there you go. You can have your..something and eat it too? You can have your...pie? I don’t remember. Ah, it’s not important.

Good luck, test subjects. As though that would save you.

Portal 2 Community Test Chambers - How to Build Your Own Testing Area


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