Valve’s cancelled prequel to its hit 2007 puzzle game Portal
has been revealed properly for the first time thanks to indie developer LunchHouse Software.
The original code for Aperture Camera, Valve’s cancelled prequel to Portal, has been provided to LunchHouse Software in order to help them create a video series about its development. The series, called Exposure, reveals and discusses the core game mechanics of this lost prequel, which was based upon photography.
The first video in the series demonstrates the player using a camera to take pictures of objects and then resize and reposition them in the world. This mechanic is used to solve puzzles and move through a series of rooms.
“The mechanics are not based on speculation or heresay,” LunchHouse writes on the Exposure website. “Instead, Exposure uses the original, official code from Valve’s own F-STOP, or as it was properly named, Aperture Camera.”
RPS reports that the cancelled prequel has been known about since it was mentioned in Geoff Keighley’s book The Final Hours of Portal 2. That report explained that the prequel wouldn’t include Chell or GLaDOS, but nothing was known publicly about how it played until now.
“We’ve reached out to Valve, who’ve given us explicit permission to continue with our project using their original code,” LunchHouse says.
Why, exactly, Valve has given LunchHouse permission to do this isn’t known. But the studio is using Valve’s Source Engine to create its own first-person physics-based puzzler called PUNT which it plans on releasing in 2020.
Half-Life: Alyx First Screenshots (4K)
LunchHouse says that the first video in the Exposure series only shows the base mechanics and future videos will reveal the depth to which Valve explored them.
Valve, meanwhile, is getting back into game development itself this year with Half-Life: Alyx, a first-person VR shooter and puzzle game that’s a prequel to Half-Life 2.
Chris Priestman is a freelancer who writes news for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.