Think you know everything there is to know about Portal? Think again, as this new minidocumentary takes you behind the scenes into their unseen development history.
YouTuber Valve News Network has made The Unseen History of Portal, a seventeen minute video that shows us never before seen images, video, and details on the making of the 2007 surprise hit out of The Orange Box. It is illuminating to see how one of Valve’s most popular franchises today started out as a student project at DigiPen.
If there was a big secret to Portal‘s development, it was that it underwent extensive revisions throughout its development history. Perhaps the only concept that tied the game together from its very inception was the idea of the portals themselves.
Some of you may know a lot about the making of Portal already. Many fans do know that the game is a spiritual successor to the DigiPen student project Narbacular Drop, conceived by Kim Swift. Some know the story of the Narbacular Drop team being hired by Valve after Gabe Newell saw one presentation, about Marc Laidlaw helping flesh out the story, and of course, the origins of everyone’s favorite robot antagonist, GladOS.
However, this documentary packs in some small details that you may not have heard or seen anywhere else. For example, did you know Gabe did not even let the student developers finish their presentation before hiring them? Valve News Network picks up on this and many other details, such as using images of Christopher Reeve’s Superman as stand ins for what appears behind the portals, and the one change they needed to make for consoles. If you’re a huge Portal fan, you will really enjoy watching this.
You can watch the full documentary below.