Thursday, 26 May 2016

World Design - Portal

At the beginning of portal when the player first stands up, they are shown a timer that is running down. Already the player is presented with some sort of urgency within their surroundings. There is nowhere for the player to go and is then introduced to the movement control's. On the wall next to the timer you can see that there a poster, it stands out due to the use of negative space it has. Compared to the rest of the environment that has a grey dull colour, this part of the wall has black and white and stands out really well. When the timer reaches 5 seconds the player is introduced to what seems to be the narrator in Glados. She counts the final seconds and announces that a portal will appear. Straight away the player is faced with the main mechanic of the game. The use of the portal to move from one place to another. In its own right it shows the player that you must proceed through here to continue the game. 

When you get to the other side of the portal you appear next to the poster that you saw from within the room, below this you can see symbols that might relate to what you have to do to proceed. The symbols really stick out to the player as a way of navigation without the player being told by words of what to do. Following the symbols I place the cube on the platform to hold the door open. There is then an orange dotted line that suggests to the player to proceed forward from here through the door. The use of the colour orange stands out really well against the grey. The next puzzle to solve shows the player that no matter that situation there is a way to solve it, building on top of the previous puzzle of using the cube to hold the door open, this time the game is showing the player that they can take the cube with them through portals to hold doors open,  leading the player through portals showing that every situation faced from here can be solved dependant on how the portals are used and that objects can also travel through portals. 

                                                      Oh you have a gun do you?

The next puzzle shows the player the firing of the portal gun first hand, as it is triggered to fire in front of player when they walk down the stairs. As you know now you can traverse through said portals when you do, you land up above the portal gun which you then jump down to get. This part is very important to the rest of the game as the player fires the gun for the first time they can comprehend as to how the gun works. The very first time you can use it you are only allowed the power of the blue portal this is done so it instantly reinforces to the player that blue will transport you through to orange and vice versa as seen before.  The next puzzle furthers this idea by making the player shoot a blue portal to the other side of a ledge, the side your on has the orange portal fixed into place, walking through bring you to where you shot the blue portal. The next couples level are more the same till the player is challenged to use physics within the game to slingshot themselves across levels. This was a great way to show how the portal can be applied to solve problems in numerous ways. During my play through of the demo not once did I feel lost within this game world, and not once did I feel like I didn't know what to do the game flows really well and introduces on the mechanics in a non intrusive way.

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