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Report article RSS Feed An Update, and Portal: Skyline

Have a play with some of the elements from Outside Influence in this short standalone map.

Posted by SpAM_CAN on Apr 12th, 2014

Long time no see! I've been busy with university, moving across the country, and a whole host of other things, and this has sadly meant that I've not been able to do much to the mod over the last 8 months. However, I've not been completely idle!

In January I entered, and won, the Gamebanana "High Altitude" mapping contest with a little entry known as Portal: Skyline. The more eagle-eyed of you may notice that various elements of this bear a striking resemblance to screenshots from Outside Influence. The best reason for this is that Skyline is, in essense, the demo for Outside Influence. It bears no resemblance to the final mod in plot, or even much of the aesthetic, but it shows off some of the testing elements you can expect to see in OI, as well as give a taste of the puzzles that will be on offer.

Not only that, but the feedback from this has helped re-shape and modify the rest of the main mod, streamlining many of the puzzles and making them much easier to follow, as well as some general refinement of various areas and tasks.

If you wanna give Skyline a go, hit it up over here:

I plan on also doing a Portal 2 version at some point in the future, though that could well be a way off. I've also recently created an unofficial version of VVVVVV that runs in the Windows Command Console, in case anyone was really dying to see your favourite Terry Cavanagh game cloned in the old MS-DOS Text Mode (if so, you have very specific tastes).

Anyway, I just thought I'd update you all and remind you that yes, I am not dead, and no, the mod is not cancelled. It's just a long haul project for me, one that I want to get right. I'm also considering moving the mod to Portal 2, if I can find a way to simulate the Portal 1 specific entities and techniques I've used throughout (though, this may be an enhanced port released after-the-fact).


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tile Apr 12 2014, 8:05pm says:

get on portal 2's engine ASAP. it's not really any harder to map for (actually, it's really easy compared to portal 1 because the map wont run with leaks in it, and there's something called func_instance that practically turns prefabs into entities that all universally update when you edit the original .vmf of the object, among several other things.)
and the best part, is that once you've put all the needed content into portal 2's directory, you're ready to go, so it's fairly easy to port this.

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SpAM_CAN Author
SpAM_CAN Apr 13 2014, 12:43pm replied:

Sadly, it isn't as easy as it sounds. Ignoring the fact that Portal 2's version of Hammer prevents using 3 decimal places for texture scale (making using half-sized textures impossible), various entities that I make heavy use of are simply not available in the Portal 2 codebase. The only reason I'm considering switching at all is that I may be able to replicate the features I am using with VScript (something that I may actually be able to figure out now, thanks to spending the last 8 months learning C++ and C#). I don't know, we'll see. I think the "enhanced port" option is probably better.

I also prefer the Portal gameplay engine over 2. Various things are just... I don't know, weird, on Portal 2. Nothing feels right for me. It might be my own personal disdain for how utterly dreadful Portal 2 was compared to what it could have been, though.

+2 votes   reply to comment
SpAM_CAN Author
SpAM_CAN Apr 13 2014, 12:49pm replied:

(That's not calling Portal 2 bad by any stretch, it's just massively less than it could have been)

+2 votes   reply to comment
Ciirulean Apr 13 2014, 2:27pm replied:

SpAM_Can wrote:Portal 2's version of Hammer prevents using 3 decimal places for texture scale (making using half-sized textures impossible)

Actually you can rescale textures to whatever decimal place you want in Portal 2. Entering in a number such as 0.125 will scale the texture to just that. The only difference is that Hammer likes to say the texture has been scaled to 0.13 even though it hasn't.

Anyway I think you should continue developing the mod on this platform.

+1 vote     reply to comment
SpAM_CAN Author
SpAM_CAN Apr 16 2014, 10:17am replied:

From my experience, it rescales to 1.3 too (though there is likely a workaround, I don't see why they limited it to 2DP in the first place).

+1 vote   reply to comment
tile Apr 13 2014, 10:49pm replied:

what caden said. also, which entities would you be using specifically? unless its hl2 guns/npcs etc. also hate to break the news, provided it is news, but vscript uses squirrel, not c++ or c#. unless they are similar, it might not help... and as for gameplay being weird and portal 2 being a disapointment, agree. though, the gameplay is mostly to blame on the mappers, not the engine. they like to make things pre-planned using a portal 2 entities called trigger_catapult, and another called portal_placement_helper (or something like that). the gameplay is actaully really close to portal 1 aside from that. again, though, i fully agree with portal 2 falling really far short of what it could have been. please excuse my massive typo count, i'm really tired ATM.

+1 vote     reply to comment
SpAM_CAN Author
SpAM_CAN Apr 16 2014, 10:21am replied:

Squirrel uses near-identical syntax to C#, so I should be fine there :) The entities I make use of are HL2 specific, sadly. While the basic bipedal human characters can be done easily in 2, various Combine elements I've used in a few places simply can't be. Although, I could probably switch some of these out for a more scripted sequence approach.

The gameplay in 2 honestly feels wrong in every map or mod I've tried. It's obviously better in third-party mods than Valve's maps, but it's never fixed completely for me. I don't know why, but everything from movement to the way the player feels whilst in the air just all feel wrong to me.

And yeah, I know about catapults and placement helpers and the like, I've mapped for Portal 2 quite a bit (usually for contests)

0 votes   reply to comment
tile Apr 18 2014, 10:49pm replied:

ah, ok. sorry. when sombody is mapping mostly in p1 i tend to (usually incorrectly) assume they've never p2 mapped lol. :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
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SpAM_CAN Author
SpAM_CAN Apr 16 2014, 10:22am replied:

Sorry, Google Translate really isn't helping me on this one.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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