Why ?
In January 2008, I was searching for a new project. Portal was out since four months, and still, no-one had already did something really serious around it. I was following a lot a communities, seeing a lot of independant releases, but no mod and no serious story arc. This I why I decided to launch this project.

How ?
At start, the project was rather insignificant. It was not supposed to be a mod (modification of a game), but just a succession of test chambers, without any real logic between each of them. I had no goal, I was just making maps as I saw it. And finally, when I reached a dozen of test chambers, I realized that I would be a shame to waste all my work by only releasing yet another map pack without any real story. This is where I began to write a whole new story and decided to follow the famous belief that prequels are somewhat popular recently.

What ?
Portal: Prelude, as its name states it, is an unofficial prequel to the game Portal. Its story revolves around the pre-GlaDOS epoch, even before she was plugged in. At this time, test subjects were monitored by real Aperture Science employees whose work was tedious, lengthy and repetitive. This is why they decided to build a great artificial intelligence that could both replace them in these difficult tasks, but also take responsibility for many other tasks within the complex and compete with Black Mesa's superiority. All employees of the Aperture Science complex are now eagerly awaiting GlaDOS. Maybe even a little too eagerly, as the upcoming events will tell...

Who ?
My goal was to make it a personnal project, without telling anyone about it. I wanted to surprise everyone by releasing a quality, polished and fully finished game, offering roughly the same amount of playtime than Portal. As months passed, I had more and more difficulties to keep working regularly on it. In real life, I'm both a student and an employee, and that didn't left me a lot of time to work on the game. This is where I decided to ask for some help, mainly from Jérémy "Capitaine Mousse" Barbe, who helped me by making four of the nineteen test chambers while I was working on the final level. Marc "Moroes" Bidoul helped me too, by making a few 3D models and textures.

How long ?
Eight months. Not eight month of continuous work of course, but eight month with some days filled with dozens of hours of hard work. I worked on the nineteen test chambers for 3 to 4 months, followed by 2 months on the final level, and 2 months of tests, debug, and polishing (interfaces, voices, commentaries, etc.). I must confess that it took me a lot more time than I initially thought, mainly because I had exams and work to do on behalf.

And after ?
In June 2008, I learned as everyone else that Valve was working on an official prequel of Portal. I must say that I was mostly the only guy on Earth not really happy by this announce. So, I decided to work twice as hard to release my version way before Valve's one. I hope that they will not take it too personnally, because mine was in development 5 months before their announcement.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Portal: Prelude wins third place at MoTY

2 comments by NykO18 on Mar 2nd, 2009

Ok, that's right, it's a kind of big surprise. After 114,000 votes, Portal: Prelude didn't win the ModDB's Mod of the Year Awards, but made it to the third place! Surprinsigly enough, we also managed to beat the most acclaimed mods of 2008, including nearly every mod that got into Steam during the year.

  1. Project Reality (Battlefield 2)
  2. Zombie Panic: Source (Half-Life 2)
  3. Portal: Prelude (Portal)
  4. First Strike (Battlefield 2142)
  5. Zombie Master (Half-Life 2)
  6. Pirates, Vikings and Knights 2 (Half-Life 2)
  7. Eternal Silence (Half-Life 2)
  8. Age of Chivalry (Half-Life 2)
  9. Stargate Empire at War (Starwars Empire at War)
  10. Half-Life 2: Wars (Half-Life 2)

I must say that I'm really happy with the results, it's kind of the best place ever for a little mod like ours that grew up rapidly from nowhere with a really small team but a really big motivation. It wouldn't have been fair to finish first or second regarding the amount of work and devotion put into some of the mods out there. Some of them who recreate everything from scratch and build something during years with sometimes hundreds of people. That's why I'm happy to be third!

I must say that our little team is quite proud of this result! After all, it proves that even if we crossed a terrific jungle of insults, harsh criticism and mockery, we managed to please the people at which this mod was first aimed: all-time Portal fans, hardcore challenge-looking players and a few of them who thought Portal: Prelude was cool enough to buy Portal once and for all (no joke here, I could cite you some e-mails I received).

Thanks to all our fans, to all the people who helped us and tried to help us in any way (e-mails, voices, forums, scores, bugfix, etc.), and thanks to all the people who sent us feedback via e-mails, comments, discussion boards or our forums. Thanks for the hundreds (maybe thousands) of e-mails to tell us your experience, your disappointements and your best moments. We couldn't reply to everyone (even if I tried to reply to at least 70-80% of them), but I can assure you we read everything.

Check our "meet the team" page to see all the people who really helped us.

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Portal: Prelude 1.1.5 (archive version)

Portal: Prelude 1.1.5 (archive version)

May 20, 2010 Full Version 20 comments

All the files needed to make Portal: Prelude run. This version is exactly the same than the "installer" version except that it works better for Mac OS...

Portal: Prelude 1.1.5 (complete installer)

Portal: Prelude 1.1.5 (complete installer)

Feb 2, 2009 Full Version 97 comments

This new version is shipped with more than 115 bug fixes, improvements and additions (since 1.0.0). We know everything's still not perfect, but we believe...

Post comment Comments  (320 - 330 of 365)
turkey72 Oct 11 2008, 6:44pm says:

It was a good mod. it was hard at 7 and 8 XD. but damn thats a good story line right there.the ending i found sad :o.but thats just me. i give it 10/10!best portal mod and only one (for now at least XD) that shall be out there !

+1 vote     reply to comment
The_6th_Monkey Oct 11 2008, 4:47pm says:

Great fun and one of the best sp mods for the half-life 2/portal engine (second only to the minerva series in my opinion):D

I've heard a lot of haters flaming this because they can't complete certain levels and found them frustrating.
Well if thats the case they should look at a walkthrough because it is nothing related to the quality of the mod

The things I believe needed improving in this mod were:

The voice acting which I thought would of been great... if those guys wern't human ;)

..a few bugs(the only one I rememeber was an area with the companion cube near the really high room. I accidentally locked the cube in the previous room and I had to reload a previous save ;))

Oh and finally the end boss. Which felt like surviving till the end required a lot of luck. Since there was no safe spots (unless I wasn't playing that part properly :D)

Overall great mod, great story, great new content, and just great overall and I am sure it will look great on your portfolios.

Make more and have a nice day :)

0 votes     reply to comment
piper647 Oct 11 2008, 12:06am says:

I'm so upset I finished the first level by change and I can't finish the second even if it's really basic

+1 vote     reply to comment
Rogue_Eagle Oct 10 2008, 10:43pm says:

Very professional mod.
Some of the levels are very very challenging.
I think a few areas of various maps should be looked at as sometimes there is no room for error which can become a tad frustrating.

Though who am I to talk.
Great job guys!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Deadrocks Oct 10 2008, 7:40pm says:

Any suggestions on the second level? Seriously. I have it set up, the way it SHOULD be, but I just can't make the leap.

+1 vote     reply to comment
KEITH1437 Oct 10 2008, 3:42am says:

I liked it. Level design was a bit wonky at certain points but the ending made up for it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tatsur0 Oct 10 2008, 1:51am says:

Easily the best Portals game thus far beating out the flash version(flash and portals :P) and the original. The other two portal games (Orig and Mod) were too simple. I never had to stop and think and yet in this mod it's a requirement. I notice those complaining either had more trouble than me or had an odd way to solve their chambers which confused or irritated them. Really great job guys!


+1 vote     reply to comment
sathanas Oct 10 2008, 12:36am says:

For anyone who does not consider themselves a hardcore Portal player / speedrunner, just avoid this.

The first chamber gave me a bit of a laugh after warning me not to do stupid things with portals, and then jumping into the middle of several turrets, but after that there's really no appeal.

The story you pretty much know from what GLaDOS says during Portal, so much of the appeal of being "more than a map-pack" is lost straight away.

Perhaps it's good in French, but as someone playing through on English, the translation and voice synth programs used to create the voices just ruins any sort of atmosphere. It's like playing through with a schizophrenic GLaDOS most the time. Which would have been a cool thing if it was during the start of her meltdown, but... sadly I don't think it's intended.

Where Portal threw some challenges at you, generally it would take just a few attempts to figure something out. Rooms were clean and guided your eye to the solution to most chambers. Portal: Prelude does away with any sort of user friendliness, and even at one point makes a joke of the solution to puzzles making no logical sense. "Did you see that part of the wall I moved. It was of no use. A ha ha ha ha," that's pretty damn hilarious, you zaney frenchmen! Watch as I hold my sides to stop them from splitting.

The test chambers, from the very start, require near perfect timing and a lot of trial and error. If you enjoy repetitive pain, this will be right up your alley. Go ahead hardcore minority, tell me I'm missing the point. It's supposed to be hardcore to the max! I'm just warning the average player that they'll probably end up burning this to a dvd just so they can put it through a shredder.

3/10 for me, someone who found Portal enjoyable as it was and felt no real need to challenge myself further. If the story was any way decent or even unpredictable, it might get as high as 5 even with the state of the test chambers.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Bubbinska Oct 10 2008, 1:12am replied:

I'd like to second Sathanas' remarks. I'm up to chamber 19 and while the puzzles have been fairly clever and I appreciate the effort made in producing more challenging puzzles, what severs my enjoyment of the game is the use of unintuitive, precision portalling as a means to solve the puzzles.

What made Portal's puzzles enjoyable was that the time limits, if any, were fairly lax, so you had room to carefully plant your portals. Chamber 18, where I need to press a button, make an infinite loop and launch myself, then quickly jump from button to button to solve the rest of the problems was just plain painful. It's not that I couldn't figure it out, it's just that the sluggish view-rolling and confusion from portalling yourself into a daze makes it difficult for me to accurately and easily solve the puzzle. I finished it but not after swearing up a storm at the crazy requirements. There are other issues in other Chambers but I don't need to explain them all.

The problem is that these puzzles are designed for a lightning-fast, smooth and intuitive engine, while Portal is sluggish and clunky in this situation. It's like a ham-handed sumo wrestler trying to thread needles.

I'm really impressed at the effort put into this mod, and while the english voice "acting" is a bit odd, and has dodgy grammar, it's still pretty good. My issue is with the puzzles - They are easy to find the solution to, but hard to execute that solution. It should be the other way around.

+7 votes     reply to comment
sudoku424 Oct 10 2008, 9:49pm replied:

what helps is when you're not running it on minimum requirements.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Released Oct 8, 2008
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680 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (5 agree) 7/10

It must be admitted that if you take nothing else from this mod, its sheer scale is quite exceptional. With new characters, voicework, puzzles and approximately double the length of the original portal (not to mention its difficulty in places) it is hard to den the dedication and hard work that has gone into this mod. The storyline is fairly solid – although I expected the malice of on of the observers to continue – which is impressive and a testament to what can happen if a mod team sit down with…

Nov 5 2010, 5:13am by newnowmusic

Lowest Rated (7 agree) 3/10

If I were to give Portal: Prelude any credit, I'd say it was very ambitious, and I'd congratulate the developer for finishing it. However, the mod is not entertaining. It has terrible voice acting for one, because the creator himself admitted he could not be bothered to find actual people. In addition to terrible voice acting, the characters that need the voices are all very badly written. They have an unecessary amount of malice for the player; while that was funny in Portal, it lacks any semblance…

Jan 17 2011, 6:55pm by Darkurai

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