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

3 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 26 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 102 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 372)
skarai Oct 12 2008, 11:58am says:

Voice acting pretty much ruined everything.

+3 votes     reply to comment
NykO18 Creator
NykO18 Nov 5 2008, 2:51pm replied:

Next time we'll do it with text only, or in french.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Fireyone Oct 15 2008, 7:23pm replied:

I find his Voice Acting (WHICH WAS A MICROSOFT SAM/WHOEVER) actually helped the game feel like Portal.

+1 vote     reply to comment
norton2 Oct 14 2008, 1:49am replied:

don't be so mean.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Floodkiller Oct 12 2008, 12:18am says:

Great pack so far, i'm up to room 9.

Which reminds me, are you crediting Portal: The Flash Version (not the map pack MADE by those guys, but the actual Flash version) for inspiration for your levels? Because some of your levels are very reminescent of them (the eletric area, the 3 crusher sprint, etc.).

-1 votes     reply to comment
Ulver Oct 11 2008, 8:58pm says:

Kind of a great mod. But the last levels had a few backtracking-problems, and the boss-fight sucked. Death/survival was completely arbitrary, and in the ending scene a counter appeared on all the screens without any context to the boss fight (e.g. no counter started, no gassing everyone started etc).
This mod definately needs work, but it has got potential :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
turkey72 Oct 11 2008, 6:46pm says:

oh and nyk018 may i please use your: citizen skins,manhack skin and sound and upload it fpsbanana?

+1 vote     reply to comment
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
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Released Oct 8, 2008
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683 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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