Valve’s new Portal 2 level creator, the “Perpetual Testing Initiative,” is now available via Steam for Mac and PC. The community-focused update is free to Portal 2 owners and comes bundled with new Portal 2 purchases, which, until May 10, is available for a deeply discounted $6.79.
The update allows players to easily build their own Portal 2 test chambers, share them via the Steam Workshop, and rate others’ creations. “Perpetual” is an appropriate word to describe this addition; at the time of writing, there are over 530 maps already available for testing. If this early figure is any indication, community participation promises to be strong.
And just for kicks, in true Valve style, a memorandum was sent out yesterday from Cave Johnson to “All Aperture employees” in preparation for the add-on’s release:
TO: All Aperture employees
FROM: Cave Johnson
Cave Johnson here. Your boss. It’s come to my attention that some of you are concerned after receiving my all-staff memo yesterday (“You: Design Test Chambers or You’re Fired”). So to put your minds at ease, let me clarify: You are not mentally ill and you did read the memo just fine. It was real. You should be designing test chambers, right now and at all times, or by God I will fire you.
Having said that, let’s be honest: Some of you are incapable of designing a test chamber, whatever the motivation. You’re only getting marginally better results than a dog would. Worse, actually. A dog designing even a substandard test chamber’d be pretty damned impressive, let’s not kid ourselves.
But don’t worry, you’re not fired yet. It turns out there’s an even better job you can do instead of being fired: Getting launched into an infinite series of alternate Earths to evaluate all the test chambers your smarter coworkers are making.
Wait, it gets better: I’ll be right there with you. Every step of the way, whether the tests work or not, Cave’ll be by your side, facing whatever life-threatening dangers we might run into out there. And even better, I won’t actually physically be there. I’ll be here, talking into a microphone, from complete and total safety. That way the people who’ll be monitoring whether you’re still alive won’t have to split their focus worrying about me.
So there you have it. Everyone’s useful in the Perpetual Testing Initiative. Except Peter Jenkins, which brings me to the point of this memo: Pete, you’re fired.
Alright, that should wrap it up. Everybody except Pete get back to work when this sentence finishes… now.