Valve has hosted Portal 2 map contests in the past, but those tools are more advanced and best suited to the modding community. Now the company is reportedly experimenting with an easier tool set that will be more inviting to aspiring level creators.
An update to Geoff Keighley's The Final Hours of Portal 2 (via Kotaku) explains the tools, described as "Photoshop for levels." The new kit would be more user-friendly, and include a level browser to boot. The browser could even make it to consoles, letting PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players benefit from the work of creators.
Also intriguing is the idea of adding personality to the level editor. "Imagine what it would be like to have GLaDOS berate you every time you spell something incorrectly in Microsoft Word and you'll have a sense of where this can go," Keighley writes.
Now for the bad news. The report is unclear on whether this is a definitive, planned update, or just some idle tinkering from Valve. The nebulousness of the plan means that if we do get these tools and browser, it may well be on Valve Time.