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Portal writer Erik Wolpaw wants to start on Portal 3 before he's too old

Wolpaw wants to avoid reaching a point where they're too old to work on Portal 3.


In an interview with the Kiwi Talkz podcast, and as reported by outlets like VGC, Portal writer Erik Wolpaw expresses an interest in working on a third installment in the series sooner, rather than later. Specifically, Wolpaw notes that he’s not getting any younger and that it’s getting to a point where he’s concerned about being too old to work on Portal 3.

As exciting as the idea of Portal 3 is in and of itself, the task of getting a new Portal game off the ground at Valve wouldn’t be the easiest task in the world, unfortunately, which is something that Wolpaw himself points out in the interview. Wolpaw also states that he doesn’t have the sort of leverage at Valve needed to get the ball rolling on the project either.

It's been over a decade since Portal 2 was released and it sounds like it'll be a while yet before we see a third game, should Valve decide to develop it.

Even though it may seem as though Valve could start working on Portal 3 at any moment, Wolpaw explained that everyone at the company is currently hard at work on various projects, so pulling them over to the development of Portal 3 would be tricky, to say the least.

With all that in mind, it’s interesting that Valve hasn’t dipped its toes into the waters of Portal 3 yet given it’d likely be a profitable title. Wolpaw agreed with the host when this was pointed out, though the issue then switches over to just how profitable Portal 3 would end up being, and how it’d compare to the sort of money made by games like Counter-Strike: GO.

Listening to the rest of the interview, it’s clear there’s an interest in developing Portal 3, at least from writers like Wolpaw. Not only this but there’s almost certainly a decent amount of fan interest as well given the last Portal game came out over a decade ago.

With this in mind, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of Wolpaw’s interest in working on a third Portal game, and with the mention of Valve working on a variety of projects at the moment, it’ll also be interesting to see what sort of games come out before we hear about anything pertaining to the development of Portal 3.

For more on Wolpaw’s thoughts on Portal 3 and other matters, including insight into the development of Portal 2, be sure to watch the full interview from Kiwi Talkz. And for more on what else Valve is up to, be sure to read about how Steam Deck drivers for Windows 10 were recently made available.

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Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

From The Chatty
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    April 18, 2022 10:00 AM

    Morgan Shaver posted a new article, Portal writer Erik Wolpaw wants to start on Portal 3 before he's too old

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      April 18, 2022 10:04 AM

      It sounds like Valve has become the company game developers go to when they're ready to retire.

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      April 18, 2022 10:37 AM

      At this point, why?

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        April 18, 2022 10:57 AM

        Because it's awesome? Alyx came out what, 20 years after HL? Was also awesome.

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          April 18, 2022 12:29 PM


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          April 18, 2022 2:06 PM

          I mean if you are skilled and talented as Wolpaw is, working on something else with virtually anyone else would be more rewarding.

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      April 18, 2022 10:41 AM

      “There’s a lot of opportunity cost in taking 75 people and trying to get a game made.”

      At a game company?! Tell us more!

      I know they made Alyx, but that was their only real game since 2011. They need to go back to making games rather than spinning on chairs all day

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        April 18, 2022 10:45 AM

        They would probably be better off contracting out to external studios than to fix the mess that is valve internal game development.

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        April 18, 2022 1:47 PM

        Let's be honest, Valve is a video game platform company. Steam, VR and now Steamdeck. Even if they've randomly abandoned VR (which I suspect they have), they probably have their hands full with the other two.

        I mean, they apparently have under 400 employees. Just maintaining steam must require a large chunk of that.

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        April 18, 2022 2:24 PM

        isn't there a lot of cost already with having 75 employees NOT making a game? i mean, they have hundreds of employees right?

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        April 18, 2022 2:33 PM

        lmao the amount of brain damage that place causes in order that a game designer makes that kind of statement and it actually makes sense

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        April 18, 2022 2:50 PM

        My take is: you can make some interesting decisions when you're not concerned about running out of money.

        Many game developers have to balance idealism with realism when it comes to delivering games. You'd like to take your time and get the code right but if you can't get the game out the door before the money runs out then you're out of business. Several developers have run into this, or in some cases ran out of money due to other reasons. So it's a legit thing to be concerned with.

        And one of the things that bites developers in the ass is making a game with technology when the technology isn't ready/finished yet.

        But Valve has a faucet of money constantly coming in so they don't have that issue and they can do what they want. So they spent like 2012-2016 working on getting Source 2 ready to go, then they spent 2016-2020 working on HL: Alyx. Right now they're probably working on new games, maybe even more entries in their tentpole franchises. They shit out a quickie game just the other day to show off the Steam Deck.

        Of course, in the eight years or so they worked on S2/HLA, any clout they had as an engine developer, if they cared about that, was effectively gone - Unreal and Unity basically rule the roost there. Projects like Black Mesa that used Source found it was difficult to find anyone who knew Source any more. Companies like The Chinese Room got fucked by Valve's bizarre licensing and use of Havok.

        And if the net result of all of that was Valve has an excellent in-house engine to work with that no one else cases about, that's not the worst thing or anything. id Tech 7 is incredible and only Zenimax-owned developers ever get to use it, and most of them don't want to (now that I type that out I'm curious what the Microsoft acquisition does there)

        I'm willing to give Valve the chance to knock my socks off with games (other than Alyx since I can't play that) but the other issue is it's not like Valve was known for being prompt before.

        So, whatever, the fucking closing credits of Aperture Desk Job made me miss Valve the game developer but maybe they'll get back on that.

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        April 18, 2022 4:09 PM

        I wonder if they just made Alyx just to help retain talent.

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      April 18, 2022 10:55 AM

      I thought employees at valve could make the games they wanted to. I know that quote is years old now, and afaik Wolpaw isn’t a Valve employee anymore. I hope they do it. It’s time for more half-life and portal. Alyx is the launch pad. Let’s finish this shit and put a bow on it.

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        April 18, 2022 10:56 AM

        They can- but modern AAA games require hundreds of people to be on board of your plan. If you don't have a top down telling you what to work on, it would be extremely hard to co-ordinate.

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          April 18, 2022 10:58 AM

          Yeah I know I was just being facetious. I just want more HL/Portal and probably wont play Alyx unless it releases on PSVR2 :(

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        April 18, 2022 2:38 PM

        They can but they have to rally the staff to do so. There is also a stack ranking system as done by peer review, part of which is based in ROI. The outcome is that games have a very hard time getting made.

        From the outside it feels like Artifact got out the door because starting work was by a very very small team working on a card game prototype which could then be built upon with art and programming, with the promise of bonuses through recurring income via card packs and secondary sales on the marketplace.

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      April 18, 2022 12:22 PM

      And I would like to play Portal 3 before I am dead.

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      April 18, 2022 2:54 PM

      portal1 was about portals. portal2 was about the gels/paint stuff. portal3 would need a new interesting idea

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      April 18, 2022 8:27 PM

      MODS? Can you make Portal 3 happen?!??

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