Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

'The Final Hours of Portal 2' iPad app tests the waters of for pay videogame 'making of' stories

Geoff Keighley tests whether gamers will pay for an in-depth look behind the scenes at their favorite games with his 'Final Hours of Portal 2' iPad app.

18

If you're hungry for more Portal 2 love, yes, there's an app for that. Geoff Keighley, known best today for hosting GT.TV on Spike but whose body of work stretches back to 1992, has created an in-depth behind the scenes piece on the game titled "The Final Hours of Portal 2" as an iPad app.

Priced at $1.99, the Final Hours of Portal 2 combines a 15,000 word story delving into the making of Portal 2 with the multimedia capabilities of the iPad for supporting photos, audio clips, videos, and other interactive elements. "iPad is the perfect platform to bring the amazing story of Portal 2's development to life in a new, innovative way," said Keighley.

It's an interesting experiment in modern videogame journalism. Keighley visited Valve over the three years the game was in development to put together the story, conduct interviews, and put together the media to complete the package. Not an uncommon time investment for similar "making of" books, but it definitely stands in contrast to the get-it-posted-five-minutes-ago nature of online reporting. Keighley previously wrote similar stories as part of his Behind the Games series at Gamespot, the last of which, "The Final Hours of Half-Life 2," was published in 2004.

The audience on the Net also expects to get its content for free. How willing people are to pay, even if only a couple bucks, will be an interesting experiment to watch. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments.

More information on the app can be had on the Final Hours of Portal 2 official site.

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 22, 2011 2:15 PM

    Garnett Lee posted a new article, 'The Final Hours of Portal 2' iPad app tests the waters of for pay videogame 'making of' stories.

    Geoff Keighley tests whether gamers will pay for an in-depth look behind the scenes at their favorite games with his 'Final Hours of Portal 2' iPad app.

    • reply
      April 22, 2011 2:21 PM

      I payed for it but I wouldn't pay for it again... or any future articles if this turns into some trend.

      It was a neat experiment piece, but most of it was bits and pieces I already learned from blogs and articles. The interactive pieces but it's just fluff really.

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 2:30 PM

        Yeah, a lot of the stuff I am hearing from it I already knew from reading the wikipedia article on Portal 2.

        • reply
          April 22, 2011 3:55 PM

          Most of that article on WP is what I've written from sources.

          But I feel I need to see what's in this app to fill in spaces....

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 2:37 PM

        good to know, thanks

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 4:39 PM

        You're the first person I've come across who didn't find value in the app. Sorry to hear that, as I think there's a ton of stuff in there that hasn't been reported on before. If you send me your info I will refund your purchase over PayPal. Thanks for giving the story a chance. -Geoff Keighley

        • reply
          April 22, 2011 5:04 PM

          I'm the first? Well now I feel terrible. :(

          Maybe my comment is viewed as negative, but I don't deserve a refund. My expectations were $2 and I feel like I got my $2 out of it. I like checking out new experiences in media. I recommended your app to a few people already to check out how to make their ebook ideas stand out better.

          The future articles bit was supposed to mean if other journalists jump on this app per article trainride as Garnett was asking about, not a slam against you.

          • reply
            April 22, 2011 5:10 PM

            Man it's Friday, I can't write worth a shit today. :(

          • reply
            April 22, 2011 5:21 PM

            Yeah part of this was an experiment in bite-sized journalism -- It's really more of a 'making of' book than a single article. (It is 15,000 words long). I'm just surprised you thought all the info was already up online, there are quite a few things in the story that haven't been reported on (even now after the App has been out a day).

    • reply
      April 22, 2011 2:21 PM

      people pay for collector's editions of things with making of videos you, or at least I, only watch once. So if you consider this something similar without the other collector's items I guess it's ok, not something I'd buy though.

    • reply
      April 22, 2011 2:24 PM

      It's Portal 2 related, of course it's going to sell incredibly well.

    • reply
      April 22, 2011 2:31 PM

      Valve should probably do a "Raising the bar 2" To cover the Orange Box and L4D era. The original book was fantastic.

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 2:43 PM

        Hell yes it was. I was working at Best Buy at the time and got it for like 11 bucks!! For some reason the employee discount was huge on that thing. I still have it.

        • reply
          April 22, 2011 2:46 PM

          I still have mine too. I was thinking of selling it since apparently it's going for woah-big, and I never do look through it (apparently I'm not actually big into art books).

          • reply
            April 22, 2011 2:56 PM

            I don't think I could ever sell it. That whole period of PC Gaming, especially HL2... was way too dear to my heart.

          • reply
            April 22, 2011 3:57 PM

            if you ever do, please let me know. I still kick myself for not picking it up.

          • reply
            April 22, 2011 4:17 PM

            Wow, that is going for a decent sum of money. I still have mine. I can see it on my bookshelf sitting next to Masters of Doom.

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 3:13 PM

        Yeah, i'd love more artbooks by them. I still look through mine pretty often.

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 3:14 PM

        They should also reprint RTB for those of us that missed it the first time. I do not like buying used, but would adore getting such a great piece of gaming history.

      • reply
        April 23, 2011 3:51 AM

        Yep still got it right here.

    • reply
      April 22, 2011 3:12 PM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      April 22, 2011 3:23 PM

      I'd pay $1 or $2 but I don't want it in a fucking iPad app. Make it an eBook and toss in on the kindle marketplace.

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 4:39 PM

        Stay tuned :)

        • reply
          April 22, 2011 4:51 PM

          I can't wait to pick this up once it's available on other platforms like PC or Android. It sounds like an awesome end result. Hope your spirits haven't been broken at all by people who feel they're entitled to everything for free, no matter how much effort when into it.

        • reply
          April 22, 2011 5:11 PM

          fuuuuuuuuuu.... Ah well I'll just re-buy when an ebook/kindle version comes out.

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 5:01 PM

        Surprisingly it was actually one of the better "interactive magazines" I've used on the iPad. Videos, photos, and general navigation was very smooth. All the other magazine apps on the iPad eventually get sluggish if a page has too many videos, photos, or other interactive content.

      • reply
        April 22, 2011 5:10 PM

        Android makes sense, Kindle would work but it would be missing all of the interactive elements, panoramic still photos, etc etc

    • reply
      April 23, 2011 3:52 AM

      I loved it. Great read, great interaction. WOULD buy again.

    • reply
      April 23, 2011 4:09 AM

      I think you said it best with "get it posted five minutes ago." I just bought this game two days ago... and while I've racked up 8 hours of gameplay, I feel abnormally behind the times. The fact that there's even a forum about this, an article titled "The Last Hours..." and an iPad app for an iPad I don't even own yet... I have this feeling that I'm 2 months behind. I sit here typing and trying to finish my beer before bed while realizing I can't possibly keep up. I feel old. Thanks Shacknews.

    • reply
      April 23, 2011 4:48 PM

      and then they can make a making of the making of video. and a video about making that...and so on..

    • reply
      April 23, 2011 5:56 PM

      Excellent work Geoff. All these years later, your 'behind the game' pieces at Gamespot still make great reading (including your ION Storm piece). Gaming journalism at its finest - I'd love to see more.

    • reply
      April 24, 2011 10:19 PM

      Yes I'm hungry for more. I finished single player the same day I got it. Bit of a ripoff (price wise) IMO.

      • reply
        April 25, 2011 7:40 AM

        That's why I'm patient enough to wait until the game is like $20 or less on a sale.

      • reply
        April 25, 2011 9:02 AM

        It took me two nights and almost the full day on Saturday to finish it. I don't know how the hell people finished it so quickly and say it's too short. I thought it was a great length, a story succinctly told, perfectly paced.

Hello, Meet Lola