PSA: "The Final Hours of Portal 2" [Now On Steam For PC/Mac]

#1


If you've read Geoff's piece at GameSpot on The Final Hours of Half Life 2 then you already know that quality level of the new app. If you're into developer commentaries, have an interest in Valve's design process and own an iPad give this app a whirl. I think it was well worth the $1.99 and from reading the feedback comments at the end of the app most people who also purchased it feel the same.

The interactivity is really something else with there being lots of pictures, user polls, panoramic pictures of office, slideshows and sound clips. All the interactivity combined with Geoff's 15,000 word BTS feature on the the last 4 years at Valve really make this a great package. You learn more about the employees that aren't the usual Valve public faces and there is an interview with Steven Merchant.

After the success of this app I really feel that a behind the scenes apps is going to become the new trend amongst major releases right along side the current trend of having a video production co (2 Player/Area 5) do behind the scenes videos.

Buy the app here: http://www.thefinalhoursofportal2.com/

Favorite Pictures (just a few don't sue me Geoff):

The animators of Portal 2, most of which are ex-Pixar:



The Narbacular Drop Team (sans Kim Swift):

 
#5
Lasthope106 said:
Why is this only available on iPad? I would pay for this if it was available as a pdf or interactive flash app.
I think he said he's going to look at other mediums. The interactive portion is a great idea to help combat piracy.
 
#9
Thread backfire.

Anything who thinks EXCLUSIVE platform articles are a good thing, gtfo.

Even if I had an iPad, I wouldn't get this shit.
 
#13
Everyone chill the fuck out, Geoff got this. He said he's working on a non-iPad version in the Portal 2 thread.

That said, it's a great read and if you've got an iPad then go for it.
 

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
#15
A.KU.MU said:
Geoff Keighley. Not interested.
His previous "final hours" articles were absolutely fantastic. Still reading the iPad app, but it's definitely on par with those.

It's really a great piece of journalism. Too bad, your loss.
 
#16
chubigans said:
His previous "final hours" articles were absolutely fantastic. Still reading the iPad app, but it's definitely on par with those.

It's really a great piece of journalism. Too bad, your loss.
If it's really that great, then why not put it on the web?
 
#17
I'm honestly surprised there hasn't (yet) been much external coverage or discussion of the revelations / teases Keighley makes.

Off the top of my head -- it's been a few days since I read it -- there are at least two or three bits that would serve as really good stand-alone news stories / threads / discussion pieces including one that doesn't really pertain to Portal as much as what Valve has planned / is teasing for the future.
 
#21
JWong said:
If it's really that great, then why not put it on the web?
Obviously he's in love with the iPad and the possibilities of such a device. I don't think such possibilities are enough to require an article to be exclusive. He could have removed the interactive stuff and put it on the web for free, but would his iPad version sell as much (obviously it cost money to make it)? Just seems like a miscalculation to me.

EDIT: Changed my mind. It's a piece of feature writing (which we obviously need more of), and he decided to come back to it by experimenting with a new medium. Good for him.
 

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
#24
Cartman86 said:
Obviously he's in love with the iPad the possibilities of such a device. I don't think such possibilities are enough to require an article to be exclusive. He could have removed the interactive stuff and put it on the web for free, but would his iPad version sell as much (obviously it cost money to make it)? Just seems like a miscalculation to me.
It's not that hard to figure out really.

iPad first, make profit, make PDF version after a few weeks, make more money and open yourself to a ton more piracy of said article.
 
#25
Futureman said:
I thnk it was already mentioned.

Piracy? Hopes of making some money off hard work?
Uuuuuuh he has like a full time job and stuff. Probably gets paid more than an indie dev who makes iPad games.
chubigans said:
He's planning on it I think. I can understand why its an iPad app though, the interactivity of this "magazine" is really nifty.
Flash?
 
#27
Wow, what an absolutely garbage way to advertise your product - by hyping up the only platform you can buy it on, thus making those who want it contemplate spending hundreds of dollars.
 
#28
Futureman said:
I thnk it was already mentioned.

Piracy? Hopes of making some money off hard work?
So releasing on the iPad where he doesn't get our money is better than releasing it on the web where he could get our money? The App Store isn't the only way to sell something.
 
#30
Once you read through it on an iPad you'll understand why this was an app.

The comments section at the end of the app is filled with comments that are like, "At first I didn't want to pay $1.99", "I wondered why this was an app and now I am a believer", "I would have payed $10 for this thing" or "An app should be in every collectors edition"

Go find an iPad from a friend at give it a download, I was up way too late reading it.
 
#31
sam27368 said:
The interactive portion is a great idea to help combat piracy.
Well, uh, piracy of a journalist article. The Final Hours of Half Life 2 was free.. just like any other article.

Dont get me wrong, im not against this new thing Geoff is doing, im sure 2 bucks is a nice price to pay given the bonuses from the ipad version and whatnot, i just wish it came to other platforms sooner. Would be cool to offer it directly through Steam.
 
#32
Maxrpg said:
Wow, what an absolutely garbage way to advertise your product - by hyping up the only platform you can buy it on, thus making those who want it contemplate spending hundreds of dollars.
you kidding? I don't think the author of this app thinks anyone is going to buy an iPad for his article.

iPad is the most popular digital tablet device and offers interesting ways to provide content. And it was already mentioned that they are looking at putting it out through other mediums.

CHILL out everyone.
 
#33
Akia said:
Once you read through it on an iPad you'll understand why this was an app
I probably will never do so. Can you explain why it's much better on an iPad than it would be through Flash or Interactive QT movie? Just curious.
 

D4Danger

Unconfirmed Member
#34
SalsaShark said:
Well, uh, piracy of a journalist article. The Final Hours of Half Life 2 was free.. just like any other article.

Dont get me wrong, im not against this new thing Geoff is doing, im sure 2 bucks is a nice price to pay given the bonuses from the ipad version and whatnot, i just wish it came to other platforms sooner. Would be cool to offer it directly through Steam.
see, that's a good idea.

there's plenty of ways to create interactive applications like this on a PC/Mac and you'd be selling it to the people who care.
 
#35
So this thread is just wonderful.

Anyway, Geoff, if you read this, well done. There is indeed a market for giant huge pieces of writing, properly produced, and wrapped up as a product. I hope its a success for you and I hope others follow suit. I would pay a small fee for a properly produced app like this from a few writers. More than I'd buy magazines or newspapers.
 

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
#36
You know, a lot of these questions are answered in the main website linked in the OP.

So I thought I’d write another Final Hours on a new platform, iPad, and see if there is an audience for journalism like this. I’ve spent a significant amount of my own money to build this multimedia story and really have no idea if it will make back its money. But I thought I’d run an experiment and see what the market is for a Final Hours in 2011.
Q: I don’t understand, is this an article? A book?

A: The core of this App is a 15,000 word story about the making of Portal 2. But the story is filled with dozens of photos, screenshots, audio clips, videos from development, and some interactive experiences as well.

Q: What was your vision for this App?

A: I wanted to write a Final Hours story for the iPad, but also take advantage of the iPad to surround the story with interesting interactive experiences. As a kid I remember playing with early versions of Microsoft’s Encarta on CD-ROM and loving the interactive diagrams. So I’ve included some fun interactive elements like puppeting Wheatley and playing with Portals.
Q: I don’t have an iPad. Will The Final Hours of Portal 2 ever be available to read on the web or other platforms?

A: While I don’t have any announcements to make at this time, I am exploring ways to make the story available on more platforms in the near future.

Q: Why would you make this for iPad? I don’t own an iPad but really want to read it. It’s not fair!

A: I know this will be a frequent question. I started with iPad because I love the device; in many ways it helped inspire me to write this story. It’s a good platform to publish log-form journalism with multimedia elements. But I do realize that iPads are expensive to own and many Valve fans may not have one. If the iPad version is somewhat successful I am committed to getting this story onto other platforms. I appreciate your patience.

Q: Why are you charging money for this story?

A: The $1.99 price is an experiment. For a while I toyed with making the app a free download as a gift to the game community (and Valve), which I may still do at some point. But ultimately I had to be realistic about the costs of building this App, including the photography, design and programming. I am very curious to see what kind of market exists and if that market is large enough to recoup my production costs. The $1.99 price was established because it is similar to the cost of a weekly magazine. I think it’s a fair price for such a lengthy story with so many multimedia features. Please let me know if you disagree.
 
#37
Everyone with an iPad: EVERYONE, CHILL THE FUCK OUT.
Everyone without an iPad: ಠ.ಠ

This thread is gonna be going like this back and forth, I just know it.
 
#38
FFS, this thread is 90% port begging. Can mods just hand 24hrs ban to let ppl chill the fuck out?

Yes, it is on iPad, the most popular tablet right now. Probably Geoff wants to make a bit of money + he thought the interactivity of the article goes well with overall purpose of the iPad (hint: not games).

You know what? I don't like Apple, my iPhone is jail-broken, the iPad I use is my mothers, but RIGHT NOW I will go and buy this app just to piss all of you who use this thread to vent your Apple hate.

notworksafe said:
I probably will never do so. Can you explain why it's much better on an iPad than it would be through Flash or Interactive QT movie? Just curious.
Same reason tablet is the only electronic device I read ebooks on. I refuse to read them on a PC. And since iPad is the most popular tablet - go figure.
 
#42
The app really gave me a newfound appreciation for Eric Wolpaw. He was so clutch on this project. Also, Gabe's response to Wolpaw's resignation in 2007 cements him as the best boss in the game business.

I added a few more pictures to the OP.
 
#43
Castor Krieg said:
Same reason tablet is the only electronic device I read ebooks on. I refuse to read them on a PC. And since iPad is the most popular tablet - go figure.
So...because it's portable/reads like a book? I still don't understand. I guess I'll just wait til this is out in iPhone/PDF/Kindle/whatever format.
 

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
#44
Akia said:
The app really gave me a newfound appreciation for Eric Wolpaw. He was so clutch on this project. Also, Gabe's response to Wolpaw's resignation in 2007 cements him as the best boss in the game business.
That was great wasn't it? "That's now your official job description." Hah, Gabe is so awesome.
 
#46
Maxrpg said:
Wow, what an absolutely garbage way to advertise your product - by hyping up the only platform you can buy it on, thus making those who want it contemplate spending hundreds of dollars.
Well videogames are the same way...
 
#47
notworksafe said:
So...because it's portable/reads like a book? I still don't understand. I guess I'll just wait til this is out in iPhone/PDF/Kindle/whatever format.
Yes, because it reads like a book. You could say "just make it PDF and print it!", but Portal app is interactive. It's not directed towards you, but as Geoff has said they are working on other ways to make ppl enjoy it, so it's just a matter of time.

"App gtfo" ppl need to understand that apps are not only "lololol Angry Birds 132312", I use my iPad mainly for ebook reading (Stanza), and comics (ComicZeal).

mikew3st said:
At least release it on the iPhone Geoff.
It will not work without huge changes to article format.
 
#48
Interesting. Reading more about it there seems to be a mix of video, pics, and audio with the article. That sounds much better.

I was imagining long portions of text with some pics, which I think would become taxing on the eyes after too long. Switching it up with videos and such between text portions is a better call.
 
#49
BuddyC said:
I'm honestly surprised there hasn't (yet) been much external coverage or discussion of the revelations / teases Keighley makes.

Off the top of my head -- it's been a few days since I read it -- there are at least two or three bits that would serve as really good stand-alone news stories / threads / discussion pieces including one that doesn't really pertain to Portal as much as what Valve has planned / is teasing for the future.
Yeah, Gabe's really stressed about the next 5 years. Also Geoff's speculation that "Portal 2 will probably be Valve's last game with an isolated single player experience" is scary.
 
#50
Castor Krieg said:
Yes, because it reads like a book. You could say "just make it PDF and print it!", but Portal app is interactive.
If only everyone on this forum was a fan of some form of interactive media that didn't require an iPad...