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Canceled Portal Prequel’s Mysterious F-Stop Mechanic Finally Revealed

While there’s little-to-no chance we’ll ever actually play that canceled Portal prequel, some details recently surfaced about the mysterious project and its secret F-Stop mechanic. It’s no secret that Portal 2 was actually the backup plan for Valve. Originally the game was a prequel and ran off a mechanic called “F-Stop”, which testers loved but was ultimately cut from the game because most people kept asking where Chell, GLaDOS, and the actual portals were. Valve has never actually talked about what F-Stop was, mostly because they planned to use it for a future game. Now, we finally get a chance to see. Valve has provided the code for F-Stop to indie developer LunchHouse Software so they can make a documentary named Exposure, a “multi-part video series detailing the original mechanics of Valve’s F-Stop.”

The mechanic centers around a camera called the Aperture Camera. The player takes pictures of objects in the world, saving them as photos that you would hold. Players then place the object in the world, changing its dimensions to any size. In the brief minute and a half video, we got to see the player resize various crates to climb on, mess with the physics by attaching balloons to a crate so it lifts off, and eventually move a fan to the ground to use it as a launchpad.

Since this is the original and official F-Stop code, we know this is exactly how the Aperture Camera was designed to work in the canceled prequel. It certainly gives a good idea of what sort of puzzles it could have been used for. While we only have the first episode of this series so far, LunchHouse Software is hoping to give us an inside look at this canceled Portal prequel and what it could have been. While it’s not exactly the same idea, Superliminal was a recent puzzle game that is quite similar in using perspective and adjusting the size of objects.

There hasn’t been a new main entry in the  Portal series in quite some time, though it still lives on in weird ways. Recently the Bridge Constructor series did a cross over as Bridge Constructor Portal, letting players fling trucks through portals, as they should.

[source: LunchHouse Software]