With the Portal 2 In Motion DLC releasing today, we’d like to share a little more about its content and development. The DLC now available on PSN is a campaign designed by our team at Sixense to take full advantage of the capabilities of the PlayStation Move controller. We started with all of the great features that already exist in Portal 2. Then we envisioned Portal 2 In Motion as a new game experience (including a new campaign) built for motion control – not just the addition of motion controls on top of existing gameplay that was designed for a traditional PS3 controller. So the result is a new gaming experience that requires new thinking and use of the PlayStation Move motion controller. We’ve included a video here that demonstrates the new features you’ll get when you buy the DLC. I’ll discuss these features a little more. I’ll also discuss at the end of this post the Move support for Portal 2 that we have implemented in the PSN downloadable version of the game and the patch for the Blu-Ray version, all of which is available today.
Sixense designed three new motion mechanics for Portal 2 In Motion and tuned them to feel like a natural extension of your body. The “One-to-One” mechanic allows the player to manipulate objects as if they were held in the player’s own hand. This means that when using One-to-One you can change the object’s position and orientation by moving and rotating the Move controller. This opened the door to a lot of new possibilities for our team in terms of puzzle design, which you’ll see in Portal 2 In Motion. It is very satisfying to reach out with the controller and redirect lasers with the Discouragement Redirection Cube to light up some poor Sentry Turrets.
The “Portal Surfing” mechanic is the ability to move and rotate a portal along a “portalable” surface. Portal Surfing allows you to change an object’s trajectory as it passes through a portal by rotating the portal. Spraying gel with a Move controller is quite a different experience than when using your typical input device.
The “Scaling” mechanic went through a number of iterations in development until we found a balance between required motion complexity and functionality. Scaling is performed by reaching out with the Move controller while holding a cube in the game, pressing the scaling button and moving the controller horizontally to increase or decrease the size of the cube. To scale along a different axis, the user rotates the cube prior to scaling. The mass of the object also scales with its size, allowing for plenty of satisfaction as you use giant objects to crush turrets or punch through glass.
Finally, for the basic aiming of the cursor in the game, we implemented the highly intuitive view mode that we call “Freeaim”. Freeaim uses the Move controller’s orientation to determine cursor position. The controller’s absolute position does not affect the rotation of the view, so the user can adjust the camera view using only small wrist movements. The result is a camera system that is much more fluid than using the analog stick on the traditional PS3 controller. We have a great demonstration of this in the video. With Freeaim, aiming and firing portals also becomes extremely natural and intuitive and the overall experience becomes much more immersive.
The features that I’ve described to this point are all included with the Portal 2 In Motion DLC. Because the patch and the downloadable Portal 2 are both releasing today, I want to make clear what is included in those products with regard to the work Sixense has done. Both the digital download Portal 2 and the patch include PlayStation Move support, meaning that the full single-player and co-operative Portal 2 campaigns can be played with Move, and users will be able to take advantage of the Freeaim mechanic to play (or replay) the game. You can even play split screen with both players using Move motion controllers. Only the Portal 2 In Motion DLC, however, includes the advanced mechanics of One-to-One, Portal Surfing and Scaling, as well as the new campaign consisting of test chambers that require the use of the new mechanics. The patch and Portal 2 on PSN do contain a short tutorial designed familiarize the user with the Move motion controller and the Freeaim feature. At the end of the tutorial, we provide a taste of the One-to-One feature that is otherwise exclusive to the Portal 2 In Motion DLC.
Check out the video, and experience Portal 2 In Motion today!