For those of you who were wondering what the atmosphere of Portal would be like, wonder no more. Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw of the once-great gaming website Old Man Murray will be lending their writing talents to Valve's upcoming environment-puzzler Portal. In an interview with Game Informer, Valve's Doug Lombardi promises the same "wry cynicism" fans OMM knew and loved. Wolpaw was also a writer for Tim Schafer's hilarious (yet sadly underrated) Psychonauts, a project for which he won Game Developers Choice Award for Best Writing for his Story and Dialog in 2006.
Old Man Murray went out of commission in 2002 but remains up for historical purposes. Old Man Murray devised a Crate Review System, whereby one would judge a game based on the time it took to find a crate (unit: StC, or Start to Crate). The Crate Review System has been quoted by Valve's Gabe Newell as a major concern when developing Half-Life 2. The team decided to make a crate one of the first things you see in the game -- a decision that Newell opined "was the Old Man Murray equivalent of throwing yourself to the mercy of the court." That Wolpaw and Faliszek work for Valve is a perfect example of situational irony.
In the GI interview, Lombardi also discussed Portal's relation to the Half-Life universe, Lombardi added that the connection will be made clear "while you're playing through Portal. And you will play as a new character that we haven't introduced yet that will have a role in Half-Life games in the future."
New Half-Life 2, Portal, and Team Fortress vids
[Thanks, Phil Nesmit]