In the Portal games, the rogue AI GLaDOS gets her kicks by putting players through a series of deviously designed test chambers. Valve is giving players a chance to see things from her perspective, as the publisher has launched an open beta for Portal 2 authoring tools that will let PC users create their own test chambers for the game.
Available as a free download through Steam, the tools will allow owners of the PC edition of Portal 2 to make their own maps for gamers to run through alone or with a friend. Based on the programs the developers used to make Portal 2 in the first place, the authoring tools will also let users put in their own character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music.
Released to critical acclaim for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC last month, Portal 2 is the continuation of the 2007 Orange Box pack-in Portal. The single-player portion of the new title continues the travails of human lab rat Chell, who in the original game used a portal gun to create interdimensional openings on ceilings, walls, and floors in an effort to escape the Aperture Science labs and thwart the diabolical GLaDOS. The newly introduced cooperative mode lets players take control of two robots, named Atlas and P-body, and work together to tackle their own set of portal-related problems.