Valve's Canceled Portal Prequel Revealed

The team was experimenting with the mechanics of photography before canceling F-Stop.

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With Half-Life: Alyx officially made public, Valve seems to be getting more comfortable with reveals. The company has given permission to an indie studio to show a behind-the-scenes look at F-Stop, the Portal prequel that never saw the light of day.

F-Stop was a nonviolent puzzle game with DNA similar to Portal. The entire game--led by a Valve producer named Joshua Weier who worked on Portal and Portal 2--was centered around the "Aperture Camera," an item that could copy, paste, and rescale items in the game's world. Unfortunately, as revealed in a 2011 interactive book titled The Final Hours of Portal 2, Valve put an indefinite hold on the project after workshopping it for a while.

LunchHouse Software, an indie studio currently working on its own physics-based puzzler titled Punt, is only now, almost a decade later, giving us a look inside what Valve had been planning. With Valve's permission and access to the F-Stop's official source code, Lunch House has peeled back F-Stop's curtain through a brand-new docuseries called Exposure. The first episode, while short, can be seen below. LunchHouse said more episodes are to come.

The studio said Exposure, which will document F-Stop's various mechanics as Valve developed via the original source code, is "not based on speculation or hearsay." The first episode only shows the "base mechanics" of F-Stop, but the team at LunchHouse is excited to "[share] more with you all in the near future."

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