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Post by Dan @ 11:37am 16/04/11 | 96 Comments
It's Looking like the anomaly of Valve Time just might work both ways for a change, with an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) -- that appears to be promising an early unlock for the hugely anticipated Portal 2 -- now nearing completion.

An intricate series of clues released over the past 2 weeks -- beginning with the launch of the Potato Sack bundle -- has now culminated in a single page at aperturescience.com that is measuring the player counts of all potato sack games, presumably unlocking Portal 2 for all Steam pre-loaders if the targets are met.

A few sites such as hasportal2launchedyet.com have been constructed by fans to help track the progress.

On a less cheery note, it looks like both Xbox 360 and PlayStation versions of the game have already leaked into pirate channels, so if you don't want spoilers, best be avoiding Internet discussions until you can get you hands on the game legitimately.

Portal 2 is official due next Thursday April 21st on PC/Mac, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 . It is not yet known if brick-and-mortar retailers will be opening their crates earlier in light of a pre-empted Steam launch.



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Latest Comments
Eorl
Posted 12:22pm 16/4/11
I can't for the life of me complete the Amnesia Justine DLC. Scares the s*** out of me, and they disabled saving so when you die, it just kills the process.
DM
Posted 01:05pm 16/4/11
There is so much vicious rage on the portal 2 forums with people crying that valve "promised" them that the timer would unlock portal 2 eairly. It's quite good for a laugh to read all the insane rambling.
infi
Posted 01:09pm 16/4/11
i love watching all these kids obsessing over the early unlock.
DM
Posted 01:11pm 16/4/11
I know its quite funny. They should be happy that they were given the power to unlock the game eairly and instead they rage and cry. Can't please idiots.
ravn0s
Posted 01:12pm 16/4/11
1 game down.

ive had super meat boy going in the background for the last few hours to help out.

last edited by ravn0s at 13:12:51 16/Apr/11
Eorl
Posted 01:16pm 16/4/11
You need to make sure you don't just let it idle. You need to actually play it to count. And yes, I've been laughing at all the people going "where is my game?!?! I PREORDERED SHOULD GET IT NOW!"
ravn0s
Posted 01:20pm 16/4/11
from what i've read you only need for steam to recognise that you're in game for it to count.
Eorl
Posted 02:43pm 16/4/11
Ah ok, I keep hearing they've implemented keyboard input knowledge, so if after couple minutes of inactivity, it shuts off progress.
deadlyf
Posted 02:56pm 16/4/11
So buy it now while the preorder discount still applies then?

I hope it doesn't unlock early, I'm nearly out of quota and just started playing Assassins Creed Brotherhood. Hopefully Valve will take that into account and wait until the 20th before unlocking.
Khel
Posted 03:31pm 16/4/11
I'll ask here too to hedge my bets. Do you actually need to complete the portal related levels/challenges in the games for it to count? Or just play them? Does playing the normal non-portal related stuff in the games count? Or only the portal related content?
Eorl
Posted 03:32pm 16/4/11
Khel
Posted 03:53pm 16/4/11
Well thats disappointing, at current estimates it'll come out a whole 9 hours early? I was hoping to be playing it over the weekend :(
Nukleuz
Posted 03:54pm 16/4/11
It is not yet known if brick-and-mortar retailers will be opening their crates earlier in light of a pre-empted Steam launch.


Does anyone really care a s*** about these retailers? Hmm... brick and mortar otherwise known as anal without lube. I'll take the cheaper online distribution thanks!
ravn0s
Posted 04:04pm 16/4/11
get a free potato by joining this group

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/nelipot
Dazhel
Posted 04:25pm 16/4/11
Well thats disappointing, at current estimates it'll come out a whole 9 hours early? I was hoping to be playing it over the weekend :(


Yeah :( A whole 9 hours, awesome.
It feels like Valve could push the button right now and everyone could be playing Portal 2 yet they're d***ing around with some stupid marketing thing.

Meh, I'm going back to playing Minecraft until P2 unlocks.
FraktuRe
Posted 04:26pm 16/4/11
The real point of all this is to tremendously help out those 13 indie developers.
Alain
Posted 05:11pm 16/4/11
I wouldn't get too worried about it only being a few hours early, there is still a whole weekend of gaming time, Americans still have a full day of Saturday and Sunday play time, so relax, =]
I'm guessing a good 12-13hours early, which means it unlocks prime time for us and not 2 or 3 am in the morning which is a good thing!
Eorl
Posted 06:06pm 16/4/11
"That's 1.87 hours ahead of scheduled launch!" Oh lordy lol. Ah well, feel sorry for the people who started the whole ARG findings and what not. They get s*** all in return.
d^
Posted 06:58pm 16/4/11
Hmmm....
DM
Posted 07:13pm 16/4/11
Well guess what? We got screwed hard, trolled hard, and VALVe has spit in our faces. While all the console gamers and pirates play Portal 2.

From a portal 2 forum post. Have a cup of harden the f*** up you little whining b****. Seriously the rage has gotten even worse that I thought possible. By "all the console gamers and pirates" he means the modded 360 users. They are the only ones who can play it since the ps3 copy needs a 3.60 firmware to run if i'm not mistaken, and that won't be released until the 19th as well. Oh and there is no PC crack either so people really need to calm the f*** down. They wouldn't be whining if this whole ARG never happened and it was just a standard launch.
skythra
Posted 07:38pm 16/4/11
So buy it now while the preorder discount still applies then?

I hope it doesn't unlock early, I'm nearly out of quota and just started playing Assassins Creed Brotherhood. Hopefully Valve will take that into account and wait until the 20th before unlocking.

What ISP are you with that steam downloads aren't free?
justrev
Posted 10:52pm 16/4/11
You also get potatoes for doing certain things in the games from the potato sack list. In the ball you have to get to the last level of the new DLC and enter a password in the computer. In Killing Floor there is a potato in the store you can buy or some on the ground if you know where to look - but someone said only in multiplayer. I hear the more spuds the better cos your hours are factored up by your potato numbers.
The spuds in the first game TWEOTW were easiest to find I'm reliably informed.
DeadlyDav0
Posted 10:02pm 16/4/11
I pretty much had all those games in the potato sack already apart from 3 i think. I recommend all of them - good, unique games that will offer hours of fun.
Eorl
Posted 11:24pm 16/4/11
Is The Ball any good?
Mitch
Posted 12:09am 17/4/11
I played The Ball as a UT3 mod and i found it fairly tedious after a while.
d^
Posted 12:26am 17/4/11
What's the significance with the potatoes anyway?
Eorl
Posted 12:29am 17/4/11
GLAdOS runs on potatoes.
trillion
Posted 12:43am 17/4/11
think: mr fusion.

then ask if it will blend
ctd
Posted 01:50am 17/4/11
That fan site says 1 day ahead of release so far... and I think it is picking up pace as the weekend progresses. Not that I am worried either way. So funny how much nerd rage goes on the steam forums with every game release.

Reminds me of whenever a new CS patch was released back before steam and the servers would always go emo about how f***ed the game is now... but keep on playing.
Creepy
Posted 04:17am 17/4/11
Gauging the progress and its effect on the countdown clock, I'd say that even if all games reach 100% CPU utilisation, the game still won't be out much earlier than its scheduled unlock. With almost two games fully done, the reduction is only about an hour off the clock?

It appears some people have the misconception that 100% complete = instant unlock.
Eorl
Posted 10:19am 17/4/11
That's what I'm believing. The top bar is a average of all the small bars. So maybe having a few games done, will unlock it. Who knows really, but by the looks of it, we'll only be getting it an hour early, as you said. Which is a large let down.
Nerfington
Posted 03:10pm 17/4/11
These sites are saying 18-20 hours ahead of release
http://cpucount.zapto.org/
http://www.gamingmasters.co.uk/portal/
Eorl
Posted 02:31pm 17/4/11
Tuesday, 19th April 2011 @ 05:46 GMT+10 is expected release date. So pretty much nothing of value was gained
justrev
Posted 02:47pm 17/4/11
Is wiki-how also somehow involved?
how to of the day......
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Potato-Clock

well I laughed....
a little
well I was amused




meh
justrev
Posted 02:47pm 17/4/11
What's more interesting is how people from all over the world are working together, sharing knowledge and spending hours on a single project. If something really important happens which needs co-operation of thousands of people world wide, we have shown we can do it. At least as long as it doesn't involve leaving our darkened rooms lit only by the monitor.
Eorl
Posted 05:23pm 17/4/11
And the promise of a game earlier then what we thought.
Plasma
Posted 12:50pm 18/4/11
Wow.

I've been reading http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1824635 which is summarizing the massive work and complexity behind this latest Valve ARG (Alternate Relatity Game).

This 'play the games to unlock Portal 2 faster' stuff is just the result of this massive real life puzzle game Valve gave everyone for the last week or so.

Someone even setup a wiki to help figure out what to do, http://valvearg.com/wiki/Valve_ARG_Wiki

I haven't participated, but over the last week or two people have been following clues in-game, in real life (visiting places), reading blogs, solving puzzles and riddles and it was all leading to this Portal 2 thing.

Amazing read, and its still going heh.
Raven
Posted 01:18pm 18/4/11
Is wiki-how also somehow involved?
how to of the day......
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Potato-Clock

well I laughed....
a little
well I was amused


How many potatoes would I need to hook up to give someone a serious jolt?
Crakaveli
Posted 01:43pm 18/4/11
Well i got a golden potato in killing floor, and i havent even bought portal 2 yet.
Khel
Posted 01:56pm 18/4/11
I've got four potatoes now, I've done my bit. I've also been leaving whatever game running that that valve ARG wiki tells me to when I go to bed, doing my bit for the cause. Doesn't seem to really matter though, the game isn't going to come out much earlier than it would have anyway. In the end I don't really care though, I ended up buying the potato sack games and spent the weekend playing a whole swag of cool indie titles I wouldn't have otherwise played, was lots of fun!
ravn0s
Posted 03:07pm 18/4/11
ive only got 1 potato from joining a group :(

bit trip beat always crashes when i try to play the test level.
Khel
Posted 03:50pm 18/4/11
Yeah, it used to crash for me too till I turned down the res. I tried it in 1920x1080 cos thats the native res of my monitor and it kept crashing. So I deleted the config file and started the game back up (so it would reset to its default values) and then it worked and didn't crash when I played the test level.

Config file is in c:\users\[username]\appdata\local\bit.trip.beat
FraktuRe
Posted 04:05pm 18/4/11
ravn0s
Posted 04:31pm 18/4/11
i listened to the steam cast and heard all the morse code. the hosts were such bad actors when they denied knowing anything about it.
Nerfington
Posted 05:44pm 18/4/11
Seems there's still more to this ARG...

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/04/17/potatwo-the-valve-arg-aint-over/

Mentions a ship, think from the Aperture guy, afaik HL2: E2 ended at an Aperture ship, thus they may be announcing HL2: E3, which would make sense why they're still going with it.
m3nt4l
Posted 05:50pm 18/4/11
Mentions a ship, think from the Aperture guy, afaik HL2: E2 ended at an Aperture ship, thus they may be announcing HL2: E3, which would make sense why they're still going with it.


You really now how to make a man moist
ravn0s
Posted 05:50pm 18/4/11
the ship is called the borealis
Eorl
Posted 05:51pm 18/4/11
Yeah, does sound interesting. Haha, little theory here, but I reckon once they realised Portal 2 wasn't going to be released anytime early, they quickly had to make something up so the ARG didn't seem wasted.
Khel
Posted 05:58pm 18/4/11
That'd be pretty awesome if Portal 2 led into Episode 3
Crakaveli
Posted 05:59pm 18/4/11
It better be episode 3... please..
Eorl
Posted 06:11pm 18/4/11
Well, maybe Aperture and Half Life are more tied in then we thought?
ravn0s
Posted 06:39pm 18/4/11
of course they are. black mesa and aperture science were rival companies.
Eorl
Posted 07:18pm 18/4/11
Well with this whole ARG thing, there has been some chick through it all that switched from Aperture to Black Mesa, so maybe we could see a EP3 or HL3 tie in where you have to go and find the borealis, and then find a weapon aboard, i.e. portal gun or something, and use it to destroy the portal beacon thing.
Eorl
Posted 09:46am 19/4/11
The potato counter is currently going down...what the hell
Enska
Posted 09:50am 19/4/11
so apparently it's gonna unlock almost 8hrs early now, that's not to shabby I say.
Creepy
Posted 10:14am 19/4/11


Yeah, GLaDOS engaged overclocking, using the potatoes for aux power. Basically, while cpus are overclocked, the progress bars move faster. But once we run out of potatoes, it's back to regular speeds. Of course, there's enough spuds to power the sucker to the end I reckon (11 potatoes get burnt per second).

On target to play at just after 11pm, or SOONER! (5:15 PDT right now)
Eorl
Posted 10:16am 19/4/11
GLaDOS says 5:54:43 (04/19/2011 04:10PM GMT+1000) to go.
darkjedi
Posted 11:05am 19/4/11
EB Games says it's street date smashing time. Hooray, but ultimately useless for PC owners as you'll still have to wait until Valve unlocks it to play.
DM
Posted 11:24am 19/4/11
Well looks like I have my night sorted. WOO.
ravn0s
Posted 12:15pm 19/4/11
yep all the stores have broken street date and have started selling.

Hooray, but ultimately useless for PC owners as you'll still have to wait until Valve unlocks it to play.


useless for ps3 owners too since it requires update 1.60 to play which hasn't been released yet afaik.
Sc00bs
Posted 12:16pm 19/4/11
how come stores dont get in trouble for breaking street date?

do they pay some sort of fine to the company or anything?
teq
Posted 12:23pm 19/4/11
cause they are too big for wholesalers to ignore
kmart/bigw/target etc - if they werent selling the games the game companies would lose distribution to massive markets

i pre ordered my ps3 copy, im going away fishing friday so im kinda hoping it arrives before then but not likely :(
deadlyf
Posted 12:35pm 19/4/11
Nah, it's the stores that have publishers over a barrel in most cases. Would be awesome if Valve just went, well we won't sell our products through you any more but unfortunately there is no alternative for the old fashioned consoles that so many cave dwellers still use. Until they evolve to be able to take full advantage of digital distribution and walk out into the sun from their mildew farms, EB can pretty much do whatever the f*** they want.

Remember kids, we don't get day one DLC and regionalised pricing on digital distribution because publishers are greedy pricks, we get those things because EB are greedy pricks.
teq
Posted 01:41pm 19/4/11
if we give up the brick & mortar stores we lose huge bargaining chips
companies like valve could rape us sil.. oh wait, they already do that
ravn0s
Posted 12:42pm 19/4/11
how come stores dont get in trouble for breaking street date?

do they pay some sort of fine to the company or anything?



they get fined.
Plasma
Posted 01:27pm 19/4/11
It doesn't matter with Valve games, people installing Portal 2 now will still find the game locked and unable to play, until its released on Steam.
Eorl
Posted 01:29pm 19/4/11
Teq, don't start this s*** here. We all know how you feel about Steam. But honestly, I've had more good then bad so far. I just bought GTA 3 and San Andreas for $2.49 each, and Amnesia for $9.99, Toki Tori and The Ball for $2.49 each as well. I just got 5 games for $20. I'd like to see that happen in EB.
DM
Posted 01:30pm 19/4/11
Killing Floor finished so now portal 2 unlocks in a tiny bit over over 1 hour
Raven
Posted 01:37pm 19/4/11
Apparently this is available for sale now from EB, but is it not playable yet?
Still deciding if I should buy it this week to play over the long weekend, or just wait a few months until the price comes down.
copuis
Posted 01:40pm 19/4/11
teq, i thought that alot of the brinks and mortar stores did a fair bit of ripping off too

what really needs to happen is the publishers need to get their hands out of their back pockets, and into looking after the market more
ViscoS
Posted 01:42pm 19/4/11
I love all the rage that's happening on the Portal 2 forums atm.
DM
Posted 01:51pm 19/4/11
It's hilarious "valve cannot release this game any sooner than tuesday because of contracts between retail stores" hahaha. This is a great way to pass the 50 odd minutes left (sooner if more games finish which could very well happen) as it's just funny s***.
Eorl
Posted 01:52pm 19/4/11
I hope it's either L4D3, EP3, HL3 or DOTA. Also, Active Test Subjects are going up.
Creepy
Posted 01:54pm 19/4/11
Less than an hour to go, according to GLaDOS' prediction - though, that last game will be Amnesia, and I can't see too many people playing that for long enough without going bats*** insane...literally. :D
teq
Posted 01:56pm 19/4/11
they do their fair share of ripping off for sure, but without them there is even less competition in the market
Khel
Posted 01:59pm 19/4/11
Still deciding if I should buy it this week to play over the long weekend, or just wait a few months until the price comes down.


Its only $40 now, how much cheaper do you expect it to get?
DM
Posted 02:06pm 19/4/11
$0 from certain corners of the internet. But why would you do that when Valve are one of the last remaining "PC first" gaming devs left.

last edited by DM at 14:06:00 19/Apr/11
Dazhel
Posted 02:08pm 19/4/11
that last game will be Amnesia, and I can't see too many people playing that for long enough without going bats*** insane...literally. :D


Playing Amnesia just to get Portal 2 is cruel and unusual punishment.
Eorl
Posted 02:10pm 19/4/11
And DM, you most likely won't be able to play co-op or multiplayer.
DM
Posted 02:27pm 19/4/11
I know, which for the first portal was ok but cmon this one has Co-Op! Who doesn't love Co-Op? So glad I bought this.

Oh and those gamers who got a golden potato? Yeah you get the entire valve game collection for free as a congrats. Cool if you don't have most of the games in the pack.

EDIT - I just hope that the early release effects aussies too. I remember boarderlands when that was counting down, it hit about 2 hours then the timer went up to 3 days for aussies.

EDIT 2 - WOO unlocked.

last edited by DM at 14:27:45 19/Apr/11
Eorl
Posted 02:27pm 19/4/11
2 MINS!!!!
DM
Posted 02:28pm 19/4/11
relog into steam, it'll start decrypting.
Creepy
Posted 02:30pm 19/4/11
DONE!!
Khel
Posted 02:30pm 19/4/11
Awww, I was hoping something cool would happen to the website when it was done
Eorl
Posted 02:32pm 19/4/11
That's it...well f*** that was gay.
ViscoS
Posted 02:34pm 19/4/11
F*****g steam won't restart...
Enska
Posted 02:37pm 19/4/11
So if anyone is keen for a game add me, enska.
Mantorok
Posted 02:38pm 19/4/11
if we give up the brick & mortar stores we lose huge bargaining chipscompanies like valve could rape us sil.. oh wait, they already do that
No-one is saying the bricks&mortar stores need to disappear, just they need to stop the bulls*** business practices. If your competitor can distribute a game faster than you, they deserve to be able to sell it earlier. Maybe they should improve their distribution methods if it's going to lose them so much business.

Also, Valve aren't ripping us off. They gave people 10% off for pre-ordering Portal 2, give Australian customers the same price as US customers, and threw in a free copy of Portal. It's other publishers that force the USD89.99 prices on Aussies.
Khel
Posted 02:41pm 19/4/11
Enska
Posted 02:45pm 19/4/11
^^ hahaha
Khel
Posted 02:59pm 19/4/11
Damn, I went to play it and steam had an error and said I had an incomplete installation of Portal 2 :(

Verifying the game cache now but its taking aaaaaaaaages. Balls.
ravn0s
Posted 03:01pm 19/4/11
the release has worked out well for us aussies. couple more hours of work and we can play it all night. most US peeps would be in bed atm.
Creepy
Posted 03:07pm 19/4/11
Missus made me go to bed after 5 mins of gameplay. *mutter*
Enska
Posted 03:10pm 19/4/11
lulz, I'm a nub and didn't pre-order as I was originally going to get the PS3 version so now im stuck watching everyone's profile come up saying their in game while I dl the whole 11+gb ><
Khel
Posted 03:59pm 19/4/11
Pretty awesome, Stephen Merchant is great! I hope hes back later in the game though, looks like hes only in the starting bit so far :(

Gonna go grab some food and have dinner early so I can Portal it up for the rest of the night, if anyone wants to try out some co-op later tonight hit me up.
Dan
Posted 04:08pm 19/4/11
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