Stolen Pixels: A Hat for Every Head

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Apr 26, 2011

Filed under: Column 74 comments

You know, if the Portal 2 store sold one of these, I would totally buy it.


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74 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels: A Hat for Every Head

  1. Jjkaybomb says:

    I’m scared to look at the forum thread. I feel like it’s going to explode into another flame war, but this time around “no, thats not what I said!” vs “yes, it totally is!”

    Oh god, what if that happens here?! No, everyone! Stop thinking, WE’LL ONLY HURT EVERYBODY EVER D8

    Listen to the space! Space! Space space space!

  2. Bubble181 says:

    I am saddened by the click-through, “related news”, saying Portal was “probably” Valve’s last solo game.

    1. Moriarty says:

      Seeing as Portal was Valves only solo game, where is the problem with that?

      1. Hitch says:

        Half Life 2?

        I’ve heard rumors of a third Episode, but I guess that was just internet lies.

        1. Moriarty says:

          Half life had deathmatch. Valve isn’t saying it’s ignoring single-player content, they just didn’t want to make a game without any multiplayer, which so far has only been Portal. (or maybe episode 1 and 2 if you count them as separate games.)

          1. Zukhramm says:

            Uhm, but Portal 2 had multiplayer too you know? So that is obviously not what they are refering to.

            What was said, as far as I know, was that it would probably Valve’s last game with “an isolated single-player experience” whatever that means.

            1. Moriarty says:

              I was referring to Half life episode 1 and 2, as being “games” without multiplayer, not portal.

              1. Zukhramm says:

                Yes, but Valve was refering to Portal 2, which has muktiplayer, whcih in turnmmeans that this is not about ordinary muktiplayer modes but something else

                1. Bubble181 says:

                  It’s about games FOCUSSED on single player. Say wwhat you want, the “important” bit of Half Life is the Single Player.
                  Look at Red Alert 3: the “solo” campaign is just the co–op campaign with an AI sidekick. That’s not solo-oriented, that’s single player slapped on :-P

                2. Zukhramm says:

                  Somehow I have a hard time seeing them do something like thst with Episode 3. I think they have something other in mind.

    2. Factoid says:

      I think that’s maybe been misinterpreted a little bit. Valve isn’t stupid. It knows the power of single player content. Co-op content can be great but it requires either coordination with friends who also have the game or playing with strangers.

      I played a few levels of Portal 2 co-op with strangers because nobody I knew was really playing it, and I haven’t made much of an effort to cultivate a good friends list on steam or XBL.

      So I tried to play with a stranger and it was awful. I played with nice people, mostly, but I beat the single player game first, so by the time I got into Co-Op everyone had already beaten it. They all just wanted to walk through the puzzles and tell me how to solve them. I hated it. I wanted the fun of solving a puzzle co-operatively and that simply won’t work with someone who has already beaten the game.

      I’m sure solving a co-operative puzzle is fun, and I’d love to try it, but I need someone who is at the same level as me to really enjoy it. This is why co-op will never overtake single player for story based games.

      I hope valve figures this out, because it’s not something they would learn through their playtesting process. When you bring playtesters into a room they’ve already got a partner there with them at the same point in the game as you. Playtesting won’t highlight the difficulties in setting up that real-world challenge.

      I’m not worried though. Valve is remarkably flexible, and even if they really do think they’re headed down a co-op-centric road in the future they will course correct if it’s not really the best plan.

      1. Tizzy says:

        Interesting perspective. Being a strictly solo-player, this aspect of coop puzzle solving had not even occurred to me. That’s too bad, that coop mode sounds like so much fun when done in the proper circumstances.

      2. Gary says:

        hey if you still need someone to co-op with, I haven’t even attempted it yet :D

        1. Alexander The 1st says:

          Cue the problem – he has done the co-op now.

          It’s a vicious cycle that begins because there’s no way to acknowledge the knowledge anymore.

          I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Valve will make an update for anonymised games with “Played all levels” vs. “Played no levels”. There won’t be a “Played [x] amount of levels” group otherwise.

    3. Irridium says:

      Every Valve game has multiplayer.

      Half Life 1 has multiplayer
      Half Life 2 has multiplayer

      Day of Defeat, Counter-Strike, and Team Fortress are all multiplayer-centric games.

      Really, Portal 1 is Valve’s only solo-only game.

      1. Garden Ninja says:

        Half-life 2 had multiplayer?

          1. GardenNinja says:

            Valve’s Orange Box collection does not include Half-Life 2: Deathmatch.

            That would be why I didn’t know about it. I played it in the Orange Box on 360.

  3. Fat Tony says:

    I mysel just think that theese arsehats are just being supid for the point of it. Meanwhile ARSEHATS, i’d buy ARSEHATS (An arse-Fedora maybe?)

    1. CTrees says:

      They had these (well, a slightly different name, but I can’t remember this blog’s policy on vulgarity) in Kingdom of Loathing. Low level item you could create.

      Just sayin’

      1. Mari says:

        Thank you for keeping it family friendly. My 13-year-old daughter recently started reading here and while she’s certainly not unfamiliar with creative vulgarity, I appreciate your efforts to not educate her further :-)

        1. Khizan says:

          I’ve never understood this. People who have trouble with “ass” but not “arse”. They mean the same thing and serve the same purpose and you wouldn’t be allowed to use either of them in any public school I’ve ever attended. Calling somebody a ****hole is the same thing as calling them an ***hole. Getting your **** kicked is the same thing as getting your *** kicked.

          There’s no substantive difference between the two, yet the three letter one is verboten for some reason while the 4 letter one is family ****ing friendly?

          1. Zukhramm says:

            Personally I never understood people who have trouble with “ass” but not with “***”, to me, they are the same thing. It’s not the physical image or sound of the word that’s the real swearing.

            1. Khizan says:

              I can at least see a reason for that, since a little kid who doesn’t know the “f-word” isn’t that likely to learn it from “That’s ****ing stupid” or the like.

              But ass/arse? Same meaning, same usage, and I can’t think of anyplace that will let me get away with one and not the other.

              1. Zukhramm says:

                I don’t know, I had heard pretty much all the words at a pretty young age. And hearing it bleeped out would only make me interested and make me start working on finding the word out.

                If something is meant for kids to see, simply not swearing at all is a much better solution, and if it’s not for kids, it makes even less sense to censor.

          2. Moridin says:

            One is English and therefore automatically amusing and family-friendly.

            1. SolkaTruesilver says:

              Funny thing, Arse was initially the swear word, and Ass was used by Americans as an euphemism, kinda like “Fudge” for the f-word

              But it kinda… became different.

          3. Ringwraith says:

            As far as I’m aware, an ass is a relative of the humble donkey. ^^

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              And bitch is a female dog.

              1. Bubble181 says:

                Sure, and a dork is a male whale’s way of saying hello to a female of the appropriate race.

              2. X2-Eliah says:

                And male adult chicken is a rooster.

          4. Mari says:

            Honestly, I have no idea what CTrees was referring to since I haven’t played the game. If it is, in fact, the Americanized version of “arse” then I have no issues. And really I don’t have issues anyway since, as I said, she’s well aware of a plethora of swear words. I just appreciated the fact that when unsure, someone was willing to forebear the use of a word.

            Frankly I don’t care one way or the other about the various a-words used to describe the human posterior although I do cringe a little bit when I hear teachers use them in the classroom in front of students or see them emblazoned on “spirit signs” around the school prior to football games (Kick *** Friday night! and “If you don’t shut up I will send your *** out of this room!”)

    2. Telas says:

      I would totally buy an arsehat!

      Even better, you should be able to buy them for each other. When some guy wants into your game, and you can see that he has sixteen arsehats, you can pretty much see that he won’t fit.

    3. Irridium says:

      Side-note, in Fable 1 you could buy yourself a title which would make everyone call you “arseface”.

  4. Hitch says:

    They need to offer (as even more DLC?) Arena Test Chambers — multiple robots on each team using the various devices and puzzles to grief the other team while collecting cubes or controlling zones or just racing to get your whole team to the other side.

    More replay-ability than just solving the puzzles and more reason to buy funny hats and skins.

    1. Factoid says:

      That sounds like a lot of fun. I did read something where they said they’d demo’ed some kinds of multi-player deathmatch portal gameplay, and it wasn’t as fun as you’d think.

      I imagine walking around and having a portal opened up behind you and getting shot in the back probably isn’t a lot of fun.

      Making it more about territory control could be a lot of fun though, especially playing around with the various paints and water to wash them off.

      1. Hitch says:

        Being able to directly shoot each other would be no fun. Creatively moving around and blocking your opponents, maybe even using turrets by opening portals to give them line of sight or moving platforms to ambush the other team, that’s the sort of thing I’m imagining.

      2. Tizzy says:

        When the first Portal came out, there was massive speculation as to how and when the portal gun would show up in Episode 3. Sometimes, I wonder if the delay in completion of that episode comes from the difficulty involved in creating good shooter gameplay out of the device.

  5. Integer Man says:

    I can see a personality sphere styled mini-fridge, network attached storage device, or server. I’d buy that.

    Aside: GLaDOS looks really cool when you just stop and stare at her and ignore all that stuff you’re supposed to be doing. Just this monstrous shape with curves that look like a combination between the space shuttle and the crest of a king cobra. Portal 2 really did some awesome stuff with large environments.

    1. Drexer says:

      Or a woman tied upside down in a very disturbing manner, right? Every time someone comments on GladOS shapes I smile to myself knowing that Valve really know what they’re doing when designing their characters with such intricate yet elegant shapes.

      PS: Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be Venus mainly; but ever since seeing that interpretation I can’t get that image out of my head.

      1. Mari says:

        I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only deviant who noticed that similarity.

        1. Velkrin says:

          Eah, I always just attribute that to pareidolia.

          1. Drexer says:

            Two comments? Well, I truly expected a bit more than that before seeing this kind of answer. At least it wasn’t an ‘It’s just a game’

            Excuse me as I go facepalm somewhere else.

  6. Mycroft says:

    There was so much hype and anticipation around Portal 2 it would have been stupid for Valve not to at least give people with extra disposable income the chance to pay more for the game. It’s like Doctor Horrible (which I discovered on this site, THANKS SHAMUS), I bought the eps on iTunes, I bought the soundtrack, and I bought the DVD. I considered buying the blu-ray. I want similar products to succeed so I spent my money on them. I voted with my wallet.

    If you have an extra $5 and you love portal and portal 2, and you want more of similar games, then it seems like a good idea to buy the DLC.

    Also, WTB Space Sphere

    1. Mari says:

      I have nothing to add. I just wish to adore your name for a while because Arthur Conan Doyle is my hero.

    2. Yar Kramer says:

      It seems that Space Sphere quotes are the new “the cake is a lie” in the eyes of some. Though I suppose it … sort of helps that unlike “the cake is a lie,” “I’minspace!!” doesn’t make much more sense in context than when it’s spouted at random on the internet.

      Meanwhile, there seems to be a Fact Sphere on Twitter.

      1. Zukhramm says:

        Potato is the new cake.

        I’m not sure there’s a single line that will gain the same way that “the cake is a lie” did, maybe some Cave Johnson line.

        Personaly favourite: “This is the part.”

        1. Jarenth says:

          SPAAAAAAAACE seems to be a good contender.

          1. Christopher M says:

            I’ve also seen a definite upsurge in the number of “slow clap” related memes recently.

          2. bit says:

            I’m kinda sad that SPACE! Is the new cake, because I was really hoping that would be lemons. That whole speech is just phenomenal.

            1. krellen says:

              I demand to see life’s manager!

            2. Burning people! He says what we’re all thinking!

  7. HeadHunter says:

    Shamus, you depicted exactly what I was saying in my comment on the previous thread. Well done.

  8. Irridium says:

    All the people complaining about these hats makes me wonder where they were when Bioware started selling costume and weapon/armor packs for Mass Effect 2.

    1. somebodys_kid says:

      I actually bought a costume pack so Garrus would have a non-damaged armor suit. I’m a sucker, I know…

    2. K says:

      Especially because having a second costume is kind of a big deal in these games, since you look at them for fifty hours, and “collect armor” is already part of the gameplay. A costume in an FPS? I cannot even see it!

    3. Zukhramm says:

      I often find I’m a lot more willing to pay for items that are only cosmetic. Seeing gus with actualy specific in-game effects all I think is “That’s cheap, I’m not going to pay for that”, while something cosmetic is more clearly “extra”.

  9. K says:

    Luckily, I’m the only person who read “I’m in space!” aloud in a voice that could be mistaken for the real one by a deaf person. I’m not too good of a voice imitator. But


  10. Kian says:

    Space sphere? I want to get one of these:

    Plushie… but deadly.

  11. Zukhramm says:

    Acutally the point about buying hats not making sense since the coop-campaign is not something you’d keep playing over and over is one of the points where seeing the hat store made me glad.

    Now I can’t predict the future but Valve selling multiplayer items seems to imply they expect the multiplayer mode to last, which in turn implies they will release more of it.

    1. SolkaTruesilver says:

      I hope nobody ever start believing, with your argument, that Valve “promised” more downloadable multiplayer maps… :-P

      1. Peter H. Coffin says:

        C’mon… You KNOW that’s what’s going to be the next fapadoodle concerning Valve. And probably in less than three months.

        1. Jarenth says:

          Probably in a week. Outrage is predictable.

          1. GTRichey says:

            I’ve already run into someone in multiplayer saying they need to release more maps already… I think within 3 or 4 days of release. It’s a bit unfortunate the sense of entitlement some people have.

            1. SolkaTruesilver says:

              The sense of entitlement is the only thing they are entitled to :-P

    2. Irridium says:

      The reason they don’t want to charge for maps in TF2 and other game is because it would segregate the community, and would get more ridiculous with multiple map releases.

      So I can’t see them changing this philosophy with Portal 2’s multiplayer.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So spoilers are ok now?Very well,in that case:Damn,I cant make a blank quote hidden.Also:Oh well,in that case Ill just write some gibberish.And,lets not forget.Its not like someone would expect real spoilers in a joke post like this.

    Tl;dr:Im in space!

    1. Ramsus says:

      Yeah…haven’t played Portal 2 yet. Once I play and understand what all was just spoiled for me I’m sure I’ll be annoyed. >_<

  13. Thanks to Sony, I may no longer have any money to BUY this useless crap.

  14. Mistwraithe says:

    I’m not sure if anyone has covered this yet BUT I can actually see at least one reason for the fuss over the Portal 2 DLC.

    There are some people out there for whom a large part of the challenge/fun/whatever of computer games is beating the game by doing all or as much of it as possible. This was fine before DLC, there was often some really hard to find stuff that people had to spend ages over to get that sense of achievement but that was their choice and it was part of the game. I’ll emphasise this, it was all part of the original purchase cost of the game.

    Now DLC is being used to change this. Game developers are making achieving that last bit of satisfaction cost EXTRA MONEY now. No longer is the entire game included in the original purchase price, if you want to do all or most of a game now you have to keep forking over money as you go.

    When the purchase price of some of the extras is completely out of sync with the actual gameplay value derived from them (eg apparently all these Portal 2 hats cost almost as much as the original game yet make only a cosmetic gameplay difference) then it appears the game company is out to completely rip off the competionist gamer.

    So yeah, I can see their point, and if I was one of them then I would be complaining very loudly too.

    Imagine if Mass Effect 3 came out with the FPS gameplay built in BUT you had to pay extra everytime you wanted to access the character building/leveling part of the game? Fine for the FPS people, but you are going to get some serious complaints from those who get their enjoyment from the leveling!

    NOTE: Cross-posted on The Escapist too.

    1. Raygereio says:

      No longer is the entire game included in the original purchase price, if you want to do all or most of a game now you have to keep forking over money as you go.

      Well, here’s the main issue.
      Is the game without the DLC an entire, full game? This discussion has come up before on this site. I say yes, because I haven’t seen a game yet that without the DLC felt incomplete.
      Take ME3; let’s say you didn’t buy Kasumi. Did you then miss anything? No not really. True, you would miss out on a new follower and her mission; but would you really feel it’s absence? No.
      DLC are extra pieces of paper that are stappled onto a book. But without those extra pieces you still have a complete book.

      Until someone comes with the stupid idea of tying something that’s really part of the main game to DLC (let’s say something as silly as you entre the final mission you get a pop up saying you’ll need to buy it), then I don’t have a problem with it.

      Though in the case of portal this discussion is nonsense as it’s about hats. No extra levels, no fancy new gameplay. HATS! Portal 2 doesn’t even have a vanity camera.

      1. some random dood says:

        Like possibly ME2 DLC packs for the Shadow Broker and Arrival actually being part of the plot of the overall story arc, so if you *really* want to follow the story you would need to get those before ME3? (Hopefully for the ME3 buyers there will be some way of implementing any decisions made in the DLCs that may affect ME3 outcomes within ME3 if you do not have the DLC – but BioWare could yet make it that if you do not have the content, then the default ultra-dick choices will be chosen for you, which may be a problem if you want to play pure paragon…) I think BioWare are blurring the lines now.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Except that is not what dlc for portal 2 is.Remember those figurines and other extras that came with older games if you bought a special editions?Those were more expensive than the regular editions,and you still couldve beaten the game without those knick knacks.Portal 2 dlc is exactly that,only in digital form.You still can beat the whole game,experience every level and the full story without even noticing the store.So that reason does not work in this case.Sure,it is a valid reason for other games,but not here.

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