Welcome to Thinking.WithPortals.com, the premier custom Portal and Portal 2 map community since 2007! Download some custom Portal 2 maps from our huge Download Database, or stop by our forums and talk about Portal 2. Thanks for visiting!

  • Hey folks, time for another mapping competition hosted by our good members of the portal mapping community.

    [bigspoiler=Text Version]"Behind the Scenes"
    The gritty inner bowels of Aperture Science, churning out hundreds of OSHA violations per day. Whether it be an old sealed off wing from the 60's or a processing area from the 90's, your level must take place in one of the many non-test chamber areas of Aperture Science. Incorporate awe-inspiring set pieces with an incredible atmosphere, and make players admire how cool it is! That said, your map should still contain a puzzle of some sort. Adapt your puzzle to the environment, and have them complement each other beautifully. This is your opportunity to let your visual design shine while also seamlessly integrating a fun puzzle or two. The size and scope of your puzzle(s) is up to you.

    Can others help in making the map/puzzle?
    No. The map should be made by you and you alone. That said, others can help by making other assets like models, sounds, textures, etc.

    Can my map be co-op?
    Yep! Just keep in mind that it may require more work.

    Can my map use custom assets?
    Sure! Assets should be packed into the BSP. If you exceed the 100MB Workshop limit or need to include unpackable files like soundscripts/particle systems, include custom assets in a .zip file in the description.

    Does the map have to be original/new?
    Yes. The map should be made specifically for the competition. You may use instances or prefabs from other maps, but it should otherwise be original.

    SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE DECEMBER 30, 2018 - Good luck![/bigspoiler]

    What else should I know?
    If someone is experienced in level design and would like to judge but isn't participating, they can direct message @Stract on Steam or Discord.

    Thinking of submitting your map here? Hold up!
    The competition isn't directly hosted on the forum this time. Finished entries should be uploaded to the workshop and your map and name submitted with this form.

    If you have any further questions about the competition or perhaps want to contribute some prizes, contact the organisers through the TWP discord.

    Have fun peeps! :thumbup:
  • Good morning test subjects!

    Today we have a fun announcement - the Half-Life 2 mapping community RunThinkShootLive is hosting a mapping contest called NostalgiaVille with some amazing prizes, and I want all of you to have a chance at winning. In addition to $600 in prize money, I am also offering up a one of a kind Combine Metro Cop helmet replica as an additional prize!

    Here's some info about the contest from the RunThinkShootLive site:

    Half-Life 2 has been around for longer than 13 years, but many will agree that the game has still not lost its charm. NostalgiaVille seeks to balance out the scale by re-introducing the classic environments of Half-Life 2 in the modern day.

    In this challenge, you are given 2 months to create a level set in the early chapters of Half-Life 2 (think City 17 up to and including the Coast, however we find that the City and Canal sections in their pre-Uprising state are the least prominent within usual challenge entries).

    A big focus of NostalgiaVille is, well, Nostalgia. The player should be reminded of the time when they first played Half-Life 2, and levels should, to some degree, feel familiar.

    We would like the early Half-Life 2 environments to be used and a level of familiarity in the level design to be kept, but gameplay can be either similar to the way it was in the original game or changed to add new concepts into the old environments, thus combining the new and old in your entry.

    So what are you waiting for? Fire up Hammer and go win this thing!

    Full info here: https://www.runthinkshootlive.com/posts/special-challenge-nostalgiaville/
  • Thank you everyone for participating in the TWP Summer 2017 Mapping Competition!
    And thank you to everyone who helped participants with mapping questions in the chats and threads. Also, thank you to our 7 judges who volunteered their time to play and score each of the submissions.
    It has been a fun competition with lots of streams to watch, and content getting created.

    The winner of the total competition is Snapper576 with Agelity!

    The final results are listed below:

    [SP] - 4.04 - Agelity by Snapper576 - 1st Place SP
    [SP] - 3.77 - Antilles by RectorRocks - 2nd Place SP
    [SP] - 3.69 - Shift-Tab by l1zardr0ckets - 3rd Place SP
    [MP] - 3.53 - Double or Nothing by Idolon - 1st Place COOP
    [SP] - 3.42 - Laser Construction by PersonMeetup
    [SP] - 2.41 - Empty Floor by PortalStorm4000
    [SP] - 1.92 - Wheatley's Final Test by Slyceth

    We'll be contacting the winners to choose prizes from the prize pool this week.

    Stick around, we'll be having another mapping competition sometime this fall!
  • 2017 Comeback Tour Mapping Competition

    The contest is running from Saturday, June 17 through [s]Sunday, July 2[/s] Wednesday, July 5th. You've got [s]16[/s] 19 days to map!

    Welcome back to ThinkingWithPortals!
    This contest is a follow-up to all our fun and successful Mapping Competitions in the past. The purpose of this event is to promote & reward people who are skilled in puzzle design and advanced map-making techniques. We anticipate this competition will be incentive for level designers to bring their A-Game to the Portal 2 community to enjoy. We also hope this encourages newcomers to the content-creation scene using the PTI to challenge themselves to make excellent content with Hammer.

    This year to further encourage the creation process. We want to promote you if you stream your creation process. Jump into the TWP Discord Channel #2017_contest and Post a link to your YouTube or Twitch account when you stream. Feel free to also drop a link in the 2017 2017 Contest Streams, where we'll try to keep an up to date list of accounts who stream their map making.

    If you're interested in being a judge, PM BenVlodgi, or Stract on TWP.

    The Rules are simple.
    Hammer made only maps, limited to 1 SP and 1 MP map.

    Detailed rules below, don't try to cheese the rules:
    - Must use Hammer to complete entry.
    - Maps made with the PTI will not be accepted.
    - PTI/BEEMOD instances are allowed, however the level geometry must be designed wholly in hammer.
    - Maps exported from the PTI will be disqualified.
    - Entries must be fully mapped within the confines of the contest timeline.
    - Do not submit entries that you started working on before the contest.
    - You may update your entry up until the end of the contest.
    - The latest entry to the contest before the end timestamp will be used for judging.
    - No plagiarizing
    - Puzzle concept and map must be your own original creation.
    - Limit 1 Single Player and 1 Co-Op Map for contest.
    - There are no restrictions on style of your entry.
    - Group made maps will not be accepted, this is a solo competition.
    - There will be separate judged categories for prizes.
    - Judges may enter maps, but are disqualified from receiving prizes.

    Submission instructions:
    - Upload Links to Workshop hosted entries HERE. Do not use this category for raw files, only for workshop links. (We are having trouble with our mirror hosting links at this time)
    - Alternatively, you can upload your compiled bsp and supporting files zipped up HERE for singleplayer, and HERE for multiplayer. Include #mappingcontest2017 in your description. (If possible, we suggest you use the workshop hosting.)

    We will be awarding physical prizes, and Steam Keys to popular games.

    TWP is BACK! Previous contests produced a huge number of amazing maps, and we are sure this contest will be no less! What are you waiting for? Get started!

    Update: Check out the winners HERE
  • It has been a long time since the site went offline, and I am very glad to say that it is back and better than ever.

    There are two main changes that our visitors can notice: 1.) The domain is now "thinking.withportals.com", with the extra DOT in there. I'll go in to why this is necessary in a little bit. And 2.) The site is now running on a TLS secure domain, which doesn't mean very much unless you are a stickler about privacy like I am.

    As for why TWP went away and came back with a new weird domain, here's what happened.

    In September 2015, the site went offline. There was an error with the company that handles my domain purchases, and although I did renew the domain and paid the fee, some how the domain still expired and was turned off.

    When a domain expires it goes offline, but there is a short period where the owner can still renew it. Because of whatever happened, thinkingwithportals.com didn't enter this redemption period, and immediately expired.

    It was then bought by a domain squatter - someone who buys domains just to buy them and/or extort people into paying for them - and there was nothing I could do about that. If I held any sort of copyright over the intellectual property I could possibly begin some sort of legal process... But since Portal is owned by Valve, I was pretty much shit out of luck.

    I hoped that the domain would expire in 2016, but the squatters renewed it and so the domain sits on a parked page for another year.

    So, why did the site come back?

    ThinkingWithPortals, along with my personal website and a few others that I run, are sitting on a server that I own. This server started giving errors suggesting the drive would be dying - and I was not about to let 10 years of custom Portal maps die along with it. So I replaced the server's hard drive, reinstalled a new OS, and made a handful of other improvements. While I was doing this, I decided that I should try to bring ThinkingWithPortals back in some way.

    It definitely wasn't easy. There is a lot of custom code that run behind the curtain to keep this site up in the fashion that it is. There are also about 300,000 links on the forum (in posts and signatures and whatnot) that all link to the old domain. Things like the 2012 Contest listings? Every link in that thread had to be updated. This process wasn't particularly time consuming or hard (I had some tools I wrote to help me) but I had to make 100% sure that every single reference to the old domain was fixed.

    So that's pretty much the story. Will I ever get the old domain back? Possibly. I make damn sure to keep an eye on it when it comes time to renew. I would love if we did manage to get it back, but there's no way to know for sure. Will this new version be going away? No chance.

    I have to run but I have some more thoughts I'll post up later.

    Welcome back.