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Letter to Thinking With Portals

I am so happy to see this community revive.

I had been tinkering with games, but it was not until I started designing levels in Hammer for Portal 1 that began to consider developing games as a career. For the first time, I had found deep joy rather than fleeting entertainment in making content. Maybe it was the ability to finally express my ideas in some semblance. Perhaps I had matured enough to synthesize new ideas instead of copy and started to think with portals. All I know is the journey became much more meaningful with the support of this community.

I continued my endeavors in game design, although I stayed quiet in this community. When Portal 2 came out, I made up my mind to create a level for my portfolio, which just happened to coincide with the community mapping contest. The level became the centerpiece of my portfolio helping me land a job in the game industry. I am proud of this community and proud of the talents that it fosters and will foster in the future.

Whether or not you have aspirations to make this your career, continue the positive interactions. Thank you to msleeper and other mods that mold this community into a friendly environment that stands out among the sea of hostility that games seems to attract.

Tom, I'm really touched and humbled to read your comment. I said elsewhere recently that I had always hoped to foster a certain culture here, one both grounded in open and honest critique, and an expectation of artistic integrity. I know that not everyone understood that or appreciated it, but the core idea has always been: I believe in every one of you to make great things if you really put yourself to it.

Making maps is easy. Making puzzles is really, really hard. I really fondly remember your Portal 1 map (ironically today's Community Spotlight), and I also remember being glad that you won the 2011 Portal 2 mapping contest. Patent Pending was absolutely gorgeous, and I'm not surprised at all it led you to a career in game development. I long ago gave up my aspirations in game dev in pursuit of other artistic endeavors, but I still love games and game design, and you never really lose the critical eye for what works and what sucks.

Thanks a lot. I really appreciate that.

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The level became the centerpiece of my portfolio helping me land a job in the game industry.

Wow thats a nice idea, and congratulations to that!