KIWI TALKZ interviews various employees (or ex-employees) from Valve and Retro Studios. He was the one who conducted the famous interview with Valve writer Eric Wolpaw, who had expressed his interest in writing Portal 3.
Well, there’s also the interview with Portal 2 lead designer Josh Weier. There was one interesting clip where he talks about how Super Metroid influenced the introduction to Portal 2:
We had this problem in the game which was if you just played Portal, we didn’t want to make you learn portals all again. But at the same time if you’d never played Portal, we had to teach you. So it’s like, “Okay, how do we do this in a way that’s good for both?” And I was really inspired personally by Super Metroid. I always loved the way Super Metroid started out, where it’s like, you’re coming down to the planet, and you’re kind of going through it backwards, right? You’re like going through where Mother Brain is and doing all that stuff and you turn it on and everything comes back to life.
And that was really where I was like, “Hey, let’s do this – let’s have you so you’re going back through the chambers but now they’re all derelict and they’re beat up and they’re not quite working, and, you know, everything’s broken.” And so that gave us a way if you played the original game you’re like, “Oh this is cool! Yeah. I know how to do this; I’ll breeze right through it but I’m getting to see the cool new setting.” And if you’d never played Portal then you’re getting trained as well along the way.
Interesting. So not only was the introduction inspired by the idea in Super Metroid, but it also “did a bunch of heavy lifting on the storytelling” and getting the player up-to-speed, whether they played the original Portal or not.
More recently, KIWI TALKZ interviewed Ellen McLain, the voice actress for GLaDOS, if you’re interested.
Cover image credit: Unknown Reddit artist