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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Portal 2 gets co-op improvements and Vulkan support in a new update

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Valve’s puzzle-platformer-teleportationer Portal 2 was released to great acclaim on April 19, 2011. It was a tremendous success, and remains popular to this day. According to SteamCharts, there are at this very moment more than 3100 people playing it—not bad at all for a decade-old puzzle game.

It’s not just gamers who keep playing with it: So is Valve, which dropped a new update yesterday that, among other things, adds support for Vulkan rendering, improves advanced video setting descriptions, makes default video settings “smarter,” and speeds up the compile time for user-made Perpetual Testing Initiative puzzles.

Here’s the full rundown of what’s changed:

  • Implemented a Vulkan render backend (currently accessible through the -vulkan command line parameter).
  • Improved compile time for Perpetual Training Initiative puzzles.
  • Improved advanced video settings descriptions.
  • Made the game Hi-DPI aware.
  • Smarter default video settings.
  • Improved resolution of player avatars throughout the game.
  • Players can now be invited to play co-op on controller.
  • Button text contrast and padding has been improved when using a controller.
  • Implemented a 360° Spin action.
  • The portalgun is now correctly affected by dynamic lights (projected textures) in the scene.
  • Improved client-side prediction for coop play.
  • Added the ability for workshop levels to pack particles into their map with a particles/map_manifest.txt
  • Misc. rendering optimizations.
  • Added an icon to the game on Linux.
  • Removed the “Trading Coming Soon” button.

And there are a bunch of bug fixes as well:

  • Fixed a crash on startup that could happen on Linux.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur in some community test chambers using BEEMod on Linux.
  • Fixed the credits being corrupted on Linux.
  • Fixed the intro videos for acts 2 and 3 not playing on Linux.
  • Fixed the game starting in the top left corner of the screen on Linux.
  • Fixed a crash in the PeTI if you placed a light strip above a laser catcher on the floor and linked it to a fizzler.
  • Fixed the fizzler not playing the retract animation when turned off in new PeTI maps.
  • Fixed being able to copy ‘uncopyable’ items in the PeTI leading to invalid/broken levels.
  • Fixed some items in PeTI not maintaining their portalability state when expanding the chamber boundaries.
  • Fixed a crash if PeTI avatars could not be retrieved.
  • Fixed Cave Johnson’s lines not progressing when playing queued workshop levels.
  • Fixed a memory leak that could occur when changing levels.
  • Fixed a bug where you could no longer ping/taunt via mouse/keyboard if you have ever used a controller.
  • Fixed the ping menu being visible when quick pinging on controller.
  • Fixed the game instructor not respecting input types for respective players in split-screen mode.
  • Fixed rumble not being respected for respective players in split-screen mode.
  • Fixed the wrong avatar being used if playing coop after playing a workshop level.
  • Fixed the OnFiredPortal2 output not firing.
  • Fixed some text being duplicated on the screen multiple times.

It’s not clear why Valve is still patching Portal 2—I respect the dedication, but it is a 10-year-old game—but this isn’t actually as out-of-nowhere as it might seem. Valve has been slowly, but fairly steadily, releasing Portal 2 patches since mid-2017, the last one a smaller scale fixer-upper that landed in July 2020.

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