The Box is a remake of a map I built for Portal in late 2007/early 2008. The main idea behind the map was trying something new in Portal (at the time), a multi-stage puzzle centered around getting a box through a dropper tube. I re-visited the map and built it from scratch to see how my skills improved over three years.
The entire design from start to finish was about 4 days. I wanted a Portal puzzle that you could easily view in its entirety and in its individual segments. I accomplished this in the original maps by using glass for the floors. This turned out to be a problem on lower graphical settings, the glass becomes nearly invisible.
I decided to make the puzzle the centerpiece of the map rather than tuck it into a corner. I pulled the tube out and placed it centrally in a new room. The entrance for the room was placed at the bottom, using the tube to draw the players eye upwards and make them aware of the puzzle.
To get the player to look up, I decided on having some ceiling panels adjust right as the player walks into the room. The quick movement makes the player look up and become aware of what they need to do.
Large flat featureless ceilings look uninteresting even with a little texture variation. I took some inspiration from Portal 2 screenshots where they open the ceiling up and show reconfigurable spaces and all the behind the scenes stuff like tubes and elevator shafts.
All art assets are from Portal.Click here to download.
Extract to your Portal/portal directory. Run by going into the Bonus Maps option on the main menu and selecting "The Box".