By now most of you have likely played through the main storyline and at least part of Portal 2‘s co-op campaign, and may be left wanting even more. Valve has come to the rescue, announcing that they have now begun the beta for Portal 2‘s Authoring Tools for the PC. If you fancy yourself a video game designer in training, then now is the chance to download the tools free of charge, and get to work on building some levels and test chambers of your own.

Even with certain gels being removed from the game, the deadly lasers, faith plates, and oh-so-adorable killer sentry robots mean there’s a chance that some PC gamers out there are capable of thinking up even more inventive mind-benders than Valve did.

We don’t mean to suggest that the developers came up with a game that was lacking some of the inventiveness or challenge of the original game, but there’s no denying that Portal 2‘s puzzles weren’t as skill-testing or hardcore as those of Portal. We’re not going to criticize that decision, since the developers had good reasons for making the second game less frustrating to players.

But for those fans out there who look at the various stages of Portal 2 as a playground more than a linear story – you know, the same ones who use weighted cubes for juggling acts – the Authoring Tools may be just what the doctor ordered. The free download gets you access to the same tools used by the developers themselves, and Valve has detailed just what kind of customization that offers:

  • Create your own singleplayer and co-op maps
  • Design new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music
  • Access to an updated version of Hammer, the Source level editor
  • Updated Faceposer
  • Sample maps and instances to build off of
  • Updated suite of command-line compiling utilities

Wannabe designers whose minds are already reeling at the idea of a Portal 2 map set to the tunes of High School Musical or Glee can head over to Portal 2‘s site and download the Beta tools now. But remember, you may not be the only one who gets to enjoy your handiwork. Valve had previously said they intend to bring user-created content to every platform, although the methods they’ll be delivering them are still not clear.

Will you be picking up Portal 2‘s Authoring Tools and seeing if you can design levels on par with those in the actual game? Do you think the sinlgeplayer or co-op components offer differing levels of creativity?

Portal 2 is available now for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. The Portal 2 Authoring Tools Beta is available for free download now, exclusively on PC.

Source: ThinkwithPortals

tags: PC, Portal, Portal 2, Valve