Z Chamber 06 Developer Commentary

This was chamber 05 in PortalZ: The 2020 Slice.

Developer commentary may include spoilers; I recommend you finish PortalZ before reading further.

Detaching the camera at the start reveals an X on the wall.

This looks like a simple introduction to flings, but is a little meaner in that if you try to put the portal at the top, you will most likely end up in the goo; instead, you have to place it lower and do a double fling.  Initially, there was just a camera at a good portal location, which not everyone took as a hint, so I eventually added the X behind it, which got the message across.

The ledge the player lands on after the second fling.

This one is a little weird in that, if you crouch during the fling, you can make it to the ledge without doing a double fling.  That only really matters if you are trying to speed-run it though.

The pits and adjacent landings are clearly labeled 1 and 2.

Some players got a bit disoriented by the near-identical shafts, so some very clear indicators were added so they could more easily stay focused on how to proceed.

Missile launchers target the player across the final room.

While it has come a long way since then, this room was technically the first real test chamber I ever built.  It was originally meant to challenge you to fling yourself from the same wall onto farther and father away portalable floors until you reached the end.  In the end, that proved to difficult—both to design with correct distances and to play without getting frustrated and quitting, and I changed to the final design direction.  I ultimately achieved something close to that goal when I built chamber seven, at least.  The redesigned version of this room was kept big to make your flings feel more “epic”, as though you are launching yourself across long distances.  Dodging missiles can also add to that “epic” feeling.  I find missile turrets an interesting element to include because they are so slow that they do not really pose much of a challenge, but they add a bit of pressure anyway.