This afternoon's best mystery from the new reigning champs of brilliantly artful viral campaigns: a seemingly innocuous new update to the PC version of Valve's cult hit puzzle game Portal has turned out to be far more than anyone expected, and could be the first instance of using a three year old game itself to hint at future titles.
The update's changelog only wryly stated that Valve had "changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations", causing players to note that each section of the game had been updated with a new radio object. At first glance, the new radios appeared to be the same that otherwise normally existed inside the game, which simply chirped out a samba version of the game's iconic end-theme song. Only later was it discovered that these new radios each contain a hidden audio file that's transmitted when you carry them to one particular point in each of the game's levels.
Thanks to the Steam forum's overeager detectives, we've already learned that the most perplexing of these pirate transmissions are in fact SSTV encoded photographs -- the same used by shortwave operators to transmit images over the air -- each watermarked with the Aperture Science logo to stem any doubt about their authenticity. Follow the ongoing investigations here, and ponder, via Shawn Elliott, in-game lore tying the Half Life universe to Portal's via a character who "is cunning enough to encrypt... photographs, coordinates, blueprints and hailing frequencies within her message."
Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum manage - Steam Users' Forums
渋谷でゲームあるある再現してみた pic.twitter.com/dk5KH6kUgM — がんそ【駒沢アイソレーション】 (@KaoruGans0) August 5, 2020 In this video, @KaoruGans0 walks around Shibuya like a character from a video game: stilted and repetetive pacing; sliding oddly along walls; and interacting robotically with landmarks, conspiciously obvious items and other people.
Townscaper is a charming and beautiful toy by Oskar Stålberg (previously at BB), available now for Windows and MacOS. It approaches the city-builing genre, but subtracts all the things that make such games distressing and frustrating, leaving you to create the waterside town of your dreams without worrying about resources, enemies, natural disasters or other […]
I wrote about the original 8bit Card Deck a couple of years back, and now a second edition is live with tweaked designs and the same pixel-perfect look. $15 a deck, target hit, and no question about fulfilment as the print order’s already in with Gambler’s Warehouse. The 8Bit Deck is back with a fresh […]
If you’re a photographer, videographer, or graphic designer, you’ve got a lot of competition charging up behind you. Because while you’ve been trained as a content creator, the task of snapping brilliant images, capturing well-composed video, and posting effective social media is now part of literally everyone’s skill set. For years, Adobe and their ubiquitous […]
After years of hearing a steady drumbeat about the necessity of surfing the web under the protection of a VPN, even the most technophobic among us are starting to come around. But even knowing the dangers one can face from cybercrooks phishing for information from unsuspecting victims online, those last holdouts still have some fears. […]
You may not realize it, but some of the biggest films in movie history have been edited using the same tools some of you use to cut your video of vacationing at Disney World. Giant movies from Oscar favorites The Social Network and Gone Girl to blockbusters like Avatar, Deadpool, and last year’s Terminator: Dark […]