Today we’ve had our best look yet at Aperture Camera, a canceled game that Valve was developing at one point to be a prequel to its excellent Portal experiences. Portal and its sequel remain two of the best-loved puzzle games ever produced, of course, and this prequel looks like it could’ve been excellent as well.
It’s thanks to an indie developer called LunchHouse Software that footage from Valve’s Aperture Camera is now coming to light. For reasons unknown, Valve has given LunchHouse permission to work with the source code for its Portal prequel and create a video series about it. LunchHouse is also using the code to create its own puzzle game, which is called PUNT and will apparently launch this year.
Ours is not to question why, though. Rather than wondering why Valve is allowing another company to play with its code, let’s just be glad that we’re now able to see some footage from Aperture Camera. Here’s the first video in “Exposure”, LunchHouse’s video series about Valve’s game…
As you can see, Valve’s Aperture Camera game would have utilized a similar sort of physics-based puzzling gameplay to Portal and Portal 2. However, rather than chucking orange and blue portals around, this prequel would’ve mainly tasked you with taking photos of items and then replicating those items to maneuver your way through different environments. This gimmick, it seems, was called ‘F-Stop’.
If you’re looking for some further info, Rock Paper Shotgun reports that Aperture Camera would not have featured Portal‘s player-character Chell or its chatty artificial intelligence GLaDOS. You can see flashes of the Portal aesthetic in that video, though, not least in the white crates that have a familiar grey trim.
We’ll be sure to let you know when we hear more about LunchHouse’s PUNT game, but it remains a bit sad that we can’t actually play Aperture Camera. But with Valve reigniting one of its hit franchises with the upcoming Half-Life: Alyx VR game, is it too much to hope that Portal might get a revival at some point as well? We’ll just have to wait and see.