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The Real Reason Valve Never Released Its Portal Prequel

Valve is infamous for never releasing games. This time, it's not a fabled Half-Life title. Instead, news has surfaced about why Valve never released project F-Stop, a Portal prequel previously only whispered about.


Indie developer LunchHouse Software will produce a tell-all documentary series thanks to Valve's generous decision to hand over the actual, factual, original code for what was supposed to be Aperture Camera. Fittingly titled Exposure, the series will launch on YouTube for all to enjoy. Exposure won't just be some kind of commentary series, but will show actual gameplay. The first look reveals the puzzle-solving mechanic that had the folks at Valve so jazzed up back in the day. Using a camera, players can reproduce objects they photograph and resize them to fit their needs.

Sounds fun, right? So why didn't Valve ever finish the game? Apparently the title got stuck in development hell, perhaps pushed to the wayside by other projects. Maybe Half-Life: Alyx took precedence and Aperture Camera was forgotten. It's been speculated that once Valve's super special, super unique game mechanic lost its originality, the team also lost its motivation to complete and release the game. In November 2019, Pillow Castle Games launched Superliminal, a trippy puzzle-solving game in which players interact with objects that seem to shift in size. It's like playing inside of an optical illusion. It's also eerily similar to the idea behind Aperture Camera


It looks like Valve decided to give up on their Portal Prequel after Pillow Castle Games beat them to the punch. As a sort of consolation prize, you'll get to see how it was supposed to work and what Valve originally had in mind through the upcoming LunchHouse Studios produced documentary series.