Valve Planned a Prequel to Portal. Take a Look at ‘F-Stop’, The Game That Never Made It

F-Stop was a game that appears to take place in the Portal universe but used the "Aperture Camera" to solve puzzles.

Portal 1 and Portal 2 were smash-hits, and unlike most game companies who want to milk their franchises for all their worth, Valve never saw fit to release another Portal title (they have a thing for stopping at ‘2’ – Half-Life 2, Portal 2, LFD2, etc). Turns out, a third game in the Portal franchise was supposed to happen at some point…

F-Spot, a title that was meant to be a prequel to Portal 1, was in development under a producer at Valve named Joshua Weier. Under Weier, worked on the other two Portal games, F-Spot was a slightly different puzzle game, where players walked around making use of the “Aperture Camera”, a tool that would allow the player to rescale, paste, and copy items in the environment around them to solve puzzles.

For whatever reason, Valve decided to postpone the product and ultimately it seems to have been canceled completely. However, Valve has apparently given their blessing for an indie dev company, LunchHouse Software, to share details about the unreleased title in the form of YouTube videos (or ‘Episodes’ as they are being referred’. Only one is available now, which you can watch below, but more are supposedly coming later.

As you can see in the video, the camera was used to snap photos of your surroundings, then place the objects in the photos around you in other areas to solve the puzzles. The graphics may not seem quite like Portal 1 and Portal 2, but the feel of the game and the charm it seems to have match up near perfectly.

LaunchHouse has also received permission to access F-Stop’s official source code, which could mean that we may get a spiritual successor to Portal someday, but don’t get your hopes up too high. All we know for certain is that Valve said they can use it to talk about the game and share details of it through this YouTube series. If we had to guess, this is probably with the intention in mind to inspire creativity among the community of smaller indie developers to make something along the same lines.

While we may never get a Portal 3, and that is indeed a shame, there are endless talents out there working together to make something amazing in the same vein as the originals. For now, we are happy with playing the first two games for the 37th time.

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