Paratrooper Digital

Portal 2 ARG

Portal 2 is the much waited for follow-up to the very successful valve game. This time there’s been infiltration of portal-ish themed elements in 13 different games from independent game vendors. When players complete achievements within these 13 different games; interesting things started to happen.

People were finding audio files with recorded phrases, links to YouTube videos with glitchy frames, images, cryptic sets of characters and all sorts of other seemingly anomalies began to surface.

All of the clues let to a destination that allowed fans to work collectively together to solve a problem and get the game released early before the Tuesday April 19th release date.

While the planning and planting of such elements is impressive in itself, its interesting to see how the gaming culture responded and how the internet was a tool.

Steam is a definitely making headway into the social gaming landscape, but this is a whole new level.

Within not too long a wiki was formed to start to structure the collected information

From the official information center other groups started to form:

There’s too much information about the situation and how the fan base rose to the occasion to be listed here. It is interesting how several if the sites have crashed due to the increase in traffic, how load balancers came online and even how several of the community pages were formatted in comparison to the way Valve created and served their pages.

Some of these tricks Valve is using are no brainers:

  • Reduce the number of requests to render the page
    The page from valve has 5 images total, everything else is handled with CSS. All CSS and JS is coded in the primary page; no additional calls for CSS and JS calls.
  • Use server caching
    The page shows memcaching being used to serve the pages directly from RAM reducing the amount of hard drive reads
  • Pull images and static files from a CDN.
    All the images are pulling from; undoubtedly using edge servers to speed up delivery.

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About Nate Frank

Nate is currently a Senior Presentation Layer Architect at Razorfish Chicago. As an SPLA Nate: participates in technology leadership team and resource allocations, manage fulltime and contractor resources, represents technology for groups of brands across multiple clients, furthers development of standards within the office, architects project implementations and fosters community and mentoring.

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