Portal 2 update opens the door to bigger and better level designs

Portal 2
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve has rolled out another new update to Portal 2 that removes the 100MB limit on Workshop file sizes, potentially enabling the creation of much larger and more ambitious mods and levels than were previously possible.

Along with ditching the file size limit, the update makes a few fixes to Portal's authoring tools, including problems with lighting, demo playback, and corrupted text, and makes a handful of optimizations. There are also two new command line options for launching benchmarks at various video quality settings.

It's a relatively small update as these things go, but it's noteworthy nonetheless for the simple fact that Portal 2 is now ten years old—you don't often see developers dropping patches for games of that age. But for some reason, Valve has been putting them out pretty regularly this year, with one in February and two more in March coming before this one. Naturally, that has inspired spots of excited (and, I'm assuming, not-entirely-serious) predictions of a Portal 3 announcement in the offing, or perhaps Portal 2: Episode 1, and even Half-Life 3, because sure, why not?

I don't think that's terribly likely, but the possibility of bigger and better things out of the Portal 2 Workshop (which has already produced some very impressive stuff) is very intriguing. The full patch notes are below.

  • Fixed custom maps with no lights disabling lighting for the rest of the play session
  • Fixed Model Viewer and Face Poser not opening
  • Fixed demo playback for workshop maps
  • Fixed some text corruption related to UTF-8 conversion in some instances on Linux
  • Moved the 32-bit Linux binaries into linux32
  • Misc. rendering and other optimizations
  • Removed the 100MB workshop level file size limit
  • Added a +bench_demo [name] <stats output> command line parameter which will run a demo, and quit after it is finished.
  • Added a -bench_settings [name] command line parameter to load a cfg/video_bench_{name}.txt file containing settings to load. There are a set of defaults provided, very_high_4k, very_high, high, medium and low.
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.