79 ratings
At Arm's Length
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13.103 MB
May 31, 2012 @ 7:15pm
Jun 7, 2012 @ 9:35pm
6 change notes ( view )

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Description
Complete this fiendish puzzle using every skill at your disposal--except the ability to touch any part of the test chamber. There are ample visual clues and meaningful signage for an alert test subject to use to progress through the four stages of this puzzle, and important portal surfaces have placement helpers to keep portals straight. Use your gels, momentum and portal placement wisely.

Basic map geometry and puzzle structure laid out in PeTI, then optimized and detailed in Hammer.

Revision 2:
- Further optimized PeTI's mess, converting all unseen surfaces to nodraw and consolidating some brushes.
Revision 3:
- Whoops. Fixed minor but silly texture error.
Revision 4:
- Steam upload error.
Revision 5:
- For some unknown reason the faith plate target was interfering with the portal placement helper under it. Fixed this by making the portal surface exactly large enough for one portal and adding NPS brushes and portal bumpers to either side. All portal surfaces where positioning is essential should now have info_placement_helpers, but players are also free to try to come up with other solutions.
Revision 6:
- Changed some grating to glass and some geometry to eliminate cube-tossing exploit. I will *never* require cube-tossing as a solution to any of my puzzles. :)
- Changed some geometry to func_details to improve performance.
- Fixed the problem with the faith plate target once and for all by editing the faith_plate_target.vmf instance, which had a nonfunctional placement helper that overrides any you place which was rotated in the wrong directions to boot.
15 Comments
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UnableRouge™ Aug 22, 2012 @ 9:03am 
Thanks for the help. I'll try giving this map another go.
Catsy  [author] Aug 22, 2012 @ 8:56am 
@UnableRouge: try examining the signage. You'll find that each of the droppers has a numbered dot sign that matches the button it's supposed to go to, and the number of dots indicates in which order they should be optimally done.
UnableRouge™ Aug 21, 2012 @ 6:28am 
Waaaay to confusing for my primitive mind. I don't know what even the first step is. O.o
Worm Jul 30, 2012 @ 5:07pm 
Great puzzle, though it took me ages! I had a slightly unusual solution for the laser: After failing to dislodge the reflection cube with speed gel I moved it sideways with the light bridge. This caused the first laser catcher to be disabled, opening the glass box, but the path to the second catcher was still blocked. Then I got a cube into the glass box to activate the conversion gel, and used that to create portals around the reflection cube. Hope that makes sense.
Le Petit Mort Jul 2, 2012 @ 11:02am 
Pros:
• Tremendously rewarding solution for the ardent player;

Cons:
• Hints far less obvious than players may be used to;
• Grating has the unfortunate side-effect of obfuscating vision;
• Some icons are difficult to find;

Other Notes:
• 'Black glitch' effects end of map;
Speed-gel goes unused?
joschilein Jun 30, 2012 @ 4:16pm 
One more thing. It happened one out of three that the ball jumps out of his position while placing the blue paint for the left exit-cube. The beam takes the blue falldown and then nearly everything left of the exit door is blue. Watching this mass of blue paint it is a wonder that the ball not jumps out every time. But when it happenes the actually good way for the ball to place II is blocked because of the white-paint-surface.
joschilein Jun 30, 2012 @ 3:33pm 
It is really hard to put in the first cube, also with right placed portals. At first i didn't recognized the one-point-mark beside the faith-plate and just tried a few times the right way without getting it. After I saw the mark it still didn't land on the button and after some times it landet on it without activating it and I was not able to move it standing at the door. Really bad way for this cube.

Then the turret-mark for the cube III path is confusing. Which turrets?

The next question is what the speedgel is for.. I didn't need it :-P
Catsy  [author] Jun 7, 2012 @ 5:25pm 
Just played the demo. God, what a pain in the ass that looks like. :) Should be easy enough to block though. Thanks.
Catsy  [author] Jun 7, 2012 @ 10:23am 
As for what to do after activating the gels, you have to get a cube into the button encased in glass to turn on the tractor and conversion gel, which is blocked by a panel activated by the laser catcher the reflection cube is pointing at. You need to dislodge or get rid of that reflection cube, but when you do, the laser activates another catcher which flips the wall panel you need to use to fling the cube into the glass tunnel. So you need to interrupt that laser beam with one of the cubes. The rest is just figuring out the right combination of flinging and gel use.
Catsy  [author] Jun 7, 2012 @ 10:23am 
Thanks Timoteei, I'll have to take a look at the demo when I get home. TBH if it requires serious cube-tossing skill I'm not likely to fix it--I don't like cube-tossing as a puzzle mechanic and it's so difficult and finicky for most people that it's rarely worth working around. I'm more curious how you managed to toss two cubes into the exit buttons when it's not actually possible to leave the cage and you can only touch the cubes through the grating. :)

I've subscribed your level and will take a look when I get home as well.