Portal 2

Portal 2

Ex-Cube
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78 Comments
N Twirl Mar 14 @ 9:42am 
Oh ! Sure, great honour :).
Thanks for the tip, I didn't know you could stop the bouncing by pressing 'ctrl'. Indeed, the execution becomes a lot easier ; I'll keep it in mind for future maps.
About the introduction, it's hard to make it easier, but it stumped me :) ; I gave my experience with it.
toncica  [author] Mar 11 @ 4:52am 
Thanks for the video. If you don't mind I'll add it as official walkthrough. It's completely intended, but there was one thing that felt off and I didn't even catch it on my first watch. You never press the 'control' key when you land on the blue gel, instead you bump against the glass and the clean floor to lose momentum. That makes it look more finicky than intended, especially the diagonal jump.

Unfortunately it's necessary to 'shrink' the entrance, the player would be able to slip past the funnel when the portal is placed accurately. And the introduction level is only about learning how to extent the life expectancy of the ex-cube, it was added later because that was the biggest obstacle in the main puzzle.
N Twirl Mar 10 @ 9:02pm 
Well, I didn't wait for your answer and here is a recorded walkthrough :) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysY6BcL7an0.
It seems I spent more time recording the walkthrough than solving the map^^. I'll give a remark : in the main room, where you have to get under the platform, bouncing on the blue gel (with the cube), do you really need to "shrink" the entrance ? It makes the move a lot harder, since it prevents you from looking down with the cube.
N Twirl Mar 10 @ 6:15pm 
The first trick is more about knowledge than thinking, unfortunately (it took me a really long time before realising that pushing the cube button twice reset the timer - I didn't spoiler it on purpose). I was stuck on both this one and the ex cube small and abandonned them for a while (a week) because of it.
Past this first trick, this map is really great, thanks ! I really wanted to find a way to solve the map without the laser, but couldn't :). On this matter, I'd like to point out that I didn't plan on how to use it, just on activating it (here, the "diagonal" jump is not easy to see). Then the solution came by itself.
After having watched the Polux walkthrough, I can only congratulate you on the recent changes you made to the map. Would you like me to record an up to date walkthrough (although the solution is basically the same) ?
temporarymanwastaken Aug 26, 2015 @ 9:11am 
Brilliant. Love that exit-blocking funnel.
toncica  [author] Dec 27, 2014 @ 3:58am 
Cubini is Dreamer's remake of this puzzle. I changed the title to Ex-cube because the initial "magic show" theme was lost on most people.
Ganymede Dec 26, 2014 @ 11:24pm 
This puzzle is so much like The Great Cubini that I can't tell which came first. The Great Cubini comes later in your workshop, but this one is more polished and comes with an introduction so I really can't tell.

I totally didn't realize the correct way of doing this puzzle until I read your reply to Polux. Grabbing the cube through the fizzler is still possible in The Great Cubini so I was very confused when I could no longer do it that way in this version. Even after reading your reply and learning the correct way I had to go back into the map and try out the move before I was convinced it was possible. That is a very obscure move. I'm not sure I would have ever figured that out without reading about it.

Other than that, this was more like deja vu than anything else.

I liked the intro.
toncica  [author] Oct 31, 2014 @ 3:35pm 
Mocking the player by not letting him through to the exit, because the funnel prevents it, is all what this test is about. ;)
Thanks for playing.
Talisac Oct 31, 2014 @ 2:07pm 
Nice test again, quite tricky (well at least I tried some tricky moves before finding the right one..) and sharp timings. Well calculated.

Ah and I forgot: I love when exit door is so close, but when a very useful funnel block you because you have absolutely no choice :p
toncica  [author] Oct 31, 2014 @ 11:29am 
The 'hidden' laser catcher is only to spawn a new cube in case you can't reach it anymore. It was once a part of the puzzle and the player was supposed to avoid hitting the catcher. Maybe I should change that. I'm glad the puzzle is healthy overall, a small injection should do. Thanks for playing.
toncica  [author] Oct 31, 2014 @ 11:29am 
Thank you Dr. Polux, that was a very thorough examination and I'm happy about the results. Your solution is 100% intended apart from grabbing the cube through the fizzler near the end and that was almost a non-issue. Instead of jumping directly to the ledge and grab the cube, this time you should jump diagonally from the blue splat over the glass to the left side to avoid the fizzler. I put the small ledge there because people didn't realize they can reach the other side and they jumped diagonally from the beginning making the way unnecessarily longer. I didn't see that you can now jump directly from the glass without ever using the blue splat. You have a keen eye and really know your measurements, much respect for that. Cubes hiding behind a fizzler are rarely safe from your firm grab.
Polux Oct 31, 2014 @ 9:02am 
Usually I do not really like timers, but I must say that this test is not quite like the others.
This concept is great, original and well exploited.
If I have to insist on a negative point, because I'm not there to laugh..,
it would be that the player must repeat the same thing several times
(not press the pedestal button that is the fondation of the puzzle but pick up the cube, go back and move into the funnel)

I have not seen other playthroughs, but I think my solution is approximately intended :
http://youtu.be/UjX5rkVvgnw
I have not activated the laser catcher with the cross symbol (which is a bit hidden, by the way)
and I have a real doubt about catching the cube through the fizzler...

The last part left me puzzled for a moment .. I thought I was going to give the map a good little slap on the bum and finish it without using the laser, but you got me there.
Anyway, mechanisms are ingenious and the timing of the 'ex-cube' is ...good
What else? Nothing :)
Stuntmanmyke Dec 10, 2013 @ 4:29pm 
I spent a lot of time on this test ..yet, i did not used the laser to regenerate the weighted cube ... And after having tried almost everything, I did what had to be done and I'm out of this Machiavellian room. it was a good test, i love the system of temporary cube. If you like strict timers, I suggest you test this: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=202376239
toncica  [author] Oct 11, 2013 @ 2:48am 
Fixed a few issues with the help of beemod2.
toncica  [author] Sep 24, 2013 @ 12:31am 
You mean the laser catcher that is connected to the standard cube dropper. It's possible to put the standard cube out of reach. Without a way to recover it the puzzle would become unsolvable, thus you can spawn a new one if you need to.
kimist108 Sep 23, 2013 @ 7:30pm 
Sure glad I played the little one first. Question: What was the purpose of the laser light that made the weighted cube re-spawn? I didn't use it to get to the finish.
toncica  [author] Sep 17, 2013 @ 2:28am 
The first alternative method is actually pretty cool, you'd have to completely understand how the map works to come up with that, so it didn't hurt me watching it. ;)
The second alternative method is not so nice though. Definitely have to prevent that as soon as Steam fixes its problems and I can update again (at the moment all my newly published or updated maps become unplayable). Thank you very much for showing me.
Calmly Frenetic Sep 17, 2013 @ 1:36am 
Great map. It took my subconscious mind a whole night to work it out. :D
Here is a solution (as demo segments) using two alternative methods. They are barely possible with the preventative measures you already have in place. Similar methods are much easier to achieve on Dreamer's version, though.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/105092049/ex-cube_alt.zip
toncica  [author] Sep 6, 2013 @ 7:51pm 
I don't know about a second solution. I try to have only one solution on my maps. If you tell or show me what you mean I can review it.
p0rtalmaster Sep 6, 2013 @ 7:33pm 
It appears there are two solutions to the second part (or is one of them a near solution?).
Uglee May 17, 2013 @ 8:50am 
All right. As soon as I can think of such good puzzles as yours, I'm gonna make it into a map and inform you.
toncica  [author] May 17, 2013 @ 8:22am 
Thanks for your input. I guess there is no definitive answer regarding the size, some prefer Dreamer's version visually which is even bigger.

Keep me informed when you make another map so I can continue my swimming lessons. ;)
Uglee May 17, 2013 @ 8:10am 
Nice.
I wasn't lost at the start, I felt lost after looking at all possibilities (well, apparently, not all) :)
toncica  [author] May 17, 2013 @ 7:58am 
I never assumed the player wouldn't feel 'lost' at the start, naturally it takes some time to explore the possibilities and ideally the feeling of hopelessness shouldn't take over as you are learning the ways of the puzzle. Interestingly the map started out even smaller than the small version is now, it was an attempt to create a compact chamber in the 3x3x3 format. Dreamer didn't like the size and suggested to make it bigger, so the map evolved and I feel more comfortable with the extra space.

The mechanism is hardly an invention, but yeah, I haven't seen it done that way anywhere else. I used it on "Lost" the first time where I wanted to have a weighed button pressed remotely but without being able to use the cube for something else.
Uglee May 17, 2013 @ 7:36am 
Well, I tried to solve this one and dreamer's version first, then the small version helped. I don't even know what I mean by lack of direction, but after solving it everything clicked in place. So I'd rather rephrase it and say I felt 'lost' or "hopeless" while trying to solve things. I've been thinking about it for like 5 minutes now and I think what postponed my solution for hours is the sheer distances in the map. If it was perfectly the same but smaller, I would have solved it much quicker (like the small version). It's a great map though. The tutorial in the beginning of the map is crucial, and it's a nice touch to show us the brilliant timng mechanism. Is it your invention?
toncica  [author] May 17, 2013 @ 6:26am 
Regarding "total lack of direction", it has a tutorial section, in the main room there aren't a ton of elements and the connections layout has been edited to the best possible result I could find. What kind of direction do you think would be possible to do in this kind of puzzle?
toncica  [author] May 17, 2013 @ 6:22am 
Nice. It doesn't look like it took you too long though. You brought a big dose of experience with you coming from the small version I guess.
Uglee May 17, 2013 @ 6:15am 
I did it, I did it, all alone. Yay :) Good map, though somebody said it right here, there's a total lack of direction so it takes a realy long time to fuck around.
HEIL HORUS Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:52am 
Erm, not sure. At first I wondered if I was supposed to do something with the mechanism since I could see it, but it didn't take long to figure out there was no way I possibly could. I think being able to see how it works is gonna just be a subjective thing: Some people will like it, some people won't and will find it confusing. So just go with whatever you personally prefer.
toncica  [author] Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:03am 
Yeah, I've been thinking too. Having the first part reduced to just pressing a single button may be counterproductive as it leads to a challenging in the main room. The player might not take the lesson from the button pressing if it's too simple. And I know you shouldn't play Portal when you're very tired, maybe it was just that in your case.
What I could do is remove the mechanism from the room and have it not being visible anymore if that is a cause of confusion. I thought the player would appreciate that information about what's happening when the timer is up, but maybe he doesn't.
HEIL HORUS Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:18am 
I kind of think that, to teach the player about the temporary cubes, you'd be better off having small room where that is the ONLY puzzle element.

Maybe a very simple room, with a single cube dropper, a single button, and a pedestal button half way in between, to begin/extend cube lifecycle. This would have made the overall experience easier to understand (but it depends on how good at portal you are to begin with, I haven't played in a long time so I'm a bit slow ;))

That being said, you don't really need to introduce the mechanic so simply, because the map it leads into is of a very high difficulty.

If you ever wanted to make your map more accessible to players who are either slower at figuring things out, or just generally not a genius at puzzle-solving yet, you might need a few maps before this one, introducing the concepts the final map puts together one by one.
mechtakendall Apr 28, 2013 @ 4:13pm 
Ah, nevermind, the funnel in the beginning wasn't a triggered event, I thought it was. Right you are. As I said, completely minor, and in this case, non-existant. May bad!
toncica  [author] Apr 28, 2013 @ 12:31pm 
Thank you. By triggered events you mean something other than the cube respawning after the timer has run out? There are no trigger zones on the map.
mechtakendall Apr 28, 2013 @ 12:03pm 
Nice map. I had all kinds of problems with getting the timing right, even though I knew how to solve the puzzle. I have only two critisms, but they are not my preference and minor for the most part. There was a lack of direction, it took a little time to figure out what I had to do next, but minor issue as I said. And triggered events weren't always clear that they would occur, but again, it was minor at most. Overall, I'd say an excellent puzzle. Design 7/10 Difficulty 8/10
toncica  [author] Apr 28, 2013 @ 7:01am 
Thank you DLTyrus. The first room was added later as a tutorial section only to teach the player that the timer can be extended by pressing the button again. I tried to do that by having only this option available to interact and nothing else. One suggestion was to have the mechanic in the room that spawns the cube again so I made it visible for the player to see what happens when the button is pressed. Did that confuse you? Would you rather have not been able to watch that so you could focus on the button alone? Was the standard cube also playing a role in your thoughts after having put it onto its button although there is a permanent fizzler between? Do you have an idea about how the introduction could be made smoother?
HEIL HORUS Apr 28, 2013 @ 6:29am 
Fulfilling my end of an F4F ;)

So, long story short I couldn't solve your puzzle. Maybe its cause I'm tired, I dunno. I didn’t understand the first room at all, and felt kinda silly when I watched your video and realised I could keep pressing the button to extend the timer. Maybe there are smoother ways to introduce the mechanic, maybe I’m just slow today.

If I had one legit criticism? The last room is a bit overwhelming. Given that it’s a time attack, every time I get that cube and put it on the button, I’m not given much time to then think about what to do next, before times up and I start over. Now I’m not one for conceptualizing a solution, I think by doing. So having to start from the start each time my next move wasn’t the right one, personally, is frustrating.

That being said, some people probably love this style of puzzle, and if they do then this is fantastic. The fact you even managed to design that puzzle is worth an up-vote in my book.
toncica  [author] Apr 27, 2013 @ 11:09pm 
Thank you for the feedback.
Singh Apr 27, 2013 @ 10:40pm 
I think it was clear you were disregarding what I had to say from the start. No need to pretend otherwise.

I think it's mildly amusing you'd have to antagonize this futher by making claims about someone's intelligence if they don't agree & praise your methods. I suppose that's a mark of true intellegence?

As I said, for me, it doesn't suit my tastes and I'll leave it at that.

Ratings - despite your attempt to belittle the time I spent on your map, which was more than you'd like to give it credit for. I said I was a couple steps into the second room. And being bored by it I didn't want to rate it not knowing if my suspicions to the rest were correct so I researched it by watching your video to confirm. And indeed my thinking was confirmed so yeah after 30-40mins on your puzzle and knowing how it works I rated it on that basis.

I think having to explain myself twice on the same subjects and antagonizing this further with ad hominems might suggest who's being the real asshole here.
toncica  [author] Apr 27, 2013 @ 10:16pm 
Correct, that's what you said, sandboxy. And I strongly believe it is not justified. If you didn't attempt to solve the puzzle then it wasn't for you, but that also means I have to disregard your opinion on this map. There is a reason why a larger group of players prefers the type of maps you call focused, because they are easy and most players are not experienced enough to solve challenging maps. They either begin to feel stupid or getting bored, which is just the same. To me it would be boring to create tests that fit the larger crowd, I may do that now and then but not generally.
You say my rage isn't justified. I don't know if it's even rage, criticizing a map you didn't play and voting it down after giving up on the second step just doesn't come across as very nice from you. I have never rated a map I didn't complete and I almost never gave a thumbs down. For that the map would have to be a total disaster or the author a complete asshole.
Singh Apr 27, 2013 @ 9:44pm 
I simply said I'm not a fan of the map because it is sandboxy. You asked what I meant by that and I explained. I'm not insulting your map but I am criticizing it.

I gave you examples of what I think is a better paradigmn to aspire to in laying out a map. You can call Skyferret's maps easy or Valve's for that matter but they both follow a paradigm that is generally favored and successful among a larger group of players. And I should also say most of what I've played from Mevious uses this paradigm as well.

Your rage really isn't justified. All I said is your map could be more focused (terrible of me I know). I played it to the second room and after about two steps into that one I got bored with it (and watched the rest on your page here). The satisfaction of completing a step for me is undermined by the egg hunt to find it.

Lastly reusing past elements and creating logical progression are not mutually exclusive. Maybe you should explore how that could work in a future map. Cheers.
toncica  [author] Apr 27, 2013 @ 8:40pm 
There are no hidden elements on my maps. You sound like you didn't even try. To call my map a mess of elements tossed at the player is an insult. This map was carefully planned and adjusted according to the feedback I got from playtesters. You don't seem to understand how this concept works or else you wouldn't call it cheap. It's not comparable to puzzles like those from Skyferret, which I think are not difficult at all, or at least not challenging in this sense. They work as a series of mini puzzles, you solve that corner - done, solve another corner - done, without reusing or connecting elements to a greater puzzle. I think those are much easier to create than this sort of puzzle. If you're going to be consequent then go to Mevious and tell him his maps are cheap, because the concept is similar although the style is different. Here you have to explore and understand the whole puzzle to find the path that can solve the test.
Singh Apr 27, 2013 @ 7:59pm 
Sandboxy is exactly as it sounds, a box with a mess of elements that you toss to the player to figure out. Instead of dividing your steps - creating a clear progression to the map - you throw them them altogether so not only does the player have to figure out the step, he/she has to figure out what the first step is, then the second and so on.

This is why I say it's unfocused. Some people like the "difficulty" in this. Personally I see it as kind of a cheap way to create difficulty. If you look at someone like Skyferret he's really a master of creating difficult focused puzzles (so is valve for that matter). You see the immediate problem in front of you, you know the answer involves an element in front of you but he manages to stump you on it for awhile before it becomes clear. There's no running around searching for hidden elements, having 20 things in front of you trying to decide which is the important one to focus on etc.
toncica  [author] Apr 27, 2013 @ 6:17pm 
Singh, I don't get at all what's that supposed to mean. Sandboxy? Why unfocused? Please elaborate.
Singh Apr 27, 2013 @ 5:38pm 
Sorry can't say I'm a fan of this one. Too sandboxy and unfocused for my taste. I also don't much care for the timer/cube loss mechanic especially again given the sandbox context.
toncica  [author] Apr 16, 2013 @ 2:06pm 
@RedSilencer, I'm glad that went well. The tutorial section at the beginning probably has softened things a bit. Your time to solve the puzzle is acceptable, last playthrough I watched was three hours, that was before having that extra chamber at the start.
toncica  [author] Apr 16, 2013 @ 2:01pm 
@Distant, do not despair! The name lives on with Dreamer's version. :D
Same puzzle, different layout. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=133079835
Distant  [author] Apr 16, 2013 @ 1:52pm 
Aww, I kind of miss the Harry Houdini reference. It worked thematicly with the concept of "escape artist" on so many levels; Getting the cube out of the fizzler cage and getting yoruself out of the chaimber. Oh well. On the stage of entertainment, the audience is king. The new graphic looks great. Two thumbs up.
toncica  [author] Apr 7, 2013 @ 1:31pm 
If you insist. There is a solution video just in case.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=129462244
Execuris Apr 7, 2013 @ 12:25pm 
Hey I'm up for the challenge. =)

I think.
toncica  [author] Apr 7, 2013 @ 9:22am 
I'm absolutely sure I don't deserve that medal but thank you very much. You're a trooper and a good sport. :D

If you like I could tell you where to find the hardest puzzle ever created. Not sure if that would be wise though. After many hours I gave up on that test and then I found out I didn't even come close to the mind-boggling solution.