Building Portal (not about portals)

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Ciber
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Building Portal (not about portals)

Postby Ciber » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:40 am UTC

While the titular (hah) portals of Portal & Portal 2 are very iconic and a popular discussion topic, I thought it would be fun to discuss the numerous other silly things about Aperture Labs and perhaps make sense of them.

Topics discuss include:
Portal surface mechanics. What affects the ability of portals to form on a surface?
Test chamber modularity. What sort of design would you use to achieve the sort of modularity evidenced by test chambers?
Huge tracks. Remember those chambers mounted on giant rails? Whats up with that? How does it even work?
Hard Light, Asbestos Tubes, Lasers with low thermal connectivity, Fizzlers, possible connection?
Potential von neuman nature of AS? By the second game they could very well cover an entire state.
Deadly pits of toxic waste. How do they fit in with the modular chambers?
Vacuum Tubes. how are they built like that? Some sort of grappling hooks...

I have done extensive thought on many topics such as these, and cannot wait for further input.

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bachaddict
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Re: Building Portal (not about portals)

Postby bachaddict » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:13 pm UTC

I think portal surfaces require a special charge, provided by the facility when desired. Somehow the moon has that charge naturally.
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Ciber
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Re: Building Portal (not about portals)

Postby Ciber » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:07 pm UTC

My assumption is that portal surfaces require a sufficiently flat surface and that coating a surface in moon dust relaxes that requirement.

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bachaddict
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Re: Building Portal (not about portals)

Postby bachaddict » Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:51 am UTC

Remember that GLADos could open and close portals without using a portal gun. That indicates the surface was not just passive.
slinches wrote:Also, the OTC isn't a disease. In fact, it's the cure. As we all know, Time heals all wounds.

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Sizik
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Re: Building Portal (not about portals)

Postby Sizik » Sun Sep 14, 2014 2:02 pm UTC

I believe there were some sort of frames on the wall when she did that.
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Re: Building Portal (not about portals)

Postby ikrase » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:47 am UTC

Also, portals work on surfaces that were not intended to take them. (More noticable in Portal 1).

I think they just respond to silica in light-colored concrete. And also moon rocks, which were an unnecessarily expensive way to make a good portal gel.


I *think* that the air tubes can be accomplished with the right vortex mechanics, though one probably needs a much-too-strong airflow.

Its interesting to note that Portal 1's test chambers are vastly less modular. IMO, most of Portal 1 was built before GlaDOS took over completely, but after Cave died and Aperture went completely crazy. Note that the place where she tries to kill you and you escape in Portal 1 looks really makeshift, like she just collapsed a wall and set it on fire somehow.
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Re: Building Portal (not about portals)

Postby Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:26 pm UTC

I'm obsessed with this game. And I mean OBSESSED. EXTREMELY OBSESSED :D

I'm planning on building life-size models of the Companion Cube. I personally prefer the Portal version of the cube, rather than the Portal 2 version. It's still possible to make both and very easy to get them to light up in proximity to the buttons. Weighted storage cubes wouldn't be all too hard to make and actually use. Edgeless Safety Cubes (spheres) are equally easy to make.

1500W Supercolliding Superbuttons seems a bit much. But giant buttons that require a large amount of weight to activate? These could easily be built. The tiny buttons are also easy to make.

Thermal discouragement beams could also easily be built.

Pits of deadly acid/poison... just pump in the water from the Boston Harbor or something. That's horrendously disgusting enough.

Conversion gel is kind of pointless if we're talking about realism, because even though we can theoretically get moon dust and make moon porcelain or just moon panels, it's not really going to be of any use without portals.

Propulsion gel, we have a few very low friction substances. Dye it orange and spread it on the floor, and we're good.

Repulsion gel, we could run into problems since that would require an extremely thin surface to be near 100% efficient in rebounding. Then again, the "lab boys haven't nailed down what element it is yet, but it's a lively one, and it does not like the human skeleton."

There were two gels that didn't make it into the game. One was Adhesion gel, which I guess would be in real life a super strong temporary glue similar to rubber cement dyed purple, and the other is Reflection gel (for the lasers). I'd imagine how this could easily be made by suspending reflective particles in an adhesive aqueous solution which can then splash onto surfaces, and create a reflective surface. Of course this method would be far from perfect, but then again, so would most of the rest of these.

Hard Light Bridges are nearly completely impossible, but who knows--we turned light into matter last year, so we can't completely rule this idea out. Being able to walk on them, however, is another thing.

Excursion funnels of both directions... given that we made a tiny tractor beam, I wouldn't be surprised if these could exist in some form one day. Although, it wouldn't be possible to actually transport stuff off of the ground, only slide it around. Unless we're in space.

Long Fall Boots already kind of exist in some form. They're called "Bockers" I think, and are more commonly known as jumping stilts. They hardly look like the game version, but they surprisingly look similar.

Laser fizzlers are very obviously possible. We already have lasers capable of doing extreme damage to people. Line a few of these up vertically, and you've got yourself a laser fizzler.

Thermal Discouragement Beams already kind of theoretically exist and are used, albeit not those that can actually burn you. The laser cubes (I forget what they are called, I think reflection cubes) are easily made through a mirror system. Just use a laser that's strong enough to burn you, but not enough to kill you on contact. What's even cooler is that, know how there's the Triple Laser Phase song? In the test chamber after where GLaDOS says things are "Federal Testing Regulations require me to inform you that this next test chamber is looking pretty good." Technically such is possible. It is possible to audio modulate lasers, and for the same reason it's possible to audio modulate Tesla Coils.

Emancipation Grills are rather impossible, I think. But looks-wise, I'd imagine a diffuse blue laser creating a laser "sheet" which one could pass through and it could theoretically vaporize some small things (although not your ear tubes and tooth enamel). And if you have black hair, that too, potentially. Oh, and your retinas. It might not kill you, but it'll likely leave a nasty burn if the sheet of light was powerful enough.

The turrets could theoretically be made (add motion detectors and stuff), but they won't have 60% more bullet per bullet, and won't be entirely filled with them. I guess it'd still be possible to have an enormous magazine inside the turret. They won't be anywhere as cute as they are in the game, as even though I can think of ways the AI can mimic them, they still won't be as cute (unless we use python and "import soul"). We could also program them to "sing" by modulating their arm servos, the same way printers can be manipulated to sing.

Energy pellets in the first game may have been phased out by the lasers in the second game, but I actually liked these better, so even though the lasers literally already exist and are used (motion detectors, electronic trip wires, laser harps, etc), energy pellets are cool. They're plasma pellets that bounce back and forth. I don't think such would ever be possible except in a tokamak for a fraction of a second.

Vital Apparatus Vents (cube dispensers) are also relatively easy to make, though it'd be a little bit harder to make them dispense one at a time, but very possible, especially when compared to other things on this list.

The personality cores would be interesting to make. Space core would be rather easy. Just take thousands of recordings of me when I'm stargazing, pitch and formant shift it, and you've got yourself your space core. Space core doesn't even talk to anyone, so he wouldn't need a real AI system. Neither would Anger or Morality core. Fact core. All you'd need to do is add a bunch of facts and factoids, and you've got yourself a fact core. All he does is say facts. Cake core... all you'd need to do is add a bogus cake recipe. But the Curiosity and Wheatley cores as well as the Adventure Sphere (he doesn't call himself a core for whatever reason, even though he technically is a core) would be difficult, as they're either fully like a normal functioning human (like Adventure Sphere or Wheatley) or still interact with the environment (like Curiosity core, who asks Chell "What's that on your leg?"). Then there's the Party Escort Bot, Atlas and P-Body, Oracle Turret, Animal King, Turret Queen (Fun fact, in the original story, Chell was supposed to marry a turret), for sentience, although I doubht the Party Escort Bot would need much sentience. Then there's the announcer, who doesn't need any sentience, as all he is is prerecorded messages, technically. If you feel staring at art has not provided the required intellectual sustenance, smooth jazz will be deployed. Hahahaha!

GLaDOS... I think one day we'll actually make something like GLaDOS (I hope, she's so damn sexy), because what kind of a nerd, especially fans of AI, doesn't love GLaDOS? She'll get made. We won't allow her access to the Internet or any neurotoxin or any moving parts, but we'll give her a "brain."

And the test chambers themselves are in an underground abandoned salt mine in Michigan IIRC (might have been California). Even though AFAIK there isn't one there, we could theoretically find an underground abandoned mine or cave (I hope one that's named Johnson...) and build a few of the Science Spheres (albeit in the modern-look of them, rather than the Old Aperture look, unless we want to) inside them. Panels wouldn't be hard to make (moon-dust aside), as well as the layout of the chamber (apart from the fact that they're huge). Spinny blade walls, spiky plates, nonportalable panels, those things are relatively easy to make out of steel. Basically Aperture itself, aside from its sheer size (especially considering the quarter million test chambers in the Perpetual Testing Initiative, although that's *technically* not part of the canon universe, and would require us to access the Multiverse, in which we would find the *actual* perpetual testing initiative anyways from universes where Aperture actually exists), would be relatively easy to build.

And I could go on and on and on about this in detail. I'm the world's most obsessed Portal fan :3

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Re: Building Portal (not about portals)

Postby Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:28 pm UTC

As far as surface mechanics, I don't think there'd be any way to do this properly.
And what do you mean by the Von-Neumann nature of AS? Of course it's Von-Neumann nature. One of their song's name is "Bots Build Bots." They're sentient enough to do this.
I'm not sure what you mean by modularity.

Vacuum Tubes? Let's await the hyperloop first. :P
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