Friday night topic: Unlocking Portal 2

Yes, Valve has done a pretty clever thing, setting up a system whereby owners of any of the 13 indie games that comprise The Potato Sack bundle can help usher in an early release for Portal 2 by playing one of those games. Like many of you, I bought Portal 2 and pre-loaded it via Steam yesterday. Now, I am fully aware that the game is sitting on my hard drive, waiting for Valve to unlock it. We can all watch and see how close we are to the launch by visting GlaDOS@home.

I didn't buy The Potato Sack, but since I already own a couple of the indie games in the bundle, I've been leaving one of them running all afternoon. Every little bit counts, right? If you have any of the eligibile games, I'd encourage you to fire one of 'em up.

The wait for Portal 2's impending release will be this week's Friday Night Topic. Looks like it will require quite a bit of participation to force an early release. Think it'll happen, or has Valve set the bar too high? We'll be watching and discussing the progress here, along with some related activities.

First, if you've not done so yet, let me encourage you to join The TR Steam group, so you can see what other TR readers are playing and potentially find some intriguing multiplayer matchups. Looks like getting into the group requires an invitation. Feel free to ask here if you need an invite, and someone will extend it.

Next, I expect some of you are in possession of extra copies of the original Portal, since Portal 2 comes with a copy of the first game. If so, this might be a good place to find a worthy recipient of your extra copy of the game. Those extras are easily transferred to a friend's Steam account (under Games -> Manage Gifts). Those of you who purchased The Potato Sack bundle may have some extra indie games to swap, too.

I'll start by offering my extra copy of Portal to the first member of the TR Steam group who doesn't have it and posts below asking nicely.

Also, I'm curious about the games in The Potato Sack. I already own Audiosurf and Toki Tori. As a Portal 2 owner, I can buy the whole bundle for about 34 bucks. Worth it? If so, which games in the bunch make it most worthwhile?

Finally, it seems we can further the impact of our play time in the unlock push by getting, uh, potatoes. (Paging Dan Quayle....) Scroll down to see the highlighted post here for more info, and head to this Google doc for a list of ways to earn potatoes. The easiest one appears to be attainable simply for joining this Steam group.

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