These Portal Robots Can’t Find The Right Floor
Zachariah Scott, a cinematic designer at BioWare, and a member of the Open Source Filmmaker community, has released the second episode of an animated series called Wrong Floor, featuring robots inspired by Valve’s hit series Portal, a first-person puzzle-solving game that hit the scene in 2007. In the game, players overcome challenges and solve spatial puzzles by opening portals and manipulating objects in the Aperture Science Laboratories.
Scott previously worked on Wrong Floor shorts, but recently rebooted the concept as an episodic series to be released at “semi-regular” intervals. Check out the prologue below, which Scott says is “light on the jokes” because he needed to “usher in the return [of Wrong Floor] with a little bit of sobriety.” Who says evacuation training isn’t funny?
Watching the intro video on Scott’s site provides insight into his modest, yet strange, personality. He refers to himself as a “dumb hillbilly” who “gets shit done.” In addition to the many animations he releases on his YouTube channel, he also releases tutorials of his animation techniques and wants people to “see where he screwed up…and not do that.”
Episode 1 of Wrong Floor, “Disarmed and Dangerous,” involves fun with lasers. The robot is far less of a wimp about it than Luke Skywalker.
The robots featured in Scott’s work are Atlas and P-Body, stars of Portal 2‘s multiplayer mode. They were built as test subjects by GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), an artificial intelligence that tries to prevent Portal players from successfully solving puzzles.
In Scott’s most recent episode of Wrong Floor , the robots come face to face with nature. An elevator dumps the two — yet again — on the wrong floor, which in this episode happens to be the middle of an ominous forest.
It’s inspiring and surprising to see what happens when someone as talented as Scott pays homage to his favorite types of robots in a variety of visually stunning ways. In particular, Scott has a penchant for the turret robots, and celebrated them in Turret Week, which ended up lasting much longer than seven days. Perhaps his most well-known animated achievement is the Turret Anthem, in which scads of of the little guys overwhelm GLaDOS with song (we should remember this just in case unfriendly AI ever takes over).