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Published on Jul 15, 2011
Thank you Valve for the honorable mention as "Best Turret Story" on the The National and Valve/Portal 2 contest results page. Thank you commenters and "likers," you're awesome and make my whole day! I wish I had had a couple more nights of editing and rendering time... I do plan to update this to the version I had in mind sometime in the future.
More information: I was trying to cite some of Portal and Portal 2's hidden subtext in this video. There are a lot of parenting and motherhood themes throughout both games. The same is true for this short. I like to leave a lot of this up to the viewer, but I'd like to think most people will see this: it is about how the tools that our parents pass down have the ability to either harm us or save us... the heartbreak of a parent having to let go, and how it is ultimately up to us on how to use what we've been given.
"D, what does this have to do with the song?" There are moments of exile and vilify throughout. The turret is sent off on its own. The other turrets don't seem to like the party turret's differences. Chell immediately assumes the party turret is an enemy and casts it away.
"D, why didn't you shorten the story so that you could do better editing?" You're actually watching a shortened version of the story as it is. The original version of the story had the party turret being tested for "Bring Your Daughter to Work" day, another common theme in the Portal games. It blasted confetti with a bit too much enthusiasm and scared the children, resulting in the aforementioned project cancellation. There was also a brief moment where the other turrets watched the party turret float up through the shaft; the party turret was going to reveal another function by blowing one of those uncoiling party whistles from one of its other gun-barrels as a sort of "so long, suckers" sentiment as it floated by. These ideas were cut because of lack of time.
I was rendering the night of the contest and had to dump some things in place at the last moment. The video was posted with 10 minutes to spare. The part that suffered the worst of this was the part where the turret finally gains momentum enough to rise instead of fall. In the re-edit I will be handling that moment with much more sensitivity.
The biggest hurtle I faced (besides being a dad and some learning stuff) was that I cut my left index finger while slicing bread -- bad enough that I had to wear a sort of splint. Electrical storms during the final week were also not helpful.
Thank you all for your interest. I learned so much during this contest... I'm thinking about producing an animated series based on another idea entirely, as a result of this project. I thought about this story every day for 3-4 weeks. If nothing else, I hope that shows.
UPDATE - This video helped me land a development job on an adventure game called Lilly Looking Through... thanks to you, as well as the Intel Level Up Demo Contest, we have been Greenlit. The demo is available now for free, or look for the full version of Lilly Looking Through on Steam on November 1st, 2013!!! http://store.steampowered.com/app/250030