Valve today announced a “compilation of new VR experiments” which will be set in Portal’s Aperture Science universe. The company will show the new experiences at next week’s GDC 2016.
Valve is calling the new series of VR experiments The Lab, and says it will be set inside one of Aperture Science’s “pocket universes.” In the now famous Aperture Robot Repair VR demo, the player opens a drawer full of tiny 2D stick-people which have been a recurring theme in Portal’s marketing. The narrator in the demo mentions this as being one of Aperture Science’s pocket universes, so it seems likely that we’ll see the little creatures return.
The company vaguely says The Lab “offers multiple ways to enjoy room-scale VR.” We’ll get to see the experience for the first time next week at GDC 2016 in San Francisco, but Valve says it will be released for free for the HTC Vive on Steam this Spring.
Valve has been hard at work highlighting the small but growing library of content for SteamVR. At the end of January the company hosted a developer showcase event in Seattle highlighting a number of VR launch titles headed to the platform.
Valve has experimented with several of their own franchises in VR, including the aforementioned Aperture Robot Repair (from the Portal universe) and the Magic Shop experience (set in DOTA 2’s universe). So far the company has steered clear of any explicit Half-Life virtual reality experiences, though it does seem they may have been experimenting to that end.