Few developers treat their fans better than Valve Software. With the recent unveiling of their new Portal 2 DLC, the company is giving even more power to players with the introduction of the "Perpetual Testing Initiative," a level editor for last year's critically acclaimed title.
Narrated by Aperture Science's own Cave Johnson, the new add-on to the excellent puzzle-solving physics romp will give players an expansive set of tools to design their own test chambers and mind bending puzzles with. Valve, in essence, has given fans the keys to the castle -- something perfectly in keeping with the developer's mission.
Valve demonstrates an incredible track record of nourishing and promoting user-created content, or as PC call it, "mods." Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, and Team Fortress all began as projects fans built on Half-Life's original GoldSource engine (which in turn was build around id's Doom engine). With Valve's intervention, these "garage" productions went on to become global phenomena in the PC space (well, except perhaps for Day of Defeat) and are still enjoyed by thousands of people today.
With Valve's track record of discovering talent, the most exciting thing about this new DLC isn't that it's just around the corner. No, instead the question that comes to mind is who next among Valve's fans may be plucked to join the developer after creating something even the developer couldn't have fathomed -- it certainly wouldn't be the first time.