Half-Life: Alyx may be out into the world right now, but it almost wasn't to be as Valve Corporation at one point considered doing Portal in VR. The news comes to us from VG 24/7, who had an interview with Valve programmer and designer, Robin Walker. In it, he reveals they were exploring doing VR with a few different IPs, but ultimately went with Half-Life. But for a moment, Portal was a strong contender. But the thing that killed its chances were the momentum physics and the ability to see what you're doing as you do it. Which is harder to maintain in a VR game. Here are a few snippets from the interview.
"We felt like it didn't make a lot of sense to do anything in multiplayer yet, the audience size isn't there. The whole point of using an existing IP is to bring with you a bunch of work that you get to build off, instead of having to start fresh. So we looked at things like Portal, which is usually people's first guess for what would work well in VR, and it was ours too, but as soon as we started looking at what to bring forward from Portal into VR, actually most of Portal's later levels all rely on momentum being maintained as you go through portals."
"A lot of them are built around that concept. We felt like that would be something that was a lot harder… There were some experiments done and some thinking done around, 'What if you were independently controlling something through portals', or stuff like that, but the game was getting so far away that we felt like we were losing.