Game FAQ

Thinking With Ponies FAQ

Here's where we'll answer all of your questions about the Mod, whether you've asked it here or on some other site.


Q: Portal with ponies!?
A:  Yes.

Q:  What is this thing, anyways?
A:  Our aim is to create a Portal 2 mod that depicts the events portrayed in the fanfiction Better Living Through Science and Ponies.

Q: Is Valve involved in this?
A: nope.avi

Q: Then have you tried getting them involved?
A: We've certainly thought about it. Some help from Valve, even from one person on the side, would do wonders. But so far, no.

Q: Are you going to make any money off of this mod?
A: What, are you loco in the coco?  Of course not!  We're releasing this for anypony who owns Portal 2 to download and play for free.  Something this fun doesn't need to be charged for.  'Sides, if we did charge money (or even hinted at it) there would be a lawsuit on us in ten seconds flat.


Q: Sooo... is this blog where you guys'll be posting updates about the Pony/Portal mod?
A: Eeeeyup.

Q: Does this mean you'll be releasing footage/info/previews/etc. soon?
A: Look for updates every couple of days or so, if all goes well.

Q: Can I join?
A: If you have modeling or Source modding experience and want to join the team, let us know, as we have plenty left to do! The project email address is listed in "About Us" page.

Q: Do you have anything to prove you’re serious about this?
A: Only an in-depth and well-cited map of Equestria, a 3D (very rough) draft of the Long Fall Portal Boot, and a 3D pony model right now. That we’re ready to share, anyways. :P


Q: So, are you REALLY doing a game adaptation of Better Living?  It’s not just some amateur Portal 2 mod with a couple of ponies in it?
A: “But of course!” to the first, and “No” to the second.  As far as we’re aware this is the only fic to ever make into the coveted position of "Most Popular Posts" on EquestD, a place dominated by art and the odd news story.  If it's that good, it's got to be made into a mod.  Plus: Portal, Ponies.  What’s not to love?

Q: Are you going to be adding anything to the story?
A: We do plan on adding to the story with the mod if we can, filling in the missing bits from the fic that we didn’t get a chance to read.  This mod focuses on Chell, so it would be a bit awkward to constantly be switching ponies to see them get mentally tortured by GLaDOS, then pop back to Chell and find out we’ve skipped most of the facility.  Not much gameplay in the other pony’s segments anyways.  Plus it would be sorta hard to force the player to constantly fail when they’re Rainbow Dash then magically succeed when they’re Chell. :D

Q: Correct me if I'm wrong, but with the way the gun is designed right now, wouldn't that be incredibly hard to aim with?
A: Try getting on all fours like a pony. Now, pretend that the portal aperture on your imaginary long fall portal boots is on the bottom of your palm, then aim for the wall, floor, and ceiling. Then, pretend it's on the front of your arm. I don't know about you, but I find it just ever so slightly easier to aim for all three areas if it's on the front instead of on the bottom, particularly upwards. There are other reasons for this (real world space requirements among them), but this is my personal favorite.

Q: How does the "firing button" concept work? I mean, how would you be able to switch between blue portal and orange portal if you don't have thumbs?
A: Inside the boot is a false bottom that the pony stands on. The buttons are kept in recess located just below the bottom on either side of the middle. To fire either button, the pony just needs to shift their foot to the side, then stretch.  This adds about an inch to the pony’s height, but nothing so major that it’ll throw off their center of balance.

(Outside Wall)[Skinny section of False Bottom]{button}[Wide stretch of False Bottom]{button 2}[Skinny section of False Bottom](Outside Wall)

Q: Will you be doing the "unrestricted portals" idea, or dropping it in the name of gameplay?
A: We will do our best to have "unrestricted" portals. Our Source "expert" has found the required changes needed to make any surface portalable, so we should be able to make it possible to portal onto whatever we'd like while still keeping it impossible to place one on certain odd surfaces that just aren't conductive to portal formation. Remember how Johnson said that the moon dust gel is great for putting portals on? Some things just have the exact opposite effect, even with an unrestricted gun.

Q: Who will we be playing as?
A: Players will control Chell as she navigates this new world and fights GLaDOS once again.

Q: How close are you sticking to the fanfic?
A: While some details may change for gameplay's sake, the mod will stay true to the story in most respects.  Even then, these changes will be primarily of an aesthetic nature.  (How much time do you want to spend just walking from place to place around Ponyville in the beginning?  Keep the story, save the trotters.)


Q: What are you guys doing in terms of music? Do you have someone writing/editing crossover themes for background music? Or will you be using the actual music from both Portal 2 and MLP?
A: For music, we have the capacity to create original crossover themes, but I believe we're still working out the details on that. For ambience it's likely that we'll fall back on the Portal 2 soundtrack in parts (available for free in its separate pieces in your game files, as well as in whole at the Portal 2 - Music page).

Q: What are you doing for voices, by the by? I'm pretty sure that there are some good, authentic-sounding GLaDOS vocaloids out there for GLaDOS, and Chell doesn't talk, but what about the MLP characters? Are you not featuring them, or will you have voice actors? Or will you just be using prerecorded clips?
A: As far as I'm aware, we're going to have actual voice actresses. We'll start the search about 80% of the way through the mod for all the different parts, but that's not going to be for a while. Who knows, perhaps we'll be able to convince the original people to contribute their voices? Just as big a pipe dream as having a Jonathan Colt-on song in the credits.

Q: Is that it for the questions, then?
A: Yes.


  1. Is "Thinking with Ponies" going to be the title of the game?

  2. The reply feature isn't working for me, so I'll just post this here.

    The title is probably going to be "Portal 2.5: Better Living Through Science and Ponies".

  3. What sort of role might the other ponies have in the gameplay?

  4. Will this mod include both Single-Player and Co-op mode?

  5. You'd probably be safe with "Portal 3: Better Living Through Science and Ponies", since Valve can't count to three.


  6. This game is goona be amazing. Do you actually plan on asking the mane 6's voice actresses/Jonathan colt-on to contribute? Because that would be awesome, and it really can't hurt to ask.

  7. (The reply button is not working for me, so...)

    We'll see how it goes. My guess is we'll ask some of the fans who have good voices. A few other projects have secured actresses who sound a lot like the real ones.

  8. @Lugbzurg - Currently we're only planning single player, but it's too early to rule anything out. As for the role of the other ponies in gameplay, it'll match the fanfic pretty closely. So, Derpy and the mane 6 might play a role in some places, but it's mostly solo play.

  9. So is she Ditzy or Derpy in the mod?

  10. @Nulono - I suppose that's still up for discussion.

    1. Sigh, looks like this is going to be a more important decision in light of recent events.

  11. So is it going to be separate, or does it happen after you beat the game?

  12. Assuming "it" in this case is co-op, I have no idea if it'll even make it in, so... can't say.

  13. Oh, sorry. "It" is the whole mod, and "the game" is Portal 2. Sorry for the confusion.

  14. In that case, it will be entirely separate. Beating the game isn't required afaik.

  15. Will there be support for custom maps?

  16. Dang, dude, that's a lot of questions.

    I am not sure at this time whether custom maps will be possible.

  17. I can stop asking questions if you want.

  18. Okay, the CAPTCHA for that comment was "pooper". No joke.

  19. It's okay to ask questions. This is the FAQ page, after all.

  20. Once this is done, I totally wanna make a side-mod so this starts automatically after Portal 2 ends, and so Wheatley's promise of a pony farm comes true. xD

  21. So how are you gonna deal with the backs of portals on transparent surfaces?

  22. You can't put portals on transparent surfaces.

  23. Ah, okay, so not completely unrestricted. Is it for visual, coding, or gameplay reasons that you can't?

  24. Well, I suppose we could technically force it to work on a transparent surface, but it boils down to gameplay and visuals. People already expect (from playing the normal Portal games) that glass won't work, so why mess with it and create problems?

  25. They also expect it not to work on black tiles. ;)

    I always imagined the back of one portal showing what's behind the other portal.

    1. i always wondered what the other side of a portal was...


      i dont get this:
      I always imagined the back of one portal showing what's behind the other portal

  26. Replies
    1. Neigh. If anything, we've spontaneously revitalized.


  27. A Concerned EquestrianApril 7, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I have a bit of constructive criticism to share:

    Personally, I don't really think having unrestricted portals is a good idea. First of all, limiting the areas in which portals can be placed is almost crucial to adding complexity to many of the puzzles. Secondly, it can also make the puzzles EASIER, in a way, because with only a few portal surfaces, it's often simple to tell where portals are SUPPOSED to be placed. A third thing is, if you can already place a portal practically anywhere, what's the use of Conversion Gel? Also, anywhere means ANYWHERE, so how can you ensure that the player doesn't use portals to get to areas they shouldn't (for example, outside of a testing track or off of a catwalk)? All in all, I realize that in the end, the concept works out fine for the story, I just don't see it working very well in-game.

    P.S. Please don't take offense to any of this, I'm only sharing my personal opinion.

  28. if you are designing an exact scale map of ponyville does that mean the game will have free roaming gameplay?

    1. Only if it fits the storyline. It's likely that we'll have parts where you have to reach a location in town, and you can choose your route.

      Failing that, we are tossing other ideas around that could make use of the entire map in a free roaming kind of way.

  29. Maybe u could have a free roaming mode or at the end of the game you get dropped back into ponyville where its free roaming. and cant you just use flat skies? like its basically a portable surface that is painted to look like a sky...

    maybe it will even be painted with gel!


    im sorta confuzed so yeah! ANONYMOUS-OUT