"Portal started life as a class project from a group of students at videogame design school DigiPen. The team created a first-person game using portals called Narbacular Drop, and one day Valve head Gabe Newell saw the game at a presentation and hired the team immediately. But since DigiPen owns the rights to Narbacular Drop -- and to create something more polished and accessible -- the team shifted the basic idea into the more stylish Portal, which takes place at the futuristic looking Aperture Science Center. "I personally really like the change that we've made," says level designer Kim Swift. "Putting it in the Half-Life 2 universe gives us a whole range of story things that we can use."