Valve's Portal: How'd they do that?

I'm a Computer Science major and I enjoy designing games in my free time. When I play other games, I always enjoy breaking them down in my head to understand how the algorithm works behind certain mechanisms. I recently played the game Portal, made by Valve, and I'm racking my brain on how they designed the portal gun and how it works. I played the inspiration of Portal, Narbacular Drop, and still have no clue as to how it works.

Any ideas? Sources would be much appreciated too, thanks!


Rudjard, before playing the game, I figured it was that simple too. After playing the game, though, I realized how complex and seamless it really is. You can create a portal and see yourself running through it, as well as stick a box so that one half dangles on one side of the portal and rest dangles on the other.

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