We chat with fort­nite’s de­sign lead Eric Wil­liamson

Games Master - - Special Exclusive Feature! -

Games­Mas­ter: First of all, congratulations on how well the game is do­ing. Fort­nite is of­fi­cially GM’s favourite bat­tle royale game! Eric Wil­liamson: Thank you! GM: How did the idea to cre­ate the bat­tle royale spin-off mode come about?

EW: The Fort­nite team had ex­per­i­mented with PvP modes a few times dur­ing the de­vel­op­ment and they were a lot of fun, but even­tu­ally they shifted fo­cus on the PvE to make sure that was re­ally solid com­ing into what would even­tu­ally be­come the paid Early Ac­cess pe­riod. Some time last year, the idea of bring­ing some kind of PvP back into the game came up again.

The team had been en­joy­ing a lot of dif­fer­ent types of last-man-stand­ing games, and thought it might be a cool idea to ex­per­i­ment with that for­mula, but us­ing the unique ac­tion-build­ing el­e­ments that were al­ready in Fort­nite. We started that work in July and it showed very early on that there was prom­ise, so we were re­ally ex­cited to get it out to play­ers as soon as we could to start get­ting feed­back.

GM: What ex­pec­ta­tions did you have for how pop­u­lar the Bat­tle Royale mode would be, and what the fan re­ac­tion would be?

EW: There weren’t any real ex­pec­ta­tions… we’d hoped play­ers would have fun, and we’d wanted to get feed­back from them early so we could it­er­ate on it and im­prove it if play­ers en­joyed it.

GM: There are other bat­tle royale games about, but Fort­nite’s the pop­u­lar one. Why do you think it’s been such a smash hit?

EW: This is hard ques­tion to an­swer, be­cause there a lot of things at play. But we’d like to think that our guid­ing prin­ci­ple that ‘fun’ should drive our de­ci­sions -- whether we’re talk­ing about adding new weapons of gad­gets, new skins, or new game modes -- has cer­tainly helped. GM: What’s it been like be­hind the scenes deal­ing with such a huge spike in pop­u­lar­ity?

EW: Well, we wanted feed­back from play­ers, and there’s cer­tainly no short­age of peo­ple telling us what’s work­ing, what isn’t, and what they want more of. Of course, also mak­ing sure our servers can han­dle all of it has been a chal­lenge, and we’re mak­ing good progress on that. GM: What are your plans for the fu­ture of Fort­nite? Any ad­di­tions?

EW: We have some cool sur­prises in store. We’ll keep lis­ten­ing to play­ers, up­dat­ing the game and adding new items, lim­ited time modes, and more. GM: We’re look­ing for­ward to them!

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