Scavengers Assemble: Fortnite

By Adam Smith on December 12th, 2011 at 12:48 pm.

A Primark store prepares for the January sales

Fortnite’s reveal trailer suggested that the game could be borrowing ideas from Minecraft, Fort Zombie and Team Fortress 2, along with many other things. Now that details are beginning to emerge, Epic have admitted that Mojang’s block ‘em up was indeed an inspiration. Lead designer Lee ‘Unscratch’ Perry took time to broadcast the following messages through his personal Tweet-o-Tron: “Minecraft lets you build ANYTHING, we are focusing on constructing ‘buildings’ specifically”. A later tweet contained this: “Minecraft was an inspiration for sure”. With that out in the open, the obvious thing to do was to ensure Notch backed our demand that the game come to PC. A few more details about the game await below.

As might be expected given the Minecraft influence, construction will be free-form. While the trailer shows repair-work and the addition of extra defenses rather than ground-up creation, Perry assures that players will not always be working with ‘existing structures’. He goes on to say that anything that can be constructed can be destroyed, clearly having never taken a diamond-tipped drill to the impenetrable shell that houses my collection of mint condition boxed Infocom titles.

Apart from building, which seems to take place during the day, Perry was asked about the chance of “weapon crafting/traps, lvl system, underground exploration, Boss fights, team survival mode, rare loot?” The chance is apparently “high”. Despite the fact that progress has been rapid to date, the game is still a long way from completion, as evidenced by the lack of a release date or even info on which platforms it’s being designed for. We are promised, by Cliff, that there will be “no dudebros” in the game, which is vitally important. I think a ‘dudebro’ is made out of testosterone, a few war gears and the occasional manly tear but I cannot confirm having never met one.

not a dudebro

Putting these early details to one side then, I have to say, I find Perry’s description of the team itself quite pleasing: “it’s like an indie group set up shop in the corner of the building”, housing themselves in “a CRAZY organic old school war-room of passionate devs”. With Epic currently working on five titles and the idea for Fortnite having developed from an internal pitch, there’s a sense of a place ready for some creative fermentation. Why not have a shareware corner of the building too, producing more Jazz Jackrabbit and Epic Pinball?

Whatever else, let’s hope these new seeds blossom into something strange, wonderful and PC-based. The teaser trailer wasn’t just for the benefit of us lot, you see, it’s also an attempt to flirt with publishers. At the moment, Fortnite doesn’t have one and Epic are looking for suitors.

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34 Comments »

  1. mjig says:

    Sounds amazing, will definitely be keeping an eye on this one. From the description it is everything I want in a zombie game.

    • battles_atlas says:

      For me what’s most exciting about this is the hope that it scratches the itch that Stronghold 3 so sadly failed to. Given the number of RTSers that love to turtle, not to mention the home improvements crowd that so enjoy The Sims, it amazes me that its taken this long for the mainstream to think about making construction a fundamental part of the game.

    • Ruffian says:

      This sounds like the game I’ve been waiting for since minecraft…. I think. lol. it could be. Hopefully it is. Regardless the description so far is definitely closely akin to the description of what would be my favorite game ever. Open-ish, free form base building (for a compelling reason), and Team Zombie combat. oh yeah.

  2. ran93r says:

    Might be worth keeping an eye on although I’m getting tired of being disappointed by Epic.
    +1 for Unscratch

  3. Echo says:

    Color me very interested. Minecraft is fun and all, but I really want something a bit more goal-oriented.

    • Fadobo says:

      Aaaaand this is why PR-People say these things…

      I guess it will be more on the goal-oriented than on the Minecraft end.

  4. Kollega says:

    No dudebros?! But… but… but but but WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!! I WANNA HAVE DUDEBROS! WANT WANT WANT WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! How could you, Epic?! How could youuuu?!…

  5. wccrawford says:

    Thank you, Notch. Thank you so freaking much.

    Bethesda did a lot with their TES CKs to bring about the current era of customization, but Notch is helping bring about an era of having it right in the game. And it’s glorious.

    Reading the description, it first sounded like there was nothing on the playing field, and everything was created by the users… But that doesn’t seem like it would make for a very good game. So now I’m invisioning some broken-down buildings that have garbage and furniture everywhere, and you can move and place them as you like to help hold back hordes of zombies.

    This vision is also likely wrong, but I like it, and I’m putting it out there in the hopes that someone will steal it and run with it.

  6. HisMastersVoice says:

    What was the last Epic game released on PC? UT3? Yeah, we know how that turned out.

    Edit: Forgot Bulletstorm. Not much better though…

    • Network Crayon says:

      I actually like UT3, found the bloomy graphics and terrible menus detracted from the game but overall the actually gameplay is very entertaining.

      here’s hoping this is as good as it sounds.

    • Brun says:

      UT3 was actually a pretty good game, staying true to the traditions of Unreal Tournament. The timing of its release, however, was poor – it was simultaneously ahead of its time and a late arrival. The graphics and the engine were a little intense for 2007, which meant that it struggled to run on many PCs. On the other hand, it was released during the twilight of the Doom/Quake style of multiplayer game – such mulitplayer had already begun to be replaced, first by the two-weapon and shield+regenerating health multiplayer of Halo and its contemporaries, and then by the current cover-based insta-death CoD-style multiplayer. The twitchy, jukey, no-reload multiplayer of UT was very much on the way out of the picture by 2007. As a result, UT3 never really acquired the critical mass of players necessary for it to become as popular or successful as something like UT2K4 (which, IMO, was the peak of the UT series).

    • LaunchJC says:

      I actually bought UT3 on PS3 as it was all I owned at the time and loved it, especially given the surprising addition of mod support :D I wonder how much its played on pc now?

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      Really? I’ve found UT3 to be slow as a dying snail compared to UT2004, and generally not as fun. Don’t know what caused that.

    • PopeJamal says:

      The fact that some of the better community models and mods for UT3 were hard to find or non-existant (PS3 Only!) for the PC is the sign of a world gone mad.

  7. merc-ai says:

    Nice to see that Epic games finally start creating good games again, not just awesome engine stuff. Also, yay for “no dudebros”!

  8. ynamite says:

    “it’s like an indie group set up shop in the corner of the building”, housing themselves in “a CRAZY organic old school war-room of passionate devs”

    Epic has been touting this game as “the next big thing they’re working on that is going to be radically different” for some weeks now. For that reason I don’t believe a word of the above statement, imo they’re just wanting to catch a ride on the Minecraft popularity wave by trying to seem as indy as possible. Riiiight.

  9. Hoaxfish says:

    Might be nice to see what an “AAA” studio do with something that has mostly only existed in indy space.

    Kinda wish it wasn’t about zombies, and hopefully that “ghost imp” thing right at the start of the trailer shows that there’s gonna be at least some variety.

  10. Fadobo says:

    TL;DR (working right now, will read tonight) but I smell PR-BS. Step 1: Mention Minecraft in tweet Step 2: Watch Blogs go crazy about it Step 3: ?????? Step 4: Profit.

    Sorry but I feel that in the final game it will be like: “Go collect 5 signs” -> “Go to unfinished building X” -> “Hold (A) until finished” (Yes A, since you have/had once a 360-Gamepad connected). I’m getting my hopes down for this one, maybe I get pleasently surprised.

  11. sneetch says:

    I’m hoping for good news here on this being on PC.

  12. Mr Pink says:

    Before we go praising Jazz Jackrabbit too much let us remember that he had a less mentally agile sidekick called Spazz. Think about that for a moment. Seriously. Spazz.

    • TheBigBookOfTerror says:

      Which means something completely different in the USA.

  13. Brun says:

    Cautiously optimistic about this one. My fear is that once a publisher gets its hands on this, they’ll be asking “where are your goals?” or “where is your Facebook integration?”. Or they’ll demand that it be turned into a survival FPS with building/exploring becoming secondary.

    • sneetch says:

      Surely survival against a credible threat is the goal? The exploration and construction is done towards that end (and actually I’ve a funny feeling that the combat is the main aspect and the building/exploring is there to support that).

  14. MondSemmel says:

    Here’s a vote for more Jazz Jackrabbit. I grew up with that game (specifically, Jazz Jackrabbit 2).

  15. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    JAZZJACKRABBIT. FIRST OF GAMES.

  16. Xerian says:

    Colour me excited.

  17. Cross says:

    Why the blazes do they need a publisher? Surely they have the dosh to make this happen on their own, and then, when they’re finished and sell for craptons on the PC, they won’t have to share! :D

    • sneetch says:

      Yeah, I had thought that their plan would be to self publish on XBLA/PSN/Steam/Other Digital Service (as it looks like a co-op game, only selling it online makes sense to me).

  18. rocketman71 says:

    The farther they can push CliffyB from this, the better for everybody.

  19. Richeh says:

    Distinct lack of people saying “tower defence”, considering that the synopsis seems to be a fifty word description of a zombie tower defence game. I really, really hope it isn’t, because everyone seems to be making them and I do not like them.

  20. Davie says:

    I’m actually very excited to see Epic put their considerable talents into developing a non-dudebro game. There’s something very thrilling about hiding behind a wall you built yourself.

  21. shoptroll says:

    I’m definitely interested in this. However, I don’t see why they need to court a publisher. I really get a sense from the trailer they’re aiming for an XBLA/Steam/iOS release with this. They’ve had really good luck with self-publishing Infinity Blade, why not do the same with this game?