Every now and then I think back to my first experience of Fortnite, back in the dingy early-mid 2010s - a clever but laborious wave defence game inspired by Minecraft and CliffyB's childhood memories of building sofa cushion forts. I compare this project, which seemed pretty much doomed at the time, with the globe-straddling free-to-play battle royale/concert venue/art gallery/Olympic sport/all-swallowing multiverse Fortnite has become, and I feel extremely old. My sense of time's crushing burden is not alleviated for learning that Epic are staffing up for work on "a new experience in the Fortnite ecosystem", which sounds a lot like a Fortnite open worlder. What fresh hell is this, Epic? When will enough be enough?
"Epic Games is looking for a smart, creative UI Programmer Intern to join who will participate in working on parts of the Fortnite Universe," reads a LinkedIn posting from one week ago, noticed by X-naut PoketOfficial. "Our Interns are given challenging projects that allow them to have an impact on Fortnite which millions of players experience. If you want to build something Epic, this is the opportunity for you!
"This team is responsible for building a new experience in the Fortnite ecosystem," it continues. "This experience will involve working on an open world survival crafting game within a physics sandbox. There is much opportunity to build something either in the frontend or in-game."
You can read "open world survival crafting game" many ways, of course. Some would say that Fortnite is already all of those things, strictly speaking, but many Fortnite regulars are hoping that the subtext here is some combination of "Minecraft 2", "Rust" and "single player". As for me, I'm just going to build a cushion fort, crawl inside it with a packet of sultanas and dream of the pleasantly flawed tower defence games we used to know.
(My crankiness notwithstanding, Fortnite is still one of RPS's best multiplayer games on PC.)