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.
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.