Posts Tagged ‘Fortnite’

Premature Evaluation: Fortnite

fortnite1b

It’d be easy for me to describe Fortnite [official site] as “DIY Left 4 Dead”. It’s the recent free-to-play zombie shooter from Epic Games, tasking you and three pals with building defences and scavenging supplies between waves of cartoonish undead, all spawned into existence by a paranormal purple storm. But to compare it so readily to Valve’s co-op shooter would evoke a brilliance it simply lacks. Fortnite is one of the most obnoxiously loud and over-designed games I’ve played in a long while.
Read the rest of this entry »

Epic’s co-op build-o-shooter Fortnite hits early access

Fortnite [official site], the base-building zombie-blaster from Epic Games, launched into paid early access today. Epic are best known for competitive megamurder games like Unreal Tournament and Gears of War but Fortnite is a lot friendlier. It’s a cooperative class-based shooter where players scavenge for supplies, craft items, and build traps and bases to fend off zombies who fancy a nibble on their noggin. Epic plan to make Fortnite free-to-play when it’s properly finished and launched in 2018 but if you want to mash monsters with your mates maintenant, you can pay to help Epic test it. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t hate on tutorials

“Press B to Crouch” under the obviously placed fallen ceiling. Remove your abilities to show you how to aim your gun. Wrest the camera control away to show the low cover you’re meant to be hiding behind. ‘Onboarding’? Vomit. Usability is a mark of all that is bad about modern game design. It undermines all the best things about games, sanding off their edges, taking autonomy away, designing for the lowest common denominator. Right?

Nope. “I’ve never met anybody yet who only wanted ten people to play their game,” says Graham McAllister, founder of Player Research, a playtesting and user research specialist for games. “These are passionate people who want as many people as possible to love their game.” Usability is one of the more misunderstood elements of game design. It doesn’t strangle challenge, depth and imagination. In fact, it’s meant to do precisely the opposite. Read the rest of this entry »

Epic’s Fortnite enters early access in July

Epic Games today announced that their base-building zombie apocalypse looter-shooter Fortnite [official site] will enter paid early access on July 25th. It will eventually launch as free-to-play in 2018 but, if you want to team up with your chums to scavenge, build bases, and kill zombies now now now, you will be able to pay to start before the game is finished. If you don’t want to, hey, no one will force you to buy it. (Will they? Are they? Are you safe? Double-space your comment if you need help.) Before that, check out this new trailer explaining what Fortnite is about: Read the rest of this entry »

Flash Bang Wallop! Nvidia Ansel’s Screenshot Tools

Nvidia have unveiled their next top-end GPU, the GeForce GTX 1080, which they say can draw lots of really nice pictures really fast. Look, I’m sure Jeremy and his Week in Tech will have more to say about that soon, but what’s interesting to me is the software they announced alongside it. Nvidia Ansel will let people take fancier screenshots, pausing the action to rearrange the camera, apply effects, take ultra-high-res snaps, make 360-degree panoramas compatible with VR goggles, and so on. Support for Ansel is coming to Nvidia GPUs for games including The Witcher 3, The Witness, and No Man’s Sky, and it’ll work on many cards older than the 1080 too.

Read the rest of this entry »

People Can Fly Flies Again, Still Owns Bulletstorm

a person who can fly top right, albeit unwillingly

Polish studio People Can Fly made well-received OTT shooters Painkiller and Bulletstorm, then they got bought by Epic and became Epic Games Poland, and now suddenly they’re independent and are People Can Fly again. I’m genuinely distressed that they didn’t take the opportunity to name themselves People Can Fly Again. No cast-iron reason has been given for the regained independence and there is, as yet, no sign of conflict, but the official line is that it’s “to reflect the team’s desire to create their own games.” PCF confirm to us that they retain the rights to Bulletstorm, but sadly there’s no talk of a sequel as yet.
Read the rest of this entry »

Epic Look At Fortnite’s Buildings, Bullets, And Btraps

Seriously, Alice - 'btraps'? YES SERIOUSLY.

The Unreal dudes at Epic started showing off a lot more of their build-o-craft-me-shoot-a-zombie ’em up Fortnite [official site] while my head was turned. They’ve got members of the gang on livestreams to chat about specific features then show ’em off, so far covering building, weapons, and traps. That’s most of the core of a sandbox game about building bases and killing monsters.

But is it different enough from the squillion other crafty monster mashes to catch your eye? I don’t know: it’s your eye. How do I know what your eyes see? It’s not like I plopped one of your eyes out and swapped in one of mine. Haha how would I do that? I don’t even know what a spoon is.

Read the rest of this entry »

Zone Of The Defenders: Fortnite

As I was watching the latest Fortnite video to emerge from the artist formerly known as Epic MegaGames, a voice at the back of my brainbox suggested that the developer talkthrough reminded me of something I read yesterday. Could it have been the fifth chapter of ill-advised The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep? Nope. We could argue that psychic vampiric traveller clan the True Knot are a metaphor for gamers, with their need for ‘the good Steam’, but that’s a stretch. Maybe it was an article about Lego Architecture Studio? Nah. That’s a different kind of construction entirely.

Aha! It was John’s draconian and violently enforced rules for games. The video, you see, is like watching a tutorial for a game I’ve already played.

Read the rest of this entry »

How Epic Hopes To Avoid Pay-To-Win With Fortnite

Fortnite is, technically speaking, Epic’s first free-to-play game. The crayola colored smash-and-shoot-and-loot-and-build-er is being designed primarily as a co-op thing, but with persistent MMO-style progression underlying it all. There’s also still-nascent PVP in the works, further necessitating balance in the name of fair fun. Fortnite is, however, a giant mixed bag of moving parts, multiple genres (action, building, crafting, a Gears-of-War-style horde mode, etc) mashed together. How do you make all of that free-to-play without mucking it up?

I asked producer Roger Collum about Epic’s plans, influences from games like League of Legends and Team Fortress 2, the potential emergence of a tedious grind with things like XP boosters in the mix, whether or not you can really equate time and money as free-to-play devs so often do, and more. It’s all below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fortnite To Be Online-Only, Will Have Mods… Somehow

Quick recap: once upon a time Epic’s Fortnite was set to be kinda grimdark and more than likely a premium game (i.e. money upfront, party in the back). Over the course of a couple radio silent years and some fairly large revisions, however, it’s emerged more lighthearted and – rather crucially – free to play. It is, then (as is usually the case with these things), an online-only affair, an action/building game built for co-op and PVP, but not really single-player. Also it’ll have MMO-style persistent progression. So Epic will run the servers and sell (largely) cosmetic items. Problem: where do mods enter that picture? The answer, per producer Roger Collum: somewhere, somehow, someday. But “definitely.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Video Preview: Epic’s Fortnite Is… Interesting, Early

For the past many years, Epic was known as the One True King of console grimdark. Gears of War was about colossal mountain men with veins running rivulets through their stone hewn necks and stubble-dappled chins, their rage matched only by their apocalyptic sorrow and love of running in slow motion to popular songs that described their situation eerily well. But now we have, well, pretty much the opposite. Fortnite is bright, silly, and PC-only. It’s also basically Gears of War’s ever-popular horde mode plus Minecraft, Left 4 Dead, and a bunch of its own ingredients. It’s certainly unique, but I don’t think it’s great. Yet. Watch below to hear my impressions after a full day of playing a pre-alpha build.

Read the rest of this entry »

Epic’s Fortnite Goes Free-To-Play, Alpha Sign-Ups Open

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH GRAY IN THIS GAME.

As Epic told me during GDC, sugar-cereal-colored buildy blaster Fortnite isn’t fourscore feet under, as a) that’d be total overkill and b) it’s doing just fine. After a lengthy period of radio silence, the Unreal Engine mega-maven has finally seen fit to re-reveal the game and begin taking sign-ups for an upcoming alpha. The biggest (noticeable) change so far? Fortnite is now officially free-to-play.

Read the rest of this entry »

Epic: Fortnite Has ‘Evolved,’ UE4 Inspired By Minecraft

Before GDC, Epic’s ubiquitous Unreal Engine was a walled garden. But that all changed when company president Johnny Epic waded into the conference crowd while bellowing, “You get an Unreal Engine and YOU get an Unreal Engine” to everyone in attendance. And then he chainsawed a life-size replica of traditional gaming industry business models in half. Or at least, that’s how I like to imagine it happened. I was asleep while John took the bullet of waking up at Ungodly O’ Clock to attend Epic’s presser. The takeaway, however, was obvious: Epic is trying to make its engine more accessible to everyone – full-time developers, part-time indies, and no-time hobbyists alike. I asked Epic engine GM Ray Davis how the studio plans to achieve that (hint: Minecraft) and also about where Fortnite‘s gone because I pretty much had to.

Read the rest of this entry »

Epic’s Fortnite Still Exists, Now At Bulletstorm Dev

Do you see it? Behind that box. That stare bear is doing the stare bear stare, which is like a normal stare only bear stare bear stare stare bear bear bear stare stare bear stare

It has been far, far longer than a fortnight since we last heard even the slightest peep about Epic’s Fortnite. Many fortnights, in fact – enough to bridge the gap between last year’s PAX Prime and this very day. During that span, renowned puppy eater and fearless chainsaw-gun entrepreneur Cliff Bleszinski departed the studio for somehow greener pastures and also another Gears of War game came out or something I guess. The latter, however, was developed by Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly, who now happens to be on – you guessed it – Fornite. Also, they’ve been rechristened Epic Games Poland, a distinctly less optimistic (yet far more factually accurate) name, if you ask me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fortnite: PC ‘First And Foremost,’ Launching As Beta

Generally speaking, Epic’s a company that likes to put its best foot forward. When it debuts a new game or engine, everything’s polished to a gloriously gritty sheen – even if a look behind the curtain tells an entirely different tale. So Fortnite‘s PAX presentation was – for many reasons – a strong reminder that the crayola-colored survivor is Different. It began, for instance, with Tanya Jessen, Cliff Bleszinski, and co running us through very early Unreal Engine 3 prototypes of Fortnite’s combat – complete with desolate checker box backgrounds and near-superheroic levels of Aliasing-O-Vision. But that’s the point: Epic considers its construction-centric opus a “living project,” and it wants fans in on the ground floor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fortnite’s Jessen Talks Minecraft, PC Gaming, UE4

It’s been ages since Epic last took up PC gaming’s banner and affixed some sort of completely bonkers weapon to it. Instead, the Unreal creator has been off duct-taping chainsaws to other platforms while we spill warm tears onto screenshots of Jazz The Jackrabbit. But no more. Epic recently announced that Fortnite – at least, for the time being – will be leading on PC and debuting Unreal Engine 4 to boot. So I had a massive chat with producer Tanya Jessen about that, during which we discussed Minecraft comparisons, the not-so-obvious benefits of Unreal Engine 4, Fortnite’s cartoony art style, online aspects, and why Epic never really left the PC behind. It’s all after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Epic Considering Always Online For Fortnite [Updated]

Update: Epic’s issued a statement clarifying its meaning, noting that – while nothing’s off the table – it hasn’t entered serious talks about how it’ll implement online play at this point. Here’s the official word, in full: “We’re not talking about our plans at this time, mainly because that plan doesn’t exist yet. Fortnite is an iterative, living project and many things are still being decided prior to its release in 2013.”  

Original article: Let’s start with some good news, shall we? First off, Fortnite’s looking quite nice and – based on an interview I just wrapped with producer Tanya Jessen (which you’ll see all of tomorrow) – the Unreal-Engine-4-powered survivor is, by and large, taking full advantage of every tool at PC gaming’s disposal. In other words, expect a constant flow of new content, some form of mod support, and impressively open-ended, procedurally generated worlds. It’s not all uncharacteristically colorful cartoon roses, however. At this stage, Jessen told me, a constant Internet connection requirement ala Diablo is still a possibility. She assured, however, that it’d be used first and foremost to improve the game – not as a last line of defense against piracy’s nighttime pillages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cliffy Returns: Fortnite PC-Exclusive, First To Use UE4

Well now, this scene doesn't make a lick of sense. I mean, why's he using a fire axe? I don't see any fires.

After a long, harrowing journey in which he was forced to duct tape an assault rifle and chainsaw together to escape the vacuous innards of a consolebox, Cliff “Don’t Call Me CliffyB” Bleszinski (and, I suppose, Epic’s legion of insanely talented guys and gals) is back on PC. So then, what does the formidable devourer of puppies have in store for us this time? Well, in short, Fortnite‘s an Unreal-Engine-4-powered exclusive that, er, sounds a whole lot like Minecraft.

Read the rest of this entry »

Scavengers Assemble: Fortnite

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Epic Announce “Explore”-y Game: Fortnite


So here’s a genuinely interesting twist. Epic’s next game steps away from space marine bombast to be a thing where “you explore, you scavenge, you build and ultimately you survive.” It’s called Fortnite and it sounds like my kind of game, frankly. There’s no word of this formats it is coming out on, so might not be PC, but I think we can assume that it will be, given the clear Minecraftian inspiration. Like Minecraft, enemies come out at night, so players will be spend the daytime scavenging to bolster their defences for the night.

Teaser-y trailer below. Thoughts, Internet?

Read the rest of this entry »