Due to Fortnite’s dynamic nature, “the only platform that made sense was PC,” says Jessen

Friday, 20 July 2012 19:42 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Fortnite producer Tanya Jessen has explained how the persistent world in the game will work, as it allows you to play in both your own world and a friend’s.

Speaking with RPS, Jessen while the team at Epic is still iterating on the design of it, the idea is that there can be multiple worlds that are public or private; single-player or cooperative, and they can be open.

“You can be away from your PC, and they can be running, or you can turn them off. It’s up to you,” she explained. “But each of those environments will be dynamic and totally unique worlds. But in terms of the progression itself… not ready to talk too much about that stuff. We have so many different things we’re doing where we’re iterating to find the most fun right now.”

The dynamic nature of the game world is another reason the studio chose to debut Unreal 4 with Fortnite on PC, because, according to Jessen, it the tools in UE4 provides a lot more “control to designers and artists, to just create interactive objects in the world.”

“For Fortnite, that was a really great move, to be able to use the next version of Kismet,” she said. “It’s called Blueprint. For example, our skybox is built entirely in a Blueprint, and that’s the day-night cycle. All the programmers had to do was expose, you know, what time was it relevant to gameplay, and now the artists can go make all of these objects that are relevant to the time of day.

“So after a certain time, all the streetlights will turn on wherever you’re at. The clocks in the world tell the actual in-game time. Things like that, in the past, would have to be programmed by a coder. Now they’re all set up by our artists. Everything from how many different shaders in the colors of the sky that change depending on the night, that all now can be iterated and made awesome by the artists.

“And from an accessibility standpoint, we wanted to make sure that UE4 was really accessible to people who own PCs today, that they’ll be able to run a UE4 game. So Fortnite was a great opportunity for us to push for that as well.

“Because of its super-dynamic nature and the fact that we see this as a living project, the only platform for us that made sense was PC, and especially with turning around that quick iteration time with UE4 and all of that. It was absolutely the way to go. It’s offering us the flexibility to add things on the fly. As people are having fun with certain weapons or enemies, being able to add more of that and keep the experience really fun and fresh for people is awesome. And right now you can’t really do that so easily on consoles.

“[For us, PC] never went away. Innovation has always been happening in the PC space. I’ve been a PC gamer my whole life, since I was like 12. I don’t know if it’s really a shift so much as that the flexibility of platform is something that’s been absolutely awesome, that people are now starting to take more advantage of. Maybe it’s just the fact that with the tools now, it’s getting easier to put out games on the PC.”

Epic has previously said there’s the possibility Fortnite  could come to “other platforms later.” It’s out in 2013.

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