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Apr 17

Apr 17

Fortnite Q&A: PlayStation.Blog Interviews Epic Games

The origins of Battle Royale mode, how Epic implemented it in only two months, and more.

Justin Massongill's Avatar Posted by Social Media Manager, SIEA

Epic Games has been on top of the world since its smash-hit Battle Royale mode launched in Fortnite, heading up Twitch viewership charts and crossing over into mainstream conversation with numerous celebrities name-checking it and streaming it alongside the game’s most popular personalities.

I’ve had a great time being carried to racking up Victory Royales with my PSN pals and I think it’s safe to say I’ve boarded the Fortnite hype train. Naturally, I wanted to learn more about how Epic crafted what may currently be the most talked-about game in the world.

So I reached out to Eric Williamson, design lead on Fortnite to answer some burning questions about their free-to-play phenomenon.

PSB: How has the team at Epic been handling the insane amount of attention Fortnite has enjoyed in the past few months? Did you expect this would become as big as it is now?

Eric Williamson: We’re blown away by the response. We’re thrilled that players are enjoying the game and that it’s bringing people together!

PSB: What did the process of adding Battle Royale to Fortnite look like? How long did it take from the first person having the idea to shipping it?

EW: In the past, the Fortnite team had been experimenting with a number of PvP modes, but ultimately decided to move its focus to the PvE experience. There was always the intention to go back to that. Last year, the idea of a battle royale-style game came up. We just thought it would be cool to combine the last-man standing gameplay with the action-building mechanics that make Fortnite unique. In July of last year, we started to work on a prototype, and then released our first version of the game in September. So, roughly two months. There was such a good, solid foundation there for us, so that certainly helped us get to a playable version so quickly.

PSB: There have been lots of big updates to Fortnite since launch, with more anticipated ones on the way. Can you give us a peek at some of the smaller tweaks the team is working on? Any new QoL-level stuff in the pipeline?

EW: Yeah, the team is constantly looking to improve everything across the board, and a lot of that is based on feedback from players. Whether it’s performance improvements, new content, or updates to existing game elements, we’re always looking at how we can make the experience better.


PSB: Since adding Battle Royale, what change or tweak has made the biggest overall impact on gameplay?

EW: I think our inventory system has had such a positive impact overall. Being able to quickly pick up or swap items makes it very quick to grab exactly what you need. Some of our items also don’t take any inventory space, so running through a pile of loot to pick it all up is a really satisfying moment. All of this helps get you back to the action as quickly as possible.

We didn’t initially think 5 inventory slots would be enough — in fact, we even had plans right around launch time to increase the number of slots so players could carry more. But then we started seeing these really interesting choices about what players would carry, and how it forced people to prioritize what items they wanted. We realized pretty quickly that we shouldn’t make any changes to how that works.

PSB: Has the success of Battle Royale influenced Epic’s approach to the Save the World mode?

EW: We have folks working on both modes which are both influencing in a lot of ways. A lot of the content that comes into Battle Royale was designed for PvE first, for example. Going the other way, the Combat Pro control scheme that our team implemented into Battle Royale, the Save the World later adapted a version of that. We work closely with each other and share a lot of content, so players of both modes are seeing the benefits all of the time.


PSB: What are some other “emergent gameplay” type experiences you’d like to see someone take a stab at?

EW: The thing about “emergent gameplay” is that players discover it, so we wouldn’t want to give too much away and even lead them in any one direction. We look at everything we add to the game, whether it’s the building mechanic or a new item, as a tool players can use. How they use them is what makes the moment to moment unique and surprising, and we love to see what players come up with.

PSB: Lots of folks are starting to dip their toes into the waters of Fortnite after seeing all the recent coverage and hearing about it from friends. If there’s one tip you would give to a brand-new player, what would it be?

EW: Building! Learning how to place a ramp to get onto the roof of a building is a great first step. Fortnite’s action-building system can be used for mobility, defense, or even offense, and becoming comfortable with the system is a great way to increase your chances of winning.

For example, if you get caught out in the open and begin taking fire, you can quickly build a wall or a ramp to give yourself some cover. This protection can give you a moment to heal, apply a shield, or reload a weapon.

PSB: We can’t let you go without asking: Any hints about what we can expect in the next Battle Pass?

EW: We like to surprise players, so sorry, I can’t say much! You’ll learn more soon.

Add Your Own

XxGuzman20Xx said:

April 17th, 8:15 am

Yo epic i lost all my proggrees like skins wins and my level also save the wolrd call yall do something bout this cuz if yall cant i want my money back? And also will u guys be doing more work on pve cuz dang it feels slower than BR

XxGuzman20Xx said:

April 17th, 8:16 am

Yo epic i lost all my proggrees like skins wins and my level also save the wolrd call yall do something bout this cuz if yall cant i want my money back? And also will u guys be doing more work on pve cuz dang it feels slower than BR.

XxGuzman20Xx said:

April 17th, 8:21 am

When is the jetpack coming out? And will we be able to fly it and shoot our weapons at the same time?

Lum1n0usV3 said:

April 17th, 9:42 am

When will PlayStation and Xbox be able to cross play together because I have friend so want to play with on Xbox but I cant.
EPIC And PLAYSTATION If your reading this please make this possible it would open up the game more and make it more accessible

    GaMeR_bOi_83 said:

    April 17th, 11:23 am

    This will happen when you buy a XBO or your friend buys a PS4. Does that answer your question?

    KILLZONE79 said:

    April 17th, 5:31 pm

    Unfortently it’s not gonna happen, Sony confirmed that it’s not safe to play with Xbox users as they have no control to look after

KILLZONE79 said:

April 17th, 5:33 pm

Wait a minute! PS Blog was carried in fortnite to get victory royal, EXPOSED LOL

AizawaYuuichi said:

April 17th, 6:56 pm

You didn’t ask the all-important question:
“When is the original Save the World mode, which is essentially still in Early Access, going to actually LAUNCH and be F2P like it was originally announced to be?”

I had considered maybe buying one of the “Founder’s Packs” to get access to it last year, but now that you’ve practically abandoned it like you did Paragon, I have no interest in spending any money on it until you either start showing concerted and sustained support for it again, or finally launch it as F2P.

I have absolutely zero interest in the BR mode.

    MACKER-12_EMINEM said:

    April 18th, 5:00 am

    You’re missing out. Stop listening to kids who complain about everything. STW has more content than most games I’ve played and it ain’t even released yet. Countless hours not even finished the (unfinished) campiagn yet. There is no reason not to buy STW. The only people who are complaining are the ones which have already played 1000 hours and there is nothing left to do as the campaign isnt finished.

    AizawaYuuichi said:

    April 18th, 6:10 pm

    I don’t listen to kids who complain about everything. I read news articles and follow development updates.
    The fact that the campaign is still unfinished considering how long they’ve been working on the game is a huge warning sign. If they were simply adding more content to a finished campaign, like SkyForge or Warframe, that would be one thing.
    And the fact that content drops and patches have slowed down since they released and started focusing on Battle Royale is worrying.
    Like I said, unless they start actively developing content and releasing patches again for STW like they do for BR, I’m not interested in spending money on it. I got burned by Marvel Heroes Omega, and they were still actively releasing new content for that when it was killed. I’m not taking chances on games that aren’t getting support when they require servers to play.

ColonelOCorn said:

April 18th, 2:40 am

Carried? You did the carrying last time, Justin!! :P

Eric: When is the moon/space map coming out? ;)

I really enjoy the weekly iterations and reading all the drama on twitter, namely Daequan’s pronouncements of “doodoo” while he wins every game anyway. :D

Trying to play StW now and it’s slightly overwhelming. But I’ll get there.

Thanks Epic for something my sons and I can play together, something coworkers and I can talk about, and occasionally carry (more like get carried by) Blogcast hosts. :)


April 18th, 5:00 am

You’re missing out. Stop listening to kids who complain about everything. STW has more content than most games I’ve played and it ain’t even released yet. Countless hours not even finished the (unfinished) campiagn yet. There is no reason not to buy STW. The only people who are complaining are the ones which have already played 1000 hours and there is nothing left to do as the campaign isnt finished.

Lightthrower said:

April 18th, 10:51 am

I really like Fortnite on PS4, but I’m scared of hacks that are on PC could come over on the PS4 version like those at . I want to keep the playerbase fresh and honest on PS4, hope it stays that way.

Kisan- said:

April 18th, 4:46 pm

I would love to see some statistics from Epic Games on how many players actually are online at any given time.

savge243 said:

April 18th, 4:56 pm

It will be more finer that every IOS phone can play fortnite mobile epic games if u are reading this plz do it Thank You

wmustanggt said:

April 18th, 5:22 pm

When will Fortnite save the world be released for free on PlayStation I have been hoping it would be before summer break when it would be released but we haven’t heard anything having to do with how close it is to being finished or the release date

SaiahIsThatMan said:

April 18th, 6:29 pm

It would be great if players cross platform play together. I have friends who play Xbox and I play ps4/ps3. Then 2 things would happen. 1 us players can play with friends cross platform. 2 servers would can start up faster and some people may start to play a little more.

Mom584328 said:

April 18th, 7:13 pm

I have 2 comments actually,
The first is I truly love your game, and I play it on Mobile, Xbox and Playstation. I was curious though, what if you guys speak to Nintendo and maybe have footnote be on Nintendo Switch as well. Then it can be a mobile console, better graphics, real controllers, and a screen about as big as your typical game.

Second, I am very sad that Tilted Towers is being taken out of the game, but can it be replaced by any other big City. I actually had an interesting Idea. What if you made a Huge shopping mall called Jumpy Johns. Maybe it could be the size of Wailing Woods and It can be a Huge mall in a square, but on the inside of this mall, you can have a huge open space with many big rocks and buildings so can hide and play a game with many hiding spots and loot and a huge piece of the map around you.


bash3003 said:

April 18th, 8:34 pm

I’m a very big fan and im trying to save money fir season 4 but and after season 3 came,you guys have been saying save the world is coming for free but it hasn’t yet
Soo plz let me know if was a joke or if it gunna happen

ForgetfulMudkip said:

April 18th, 9:23 pm

Hey Question When will the Jetpacks come to Fortnite Battle Royale and also I heard rumors that there will be Vechiles in the game like not cars but shopping carts will that be added as well?

Wafflesmasher1 said:

April 19th, 1:19 pm

Hey epic! Fortnite is great so far. I just have one idea, since the only way we can get v bucks is through battle pass and save the world, you know how we have quest in save the world, there could be this other game mode where everybody’s harmless and you can give them quest to do. You can get 10-50 v-bucks each quest you complete

Nabess7187 said:

April 19th, 1:30 pm

I know this ain’t a big deal.
Can you please add on one more Emote slot?
I would really like to have One more slot you have the room! Please.

XxGloboyxX23 said:

April 19th, 1:50 pm

When will custom matchmaking be available to use

ssupremee69 said:

April 19th, 8:02 pm

Hey epic games will the dark knight skin ever be in the shop again in Fortnite?

    Speedingburch666 said:

    April 20th, 8:23 am

    No, The Black Knight was a season 2 exclusive that only S2 Battle pass owners had from completing it.
    Everything in the battle pass will most likely not come out in the shop

lan3auto said:

April 20th, 1:21 pm

hay fortnite recently i lost my fire element scar lvl 20 so i was wondering if u could give me one

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