PAX South 2017 provided an opportunity to see and hear about games from all walks of life, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is certainly a unique title.
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is a 64-player battle royale shooter where players will start with nothing and then fight to forge alliances and locate weapons, vehicles, and supplies as they push to be the lone survivor in a 8 x 8 km world that shows off Unreal Engine 4’s capabilities. I got the chance to meet with Brendan Greene, the game’s creator, which is his first stand-alone battle royale game. Greene started modding as a hobby and is now the Creative Director at Bluehole. Being one-on-one with Brendan Greene allowed me to really dive deeper into what makes PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds special beyond what you can read in any old press release about the game. All of these fun facts and bits of information are compiled in list format below:
- It can be played in many different ways, all up to the individual player – Greene and I spoke for a while about how some games force you down a particular path without having too many chances for individual thought or choice. With Battlegrounds, Greene and the team at Bluehole really want players to feel as if they’re guiding the experience themselves, in the way the players would like it to be played.
- The dev team is really trying to do something different with the battle royale genre – Similar to the point above, there are a multitude of choices for players to have a very unique last-man-standing skirmish. One example Greene told me about is of players throwing a flashbang into a car and proceeding to watch the blinded driver crash into a wall. Another player in the recent alpha test of the game had put “Camper” somewhere in his username, and stuck to it, by hiding in a bush and picking others off that way. I personally feel the game gives a “GTA, GMOD, & Arma 3 had a baby” kind of vibe.
- The team that is putting Battlegrounds together comes from all walks of life, and a legacy of work on several different games, large and small titles alike. Some examples of games the team members have individually worked on include Deus Ex, Arma, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and more.
- Character creation will allow several options – Designing your own character is possible in the game, with many different options for hair, head, race, clothing, and more. The body/torsos will mostly remain the same regardless of character because of the need for hitboxes to be the same size for everyone, creating a fair experience for competitive play.
- Modding will definitely be added in the future, and it will be both accessible to everyone but also complex enough to feature many different options for modders to create their own levels and game modes, etc. As Brendan Greene told me, anyone could become the next “PLAYERUNKOWN” once the modding support has been implemented.
- The game will contain a spectator mode, great for YouTube and Twitch content creators who want to replay or call out over footage of their matches, or just for the players who enjoy watching the replay of their match for fun!
- There are nods to the creator’s likeness and life within the game – One of the character’s artwork is meant to represent “PlayerUnknown” or Brendan Green, the game’s creator. The visionary himself also has an island named after his daughter in Battlegrounds as well.
Any gamers who like the idea of a battle royale skirmish should definitely check out PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, as the game has just come out of alpha 2 and will be running the closed beta very soon. It is a true labor of love from someone like Brendan Greene, who comes at his leadership on the game from outside the gaming industry (he and I could’ve spoken for hours about our backgrounds in photograph). For more details and future updates, please visit http://www.playbattlegrounds.com/ and follow the game’s Twitter page.