On Saturday Epic Games revealed a new IP (franchise) called Fortnite -- or FORTnITE -- which is a departure from the studio's typical action hero-themed shooter loaded with weapons, explosions, aliens and cheese ball one-liners. As Epic described in an email statement Monday morning, Fortnite is "an expansive original world that invites players to be creative, resourceful and collaborative by day and defend their prized fortress by night."
Sound familiar? It should, because lead designer Lee Perry revealed that the inspiration behind Fortnite came from Minecraft, Mojang's indie hit sandbox-based PC game. "Minecraft was an inspiration for sure," Perry said on Twitter, but later stresses that it's not a clone with a different skin. "I see lots of questions asking if Fortnite is free-form construction. It is. It's not scripted or just boarding up existing structures. Minecraft lets you build anything, we are focusing on constructing buildings specifically."
Previously Epic's Cliff Bleszinski told Joystiq during the Spike TV's 2011 Video Game Awards event that Fortnite wouldn't include "dudebros" as seen in Gears of War and even Bulletstorm. "Not that there's anything wrong with that, right? But creatively for the team, Gears has been amazing for us. But it's fun to kind of stretch our wings and do something that's a little different from the usual."
"Traditionally, we make shooters and shooting is in there, but it's really not what the game is all about," he added. "It's really a game that is more about survival than anything else."
On a visual level, Fortnite takes its art style cues from Valve’s own cartoonish shooter, Team Fortress 2. It will also reportedly feature weapon crafting, traps, a leveling system, underground exploration, boss fights, rare loot and even a team survival mode. Bliszinski said the concept was actually pitched just months ago, and that the components have come together at lightning speed.
"[Epic is still] figuring out what to do with the lightning we have in a bottle," he said in this video interview.