Fortnite's feeling funky
Fortnite just saw a major content expansion, reaching far beyond the battle royale mode that everyone knows and loves. Fortnite now lets people have a Minecraft-esque experience with LEGO Fortnite, a racing experience with Rocket Racing, and something akin to Guitar Hero or Rock Band through Fortnite Festival. Epic has big plans to expand all of these, and Fortnite Festival might have the most ambitious goals of all.
While Fortnite Festival largely feels like Rock Band right now, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Game Informer had the chance to talk to Harmonix’s Alex Rigopolous, who also spearheaded Fortnite Festival, about what the studio’s goals are for this new music experience. Simply put, Rigopolous wants Fortnite Festival to be the biggest music game there is, and that will come through a number of expansions.
Sure. It’s a big question. You know, there’s several facets to the music experiences that we’re working on at Harmonix as part of Epic. So, there’s Festival, which is a new, big first-party game in the Epic first-party portfolio. And our job there is just, like, to try to build the biggest and best music game the world has ever seen. Because it’s a live game, it’s going to be evolving and expanding on a regular basis over time. Our goal there is just: make the best music game with the broadest reach that has ever been made.
Meanwhile, we’ve created this jam system, which you can play in a special mode in Fortnite Festival on the Jam Island [on the] Jam Stage. But it’s envisioned as an ecosystem-wide feature. So, you can also play with the Jam system inside of Battle Royale. Soon enough, you’ll be able to play with it inside of creative islands. Hopefully, eventually everywhere in the ecosystem. So, the goal there is to just permeate the entire Fortnite ecosystem with music and social play experiences [with] music.
And then finally, the Patchwork system that I mentioned, which we also just released this past month, it’s like an interactive music creation toolset for Fortnite Creative in UEFN [Unreal Editor For Fortnite]. That’s all about empowering third-party creators to dream up their own music play experiences. So, you can use the Patchwork toolset not just for making original music but also as an adaptive soundtrack system. You can make whatever game – make up any game with Fortnite Creative – and then that music system will listen to what’s going on in the game and adapt accordingly. Or you can set up a control flow in the opposite direction to have the music control the game systems – the animations and gameplay mechanics. So, we’re empowering creators to just, like, dream up completely new kinds of music games.