Borderlands was one of those games that was impossible to not love. Whether it was the gun ‘n loot gameplay, the sarcastic Claptrap robots dotted around the environment or the general flippant attitude of the entire game, Borderlands was pretty much a blast to play. And it was an even bigger blast to mod as well, something that Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford is hoping that fans will do for the sequel as well.
Speaking at Rezzed, the Gearbox big boss explained how the sequel would not be shipping with a software development kit, primarily due to dedicated fans not actually needing one, in order to customise their gameplay experience.
“There was a moment after Borderlands shipped where we thought about releasing an official SDK,” Pitchford said, “but we found that most of what we would be able to do, was already accomplished by the gaming community.”
Picthford spoke about how some of these mods for vehicles and weapons, “was already ahead of what the firm would have been able to do.”
The best thing we could do for the community was get to work on Borderlands 2. Imagine if we’d spend a year working on an SDK for BL2.
The Gearbox team has been genuinely impressed with what the fans have done to the game, something that has even prompted them to offer tips and advice on the forums. This new emphasis on modding is also part of a commitment to PC gamers from Gearbox, whi they say want to give the best possible Borderlands 2 experience to that platform.
Gearbox develops their games on PC, with Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 development kits attached to these systems, Pitchford explained, thus giving the PC an edge.
We develop on the PC, it’s how we make games. Even our development kits for console are plugged into PCs. However, we are developers and we take a lot of things for granted as most of us aren’t worried about dealing with our network configurations and things like that.
So, we’ll do it and not worry about the consoles. But what we learned after shipping Borderlands 1, was customers who play on the PC expect better treatment within the game itself.
If you look up that Claptrap love letter you’ll see some of the things we’re doing. It shows a renewed commitment to not just ourselves, but the customer side of the PC game.
With both BL1 and BL2, the PC version is the best looking, highest fidelity version of the game, but what we’ve learned, is that the details are important to you on the PC and we made a strong effort to improve those details in the product.
Missed the original letter from the snarky robot? Here it is;
“It’s a miracle we did what we did with Borderlands 1 – it’s a big risk to build a new IP, Pitchford said. “We spent every dollar we had on that game, and while we had a nice budget, it still had us confined to being rational and responsible of what is expected to happen.”
Fortunately BL1 was a tremendous success, millions and millions of units sold. We’re at 6 million units sold right now, and that is exciting for a new IP -its unprecedented really.
That means, we were able to put the budget into BL2 that it deserves – a budget I wish we’d had for the first game – and as such we can up some of our priorities.
I’m giddy with excitement right now for Borderlands 2. Gavin has assured us that the game is pure quality thanks to some hands on time with it, and I’m getting ready to bust my bank account with one of those loot editions for the game, come the September release.
Borderlands 2 releases on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in September.
Last Updated: July 9, 2012