I’m Chang han Kim, Executive Producer of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. First and foremost, I’d like to thank our testers for participating in the pre-alpha test. Thank you sincerely for being a part of our BATTLEGROUNDS community.
Presenting an early prototype of the game can be a huge burden on any development team. But we realized making our game with the ongoing help and support of Battle Royale fans is more valuable to us than anything else. We were then able to overcome some fears and gear ourselves up for pre-alpha. Although some portions of the game were not ready, we have been overwhelmed with your feedback and enthusiasm throughout the testing sessions. Your support is what makes our mission possible.
As we’ve finished our pre-alpha test and looked into most of your feedback, it’s a great occasion to share my thoughts on each area of gameplay.
1. Level Design
During the early stages of production, “building a stable 8 square kilometer world in Unreal Engine 4” was the biggest challenge for us. In fact, there are still a few more things to tackle in this aspect. What the testers have seen in the pre-alpha is merely a foundation for PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS and one that our art team are working hard on, to create a world that is both very good for gameplay, but also feels like a realistic location.
Even though we are using placeholders for most sounds in the current builds of the game, we received very good feedback from our test group. Generally, sounds are usually fine-tuned and polished during later stages of game development. We are committed to getting specific sounds including gun sounds and footsteps fixed for the next round of testing. We will definitely iterate to constantly upgrade the quality of soundscape as it is one of the most important things for a well made game.
3. Action & Gunplay
We acknowledge that realistic actions and depths of gun play are the core elements for the Battle Royale genre. Some of our testers pointed out that more work should be done to differentiate our character’s look and action system from those of other games/mods. I think this is largely due to the “look and feel” that our current character action gives off. When we polish some actions and add motions we didn’t have time to integrate before pre-alpha, things will feel more real and fluid. Nevertheless, we also don’t want to make it too real, as it can make game-play less pleasant and fun. Your feedback will be important as the action and gun play systems will go through many iterations and constant makeovers until we find a well-balanced trade-off between realism and game-play. It is true that we need to rework gun controls, especially scoping, to make gun play more appealing. We will continue to improve and further develop these systems so stay tuned over the next few months for updates.
4. Leader-boards, Replay & Spectator modes
This is what makes Battle Royale more exciting and fun. They also serve as a guide on how you can be the last man standing. In addition, they make Battle Royale games not only fun to play competitively, but also fun to watch and spectate. Some of us have done some work related to these features, but please keep in mind that they will not be released before we have carried out enough development to properly implement core game mechanics.
5. Custom Games & Modding
Players will be able to create custom games and modify some rules in our game. However, it will not be released until official launch as we need a player base that is large enough to feed players into all sessions including custom ones. I’m currently planning to activate and test this feature when we head into close beta as there will be a bigger number of testers to help us with testing.
It was a single mod that jump-started the Battle Royale genre. PLAYERUNKNOWN and I both recognize that giving our players the freedom to create their own mods will empower them and help our game evolve into a better, more inclusive game. This is something we take very seriously. But this again leads me to the point I mentioned earlier. A concrete open-world environment and well-balanced gun play and action systems are the building blocks of our game. Please allow us to focus on getting the basics right before we start developing the modding feature at full speed.
The next round of testing sessions will be held sometime before mid-September. Some of the feedback from pre-alpha may not make it through as we plan to dive deeper into them later and act on other issues with higher priority. As explained in our latest press release, additional tests will take place every six to eight weeks after this, depending on our progress.
Alpha registration has been closed as we have enough applicants for the next couple of tests. Don’t be disappointed though as we will open it again when we’re ready to accommodate more testers.
Thanks for your patience as we work toward our next play test.