"You struggle as a developer, knowing how to reach players. At some point, you draw a line and you hope enough people will give it a chance and get sucked in.”
- Gambit's initial design lead Lars Bakken talks about the difficult-to-explain game mode
Bungie’s latest expansion for Destiny 2 brings with it a new game mode called Gambit that aims to merge the mostly-separate player-vs-player and player-vs-everything sides of Destiny.
The concept is difficult to deliver in an elevator pitch, a struggle that designers Lars Bakken and Robbie Stevens expand on in a story by PC Gamer exploring the new mode.
As the devs explain, Gambit itself borrows concepts from MOBAs, fighting games, and even PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to encourage players to fight through waves of baddies, cash in resources to interfere with the opposing team, and race to be the first squad to summon and take down a powerful foe.
The original concept saw two teams competing to beat waves of enemies and collect the ‘motes’ they dropped in two separate arenas, but the team found that initial version didn’t give Gambit the competitive feeling they were after. They toyed with a couple of solutions like an unbreakable transparent wall between the two arenas, before settling on an invasion mechanic that allows players to teleport to and sabotage the other team's efforts.
"It shifted the direction of the mode," says Stevens. "Players were not just thinking about slaying PvE enemies but also teamplay. Before it was a relay race of banking motes, and then it became about the risk-reward of how many motes to hold on to before invaders came in and wiped the board."
The pair discuss more on that topic as well as some other different changes they made to fine-tune Gambit's unique features in the full PC Gamer article.