“There’s no need to be different just to be different. Just make it good please.”
- Brendan Greene, creative lead of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is currently rocketing past 2 million copies sold on Steam, but it has its origins in the humble modding community build around Arma 2. While we were chatting with Brendan Greene (aka Playerunknown, who created the Battle Royale mod for DayZ that would eventually become H1Z1: King of the Kill and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds), we asked him what advice he would give to modders who want to follow in his footsteps.
Greene was adamant that modders not just try to clone games other people have done, but also not try to make something different for difference’s sake. “Don’t just copy something else. If something has success already, don’t be a clone of it,” he said.
“It’s hard to do. Even Battle Royale isn’t my idea. Survivor games like DayZ existed before I did. But find what you want to play—Battle Royale is a game I want to play. Doing that is more worthwhile than trying to make a game you think other people want to play.”
As you, the astute viewer, may point out, Greene has been able to play “The game he wanted” for some time now, thanks to the creators of H1Z1 licensing his mod for their game. But to him, Battlegrounds had to happen so the game could exist in exactly the way he thought it should. “With a lot of weapons…with a lot of attachments…with different levels of armor, that’s what’s made us stand out, so to speak.”
For more of Greene’s thoughts on game development (and why he keeps his moniker in the game’s name) be sure to watch the full interview above. And while you’re at it, be sure to follow the Gamasutra Twitch channel for more developer interviews, editor roundtables and gameplay commentary.