Fortnite aiming for more 'casual' audience than Gears of War

By Andrew Yoon, Jan 20, 2012 1:30pm PST

Very little is known about Fortnite, the next game from the team that developed the Gears of War trilogy. Its debut trailer surprised many, with a cartoony look that was a stark departure from the dude-bros the team has become infamous for. What kind of game is it? Well, we still don't know. However, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney has promised that it will be less "hardcore" than its Xbox 360 franchise.

Fortnite is "for an entirely different audience," Sweeney said, emphasizing its casual appeal. "It appeals to a wider audience than a hardcore game like Gears of War. We are branching out, but we tie it all together with AAA production values."

Fortnite is the result of an internal "game jam" held inside Epic after completing development on Gears of War 3. Apparently, the team wanted to work on it's next AAA project, but wasn't quite ready yet. "Everybody in the company who was available divided up into teams and spent a week creating prototypes," Sweeney described to VentureBeat. "We got a bunch of different prototypes and proposals out of it, with an incredible amount of variety. Fortnite arose through that process."

Although the visuals have a cartoonish look, Sweeney emphasizes that there is still a lot of tech powering the game. "The graphics are not that bad. They have vivid colors and there are real-time shadows everywhere. There is destruction of buildings. The game is a technical powerhouse, though it’s not as obvious as in Gears of War," Sweeney said. "Even when you do cartoon graphics, you can still apply some really serious technology to it. If you look at a Pixar movie, they have impressive effects. It’s more a question of style than technological prowess."

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