The release of Fortnite Season 6 has created much hype and anticipation about its ever-expanding universe. To some extent, the game has become a pop culture sensation over the past few years, even behaving like a pop-culture aggregator, both new and old.
The dearly loved game has seen many changes over the years. Donald Mustard, Epic Game's Chief Creative Officer, in an exclusive interview with The Verge, talked about the Fortnite Season 6 storyline.
"People need to be emotionally attached to an entertainment experience": Donald Mustard on Fortnite Season 6
According to him, the ideation behind telling a story through Fortnite was not spontaneous. Since the game's launch, the story was a vital element of the experience:
"Our approach since the start, or our goal, has been how do we create truly mass-scale, broad-based entertainment. And I always think that the way to do that is through narrative conceit and the why of what's going on and what's happening, which are critical for people to be emotionally attached to an entertainment experience. Fortnite has a story because all great entertainment has a good story."
For any Battle Royale, telling a consistent story is a daunting task. The parameters and factors to be taken into consideration are vast. It's no different for Fortnite Season 6, wherein surviving and shooting is the game's crux.
Therefore, storytelling is not as straightforward as it would be with single-player games.
Unlike single-player games, where people get to see the cause and effect of an in-game event, Fortnite shows players the aftermath of events on the world map after they have played out.
Speaking about Fortnite Season 6 events, Donald said:
"You're only seeing the results of it happening around you, rather than seeing everything that Agent Jones is doing or The Seven are doing. And a lot of times, you're out in the world seeing the results of some of those things, but not necessarily the moments that led to that."
According to him, Fortnite does not have any main character. Rather, the world itself is the main character as one of the most potent narrative tools used in-game is environmental storytelling.
This is evident in Fortnite Season 6. After the Zero Crisis, the entire landscape of the map shifted drastically along with the narrative.
"The world of Fortnite is the main character. I will give that an arc, I will give that a journey, and if we do it right, what would happen? Would you become invested in that character. That's why when stuff happened, like a comet came, I wanted it to affect the character. It's going to leave a permanent mark. The comet's going to leave a huge hole."
Talking about Zero Point and Fortnite Season 6, Donald Mustard stated how he knew that a metaverse could play a massive role in the game.
"I knew, ultimately, that a big part of the story we would tell is these overlapping realities. It's about the Zero Point in and what that is and why that is, and how it tethers reality together. I knew the only way to do that right was to somehow convince all these other people to come to play with us, to come to play in our fictional universe."
With the recent official comic book collaboration between DC and Epic, Fortnite Season 6 could see skins and storylines in-game that may revolve around the many heroes from the DCU.
Donald is confident that with Fortnite Season 6's launch and success, the game's future will shift towards an entertainment experience, rather than just gaming.
"Our lofty goal is to create the entertainment experience of the future. I think some of that is feeling our way into what feels like it's going to be a new medium, where it's this blended entertainment experience that has interactive elements."