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A Letter from Borderlands 3's Creative Director

Posted: Sep 12 2019

Celebrate the launch of Borderlands 3 with a letter from Creative Director Paul Sage:

It all starts at nothing. There is no concrete thing which exists when we 'start' making a game, except for maybe the expectations of the fans and ourselves. Those expectations are both a joy and a weight. When I started at Gearbox in June of 2015, there was a great inheritance of those expectations tied inextricably with an amazing franchise. Together with the team, we started to frame those expectations into ideas. There is something special about seeing an idea start and watching that idea go through multiple people who each put in their effort and their talent to make the idea a reality. In those early days, we were talking about things like multiple Action Skills for Vault Hunters, guns with manufacturer differences that impact gameplay rather than just numbers, real physics, elemental damage types, and removing roadblocks that prevent people from playing together. Many of those early ideas are in the game today.

In August of 2016, a little over a year after I started, we moved to the Unreal 4 engine. Many of our tools and pipelines had to change. We weren't just making a new Borderlands; we were making a new Borderlands in a new way. At the same time as we switched engines, we expanded our team. In order to get a great Borderlands game to our fans, we needed a huge and unified effort. Anyone who has ever worked on a deadline can tell you that changing how you do things with a large number of people will provide a huge challenge. When I use the word 'challenge,' understand that this is a cleansed word devoid of the true meaning of what a team goes through. We each have different thoughts, ideas, and ways we like for things to be done. It can make for some difficult times.

What makes us all push through those difficult times is a joined and singular purpose: we want you to experience joy when you play our games. I have mentioned before about the privileges of my position and getting to speak for a team. I cannot stress enough how the team has come together to make sure we have produced a worthy successor to Borderlands 2. Note, there was absolutely a lot of joy and camaraderie in making Borderlands 3. However, if I came here spewing only rainbow memories and sunshine bullshit, I wouldn't properly represent what I mean when I say, this is a labor of love and I respect the team who made this game.

Likewise, I might not also properly emphasize our passion in making a great game for you. We want you to forget all of the cares and difficulties that are also undoubtedly in your own life. We want to put a smile on your face, make you laugh, and for a little while, escape. Maybe even share that experience with others. I hope more than just feeling the team's passion, more than getting to experience the next Borderlands, you get to sit down, laugh a little, and just have a damn good time. And I hope that it is just the start, given that we have a lot planned for Borderlands 3 over the next year.

So, with all of that, whaddya say to starting a little mayhem?

- Paul Sage

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