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Interview with Maxime Babin - Creative Director, Borderlands 3 DLC 2

Published: 14:59, 16 March 2020
Updated: 15:43, 16 March 2020
Gearbox
A view of the planet Xylourgos in Borderlands 3 - Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright and Hammerlock.
As inviting as this looks, don't be deceived. Thar be critters lurking.

Gearbox continue to produce sizeable premium expansions and free updates for Borderlands 3, and following our recent hands on time with Guns, Love, and Tentacles, we interviewed Creative Director for DLC 2 Maxime Babin to get the scoop on their development process.

Following the resounding success of DLC 1, Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot ( our review ), Gearbox have continued to allow their teams to flex their muscles whilst doubling down on fan favourites. The focus of DLC 2 is clearly on those returning legacy characters, while moving their stories forward in interesting ways. 

Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright and Hammerlock (to use its correct, and delightfully ridiculous full name) is everything you've come to expect from this franchise; uncompromisingly silly, bordering on pantomime at times, whilst retaining the core gameplay loop that has had fans hooked since day 1. 

Our conversation with DLC 2 Creative Director Maxime Babin covered how they go about structuring their creative process, and a potential tease for DLC 3.  

Gearbox A skags nasty cousin in Borderlands 3 - Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright and Hammerlock. These are for shooting, not petting. You have been warned.

The wider community response to Wainright & Hammerlock's wedding has been super positive. What's the feeling in the studio when your creative choices are embraced so warmly?

It’s a mix of happiness, pride and relief. We really wanted to tell that story because Wainwright and Hammerlock are some of our favourite characters. We are really happy with the positive response to the wedding. We always strive to make the most entertaining things possible, but doing that AND making  more people feel included and seen is something we are really proud of. Regarding creative decisions, I was more worried about the idea of mixing romance and eldritch horror together than I was about the wedding – And it turned out great!

There is so much new voice over work across both DLC's. Do you have to "bulk record" the characters dialogue ahead of time for every piece of upcoming DLC, or do you call in the voice actors every time for each individual DLC project?

We’ll call in the voice actors every time for each individual DLC project. Each DLC is worked on in succession, so we may have an idea what DLC 4 is when we’re working on DLC 1, but we wouldn’t get to it’s script until DLC 2 and 3 are done with theirs.

Gearbox Another enemy from Borderlands 3 - Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright and Hammerlock. Now that is some Aggressive Tentacles. Hmm... potential indie band name?

Borderlands is a vast, deeply lore driven world. Do story decisions have to be approved by a creative lead, or is it structured more like a TV show writers room, where individuals take charge of crafting specific parts of the overall narrative?

It is a little bit of both. The creative lead often have the big picture, work on an outline for the story and handles the decisions that will affect the project as a whole. Then multiple people take charge and make everything come to life while injecting their own creative touch into the mix. Having creative people do creative things all the way until the end is what makes Borderlands special. 

Can you give us any kind of tease for the next DLC expansion? Perhaps even just a single word that might sum up what players can expect?

We actually teased this already at our PAX East panel! We gave two words to sum up what players can expect “Outlaws and Dinosaurs”!

Is the giant tentacled creature on the planet Xylourgos infact a prized bounty that was captured and killed by a Hirogen hunting party from Star Trek: Voyager?

Wow. Yes? No. 

A huge thank you to Maxime Babin for taking the time for this interview, and a shout out to Kayleigh and the rest of the 2K team for being so helpful!

Borderlands 3 is available now, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Borderlands 3 - Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright and Hammerlock launches March 26th on all platforms.

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