Games News

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and the giant map idea

Bluehole
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Bluehole
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Brendan Greene, creator of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, has indicated he'd like to make a game with a truly massive map and put 2,000 players on it.

Brendan Greene clearly is a splendid man. He has taken his beautifully simple "Battle Royale" idea all the way from an Arma II mod to its latest realisation in the mercurially popular PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - via a lucrative H1Z1 Kill of the Hill license deal - and a lot of happy players.

There are few better stories in the contemporary gaming universe. A four year journey from "I wonder if I could?" to "I totally have!" for the 41-year-old Irishman.

So in addition to bringing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to full fruition - and there's a way to go with that yet - what is Mr Greene planning to spend the creative capital he has now amassed on?

BlueholePlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - on the movePlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - on the move

Well, one thing he has mentioned in a recent interview is an idea for a survival game.

"I want to do ... a proper survival game. I want to do 100km by 100km maps that probably are procedurally generated with 2000 people."

That's 100km2. Yeah, we know you can do maths - but we still like saying it. 100km2.

So Mr PlayerUnknown is expressing some ambition here. And we know exactly where he's coming from.

BlueholePlayerUnknown's Battegrounds - diving inPlayerUnknown's Battegrounds - diving in

We like to snipe, so does Brendan Greene; we prefer things a little less arcadey when it comes to shooting - so does Brendan Greene. We love the feeling of fear and loneliness while gaming w̶h̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶r̶e̶l̶a̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶l̶d̶h̶o̶o̶d̶  and we think Brendan Greene does too.

We also would like to think if he's been exploring this area, he understands that survival mechanics such as food, shelter and clothing have a place as a vital part of such of a game - but not ones that utterly destroy any enjoyment for the less than super hard-core player.

In short, a survival game on a large map with a good supply of dangers and difficulties is something we'd love to see. We thought DayZ SA might be it - and it still could be - although we can't help but feel that prospect is diminishing.

What the father of Battle Royale has mentioned, however, is something more ambitious yet and he might have the clarity of vision to achieve it.

BlueholePlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - killing zonePlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - killing zone

However - and here is where we play the clanging chimes of doom - labelling a title a "survival game" and giving players a wonderful vast space to explore as well as environmental challenges to their existence is not enough by itself. 

Why? Because the stupid f**ks shoot or stab each other - and the game rapidly becomes an exercise in Kill On Sight. Or, if you put some kind of group mechanic in, it becomes a tribal bloodbath. We're not opposed to either of course, but if survival is the aim, massacring everyone isn't really a goal. You might need to kill of course, but that needs to be a decision with value and some kind of penalty.

BlueholePUBG character aiming at the cameraPlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

We've always favoured the "insanity mechanic" - kill too much and/or too often, and your character goes right off their trolley. Bananas. Loco. Batshit crazy. You maybe lose some control of them, or other players have an indicator you're a bloody badmash and can end you. You can reset the insanity meter, but it takes a long time.

You get the notion.

We know we're addressing ourselves to what might only be a throwaway idea. But we like the idea and we like Brendan Greene and we would love to see his giant map survival game made reality.

Let's hope someone has the imagination to back his imagination.