9.22.2017

Fortnite Battle Royale - State of Development

By The Fortnite Team

We hope you all have been having a good time playing Fortnite Battle Royale. We’re working hard to make sure you have plenty to look forward to in your quest to earn umbrellas. So, we want to give everyone an update!

Our big news is the initial version of Squads coming 9/26 with support for DBNO (down but not out), duos (2 players) and squads (1-4 players). Emphasis is on “initial” as we are optimizing for getting the feature out ASAP and will continue to iterate and polish afterwards. The squads playlist will be enabled on 9/26 and we will monitor population numbers to decide when to enable duos. In-game communication (text, voice, hints, etc) is crucial for auto-filled teams and is next on the list.

We hope the introduction of Squads will reduce the desire for teaming in solo play. That being said, we stood up a system that will automatically and swiftly ban teamers. We’ve been manually running the detection tool to verify results and Player Support has been using the results to ban teamers for almost a week. The full automation will go live with the 9/26 update.

Cheating (aimbots, overlays, and such) is something we take seriously on both the legal and development front. Going free increases the challenge and is lighting a fire under our efforts. It is hard to talk about what we’re doing here without making it easier for cheat creators… so we won't :-) Cheaters are banned!
 

Coming in the Sept. 26 build:

1) Squads!

2) A mid-range scoped assault rifle and a mid-range SMG to round out the weapon line-up.

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3) HUD tweaks to make it easier to see markers and direction indicators.

4) Lots of other tweaks that will be documented in detail in our release notes.

 

Coming soon after the Sept. 26 build:

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Supply drops will allow introduction of some of the more zany weapons from the “Save the World” Campaign, and help us tune the timing of when specific weapons drop during a match. Our internal playtests showed supply drops adding more excitement to the mid-game over the fight to secure them. Depending on how balancing and testing goes they might be in 9/26 or the following week.

Combat feel encompasses a broad area and we have a few initiatives in the works that deserve their own post in the next week. See our post here for recent changes.

Improvements for inventory management like picking up ammo, resources, and traps by just walking over them. In the long term we are going to overhaul the inventory system.

We love stats and analytics and will  show you the basics over the next few weeks.

After providing stats we’ll focus on Leaderboards / Scoreboards and Rankings. Leaderboards / Scoreboards reward successful placement and game actions, while Ranking is a direct reflection of your skill. We’re evaluating algorithms for each of them and want to be careful we don’t change the goal to be the last player standing.

Cosmetic items are coming soon. New glider skins are a first example of this and there will be other categories as well. This requires the ability to select and choose variations in the UI, and of course a way for you to earn them by playing the game.

Console controller layouts are being revisited right now to see whether there is a different approach. This is something that will take some time to get right, but we will give you updates as progress is made.


The following information is a bit more on the engineering side, but I’m an engineer so hey :-)


We are currently running dedicated servers in Virginia (USA) and Frankfurt (Germany). Our infrastructure allows us to fairly easily spin up servers in other regions once a certain population threshold has been reached to ensure a good matchmaking experience.

We are happy with, but always looking to improve the minimum network bandwidth required to play the game and server performance after the first few minutes. What we’re not yet happy with is server performance during the lobby and very early phase of the match. This is an area that is requiring some higher level optimizations to our networking code.

Overall client performance is something we need to keep an eye on to ensure it is not getting worse. Same goes for input latency. Please holler if you are experiencing issues with either.

Client stability settled at around 100 hours of MTBF (mean time between failure) for Battle Royale. That means on average the game crashes every 100 hours of gameplay. Crashes are never acceptable and we are continuously working on the top crashes. Please let us know if you are running into frequent crashes to help us track them down! The 100-hour number is on the lower end of our comfort zone, but we also want to make sure we don’t sacrifice development velocity and deliver new features at a rapid pace.

Server stability thus far has been good *knocks on wood*… which is crucial as a single crash can impact up to 100 players at once! The goal here is to be above 10,000 hours MTBF and very rapidly address crashes and deploy servers with rolling updates as to not impact players further.

 

Thanks and we’ll see you in game,

Daniel Vogel
 

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