LOS ANGELES,  - APRIL 23: 15 year-old Yasmin the photographer’s daughter, plays Fortnite featuring Travis Scott Presents: Astronomical on April 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, United States. Travis Scott + Cactus Jack have partnered with Fortnite to produce Astronomical, an in-game experiential performance and the world premiere of a new song. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Gaming - News
Fortnite's Evolution Happened Just How It Needed To
Shifting Art Styles
Initially, "Fortnite" utilized a grittier, realistic aesthetic and a color palette of grays and browns to deliver an oppressive, dangerous atmosphere befitting a survival horror game. As Epic Games refined "Fortnite," it evolved into having pleasing, cartoonish graphics with exaggerated proportions and colorful costumes that produced a more playful tone.
Unreal Engine
The “Fortnite” prototype began with Unreal Engine 3, a graphics engine that used pre-existing Unreal assets but created an aesthetic mess — not surprising given the game’s hectic design schedule. Epic Games would later switch to Unreal Engine 4 to add progression and mechanics to “Fortnite” that were more inviting. "Fortnite Chapter 3" would later upgrade to Unreal Engine 5.
Meaningful Name
The initial idea for "Fortnite" was a co-op hybrid tower defense shooter and survival horror game, with a realistic system inspired by "Minecraft" and "Terraria." The battle royale element of "Fortnite," inspired by "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds," was built soon after, and without “Battlegrounds,” "Fortnite" would likely still be a co-op tower defense game.
At first, Epic Games wanted to release "Battle Royale" as an add-on that would come free with every purchase of the main co-op mode, "Save the World"; however, several weeks before release, Epic turned "Battle Royale" into a standalone product with its own price tag of $0. The game also launched with a Season Shop that sold items, but was replaced with Battle Pass.
“Fortnite” was planned to launch as a PC exclusive because its designer, Cliff Bleszinski, didn't want to go through the lengthy approval process for consoles until later. As "Fortnite" grew in popularity, it was released on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices; however, Apple removed "Fortnite" from iOS in 2020 due to an ongoing legal battle.