"We are absolutely, deliberately targeting the idea that we want a game that people can just pick up and play," says John Mulkey, design director on Gearbox's new shooter, Battleborn
(PS4, Xbox One, PC). His team's latest design, which favors collaboration, community input and a heavy focus on testing and tuning, couldn't be more different from the cult classic he built levels for – years ago.
Just how much community input and playtesting went into No One Lives Forever
anyway, I ask Mulkey. "Oh, god," he says, briefly thrust back into a previous life. "None."
Propelled chiefly by the strength of its clever vision, a game like No One Lives Forever
seems to be an outlier now. It was a game made without a steady stream of analytics, feedback and pushback, though meant to be consumed more succinctly, and for what was then a much smaller audience. "A game like this, we hope, it's not just this game that hits and fades away," says Scott Kester, the man in charge of Battleborn
's look. "We want this to go. We want to keep making it."