Shortly after announcing his departure from Krafton and the report on the upcoming vast and planet-size open-world game, Prologue, Brendan “Playerunknown” Greene gave an interview to GamesBeat. His idea with the new machine learning technology is to build space where helicopters will have real meaning. But first, before we start talking more about Prologue, let’s walk through PlayerUnknown’s history for a bit.
Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene was the first one to create the Battle Royale mod in Arma. After being rejected by Bohemia Interactive on his Battle Royale idea, he’s later invited and involved in the first Battle Royale sensation, PUBG, where his views become a reality.
Games like DayZ always inspired Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene. He revealed how he fell in love with Chernarus and how PlayerUnknown found freedom in that game, considering he could walk miles and miles forward, eventually leading to the end of the map. Once he would go there, he would say, “Fuck, man, why does it have to end here?”. From there, we can conclude that he was inspired by big open worlds that simultaneously encourage and support many players.
His inspiration also emerges from the ability to build bases, live, and defend them by any cause. Bases in DayZ or Rust are easy to encounter. The worlds are significant but not as big as if you are playing on a highly populated server. Speaking of size, he said, “I want a space where you don’t discover a player’s base for miles. Or when you do, it’s a big settlement rather than a box.” Driven by the ambition to create vast open worlds, PlayerUnknown and his team created the machine learning technology that would help them generate a huge, unique world.
Prologue is just the first project iteration where they test the sustainability and power of their new technology—an early introduction to their invention. The project includes a 64-kilometer by 64-kilometer world and resembles the modern forests of Europe. “This was more to see how far we could push the tech. The game mechanics should work on any scale world, or at least that’s the idea.” PlayerUnknown said.
As he promised, Prologue will be released as a Tech Demo and will be accessible to anyone, without an official price tag, but for how much they are willing to pay through their Pay-as-you-want program.
Prologue is planned to be a multi-year journey towards creating their final goal, with rich, interactive, and open worlds. “We’re thinking of truly massive worlds. That brings a whole load of questions alongside it. But the idea behind the technology is that it’s scalable. It shouldn’t matter what size of world you want to create. The technology should scale with it. That’s our main focus.”
PlayerUnknown believes that Prologue won’t be interesting, but it will serve to make something bigger. “I think it’ll be quite boring. Light fires, board up windows, keep yourself warm against the constant storm where cold weather will knock you out. But again, it’s more to show a consistent world with logical points on it where you can do things, and this is systemic gameplay.” – He said.
The journey with Prologue will eventually be traversing to Artemis, the real Open-World sandbox experience.
Artemis is planned to be an open world with undirected sandbox experience, with worlds generated by the machine learning tech. In this way, the developers will be able to produce vast worlds, bigger than any other game had ever made. Much bigger than Prologue in any case. This is where his wish of creating a space where helicopters have real meaning comes from.
Unlike Prologue, Artemis is planned to be filled with different terrains and animals. In Artemis, players will not only be able to build bases, but they can build whole cities, societies, and civilizations. “We want to give people a new place to live because this one has some issues” – PlayerUnknown said. Prologue is sort of a gateway to reaching this goal.
Unlike Prologue, “Artemis probably won’t be worlds generated with runtime. Prologue will be, every time you press play you’ll get a new world“. It is planned to be and feel different every time you play and get a new world.
So, what do you think about Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene’s upcoming project? Do you believe it will be successful? Not a single major developer has dedicated to such innovation, and that’s maybe for a reason. In any case, if it turns out to be as he says and the goal accomplished, then we’ll have a breakthrough in the multiplayer open-world video game genre.