Game news Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands : Gearbox précise sa vision du spin-off de Borderlands
Been to Borderlands? A Spin-off is coming, and it’s very different. Here’s what we learned about Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands from the studios.
Bio de Matt Cox (Creative Director) et Kayla Belmore (Senior Producer)
Matt Cox is the Creative Director of Gearbox Software on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2001, Matt launched his career in the industry working on design elements for the Destroy All Humans franchise, developed by THQ. After being selected as a lead designer for Cell’s Scribblenauts and designing his own mobile games in parallel, Matt joined Gearbox Software in 2017 as a cutscene designer for Borderlands 3, and quickly rose through the ranks in the company. Matt had the opportunity to be Associate Creative Director for Bounty of Blood, Borderlands 3’s third DLC, which his team successfully completed before moving on to his current role on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.
Kayla Belmore is Senior Producer at Gearbox Software on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Her first position in the video game industry was as a personal assistant at Irrational Games, an opportunity she took to learn the ropes of game production and pipeline management. From there, she became a Tech Associate Producer at FireForge, where she optimized several facets of the business. Kayla joined Gearbox Software in 2016 as a pipeline coordinator. She held an Assistant Producer role creating post-launch content for Battleborn. Prior to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, she recently managed the content creation pipeline for Borderlands 3, the top-selling game by 2K Games.
A tabletop role-playing game
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands isn’t just a fantasy Borderlands spin-off. The game is based on a simple concept that goes back to the origins of the RPG … the classic and timeless tabletop role-playing game. Tiny Tina is a charismatic character that Borderlands fans know and love. And it is she who is in charge. They direct the game, decide the events, and even the fate of the players around a game table typical of “role play” evenings with its cans of soda and its aperitif cakes.
She’s the Game Master which is sort of Dungeon Master in a traditional tabletop RPG. She guides us through history and the “real” world from the game table. Everything we experience in the first person game comes from her chaotic mind, all the creatures, all the environments we go to, and also all the classic fantasy places we go to. It all comes from Tiny Tina’s mind, and she can turn things around on the fly to keep the story interesting. – Matt Cox (Creative Director for Gearbox Software)
The universe of Wonderlands is born in real time from the chaotic spirit of Tiny Tina who at will spawn enemies, reward players, and alter events to make the adventure epic. This gives Gearbox Software complete freedom. Artists can imagine the craziest creatures and environments without worrying about consistency, even if that strays a bit too far from Borderlands lore. Gearbox Software just lets its imagination wander, and given the teenager’s crazy mind… it might be memorable.
Wonderlands is particularly inspired by fantasy literature and cinema to enrich a universe imagined by Tiny Tina himself. We could quote The Lord of the Rings and Heavy Metal. But this Heroic-Fantasy world is different from others. The adventure takes place on a game table around which the adventurers and the Game Master gather. This feature… it’s the Overworld.
Overworld is another feature that’s completely different from any other game. In a first person shooter, you’ve never had third person Overworld in which you have a miniature version of your character. who can move from one place to another. In this Overworld, you can have small, dynamic encounters where you can engage in first-person combat while exploring the whole of Wonderlands. – Matt Cox (Creative Director for Gearbox Software)
To put it simply, the Overworld is a kind of interactive platform where the adventure takes place. But Wonderlands stays true to the Borderlands saga when it comes to combat. Enemies pop into the Overworld, but conflict resolution is done in first person.
Spells, Swords & Guns
The Borderlands saga has focused since its inception on ranged combat if I may say so. The experience therefore revolves mainly around firearms. Bursts are essential, and remain so in Wonderlands. But beware, the Heroic-Fantasy imposes its share of melee combat even if they are surprisingly secondary. Melee works differently from other games in the genre. Swords, daggers, and other hammers are unrelated to the selected character class. You can choose any melee weapon, and take advantage of its unique attributes and stat boosts. And the magic in all of this?
We have our roots in the Looter-Shooter. Guns are still the stars of the show. Magic is extremely powerful in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Spells are almost like Action Skills. You can use them in different ways in combat. You have spells that you channel. You have spells that you cast yourself. It can give you boosts or protect you from certain things. We have shot type spells, and many more. There are many and powerful. – Kayla Belmore (Senior Producer for Gearbox Software)
You would have understood it. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is the heir to the Borderlands series, takes the codes, and spices up the Gearbox Software formula with a dose of fantasy and supernatural pyrotechnics.
A 100% customizable avatar
Until now Borderlands has limited avatar customization somewhat, but Gearbox is revising its copy with Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands to stick to its core concept… tabletop role-playing.
The customization in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is different. You can completely customize your facial features, body, armor patterns, tattoos, etc. There is a lot more granular customization for your “Fakemaker”, that’s what we call our players in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. There is more variety to customize your character in detail. These customizations are separate from the skills and character class you choose. – Matt Cox (Creative Director for Gearbox Software)
The look, the voice and even the personality… almost everything in the creation of heroes is left to the discretion of the players. The fact of separating the options related to the gameplay from those purely cosmetic ensures on paper an almost total freedom.
A Borderlands standalone
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is presented as a standalone, an adventure totally detached from the Borderlands saga playable alone or in cooperation with 1 to 4 players. You don’t need to have played previous titles on Pandora to enjoy this fantastic spin-off. There are a few links and nods, but it ends there.
You can play Wonderlands without having played any Borderlands games. Some of our fans, people who have played our games before, may recognize a few familiar faces or aspects of the game. The story itself and the characters that exist in the game world are completely unrelated. Your character, friends, and the evil Dragon Lord are all new to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Anyone can play it. – Kayla Belmore (Senior Producer for Gearbox Software)
The game from Gearbox Software is slated for release on March 25, 2022 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC. Speaking of the PC version, it will be temporarily exclusive to the Epic Games Store when it launches just like Borderlands 3 was in its day. The studios should offer post-launch content (DLC, Season Pass, updates) without specifying its nature. It should be added that no cosmetic microtransaction is to be expected. Finally, the Next Gen versions will exploit the extra power of the ninth generation consoles. The developers have been quiet about this.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands seems to want to forge its own path, far from a simple fantasy spin-off, it remains to be seen how.