Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, the creator of PUBG, wants to create the biggest sandbox-style open-world game ever with his new studio.
The PlayerUnknown Twitter account posted a five-minute video today featuring Greene talking directly to the camera about his studio’s aspirations, as reported by Eurogamer.
In it, Greene discusses his fascination with open-world games, how he wants to create games on scale seldom seen, and more.
— PLAYERUNKNOWN (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) September 3, 2021
“And since [getting lost in the open fields of Chernarus in DayZ], I’ve held this deep fascination with sandbox-style open-world games and the freedoms that they give players, but I always just wished they were a bit bigger,” Greene says in the video. “So that’s our mission as a studio. We want to create realistic sandbox worlds on a scale that’s seldom attempted — worlds hundreds of kilometers across with thousands of players interacting, exploring, and creating.”
Greene says one of the biggest problems with creating a game world at this scale is there simply isn’t “a way to fill these massive spaces with content, assets, game mechanics, locations,” and more. He says the key to making worlds bigger than what humans can currently accomplish is getting machines to help.
His new studio, which does not yet have a public name, has created such a machine and this machine is a neural network that gives his team a way to learn and “generate massive realistic open worlds at runtime, or to put it another way, each and every time you press play.”
All this talk of machine-learning and world creation brings Greene to Prologue, a game first teased at the 2019 Game Awards.
“Prologue is meant to serve as a simple introduction to an early iteration of our technology and a chance to look at what we accomplished by leveraging machine learning,” Greene says in the video. “In Prologue, you’ll need to find your way across a runtime-generated wilderness and use found tools, and gather resources, to survive on a journey where harsh weather is your constant foe.”
He says there will be no guidance in Prologue, no path to follow, or anything leading you forward — just a spot on a map to reach and the tools necessary to reach that spot.
“We’ve also decided to release Prologue as a tech demo, rather than a complete game, as a way for you to experience an early iteration of our terrain generation tool,” Greene says.
With Prologue now being released as a tech demo and not a complete game, Greene says players will be able to pay what they want for the demo. There’s no mention of when Prologue will actually be released, though, and it’s unclear if the tech demo will be free, with players having the ability to pay money for it if they’d like, or if there will be a base price.
“Prologue is the first step on a multi-year journey towards creating rich and interactive open worlds,” Greene says as the video nears its end.
For more, check out the Prologue teaser released during the 2019 Game Awards and then read about how Greene left PUBG Corp to create a new independent studio after that.
Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.