Lawbreakers is the hot new multiplayer shooter coming our way. The PC exclusive game is getting plenty of attention from the community but it has its work cut out for it by awaiting rivals Overwatch and Quake Champions. We had a chat with Dan Nanni, Lead Designer at Boss Key, about Lawbreakers and why one should put his money towards their game.
We also covered other topics such as lore, possible Xbox One X support, plans for single-player campaign and more.
SegmentNext: Why did you choose to make LawBreakers a multiplayer only game? Did market statistics lead you in that direction or did you plan it from the start?
Dan Nanni: Boss Key has always wanted to keep the studio relatively small. Producing large single player campaigns to compete against bigger studios would lead us to become a big studio ourselves. We knew multiplayer games well and we knew what our limitations were being a small studio. It wasn’t just the smart decision to make, but it also played to our studio’s key strengths, and it was our target from the very beginning.
SegmentNext: Is there a single-player campaign in the works for Lawbreakers that will come out down the line? It would depend on the reception of the game, I presume.
Dan Nanni: No campaigns planned just yet, but I wouldn’t rule it out for the future. There are a lot of differences between multiplayer gameplay and narrative campaigns. Not just in design, but also in key personnel and the work required to create them. If LawBreakers did well enough and the demand was high enough, it’s definitely something that would interest us, but first we need to release the base game before we consider such a large undertaking.
SegmentNext: Will we get any lore or stories about the game’s characters, like comics or animated shorts similar to Blizzard’s Overwatch?
Dan Nanni: You’ll definitely get lore reveals. There are some available in-game through VO, account portrait descriptions and narrative scattered throughout the maps, but we’re exploring ways to divulge the deeper storyline outside of the game as well.
SegmentNext: LawBreakers looks good, no doubt about it, but with Overwatch already out and being one of the most popular multiplayer games, and Quake Champions coming soon, where do you see LawBreakers fitting in, and why as a consumer I should spend my money on this game?
Dan Nanni: We’re making our game, in our vision, without looking to make or remake something gamers have already played before. Anyone who’s played LawBreakers figures that out pretty quickly and immediately notices the unique gameplay we’ve brought to the table.
It’s not just because of a single topic – our gravity gameplay adds verticality to shooters in a whole new way, our roles play with class-tropes and flip them upside down, our game modes tease you with something familiar and then twist it up with nail-biting conclusions. It’s the entire experience combined together that really sells the uniqueness of LawBreakers. All of the modes were built to support the roles, and all of the roles were built to play with low gravity, and all of our gravity mechanics were built to be manipulated by the roles. Everything was created to work as an entire experience, and it’s an experience like no other game.
SegmentNext: Cliff Bleszinski has a long history with Microsoft so I have to ask, what was your team’s reaction to Xbox One X? Do you think it is a good move to target 4K, given that the majority of gamers don’t own 4K screens?
Dan Nanni: I can’t speak for Cliff, but personally, I like seeing technology always pushing the limits. As a designer, new tools mean new opportunities, and increased power and performance reveal new options that may have previously been blocked by technological limitations.
I think it’s smart for any hardware manufacturer to chase a trend, or introduce a new one. Sure, not all gamers have 4K capable TVs or monitors – right now – but the costs are dropping and in time I don’t see why they wouldn’t be adopted. The same could have be said for 1080p TVs and monitors, and Blu-ray during the previous console generation. Or DVDs before that. Adoption takes time, but it also takes industry leaders like Microsoft to support their growth.
SegmentNext: You have already suggested that LawBreakers might come to Xbox One in the future, and if that happens, should we expect support for Xbox One X?
Dan Nanni: Our goal is to get LawBreakers into as many hands as possible within the constraints of our studio’s size. We’re not biased for or against any platform. As long as supporting platforms like the Xbox One X makes business sense, and we have the time and the right people to get the job done, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be an option for us.