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creative ama 3 29 2019

Announcements

Hey everyone,

We recently held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on our Fortnite Creative subreddit. Read below to see all of the info that was shared! If you want to go directly to the original page click here.

Devs for the AMA
  • ZooKeeperZak - Creative Development Director
  • avgulotta - Producer
  • DarkVeil - Programming Lead
Let’s get to the questions!

Q: Will you ever add rift teleporters like the ones that were in wailing?
A: Yes! Timing is tbd as our list tends to change based on many factors. The more creators like yourselves are excited about a new feature the more likely it is we'll do it sooner.

Q: Will there ever be the ability to change your locker during a Creative match?
A: We really want this feature! The reason it's a bit tricky is because the Locker interface needs some work before we'll be able to summon it in the middle of a Creative session. This is mainly for performance and memory reasons, but also because of how the game's menu system was originally designed. We're pondering about how we can do it. How would you guys feel about a different sort of interface, like an Outfit "quick select" pop-up, initially?

Q: Will custom vending machines and zip lines be added?
A: Vending Yes! Zip lines not likely they have a lot of specific gameplay and setup requirements that would be difficult to move over. We're focusing more on things like custom vending machine and other devices that can be used in multiple ways to make games.

Q: Any thoughts on a terrain editor and some weather effects?
A: We've wanted Terrain tools since our first release, but it's a pretty large project. One of our goals is to provide tools that allow you guys to create worlds that are of the same quality that Epic creates. The way that Fortnite's terrain system works is actually pretty complicated, so we're still figuring out how we want to expose this for Creative.
Weather effects would be awesome! We'll be looking into it, along with other ways to personalize your island's look.

Q: I have a question regarding a recent change with patch 8.20, is it possible to revert the recent changes made to lighting in creative?
A: Yes, we've seen various reports of lighting inconsistencies, and these changes were unexpected. We're looking into it. Very sorry about that!

Q: Ever think about creative tournaments where you announce a theme and people have X time to build something and submit?
A: We've just done that with the first LTM Creator Contest https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/news/ltm-creator-contest

Q: Will you guys add a program that allows you to publish an island WITHOUT being in the support a creator program?
A: We are working on a way to allow this. Making sure that content that can be shared is audience appropriate is what we're working to figure out. We're still a ways from being able to enable this.

Q: Do you have anything you want to tease but just aren’t quite ready to fully announce yet? 👀
A: Multiselect!

Q: What was the biggest challenge/technical hurdle you faced while developing Creative Mode?
A: There were many enormous technical challenges, but three that stick out for me were:

Multiple "islands" at once. Fortnite (and Unreal Engine, actually), are not really set up for multiple games running at the same time asynchronously, on the same server! Part of our vision for Creative is to have shared spaces where creators can own and control their own islands and games, but also to colocate players on servers to allow for social experiences and collaborations. This required a large technical effort to allow for full-featured games to be independently run within the same overarching server session. We're very happy with how it turned out and excited to see where we can take this in the future.

Breaking all of the rules about how world content is "streamed" to players. In Battle Royale we have quite a bit of offline processing of the world to make sure we can load it super fast on all platforms as you move around the world. In Creative you can show up on a friend's island while they're halfway through building it and there is no opportunity for optimization. Rather than streaming efficiently from physical media, we literally download the content to players as they're traveling around and try to make that feel just good. There are still a number of challenges to this but we've been improving it release to release.

Fully collaborative editing of islands. Getting the Phone tools to play nicely with Fortnite was certainly one interesting challenge, but to allow up to 16 players to all build in the same shared space, able to see what each other are doing the whole time, was pretty tricky!

Q: Any thoughts on more available islands, and more available memory? Like 50k more?
A: We'll be continually adding new islands in Fortnite updates. We're also working on improving how you manage your islands, allowing you to rename them, save copies, and have many more saved islands than you do now. We'll have more to share later!

As for memory, currently, there are some important constraints. We'd like your creations to run well on all of the platforms Fortnite is played on, so the memory budget helps prevent crashes. But the more interesting limitation is actually on the Fortnite server. Battle Royale has many thousands of buildings, props and vehicles -- but on a Creative server, we may have hundreds of thousands more objects loaded and simulating on the server. And these islands are totally dynamic, so no "offline optimizations" are possible.

This is actually a new problem for Fortnite (and for Unreal Engine, to a lesser extent!) We've been working on optimizing the servers, and you've probably noticed that Creative islands load much more quickly than they used to. This optimization work will continue, and we'll reevaluate the memory limits as we go.

Q: Can you give an in-depth explanation of why it might be difficult to add all vaulted weapons and items in to Creative mode?
A: Items can have many unexpected interactions with other items that can cause significant bugs. Infinity Blade as an example removes all your inventory, currently the phone is a special inventory item so to make the Infinity Blade available in creative we had to add custom code that fixed that bug and didn't cause the creator to lose functionality when trying to use it. The Jetpack has similar issues with fly that we need to solve. Other items just no longer exist like the Epic Tactical Shotgun that's now the Rare Tactical Shotgun. Some items have contractual constraints like the Infinity Gauntlet where they can only be available at certain times, which don't work well for creations that can persist forever. Every item is different levels of complexity to make work in Creative and so along with all the other awesome stuff we'd like to build has to be prioritized against the entire list.

Q: Will there ever be an easier way to find other players for creative sessions? Can public sessions be possible on the server browser?
A: This is a hugely important thing for us. With the Season 8 update, we expanded Playgrounds to 16 players and enabled Fill matchmaking into a hub with featured Creative content. This was only one of our first big steps to make it easier to play with others. You'll probably see us go through a number of iterations with content sharing and discovery. We're still figuring this out, and your feedback is very helpful!

Q:  Will we ever get prefabs of past locations that are no longer in Battle Royale?
A: There's absolutely nothing that's off the table as far as new prefabs that could be added. I'm sure you'll see more prefabs for old favorite POIs in the future! We also are excited to introduce props and building tiles that allow for more expressive game styles in the future.

Q: In as much or as little detail as you like, what’s the history of Creative? When was the idea first pitched and when did development start?
A: Epic has always been thinking about Creative, in some form or fashion. In September of last year, a few people on the team got together and drafted some plans for the mode. We rallied around the idea, formed the team, and in 6 weeks put together the initial launch version of Creative Mode.

Q: Will you add more Durr Burger presets?
A: Durr Burger and a few other Fortnite points of interest are in our backlog.

Q:
  1. Any plans to allow creators to edit ALL of their previously published maps? Even if that island has since been restored?
  2. I’ve recently submitted map that’s gaming “feature” happens to be a free for all battle. Am I limiting my chances of a feature without a more specific gaming element. (After the success of my mini map, Compact Combat, I assumed it was not a necessity until the recent submission guidelines)
  3. Can a map still be featured if it was published, has a code, but the island it was located on has since been restored/wiped?
  4. Any future plans for CREATOR STATS? (Most visited islands/ play time etc)
  5. Any plans for creators working together inevitably being compensated together?
  6. Building breaks ALL props. Is that be design or are there plans to change?
A:
  1. No. Although our plan is to allow for a more flexible island creation system along with being able to publish the same island to the same code multiple times
  2. Feature maps we try to focus on games that players can play. They can be any type of game though, if it's fun to play with friends that's what matters.
  3. Yes
  4. Yes, details are still to be figured out. Having stats for creators is an awesome idea we're excited about.
  5. Yes, we are working on a strategy to allow collaboration to be compensated together. It's a bunch of work that will take a bit of time.
  6. It's a design decision that was made for BR, we're currently thinking about reconsidering how that works for Creative. So thinking about this actively.
Q: Is there any chance we’ll eventually see a “gravity trap/item?” That way we can control the gravity of only specific areas in the map?
A: Yes.

Q: Are you planning on giving us the option to enable double pump?
A: Probably not. We'll see what options we can provide when we working on allowing creators to modify weapon stats.

Q: Is there ever going to be a way to use the phone tool properly on the main island?
A: We would love to allow the Phone tools to be available on the main BR island. Imagine how awesome it would be to remix the BR map? However it has a great number of technical challenges, so we don't have a timeline for it yet. Also, it has interesting considerations with regards to backwards compatibility -- remember, the BR island evolves continuously with every release (and even between releases with live events!). Keeping every old version of the BR island on your hard drive so that you could load your saved content might not be reasonable to do. We'll see though!

Q: Do you think you’ll add the ability to recolor objects?
A: Yes this is planned. We want you to be able to change various materials and colors on props and walls. This includes player-built walls. However, we're still figuring out technically how this could work so it won't be available soon. However, some new props will have color choices available right on the object, and we'll try to provide color variants in prefab galleries when it seems really valuable to do so.

Q: Will there ever be storm simulated circles so you can practice end game situations?
A: Yes! This is planned but is technically a bit difficult which is why we haven't been able to introduce it. But our goal is for you to be able to run "mini-BR" games on your island, with configurable storms, bus, etc. The reason it's tricky is because of how Creative allows for many games to run at the same time on the same server. We'll figure it out though!

Q: Is there going to be a tool that allows us to copy and paste whole structures that have been built?
A: Yes! The first version of this feature is actually coming quite soon. You'll be able to select multiple objects and copy them around. This includes props and building tiles, or combinations of both. We actually just had a discussion in the office about which button to assign the new selection feature to.

Q: I want to see Thanos in creative, along with shadow rocks and hop rocks.
A: No Thanos for now, but we definitely will introduce the various consumables that you can place into your island, including hop rocks.