Anyone who plays PUBG on the reg is bound to have a favourite strategy. Perhaps you stock up at the military base, or enjoy a good fire fight in the school. But what about Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene himself? Well, he’s all about that bush.
We had a chance to catch up with Greene at PAX Australia, and asked about how he plays PUBG.”The first part of the game for me is looting; getting the character up to a good state and then fighting in the blue zones,” he said. “That’s where I do my fighting.”
“And even still … I’m very much a camper. I find the bush, I love the bush, and I watch other people kill each other. It’s about surviving, you know? If you want to play aggressive, that’s up to you, but me – I like playing the quieter game.”
The downside to creating such a wildly successful game that is still in Early Access is that Greene rarely gets to be one of the millions of concurrent players. He doesn’t even have a gaming PC at home.
“If I play a game, I want to play ten and that’s not good for productivity. When I’m on the road, I’ve only got my MacBook, so I can’t play. You know, I wish I could, but I just don’t get time.”
The rest of my chat with Brendan Greene is below.
When you do occasionally get to play, what’s your weapon of choice?
I like the Groza. I go create something like Groza and then M24, then I’m happy. A silenced 24; even better. Silenced Groza … oh, I love that weapon. It’s like thunder. That’s what it’s called basically. It destroys people.
Other than that, I love the Scar. It’s just a solid assault rifle. And of course, the shotgun. Who doesn’t love a fucking shotgun?
Obviously esports is always a question. Is that something that you guys want to actively drive, like Blizzard does? Or is something you want to do more hands-off, like Valve?
Kind of a bit of both, really. We’re running tournaments with ESL and IM and other organisations to try to find the best way to run Battle Royale esports. I’d love us to do our own Majors, maybe based on our leader boards, but really, we want to give the community the chance to start their own tournaments and all this kind of stuff.
We want to build it from the community up. We want to create basically a book, like a bible of, “This is how we think about how Battle Royale esports should be run.” If an organisation wants to do that, that’s cool, and if they want to do it their own way, we’re not going to stop them. We want to build this from the community up… but we’re more focused on getting the game to a competitive state.”
We [do] want to give back to the community by running these and giving them a chance to win some money. Or, you know, at Gamescom Samsung gave them all these massive curved monitors, which was great. We want to find the right way about how to do Battle Royale e-sports and it’s going to take time but it’s time we’re willing to put in.
And what do you have to sacrifice on the developer side to smoothly accommodate a hundred players in the server?
Oh, we have to do lots of tricks and stuff but we’re constantly working on ways because on Unreal, it’s open world games with large player bases. It’s not really what it was made for.
We currently can’t update the live version because we just finished an engine upgrade internally from 4.14 to 4.16. Unreal just launched 4.18 and they announced stuff that is coming in 4.19.
We might get to that in maybe in six months because we can’t update the live servers because the internal build, that’s using 4.16, is broken. It’s playable but it’s very broken. There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t work, so we can’t release that to the live servers.
And we don’t have two branches we can work on because we have limited resources. It’s hard to find right engineers and you can’t just throw money at people. It just doesn’t work like that. People seem to think just throwing cases of money at problems fixes it and it just doesn’t.
We’re really trying to work on the 1.0 build but and trying to communicate that to players – that the reason we’re not pushing updates is because we’ll break the game, and then you really won’t be happy.
So, trying to communicate this between players is tough but we have a great community. Even on game threads and stuff like that, you see our community come in and correct people and go, “Oh no, this is not why this is happening.” It’s tough.
Being a modder yourself originally, how do you feel about mods for the game?
The problem with us at the moment, is trying to make the game moddable is going to take a hell of a lot of work. It means refactoring a lot of stuff. Because it’s a competitive game, there’s questions. Do we want to allow it to be moddable?
But right now, we have our custom game feature, which is like modding light, almost. We want to expand upon that and maybe, down the road, let people attach steam workshop mod’s to their custom games … I eventually do want to add in modding at some stage but, how we do, that’s a whole other train of thought.
How do you feel about paid mods? For example, Valve and Bethesda have had quite different approaches to it.
I mean, I really want to reward mod makers because they put in so many hours for passion projects. I want to find out a way to try to reward them. How we do that’s a big old question because it’s tricky, but I think relying on community to help you find great modders is one way. We’ll see.
It’s something I want to reward – modders – but how we do that, we don’t know yet.