Gearbox on Borderlands 2: “We can’t redo every element for the PC”

Speaking to IncGamers, Gearbox’s chief creative officer Brian Martel has said that the developer has spent more time making sure the PC controls are up to scratch on Borderlands 2 than they were with the original. However, he remains realistic about multiplatform development.

Martel explains that a developer must make multiplatform games with all “systems in mind” or risk becoming “economically unviable”.

“We did a lot more with mouse and keyboard, for sure,” Martel told us. “But what people need to understand is that we’re a business and we can’t redo every element for the PC. If we did that it just wouldn’t be feasible to make a game of this size.

“Using the mouse and keyboard is a compelling experience because this is a shooter at its core. The RPG elements add a lot of depth, but it’s a shooter at its core. We’ve added a lot of UI elements that are aimed at the mouse and keyboard and make it really nice to click through.

“That’s just the fundamental nature of making these kinds of games – you’re predominantly making it on a PC and then using consoles to test that it works properly. You do have to make it with all of the systems in mind. If you concentrate on just one it becomes economically unviable.”

Further Reading:

  • Borderlands 2 [Preview] – The Assassin and the teenage sadist
  • How do you build a story into Borderlands 2’s open world? [Interview w/ Brian Martel]

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  • Dikradke

    Just one aspect of the PC that makes it more expensive to develop for in the end. Think about needing the flexibility for the mouse and keyboard and compare that to a 360 or PS3 game controller. You have at least 104 keys on a keyboard and 2-5+ buttons on a mouse. Where as on a the game controller you have 17 or so inputs? This comment definitely makes sense to me.

    • Darksonic117

      really? last time i checked i only had 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, so that’s 10 i can use to press buttons at the same time, what do you need to do with 104 keys? is 17 or so inputs not enough on a controller? i guess if you are shooting/reloading/equipping grenade/throwing grenade/changing weapon attachment/sprinting/jumping/accessing inventory/using flash-light? at the same time, we might need more…no wait that’s only 9…ahhh ‘pause game’ there 10. hang on….we don’t do that simultaneously, guess controllers are okay then? So perhaps the article is talking about a more customized experience that suits mouse inventory, dual screen support, y’know that sort of stuff

  • Samurai Slacker

    what they’re saying makes sense. consoles are the bigger market so you can’t spend too much on the pc version. with the way the industry is, if they spend too much and don’t make it back they’ll be out of business

    • Davidtheslayer

      Trouble is I will get this on console first if the PC version comes later as they usually do, thats why it PC ports turn into a loss much more quickly then a simultaneous release. Plus my brother and I play co-op so if it goes cheap on PC in the future and I got money to spare, I might get it on PC as well, but only if it’s got a HD texture pack etc.

      • Samurai Slacker

        i think all versions are coming out on the same day

        • Davidtheslayer

          Cool, now I wish I had more money to get two copies.

  • Flagg

    “If we did that it just wouldn’t be feasible to make a game of this size”

    I don’t see how the length of the game or the size of locations has any impact on UI design.

    Now I could see something thats differently interactive being impacted from that…like say how you interact with the screens in Doom 3. That would take longer to redesign all that kind of stuff. But just redesigning the normal user interface…its something that honestly wouldn’t take that long to do…

    Mountains out of molehills…