Inside The Box

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hi!  I'm Jeffrey “botman” Broome, one of the programmers that worked on Borderlands 2.  I'm back “Inside the Box” again to tell you about how an upcoming Borderlands 2 update will (among other things) bring a colorblind mode option to all platforms. Let's talk a little a bit about what being colorblind is, what it isn't, why some people are colorblind and other people aren't and what can be done in video games to help compensate for colorblindness.  Check it out and if you're not careful, you might learn something.

Up until several months ago, I, like probably many of you, didn't really know much at all about colorblindness.  I knew a small percentage of people (mostly males) had it, but didn't know much more beyond that.  First of all, the word “colorblind” is not an accurate description.  A better description would be “color vision deficiency”.  READ MORE...

Share:

Inside the Box: Alive and Supplied

01.06.14 - Keith Schuler

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

In my previous Inside the Box article, I talked a little bit about Angel's intro, leading into Control Core Angel. In this article, I will touch on some of challenges we faced when implementing the battle itself. A word of warning: I'm going to be discussing some of the most spoilerific moments in Borderlands 2. So, more than just a Spoiler Alert, this is Spoiler DEFCON 1!

Ah, who am I kidding? If there was anything left to spoil by this point, Anthony Burch has already done it in his excellent Inside the Box articles. By the way, if you've missed any of those, you should be sure to go and check 'em out.

WARNING: THE EVENTS OF BORDERLANDS 2 ARE DISCUSSED BELOW

Share:

Inside the Box: Introducing Angel

12.16.13 - Keith Schuler

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hello, it's me again, Keith Schuler, a Senior Designer on Borderlands 2. For today's edition of Inside the Box, I wanted to talk a little bit about Angel's introduction in Control Core Angel. By the way, while my articles are often a minefield of spoilers, I wanted to offer an extra cautionary note this time. If you haven't played through Control Core Angel yet, there are some serious spoilers here. You have been warned!

WARNING: THE EVENTS OF BORDERLANDS 2 ARE DISCUSSED BELOW

Share:

Inside the Box: Introduction to Cosplay

12.02.13 - Lilith Lindwall

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hi everyone! My name is Lilith Lindwall and I am a Marketing Assistant here at Gearbox. If you were at Community Day 2013 (an event Gearbox has thrown for the last 3 years where we hang out with our fans and give them a glimpse into the future of the studio) or saw the stream on twitch.tv, you would have seen me all dressed up as Lilith from Borderlands. Why yes, it is confusing having the same name as a video game character. I have answered to the name several times only to hear “No, not you Lilith, Borderlands Lilith.”

Anyway, today I would like to welcome you to the fun and exciting world of cosplay. You may be sitting there asking “what is this cosplay of which you speak?”

This is a question I hear a lot and most of the time, the answer is either vague or only partly describes it... READ MORE

Share:

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

I’ve been a Jack-of-all-trades programmer at Gearbox for over 14 years where I’ve worked on Opposing Force, the Brothers in Arms games, Borderlands and many more.  Gearbox is mostly known for first person shooters, but we’ve worked on a skateboarding game and we were involved in bringing Samba De Amigo, a game about maracas, to the Wii.  Despite that I have to admit that I never quite expected to be involved in working on a real-time strategy game again.

I was a bit surprised when, earlier this year, I was told by a manager at Gearbox we were looking at bidding on the Homeworld franchise.  He told me that we would be getting a listing of the files that THQ had gathered from the franchise.  He also mentioned that Gearbox Chief Creative Officer Brian Martel had downloaded the public domain Homeworld source code.  I was asked if I would be interested in looking into this to see what we would be getting if we succeeded in acquiring Homeworld from THQ. READ MORE...

 

Share:

Inside the Box: What's in a name?

11.18.13 - Paul Hellquist

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hello again.  Paul Hellquist here, creative Director on Borderlands 2.  Today I want to talk about a topic that I’m sure most gamers never really think about but game developers think about an inordinate amount of time: names.  I’m talking about the names of characters, places, enemies, even the games themselves.

In the 14 years I’ve been making games I’ve been involved in coming up with names for a lot of things.  I thought gamers might find it interesting that almost every name in a game usually goes through a lot of discussion with the most controversial things to name obviously being main characters and the games themselves.  I’ve also seen an interesting pattern develop on how the process goes for naming things. READ MORE...

Share:

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hi, I’m Anthony Burch, lead writer for Borderlands 2. At this year’s GDC, I did a talk entitled “Designing Humor in Borderlands 2.” I’ve adapted the talk into a less profanity-laden Inside the Box article. Below, you’ll read about how we attempted to convey humor in Borderlands 2 through gameplay alone. You won’t learn how to write funny dialog (because I still don’t know how to do that reliably), but you’ll hopefully learn something about how we tried to convey humor through game design rather than just text-based narrative stuff.

Before I discuss how we tried to make Borderlands funny, I need to point out that Borderlands is not a comedy game. READ MORE...

Share:

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Though we’ve spent the last few Inside the Box articles discussing Borderlands 2 exclusively, Gearbox has a long and storied history of equally badass (and psycho-free) franchises. For this week’s Inside the Box, we look back Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30, the first entry in Gearbox’s realistic and critically acclaimed WWII strategy-shooter franchise.

 

In the following article, you’ll hear lead designer of multiplayer and current Borderlands franchise director Matthew Armstrong talk about the process of designing a BiA multiplayer mission, playtesting that multiplayer mission, and arguing with programmers. READ MORE...

Share:

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

A little while back I wrote an article about the process of creating Handsome Jack, the villain of Borderlands 2. I ended my little writeup asking if there as anything else you wanted to hear about, and figured I’d spend another article responding to some of your questions and curiosities.

WARNING: THE EVENTS OF BORDERLANDS 2 ARE DISCUSSED BELOW

Share:

Inside the Box: Evolution of Loot

09.30.13 - Paul Hellquist

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

 

Hello everyone, Paul Hellquist, creative director for Borderlands 2 here again.  A few weeks ago I wrote about how the loot system works on Borderlands 2.  I encourage you to read that first here if you haven’t since I’m writing this under the assumption that you know what is covered there.  At the end of that article I asked you guys to send in your questions about loot so I could figure out what tell you about next.  You guys were very vocal and I got a lot of inquiries from all channels.  Thanks to everyone who chimed in!

The questions covered a wide range of topics around loot.  I had originally thought that I would do an FAQ style article with quick answers to a lot of questions.  Once I saw... READ MORE

 

 

Share:

Inside the Box: Writing Handsome Jack

09.23.13 - Anthony Burch

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

A couple of people have asked about Handsome Jack – how we came up with him, why he is the way he is, and other stuff like that – so for this week’s Inside the Box, I’m going to talk about Handsome Jack. I will also use all my self-restraint to not call this article Handsome Jack In The Box, as twitterfriends Eric (@Souzetsu) and Jim “Dungeonmans” Shepard (@madjackmcmad) suggested.

It is, of course, always difficult to talk about your own work without coming off as a self-congratulatory douche (for me, anyway), so apologies in advance. READ MORE...

 

Share:

Inside the Box: The Once And Future Slab

09.16.13 - Keith Schuler

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Welcome to another edition of Inside The Box! It's me again, Keith Schuler, Senior Designer here at Gearbox. Today, I'd like to tell you a little bit about The Once And Future Slab, one of the missions I worked on during the development of Borderlands 2. More to the point, I wanted to talk about how Brick came to be a "Buddy AI" character who could fight alongside the player during the latter part of that mission. READ MORE...

Share:

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hello all. It’s Paul Hellquist, creative and design director for Borderlands 2 here again. I have previously written all of the articles about the design of Krieg. Today I’d like to spend some time demystifying how the Borderlands 2 loot system works. There has been a lot of speculation based on people’s play experiences and I felt it would be interesting and valuable for everyone to get the true story straight from the horse’s mouth. READ MORE...

Share:

Inside the Box: Inclusivity

08.26.13 - Anthony Burch

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hi, I’m Anthony Burch, lead writer of Borderlands 2 and its DLC. And today I’m going to talk about inclusivity.

I went to the #1ReasonToBe panel at Game Developers Conference this year, and something Mattie Brice said stood out to me:

“…[developers] are not explicitly saying “you are welcome here,” and because not, we assume we aren’t welcome. That is such an easy thing to correct.”

Upon hearing that, I wanted to clearly state the following: you are welcome here. Regardless of your race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, I personally want Gearbox to be an open and welcoming place to you. I can only speak for myself, of course – I'm just a jerkbag writer who's been in the industry for less than five years – but I believe that you can see evidence of attempts at inclusivity throughout Borderlands 2. READ MORE...

Share:

Inside the Box: Homeworld

08.19.13 - Brian Burleson

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hi! I’m Brian Burleson, the producer whose goal it is to preserve the heritage of the classic Homeworld series while also bringing it to the modern era.

Where do I begin? Well, one day I was in (Gearbox Chief Creative Officer) Brian Martel’s office talking about the existential nature of the Twinkie resurrection when he asked me what I thought about Homeworld. My response was something along the lines of, “I remember playing that when I was younger, loved it back in the day, way ahead of its time.” His response made me do a Scooby-Doo double take. THQ was putting the franchise up for auction and we were considering bidding on it.

How ridiculously awesome was that?

Over the next couple of weeks we spent a good deal of time talking about all of the amazing things we could do and how we might be able to do them. The opportunity to bring Relic's amazing set of games out of limbo helped build internal support. We were determined to win the auction and started planning next steps for that eventuality.

In a nuthsell, those plans were (and remain) to ...READ MORE

Share:

Inside the Box: The Music of Dragon Keep

07.29.13 - Raison Varner

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hello! So, my name is Raison Varner and I was one of the audio guys on the recently released Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep campaign add-on for Borderlands 2. I’m a sound designer and composer here at Gearbox, and I wanted to take a moment to expand upon some of the other Dragon Keep articles by my fellow teammates (such as Lead Level Designer Ryan Heaton's overview of our design goals and development process and "Fart Jokes and Tragedy" by Lead Writer Anthony Burch). The fantasy setting in this add-on was something new for the series so I thought I would highlight the development of the music for the main town, Flamerock Refuge.

Jesper Kyd (jesperkyd.com), one of the fantastic composers that we contracted for Borderlands 2, and I (soundcloud.com/rvarner) did the score for this add-on and had a blast doing it!

Writing music for Aster (the internal code name for Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep) was a special pleasure for me. I’ve always been a huge fantasy RPG nerd, in fact, Final Fantasy 6 was one of the main reasons I joined the industry, so working on an orchestral fantasy score is one of my favorite opportunities ...READ MORE

Share:

Inside the Box: Papercraft

07.21.13 - Jeff Broome

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Hi! I’m Jeff Broome. I’ve been a programmer here at Gearbox for 11 years. On our forum, I’m known as “botman”, and I’m here to tell you about a hobby of mine that makes use of the assets from some of the games that Gearbox has released. My hobby is making papercraft models from game assets. When I was a boy, my older brother and I loved to build models. We built model cars, model planes, and even model rockets which we would launch into the air from a field near our house. I’ve always loved working with computers and I’ve always loved working with my hands building things, so making papercraft models gives me a way to do both.

Papercraft models are created by printing out designs on sheets of paper, cutting them out, folding the pieces and gluing them together. It’s an inexpensive way to create your own models. There are some very simple and easy to assemble papercraft models for a novice builder and there are some that are much more intricate and time consuming for the more advanced builder. It doesn’t take a lot of skill or tools to get started and you can build something to keep forever that you can be proud of. When you become more familiar with the tools used to create papercraft models you can create your own designs. The only limit is your imagination and the time it takes to build the model. READ MORE...

Share:

Inside the Box: Field of View

07.15.13 - J. Kyle Pittman

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

Let's talk about field of view (FOV).

As a UI Programmer on Borderlands 2, I championed the effort to make FOV a player-adjustable setting in the PC version of Borderlands 2. I went into this with no idea of how far-reaching the ramifications might be, only knowing that this was one of the most frequent complaints we heard about Borderlands 1 and that my own experience with the PC version of BL1 had been soured by the narrow FOV.

So, where to begin? Most of the time, when I see discussions about FOV on internet forums, I see a lot of comments about preferred FOV values, usually in the 90-100 range. What I haven't seen as much is a clear understanding of the relationship between FOV and aspect ratio, especially as it relates to widescreen behavior. So that's mostly what I want to talk about. That, and math.

Why is FOV a big deal? If you’ve ever heard someone talk about how certain games make them feel motion sick – or maybe you’ve experienced this yourself – this should give you some insight into why finding a natural FOV is so important. But what makes an FOV feel natural? ...READ MORE

Share:

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

On Borderlands 2, I touched many of the missions in one way or another as Senior Designer, but I was primarily responsible for Chapter 6: Hunting the Firehawk, Chapter 12: The Once and Future Slab, and Chapters 14 & 15: Where Angels Fear to Tread.

Mind you, Paul Hellquist (Creative Director and Lead Designer) and Anthony Burch (Lead Writer) had already written and designed all of these missions on paper by the time I joined the project. But, while these were some of the most crucial parts of the plot, they had only been implemented in the most minimal way: as a series of placeholder objects in a test level that updated mission objectives when used or destroyed.

In today’s Inside the Box, I want to introduce you to Construct, a proprietary tool developed internally by Master Tools Coder Brent Friedman. The designers on Borderlands 2 used Construct to take a mission ...READ MORE

Share:

Inside the Box serves as a forum for individuals involved in the production of Gearbox Software content to share personal motives, methods, process and results. Gearbox Software projects are created by a diverse range of individuals spanning a spectrum of different backgrounds, interests, objectives and world views. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Gearbox Software or any of its individual members outside of the author.

I’m Ryan Heaton, the Lead Level Designer for Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, and I’m here on Inside the Box to give you an inside look into our high level design goals and development process for project Aster (the internal codename for Dragon Keep) which launches tomorrow, June 25.

Dragon Keep is a massive downloadable campaign add-on for Borderlands 2 that we completed on a very tight schedule. We started out talking about what we expected from the project and what our fans expected...

WARNING: THE EVENTS OF BORDERLANDS 2 ARE DISCUSSED HEREIN

Share: