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On Fortnite's Travis Scott Concert

On Fortnite's Travis Scott Concert

Here is a quick summary of my thoughts on Fortnite’s Travis Scott live concert.

In October, I wrote a brief summary of the strategy behind Fortnite’s shocking “black hole” event. It is a text-based reproduction of my April 26 tweetstorm.

1/ The Travis Scott x Fortnite event is commonly understood in comparison to prior Fortnite events, but instead it needs to be viewed as part of Fortnite’s testing and experimentation process/journey. It is technically less impressive than prior events, but creatively much bigger.

2/ At its core, TS is an interactive cut-scene. Players can’t “affect” what’s happening, but unlike playback video, the experience is in engine and thus you have some control over your character (think of what you can/can’t do on a rollercoaster). Games have had this for decades.

3/ What’s new is that the experience isn't game-like, lacks game-like goals. Instead, it's social, about art. Marshmello was, too. But it was basically a programmed character/area within Fortnite's map. There was a stage + lightshow, but it was like a ride in a mall or side quest.

Today, anyone can make a Travis-like concert in Unreal (as Fortnite did), and to a lesser extent, in Fortnite Creative Mode.

4/ Travis was a fully designed, immersive experience. The stage disappeared right away, with players taken to brand new places, with different special effects (e.g. altered gravity). It was a guided experience/story, like a concert, but far more was possible as it wasn't 'real'.

5/ This, too, wasn’t new. Fortnite Season 8 finale brought players to a new world with new physics as part of a story. But that was part of the game & MUCH shorter. TS was a purely art-centric experience, likely involving many more creatives and premiered brand new music.

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On Fortnite's Travis Scott Concert
On Fortnite's Travis Scott Concert
Apr 26 2020