Ahead of the launch of Apex Legends: Saviors we had the chance to sit down with the team at Respawn to discuss everything from Storm Point’s big monster to the creation of a new Legend to how the team collaborates and is structured to continue to deliver new updates well into the future.
Our Full Apex Legends: Saviors Interview with Respawn
With new Seasons and the regular cadence of updates, from map changes, to new Legends like Newcastle, balance changes, and everything else. How is the team structured to meet timelines and regular drops? Something like Storm Point changing or Newcastle, how does it all come together so to speak.
Devan McGuire: I can speak about the Legend production side because a lot of this stuff only culminates when we start to understand what we're going to target for a Season. A Season that's coming almost a year and a half down the line. For Newcastle and his kit, development and prototyping started almost two years ago. It was around 18 months ago that we started bringing narrative in to figure out who this character is and wrap something around the idea of what this gameplay prototype is going forward. And then that gets slotted into the Season that comes 18 months down the road.
From a Legend standpoint it's a year and a half of development, fleshing them out, churning on their abilities, developing the core concept of the character through the narrative, iterating and eventually rolling into production something that's ready to go. With a character being the anchor for a Season you need a lot of the time for that narrative component to weave everything together, to figure out what the theming of the Season's going to be, how that's going to work within the roadmap, a big map update, and whatever else is coming down the line. How it’ll work with the Battle Pass.
And because we have those kinds of cascading disciplines, there's a large section of people that are dedicated to those processes. We also have a marketing and narrative team leading the front on how to connect all the pieces and move them forward.
Jeff Shaw: On maps we start really early. This update actually started around the time we were finalising Storm Point. We like to start early, and let things germinate, so we were already thinking about what was next for the map.
Samantha Kalman: IMC Armories in particular have been in development for almost a year and a half. Throughout that time there was a prototyping phase, and then determining which map we were going to ship them on. We were actually testing them on different maps, we’ve tested them on Olympus as well as the base Storm Point. We tested them on the Season 12 update knowing that we were going to ship them with the Season 13 update. It was very much like doing passes, almost carving a sculpture where we think ‘this chunk is in place now let's fill in the details’. It’s more of an art than a science.