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Borderlands 3 Interview with Creative Director Paul Sage

Borderlands 3 Interview with Creative Director Paul Sage

by Aiman MaulanaAugust 16, 2019
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Borderlands 3 Interview with Creative Director Paul Sage

Paul Sage, Creative Director of Borderlands 3

Aside from the private demo session in Singapore, we also had the opportunity to interview a key figure behind Borderlands 3. It’s none other than Paul Sage, the Creative Director for Borderlands 3.

Who is Paul Sage?

For those of you who are not aware, Paul Sage first joined Gearbox Software in 2015. Prior to that, he had quite an extensive experience in MMO games. Paul served as the Creative Director for Elder Scrolls Online and also Lead Designer for Ultimate Online. He is a native Texan and is said to have been developing games since 1995.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the interview with Paul Sage.

The Interview

[E3 2019] Borderlands 3 New Trailer and New Borderlands 2 DLC Unveiled

Was there any inspirations taken from Battleborn?

Battleborn has many different characters. We had so many and we realized we didn’t need many characters to have a fun game. We took the wealth of experience and focused on the four characters that people need. Based on game analysis. most people tend to stick to one character. This made us decide to not have a focus on DLC characters.

Could you talk more about the planets in Borderlands 3?

The challenge is scoping what you can do with all the different ideas. Eden-6 feels very natural so it’s easy to give it the Borderlands vibe. The tricky part here is Promethea, which is civilized and so unlike Borderlands which is generally uncivilized.

How do the Calypso Twins compare to handsome Jack?

Handsome Jack is a really hard character to match up with. Everyone loves him but we don’t want to take the accomplishment away from the previous game. When we designed new characters, we decided on the twins. They are Siren twins and they have a cult of bandits that report to them. But what if they’re really asinine, egomaniacal streamers? That’s what gives them the X Factor as a Borderlands villain.

What is the one thing that you feel makes Borderlands 3 truly stand out?

One, the tone of Borderlands 3 has humour but it’s still sincere. It has a fun tone and that relaxes people. Two, our loot is world class and we have tons of high quality gear. They’ll keep getting new things and it keeps people excited as they look forward to new things and challenges them with new things. Three, our characters are designed to be very genuine and stand out on their own. Lastly, the unexpected nature of our missions, like one where an A.I. is locking someone in a port-o-potty. Mostly, I want people to take all of this and have fun.

Are there multiple endings or a secret unlockable ending?

Unfortunately, I cant talk about that right now. You definitely don’t want to have the experience spoiled either.

Is there anything that was done to make it suitable / appealing to newcomers?

We use the language to tell people what is going on, such as the emphasis on Commander in Commander Lilith. Everything we do is to get new people comfortable with in the new game and we’re pretty sure they’d fit in just fine.

Will there be a New Game+ mode?

There is a New Game+ called True Vault Hunter mode. Every enemy will be leveled accordingly with your level. If you go through an area and you level up, all the enemies will also be have an increase in level.

What games, in any form or fashion, inspired Borderlands 3?

I could mention names of games but wouldn’t make sense to people. Pokemon, Titanfall, Mortal Kombat, it’s a huge influence that spans across many different games. If a developer says he’s not inspired by any other game out there today, they’re most likely lying.

Was the Commander Lilith DLC for Borderlands 2 something that was planned all along or did the creation came much later?

The Borderlands 2 Commander Lilith DLC wasn’t something we had planned. It was something we felt we wanted to do because it’s been some time since we had anything Borderlands-related. The DLC was made for  Borderlands 2 rather than Pre-Sequel despite being an older game because the story is a direct sequel to the events in Borderlands 2. It made sense from a narrative standpoint.

What is your favourite gun in the game?

Favorite gun? We have beam weapons like in Borderlands 2, those E-tech weapons. My favourite is one that shoots out target beams which shoots out even more beams. It’s crazy.

How much better will Borderlands 3 be aesthetically?

Quoting my art director, “It’s going to look a lot better but it’s not going to look a lot better than people’s memories”. The lighting is incredibly different with a new technique. All of this complex elements make up a much better game visually. If you compared side by side, it’s a real huge difference.

Of all the names that could’ve been picked, why Strongfork?

Because Witherspoon is taken (Rhys Strongfork’s name as a nod to real-life actress Reese Witherspoon).

If you had the time and budget, what would you add into the game?

If we had the time and budget, I would add more missions in. People always want more content and I think we already have a pretty solid game so we don’t have any features that we missed out on.

That’s all we had for the interview with Paul Sage. Be sure to stay tuned to for more awesome Borderlands 3-related news and information.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)

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