I started playing Fortnite again after about four years for a few reasons. For starters, I wanted to start playing a live service game for coverage on Fanbyte. I wanted to play something popular, and basically begin to understand live service games (though I currently play Cozy Grove and plenty of Animal Crossing before that, which count, despite the wildly different genre). I also wanted to understand the core design principles of an ever-changing, massive game: how do the developers keep the experience interesting and fresh, over long periods of time, and for very different player populations? How do they create quest design and rewards that work around the whole battle royale experience? How do they keep things fun for so many different player experiences?
I certainly expected to have more frustration and encounter a steeper learning curve, and I’ve already written about how pleasantly surprised I was by how chill the experience can be, at least until you get into the single-digit circles. I’ve been falling for the game and its quest design, and finding more and more success as I’ve got closer to the coveted number one spot at the end.
I had a number of top three placements in my first week. Yesterday, I cinched my first second place finish. I started feeling the victory inching closer and closer, so I started recording my sessions once I hit the top 5, which is a good thing because I finally hit gold today, baby!
I spent most of the match trying to find a pistol to complete one of the Indiana Jones quests (do 750 damage to opponents with a pistol). But once I was in the final circle, I knew my piddly uncommon sidearm was not going to cut it. I was low on health, but this was IT. I felt my moment closing in.
I’ve felt this before, in competition as a grappler: the win is right there. It’s within my grasp. I know that I just need to make the final adjustments and sink it in!
I switched to a newly available heavy sniper rifle, aimed my scope, and BOOM, fired a headshot. I won! The victory splash screen played. The celebratory music sounded. I started yelling “that’s right” at my screen. It was glorious. The game gave me a few little rewards, and I’m glad I had the wherewithal to record it so you can see the moment in action (it’s not the highest quality, but you can tell what’s going on).
Oh hi, hello, no big just BABY'S FIRST BATTLE ROYALE VICTORY BABYYYYYYYYY pic.twitter.com/k4uIPdr7vL
— Danielle Riendeau (@Danielleri) July 7, 2022
So there it is. My first Fortnite battle royale victory. Am I bragging a little? Only a little — listen, I’m not great at video games. I’m good at platformers, and I’m very good at Into the Breach, a game I have put close to 2800 hours of my life into. But games that require anything like precise shooting? I’m terrible. I’m just not a great shot. So, winning — even in these conditions, just a big, very casual public match on the Switch — actually felt like a bit of tangible evidence that I’m not incapable. I did it with a headshot! Me!
Next up, I guess I’m going to have to come up with a catchy nickname. Deadshot Danielle? I’m getting ahead of myself, huh?