Borderlands developers explain weapon creation system

— 10:37 AM on March 16, 2010

Anyone who's played Borderlands knows that you're unlikely to ever come across the same gun twice. Indeed, the game has more than 16 million different weapons, each with its own unique set of attributes. Gearbox developers Matthew Armstrong and Jimmy Sieben explained how the company created so many weapon at a SXSW panel, and Joystiq was there to get the scoop.

In an SXSW panel, Sieben and Armstrong spoke about the systemic development tool named Gearbuilder that they developed, going into detail about how they created the system to handle the creation of that many customized guns. It generates the guns based on one of 12 different manufacturers, giving each one a different grip, body, cylinder, barrel and accessories. Based on those, that same system determines how much damage the gun will deal. But what's surprising is, as impressive a figure as 16 million is, it's still only one gun. Shoot on through the break for more.

Despite the wealth of weapons available in the game, Armstrong says the whole system was designed to get players to favor a single gun. Indeed, a friend of mine on his second playthrough says he uses the same sniper rifle most of the time. He's also been farming other weapons and storing them with dummy co-op characters, which may be a testament to just how addictive even collecting in-game items is for some folks.

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