Back 4 Blood Devs Implemented the Cards Mechanic to Emphasize Player Choice

"We wanted players to be able to change their playstyle and their world themselves, and not just having the Game Director randomise their loot or the AI," says lead game designer Brandon Yanez.

Posted By | On 08th, Aug. 2021

Back 4 Blood

Being made a by a lot of the same people who created Left 4 Dead back in the day, and being a co-op zombie shooter in the same vein, Back 4 Blood is obviously drawing a ton of comparisons with Valve’s classic first person shooter. Even with all that said that, Turtle Rock Studios’ upcoming shooter is carving out its own identity in several ways, and one of the ways it’s doing that is with its cards mechanic, which lets players find and then equip cards that each grant unique buffs and boosts.

Interestingly enough, the system wasn’t always in the game. Speaking with Gamebyte, lead game designer on Back 4 Blood Brandon Yanez said that the development team wanted to emphasize player choice and allow players to customize their play style however they see fit, and decided that the cards system, in conjunction with randomization of loot and other things, would serve that purpose well. Yanez also says that there’s all sorts of cards that can be found in the game, from seriously useful ones to others that are more fun in nature.

“We wanted players to be able to change their playstyle and their world themselves, and not just having the Game Director randomize their loot or the AI,” Yanez said. “That was the incubation idea of asking how can we get players to change this themselves. They weren’t cards originally, but as we built on it the card concept was easy to understand so that’s what it became.

“We loved testing different ideas. Using the cards to come up with different playstyles, how this card could counter the Game Director or another player and so on. And sometimes it wasn’t even for practical uses but we love cards that are just fun.”

Back 4 Blood’s beta is currently live for all those who pre-ordered the game, and will become available to everyone at large on August 12. The game itself launches in full on October 12 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and will also be available day 1 via Xbox Game Pass.


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