Game culture colossus Fortnite (download for Android or iOS) began its seventh "season" of content on December 6, which for this game means a 10-week stretch of new outfits, new items, changes to the battle royale island that's made Fortnite such a phenomenon and less exciting things like bug fixes and gameplay balance adjustments. But this season is a bit different than before, with an event within this event.
The game's "14 Days of Fortnite" begins today, bringing with it a gauntlet of challenges. Every day for the next 14 days, players will receive one challenge that they must complete to receive a special reward, ranging from new item cosmetics to pets, but the last one is shrouded in mystery. A challenge is basically a task like "Open three chests in this area of the map" or "Defeat this number of enemies at this location."
(For Americans: A fortnight is literally a 14-day stretch of time, commonly used in British English but rarely employed here in the States. So it's a pun, and now I'm "that guy" for explaining the joke. It's a grim responsibility.)
For today, the first task is simply to start or join a Creative server. Fortnite's maker Epic Games recently introduced a Creative Mode like in Minecraft, where you can build your own island using freely available crafting resources, and you can tweak game behaviors ranging from starting health to gravity. Once you're done, you can share it with your friends, and they can join you on your island to mess around and socialize.
Each subsequent challenge is still under lock and key. Every 24 hours, the details of the next one are revealed. That assuredly helps to build anticipation, but it may also keep the playing field balanced, if no one is getting advance knowledge that they can use to plan and get a potentially unfair edge.
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So with only one challenge revealed, it's not clear yet if they will actually get progressively more difficult, or if it's just intended to be a generally approachable publicity move to get more people playing (and buying in-game loot with real money).
Some folks have been poking at patch files and came up with some clues, but the extracted challenge info doesn't appear to be in the same order that we'll see in-game. Mining data within the game's files has become a kind of cottage industry, so spoilers may abound on Twitter and elsewhere. You have been warned.
But we can say for sure that doing all 14 challenges is necessary to unlock a mystery prize, known only as "the reward item."
- Fortnite has begun a 14-day gauntlet of challenges, starting today with Creative Mode. Completing each challenge will give you a small albeit free prize, and today's is a spray.
- The remaining 13 challenges will be revealed one at a time every 24 hours, but data miners on Twitter and elsewhere have collected a lot of clues about the remaining ones, if you don't mind spoilers.
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- Fortnite's 'Creative Mode' will let you build your own island worlds
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- Fortnite was the most important video game of 2018, whether we like it or not (CNET)
- How Fortnite approaches analytics, cloud to analyze petabytes of game data (ZDNet)
- Fortnite Epic Games CEO rails against Google vulnerability disclosure (TechRepublic)