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12/15/20Dev

End of Year: Modes Team

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Hey VALORANT community,

Thank you so much for your continued support and dedication to VALORANT! It’s been a rowdy year for the Modes team. You’ve been playing and experiencing Spike Rush, Free For All Deathmatch, and today, you’ll be shooting snowballs out of a Killjoy-enhanced molly launcher for Snowball Fight. 

We’re really proud of the modes we’ve been able to get out to you. Spike Rush and FFA DM continue to see very healthy engagement, and we’ve been able to update them over time to keep them fresh, as well as hit the major improvements you’ve asked for. We’re not done yet— Keep giving us feedback!

The modes team came into existence in the spring of this year. A very small ragtag group came together, from all different parts of the game, to see what could be done by launch and beyond. By game development definitions, we had an incredibly short timeline to bring up some core technology we needed, design and develop Spike Rush, and release it to you. In fact, the entire process was compacted into a few short months, but we were up to the challenge! 

We knew that the standard Spike gameplay was feeling great, but we were really feeling this big pain of “What do I do if I don’t have 30-50 minutes to dedicate but I still want to play VALORANT?!”. Spike Rush was born. It set out to be faster paced in every way, give unique gameplay and novelty, while still capturing the essence of VALORANT’s gunplay and objective based back and forth.

At launch, we saw the fruits of our labor. But it became apparent (as we suspected) that there was a huge player need for a free form mode to satisfy both warm up and more casual non team-based play. And so began the work on the technology needed to make FFA DM. Our game at the time only supported team play and only supported spawning the player each round in the two team bases. We had to create core fundamental tech to make sure we could respawn players around the map. We released the FFA in beta and learned some valuable lessons from you all. We believe FFA is now in a healthier place, and can’t wait to use the technology we built elsewhere.

We have SO MUCH in the pipeline to share with you next year. We have several promising prototypes and so many different technologies and designs in flight. With some of the fundamental work behind us, we can focus on getting even more modes out to you. We know the current gap is in modes where players can go to simply chill. 

That’s what we’ll be focusing on as we get into 2021. There’s more! Many of you have asked about bots, joining matches in progress, and even more complex gameplay options. These are all things we’ll continue to pursue in 2021.

Cheers!

—Jared Berbach, on behalf of the Modes team

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