The guys at Gearboxity had the opportunity to grill several members of the Borderlands development team about the game's second set of DLC, Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot.
ennui: What do you think is the most important thing you've learned working on Borderlands and the DLC?
Jonathan Hemingway: Anything you're building, if you can just inject a little bit of personality into it, it makes it ten times better. In Moxxi, we have a bank. The idea of a bank is something that people want. It's something functional, and it could've just been a box. But in the DLC, you go in there, and it's just hilarious. There's a Marcus painting on the wall, there's Claptrap in a tuxedo with a monocle. Borderlands' personality was something that became clearer and clearer as we developed the game, and we really tried to take it and run with it in DLC.
Drew Mobley: One lesson for me was how important it is for the players to be able to talk about the level to each other. Everyone really stressed the importance of landmarks, making sure there were distinguishing parts of the map, so players could relay where they were to each other. That was really important - landmarks, making sure each area of the map is identifiable.
Tim Wilson: It's a lot about collaboration - people caring about something and running off with it, smaller collaborations turning into larger collaborations turning into defining pieces of the game. There's this trickster element to developing for Borderlands, and you can feel it when you play the game. In a way, there was some chaos that ended up lending the game some personality - something gets made, maybe doesn't get used for its original purpose, it gets co-opted by other developers and ends up just working, becoming part of the whole. You couldn't plan for everything - it's developers excited about what they're doing and being nimble.
Stephen Cole: There's something to be said for grabbing something and scurrying off from the light, and gnawing on it for a while and bringing it back to the ant hill. You have people doing that, and then somebody coming along and squishing individual ants, and taking whatever isn't squished and making it better and better. Letting people take what they care about and work with it was important.