Each character was originally conceived to give players a point of comparison to other genres or game franchises. The accessible and easy to use "Doom Guy" focused on giving classic shooter fans their familiar FPS fix; the tactical shooter archetype focused on delivering more strategic options, like in Metal Gear or Splinter Cell; and a world manipulator character concept wanted to give gamers a James Bond-like, gadget-focused killer.
Eventually, these original concepts – crudely drawn in shapes – evolved into the four playable characters featured in Borderlands.
With concepts that filled roles for medium range, long range and high-speed attack, Gearbox said they realized Borderlands required a tank class character – a class that could attract and withstand enemy attack. Thus, the character of Brick was born. According to Armstrong, Brick's character concept "always looked like" the Brick delivered in the final game.
Gearbox says that, according to its data, Brick was the least-played character in the game.
Brick's original "Berserk Mode" would have had him slamming two syringes into his body and "roiding out." For that reason, Brick's specialized skill tree was designed to look like a series of IV bags and chemical beakers.
The pair noted that they don't feel Borderlands has a character that appeals to players who lack experience in first-person shooters, nor a character that appeals to the hardcore. Armstrong and Hemingway left it unclear if the upcoming DLC vault hunter is meant to fill those roles. Gearbox says it remains committed to the series, and promises that future installments will continue to be character-centric, and contain plenty of guns.
Kevin Kelly is a writer and pop culture junkie with a fixation on video games, movies, and board games. His writing has been seen at io9, Film School Rejects, Machinima, TechRadar, Wizard World, and The Austin Chronicle. He lives in Los Angeles and does not know how to surf. Follow him on Twitter @kevinkelly.