Gearbox concept designer Scott Kester has talked of the studio's apprehension when it came to redesigning certain things in Borderlands in order to make it a distinctive title, going to say that the focus of this sequel is to create 'something worthy of the original.'
'One of the realities of when we were doing the first one was we took that risk to change [the visual style], and a lot of people thought we were crazy,' said Kester. 'But we knew it was something that we really wanted to do.
'And we felt the game, with its gameplay -- with the shooting elements and the RPG, the fusion of that -- we felt we needed something that wasn't the norm, to bring that triad together together. And it was a gamble, but we're very appreciative that people accepted it, because it's one of those things where people could easily go, "What is this?!"'
Kester acknowledges that there was a little nervousness about debuting the new designs and showing the to the public, saying that the design team had no real idea how their work would be perceived by the masses.
'We weren't sure how it was going to be taken. I'll be honest -- I was extremely nervous when the first screenshots were released; I was like, "Oh my God, they're going to hate what we're doing." There was a little bit of a mix, but overall it really showed that it was nice that we tried something a little unique and people took to it.
'So we're hoping that maybe across the industry we see a little more, not just our game, but maybe people trying some things. But in this day and age, with budgets as what they are, it's a gamble to take a risk. So we stuck to our guns, and it paid off for us.'
Looking toward Borderlands 2, Kester noted that for the sequel the team had to try and strike a balance between wanting to innovate further and considering the popularity of the original title.
'It's kind of a tough situation, because you want to invent, and you want to make these things new. But if you don't stay true to what you were, people might cry foul. But you also don't want to get into... a thing I say a lot is that I'm imitating myself, like, "is this what I would've done?"
'It's not about that. I think Borderlands is -- and will always be -- more about what feels best for the game, and what is the gut reactions to those things. But we really wanted to give somebody something worthy of the original.' [Gamasutra]