The PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Family Dinner continued Friday night, and it escalated into absurdity. I got the urge to sort the 100 players in the match into two teams massive teams. On one side, the shirts players in their skier jackets. On the other, the scandalous nudes in nothing but what god gave ’em and a pair of skivvies. It’s the war we all knew had to happen in developer Bluehole’s last-player-standing shooter.
Battlegrounds doesn’t support team sizes with more than 8 people, but we were able to make it work But while we were able to pull it off, it was a huge organizational mess. You can watch me try to herd cats for 15 minutes straight in this video that leads into the 50-on-50 battle (which you can watch in the clip above).
First, we weren’t sure how the two teams would look different. Shirts vs. skins wouldn’t work because armor makes naked players look like they are wearing a shirt. That would lead to an unfair amount of team killing. We ended up settling on giving one team jackets and having the other team take off their pants and shirts.
The whole concept came together after Waypoint’s Austin Walker came up with the idea on a recent episode of the Waypoint Radio podcast while talking about the Family Dinner. And then FooVR founder Will Smith came up with the idea that one team should all jump out of the airplane as soon as possible and the other team should wait until the very end. This created two massive armies on each end of the map on a collision course with one another.
The early game didn’t have a lot of fighting, but it was fascinating to watch how each team tried to get ready for the inevitable massive encounter. The circle was forcing the teams together, but the skins — who landed to the North and were mostly viewer players watching the stream on our Twitch page — decided to take their time looting before moving deeper into safe zone. One squad of skivvies, however, decide to move up into a deep southern flanking position to see if they could get an eye on the enemy team.
Jackets, on the other hand, were quite aggressive. Smith took one of his squadmates and scouted ahead in a vehicle, but they also used that time to shoot out the tires on any Dacias, buggies, or UAZs that they came across. The jackets were coming from the southwest, and to get teams in key positions quickly, they headed for the water. Super Meat Boy composer Danny Baranowsky got in a boat and started ferrying people across to the military base.
The early aggression and maneuvering from Team Jackets paid off. When the circle started to collapse at the north entrance of the east bridge, they were mostly all in range to get set up quickly for the fight. A convoy of players that Walker and others led made their way north across the bridge and got set up at a cluster of buildings. Meanwhile, some of the other jackets had already pushed into Mylta to engage the team of skins that rushed ahead earlier in the match.
At this point, the circle forced the rest of the skins to move south as a group. And in turned out that Will Smith’s strategy to disable vehicles made a huge difference as the nude team had to move into the final fight on foot. With the jackets set up in fortified positions, it all came down to that team making its shots. And they were able to eat through most of the skins during that initial rush. A smaller band of skivvies were able to flank around through the water, but they were eventually overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
From my observer position, this was all thrilling but also almost clinical. I could see how one decision was leading to certain consequences because while it was chaos on the ground, the 50-person armies moved relatively slowly as a single unit.
But more than anything, I came away realizing I want to do more of this, and I hope the game enables it in the future.
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