Editor’s note: It’s been six years since Epic Games first announced Fortnite, a free-to-play third-person action building game that pits a group of four gamers against a horde of invading monsters in a post-apocalyptic world. As launch day nears, here’s an inside look at the game. Plus: Epic releases a new video trailer.

This is the second of a two-part look at Fortnite as reported by veteran video game industry journalist John Gaudiosi. Darren Sugg, creative director on Fortnite, talks about finally unleashing the new game with early access set to launch on July 25. (Part one is available in our archive.)

  • How are you introducing new players to this game?

They’ll go through a short on-boarding tutorial that’s between 15 and 30 minutes and then you’ll be able to play with the rest of the population and all of the mission types. But there is a quest narrative that takes you through the entire front-end of the game, which is tens of hours. It will take you through the narration of learning about the tools and what happened to all of the people and introduce all the mission types.

  • Can you talk about the four-player multiplayer gameplay?

Although you can have a good amount of fun playing solo, Fortnite really shines when everybody gets together and plays. One of the core concepts of the game is to give the players a toolset so they answer the problems that the game presents however they want, whether it’s through building or through shooting or through specific class abilities. The classes — the ninja, the outlander, the constructer, and the soldier – offer a lot of different ways to fight the creatures. The constructor maintains the base, the outlander gets resources, the ninja is great for close combat and the soldier works at range to take out the enemies. Another mechanic that we built in from the beginning is that as more players are added to the game, everyone gets stronger. So all the home bases get better stats and the whole team is mathematically stronger and healthier.

  • Can you talk about some of the different gameplay types?

Data Drop is a fixed mission where the players are on a clock and they have to defend a point and then move on. Outlast Defense is where the players deploy a giant laser and shoot it into the sky, but they have to defend it while it’s charging. There are also Survivor Rescue missions where the players have to go in and rescue a bunch of survivors before they get killed by the creatures of the storm. And there’s a new mission type, Deliver the Goods, that has players build tracks and use a cart to push ammo between a depot and a giant cannon and defend it all along the way.

  • How much time will people have to scavenge for resources and build in between monster waves?

That all depends on the mission type. Some missions have a fixed timeline where you go into the world and have 18 minutes to defend a structure, but then Outlast Defense lets you take as long as you want and harvest as many resources as you want before turning on the charging station that brings the monsters. It’s really in the hands of the player how they play the game.

Even though this game has been shown to media many times over the years, it’s still to this day something that stands out as unique.

We wanted to keep building on the idea, so we stayed with our core but then we kept adding more and more stuff to it. We were committed to making the game big and awesome. And the players in our community already have a list that probably will take the next three years for us to develop. So we’ll just work our way through the list and figure out what our priorities are.

  • When’s the game launching?

We’re launching on PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4. We’ll come out in paid early access on July 25th. We wanted to have as many people who want to play Fortnite come in and play, so getting on all the platforms really enables all the gamers to be able to get access.

  • What will those who pay to get in early get?

There are all kinds of Founders exclusive content that were offering, including unique heroes, ammo packs and gun types. Epic gets to be super generous with all our players. We’re going to jam as much stuff into this as we can and if the community’s happy then we’re happy. I think people will be pretty happy with what we’re giving out.

NEW VIDEO: Watch the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfSX9mds9Xg