Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Fortnite concept art offers glimpse behind the scenes

Including unused radioactive Soviet landscape.

Concept art posted online by an Epic Games employee has given us a rare peek behind the curtain at the work which goes into making the ever-changing Fortnite battle royale.

Senior concept artist Gervasio Canda has shared dozens of artworks over the past few years, which have garnered attention this week after fans began discussing one piece of art in particular.

Cover image for YouTube videoFortnite Chapter 3 Season 3 Gameplay Trailer
Fortnite's latest season, the chilled out Chapter 3 Season 3, features punk fantasy vibes.

The following artwork is the only one in Canda's collection to depict a landscape that has not (to date) appeared in Fortnite. Are we looking into the future of the game? Or, perhaps more likely, is this an area Epic Games ended up not using?

This area looks Fallout-inspired, with clear Russian influences. While some art in Canda's collection is heavily described, this is simply titled "Uninhabited Soviet Complex".

Uninhabited Soviet Complex.

It makes me wonder if there's any link between it and last autumn's battle pass character JB Chimpanski, a Soviet monkey astronaut, and whether this locale would have popped up then instead. Regardless, in 2022, a war-torn Russian region seems unlikely to appear any time in the near future.

Also interesting are these various designs for the Sanctury, Fortnite's home for its heroic Seven and their acolytes. There's a few ideas - such as those spherical objects - which did not make it into the final game.

"It was a huge challenge to develop the architecture language for the existing Se7en characters in game," Canda wrote, "designing this new world where they live, how they build, evolve and survive.

"It was definitely a lot of testing and shapes trying out along[side] great artists like Josh Marlow, Stephanie Ducasse, and Debbie Yeo in concept art. It turned out super fun!"

This design shows Fortnite's central primal village, back in Chapter 2 Season 6. Eagle-eyed fans will note an IO symbol on the central Spire structure, which was something that did not appear during the season itself.

Looking back further, here's a look at the Zero Point desert from Chapter 2 Season 4. Here, the general idea stayed the same, though the central sinkhole didn't extend as far down, and other structures from throughout Fortnite history did not re-appear in close proximity.

Back to Fortnite's Marvel season now, and a look at the Sentinel Graveyard. These hulking robot corpses did exist on the final map, though not in such dramatic fashion.

Lastly - just because I really like the designs - a piece of artwork from Chapter 2 Season 3, when Fortnite flooded its map. This ended up looking very close to Canda's vision.