Fortnite players love a good deathrun, but now there’s extra incentive to try a new map out. Introducing Jesgran’s Deathrun 2.0, a devilish Fortnite map that will challenge even hardcore speedrunners.
Deathruns are exactly what they sound like: creative mode maps that are designed to kill the player as they run through them. Judging from the millions of views on YouTube, death runs are a popular type of minigame within the Fortnite community. YouTubers like to try the maps out and capture their frustrated reactions, and fans like to see what all the fuss is about. Deathruns are big enough that one Fortnite creator, Jesper Mikkelsen, says he makes a “good living” out of designing these minigames. While the map-maker isn’t allowed to say how much he earns, he’s a part of the Fortnite “support a creator” program, where players can enter a code to direct five percent of their in-game purchases toward independent creators.
This would explain how Jesper is able to afford a contest for his latest map creation, Jesper’s Deathrun 2.0. There is a $1,000 prize pool for the people who can beat his level the fastest. The top three contestants will be awarded $700, $200, and $100, respectively.
I tried the map last week, and couldn’t even survive the first five seconds. It’s wild. The difficulty makes sense: The deathrun is the result of 400 hours of work by Jesper.
“For the first 2-3 weeks I was building for 15+ hours a day,” Jesper told Polygon. By Jesper’s estimate, the menacing skull entrance at the beginning of the level was the hardest part of the entire thing to create — it took over 20 hours to bring his concept from a sketchbook to the screen.
After his work was done, he shared the map with 250 playtesters, some of which were fans of his previous work, others which were expert deathrun players. Together, there were about 1,000 hours worth of playtesting. The result is a high-speed map with many twists, turns, traps, and pesky enemies to defeat. Players will have to make use of everything from Ballers to impulse grenades to survive the deathrun.
“Deathruns became so popular is because we love to see people compete and really push boundaries,” Jesper said. “Hopefully this is just the start of creative as a competitive game mode.”
To wit, players are clamoring for Epic Games to better reward creative mode developers more for their contributions to the game. While the support-a-creator program is in place, it pales next to the money being given out for people who play the battle royale portion of the game.
“[Epic Games] are promising millions of dollars on competitive Fortnite earnings and they completely neglect to give motivation for creators like you,” one Redditor commented on Jesper’s announcement post for the map. “Same goes for people making sick creations through the replay feature (amazing short movies, inspirational little Fortnite stories and the list goes on) … I can’t help but wonder what would happen if people with talent similar to yours were intrigued by a prize pool to make amazing creations.”
Regardless, right now, the leading playthrough for Jesper’s deathrun comes from zandYT, who has cleared the map in four minutes and 27 seconds.
Winners for the deathrun contest will be picked on April 30. If you want to try Jesper’s map out, the code is: 1103-0256-3362.