Monday, September 19, 2011

Modding For Battlefield 3

In an interview with IGN that covers EA's new digital distribution platform, Origin, map design, and PC versus consoles, Troedsson first addresses a question PC gamers have been asking for months: why no mod tools in Battlefield 3?

"Well, first of all, we have a lot of respect for the modding community," Troedsson said, "They've done some awesome things, and there's also a bit of a parallel there for a lot of us getting into the games industry; in the early days when we were looking at other games, making our own games, reverse engineering other games to understand what was happening, it's somewhat similar to modding a game - it's getting more and more close to actually making your own game. So we have a lot of respect for the modding community."

"At the same time, we haven't had mod support in our games for a long time, and there's a lot of reasons for that. First of all, DICE is committed to innovation and quality, whenever we do something. If we were to do mod support, it needs to be proper mod support, not some hack that we've thrown out there and then people scratch their heads. If we let it out there, it's going to be a good tool."

"It's a huge investment for us to do something like that, and also a bit complicated, and to some degree there's also a concern security-wise. It's a bit scary to take a big investment like Battlefield 3 and just let people dig into that engine and do whatever they want. We're dedicated to try and really limit the amount of hacks and exploits that come out there, but as soon as you let something like that out, people have all the tools in the world that they need to sit there and try to create cheats that actually would destroy the experience for a lot of other people. I'm not blaming mod tools for hacks and exploits in any way, but there's a lot of things we need to consider."

"Mod tools won't be in Battlefield 3 when we ship it, but I can say this – we have heard the community loud and clear. We are talking about it in the studio. I'm not promising that we're going to do it in any way, but we have heard it, and we'll see what we do in the future."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Leaked Battlefield 3 Footage

Earlier this week, three videos showing gameplay footage from a developer build of Battlefield 3 on the Xbox 360 were leaked on to Youtube.  Although EA quickly had the videos taken off the site, the damage was already done.  Spreading like a mad wildfire, the leaked footage was spread around the internet like a virus.
Responding for the first time since the leak, DICE general manager Karl Magnus-Troedsson told Eurogamer:
“When we show our games we are very proud of what we’re doing. We always want to show it in the best light. We want to show the product as good as possible.”
To date, DICE has released limited footage of its console build of Battlefield 3, so it’s somewhat understandable why fans would want to get their hands on as much video footage as possible.  But I have to ask, why ruin the experience for yourself?
“Watching the game in crappy 320x200 resolution on YouTube is not the way that we want people to experience the game.”
Nor, should it be the way people experience the game.  I don’t blame the people who watched the video.  Naturally, they want to know how the game will look on consoles, but how good of a representation could they get in a 320x200 resolution video?
“We always want to show a platform that we have chosen to be our lead platform. In this case we did choose PC as the lead platform; it’s the one that has been, mostly, driving development forward,” Troedsson said. “People shouldn’t worry. We play the 360 and the PS3 version every day in the office. I don’t expect people to be disappointed by this.”
When footage of the game running on a console is ultimately released, Troedsson would rather have gamers see it through official channels.
“Wait for us to show it in its real HD glory,” he said. “There are a lot of hard hours that have gone into this from the team, and naturally we’re disappointed [by the leak]. But, yeah, things happen.”
Battlefield 3 will be released on PS3, 360 and PC on October 25th. That is when I will experience Battlefield 3 the way it is meant to be experience.  (Actually, I’ll probably get it a week before…just some perks of being a game reviewer).  But I’ll be sure to tell the person who leaked the footage how much he is missing out on.
Wait for the real thing people.  Don’t ruin the experience by watching that crappy resolution YouTube leak!