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No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned

This Battlefield 3 video Q&A features GameStar's interview with EA/DICE's Patrick Söderlund talking about Battlefield 3 (thanks GameSpy). One of the community questions they ask is about whether they plan to release mod tools with the game, to which Patrick says no: "Well as of now we're not going to make any modding tools, no." Here's his reply when asked why: "'Cause if you look at the Frostbite engine, and how complex it is, it's going to be very difficult for people to mod the game. Because of the nature of the set up of levels, the destruction, and all those things, it's quite tricky, so we think it's going to be too big of a challenge for people to make a mod."

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36. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 7, 2011, 06:00 Dev
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 6, 2011, 20:55:
Dev wrote on Jul 6, 2011, 20:12:
It should be possible to make a level without cooking, since it the game resources are already in the files, and it shouldn't matter if you duplicate some stuff in the map files.

Those assets would likely have to be uncooked/raw in order to use them in making a map initially, that alone is already probably beyond the filesize they're willing to distribute for mod tools.

Let's say for some reason they don't have to be uncooked, now you're stuck using only the archives common to all the maps. They patch and all custom maps would likely be broken.

Okay, so you're going to create all your own assets instead and cook them using the provided mod/map tools... Start working on your own game at this point.
The cooking sounds more like a de-duplication and packaging as 1 file more than anything else. It should be easy to make a tool to "uncook". Such as the tools out there to extract files from valve archives.

I don't think they'd have to distribute a 60gig package for modding, just an extraction tool to extract the assets already in the game's dvd, or a tool to use them without extraction. Either one should be possible.

What I'm saying is that the assets used in the modded map itself are the only ones that might need to be distributed uncooked. Even if a modded map with assets used is 500 megs, its still doable for custom maps. They don't even have to take care of bandwidth, do like l4d2 and link to modded map homepage where you can download it.

And breaking custom mods/maps never stopped most companies before Valve frequently breaks modded maps when updates hit. Its generally up to the modder to fix them to be compatible.

Anyway my point is this whole cooking thing is probably one of the smaller obstacles to getting mod tools out there.
 
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35. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 20:55 Sepharo
 
Dev wrote on Jul 6, 2011, 20:12:
It should be possible to make a level without cooking, since it the game resources are already in the files, and it shouldn't matter if you duplicate some stuff in the map files.

Those assets would likely have to be uncooked/raw in order to use them in making a map initially, that alone is already probably beyond the filesize they're willing to distribute for mod tools.

Let's say for some reason they don't have to be uncooked, now you're stuck using only the archives common to all the maps. They patch and all custom maps would likely be broken.

Okay, so you're going to create all your own assets instead and cook them using the provided mod/map tools... Start working on your own game at this point.
 
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34. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 20:19 Sepharo
 
Dev wrote on Jul 6, 2011, 20:12:
I think those difficulties are something that could be overcome, but EA has obviously decided that a) they don't care to take the time to make the tools available

Thus my comment about time.

"Is it possible for you to..."

"- Of course it is possible, but how much time are you willing to allocate for this project?"
 
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33. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 20:12 Dev
 
Sepharo wrote on Jul 6, 2011, 19:33:
For those who haven't seen it

If you can understand that you'll understand the real difficulties involved in producing a map for the Frostbite engine.
That's more of a post about how they haven't managed game resources or the tools that manage them very well, and so are running into problems when they "cook" the resources since they differ everytime they "cook".

It should be possible to make a level without cooking, since it the game resources are already in the files, and it shouldn't matter if you duplicate some stuff in the map files.

I think the real problems in modders making a map for the frostbite engine have to do with all the tools and expertise needed to make a map, not the cooking of said resources.

I think those difficulties are something that could be overcome, but EA has obviously decided that a) they don't care to take the time to make the tools available and b) it would cut into them selling maps.
 
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32. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 19:33 Sepharo
 
For those who haven't seen it

If you can understand that you'll understand the real difficulties involved in producing a map for the Frostbite engine.

If you have any software development experience you'll know that the only problem here essentially is time. Mod tools take time to make and the suits don't see that as a good use of their available man hours. That explanation would hold even without the problems described in the above link. With those problems, and the internal/3rd party technology issues that are probably present, it's very easy to see why mod tools aren't practical.

That of course doesn't excuse them from not being forward thinking. The game and engine should have been designed from the start to be easy to maintain and modular, but that's a Valve story.


That of course leaves content less modifications like server rules, admin ops, and various other little tweaks. Those would still probably be possible even without mod tools but as has been mentioned we aren't getting server files.
 
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31. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 18:07 Jackplug
 
No map editor cos they think were morons, fuck them. Who do they think they are!!! I've made lots of maps for many games over the years. I had plenty of help from the community and they taught me, but who gives these shitheads the right to call us and say oh you cant do this cos your not good enough like us or as he said too big of a challenge??

Fuck you you dip shits, community make maps and help each other out when challenges come about, before you know it, brilliant maps are out there being downloaded. The moronic community will have Dices superior map editor wrapped up and churning brilliant maps out better than Dice could ever do, in a matter of weeks...

That choice of words has really fuckin annoyed me...
 
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30. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 15:56 Dev
 
Verno wrote on Jul 6, 2011, 10:08:
It doesn't though, that's what bugs me. People buy DLC for moddable games all the time, if anything mods help extend the platform life which gives even more opportunity to sell DLC. The only thing it really threatens is their ability to sell you the franchise every year but they could supplant that with DLC anyway if they were smart.

The whole "we cant sell DLC if they can make their own!" thing sounds like business man speak, the kind of thought process that probably also concluded that F2P wasn't a viable business model.
Yeah I totally agree, look at fallout new vegas, heck look at oblivion and fallout 3 too. They sold tons of DLC, and even sold lots of horse armor Thats despite having AWESOME modding tools.

But it actually does threaten their particular kind of DLC that they love, which is extra maps. People might not want to pay $20 for 4 maps if they can get 4 far better maps for free. But that doesn't mean they have zero options for DLC. They could do things like customizable character options for DLC. Like reskinnable weapons and outfits, decals you can add to characters, etc. People love to pay for that kinda stuff since it makes them feel unique.
 
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29. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 14:56 SM0k3
 
So no awesome community created mods or even maps?! all because you think we're to incompetent to figure out your game? wow that's fucked up DICE! Another game I won't be paying full price for.....Screw you!  
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28. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 10:08 Verno
 
It doesn't though, that's what bugs me. People buy DLC for moddable games all the time, if anything mods help extend the platform life which gives even more opportunity to sell DLC. The only thing it really threatens is their ability to sell you the franchise every year but they could supplant that with DLC anyway if they were smart.

The whole "we cant sell DLC if they can make their own!" thing sounds like business man speak, the kind of thought process that probably also concluded that F2P wasn't a viable business model.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: Gauntlet, Dark Souls 2, Wasteland 2
Watching: Intruders, 24 Live Another Day, The Signal
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27. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 10:01 Overon
 
Just when you thought they were embracing the PC, they say the wrong thing.

Modding tools take away DLC selling options. Duh. Whether or not the engine and tolls are too complex or not is just the cherry on top. A thin excuse.

This comment was edited on Jul 6, 2011, 10:29.
 
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26. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 09:48 Verno
 
If your only able to lease dedicated servers any mod tools are moot. Unless the gaming community makes that too.

This isn't true though. They could release a map editor without a dedicated server executable release, all the shared providers would need to do is create a directory where the assets have to be dumped. It would be a pain in the ass for debugging and troubleshooting but its doable.

Dice seems to make a lot of two steps forward, one step back decisions though. They announced this great PC feature list then don't bother with a lot of the features that gave BF1942 and BF2 staying power. It's really muddled and I suspect EAs involvement is hurting the process.
 
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Playing: Gauntlet, Dark Souls 2, Wasteland 2
Watching: Intruders, 24 Live Another Day, The Signal
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25. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 08:30 necrosis
 
Jerykk wrote on Jul 6, 2011, 04:09:
As others have mentioned, you don't necessarily need mod tools in order to mod a game. Mod tools just make it a lot easier. Dead Rising 2 had mods. RE4 had mods. Tomb Raider: Underworld had mods. STALKER had mods. Fallout 1&2 had mods. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines had mods. GTA4 had mods. Carmageddon had mods.

I can keep going but hopefully you get the point.
But you DO need released dedicated servers. If your only able to lease dedicated servers any mod tools are moot. Unless the gaming community makes that too.

And your examples just drive that point home. Most of the games you listed are single player for the most part. Anyone can mod those.
 
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24. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 07:42 CommunistHamster
 
A lot of those are old games with fairly clear filesystems.  
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23. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 07:34 Dev
 
translation: "we want to sell maps at exorbitant prices and mod tools would mean the community would make better maps for free, we can't have that, cause we love suxing teh money out of pplz"  
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22. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 04:09 Jerykk
 
As others have mentioned, you don't necessarily need mod tools in order to mod a game. Mod tools just make it a lot easier. Dead Rising 2 had mods. RE4 had mods. Tomb Raider: Underworld had mods. STALKER had mods. Fallout 1&2 had mods. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines had mods. GTA4 had mods. Carmageddon had mods.

I can keep going but hopefully you get the point.
 
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21. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 04:03 Dmitri_M
 
Modding is over with the age of officially made mods being sold as DLC.

I doubt all the modder's that populate these companies are all that sad about it either.
 
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20. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 03:27 Paketep
 
Not surprising. DICE's way is full of broken promises and lies in the last years. Perhaps they think that by emulating Infinity Ward they'll sell as much.

Yep, it's Red Orchestra 2 for me.
 
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19. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 03:23 DangerDog
 
The real reason is they have no intention of licensing the Frostbyte engine to 3rd parties, they intend to keep it all internal to EA studios for games like Need for Speed and of course Battlefield.

They're also using the EA animation system "ANT" which is probably impossible for DICE to release any mod tools for, again due to the internalization of the code.

I can't see anyone really being surprised by this announcement, there won't be any public server files either, you'll need to rent servers just like Bad Company 2.

Their statement sounds arrogant but probably should just be chocked up to poor PR.
 
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18. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 01:51 Tanto Edge
 
Bullshit.
Crytek, UDK, Rage, and these guys can't even release a level editor?
Bullshit.
 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=705LEH3j2g0&t=0m24s
http://www.youtube.com/user/tantoedge
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17. Re: No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned Jul 6, 2011, 01:50 Teddy
 
Creston wrote on Jul 6, 2011, 00:07:
Translated: We're actually having a hard time MAKING the mod tools, and we just can't be bothered. Also, we love the idea of selling map packs with recycled maps for 15 bucks a pop, since you monkeys have amply demonstrated that you'll eat that shit like it's cake.

Creston

This is pretty much it. They've already stated that they're going to have 3 times the DLC of Bad Company 2. So with their need to sell as many map packs as possible, they won't want any competition.

That they used the "You're too stupid to understand them." excuse instead of owning up to it is what galls me. I don't give a damn how complicated they made it, telling me it's too 'complicated' for me, or too much of a 'challenge' is just fucking insulting.

It's alright, maybe my poor, fractured little mind won't be able to figure out how to use my credit card when it comes time to buy the game.
 
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