Just an article i found regarding battlefield 3 mod tools
Many fans in the Battlefield community of late have been upset about what appears to be DICE walking away from their historic support of modifications. I, as someone who has been in the Battlefield modding community since October 2002, and have seen it all, would like to set a few things straight. I would also like to present what I think the community should be asking for, instead of what they have been demanding.
Much of the community talkback has revolved around two things: decrying DICEs walking away from their ‘roots’ by not supporting mods the way they used to, and a demand for an editor. This line of conversation ignores what those of us around at the beginning know: DICE mod support has always been sketchy at best, and the release of an editor with Battlefield 2 was an exception, not a rule.
DICEs first official map editor was the editor they released for BF1942, called BattleCraft. But BattleCraft was actually a community map editor, being worked on by a community member during a time when we had no tools at all. DICE hired the person making BattleCraft early in its development and we didn’t hear anything of it until late in BF1942’s life cycle. This was a time when anything we had was software intended for other uses (like Daylon Leveller) or made by the community, like the RFA Extractor without which we could not have done anything.
The editor which made modding for BF1942 easier and to which many BF1942 mods owed their life was called Editor42. It was superior to what ended up being BattleCraft in every way, it came out early, and most of all – it had nothing to do with DICE. It was made by a French Canadian named CoinCoin, and beta tested by another community member, named AudioGod, and myself (then known as Augustus). Editor42 was so good in fact, CoinCoin changed the license terms to say commercial use required payment, due to suspicions he had that EA and DICE were using it themselves (based upon approaches EA had made to him to offer ‘helpful advice’). Editor42 was always the preferred editor in the community, even after BattleCraft was released.
None of the most important tools had anything to do with DICE. Battlefield modding started out with people making maps entirely using notepad for object placement and 3dsMax for terrain texturing (and most other tasks, thanks to RexMan, later a Desert Combat developer).
By and large, DICEs mod tools had come out long after the community had already worked everything out for themselves, and had made software and 3dsMax scripts to do it all (DICEs Mod Tool download was actually a collection of MaxScripts made by RexMan, repackaged). DICE also consistently underestimated what the community was capable of; never believing the community could make a working helicopter with the existing code. This trait is still evident today with their patronising claims they can’t release their Frostbite 2 editor because their engine is too complicated for us.
Criticising DICE for not releasing mod tools ignores the history of Battlefield modding, which is a history of doing it ourselves, with only a little help from them. That is after all, the spirit of modding. What we should be campaigning for are two simple things: a custom game menu item so that mods can actually be used (no one seems to have even bothered asking for this!), and some kind of extractor tool to enable us to decompile their files. From there, we can do the rest. Our community is chock full of smart people who love the challenge, and if BF3 is as big a game as we hope it will be, there will be even more of them.
So get the word out – stop whingeing and ask for something DICE might actually see as a small thing that won’t cost them anything to give us. We’ll do the rest.