MODs in Battlefield: 1942 have been getting a lot of attention recently, particularly due to the 1.2 patch that was released which significantly aided MOD'ers out there in enhancements and additions made to the code and game. We take a closer look at a very unique MOD, the Eternal Silence MOD which takes Battlefield into outer space. Read on...
the Junkyard: Please introduce yourselves to the community.
MadMechWarrior: I'm MadMechwarrior, co leader of ES. I am primarily a coder and I work on many of the coding challenges facing us such as zero gravity and shields.
SilverFish: I'm SilverFish, the other co leader of ES. I do models, PR, update the site, and other various tasks
tJY: What are your roles in the Eternal Silence Mod?
MMW: We are both co leaders. We work together to manage the team and keep everything organized. We do a lot of work ourselves. For instance I am a coder and SilverFish is our modeler and webmaster. We work just as much as any other member, but we also have to make sure we keep everyone happy. We are very devoted to the project. I think we are more attached to the project than any other member of the team, mainly because its our brain child.
tJY: How did you come up with the idea?
MMW: Eternal Silence was actually my initial idea. We have come a long way from the original concept but the core has stayed intact. The idea really came spontaneously. I played the demo a lot and one day I was talking about mod ideas with a friend. We went into a lot of topics and I suddenly got this huge idea about a mod something like the first level in Halo, when the covenant is boarding your ship. The idea stuck and I decided to make it a reality.
SF: I played the demo way too much, and I bought the game the day it came out. I love the game, but my favorite part about it is flying. Me and a few other people wanted to start doing a space mod, which only focused on dog fighting, then one day I met MadMechWarrior over at the bf42.com forums and discovered that he was going to be doing a space mod too, only with ground troops too, so we decided to merge our two small teams together to form one large team.
tJY: How are shields going to function in Eternal Silence? Will they automatically regenerate, or will they have to be repaired?
MMW: Our shields got a lot of attention. I think it really showed the world how different we are from any other mod out there that just adds models and skins. It took a long time to code them (mostly research). The great thing about them is they are very flexible. I can make them do almost anything. This is going to give us a lot of possibilities on how we want to implement the shields. I think we are leaning towards automatic regeneration. Either that or they get knocked out for good, its too early to say.
tJY: Since the game setting is set in space, how is the environment going to be rendered to create a "this goes on forever" feeling?
MMW: Battlefield 1942 uses a skybox for its sky. So that will be replaced with stars and nebulas and such. We will probably totally eliminate the fog but we havent checked out the effects this would have on performance yet.
tJY: Will outside objects / forces (such as meteors, asteroids, gravity, etc.) play a big role in this mod?
MMW: To different degrees yes and no. First and foremost we want to make something that is playable, and if defying the laws of physics is what it takes to make it playable... we will do it. Forces like gravity may or may not end up playing a major role in the mod. Its too early to tell at the moment
tJY: How much interaction will there be between the player and the environment in space? Inside of the ships?
MMW: The thing with modding in BF is that really not much of the environment is interactive. So we are waiting for more advanced tools to come out before tackling this problem. We are trying to make the ships pretty interactive. Doors are a must. We might also make it so each room you control will give you a bonus... or hinder your opponents. For instance if you were in an enemy ship and managed to capture the engine room... then the ship will lose its mobility. If you controlled the bridge you would be able to control the ships Mass Destruction weapons (things like Photon Torpedoes used to destroy ships). If we get the tools we need and end up unlocking the true power in the refractor 2 engine, all this should be possible.
tJY: Will you be able to battle on surface of planets? If so, how are you planning on handling multiple planet surface battles and deep space combat at the same time?
MMW: Realistically it would be impossible to have a battle spanning 2 or 3 planets and its would be even harder to achieve it technically. The planetary battles will play somewhat like the current BF maps. They will probably be about the same size.. only differences is the battles will be way more 3 dimensional. Instead of having your carrier floating in the water it will be floating in the air. The atmosphere we are trying to portray for the planetary battles is similar to the one in the opening cinematic in Starcraft: Brood War... With the soldiers on the ground and the huge space frigate floating overhead, providing cover.
tJY: How are you going to handle the Ship-To-Exterior transitioning, as there are currently no vehicles in Battlefield where you can enter the vehicle without driving / gunning?
MMW: The inside of the ships should have gravity, since tactical combat in a zero gravity environment is a no-no. All of the space ships however will float in zero gravity. Soldiers trying to run outside into space will simply die from lack of oxygen unless they are in a space suit or combat exo-suit with jump jets to maneuver around.
tJY: How will the vehicles be used to promote team-based battle?
MMW: All of the vehicles will be pilotable alone or solo. However we are arranging it so that each vehicle will gain a semi-important bonus from having a co-pilot in it. This is the same concept that many other mods and BF are using. You can still drive the jeep if you are alone... but hey if your buddy is with you he can hop on the back and shoot everybody with the mini gun...
tJY: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to say about the Eternal Silence mod?
MMW: Mods always provide re playability in games. I think its great that we have the possibility to bring something like Eternal Silence to life in a game like BF. We mod games first and foremost because we want to make something that we want to play, and offer it to the community. It's just great to see your creation flourish into something people will enjoy.
Oh and one last thing... http://esmod.bfcentral.com.
On behalf of the community, we'd like to thank MadMechWarrior and SilverFish for taking the time out of their day to chat with us. Oh, and thanks for the exclusive shots (above and below)!