View Full Version : Poll: Would you pay for an SDK for SWBF?

10-15-2004, 09:23 AM
I was just thinking, perhaps if we appeal to pandemic/lucasarts wallet, we might see something worthwhile. So the question is, would you pay for mapping/modding tools if they were released in an expansion pack. I'm not talking about some poxy text editor and such, but rather a robust, user friendly mapping and modding tool that makes life easier for all of us that suck at this hex editing stuff (like me!).
If Pandemic/Lucasarts put out an editing tool somewhat like the Neverwinter Nights mapping and modding tool I, personally, would definitely shell out another thirty bucks for it.
Things I'd like to see:
Define the size of your map, the terrain heightmap (perhaps using terrain heightmap greyscale image files?, or just start with a flat terrain that you could edit heights of various areas with brushes on), and then drag and drop buildings and such. Ability to edit which sides are playing on the map- up to all four sides. Ability to easily and intuitively alter the weapons/units/ships/etc that are used in a particular map, and the settings for said weapons/units/ships/etc.
The ability to easily add new skyboxes, new matte paintings, new 3d object files and all that stuff should be included as well as being able to set various global settings in the game.
The only problem with this idea is that we'd all probably wind up waiting another year for editing tools, and by that time the modding community would've taken over with hex editing and possibly made it so that a lot fewer would buy it- still though I'd like to hear everyone's opinion-


10-15-2004, 11:37 AM
They could never generate enough revenue from selling an SDK for one game to make it worth the development costs. The benefit for them releasing an SDK or editors is that others will improve the game for them and they will profit from increased game sales.

If they develop an SDK they are better off just releasing it for free as soon as possible.

I see a majority of NO votes so far. That doesn't mean we don't want an SDK, it just means that selling it is not the way to go.

That's my $0.02 anyway.

10-15-2004, 11:45 AM
My 2 cents would go to an editor but nothing more. The maps will not ever be able reach the sizes I would want so hex editing will have to keep me happy until some sort of image altering/modeling application arises for the masses to create total conversion maps. In any event I dont think we will see any releases from LA anytime soon , other then patches/fixes.

Side note on getting the mods rolling out....
If everyone could get together and let modders know what is most wanted it would cut the time down on getting most requested mods out. On a larger scale I think everyone agrees we ALL should be using NO FLY CAP on all maps. But as far as grandscale editing im hoping the faqs from Subsonic and I will help get more creative modders out there....making mods that everyone can enjoy and from other views...sub and I only have the knowldge of the things we have cracked open so far and were trying to let everyone know what/how to do it so there can be mods with more that our points of view.

10-15-2004, 02:28 PM
It's been confirmed by psych0fred who i believe is a dev that map editing tools are going to be released, however they are going to be separate from the patches which are going to contain more fixes such as reinforcement count adjustment, and ban/kick options for admins.

10-15-2004, 03:43 PM
If anyone has use "RPG Maker 2" for the PS2 something like that would be perfect, easy terrain hight editor, ground textures, 3d objects scale editor, the abilty to raise/lover biuldings, obects... etc, if it was good enough i would be willing to pay $10-$20 for it. I think they should really include all that in a free editor, but hey, im just a consumer.

10-15-2004, 05:04 PM
That's cool.. I guess I just have more money than sense. :)

Sad that I've had the game less than a week though and already I'm wishing for more / new maps. I don't mean modded old maps either.. what I really want is -new- maps. Or actually.. I'd be fine with the ability to remove all the stupid vehicles and mod all my maps so that they are city type maps.


10-15-2004, 07:00 PM
Pandemic and Lucasarts will not want to release mod tools that are not worthy. They go through a lot more to create levels because they don't have a self contained GUI that does everything but rather uses a collection of GUIs, script files, config files and ultimately code to get this to work the way they want.

To give modders the kind of control they will want without putting them through hell pretty much requires the production of a commerical quality package complete with detailed documentation and precompiled assets that do not require distributing intellectual property. Naturally this takes time as most of the resources modders want do not exist. Some of the users have notioced the editor in the screenshots looks like the Battlezone2 editor. Well it is, sort of.

The Battlezone2 editor I believe first started out as the Ground Zero Editor and with every game iot was used to develop since then modifications were made anf functionality was added. This editor was also used to create games like Mercenaries and Full Spectrum Warrior, but each version is customized for each game while still containing functionality that pertains to the others.

Simply put, the game is a mod itself as are all games based off the core technology of the editor which was first built something like 10 years ago.

So the idea is this editor needs to be cleaned up and given a better interface as well as a slew of tools and assets created just so the modders have something that is usable. Pandemic and Lucasarts want this game to have replayability value that only comes from maps and mods. They know releasing a substandard authoring environment means substandard maps that will only diminish the experience, so before you have all the functionality and control you want you may have to wait. They don't want to keep you waiting so as soon as possible something will be out that is up to par in terms of quality but may not give you all of the functionality you want up front. You may have to wait for subsequent supplementary tools, exporters and assets that automate a lot of the stuff the developers do manually.

I don't know what will be released and when, but you can be sure at the very least you'll get some kind of level editor with the minimal functionality to make it work for each era and their vehicles. Don't expect to be able to change units or vehicle properties right away because having users download new maps and use their existing assets that were installed with the game is easier than having people download a whole new game.

Don't expect to be able to change things that would affect pre-built assets right away either, for example if you increase the speed of an ATAT to be that of the speederbike it's walking animation will no longer synch and it'll jitter across the screen. So unless there is a tool that allows you to create new animations, it'll suck.

Want to stick all new vehicles you create in a world? For that you'll need an XSI exporter and the knowledge of how to build a vehicle model, it's weapons model, it's collision and reference points (such as firepoints where the blasts come from) not to mention knowledge of XSI and how to use it to metaproperties, texture models and create animations.

And that's just for creating models. The sound engine for this game is unlike anything I've seen in a game and requires assets that address 5.1 surround sound. And I'm sure people know how to create sound files that are 5.1 ready... Like I said, lots of tools will need to be built unless you work for Skywalker sound Lucasarts or Pandemic.

So just keep in mind what you want is no small feat to produce so it will take time to build the tools and write the documentation that makes it easy for you without breaking the game and making debugging your maps a nightmare. Just look at editors and SDKs like those for Unreal and Battlefield Vietnam. Since Star Wars targets a broader and younger audience, the tools will have to be easy to use.

And by the way the game isn't ready for modded maps yet either, until they release Add On levels maps won't download automatically if you don't have them, etc. Until then keep an eye on the files that people upload here and just back up and replace your current lvls to play the modded lvls. I uploaded a bes1.lvl that moves the edge of the battlefield out much farther so you can have your dogfights without flying under the bespin platforms.