“We Don’t Even Know The Limitations Of What The System Can Do” – Ripple Effect GM On Battlefield Portal’s Flexibility

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After watching a presentation for Battlefield Portal – Battlefield 2042’s new tool for user-created modes – my mind was fizzing with possibility. I got the chance to talk to Ripple Effect GM Christian Grass about Portal, and I immediately wanted to know how far people could push it.

Battlefield Portal allows players to create their own custom modes for six maps from Battlefield’s history and seven maps from Battlefield 2042. They can tweak player count, weapons, vehicles, and more. You’re even free to pit Battlefield 2042’s Specialists against German WW2 troops if you’re so inclined.

Related: Battlefield Portal Combines Bad Company 2, BF3, 1942, and 2042, Allowing Players To Make Their Own Modes

It got me wondering, could you just limit the game to one Specialist for every player? And if you can do that, is it possible to use the included logic editor to alter cooldown timers on special abilities? During the presentation, we got to see health, movement speed, and more altered, but now I’m imagining a mode where everyone is the grappling hook Specialist, the cooldown is removed, and it’s basically just 128 Spider-Men swinging around and gunning each other down.

“That’s a good question,” Grass said. “I’m actually not 100 percent sure about that specific question. I’m so sorry, I don’t know that detail.”

Arica Harbor from Bad Company 2 in Battlefield 2042.

In a follow-up email, a Dice spokesperson said, “A Spider-Specialist game mode sounds like fun! But when it comes to the specific timings and behaviors of our Specialist’s abilities, we didn’t want to get quite so specific on the details. Our approach, broadly, has been to favor general settings and logic blocks that can apply to a wide variety of games instead of favoring very specific settings that might only be useful for one player or one type of game.”

Players can, however, definitely make one superpowered player character and have them face off against 127 others. Ripple Effect is hyper-aware that its players are going to surprise it. When I asked Grass about whether players could make more than two teams and put together their own battle-royale-style scenario, he wasn’t confident in his answer there, either.

“Ten teams kind of fighting each other?” he asked. “No, you can’t at launch – you have the two teams or we have free-for-all. Maybe you can, through the logic editor, set that up to somehow not [be able to] kill someone from another team? I’m not sure, actually. Maybe if someone is really technical and smart, I guess maybe you can set that up. But the support is basically either two teams or it’s free-for-all from a baseline.

“We did a little bit of a game jam a few weeks ago in the studio. So just everyone was kind of playing around, including the people that normally don’t work on this, and it was just amazing. Our intern came up with a super fun mode that everyone was just playing – a shotgun-only mode that was super fun. So people are going to blow us away instantly. The possibilities are endless. We don’t even know the limitations of what the system can do. We focused on giving players and the creators power. That was our main thing – more power to the creators, and then they’ll surprise us. That’s kind of been the mantra for us.”

Battlefield 2042 will launch for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on October 22 this year.

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