I believe we can.
The biggest problem with BF titles is EA. People are still waiting for a modern shooter to replace BF4. It has been seven years and we are still waiting. BF5 is still under ongoing development and it just doesn’t have the same vibe as Bad Company 2, BF3 and BF4. Let’s break down what makes BF4 and BF3 great games.
- Graphics. This is no longer a challenge thanks to Megascans and tons of other assets.
- Game play. This can be done.
- The HUD. This can also be done.
- The maps and especially how there are multiple miniature battles going on around each flag, in the air and on water. All things that can be created in UE4.
- Player base. Still to this day, you can log on in BF4 and find several full servers.
- Sound. This is getting incredibly interesting on the UE4 roadmap.
- Level design. There are enough many speed level design YouTube videos with UE4 to convince me that this will not be such a challenge either.
- Spotting, mini map, map, commander and spectator modes. All can be created.
- Replicated animations. With procedural animations, the games of yesterday are becoming a bit outdated. This is certainly an opportunity.
- The mixture of infantry and vehicles. This shouldn’t be such a tough task, as there are enough models available already.
- Game play mechanisms and coding. If you look at 50 different tutorials and demos from the community, you realise that the missing pieces might already exist.
- Destruction. Chaos looks pretty darn good.
- The squad element. This has become a disaster in BF4 because in game communications aren’t that good. You either play with people you know, or check the leaderboard to see which squad is least likely to have you killed.
- Classes. BF4 nailed it, it can be nailed again.
World War 3 is a game that might rival the Battlefield franchise once it’s completed.
The challenge seems to be that the teams working on modern shooters are either under some big publishing company focused on making money first, and game second. There are so many Battle Royals out there and unique games like Fortnite, Overwatch, Apex and so forth, that it seems like the ultimate modern military FPS is ages away.
What if the Unreal Engine community itself became a team, with dozens of creators, coders etc. with everyone pitching in their little bit. What if the game went on the market with a new business model, where you gradually buy parts of the game as new maps and features are added? Instead of paying 60 USD on day one, it could be sold in 5 dollar pieces, one map and upgrade at a time, perhaps starting with a few initial maps. That way the game can be finalised for release without needing everything in place, while the community keeps adding new maps, weapons and vehicles after release. DLCs really. The community itself and others interested, can participate in the level design to test the flow of the maps, cover positions, lines of sight and balance.
The economics can be calculated on a percentage basis, meaning that some assets are more expensive than others and those who contribute the most expensive parts, get a bigger paycheck for each sale.
What EA fails so badly at, is continuous support to the shooters people love the most. BF4 is dependent on private servers now. Another thing that is lacking in big titles development these days, are these unfinished games that hit the market, despite pre-orders promising this and that, only to disappoint people and kind of rob them of their cash.
What got me thinking for real about this, is a recent demo of water in the UE4 subreddit. How can it be that some guy working by himself at home, can create better water than DICE did in the release of BFV? Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKhUT_uZWN8
What are your thoughts?