Battlefield Portal’s visual logic editor will let you make the Battlefield match of your dreams
Most players will probably enjoy Battlefield 2042’s Battlefield Portal as players, enjoying other people’s wacky creations using remade assets from Battlefields 3, 1942, Bad Company 2, and 2042 without even glancing once at the mode’s extensive creator toolset. But those who actually take the time to come up with new modes and variations will have not only an extensive list of options to choose and tweak, but also a powerful logic editor that will let them change nearly everything about how a match is played.
The creator side of Portal is called the Battlefield Builder, and it isn’t accessed through the Battlefield 2042 game client. Instead, it’s a web browser–based application that anyone with an EA account can access, even if they don’t own 2042. (Of course, you’ll need to purchase the game if you want to play your creation.) That means you can access it on your PC, laptop, tablet, or even your smartphone and get to work whenever inspiration may come. It also means that you won’t have to navigate the Builder’s extensive dropdown menus and logic editor with a controller if you’re playing on console.
There are two main tools that Battlefield Builder offers amateur game designers: a sidebar “wizard” and the logic editor, which is basically visualized scripting.
The sidebar wizard is an extensive customization tool in its own right. It’s broken down into three main tabs—Mode, Series, General—that offer categories and subcategories of options to toggle and tweak. The Mode tab lets you choose the game mode, maps, and mode settings for your playlist. The Series tab lets you choose which game you want the teams to be from (the Wehrmacht from 1942 and the Russians from 3, for example), which character classes are available, and which weapons, gadgets, and vehicles players can use from those games.
Finally, the General tab lets you customize the gameplay, such as tuning the UI, increasing the damage multiplayer, and even deciding if players can sprint or go prone. You can also tweak how 2042’s AI will show up in your playlist, whether they’re permanent additions to the game, backfilling the server until more players join, or not in the match at all.
Then there’s the Rules Editor, which is where Portal’s visual logic editor comes into play. The logic editor itself looks like the kind of visual programming tool you’d find in a game engine like Unity, Unreal Engine 4, or Nintendo’s recent Game Builder Garage; you can set the rules and parameters for a game with bubble-shaped nodes that are based on templates that Battlefield Portal’s developer, Ripple Effect Studios, has supplied.
The Rules Editor is where you can really get into the nitty-gritty of your dream Battlefield match and build your experience from scratch. You can customize all of the same options from the sidebar wizard in the logic editor with more granularity, but there are additional options that are only accessible if you roll up your sleeves and perform some visual programming.
One of the examples that Ripple Effect Studios senior design director Justin Wiebe showed during a recent preview event was how you can change the health “rules” of a “snipers versus shotguns” mode that he was building. Just by clicking and dragging on a few nodes, Wiebe made it so that when a player gets a kill, their health is instantly restored back to full.
The Rules Editor might seem a little overwhelming the first time that you look at it, but Ripple Effect is working on ways to help players learn how to use it. One of those ways is by color-coding the different types of rules and values that you can change so that it’s a little easier to navigate the editor when you start making changes. But Ripple Effect also said that it’s looking into creating tutorials and other tools to teach players the editor’s ins and outs. It’s not hard to imagine that YouTubers and streamers will also create their own tutorial videos, too.
Speaking of, what’s really exciting about Battlefield Portal’s creative tools is that they have the potential to create entire communities around them. Previous Battlefields can still fill matches because of the extensive custom server options that those games offered. Battlefield Portal takes that to another level. The next big Battlefield YouTuber might not be a player who goes on massive killstreaks, but rather an aspiring game designer who comes up with the most creative ways to use the mode’s logic editor.
Battlefield 2042 launches on October 22nd for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Images: Electronic Arts