Battalion 1944 Devs Eager To Support Modders, Says Studio Lead

Battalion 1944 - Airborne
  • Windows
  • Shooter

Before its Early Access debut on Feb. 1, Battalion 1944 will launch its first beta later this month, and Bulkhead Interactive is anxious to see how the PC community responds to its “old school” shooter. But the team has plenty of work to do in the interim. Studio Lead Joe Brammer says Bulkhead is already focused on what the Battalion 1944 scene will look like after it hits Steam. And the company is willing to let players radically alter its first shooter in the name of fun.

“We’ve already started supporting our modding community a lot,” Brammer told Player.One. “They’re all kind of prepping and asking for as much information as we can give them.”

Mods haven’t really been part of the conversation about Battalion 1944 up to this point. Truth be told, there hasn’t been much discussion at all about Bulkhead’s upcoming World War 2 shooter since the game closed out a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter last March. The studio has dutifully updated backers throughout the development process. This month’s closed beta and next month’s Early Access launch will give many users their first exposure to Battalion. But first impressions won’t tell the entire story. Bulkhead Interactive is proud of the two match types (Domination and Wartide) we’ll see in testing and the four we’ll see in Early Access. And the studio is eager to see how the Battalion 1944 community puts its own spin on the shooter.

Brammer says he knew he wanted Bulkhead to support modders in the earliest days of Battalion 1944’s life. It’s part of the reason the studio’s first shooter was built with Unreal Engine 4 instead of a custom engine assembled. Modding games isn’t quite as tough as development, not least because there usually isn’t an exchange of funds between the creator and consumers. But that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park, either. Brammer knew the studio would be much better off with a widely-available engine if it wanted players to help shape the experience.

“People can go to Epic Games, [download] the engine, open a Battalion mod project and change whatever they want,” Brammer said. “Server admins can change some things: the length of the game, how many points you get, how many points you receive for something. But they can’t move objects around the world. For that, they need to download the mod tools.”

The studio still hasn’t determined how it will distribute Battalion 1944 mods. Steam Workshop seems like the obvious answer, considering the game will be in Early Access and its cosmetics can be listed on the Marketplace, but Brammer couldn’t confirm Workshop support during our interview. The only certainty is that Battalion 1944 won’t be as tightly-controlled as Overwatch or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

“As young people start using computers at a younger age, and start being more creative with computers, and [game dev] is more accessible, [big studios] are going to have to start giving more control back to players,” Brammer told Player.One. “Maybe we’re the forefront of that.”

“Keep the players happy. They know what they want,” he added. “Why not just listen?”

Battalion 1944 is in development for PC. The game hits Early Acces on Feb. 1.

Be sure to check back with Player.One and follow Scott on Twitter for more Battalion 1944 news in 2018 and however long Bulkhead Interactive supports Battalion 1944 after launch.

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