It’s ten years since the release of Battlefield: Vietnam and DICE are getting whimsical with nostalgia. They’ve got together members of the old team to talk about the game’s development and it’s turned up a couple of juicy details. For instance, “There was actually an entirely new game mode that was cut late in the project.” And it sounds like a real challenge.
“There was actually an entirely new game mode that was cut late in the project,” says Patrick O’Shaughnessy, QA Lead at the time. “It was called Challenge Mode and let you play by yourself to try to complete small missions, like defending a flag against AI attackers for 3 minutes with only a pistol, or capturing all the flags on this map using a helicopter. It was a lot of fun, even when it was unfinished.”
The concept for the game came from a single kernel of an idea. “Our so called ‘X’ for the game was ‘The Hollywood Vietnam experience in Battlefield’ – something we believe we managed to meet very well,” says Mikael Rudberg, producer on Battlefield Vietnam at the time. “There were many things that made Battlefield Vietnam stand out; the chance to play 70’s music in vehicles, the tunnels, the procedural under- and overgrowth, and of course the asymmetric factions – e.g. napalm versus punji sticks.”
“The iconic music really set the tone for me,” says DICE veteran Roland Smedberg, director/editor on Battlefield Vietnam. “Getting to show off the game to those awesome tracks was a great feeling, having grown up watching all those Vietnam movies like Apocalypse Now and Platoon. There is actually a nod to Platoon and the death of Elias in one of the trailers. And of course, we loved using ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’ with tons of choppers, like in Apocalypse Now.”
“We were around 35 people that created Battlefield Vietnam in only 11 months, but the final game turned out really well,” says Rudberg. “That is probably my fondest memory from development; to succeed in making a really compelling product that extended the Battlefield universe.”
There’s a fair few more details in the original article.