Rebel Ops mod

What I've worked on:

•Three maps (art and design)
•Three scripted missions

"Rebel Ops" was a mod I delivered in episodic format, and it's probably the most unique mod I worked on in Battlefront II. It was one I worked on non-continuously over the course of a couple years, and it was an entirely solo project. Consequently, it didn't have a huge scope. Those things that did fall within its scope, though, were each pretty ambitious - they represented things that hadn't really ever been done in Battlefront II before.

The mod was delivered in three chunks, each of which was a component in the larger story. The first episode (Aquilaris) was easily the most plain of the maps in implementation. The art was pretty bad - I was just learning how to model and how to work with Battlefront II's model import pipeline. The gameplay was a little more ambitious, but it wasn't entirely new - I was building off of an earlier concept that had captured my fancy.

Aquilaris: Deep Sea
What was truly interesting about the first part was its design. The setting itself is one of my favorites - an underwater base and underwater caverns. I wish I had approached this when I'd had a little more skill, so that the visual presentation could be given with a little more finesse. And then there was the implicit contract I had signed with myself - the one that obligated me to continue to build on this nonstandard use of Battlefront II's engine (a story-based set of missions).

Some time passed between the release of the first part and the creation of the second. That time was absolutely necessary. The practice I got in between the two episodes allowed me to deliver a second installment that was not only far better than the first, but probably my most unique development in the game.

The Big "L"
The second episode (The Big "L") was well and truly fitting a square peg into a round hole. I used the base game of Battlefront II (a shooter) and built a mash-up of the following games:

a) Platforming gameplay
b) Stealth
c) On-rails flyer

This was, consistency-wise, probably a bad idea. In implementation, it actually worked pretty well, because it helped sell some very specific tonal shifts in the story as the player progressed. Also, it was obviously a bad idea to use a combat-focused engine to do three things that are very specifically not combat, but for some reason it worked out pretty well. The first section was a physical puzzle-based platformer set in a cavernous mine, and to this day I think it's the best establishment of a tone I've ever done in a Battlefront II mod.

My one regret with this episode is that I made it too difficult. I committed a cardinal sin of balancing and balanced it to myself instead of the general public, and the episode is worse off for it. This would, far and away, be the best map in the series were it not for that error.

The third episode in the series didn't represent quite as substantial a leap from the second as the second did from the first, but it was still a noticeable increase in quality. In what had now become a hallmark of the series, I continued by changing the nature of the gameplay. It hewed closer to the tone of the stock Battlefront II in that it was combat-focused, but I created a pseudo-RPG-like level-up system and a system that allowed for weapons to be collected from and exchanged with the enemies' weapons. I also refined a method I'd developed of manipulating Battlefront II's camera system to allow for pseudo-cutscenes to be run in-engine.

Bakura: Rogue Assault
While the map design wasn't as unique as the first episode's or as tonally-well-developed as the second, it was a reasonable synthesis of the strengths of both, and it was very extensive, allowing for a rich progression through the story scene-by-scene. The gameplay wasn't quite as out-there as the second, but it was much better balanced and provided for what was the most fun player experience of all three episodes.

All in all, the trajectory of the "Rebel Ops" series was a positive one - each episode represented an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the previous episodes and the consequent improvement that came with that analysis. More importantly, it was really fun to develop. I got to explore some really virgin territory with each episode, development-wise, and each episode was received (by the audience) as not only a fresh story, but a fresh experience.

Episode 1 of this mod can be downloaded at:

Episode 2 of this mod can be downloaded at:

Episode 3 of this mod can be downloaded at: