DICE has posted part 2 of its look at the development of Back to Karkland for Battlefield 3, and it provides a closer look at Wake Island and how it was originally conceived.
According to Lars Gustavsson, who was a producer on Battlefield 1942, Wake Island was originally created based on the actual, real-life island from the Pacific Theatre, but due to a programming error, it ended up being smaller than originally planned.
"The basic premise was that we looked at how real-life Wake Island [from the Pacific Theatre in WWII] looks today," he said. "We knew we couldn’t do it to scale, but that kind of one-to-one fidelity wasn’t really of interest to us. Funny thing is, it was in fact downscaled so much due to a decimal error in programming. The map was originally meant to be bigger, but the involuntary downsizing created a very cool and concentrated gaming experience.
"That concentration also comes from the fact that when fighting on land, because of the island’s U-shape, you cannot escape. If there’s a tank in your way, you will have to confront it head-on sooner or later. That’s something we have tried to recreate throughout the Battlefield series: To have some kind of clear frontline.
"Its U-shape means that the water gameplay between the map’s two legs – whether it’s going by boat or swimming across – creates new alternatives for when you’re locked in a hopeless struggle against superior armor. There’s always an alternate solution on Wake Island, and for me personally, that’s what makes Battlefield Battlefield."
The Back to Karkand expansion will be released as DLC post launch of Battlefield 3, and will contain four reimagined, classic Battlefield 2 maps, vehicles and weapons. To get the expansion free, pre-order the game's limited edition.