Battlefield 4 Prioritizes Gameplay Over Graphics

Battlefield 4 Prioritizes Gameplay Over Graphics

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DICE is ready to leave the fight for the best engine behind.

The Frostbite engine that powers the Battlefield series may be known for its photorealistic graphics, but impressive visuals can only take you so far. After all, fans of the series will probably enjoy exhilarating gameplay moments more than they'll appreciate being able to count the nose hairs on their target's character model. Battlefield developer DICE seems to recognize this, and it looks like they've finally reached a point of diminishing returns with graphical fidelity. To that end, the design philosophies of Battlefield 4 are somewhat of a departure from previous entries: the technology is less of a centerpiece and more of a means to an end.

"We've come to a point where it's not important to talk about Frostbite that much," says executive producer Patrick Bach. "Frostbite is a tool. We have passed the point where we will impress people by talking about the technological wonders. What will impress people is the experience we'll get from the output when you use the engine."

Bach likens the current obsession with advanced game engines to talking about car engines. There was a time when you could sell a car on the virtue of its engine alone, but now the differences are so negligible that a good engine is expected and it's the experience that matters.

"Next-gen needs to be more than just more polygons," Bach stresses. "To us, it's like, how do we evolve the gameplay? How do we evolve the narrative? How do we evolve the things around the technology? How do we make it more Battlefield?" He noted that the team is trying to stay away from some of the trends in modern shooters that detract from interactive gameplay - rather than rooting the player in place to show them a fancy pre-animated set piece, players should be living their own set piece moments as part of the fundamental gameplay. "Technology is not an issue for DICE anymore. We have one of the best game engines in the world. You can't win by having a slightly better engine. You win by having a better experience."

This is a pretty radical attitude for a big-name AAA series like Battlefield, but it's a healthy one. With less effort being spent on making the biggest maps or the crispest aspect-particle turbo-shaders, DICE can afford to be more creative in the parts of the game that will keep players talking long after release day.

Source: Eurogamer

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Did they not just make frostbite 3 for this game? I'm confused.

SecondPrize:
Did they not just make frostbite 3 for this game? I'm confused.

Yup, they made a improved engine just for this game.

Really? I didnt saw anything new gameplay wise in the demo that they showed so I really hope that they put their "gameplay priority" in the multiplayer part of the game. At least take some hints from Section 8, seriously, that game is really well designed with its dynamic missions and the way that you capture the bases, none of that "1 guy lying prone in some god forsaken corner is still capturing the flag, you either spend 5 minutes trying to find him or just let him have it".

Battlefield 3 was just "Run from A to C, now capture C, you now have C but they have A, go capture A, you now have A but they have C, go capture C...", how fun.

SecondPrize:
Did they not just make frostbite 3 for this game? I'm confused.

This game, Dragon Age 3, the next Mass Effect and this new IP Bioware Montreal is supposedly working on.

How innovative do you hope to be when the focus is always going to be multiplayer, and that will consist of : Running and gunning, Fragging, sniping, and spamming the mic.

There is just so many times you can "reinvent" the wheel, before someone finally speaks out "Hey, it's just a fucking wheel".

Hm... sounds too good to be true considering how obsessed they were about their engine in BF3. Though portions of that game really looked like they were meant to promote the engine so other developers would license it for their games. Its gameplay was still good, so this could really mean anything from simply using more monotonous settings and art to actually improving upon BF3.

I would like to see them put their money where their mouth is, because that's not the impression I got having watched the recently-released gameplay footage..

[Press [E] to agree with this post]

And yet, DICE said they're skipping the Wii U because they don't want to push themselves too far and risk failing.

http://www.videogamer.com/pc/battlefield_4/news/battlefield_4_skipping_wii_u.html

They'd rather "stick to what they know" and "play it safe". And in the article linked in the OP, they said they would rather focus on the current gen (360/PS3) and not waste development time elsewhere.

What I gather from this is they are working their hardest to produce the most mediocre game as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

Scribblesense:

What I gather from this is they are working their hardest to produce the most mediocre game as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

Yeah. When you make an entirely new edition of an engine, I'm sure it's extremely easy and cheap to do.

Yep.

I want to believe this, but I saw the 17 minute gameplay video. THere was one "own set piece moments", but it wasn't really trying to convince the player to use the open map (except for that shotgun part, which was for the trailer).

dragongit:
How innovative do you hope to be when the focus is always going to be multiplayer, and that will consist of : Running and gunning, Fragging, sniping, and spamming the mic.

There is just so many times you can "reinvent" the wheel, before someone finally speaks out "Hey, it's just a fucking wheel".

Just to be pedantic, whilst you can't re-invent the wheel, over it's history there have been a lot improvements made to the wheel that range from subtle to completely game changing. Axles, bearing hubs, the brake, tyres, spokes, pneumatics, cast bodies, there's always room to improve.

In games it's the same, the basics of FPS games online have never really changed (X number enter space, chaos ensues) but there's been big changes over the last couple of decades (okay, mostly in the late nineties/early noughts).

There's no shortage of areas for Battlefield to improve, the scale, the physics and destructability of the map (how cool would it be to drop one of those giant cranes the snipers like to hide in?), player numbers, rubber banding, air-to ground balance. Lots of things Dice could do that would really change things up. Of course, with EA providing the money they will do exactly none of those things, a few more polygons, still 64 players and you'll be playing Wake Island again.

I want to see it.
They can talk a lot, but we'll see how much of their words were true.

dragongit:
How innovative do you hope to be when the focus is always going to be multiplayer, and that will consist of : Running and gunning, Fragging, sniping, and spamming the mic.

There is just so many times you can "reinvent" the wheel, before someone finally speaks out "Hey, it's just a fucking wheel".

You should see Planetside 2. They do some really great stuff with the whole 'Battlefield multi-player' format.

Well we're definitely seeing a lot of positive talk from publishers and developers lately, but its all coming from studios that have been head-deep in the very practices they say need to be demolished, so i'll respect what they're saying, but until I actually see the games they talk about actually living up to their speeches, i'll remain cautious.

Cognimancer:
With less effort being spent on making the biggest maps

No. No, no, no, no, no. I'm not sure if you know what game you're talking about here, but making the biggest maps IS one of the main points of a Battlefield game. It has nothing to do with graphics and everything to do with gameplay.

Also, I fail to see how this is "radical", this is a pretty typical thing for a developer/publisher to say, doing it is a whole other thing.

ksn0va:

dragongit:
How innovative do you hope to be when the focus is always going to be multiplayer, and that will consist of : Running and gunning, Fragging, sniping, and spamming the mic.

There is just so many times you can "reinvent" the wheel, before someone finally speaks out "Hey, it's just a fucking wheel".

You should see Planetside 2. They do some really great stuff with the whole 'Battlefield multi-player' format.

Oh, yes some can, no doubt some can breathe life into it. I guess I should have been more specific, that "EA" couldn't do anything special with it. Besides implementing magazines for your gun you have to purchase or some shit like that.

It's about time you wankers started prioritising gameplay, but something tells me this is all marketing speak for 'we say what makes the fans happy'.

SecondPrize:
Did they not just make frostbite 3 for this game? I'm confused.

Well like they said they already have the "best" technology, so now they're going for the experience. Makes sense to me, but whether or not it's true remains to be seen.

Cognimancer:

This is a pretty radical attitude for a big-name AAA series like Battlefield, but it's a healthy one. With less effort being spent on making the biggest maps or the crispest aspect-particle turbo-shaders, DICE can afford to be more creative in the parts of the game that will keep players talking long after release day.

Naw, the Dice dude is just giving us the PR speak version of "Battlefield 4 isn't going to wow anyone in the graphics department".

Strange thing to write though... These days "AAA" and "creative" are pretty much mutually exclusive, and being limited to teeny tiny maps is *never* good.

Hey guys, so we heard you like to have fun while playing your games; we thought that was weird at first,but then we figured out what you really wanted. You said you guys were tired of quick time events taking place in cut-scenes so we made a lot of set-pieces that basically turn the game into a big rail-shooter. That's what you guys wanted, right? That way you can still look at all the pre-animated action sequences we went through all the trouble to make, but if you don't shoot your gun fast enough you'll be forced to watch it all over again. Isn't gameplay fun!

'How do we make it more Battlefield?'"

Add prone, sight sway, close-quarters maps, and needlessly detailed guns. Those were in the most successful Battlefield games, right? They can make whatever game they like, but lying to gamers doesn't generally go over well.

How about 64 player multiplayer for the consoles too? Those giant maps you make are veritable ghost towns and I don't have the computer required to run BF3 at decent settings... or really any setting at all, that's what happens with 3 year old laptops.

I don't even bother with the singleplayer, it's just going to be the same old, something, something, nuclear weapons, something something, Muslims or Russians... Maybe Koreans or even the Chinese if we're feeling brave. The spontaneous gameplay in multiplayer leads to some awesome experiences and it more varied than the gameplay in MW games.

How do we make it more Battlefield?

Abandon single-player and co-op.

I'd like to see the stats on the BF3 campaign and see how many people kept playing after the rat, and how many never played it at all. I played it once when the servers were down, it was terrible and I quit at the rat.

the SP i think will not be as convincing as the MP. i saw the 20min and it dint really knock me of my chair. the MP on the other could be again fun, since BF is known for MP mainly.
still thinking about it. i just wait and see what happens.

but cant they make mirrors edge 2 instead??

That's cool but that wasn't what was shown in the 17 minute trailer because COD-wanna-be set pieces is not prioritization for gameplay.

Interesting attitude and I hope it translates into BF4 because the BF3 Single Player sucked hard. Thankfully the multiplayer aspect was top notch!

From what I saw of the demo their main priority was making Expendables: The Game.

I miss BF1942.

You know what I would like to see? 1942 on Frostbite. Exactly the same gameplay but with the additions of destructable scenery. That's it. I tire of modern warfare games. I tire of on-the-rails shooters.

The FPS genre has left me wanting more WW2 games again.

That's the great evolution of the last... 7 years. Every RTS is Starcraft, every FPS is Modern Warfare.

 

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