Good PC gameplay is good console gameplay too, says DICE’s Alan Kurz.
EA DICE developer Alan Kurz has reassured PC gamers that the next installment of the Battlefield series won’t be “dumbed down” or “consolized,” and that he planned to give the PC version of Battlefield 3 the care and attention it deserved.
Posting on the EA forums, Kurz said that he had learned an important lesson while working on the PC version of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which was to treat the PC and console versions of a game the same when it came to gameplay. DICE originally designed the weapon handling in BF:BC2 with a PS3 controller, and each weapon had a certain degree of inaccuracy that was unnoticeable on a pad, but very obvious when playing with a mouse. Using feedback from the PC tests, Kurz redesigned the weapon handling to eliminate that inaccuracy and found that not only did it improve the game for the PC players, it made the console versions better as well.
That’s not to say that there’s no difference at all between playing games on a PC versus a console. Kurz said that the limited number of buttons on a controller meant that console interfaces had to be more elegant, and that while console gamers were not averse to deep systems, they had to be accessible. PC gamers, he thought, were more forgiving of complexity, but had much higher expectations and would react very badly to anything they felt had been ported over from a console.
Kurz’s post met with a mixed response from forum users, with some taking it at face value, but the majority reacting badly to it, especially Kurz’s claims that the gap between consoles and PC was narrowing. Some even went as far as to say that the very future of DICE was in danger if the PC version of BF3 wasn’t exactly up to the high standards they demanded, presumably meaning that the financial impact of PC gamers shunning it would be disastrous. It’s unlikely that these comments have any real bite to them though, and really only represent the views of a small, but loud, minority.