Battlefield 3 Producer Discusses the Benefits of Developing the Shooter In-House

A screenshot from the highly-anticipated Battlefield 3

By John Gaudiosi

One of the big games of 2011 is preparing to invade PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Battlefield 3 is the latest shooter from acclaimed developer DICE and Electronic Arts. Patrick Liu, producer on Battlefield 3 at DICE, recently showed off new gameplay at the EA Vegas Gameshow. He talks about what’s in store for players when they engage in Battlefield 3 in this exclusive interview.

MTV Geek: What’s it like for you, personally, to be involved in this game, this franchise, especially with the big battle with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this fall?

Patrick Liu: We always set very high expectations for ourselves, just raising the bar with every game that we make. I think that pressure from ourselves, from each other, is actually bigger than anything else. Just to create the next gen Battlefield game, basically. That’s where we gauge ourselves. We focus on creating the best game that we can.

Geek: What were your goals heading into Battlefield 3?

Liu: We always try to innovate certain aspects of the game when we create a new Battlefield game, but I would say that with Battlefield 3 we basically innovated everything. With Frostbite 2, it was just making everything bigger and better, including a totally new rendering engine, new streaming technology for the scale of the maps, a new animation system, more destruction, and the vehicle warfare. We improved the whole package, basically.

Geek: When it comes to developing this game, where have you focused your attention across the three gameplay types?

Liu: Multiplayer has always been the core of the Battlefield franchise. Since Bad Company, we’ve added single-player as a core pillar. Now, with Battlefield 3, we’re adding a whole new component with the franchise, which is co-op. I would say that all of them are very important for us. No matter what you play in the game, we want to offer something that’s best in class and top notch.

Geek: With Medal of Honor, DICE worked on the online and EA LA focused on the campaign. What’s it like to have one studio do the entire Battlefield 3 game?

Liu: It’s a world of difference to work together at one location. The whole game is made at DICE in Stockholm. It’s great having the guys running around, talking to each other. Co-op, for example, is actually based on a lot of the philosophy behind multiplayer. Teamwork is never forced, but we have different gadgets and mechanics that help you work together. Just the co-op and the multiplayer guys talking to each other, what you should be doing, it’s a much more coherent and better product overall.

Geek: What are the challenges of designing a battlefield map large enough for jets?

Liu: With the re-introduction of jets, we have to have much bigger maps, obviously, to accommodate the jets and just balancing the whole gameplay between infantry and vehicles, overall. Because we need the bigger maps, we have actually implemented streaming technology, which we haven’t had before in Frostbite. That enables us to build the biggest map we’ve ever built. We definitely need the scale of the game.

Geek: How have you balanced the game between jets, for example, and snipers being able to be spotted through sunglare in this game?

Liu: We rebalanced, basically, all classes for Battlefield 3, since Battlefield 2, actually. There are four classes now. As you say, with the sniper, we refocused his purpose a little bit so he’s much more of a recon guy than a sniper. He actually helps the team do the recon of the battlefield. Just tweaking the way people can spot each other. In the alpha, it behaved in one certain way, where you could spot through the bushes. We changed that, actually, based on feedback from the fans. The game will be rebalanced, changed, and tweaked as we progress and people playing the game give us feedback. It will be the perfect balance, at some point, I hope.

Check out the trailer for Battlefield 3 below:

Battlefield 3 Multiplayer Trailer

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