DICE has been doing well over the last few years, and their success is obvious as I enter the studio. The building has the nicest view in Stockholm, and DICE is at the top floor. Everything seems a bit too pristine to be touched; for example, the temporary Christmas decorations mustâ€™ve cost a fortune. Iâ€™m greeted by Parker, community manager for all Battlefield games except Heroes. Weâ€™re heading straight to the conference room where Iâ€™ll get to interview Barrie Tingle, associate producer for Battlefield 2 and 2142. On our way to the interview we walk past a glass walled room with some kind of artwork strategically placed at head-height, making it hard to see whatâ€™s going on in there without jumping. â€œThis is the Battlefield Heroes team,â€ Parker tells me while pointing at the room. I notice a lot of activity in the room, putting to rest my fears that Battlefield Heroes project might have been dropped by EA after the recently announced cut backs. We walk past a LAN gaming room and into the kitchen. Here Iâ€™m introduced to Barrie, the holder of one of the most incredible jobs in the gaming world. The three of us walk into a conference room where I start asking my questions. Battlefield 2 Q: Will you ever return to the old style of BF games or carry on Heroes Style? Battlefield is a big part of DICEâ€™s history. So is PC gaming and while we will bring new looks and feels to Battlefield like Heroes, we will also remain faithful to the roots of Battlefield. Q: Weâ€™ve seen many people criticizing air balance in BF2, even since version 1.0. Does DICE have any plan to adjust the balance or hitboxes on any of the air vehicles in BF2 with the latest patch? A: Weâ€™ve seen the comments, forum posts and Youtube videos about the F35 vs J10. The main thing to remember is that the hitbox represents the size of the aircraft and the F35 is a lot bigger than the J10. Reducing the hitbox size of the F35 might look like it addresses the imbalance but will also cause other problems as it will look like missiles and bullets are passing through the F35 if the hitbox is smaller than the model. However what we have done is taken a look at the handling of the J10 and made a few tweaks with the turning ability of the J10 which should bring the two planes into a more balanced state. We want as many people as possible in the open beta of 1.50 to try this out and let us know what they think. Q: What are your thoughts of cheating in your games? A: Cheating is a big problem, especially in online games as its human nature to want the advantage over other players; some do it with practice and skill, others feel cheating is the only way. Some people are just out to spoil it for others. It is something that we take very seriously and are always working to stop it from happening as much as possible. Q: What can be done to prevent cheating in the future? A: We will always be looking at ways of stopping as much cheating as we can with the help of Evenbalance and GameSpy as well as making updates to stop as many cheats as we can. While there is a benefit to cheating, people will keep on doing it so I donâ€™t think we will ever see cheating go away but we can work to prevent it where ever possible in our games. Q: What will the BF2 1.5 patch do to prevent cheating? A: We released some information about the changes we have taken to prevent cheating on Battlefield.com. We have included a new account verification process to make sure the player is who they say they are. Server security and stability changes have been made as well as closing off other cheats based around the Commander assets. We donâ€™t want to give away too much with what we have done to prevent cheating as we donâ€™t want to give the upper hand back to the cheats. Battlefield 2142 Q: Will the security measures in the forthcoming BF2 patch be implemented into 2142? Are there ANY coming updates? A: Yes, Battlefield 2142 Update 1.51 is currently in the works and addresses security additions that Battlefield 2 has. Battlefield 2142 1.50 currently has account verification to prevent name/ID spoofing built into it. Q: DICE is noted in the community for its imaginative games such as BF2 and Mirrors Edge. How do you encourage developers to be creative? A: Everyone at DICE is already creative in their own ways which is why we work here! DICE is very supportive of everyoneâ€™s creativity even to the point that every week time is set aside for everyone at DICE to come up with their own game and put them forward to management. Who knows, a game that gets released in the future could have originated from an idea thought up during this process. The cool office doesnâ€™t hurt the creativity either. :) Q: Do you believe modding groups such as the Sir. Community, Project Reality and Forgotten Hope have had a positive impact on the Battlefield series? A: The modding community has been a massive boost to Battlefield over the years and the work they all do is great to see. We have worked with modding groups in the past and even been proud to release Battlefield 2142 content officially from Jason Brice and The Sir. Community. The modding community is an area we would like to support more in the future. Battlefield Series Q: Do you see yourselves ever returning to the WW2 or Vietnam eras? A: It's not something we have ruled out, they are both very epic settings so it certainly is a possibility. Q: Or do you see yourselves expanding into other conflicts like the Korean War, WW1 or maybe something fictitious like a open cold war conflict etc? A: The conflict which has the biggest appeal to our core players is what we are going to look at. We try to listen to our players and if they want another World War 2 setting then maybe weâ€™ll make one. Mirror's Edge During my visit I managed to get 5 minutes with Tom Farrer, Producer of Mirror's Edge, to ask a couple of questions. Q: How did you model the body and the movement? A: We had to create a new kind of first person animation rig to handle the body and movement mechanic in Mirrorâ€™s Edge. Typically first person views are just a camera that pivots on itself but we wanted to create much more organic and natural movement so we had to build a neck and a spine to create the kind of feel we wanted. The animations are the result of an iterative process where we implement moves, test them and continually refine the animations until they feel just right. Q: What do you think of the controversy surrounding Faith of Mirrorâ€™s Edge. Will they continue to portray women in realistic terms? A: We are pleased that the issue was brought up and that it has created discussion around the subject of how women are portrayed in games. For our part we are very proud of Faith and will continue to use realistic female characters. Other Q: Will you be using any influences from Mirrorâ€™s Edge, Battlefield Heroes, or Bad Company in any of your future games? A: Yes, we absolutely get inspiration from all our titles across the studio. Our game engine Frostbite has given us a lot of cool new features that we have never had before such as destructible scenery. Something as game changing as being able to blow a hole in a wall to get at your enemy is a lot of fun; expect to see destruction again in the future. Q: With many people bemoaning high system requirements for the next generation of PC games, do you see DICE continuing to develop for the â€˜middle of the roadâ€™ in PC technology or are you looking to push the envelope? A: DICE is always looking to push the limits of what you can expect from a game such as Battlefieldâ€™s 64 player limit which still one of the largest player counts in an FPS server. This combined with new technologies means we that the minimum specifications will always be increasing. However, making sure that as many people get to experience and enjoy our games as possible is also important. So whilst we wonâ€™t come in at Battlefield 2 minimum spec levels we wonâ€™t necessarily demand the highest spec machine on the market. Q: Are you planning any future improvements to Battlefield Bad Company in regards to the online VOIP. A: The short answer is no. The fluffy answer is: kind of, but we canâ€™t comment on it. Q: How long does DICE plan to use Frostbite as their main game development engine? A: We plan to improve and upgrade it for the foreseeable future. Battlefield Bad Company is the first game to use it so itâ€™s still a very new engine, we definitely see it as being important to the next generation consoles. Q: What other technologies are you planning to make standard/use in your new games? A: We are constantly looking at evaluating and integrating new technology. We basically use whatever makes sense, sometimes its third party software and sometimes its software we develop ourselves. Q: Would you ever again make games that are not from a first person perspective? A new genre? A: We want to keep doing what weâ€™re good at. For example we couldnâ€™t create a great sports game like other sports dedicated studios while they couldnâ€™t do Battlefield like we do. Of course you never know what could happen in the future but right now we feel that we want to focus and get even better at what weâ€™re doing now. Mirrorâ€™s Edge is a good example of how we try a completely new concept, while still using the FPS genre. EAâ€™s got a massive line of different studios who are all specialists in their area. DICE is never going to make a game in a new genre just to be able to say we did. Q: How has the studio changed since EA bought DICE? A: Itâ€™s not a very big difference because we had a good relationship and close cooperation with EA before they bought us, ever since the release of Battlefield 1942. They trust us to make good games so we get quite a lot of independence to do what we want. As long as we do good games that is, I guess they would step in if we started making bad games but I donâ€™t see that happening. Thereâ€™s also a lot of knowledge exchange between the different studios within EA which is good for everyone. Being part of EA also opens up a lot of opportunities for the people working here, such as working abroad both temporarily and moving to other studios. Q: Do you think there will ever be a movie based on one of your games? A: Itâ€™s mostly the last couple of years we have done single player games, which are the ones suitable for movies. As we all know itâ€™s a big challenge to make a good movie out of a game, and we wouldnâ€™t want to do something we couldnâ€™t be proud of. Speaking of film; we really like the machinima videos being made by the community. Two favorites are Mine and Dattlefield. Q: Will 2009 be a good year for the Battlefield fans? A: Definitely. Its going to be an awesome year. When I thought the interview was done I unexpectedly found out that DICE had a bomb to drop on me. I was taken to the previously mentioned LAN gaming room where we started up Battlefield 2. A new map will be released with the Battlefield 2 1.5 patch. Also, the same map (albeit in a slightly different context) will be released for Battlefield 2142 in the coming 1.51 patch. Although DICE currently is unable to release the name of the map, (the old name was recently leaked but has been changed) I was allowed to spend 30 minutes playing and taking screenshots of both the BF2 and 2142 versions. This is the map for the Battlefield 2 version. The 2142 version is still in the works but will most likely be coming soon. One interesting new feature is some boxes have fish inside, so when they explode, fish fly out and move around on the ground. Just when we thought Battlefield 2 couldnâ€™t get any better, now we have moving fish in a box... Barrie is especially proud of this place. The low walls force you to crouch or prone when capping the flag, making chances high that someone will come jumping over the wall to knife you. Barrie smiles his most evil of smiles... In the 2142 version of the map the water will (obviously) be frozen, making the high amount of vehicles necessary to navigate the great distance between the European Union uncap and the Pan Asian Coalition's flags. The map is designed to be intense but still huge, much like Karkand but in a Chinese setting. As the BF2 1.5 patch beta wonâ€™t be out until early next year and the 2142 1.51 patch will arrive after that, we still have a little bit of waiting to do. Having seen the new maps, however, I know itâ€™ll be worth the extra time to put on the finishing touches. I'd like to thank the team at DICE for allowing me this visit. For more information on these upcoming patches and maps, be sure to stay locked on Total Battlefield for all the latest news. If you would like to see the rest of the information, including the pictures. Click here. News by: Athieboy. Thank-you
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Published by Angrybob 11 years ago , last updated 2 years ago
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