Patrick Bach Comments on BF4 Development

The beta is finished, and the waiting game has begun! In a recent interview, Patrick Bach gives us a few new insights into many of the development considerations for Battlefield 4. Here are a few interesting tidbits taken from the discussion, to chew on while you wait for the eagerly anticipated release!

THOUGHTS ON THE BETA  all_out_war_3_wtrmrk_1080

Bach talks briefly about the process of comparing their own list of bugs with feedback from the community. DICE doesn’t want to end up in a “Rockstar situation” with a broken game on day one of release, which is why the beta was more about testing the back end instead of just load-testing. He comments on the helpfulness of the beta feedback, while also stating that he hopes people realize that they are not playing the actual game. Many fixes have already been implemented, as we’ve already reported. Be sure to check out our list of beta fixes that have already been made.

CLOUD COMPUTING

When asked whether they plan on taking advantage of the Xbox Live Cloud Compute services, Bach replies “Not from day one.” He goes on to explain that there are multiple reasons for this. One major consideration is that Battlefield realistically needed to focus on solutions that work on all systems, since the game extends across five platforms. So at this time, there are no plans for Battlefield development regarding the Cloud services offered by Xbox One.

CHALLENGES OF NEXT GEN

Bach relates to the dilemma of Watch Dogs having to delay their release, by stating, “I think people might not grasp how hard that is, to develop a game at the same time as the hardware.” He even admits that there were times the team thought of doing that themselves. Battlefield is a complex game, which doesn’t make it any easier.

When asked about predictions for the cross-over to next-gen, Bach answers with an honest “I don’t know.” This is the first time the franchise has had the opportunity to be a day-one available title for a brand new console. He also explains that there is no winner or loser when it comes to a stand-off with Call of Duty. In DICE’s book, it’s not just about revenue, but about people enjoying their games. In other words, as long as there are enough people doing that (aka buying their game), they are in the position to keep making more.

It’s worth noting that this is in stark contrast with some of the folks at EA, who have trash talked about beatingCall of Duty in several recent interviews. Oh well, competition is what multiplayer game play is all about, right? May the best FPS win! I know which one I’ll be playing the most!

crashsite_1920x1080STEAM AND PC VS. CONSOLE

When asked about Steam and the possible impact of their latest OS and hardware announcements, Bach takes a broad approach to the question:
“Most consumers don’t really care what platform they’re playing on, they just want a great experience. It’s like watching a movie – if you go to the cinema you don’t really care about all the symbols that flash up. People don’t really care if it’s digital or optical projection, they just want the great movie, it’s the content that matters.

 

In the end if it’s PC, or console or even iPhone, people just want to play great games.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Mr. Bach.

He goes on to relate that if PC wants to be bigger then they should focus more on ease of use, which is hard because PC is so multi-layered. Of course, this is one of the things that attract some people to the PC market, the ability to experiment and optimize. In the end, it’s about your need and personal preference.

THE SINGLE PLAYER EXPERIENCE

Many of us wonder why single player is even a focus for Battlefield. Although Bach does admit that the meat of Battlefield is obviously the multiplayer, he describes the approach to single player for the game. Mostly, the feeling is that it introduces people to Battlefield without the hostility of the multiplayer environment. Single player is not for everyone, but the team wanted to cater to those who enjoy those experiences and may not ever play Battlefield otherwise. To this effect, they have worked on providing more multiplayer features in the single player campaign this time around. He is asked about the possibility of single player DLC, and simply replies that it would be difficult. Battlefield is fundamentally a multiplayer game, and that’s where the team at DICE spends most of their hours.

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK 

DICE has always valued feedback from the fans, but they do compare these comments to the results of their own data. Bach talks about the built-in telemetry of Battlefield, in which the developers can measure real facts about game play with what people are saying online. About this, he comments on how scary it is to witness how “objectively wrong” people can be.

To sum it up, rage on the internet is not getting the last word when it comes to making changes on the Battlefield.

MATCHMAKING FOREST-FIREFIGHT_1080

Microsoft is addressing the issue of matchmaking by using a ratings system. In addition to this, Battlefield plans on adding a skill system, which will be interesting to test out when the game launches. Players will be matched based on skill instead of rank, because the team at DICE believes that it’s more fun to play against people at your own level.

If you’d like to read the interview in its entirety, you can check it out at gamesindustry. So, what do you think about this information? Who is ready for release already?