Speaking to Ausgamers, DICE’s Karl Magnus Troedsson has laid out the studio’s opinions on a hattrick of Battlefield 3 design decisions which have proved controverisal with fans.
“Frst and foremost, we’re not throwing the game out there in any way. We have been working on this game for three years. We’re very conscious about quality and we’re polishing it to the last bits,” Troedsson said of Battlefield 3 when asked why the console version runs at 30 frames per second – as opposed to Modern Warfare 3 or RAGE’s 60 FPS.
“Our games have been running at 30 FPS since we started doing console games. There’s nothing ‘bad’ about this.
“This is a unique selling point for some of the other competitors out there that are running at 60. I believe that they want to create an experience that are more twitchy, and it’s faster and these kind of things. 30 FPS works really well for us.”
Troedsson reiterated earlier comments that the frame rate quesiton had been “blown out of proportion” and that many console games, including shooters, do perfectly well at 30 FPS.
“The tempo of Battlefield 3 is slightly lower so it works really well for us,” he added.
“It also comes with the fact that our games have large open environments; we have tonnes of vehicles; we have more players; we have all-out destruction in the environment. 60 FPS is not a technical problem, it’s very easy to do. If you turn off all the things I just mentioned, we can also get it to run at 60 FPS.”
One decision which hasn’t sat well with the PC gaming community is the need for an origin login on all versions of the game – including off-the-shelf retail – but Troedsson said the service is there to improve the end user’s experience.
“The reason behind Origin is of course that we want to create a more of a community connection in between our games,” he said.
“We want to make it even easier for people to have a good experience with our games and we want to get auto-patching and [have] people to be able to download the games again after they bought them and re-install their computer and what not.”
Further disappointing PC gamers, Battlefield 3 will not support mod tools at launch. As well as acknowledging the “security risk” in letting people “just tear around in it in whatever way” with mods, Troedsson said it’s a matter of time and resrouces.
“I have a lot of respect for the people in the mod community. At the same time, as developers of a game of this magnitude – I mean, it’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done – we have to select what it is we’re going to spend our focus on. We cannot do everything; it’s basically like that.
“We have to make conscious decisions about what we actually do put into the game and what that actually gives us back. What that gives the players back that actually play the game.”
troedsson acknowledged the community clamour for mod tools and said the possibility of later release hadn’t been ruled out.
“We are considering it, back in the studio. The game won’t ship with mod tools, but we have heard it. I’m not saying that we’re going to do it, I’m saying that we are thinking about it,” he said.
“At DICE, we are very committed to quality and innovation when we do something. So if we do mod tools, we really want to do it right. It can’t just be some hack that we throw together and people have to reverse engineer it and do all these kinds of stuff. It needs to be a very proper tool that people can use and that’s not a small thing to do.”
Battlefield 3 is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in late October. Pat and two lucky readers are at DICE HQ right now, checking the game out.
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