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DICE needs “to hold back a bit,” “ashamed” of imperfections

Friday, 30 September 2011 00:54 GMT By Brenna Hillier

DICE executive producer Patrick Bach has said the team struggles to appreciate its successes, feeling “ashamed” of sterling efforts like Bad Company 2.

“We need to make sure people in this company to feel happy about closing this project and shipping the game,” Bach told the Wall Street Journal.

“Many, including me, are feeling that if they only had one week more, we could have done so much more. People seem to focus on what they could have done, rather than on what we have already managed to achieve.”

Ased if he felt pride in the studio’s efforts, Bach replied in the negative.

“I don’t know why, but I always feel ashamed about the games I’m involved in making,” he said.

“I can’t even bring myself to start up Battlefield: Bad Company 2, our last game, because I feel so ashamed. I know it is a great product but still I only see the things we could have done better.”

Bach gave a kind of humble-brag example, saying that a few hours prior to the interview, he was raging over some sub-standard animations – only to realise they were higher than industry standards.

“Our biggest challenge right now is holding back a bit. There is a definite risk that we narrow down on details that, in fact, aren’t that important to our players,” he added.

“Everyone in the team has been sucked into the idea that this will be the ultimate game. And when you feel that you have to ship a tiny detail which isn’t perfect you feel extremely disappointed. But to be honest, when you look at the game it is pretty cool. You just have to step away from it.”

Battlefield 3 releases on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in October. A multi-platform open beta is in progress now.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

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50 Comments

  1. Shonak

    The only thing he should be actually ashamed of right now is this so-called beta.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    They should have asked him how he felt about the bulletproof leaves.

    @2 Someone doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “beta” apparently.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Yoshi

    @2 Someone doesn’t understand EA’s PR/Advertisement ideas, yes it’s technically beta but it’s basicly the full game but limited with maps etc.
    No Q commands, no options to choose a squad properly, no way to play the game without an internet connection… such a shame as BF3 could have been so much more.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    @5 Clearly it’s *not* basically the full game. Numerous glitches and bugs make that pretty obvious. And Caspian Border, based on everything I’ve seen and heard, is much more technically polished than Metro is, so they can catch these bugs and have then sorted at launch.

    On console at least, you’ll still be able to play the single player component without an internet connection. Sucks to be a PC gamer, I guess.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. themadjock

    I thought the beta was bad when I saw PS3 graphics, it may seem strange but make sure you manually go and set the screen size for your TV in the options. It makes a BIG difference. There’s a reason they make you do this on most games!! Roll on October

    #5 3 years ago
  6. GrimRita

    My god. If Bad Company 2 was so shit, then why did it score so highly in reviews? $$$$$$ maybe?!

    I have to admire his bullshit though. This game will ship no matter what state it will be in. He might not want it to, but EA do. And yes its beta – as people KEEP pointing out but some of the issues in this BETA have been in since ALPHA and either the day 1 patch will be huge or some of the glaring issues wont be resolved at all.

    Thus far, the menu system is a joke. The Battlelog is a joke, the amount of time it takes between rounds is a joke. In other words, its a joke and CoD will probably have the last laugh – again

    #6 3 years ago
  7. UKTomm

    It’s a beta – expect bugs and glitches. If it’s still in the game on release after you’ve paid your hard earned cash, feel free to bitch away.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Fin

    A public beta should not have the amount of bugs that’re in BF3. Characters freezing, animations getting stuck, falling through things – these are basic bugs the end user should never see. They’re also based around the core engine, not what maps you’re playing.
    I’ve no doubt they’ll be fixed on release, but it’s crazy to release such a buggy beta to the public.

    Also, a lot of the bad stuff from the beta (menu design, respawn time, seeing who killed you, auto-join, no exit between rounds) are core design choices that’re extremely unlikely to be changed before launch.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. endgame

    lol! 1 and 5 actually think this is a final game version. lololololololol!!

    #9 3 years ago
  10. viralshag

    I kind of agree with Fin, while this is a beta, public open betas are as much PR as anything else. How many people that play the 360, PS3 and even PC version for that much is actually going to go to the forums and properly talk about the issues they have encountered.

    As someone else said in another article, there’s not even a proper channel for feedback. Let’s just hope in the next two weeks or so they release an actual demo to put some fears to rest.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Gekidami

    @10
    Indeed, the state of this beta is terrible. Both the UC3 & KZ3 betas (in KZ3′s case alpha) were early yet they had nowhere near as many problems as this. The worst part is that these bugs arent hard to find, its literally harder to not fall through the floor then it is to run across it normally.

    What an utter mess, DICE should be ashamed to have released such a thing.

    And to those saying that it was to be expected in a beta: No. Most of this stuff should have been eliminated during internal testing. A public beta can have bugs, but it shouldnt be a total train wreck.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. GrimRita

    I love how just prior to the release of a game, they pour cold water on their previous release and wash their hands of it. BC2 is probably one of THE most frustrating piles of shit I have played in a long time.

    Excellent gameplay let down by those bullet proof leaves(just for you Ireland Michael!) and those much talked about hitboxes. For a game where accuracy is important, they couldnt even get the basics right.

    So much hype went into how good BC2 looked (the same with BF3) and those review sites ‘forgot’ to mention about the glaring holes in the game. The same will be with BF3. All this advertising, Eurogamer even doing a microsite for it points to a high review score, despite some of the glaring flaws that WILL be in the final shipped version of BF3.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    Sounds like a lot of abuse is going on at DICE. But hey, we lets call it “passionate”.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. endgame

    BFBC2 is awesome!! ofc ppl who suck at it will hate it.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. GrimRita

    Oh yes, its brilliant endgame
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjeBjdeWt-0

    #15 3 years ago
  16. NeoSquall

    You know what, the Bad Company 2 beta was much more stable than the first release of the full game.

    I hope that Battlefield 3 will be the contrary, because in this beta they are using the “real” Frostbite 2 (the Alpha probably had the BC2 version or something like that) and it’s really “shaky”.
    I didn’t see people sink in the terrain and fail jumps in the Alpha, so this is the most rational explaination I can come up with.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. anuekr

    Just like when a painter takes ew steps back to see the whole picture, so does DICE needs to do, instead of looking at what the didwrong, they should look at what they did great, like the physics in BF3, like the Multiplayer in BC1,2 like the entire Battlefield series.Proud, not ashamed.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Shonak

    @2: Due to the fact that the release is in one month already I’d call it a demo, I can’t imagine that the game itself can profit that much from the beta in like two weeks? After all, game needs to be shipped too and if EA wants a successfull launch and we all know they want it. That’s why I said so-called beta.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. viralshag

    And also, if the state of the beta is anything to go by, this guy shouldn’t even be thinking about the “tiny detail which isn’t perfect” that will ship and rather the basics that don’t seem to be working.

    “Everyone in the team has been sucked into the idea that this will be the ultimate game.” – You and us both, so far from what I have played I’m only getting half of what I expected. Beta or not, I honestly expected more.

    Bottom line, it was a bad idea to release a public beta in this state so close to launch.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Hakkiz

    @20: They can fix many server-side and balance-related things. As they are constantly doing. This beta may be more about stress-testing than anything else, though, as I’d assume the build is rather old. They are even switching off the dynamic terrain on beta servers due to the fall-through-ground bug that many have been complaining about (haven’t experienced it myself). Final build will of course support destruction and, according to them, the bug is fixed in it.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Patrick Garratt

    Just tried to play the PC beta.

    “Your PC’s NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti does not meet the game’s recommended requirements.”

    *gives up*

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Colin Gallacher

    Pat, you should be able to play on medium reasonably well.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Ireland Michael

    @10 “Characters freezing, animations getting stuck, falling through things – these are basic bugs the end user should never see. ”

    You’ve clearly never been in a World of Warcraft beta.

    These are exactly the kind of things you should see in a public beta, because what occurs in a private setting does not match what occurs on a live server. Those sort of things are impossible to discover until a game is live and thousands of people have tried out countless different circumstances. It’s free QA testing.

    Also, its been fully agreed that Caspian Border is in a much more stable state than Metro, so clearly these problems aren’t across all the maps. I don’t personally understand the hate for Metro as a level either. It’s different from traditional Battlefield maps, sure, but there’s nothing wrong with trying something a little different.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Patrick Garratt

    Colin – Yeah, got it going. Looks beautiful, to be honest. I’ll play more later.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. GrimRita

    I did notice that they removed the only vehicle from Metro. A good thing in my book as it was odd having it there.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. DrDamn

    Agree with Michael. It’s a Beta and what you see and get will depend on what the dev is trying to get out of the program, not you. There has been a grey area of betas/demos recently. Leave it until the full release to see if they are still there.

    Also really like the map. It’s different and brings something new to the game. There will still be the big open maps, but this is variety and that is good. Also like the variety and changes within the level. I can see exactly why they have released this map. I do hope the Caspian Sea is opened up as an option too at some point.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Droid

    That falling through the ground bug is ridiculous. How that made it all the way into the beta I’ll never know. Surely someone spotted it previous to this late beta stage. =/ They say it’ll be fixed in the full game, but it’s made me nervous. If bugs this obvious are still in the current game build, theyve got a lot of work to do before next months release.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. DrDamn

    @29
    Depends how they fix things. Do you work on updating the Beta or the final release at this stage? If this is old Beta then they could have all the stuff fixed a while ago. Their priority is not to fix the beta, it’s to fix the full release.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. OrbitMonkey

    The only problem I have with the beta is that its like playing a slightly better looking MoH. After all the hype its a bit disappointing. Roll on November ;)

    #29 3 years ago
  30. DSB

    Someone from DICE actually breaking EA’s wall of bullshit?

    Surely this guy is duct-taped in a cellar somewhere in Poland right now.

    Bad Company 2 was a mess in many ways. The best thing it had going for it was everybody’s loathing, percieved or otherwise, of CoD.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. Fin

    No, these (falling through floors) are the kind of things that should be found in a closed beta and early QA. Public betas should be stable, and are primarily used for balance and PR.
    I could see this sort of thing happening in The Old Republic beta, but an FPS? It should be solid by now.

    Playing it some more, I just have to reiterate how totally fucking stupid it is not being able to quit from the post-game screen. So I actually have to go back to the XMB/Dashboard if I want to quit before loading the next map. I have NO idea how that got through the design process.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. viralshag

    @33, I’m pretty sure it was the same thing in BC2, that you had to enter a game before you could quit out. It’s also something that baffles me.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. GrimRita

    What Fin means is that you cant actually quit a game from a menu. You have to actually close the entire program down. The restart the game again, which opens a new Battlelog.

    The menus really are a mess. I will see if I can get some footage and post it up.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Moonwalker1982

    @ 7

    I just checked it for the Xbox 360 version, adjust screen size you mean? I saw that it wasn’t properly configured. I’m gonna check how it looks now, but what kind of difference should i expect?

    #34 3 years ago
  35. DrDamn

    @33
    They likely were found, but if you want to make your full price release and do a public beta to test balance / PR then you may have a choice between missing the full release or fixing the beta. They can still test balance effectively with what has been released. It’s not like falling through the floor is stopping people play the game is it?

    Quiting game thing is very annoying. It was there in BC too. You have to enter the game to quit. Suspect it may be some bizarre EA stipulation where someone thinks it is a good way to sucker people in to playing another round. Ever noticed all EA games have unskippable cut scenes?

    #35 3 years ago
  36. DrDamn

    @35
    Yes but what viralshag says is correct. If you enter and spawn in the next game you can quit from the in round menus. So you don’t have to go back to the dash. Not sure if you get stat penalised for an early quit mind that would be supremely fucked up.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. JGaLaXY815

    Usually don’t comment on these but here’s my thing about the beta…I own a ps3 and a 360, downloaded the beta for 360 because more friends will probably play this. It was a pain getting connected, the menus are weak, when I first jumped in I was like wow this doesn’t look impressive, but i give it the benefit of a doubt because it’s a BETA…the more and more I played it, i began to love the tight controls, how much smoother it is than COD, and i only got killed by 2 campers in 2 hours I played it lol…I didn’t have any glitches lol, people are saying they fell into the ground…the only glitch i saw was someone getting sniped and they flew in the air like a ragdoll 20 feet…I love the team objective, it feels fresh, and im gna buy it I think…I think it looks better than Black Oops imo anyway, the gameplay is a COD killer to me.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Fin

    @37

    To be honest, with this amount of bugs, and the bad design decisions that’ve come to the fore, I honestly think DICE might’ve been better off skipping the beta, or just having it closed to MoH players.

    In terms of quitting, I mean when I finish a round (PS3 is what I’ve been playing on), there’s the “Your team won/lost” (usually lost), then “These are the awards you got in the last round”, then “Post game screen”, then loading for the next map, then fucking squad selection, and then once I spawn, I can quit the game.
    It’s so horrible it’d would actually discourage me from playing the MP.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. spiderLAW

    Okay, sitting back reading comments on BFBC2 and BF3 lately i’ve seen some real nonsense. Especially from those that are posting videos about hitboxes being shit. Honestly, where the hell are you getting this lame ass videos? Either 1) These vids are from when the game launched and the patch wasnt released yet OR 2) These videos are from biased asses that are purposefully playing on an old version that hadnt been patched just to get some views on their video about slamming on Battlefield.

    Well, heres a video i have to post as a counter
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOCJu3NpAzU&feature=related

    @40. Thats BS as well. Your whining is terrible and nitpicky. You dont have to sit through any of those screens, ever. you can “x” right through them and sit through the normal map loading screen (what, you think COD doesnt have them? pfffftttt) If you want to quit Hold down the PS button and select “Quit game” O wait; you want to quit the match, not the game. You want to be able to quit the match so that you can what? Go back to the beatiful BETA Title screen to stare at it for a while before you play another match?
    Squad selection is difficult? Wow! Press this button to be automatically put in a squad, push this one to not be put in a squad and choose later….You are right, very difficult.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. spiderLAW

    @39. Flying 20feet in the air from a sniper shot shouldnt be a glitch.
    When a person gets shot with a 50 cal, they either get a limb blown off, they explode (in a sense. They get torn in pieces), or they get launched 20ft in the air.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. GrimRita

    @41 clearly you havent played BC2 in a while because the lame arse hit boxes are STILL around. Either way, there is NO excuse to release an FPS with hitboxes like that – NONE. And, they WERE picked up in Alpha AND Beta of BC2 and they STILl shipped. Maybe you need to look again at the nonsense you’ve written?

    I cant speak for console versions but on the PC you should be able to exit a game when YOU want, without the need to right click on the game and close it completely. Maybe this will be addressed at launch. Escape normally is the option to bring up the menu system. And again, to adjust the graphics you must be deployed IN the game. How stupid can it be?! In ALL games, you can set your options prior to playing. Again, this might be missing from beta and it would be nice if DICE could clear it up. But considering its been in there since Alpha, I am not holding my breath.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. GrimRita

    @39 I have a good laugh when I see dead bodies fly across the map in any direction. Happens alot in BC2 and brings a smile to my face.

    #42 3 years ago
  43. spiderLAW

    @43
    I just played 12 matches last weekend and had no such issues. Maybe I just know how to play the game, i was no.1 on 9 of those 12 matches.
    And as for the shit being there on release, Shit happens man. As long as it gets fixed in a timely manner, i dont see the problem (and it was fixed on the PS3 at least. Havent played it on the PC since the first few months after launch.
    And have you ever considered that this BETA might be in fact the same as the ALPHA build you played on. Maybe they released the Alpha as this BETA to give everyone a chance to try it out.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. Fin

    @41

    No, I never said squad selection was difficult, just that it was another barrier to getting to a menu.

    “you want to quit the match, not the game. You want to be able to quit the match so that you can what? Go back to the beatiful BETA Title screen to stare at it for a while before you play another match?”

    In the Beta, it’s not that big an issue. In the full game, I want to:
    play singleplayer;
    play with my friends;
    play in a different game;
    play a different map;
    play a different mode;
    take a break.
    It’s not the sort of thing that changes between beta and retail either.

    But even in the beta, why should I have to wait to spawn to quit? It’s fucking ridiculous, there’s no way you can dress it up, it’s a terrible design decision.

    @45

    No, apparently the Alpha had less bugs than this beta does.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. GrimRita

    @45 sigh. Sure you ‘know how to play the game’ that must be it! All those hundreds of videos must be from players who simply cant play. SURE it is…..

    And this beta build is different to the alpha in many ways. Anyway, if this was an alpha build released as a beta build then EVERYONE should be in a panic because with under a month to release theres no way on gods earth they could get this to ‘official’ beta status then make it go gold.

    I’m glad you have low expectations to allow such glaring bugs because I dont.

    #45 3 years ago
  46. DSB

    @42 That’s not accurate. The kinetic energy of a 50 caliber bullet will indeed tear you apart, but it has nowhere near the energy to launch you into the air.

    There’s always the possibility that a person will be so shocked from being shot that he’ll jump backwards, but even a close range shotgun slug won’t do much more than make you take a step or two backwards.

    Just look at the many Apache videos that have been put out. You see people exploding where they stand. They’re shooting 30mm cannon rounds as big as your arm, with explosive tips, and they will turn you into jelly, but they’ll only send you flying in minor chunks at a time.

    It’s pointless to compare a videogame like Battlefield with reality though. It does play on realism, but it’s all percieved. It’s an action game that’s meant to thrill you, it’s not trying to let you live a war.

    #46 3 years ago
  47. spiderLAW

    @Fin
    If the alpha had less bugs, then THAT is definitely worth complaining about. That shouldnt happen ever.

    @GrimRita
    I never said that “I know how to play the game” was the definite answer. However it seems more likely that it is the most logical answer. You see, i really do know how to play it. Why, you must be asking yourself. Its because i know how to enjoy it and have fun with it. Its a game. Its meant for having fun and entertaining yourself, not to end world hunger. I dont have low expectations at all, i just know that BFBC turned out to be a great game despite its flaws.
    Do you cry over people being able to launch knives 100yards(retarded) and then land on you as soon as you spawn. Do you cry about the fact that you can throw a grenade, shoot a rocket, or shoot a canister grenade and there is no damage to the environment besides a tiny little burn mark. Have you ever seen anybody survive a direct hit from an RPG simply because he is holding a riot shield? Do you cry over players being able to jump a distance with a knife and kill you before the 20 bullets you just shot into his chest kill him?
    If you complain about those things too, fair enough. In the end, do you still enjoy the game? Im sure you do. Why should it be any different for any other game?

    @DSB
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyjU7WKvO9c
    First guy flies (or animal).(or a bigass chunk of him or it does.)

    #47 3 years ago
  48. DSB

    @49 That looks more like a 1980′s b-movie than actual combat footage. I’d say its fake with 90% certainty.

    Actually, looking at the comments, it seems to have been debunked as someone hunting gophers or rodents with a 50 calibre rifle. I don’t know what their bodymass is compared to ours, but a .50 calibre bullet is roughly the length of their bodies with the cartridge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXD79-SizZo

    That’s actual footage from an AH-64 apache firing 30mm cannon rounds with explosive tips. The only thing flying is bits and pieces. 30mm rounds have dimensions of 30×173 millimetres as opposed to the 50 calibres 12.7×99 millimetres. The projectiles themselves are almost three times as big.

    You can also use the Wikileaks footage for reference. It has a lot less smoke so you can actually see the bodies merely being pushed around or turned into goo, rather than flying like they would in a Hollywood action movie.

    #48 3 years ago
  49. spiderLAW

    Cool link DSB. thanks. Maybe the 30mm cannon rounds dont allow for the impact to make proper contact for the kinectic force to push the body a distance. Maybe it shreads the body too quickly. Just a thought.

    But thanks for the info. Now i know its probably impossible for a 50 cal sniper to send a human flying.

    I already knew the stupid nonsense in Hollywood movies were fake. A problem im getting tired of in the action movies lately. Its like the directors took ideas from the intentionally fake Charlies Angels films.

    #49 3 years ago
  50. DSB

    Yeah, I actually think it’s a lot more disgusting to see people being hit by the real thing, since the reaction is nothing like you see in movies. They don’t fly around, they just get hurt in a pretty disgusting way.

    It does shred the body horrifically, but what you can’t see in that video is what’s left. Of course it’s possible to pound the bodies into a pulp if you use enough bullets, like a bomb might also do, but in the now famous Wikileaks footage also showing Apaches, there’s a lot less dust and smoke, and you can quite visibly see the bodies disintegrating, with the remains staying mostly in place. The explosions seem to merely push them around on the ground.

    It’s grizzly stuff.

    #50 3 years ago

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