Despite a wave of criticism for the old code deployed in the Battlefield 3 multiplayer beta, DICE considers the testing a roaring success.
Speaking to IGN at an EA event, creative director Lars Gustavsson spoke about what the studio has gained after conducting the now-complete multiplayer beta for Battlefield 3.
“Looking at the open beta, for us at DICE it’s truly been a huge success,” said Gustavsson. “We could have been better in how we messaged this to the community, what we were doing and why it’s not as polished as a final demo but there is a reason we called it a beta and not a demo.”
He went on to say that in spite of the problems that the beta faced, it was “mission accomplished” for the studio as they managed to fix them in the end, ensuring a better final product for everyone to enjoy.
“This test was done so we would get as many eyes as possible on the game code to ensure a good release, and that means hammering the back end, seeing that the servers hold up, making sure we get all the telemetry we need, that all the hooks are working and also getting a good first take on the balancing of the game. What is the score progression? How are people doing?
“But of course also Origin and Battlelog, all of these things that we need to get ready for the final ship. So for us it’s been really useful and I would really say mission accomplished. Once again, yes, there is a vocal community out there but I wouldn’t like to have it any other way. It’s dedication and passion when people speak up and there’s nothing wrong with passion.”
Gustavsson then talked about split-screen multiplayer , and why it hasn’t implemented it in any Battlefield game to date, especially while other high-profile FPS competitors like Call of Duty and Halo have been including it for a long time.
“Overall I would say I love splitscreen,” he admitted. “Maybe at some point we’ll do it but we have a new engine, and usually the best recipe for ruining a project is trying to do everything. We’d rather deliver a really good gaming experience and then look forward.
“I think, for example, our co-op is really solid so it doesn’t feel like it’s missing the split-screen and therefore I think that we’re coming out with a really strong game, and that’s number one. Then we can look down the road and see what’s up next.”
IGN then quizzed him about any incentives which might compel players to beat the single-player campaign of the title more than once.
“Overall we definitely put a lot of love and passion into our single-player campaign,” he said. “As a studio we’re still quite young in making single-player games; it’s not until Bad Company 1 that we started to do this and we’ve come a long way I would say. We’re extremely proud of the single-player campaign.
“There is, of course, the possibility of replaying difficulties and so on but we haven’t added any extra carrots to keep you in there. We think the package of single-player, co-op experience and multiplayer is a really good start.”
When asked to state the one thing about Battlefield 3 which will make gamers go crazy, Gustavsson said making them have a look at Caspian Border should do the trick.
“If there’s someone who’s never played Battlefield before, then we’d definitely load up a level like Caspian Border, have them sit down and look at the mayhem of a 64-player server,” grinned Gustavsson.
“Jets, tanks, everything going on; it still gives me goosebumps when I see it. I think it’s something that very unique for Battlefield, in combination with destruction and so on, and it’s something I’m still very proud of, being able to deliver.”
Battlefield 3 releases on October 25 in US, and October 28 in UK for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.