Dev: DICE’s Secret Is That They’re Very Humble; Battlefield 1’s First Level Was Initially Much Larger
During the latest episode of the Game Informer Show, DICE's Design Director Eric Holmes was interviewed via Skype. Holmes, who is a 20-year old veteran in the industry who previously worked on games such as State of Emergency, Hulk, Prototype, Infinity Blade and Batman: Arkham origins, was asked about his first impressions when joining DICE.
Apparently, the Swedish team is constantly striving to push the envelope in every area regardless of their accomplishments.
DICE is a pretty phenomenal studio in a lot of ways. I think the thing that really impressed me is, they're not really a studio that rests on their laurels. They're very humble as a studio and they're very hard on themselves. I think that's a wonderful quality because that means you're always reaching and aspiring and trying to do better.
Nothing's ever good enough, which is great as a developer because otherwise you might relax. Instead, even the stuff that I think DICE is the best at, they're always pushing to go further. To do better vehicles, to do better firearms, to do better maps. That is where you break new ground, I think.
A good example would be faces. Now, I think DICE does magnificent faces, they work very very hard to make those characters look believable and real.
Holmes worked specifically on Battlefield 1's single player campaign, which received lots of praise when compared to previous Battlefield campaigns. The first level is particularly striking in that the game switches perspective in a battle with no escape, watching soldier by soldier inevitably dying. He revealed a bit more on that level:
That was the last level we finished. We did prototypes for that relatively early. It's game development, you always have more plans than you realize.
That whole section there was, I think, empowered by the fact that we trimmed it down because we did plan for it to be much larger originally. Instead, because of the power of the idea and the fact that it was the beginning of the game so we were relentless in polishing it, it was very concentrated and I think that's what granted it the power. It is compressed down, instead of stretched over half an hour or so. I think you wouldn't have the same emotional reaction if that was the case.
I would definitely agree with him in that the campaign's beginning was better off this way. Battlefield 1 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and it will get a classic mode soon, while the Russian Empire has been just confirmed to be added to multiplayer factions in one of the upcoming DLC packs.
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