Star Wars Battlefront Devs Talk About Negative Media Spin, Playtesting and More
Star Wars: Battlefront Producer Jesper Nielsen gave some more information on Reddit, concerning development and playtesting.
“We’re playtesting the game every day. Balancing is definitely one of the most challenging parts of MP game design, and it requires a lot of testing, tweaking and more testing. There’s no silver bullet, but the more we play the game ourselves, the more we understand what needs to be tweaked and see if previous tweaks have worked, so we make sure to play the game a lot.”
Battlefront is being tested by both the QA department and by external testers:
“Of course! We have a lot of playtesting going on for the game, whether it’s internally or with people coming in from the outside to test it, and the game designers are constantly seeking feedback from that and it leads to a lot of continuous changes, some bigger and some smaller.
The key aspect, though, is that we want/need feedback from people who have played the game and actually tried it.”
Nielsen also described the creation process for a level:
“The process works a bit in parallel. All levels almost always start out whiteboxed, i.e. it’s about the terrain layout and various objects and obstacles. However, artists are often at the same time working to set the setting and mood for various locations.
For Battlefront, some great “toolkits” were made early on that made it easy to create new levels set on the various planets, even if you just wanted to create a “whitebox”. So, as easy as whiteboxing, but you instantly got the feeling of how it would be to play it on that planet.
I think that great levels always have strong visual elements that tie it together. It can be strong focal points, something that sets a special mood, something that helps explain what has happened before you entered the fight, etc. So for great levels to happen, you really need to combine and apply both “disciplines” in parallel.”
Nielsen was asked how difficult it is to create a game from scratch in just two years:
“Game development is always hard. Whether you work on something for 5 years or 1 year, it’s always intense. I think there’s a general idea that working on a game for a longer period of time is always better, but I fundamentally disagree with that. There’s no silver bullet. It always depends on the project and the team and what kind of goals you set.
So of course it’s hard. But, do or do not. There is no try : )”
Lead Level Designer Dennis Brännvall also talked about playtesting on Twitter:
Friday's Walker Assault PC playtest was the most intense playtest of the entire project. I had to step away from the computer afterwards.
— Dennis Brännvall (@DICE_FireWall) May 9, 2015
Brännvall also expresses his displeasure with the way the gaming media spins things negatively:
I love you gaming media, but the rage-clicks. They hurt my soul! 🙁
— Dennis Brännvall (@DICE_FireWall) May 9, 2015
It’s quite sad but unfortunately that’s the way it is, and this is definitely not limited to the gaming media scene, this is a general practice in all forms of entertainment. Focusing on the negative aspects rather than the positive in order to sell, get clicks and traffic. It’s unfortunate but sadly true.
Star Wars Battlefront will launch with 12 multiplayer maps, each of them using different areas of the included planets
“The overall look and feel for Sullust is very much Imperial and under construction, playing in locations within the planet such as a lava theme, sulfur theme, Death Star-inspired theme, and lastly a mine theme,”
Of the 12 multiplayer maps in Star Wars Battlefront (there are even more locations when you include the Star Wars Battlefront Missions), some feel immediately familiar — such as the lush forests of Endor or the tundra of Hoth that allow you to re-live your favorite moments from the films. Some of the maps support our epic modes like Walker Assault, while others are tailored to more intimate, close quarters combat. Our goal is to bring a variety of battle fantasies to life, with map design catering to the modes that will play out on those maps. Above all, we want you to create new memories of your own in new places you’ve never seen before.”
Preorders for Star Wars Battlefront are available for both the Standard and Deluxe versions. As producer Jesper Nielsen stated, gameplay will come in due time, so it would be safe to assume that the development diaries will lead up to that.
Star Wars Battlefront will be released on November 17 2015 for the PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. We will bring you any new information as soon as it becomes available. Be sure to check out our previous Star Wars Battlefront coverage as well as the latest teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens in theaters on December 18. Be sure to check out our previous coverage on star Wars : Battlefront for more information about the game, here and here.