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DICE:  Halo ,  Call Of Duty  Inspired  Battlefield 3 's Battlelog
DICE: Halo, Call Of Duty Inspired Battlefield 3's Battlelog
October 19, 2011 | By Kris Graft, Christian Nutt

October 19, 2011 | By Kris Graft, Christian Nutt
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Design, Business/Marketing

Battlefield 3 developers -- Stockholm, Sweden-based DICE -- know that games are not developed in a vacuum -- that just developing a game is no longer enough.

In a recent interview, Battlefield 3 producer Patrick Liu told Gamasutra that "Eventually, all games will be services, in my mind," and Battlelog, the social network layer for the upcoming online military shooter, is clearly a reflection of this belief.

When developing it, Battlelog producer Frederick Loving made sure to check out the major social players both inside and outside of games. That includes eyeing the competitors' products, including the social networks for Bungie's Halo and Activision's Call of Duty.

"I looked at all social networks from Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, to of course [Halo] Waypoint and [Call of Duty] Elite. We looked at everything," he told Gamasutra in a recent interview.

"That’s inspirational for me just finding out what other people do and just sort of grabbing the good pieces out of it," he added.

To Loving, social networks take all kinds of forms and layer on top of various products, but they all have their fundamental underpinnings, which were taken into consideration when designing Battlelog.

"Of course we’re inspired by a lot of the social networks that are out there and they’re all pretty common if you look at them," he said. "They have the similar feeds, they have similar likes, they have similar comments so there’s a lot of common features amongst all social networks."

Gamasutra will have more from Loving on Battlelog in an interview to be published on Thursday.

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Rolando Alvarez
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In case there's the slightest chance that he'll see this, I need Mr. Liu to know I believe Battlelog is Battlefield 3's worst "feature." DICE is fortunate that their only major competition is with a company I've chosen to blacklist; though considering their direction of [or a lack of] UI design I may have to add DICE to that list.

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
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Its anti-functional, and seems mandated by executives branding around the latest keywords-of-the-day. It adds NOTHING good to my experience and takse away from it.

matthew diprinzio
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Battlelog is neat, but adds an unnecessary obstacle to just jumping straight into the game. I don't need a social app to enjoy my favorite movies/music, so why do I need one for my games? IMO, most of the Battlelog stuff could have been implemented in-game,

Mychael Miller
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Fully agreed with Rolando, it is by far the worst feature of the game. Maybe it's because I'm not in high school and social media isn't all-consuming for me, but it is unnecessary and introduces potential issues outside of DICE's control.

Relying on a third party web-browser for front-end UI and relying on a third party anti-cheat only introduces the possibility of incompatibilities with individuals that can't be overcome because the customer service can only say "That's a Punkbuster issue, you should contact them." or when members of my platoon are running Chrome and I am on IE, we can't share Drop Zones, for example. It's disappointing.

Daniel Ellis
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@Rolando: The Battlelog is hardly a bad feature, it makes game loads faster. I set Battlelog as my homepage, so I can go from facebook to a server in under 10 seconds. The game can be streamed faster to memory as a background task, since Windows prioritizes this way. Also, Battlelog is more flexible and has a faster turnaround than an in-game menu since fixes can be rolled out live to users rather than as a patch. This also allows the game to update in the background even while the title is running.

@Mychael: There won't be a punkbuster issue though... Browser memory management and just the fact IT IS TRUSTED software makes nearly impossible. I played on chrome with IE friends and had no issues. Weird.