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Battlefield Logistics: A Bad Company 2 Interview
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Battlefield Logistics: A Bad Company 2 Interview

March 5, 2010 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

Have you found, across developing two single-player games, you've had to adjust how far along the sandbox spectrum you are?

PB: Yeah.

Looking at Crysis, it definitely seems Crytek came to that determination when moving to Crysis: Warhead. Warhead is still more open than most action games, but not in the massive sandbox way as Crysis, for example. You can definitely tell they decided, "We've got to ratchet back a bit."

PB: We have adjusted in both ways actually. We have made more open sandbox parts, and we have made more narrow passages.

A movie is linear. That's why it's dramatic. You need a linear progression to make a really good and tight drama. But games are more than only tight, linear drama. If I want to watch a movie, I can watch a movie. I don't have to play a linear game.

In games, it's a variation between both. You open up for the player and make it into a wow moment. [The player] thinks, "Wow, all of the sudden I can do anything. And now I'm funneled into an experience that gives me something else." It's about playing with emotions more than anything else.

I imagine that would be an important tool for metering the game's pacing; often, open-ended areas, even though the player has a lot of choice, can be more relaxing, because there's less of that rollercoaster feel. Then you can start to gradually crank it up as you move into an on-rails section.

PB: Yeah, exactly. Did you read our design docs? [laughs] That's how you need to think. There have been games that only try to make it big and open, where you have to find your way through this whole world. In general, people don't like that, and it's not because people are stupid. It's because people don't have all the time in the world to just sit and learn how the game works. They just want to get into a game. Obviously, I want to shoot someone in the head. Tell me how to play it.

Without a guided experience, you're just demanding of people, "Invest your life into this game to figure it out." You can't have that demand on consumers. I think that's naive. We're trying to show people the road to Battlefield and the open sandbox gameplay by guiding them into the experience. It's not always easy, but we're trying.

What led to bringing this game to PC simultaneously after the first game was console-only?

PB: We released it first on consoles because it's not the sequel to Battlefield 2. It's kind of an offspring. We thought, "Let's make a console version of Battlefield with single-player, destruction, all these cool things. This is not the sequel to Battlefield 2."

But people started to moan, "Why aren't you releasing this on PC? This is quite good. This is a pretty good multiplayer experience. Why didn't you release this on PC?"

We said, "Well, we thought you wouldn't like it. We thought we had to scale it down or change it in different ways." But when we released it, [the response] was actually, "This is pretty good. This is a proper Battlefield game." So, we just said, "Let's go ahead and make this for PC, and focus on tuning it more to the PC audience and that kind of gameplay." So there's more open gameplay, more detail in the shooting experience, and all of those things that the PC audience would like.

But it's also for the console audience, because the console audience has grown up -- not only metaphorically, but also people get older and they keep playing games. I want that experience that I have on the PC on the console now. We're trying to build that game.

There are a lot of people at DICE that have been working on PC with Battlefield for a very long time, and they're now on this PC version as well. So I can promise you it's been a big focus on getting a true PC version of this game.

Are you planning a more "mainline" Battlefield sequel -- a Battlefield 3, or something like that?

PB: We haven't announced anything in that direction. But Battlefield is Battlefield, so you never know. [laughs]

Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

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