The discussion on Star Wars: Battlefront continues, and Producer Jesper Nielsen doesn’t shy away from echanging feedback and information with the fans, providing some very interesting pieces of information.
First of all, Nielsen mentioned that the amount of content that will be in the initial release of the game has nothing to do with DLC. He also expressed the opinion that the game expands on the strengths of past Battlefront titles when it comes to core gameplay.
“I cannot stress this enough; there will be more than 8 maps! : )
Also, the amount of content in the game has absolutely zero to do with DLC. I can say that with all honesty.
As for expanding on strengths of the previous games; I think most people will find that it does expand on the strengths of the previous games, when it comes to core gameplay and what the feeling of a Battlefront game is. Just my two cents.”
Afterwards, he explained that nothing has been kept out of the game to save it for DLC.
“No. Please don’t make me break what I can and cannot say, but if you think there’s anything we’re not including in the game to save it for DLC, I can tell you you’re 100% wrong. In this project, I’ve never heard anyone say “Let’s not do this for launch so we can do it as DLC instead”. Ever.”
He also mentioned that he feels a good balance has been achieved between authenticity in terms of IP and customization options.
“Correct. We want things to always feel authentic, and does put some limitations on what can and cannot be done. I think we’ve achieved a good balance here.”
According to Nielsen the bar has been set very high on making planets look and feel “absolutely amazing.”
“Oh, trust me, this is not a Battlefield re-skin. It’s using the Frostbite engine, yes, but not a lot of the Battlefield code. Day 1 was not “hey, let’s copy BF4 and work from that”. It was more like “hey, let’s make a new Frostbite game”.
As for the four planets; a loooot of work has gone into making those four planets look and feel absolutely amazing. We’re setting some high bars here on what we want to achieve. You may disagree with that priority, but it’s really a quality vs quantity question.”
Those that played Battlefield 4 at launch are probably wary about the possibility of launch issues, but Nielsen explained that the team is doing everything it can to make things smooth this time around.
“I can’t predict the future. I can’t tell you exactly what the experience will be like day 1. I can tell you that our goal absolutely is to avoid issues, whether it’s game stability issues, load issues or something else. Trust me, we are working our hardest to ensure a smooth and pleasant release. But you be the judge when the day arrives. I completely understand people that don’t want to pre-order.”
After promising that the AT-AT are “pretty damn big” in the game, he elaborated further on the team’s focus on launching smoothly:
“The AT-AT’s? Pretty damn big! : )
Regarding BF3/BF4; trust me, it’s talked about constantly. We’re not proud of anything where we screw up. We don’t want it to happen again, that’s for sure, and we are doing our best for it not to happen! I don’t want to make guarantees; game development is tough and very complex stuff to work with, but we focusing very, very hard on this.”
Nielsen also explained that there are a lot of subtle aspects that make the game feel like the original Battlefront game. We also learn that there’s something “different” from classes to make it easier for players to choose their own path compared to pre-defined classes.
“First of all, there are offline play options. The Missions are playable offline. And the Missions have AI.
I don’t know why you want to simplify the game; it’s not just two teams fighting in a Star Wars setting. There’s a lot of details in the game design, controls, core features etc. that relates to the previous Battlefront games (mainly the original). I mean, just the fact that we’re doing both 1P and 3P is a testament of that. But a lot of the details are the smaller things, which are harder to explain but needs to be experienced, like how it feels to shoot in the game.
Also, please stop with the reduced number of maps. We have more than 8 maps. How many have not been announced yet, but it’s more than 8. And we haven’t even talked about the area of classes yet; yes, we’re not doing classes, but as Figge mentioned in the interview, there’s something different which makes it easier for players to choose their own paths instead of pre-defined classes. I know you want all the details know, and they’re not there. But stop making conclusions based on assumptions and speculations; that’s not beneficial for anyone.
Regarding what you call “deft maneuvering”; before I watch a movie, I’ve only really since short, very well-cut and exciting trailers. They are rarely representative of the movie as a whole. For an album, I’ve maybe heard that one hit single. In games, most often you actually do have the opportunity to experience the entire core part of the game before you have to make a purchase decision.”
He then elaborated further on the topic of subtle elements, also implying that there are plenty things that we still don’t know about the game.
“Look, I agree. To some extent, all shooters are similar. Heck, to some extent, all games are similar. To my mom, all games are probably more or less the same, right? So it always depends on the person looking at it. I’m pretty sure a hardcore CS player would say the differences between CS and Battlefield or Halo or COD are like day and night. It’s always about the lens you use, how far you zoom in. To some people, the details matter less – to others they matter more.
No matter what, these tiny details can still have a big impact on the game and be the recipe for success. This is what great game design is really about. There’s been tons of Mario clones or CS clones, etc., but only few games get it right, even though they on the surface look the same. The details in the execution matters – there can be no doubt about that (otherwise, that’s naive).
As for what is or isn’t revealed yet; don’t jump to conclusions. Any marketing campaign wants to spread out the information flow up until game release to keep excitement strong. If we told everything about the game now and showed everything, most people would forget about it a few weeks from now.”
Nielsen also mentioned that the team is still discussing how to handle exactly post-launch updates, but the plan is to remain involved with its development in order to keep people playing.
“I really can’t comment on that, but that’s still stuff we’re discussing how to exactly handle. What I can say is that we’re not just going to release the game and then ignore it. We want people to keep playing it and that requires that we stay involved with it.”
Finally, Nielsen explained that not everything can be crammed into a single game, expressing his personal hope that there will be more Battlefront games, and that the team will keep expanding and improving on them.
“Continue expanding? You do know that we are not taking the Battlefront 2 code, a now 10 year old game, but building a completely new game from scratch, with even more advanced and higher fidelity sound and graphics?
Doing more isn’t always better. Maybe with time. But – and you would know this if you worked with game development – you can’t just cram everything into a single game. Or if you try to do, you may likely end up with a mess.
I hope there will be many more Battlefront games, and if DICE continues to work on them, that we’ll continue to expand and improve. But this is not, from a development and production perspective, as simple as just taking Battlefront 2 and building upon that.”