“Battlefield 3” is one of the most anticipated games of the season and, with its intense military focus, we thought we should fire a few questions toward developers at Dice. Alan Kertz, gameplay designer, and David Goldfarb, lead story designer, responded.
Stars and Stripes: Both editions of “Battlefield: Bad Company” offered campaigns that were more fun and engaging than their competitors. What are the key elements of the “Battlefield 3” campaign? What will set it apart from the competition?
Goldfarb: Fundamentally, “Battlefield: Bad Company” and “Battlefield: Bad Company 2” were lighter-hearted games; road trips; adventures. They weren’t war stories. By design, we kept the adventure in the foreground. They were much more “fantasy.” “Battlefield 3” hews much closer to contemporary reality and current events. We are depicting a war and everything that suggests. We have tried to get closer to the slang of the modern warrior. We’ve sought to keep the game feeling as plausible as possible, because the moment the audience stops believing it could happen, then you’re just another action game. So we cared about very different things this time out.
All that said, there is one unifying theme for all three “Battlefield” titles: people. We have and always will care about characters. There’s humanity in our people, even in our villains. This time out, the one question we kept coming back to, for every character, was: How much would you do for your country? Every character has an answer and a perspective on that. It might be the answer you’d expect, and it might be a horrifying answer. But there’s an answer, and a legitimacy to the answer, that we think is pretty unique for the genre.
The Battlefield franchise is known for high-intensity battles that include aircraft, armor, artillery and sprawling maps. What are the key element of the “Battlefield 3” multiplayer mode? What set them apart from the competition?
Kertz: “Battlefield’s” standout feature has always been large maps with all-out vehicle warfare. That means we don’t just focus on infantry, but we work with the entire Combined Arms including boots on the ground, jets, choppers, and a full range of land combat vehicles. In “Battlefield 3,” we’re happy to also be able to offer our largest range and depth of modes, including infantry-focused modes like Team Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch.
“Battlefield 3” is able to scale from a 4-on-4 squad skirmish all the way up to 64 players in all-out war (on the PC). Of course, we also include 24-player all-out war on the PS3 and 360, including full access to all the classes of vehicles (like jets!).
What do you think will be most impressive to servicemembers who play “Battlefield 3”?
Goldfarb: The care with details, the visual and aural experience, the language, the intensity of the combat encounters. Our goal isn’t to simulate reality, but create an entertaining experience. It’s of course fictional. We’re just game developers at the end of the day. The troops are the ones with the hard job.
Kertz: In multiplayer, I think we’ve managed to capture the most pure feeling of being boots on the ground in a war zone. When the lead starts flying and you’re moving with your squad pushing back the enemy, calling in support, and then mounting up to push deep for that flank attack, there’s really nothing like it.