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The Future Of Frostbite: More Streamlined Development

DICE's Johan Andersson Talks BF4, Frostbite, Mantle, The Future

Chris: Yeah, excellent.I believe Frostbite is in its seventh year or so right? Can you tease a little maybe of what we might see in the next evolution of the engine?

Johan: Yeah, sure. One of the things that we’re focusing quite a lot of effort on is actually not something that the consumers will see directly. It's more of an internal thing of how we sort of work with content, how we work with the engine, and we have so many game developers now. It's like 15 different game teams out there. There’s hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of game creators, artists, level designers, audio designers, and everything. One of the main things we’re focusing on is just streamlining work flows and making sure that they have really, really good iteration times. This has been a focus with Frostbite traditionally, and especially when we did Frostbite 2 we did a really big push on it. 

We’re sort of doing that again and that will hopefully make it a lot more efficient and in some cases even more fun for us to work because they will come to work and directly see the results. It's a big effort to improve in these areas. And I think end users, the way they will see this is that hopefully they'll play richer games and have more content and more variability. The stuff I mentioned with Levolution, that's something that sort of springs from this also. If you have content creators that can be really creative with the engine and work very well with it and you have a powerful core engine, well, then they can create some amazing scenarios there. I think you will see that in quite a few games going forward now we’re improving things even further here. 

Another thing is we’re doing quite a lot of work on rendering at its core also, things like physically based rendering and more realistic materials in our overall rendering pipeline we're working with, and just pure performance there also with Mantle will lead to some very cool games in the future. We’re not really constrained by what we can do today, but we sort of have a lot more to play with and enable new types of rendering techniques and solutions for some of our different games out there. That will be really interesting to see. 

The first games we launched were cross-generational games focusing both on current-generation consoles with Xbox 360 and PS3, but also next-generation consoles and PC. That was quite difficult to do, to sort of build a game that works on all of those different platforms.   

Chris: Yeah.

Johan: Some of our games going forward will only focus on the next-generation consoles and PC, and with the same engine, there's so much you can achieve if you can not only target that type of performance level. I'm really happy what we’re able to do now with the scaling in Battlefield, it's really quite great I think, but having the game designers think only about the next-generation consoles is really interesting and really awesome.   

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