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

The Future Of Frostbite: More Streamlined Development

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.   

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • anbello262
    On Page 1, the soldier, is that Joey Tribbianni? :D
    Reply
  • DanglingPointer
    I can't wait till this game is on Linux with proper fully baked FGLRX drivers and Mantle on Linux!

    Come on AMD! Bring it already!!!! SteamMachines are around the corner!
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    Yeah, it seems like him... but I am skeptic, if he could do a bad ass soldier though.. ;)
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    Very low quality Interview. All questions are made in a way so that Johan Andersson can promote their company and their games. There is not a single question about something meaningfull to the comunity. Its all like:
    -Your game is good in this?
    -Yes our game is good in this becouse .

    Just the phrasing and the form changes.

    At least the users in tomshardware can still offer some solid information. And later people dont understand why 80% of the readers automaticly jump to user comments before reading the full article.
    Reply
  • shaydogs
    Arrgghh, Give us more details on Mantle implementations in BF4 already!!!
    Reply
  • bemused_fred
    "Sure we did still have to do a little bit of a compromise on the solution. We're not running at the full native 1080p; we’re running a little bit lower resolution than that."

    Good lord! The PS4 can't even run Battlefield 4, a launch title, at 1080p? Where will these consoles be in 5 years time?!?!
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    12087857 said:
    "Sure we did still have to do a little bit of a compromise on the solution. We're not running at the full native 1080p; we’re running a little bit lower resolution than that."

    Good lord! The PS4 can't even run Battlefield 4, a launch title, at 1080p? Where will these consoles be in 5 years time?!?!
    Gulf town or Any 6 core Intel CPU will be the next QX9650, after 5-8years and will still be kicking ass.

    May be spending $500-600 on a CPU + a 5years warranty reliable Asus Sabertooth X79 isnt a bad investment. lol

    Reply
  • ikefu
    12087857 said:
    Good lord! The PS4 can't even run Battlefield 4, a launch title, at 1080p? Where will these consoles be in 5 years time?!?!

    Its still early in the console cycle and devs will need time to fully unlock them. With the semi heterogeneous architectures of the new consoles its going to be a steep learning curve to figure out the best ways to utilize GPU compute power. They talk about having the CPU at 95% utilization but just because its busy doesn't mean its efficient. Busy is easy to achieve, efficiency is not. There's a lot of room to grow yet.

    That plus I don't think most exclusive console gamers are really worried about 1080p (other than a random number in a vacuum that seems bigger than other random numbers). If they were truly worried about resolution they'd be on a PC. The games are still prettier than a 360/PS3 so they'll be happy in the end.

    Reply
  • cypeq
    12087857 said:
    "Sure we did still have to do a little bit of a compromise on the solution. We're not running at the full native 1080p; we’re running a little bit lower resolution than that."

    Good lord! The PS4 can't even run Battlefield 4, a launch title, at 1080p? Where will these consoles be in 5 years time?!?!

    Frostbite is probably most demanding engine out there... check if your PC can run BF4 at min. 60 FPS in high details @ 1080p. There are many that can't.
    Next gen consoles are speced like mediocre gaming PC of today. WTH you expect.
    In near future programmers will be able to squeeze bit more juice of them because of more unified and exposed hardware but that's all.
    Performance and Quality is on PC.
    Reply
  • deejaybos
    Yeah, the game looks amazing, then it crashes randomly. Then you play it a little, then it crashes. Then in single player it crashes, then during a map change it crashes, then when someone blows something up somewhere else on the map, it crashes. Guess they forgot to mention the terrible release they've had and the lack of support or acknowledgement. Unless of course you count double XP and a pistol attachment, "acknowledgement".
    Reply