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AusGamers Battlefield 3 Patrick Liu Producer Interview
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:09pm 12/10/11 | Comments
Out at the EA Vegas Showcase, AusGamers caught up with Battlefield 3 producer, Patrick Liu. Read on for what he had to say...

AusGamers: Dear readers, welcome back to AusGamers. Once again we have one of the Battlefield alumni in our presence - you all know that we’ve had some pretty amazing access this year to Battlefield 3 and to the guys at DICE.

Today we're chatting with Patrick Liu who is Producer on Battlefield 3 and we’ve explained to him that we basically did a shout out to our community to get some of the burning questions that they might have had. Because we’ve covered almost everything else that we possibly can and now it’s just counting down the days for the actual game to release.

You guys just launched the beta today, which is very, very good and obviously the community is just ploughing through that and upgrading their PCs as quickly as they possibly can to handle the game. So before we get into the questions, I guess that must be pretty elating for you guys, to finally be at this home stretch stage?

Patrick Liu: Yeah, it feels good to come to the end of the tunnel, but the launch of the game is just going to be the start for us, because we plan to support this -- to balance and tweak the game -- for as long as it’s needed. So we’re going to be doing this for a long time.

AusGamers: So what’s the process with utilising the beta between now and release? Obviously there will be patches to balance and bug fix and stuff, but in terms of core-feedback, when a player might find something glaringly wrong that you guys just haven’t seen because you’re so close to the game. What’s that process for you guys?

Patrick: So one example is with the alpha. What happened there is we got a lot of good feedback and made changes accordingly. Like how the spotting feature works, we changed that -- the behaviour of spotting. If you’d played the alpha and play the beta now, you’ll also see significant changes to the map layout and the flow of it. So that’s all based on feedback from the community.

Now we’re so close to launch -- as you mentioned -- so the gameplay feedback we’re getting now won’t actually make it into the main game, but we’ll still have the chance to do those changes after the launch; to patch the game and make changes to the maps. So we plan on rebalancing the whole thing.

But another purpose that we had for the beta is just load-testing the back-end of the game.

AusGamers: Do you guys have a kind of internal deadline for player feedback from the beta before you make a cutoff and actually apply those things to a new patch?

Patrick: We store all feedback somewhere in our backlog. There’s no real cutoff for that as such.

AusGamers: Today was the first time I’d seen any of the major single-player story stuff happening, with the Russian Andy McNabb stuff in that particular mission. But that lip-syncing and facial animation system that you have in there, is that all internal DICE tech? Was that not outsourced at all, because L.A. Noire was good, but that was amazing!

Patrick: Yeah, yeah. All that stuff is rendered in the engine and we’re working on new technology for that. But I think we’re going to talk more about that at a later stage.

AusGamers: Ok, well take my word for it guys, it was jaw-dropping -- and I guess you could jaw-drop in the game if you wanted to, because the animation system is great.

So one of the first questions we have from our community is a concern about learning how to fly. What’s the process for you guys in terms of... is there a way for a new player to come in and get into a jet and not just take off and crash. Is there a training process? Is there a specific mission in the single-player that teaches you how to do that?

Patrick: You will be able to fly jets in the single-player mission, but in a sense we’re kind of harsh there, it’s kind of tough. You will just have to jump in there and learn it. The learning curve is high. Maybe not as high as in Battlefield 2, but it still takes a while to get the hang of the controls and it does require skill. It’s that kind of vehicle that does require a lot of skill and you just have to fight it.

AusGamers: Another question we had was about the big naval ships from back in 1942. Will we see any of that in here and is there any chance that they will appear in multiplayer?

Patrick: You never know. You will have to wait and see if there are any naval ships in there or if we will add that stuff at a later stage.

AusGamers: Will there be co-op versus bots like there was in Battlefield 2?

Patrick: No, we will not have multiplayer bots.

AusGamers: What’s going on with the LAN situation, will we see LAN support? Especially for people that want to set up LAN events in venues that might not have the best Internet connection. And LAN gaming seems to be coming back at the moment, which is a really good thing, so what’s the process for you guys there?

Patrick: When we ship the game, we won’t have any LAN support. The main reason there is for security -- we want to have a secure game with less cheating and less piracy and all of that. With control of the servers, we have more control over that stuff.

That said, we are investigating different solutions to that, where it doesn’t require as much bandwidth for example -- that may be one solution. But we most likely won’t have pure LAN support.

AusGamers: Like at all? If the community screams out enough for it and there are other secure ways you can offer that with some investigation down the track?

Patrick: Yeah certainly, whatever clever idea we can come up with, we’ll look into what we can do. But at launch, it won’t have LAN support.

AusGamers: But it’s not 100% entirely out of the question that it might happen at some point down the track?

Patrick Never say never.

AusGamers: Now I’m wondering... you guys are clearly going to have a pretty robust post-launch DLC strategy. Is there any idea that you might implement -- even though it might not contextually fit -- maps from the Bad Company series as part of map packs?

Patrick: Yeah, that’s certainly a possibility. We don’t have anything planned right now, but we’ll see. We’ll get the community feedback and see what people want to play.

AusGamers: With the PC dedicated servers, will you be able to hire out your own server and run your own private games?

Patrick: We’re running a similar program to the one Bad Company 2 had, the RSP program where you can rent a server from select providers that we authorise. Once you rent a server, you have much more control over what you do with that server compared to Bad Company 2.

If you want to have a ranked server, you have to follow certain rules and if you want to do your own thing, then you can run an unranked server, but that’s what we’re going to offer.

AusGamers: Ok Patrick, that's all we have time for, thanks for the interview though.

Patrick: Thank you.
Read more about Battlefield 3 on the game page - we've got the latest news, screenshots, videos, and more!

Latest Comments
Posted 04:34pm 12/10/11
It's funny how when I first read this I was soo pissed off and butt-hurt, then I calmed down and realised I haven't actually lanned since the last QGL and stopped giving a s***.
Posted 04:55pm 12/10/11
pretty poor excuse. if someone is cheating at a lan, you just bash em.
Posted 04:57pm 12/10/11
I don't remember the last time I played a game over LAN.
Posted 05:06pm 12/10/11
"The main reason there is for security -- we want to have a secure game with less cheating and less piracy and all of that. With control of the servers, we have more control over that stuff.

What do they mean, they don't want the server binaries becoming public?
Hackers don't need that - they can just inspect client code and network traffic.

Or are they saying they want pure public servers? He seems to be cramming it all together as "that stuff".
"That said, we are investigating different solutions to that, where it doesn’t require as much bandwidth for example -- that may be one solution.

What? I have no idea what that sentence means.
Posted 05:10pm 12/10/11
I just want to be able to host a bloody server on my VPS that I rent. IS IT THAT HARD YOU MONEY GRUBBING WORMS!
Posted 06:13pm 12/10/11
I thought you could, you just have to apply and prove you weren't a poof?
Posted 11:21pm 12/10/11
I miss LAN parties....
Posted 12:19am 13/10/11
then organise one, oh right you don't miss them THAT much.
Posted 12:26am 13/10/11
I thought you could, you just have to apply and prove you weren't a poof?

You have to contact DICE to apply to be a server provider, either proving you have the backing (equipment and support wise) to host in a managed fleet, or pay them a lot of money.

AKA, you won't be able to run your own servers, but you will be able to "rent" one from a company.
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