Battlefield 4: Real-time water physics in multiplayer was hardest technical feat to pull of, claims DICE

There are going to be real-time water physics in Battlefield 4, allowing for a more dynamic approach to the sea-to-sea combat, but according to the creative director Lars Gustavsson, this was the hardest thing for them to actually pull off.

Whilst speaking to OXM he said that they needed to come up with some sort of design which would motivate “spending all this money on it.”

Yeah, just to master water and water effects. When we started to look at creating this new water experience, it was like an intern project. We had interactive water in single player, and then we started wondering, could we really do this networked? And maybe we could, but if you want it you need to come up with a design that motivates spending all this money on it.

Lars said that they looked at their previous exploits in the franchise such as the sand dunes from 1942, and that they wanted players to be able use the waves to the same advantage that they would’ve done with the sand dunes.

When we talked about it, I suggested a gameplay mechanic that I really liked when we did 1942 – I’m not sure if you played that, but there’s a level called El Alamein in Africa with long, bulging sand dunes.

A Tiger tank would come and if you had your weak Sherman tank – you just had to ‘dogfight’ amongst the sand dunes, trying to come around the Tiger tank to shoot it in the back, then duck around again. So when I talked to the team, the idea was sort of trying to recreate this. Don’t see it as something like Master and Commander – side-by-side, and the one who fires first and reloads first wins, Because to be honest, that’s a so-so experience.

Lars finished off by saying that it “adds a lot to the battlefield.”

To me it adds a lot to the battlefield, where previously it was flat water, and all the battling came down to driving behind an island or something that gets in the way. You always put your head on the plate and say “I think this is going to work – please invest money!”

Now I don’t think anyone has really managed to get a go with the new wave system, unless they played Paracel Storm at Gamescom or E3, so it will be interesting to see how this all pans out in the end. I do the like the idea that the waves will perhaps give you a slight advantage and it’s going to be interesting to see what the more skilled players can do with the new mechanic. We may end up seeing some awesome footage with a jetski using a large wave to jump over a boat and C4 or it something.

Source: OXM