Senior development director Carl Almgren decided to spill the beans about DICE’s Frostbite engine, a proprietary EA game engine developed in-house.
According to Almgren, Frostbite 3 has been in development since 2011, roughly around the time DICE was putting finishing touches to Battlefield 3. Almgren described Battlefield 3 as “the perfect test bed for Frostbite 2.”
Almgren describes Frostbite 3 as a collaboration between DICE and several other EA studios, such as the developers of Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Need for Speed. This should come as no surprise, since Dragon Age 3 and the next Mass Effect will implement Frostbite 3.
Almgren describes Frostbite 3 as an easier engine to work with than its predecessors, which leads us to the buzzphrase, “What You See Is What You Play.” In this context, easy adjustments or any additions to playable code can be made to console and PC versions of a game simultaneously. That way, a level of consistency can be maintained between platforms.
In addition, there are several apparent benefits to Frostbite 3. For example, texture detail is dramatically increased, with more complicated lighting and shadowing, as well as more environmental deformation. In addition, Frostbite 3 now allows for changes to Battlefield’s animation systems. DICE drew on the animation systems for FIFA, NHL, and Fight Night.
Thanks to Frostbite 3, Battlefield 4‘s AI now has more complicated behavioral patterns, with the AI far more responsive to the player and surrounding world than before. Almgren states that the goal is to have NPCs feel more like friendlies in multiplayer.
The physics, meanwhile, got a significant boost. Loose objects such as flapping cloth will react to environmental “forces.” These forces could be, for example, cars passing by the cloth, etc. Particle effects will no longer just float through surfaces. Instead, they will now bounce realistically from one surface to the other.
With that, I pose this question to you: With Dragon Age 3 and the next Mass Effect game utilizing Frostbite 3, what are other EA games you think will utilize the engine?
Source: OXM UK