Battlefield V



Battlefield V is a AAA first person shooter set in the second world war. It’s the sixteenth Battlefield game to date and I joined the project on the 15th of January 2018.

My main focus during the development of the game has been design implementation, bug fixing, tech advising and engine design. During my start at the company I worked with level design while I gradually learned the technical aspects of the engine.
Project Information
Roles
Technical Designer
Tools
Frostbite
Perforce
In-house Tools
Production Time
Ca 2 years
Genre
First Person Shooter
Platform
PC/Playstation/Xbox
Team Size
... Large

COOP



My time on COOP began in the middle to early stages of the modes development, at the time my priorities were learning frostbite. Aside from the level design, I was tasked with solving bugs related to UI and gameplay. As I grew more confident with schematics, I started working on the implementation of gameplay features. During COOP my main responsibilities were:

  • Bug fixing
  • Performance testing
  • Gameplay/UI Scripting
  • Level Design Tech Support


  • I started of with a mentor who was very senior in the field. He helped me to quickly grow into the schematics of frostbite. After only a couple of days I was tasked to build my first feature following a design made by our lead designer. Owning the creation of the feature was tremendeously exciting and after some time I had my first iteration. As time passed I grew more comfortable with scripting in frostbite. During most of my time on coop, I was in charge of porting functionalities from other gamemodes, performance testing, bug fixing and implement some of the new features. At the end of the development I was the only scripter left managing the entire mode.

    Schematics


    A feature would go from design to schematics with alignment from software engineers based on tooling requirements. With level designers aligning on our implementation and guiding to a first pass. Schematics in frostbite works slightly different but I learned quickly. Similar to when I started with blueprinting, the main challenge was to get a grasp of structure and the tools available. During the development, tooling was developed by engineers to facilitate development in accordance with design vision. We get a design, do tech reviews, evaluate with tools and scripts and then back to tech review. In the case of missing tech dependencies, tools are being created before we go back to overall review and implementation and testing on PC and Gen 4. Communication was key.
    Performance


    We had a close collaboration with QA to track performance on both the Playstation and the Xbox. Framerate targets had to be met, loading times had to be on par with the rest of the game, AI count had to be kept at a reasonable level and frametimes had to be consistent. When encountering issues, I brought up recommended technical solutions to leads, we had a discussion on how to proceed which then would have to be communicated with leads and relevant stakeholders, approved, implemented, tested and confirmed. As we grew closer and closer to the release date, performance evaluation grew in focus. A number of custom made tools made this job easier, and communication with other technical crafts we're had to find the most optimal solutions.

    Katana & The Boomstick



    During the live service period of the game I was tasked with developing the Katana and the Boomstick. The first of which was developed using new schematic systems that previously had not been used for weapons development. Due to most weapons being firearms in the game, the engine has been tailored to meet those specific needs. It is very unique in the way it’s setup because it does not use bullets to kill enemies, rather it queries players within a certain radius and then kills them based on positioning relative to the swinging player. The weapon went through many design iterations, while being the main scripter on the weapon, I was always keeping a close contact with other crafts such as animation, sound, VFX, programmers and others to make sure the weapon was brought up to quality. The boomstick is setup in a similar fashion, while also being unique in the sense that it doesn’t use bullets, it was built using a combination of raycasts and queries like the katana, by using some filtering of the results I can determine when to explode and make sure the effects are played properly.

    Post-mortem & Takeaways

    What didn’t I learn? Time moves incredibly quickly when you’re in such a fast-paced environment, you learn to focus on your area, the challenges of working in such an enormous team, the importance of easy and quick communication(thank god for slack), the power of version control in these teams and seeing how these teams are structured with everything from UI, UX, Software Engineers, Build Engineers, Game Designers, Graphics Designers, Leads, Producers and various other roles. The biggest difference from the smaller futuregames projects must be the feeling of you not knowing everything about the project. There are so many people working and so many things happening at the same time that it’s impossible to follow it all. You have to focus on your area, deliver to your stakeholders, support your team and trust that the other teams are doing the best they can. Working in a big AAA company teaches you a lot, too much to think of while writing this. I’m super glad for this experience and I really do feel like I’ve grown in my role as a game developer. Being able to touch so many people with a project this large is truly something special I’m really grateful for.
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