Tell us about yourself, who are you and what are your assignments at DICE?
My name is Marcus Nilsson and I am the Senior Producer heading up the development of Battlefield PC titles. My latest project is Battlefield 2142.
Tell us about the history of your studio!
It all started in Växjö 1987 with a group of young guys who started to develop their own games, the Pinball series for example. The company Dice was founded in 1992 and in 2000 Microsoft asked us to develop a game for Xbox. Electronic Arts fully owns Dice since October 2nd, 2006.
Today Dice is one of the world’s leading game studios.
The series DICE are without a doubt most known for are Battlefield. Tell us about the development of Battlefield 1942, the first game in the series.
Battlefield 1942 was born from a game called Codename Eagle, actually the first game combining infantry and vehicle combat online. It was really a single player game and to be honest not a really good one. But it did become relatively popular in hardcore online FPS communities. For Dice it meant we had a foundation for building the engine behind BF1942. It was not a walk in the park to develop and it was also a problem convincing publishers and other people we could actually do what we said we could. In the end EA understood the innovation in what we did and signed a deal. Today, they are very happy for this. Development of 1942 was very much of the basement character. We did not know so much about game development and therefore we tried too much too late etc. We really struggled to get it into one piece and it told we not only have to think about scope but also the processes around making games.
You released Battlefield 2142 not to long ago. How long time did it take to develop the game?
It took us right about 18 months from start to end.
In what amounts was the budget for the game, and are the sales meeting your expectations?
I can not go into details about budget but the game is selling just fine and we have found a category of gamers none of the previous titles managed to capture. Also, a lot of the dedicated gamers playing BF2 are equally in love with 2142 and especially the persistence system. It’s important to understand that 2142 and BF2 are different products and they compliment each other, they are not competing.
What is your targeted audience with Battlefield 2142?
As I said, a new type of players that were never appealed by the previous titles but off course also all the players that have enjoyed our titles in the past.
Do you (personally) prefer Battlefield 2142 over the other games in the series? Why?
I do prefer 2142. It’s an updated engine, making it more visually impact. The soldier feels much more part of the world. The persistence system makes every round interesting and I have a clear goal with every round. Titan mode is a new way of playing and I love collecting lots of points defending or attacking the titan.
Anything else you would like to mention about the game?
The booster pack Northern Strike is on its way out the door. It brings some very interesting game play 2142; it challenges the players to develop new tactics and strengths. It adds more unlocks, these are earned though achieving medals. Northern Strike fits very well into the vanilla game.
Tell us about your current games in progress.
We are currently developing Battlefield Bad Company; this is an exclusive console game, due to come out on Xbox 360 and on PS3. It’s developed with our brand new Frostbite engine and will feature some extreme environmental destruction that radically will change the way shooters are played. More info on this project will follow soon.
How is it to work at such a mayor game studio?
It’s a dream coming true. I’m not lying. The industry is blooming and growing. We make great games that people look forward to. I love going to work on a Monday morning, what’s better than that…
Thanks for answering our questions. Anything you would like to tell upcoming developers?
Thank you! The game developing industry is a place where creativeness rules. Regardless if you’re into programming, art or design you have equal terms to succeed since you are all badly needed in this growing market.
EA – Dice
Thanks to Marcus for answering our questions!