gdc 2010

DICE Built Battlefield 1943 In Spare Time

by Matt Bertz on Mar 13, 2010 at 06:00 AM

According to producer Patrick Liu, the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network phenom Battlefield 1943 was created by a revolving door dev team with limited resources. Poaching interested developers as they came off other projects at DICE, Liu and the rag tag group took advantage of the down time to construct the Wake Island map with the Frostbite engine. The team never knew how long they were going to be there, and basically had to scrounge for resources to get the project off the ground. Their ambitions paid off, as EA walked away from the prototype impressed and eventually diverted resources to the project.

Though 70 developers in total had their hands on the project, the largest team Liu had at one time was 15. This unorthodox approach forced the team to think creatively, which led to the killing of many of what Liu call "sacred cows" in the Battlefield franchise. Battlefield 1943 adopted regenerative health and ammo, shrunk the maps to cut down the "boring parts," and trimmed the number of classes down to three to streamline the experience.

Battlefield 1943 went on to sell over one million units in less than two months, breaking day one, week one, and month one records on Xbox Live. Given the success it experienced, Liu admitted this probably won't be the last game of this type we see from DICE. "We're considering doing more stuff with 1943 or this game model," Liu said. "I can't say anything about our plans, but it's definitely being considered."

For PC gamers who missed Battlefield 1943, Liu also reassured the audience that it's still on way to the platform.