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Most sandbox games are 'boring, hard to get into' says Battlefield 3 dev

4 April 2011

Today’s hardcore sandbox games are mostly “boring, hard to get into and not very popular,” claims Patrick Bach, executive producer on Battlefield 3.

Bach’s comments come during a chinwag with EDGE magazine, where he elaborated on the challenges that developers are faced with when crafting the sandbox experience.

As such, after cutting its teeth in a number of open-world outings over the years, DICE has opted to adopt a more linear approach to Battlefield 3's combat, echoing Call of Duty's scripted antics rather than the sandbox-flavoured battles of Battlefield 2: Bad Company.

"I don't see it as an absolute goal for all games to be sandbox games. We've been building sandbox games for quite some time and we've got pretty good at it, but I don't see that as the only way of building games, because then we wouldn't build campaigns at all," said Bach.

"In some cases they aren't, but in most cases sandbox games are hardcore, boring, hard to get into and they are not very popular.”

"Just the fact that the environment can change dynamically creates a huge challenge for us when it comes to AI," he continued.

"[It] puts a lot of challenges to our AI code when it comes to finding new cover, reacting to the fact that it has disappeared, moving and flanking based on the new situation."

Battlefield 3 will be deployed for PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360 in fall 2011.


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