Battleblog #6: Building Battlefield 3 from the gun out


Staff member
Battlefield Blog

Every Battlefield game is built from the gun out. If persistence is what keeps you coming back for more, the gunplay is the essential foundation that the entire game hinges on. Read on for Senior Designer Alan Kertz’ thoughts on what makes shooting in Battlefield 3 unique.

Tweaking, testing, and re-tweaking the weapons in Battlefield 3 is the short description of a normal workday for Senior Designer Alan Kertz at this stage in the production. Now that we are well into August, Alan’s work has long since gone from overarching shooter vision to detailed fine-tuning. Walk down to his desk at any given day and you are likely to find him poring over notes or some onscreen graphs, deep in discussion with his designer colleagues:

Is the exit smoke from this RPG large enough? Is the precision increase when adding a heavy barrel to this rifle noticeable enough in semi-burst fire mode? How does the addition of a foregrip to this rifle affect the stability when firing in fully automatic mode?

-- Authenticity is really important when you’re doing a modern day game like Battlefield 3. We know our players look critically at the guns in our games, so we brought in experts like Andy McNab. Our military advisors not only help us get it right, they help us understand why it’s right.”

Compared to both Battlefield 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, there is a larger focus in Battlefield 3 on authenticity and real life handling. This comes down to details like reloads, mobility, bullet trajectories, and even how the caliber and barrel length of a gun determines muzzle velocity and energy. For Alan, this approach clearly leads to better gameplay.

-- With authenticity as a base, you get a natural balance because all real life guns are based on trade-offs. It really pulls out the personality of each weapon system to use the authentic stats and features. Each army selects a different weapon, for a different reason, and we pass those selections on to our players.”

Varied weapons for all play styles
The arsenals of U.S. Marine Corps and the Russian Army are both featured prominently in the game, since those are the sides you play in both single and multiplayer. Building from that base, we selected a number of additional weapons that are returning classics, competing designs, and alternate combat roles. Each weapon choice means it gives the player an additional tactical choice: Get in close with a carbine, PDW, or shotgun. Hit from long range with a sniper rifle. Engage tanks with an RPG. Or lay down suppressive fire with a light machinegun.

We’re not just giving you weapon A or B, take it or leave it, though. Each main weapon will be heavily customizable to suit different roles. The majority of weapons in Battlefield 3 can be tailored by the player to fit anything from close quarter to long range combat, or something in between. But we’ll save that for a later Battleblog post, when we will go deep into weapons customization.

Stay tuned for Battlefield 3 Battleblog #7 soon