DICE & EA GCA Interview

In the last of Suffur's interviews from Game Convention Asia, Martin Frain, Marketing Director for Dice and part of E.A. chats about upcoming titles and long haul flights. The interview was not recorded so the answers are taken from notes and are not direct quotes. We would like to take this opportunity to invite Martin Frain to let us know about any misquotes so we can make any corrections.

EA PC Booth GCA 2008


Q: Will you be introducing Lefty controls in your future games? As I could not really play BF: Bad Company and the others due to this, though this is a fantastic looking game?

I am glad you liked the game, but sometimes putting in left handed controls, in production can sometimes not be cost effective. I am left handed myself but have got use to playing the default set up, since that was all that was available, you get used to it.

Suf: But the option has been available since the N64 with Golden Eye made by Rare, so I would hope that you could consider putting it in your games in the future, (I smile) please.

Martin just smiles back, (he may have said something, but too worried I may quote wrong, lol, but maybe it will happen is what I thought he may have said, lol.)

Q: Battlefield Hero's, why did you go with the cartoon look, similar to Team Fortress 2 by Valve?

It was something we wanted to do from the start it is also cheaper to go this way than go more realistic, we can then spend more power on game modes and influence the game with what the community may want.
We wanted to deliver a fun game that most people can identify with and is fun to use. And build a community around it!

Q: I liked the customization that is in this game, for characters that your players can use! I liked that I could have two peg legs, lol. Having a great choice of weapons too is cool!

Yeah, that was a great feature in the game, a hell of a lot of options to choose from for characterisation. You can drive jeeps, tanks, planes, and be most types of combatants in the game, from sniper, run and gunner, demo guy and many more but we want the community to give us input, so the customization may be added to?

Q: This is a free download for the PC, is this going to coming to consoles?

Yes, it is a free download, and no, we will not be bringing it to consoles, they are not powerful enough for what we want the game to do, like input from the community, you can't do that to the full extent that we want our community to do, plus more people have PC's and lap tops and it should work on most of these without having to spend more on graphics cards etc. The Home PC is an established user base that we can use now!

Q: How big is the download for this game, Battlefield Hero's?

Not very big, as I said we want everyone to have a chance to play and not get hassled with long download times, we want them to get into the game as soon as possible, and join the community.

Q: Community gaming seems very important, to you?

Yes, we want to expand the game through our community, if someone gets an idea and people like it, we want to get that in the game as soon as possible!

Q: Are you going to have video capture in the game?

No we thought of the idea, but that would add more to the size of the game, plus most players have worked out how to capture through their PC's these days the technology is already out there for them to do that, though you never know, never say never.

Q: You said that most PC's can play this game, so you don't need a top end PC to play this game?

No, but if you do have one you will have a better visual experience for you as the player, and again one of the reasons we went cartoon/animation style, so your computer did not have to chug through lots of numbers giving you that photo real experience that other battle games do! We want to have open spaces and a great game play experience! Driven by the community!

Q: Do you have a street date for this game?

Not yet but it will be soon, the beta has been going very well!

Q: BattleForge is a very interesting game, the use of Battle Cards seems very similar to table top games of the last century, well the 80's and 90's if you get what I mean, like the Great Khan Game, Magic Quest, D&D etc? It seems that you are bringing those types of games to life, off the table into the virtual world as it were?

Not bringing them to life, no, it's a different type of game than those games of the day but you could say that because the use of Battle Cards is a very personal experience to the player, you use the cards how you want to, you make the choice to use what cards when and in any combination that is related to game play, it becomes a unique experience, every time you play and who you play against, so every game is different. You can build up your card collection as you play, saving them or using them as a collection for different combo's to beat your opponent.

Q: The Street date for BattleForge for Asia and the UK?

We have not confirmed a street date yet for either region.

Q: Do we need a powerful PC to play this game?

No, but the better PC you have, the better the experience can be visually.

Q: This also seems a strong community based game, is this what you are aiming for, for most of your games?

Yes, community is important for all our games, we have set up a web site for players to talk to each other, and us the makers, we want Battle Forge to be community drive as well!

Q: Mirror's Edge: What is this going to do for the games of the future, using all the space for the game playing 'stage'?

Yes, the future look is very interesting in that game, and it does open up new doors for game play in the future.

Suf: Thank you for your time and I hope your games do really well.

After the interview, as I was supposed to interview Martin, the day before but due to travel problems with planes, he arrived later in the day and was jet lagged, and did go out that evening, but he was a great person to talk to, so I did not want to hit him with anything to over the top, so I kept my questions simple though those Lefty controls are important to me and maybe 28% of lefty gamers and since he was lefty it was cool to ask.
He did tell me his story of his flight where he was stuck in economy without anything after his other flight was well messed up, he had no video screen, music etc and stuck between two large ladies, that kept complaining about how bad the flight was, the poor man, I was eco and other than the leg room I had it all, which was nice! Though now I said this I will end up having a bad flight now, lol.


Check out the Official Sites of the games mentioned in this interview for more information:

Mirror's Edge 

Battlefield Heroes


--- BurnoutAholics.com would like to thank Suffur for bringing us some great exclusive interviews, and our thanks also go to John Doyle, Tom Farrer and Martin Frain for giving up some of their time to talk to us. We hope you enjoyed our series of articles from GCA '08.

We will have an Events tab on the left hand menu where these articles can be found, we hope to bring you more exclusive stories from gaming events in the future. ---