A new video out from EA's DICE studio features technicians talking about the genesis and power of the developer's Frostbite 3 engine as shown through the lens of Battlefield 4.
"We have one unified program where you can create content that will run on everything from an iPhone to a next-gen console," says Frostbite creative director Frank Vitz. "It's really enabling the game designers to do way more than they've ever done before."
Before, developers would have had to do a lot of work to make a tree move with the wind, says Frostbite technical artist Andy Klein. Frostbite, however, gives developers the ability to apply natural forces like wind consistently across trees, clouds and waves. "It's sort of subtle, but it gives this sense of seamless reality," says Vitz.
The video also discusses the concept of "Levolution" in Battlefield 4, which is the way the various maps change across the course of a match. As shown in the game's E3 2013 demo, a giant building will collapse in the Shanghai map, changing the face of the level instead of remaining static.
Frostbite can also render human faces more believably than before, say the developers, pointing to tiny touches of animation in the eye that make it look more realistic.
Frostbite 3 will be one of two engines EA intends to broadly use for its games. The Ignite engine will power all of its future sports titles, and Frostbite 3 will be used for most of its other games from Need for Speed: Rivals to Dragon Age: Inquisition.