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Battlefront 2’s concept art is worthy of a Star Wars movie

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DICE explains how these pretty paintings help designers build out a level

EA DICE/Electronic Arts

EA DICE shared a raft of concept art from Star Wars Battlefront 2, which added Geonosis (above) to the game three weeks ago. While it’s a gallery of cool landscapes and scenes, worthy of an upcoming film as much as a year-old game, they also explain how the studio goes about creating and balancing a map.

Concept art, a DICE blog post explains, isn’t just material to get developers on a more technical side of things into some mood or state of mind about what they’re building. For example, this image of the environment on Jakku forms the basis for the ensuing level’s scale and lighting. “This method makes it a lot easier for the artist to create complex environments quickly,” the developers write, “as opposed to more traditional, more manual methods, like using a perspective grid.”

EA DICE/Electronic Arts

Also, using the Kamino cloning facility as an example, a direct representation of what has been seen in a movie may not make for a great map in a multiplayer game. “Same goes for every other location that we bring to the game,” they write. Here’s the temple grounds on Yavin 4, for another example.

EA DICE/Electronic Arts

“The spaces we see in the reference material might be too big, or too small, to function in the game,” they add. “More places for players to hide and take cover may be needed, so it doesn’t become a sniper fest.”

And, of course, the blog post is as much an explanation as it is an excuse to show off some cool art and another side to familiar Star Wars locales. There are two dozen images in all, in the gallery below, or with developer annotations back at the official site.

“The legacy of Star Wars needs to be treated with care,” DICE writes. “We can’t wander off and create something that has a completely different look and feel. Because then it simply wouldn’t be Star Wars.”