DICE’s Technical Art Director, Ken Brown, received the news that he would be responsible for the upcoming design of Star Wars: Battlefront, he had mixed feelings. He was excited but also wondering how he could possibly create such a complex universe on screen. Once DICE told him their main goal was to replicate the universe as close to the original as possible, all of his worries vanished.
“Doing it true to the source was the only way. Being respectful to Star Wars™ and doing it right was something I wanted to be a part of,” Brown says.
Brown and his team have a hefty job of making Star Wars: Battlefront look as perfect as humanly possible. With the help of a technology called Physical Based Rendering and Brown’s passion to create this detailed world, Star Wars: Battlefront’s outlook is amazing.
“From a rendering and a technical perspective, PBR refers to a way of rendering that takes into account certain physical properties and laws,” explains Ken. “That could be energy conservation of a material, how we handle reflection, and how we render lighting”. The result is a stunningly realistic look.
PBR is not the only tool being used to create this magical universe. Brown and his team also use area lights, distant reflections, sub-surface scattering, and image-based lighting spheres as tools to do the game justice.
“Say you have some Stormtrooper armor. If you take the time to set that up correctly based on the rough physical values it should have, suddenly you have a Stormtrooper that will work in any environment it’s put in. Then we don’t need to worry about tweaking every single environment and texture depending on the context,” he explains.
Brown wants to emphasize that PBR is not a magical tool that does everything on its own, it does need people to make it work perfectly.
“PBR is a tool, and tools mean nothing if they’re not tied to the philosophy we’ve had for the project: the authentic craftsmanship of the Star Wars universe.”
For the players of Star Wars: Battlefront, this will allow immersion to be boosted like never before. Brown states it perfectly, “We want you to feel like you’re in the actual Star Wars universe, not just someone’s reimagining of it. “
In order to make the planets come to life, tons of work has been done on the materials. For example, if you were battling among the hot lava fields of Sullust, your armor is actually affected by the soot and ash while you’re playing. No detail has been left for questioning.
The Frostbite Engine takes the graphics to a whole new level of amazing and detailed. This new engine will make everything run more smoothly, from running around the worlds to flying around, the details will be seamless.
“Right now, people’s anticipation to hold Star Wars Battlefront in their own hands is very exciting. Fans are expecting a lot, and we really want to prove we can do what we say we want to do. “
You will be able to experience the game for yourself when it’s released on November 17, 2015 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.