The Battlefield: Bad Company 2 celebrity bracket challenge was a lonely event for us gamers -- while there were lots of TV stars and NFL players around to talk to, we had to really search the club for someone who actually had some insight on the game for us. But there in the back, among the PR organizers and "Athlete Relations" representatives, we found the game's senior producer Patrick Bach (second from right in the picture above). He may never have starred on a network drama or celebrated on the field after a touchdown, but the guy knows how to make first-person shooters, and that's good enough for us.
After the break, hear what he thinks of celebrities playing his game, just how ready DICE is for release, and what kinds of secret plans his team has for DLC.
Joystiq: As a game developer, what do you think of events like this?
Senior Producer Patrick Bach: I think it's really good to see. If you look at consumers as a broad consumer audience, it's a perfect example of when you can see normal people playing the game. You often see hardcore people playing, or people that are kind of more in tune with the business of playing the game, at game shows, or something like that. It's a very narrow audience. But when you look at it from everyone's perspective from how the form of a shooter looks like, it's very interesting to see.
These games are so popular; obviously the first one was very popular, but EA is really backing this one. What kinds of things do you do to expand the audience like that even more?
I think most things that are in the game are actually based on what we, the internal team, think is important for the game. Of course you're looking at how everyone should be able to play the game -- you don't want to make a game that's elitist or targeted at a specific audience. It's not something we at DICE or even EA are striving for. We want to make a game that has depth and longevity, but can be intuitive to a person who's playing for the first time. I want my girlfriend, I want my friends to be able to play the game. So I can pwn them. (laughs)
"We're trying to make the best possible Battlefield game that we've ever done before. That's our goal."
We have a lot of respect for our competition and colleagues in other development companies. I think what Battlefield stands for is something that's quite different from what the competition has. We have vehicles, we have destruction. On top of that, we have the infantry gameplay that many other games have. But I think it's important to remember that we have the heritage in the Battlefield franchise of doing this sandbox, rock-paper-scissors gameplay. Which is not exactly what the competition is doing. We often get the question, "Are you copying or are you mimicking or are you trying to be the same?" And the simple answer to that is no -- we're trying to make the best possible Battlefield game that we've ever done before. That's our goal, our target.
You've got launch day DLC planned. What other plans do you have for DLC?
The game comes with a store. There's a built-in store on the main menu, so you can also use it as a release calendar for DLC and PDLC in the future. And we want to keep the community together to play against each other, so maps will be accessible for everyone. We want to make sure that we sell the consumers service, and what Battlefield stands for. So we will keep on supporting the game a long way off.
There's a Gamestop-exclusive mode that's being played here tonight. Are there other game modes that you have planned for DLC later on?
There are some in the plans I won't talk about right now. The game supports upgrading and updating everything from within the store. So we're well prepared to both react to what consumers want, but also to any new and crazy ideas we might get in the future.
You're, what, three weeks away from release? How ready to go are you?
We are ready to go. We are done.
Cool. Good luck on release!