Battlefield 4: Game with Devs


This weekend Battlefield 4 multiplayer is open to everyone (Xbox Live Gold & Silver members) on Xbox 360. Test your skills on November 16th beginning at 3PM PST by playing against DICE LA, creators of Battlefield 4 Second Assault, available first on Xbox One.

Ready to get started?  Here’s how to play:

1. Send a friend request or invite to the listed gamertags.

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- DiceDev2
- DiceDev03
- DiceDev04
- DiceDev05
- DiceDev06
- DiceDev07
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2. Be ready to play at least 30 minutes before the event starts. Don’t forget your headset so you can ask questions about BF4.

3. If you receive a game invite, get ready to Game with Developers.

 


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64 Reasons to Play Battlefield 4


We here at DICE cannot wait until the launch of the next-generation of console gaming. The power of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 allows us to deliver the best Battlefield experience on a console ever.

As we prepare for battle on next-gen, over the coming week we will be sharing with you 64 reasons why Battlefield 4 will be the premiere shooter on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this holiday and beyond. Let’s kick off with the first 10 reasons. We look forward to seeing you on the next-gen Battlefield!

Part 1

64-Player Action

For the first time on consoles, Battlefield 4 lets you jump into 64-player multiplayer mayhem on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Prepare for non-stop action as you’ll have to watch your six at all times.

The Best Next-Gen Shooter Out There

The critics and fans have spoken: there’s a new king of shooters for the next generation of gaming. Battlefield 4 is the highest-rated first-person shooter available now. Read the reviews of Battlefield 4.

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Golmud Railway

Big, bombastic, and beautiful: Golmud Railway is an ideal map for fans of vehicle warfare. This vast area features a mobile control point atop a train, that moves towards the controlling team’s base. You will also find many improvised explosive devices on the map that create huge craters when detonated.

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China Rising

This December, the all-out war continues in Battlefield 4 China Rising, where you fight for dominance across the vast and majestic Chinese mainland. Four massive new maps, all-new vehicles, and high-tech military equipment await you.

You Can Point at Many Things

There is a lot to point at in Battlefield 4. Actually, this is called spotting and is a vital teamplay tactic, but JackFrags, one of many Battlefield YouTubers, got inspired to write a song about all the things he’s pointed at in-game. You should listen to it.

Test Range

Practice makes perfect. Newcomers to Battlefield, or pros who want to perfect their skills, can visit the non-hostile Test Range. Here, you can to test your wings in an attack helicopter or snipe wooden targets or barrels thrown in the air.

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Obliteration

I’ve got the bomb! Quick, get to da choppa! DO IT, DO IT NOW! In the frantic Obliteration, you are likely to both shout and hear things like these often. This explosive game mode sees two teams fighting for control over a bomb that must be detonated in the opposing team’s targets.

Social Sharing

You’ve just had an amazing match of Battlefield 4, saving the day and taking your team to victory. Time to let people know! Through Social Sharing, your Battlefield 4 experiences can be shared on Facebook, letting your friends see what you’re up to – and to join you in-game.

Frostbite 3

The advanced technology of DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine offer you a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment. Delivering visual and audio fidelity that is unmatched, superior character animations and dynamic destruction.

A Ton of Vehicles

Whether you’re roaring through the skies in a jet, or stampeding into battle with a tank, the thrill of piloting the Battlefield 4 vehicles is unmatched, and with the new naval units you will dominate the sea aswell. Remember to pimp your ride through Battlefield 4’s vast customization possibilities.


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Inside Battlefield 4: Controlling the Battle


With returning veterans as well as newcomers flooding in to the series, we wanted to do a detailed run-down on the console controller options in Battlefield 4. Here are all your available settings — and how you can tweak the controls to fit your play style.

Want your Battlefield 3 Controls Back?

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Want to play like it’s 2011? Just change your control settings to LEGACY and VETERAN to get a close resemblance to the Battlefield 3 controls.

We’ve heard the feedback from returning Battlefield fans that you miss the control scheme from Battlefield 3. Fear not! If you’re just looking for the quickest way to set the controls to closely resemble those in Battlefield 3, here’s all you need to do (we’re assuming a right-handed player in this example): Hit OPTIONS from the main menu and set all fields (where applicable) to either VETERAN (for buttons) or LEGACY (for sticks). That’s it! With theses settings made, there will still be a few changes compared to the Battlefield 3 controls. The design thoughts behind these are all explained in greater detail below.

For reference, here are the settings you want for Battlefield 3-like controls:
SOLDIER BUTTONS: VETERAN
SOLDIER STICKS: LEGACY
VEHICLE BUTTONS: VETERAN
VEHICLE STICKS: VETERAN
VEHICLE AIM RELATIVE CONTROL: OFF
HELI BUTTONS: VETERAN
HELI STICKS: LEGACY
JET BUTTONS: VETERAN
JET STICKS: LEGACY
VERTICAL FLIGHT: INVERTED

Tweaked BF4 Controls for Maximum Team Play

BF4 X360 default controls

The new default control scheme on console adheres to common shooter standards while at the same time maximizing the potential for efficient team play unique to Battlefield 4. Image taken from the BF4 PDF manual.

The default Battlefield 4 controls on console are designed from the ground up to facilitate team play. In concrete terms, this means we wanted to make sure that both Spotting and the Commorose are used heavily in multiplayer, while the Engage order and Tactical Visor should be equally easy to reach and use in Single Player. All the while, the core gameplay mechanics of shooting, aiming, moving, and executing melee attacks need to be as strong and reliable as ever.

We also had to take into consideration that a lot of Battlefield fans eventually will want to move from their current console to the next generation. This means we needed to stay consistent across PS3 to PS4, and X360 to Xbox One. When we designed the default controls for Battlefield 4, we took the next generation of controllers into the equation as well.

To achieve the above design goals, we moved team play functions like Spot and Commorose to Right Bumper/R1. This in turn meant we needed to redesign other parts of the controls as well. We believe the result is a control layout that allows players to utilize the unique team play mechanics of Battleifeld 4 — while still staying true to tried and tested shooter controls and making the transition to next-gen controllers as seamless as possible.

In Battlefield 3, Spotting and Commorose was mapped to SELECT/BACK. However, we wanted to make these functions more easily reachable and more widely used. The equivalent buttons on next-gen controllers are also functioning in a different manner and can’t be used to map game functions like in Battlefield 3.

Other changes in our default control scheme are:
-Knife attack was on RB/R1, has now moved to R3 (click right stick)
-Crouch/prone was on R3, has now moved to B/Circle
-B/Circle was ENTER/EXIT VEHICLE, has moved to HOLD X/Square (as opposed to TAP, which is still RELOAD)
-HOLD X/Square was PICKUP KIT, so that was moved to HOLD Y/Triangle
-On PS3, we use that console’s standard for shooter layouts, where the shoulder buttons are used instead of the pull-triggers. So on PS3, all the trigger functionality is flipped, and Spot/Commorose is R2 (pull trigger) instead of R1

New Intuitive Vehicle Controls

Snapshot from BF4 Multiplayer Launch Trailer

The default vehicle stick controls in Battlefield 4 are tweaked for maximum intuitiveness Image grabbed from the Official BF4 Multiplayer Launch Trailer.

We wanted a more intuitive vehicle control scheme as the default for Battlefield 4. Since you are moving your character with the analog stick it made sense to have similar controls for vehicles. This means that the current default for vehicle controls is that the left stick now controls both throttle and steering. This allowed us to have movement controls on the stick, and FIRE, ZOOM, Countermeasures and Spot/Commorose up on the shoulder buttons, making all vehicle layouts closely match the soldier layout.

This should make it easier for players to pick up and play in vehicles compared to the unconventional placement of these buttons in previous Battlefield games. Also, we noticed that in Battlefield 3 players sometimes mistakenly entered a vehicle when they actually just wanted to reload their gun, and vice versa. We solved this issue by changing the ENTER VEHICLE command to require you to press and hold, rather than just quickly press. We also moved the button for picking up weapons and kits to ease the overload on the Interact button in Battlefield 4.

VETERAN TIP! If you want to drive vehicles like in Battlefield 3, with the left stick controlling the throttle and the right stick controlling steering, just set your VEHICLE STICKS option to LEGACY.

VETERAN TIP! If you prefer to use the analogue triggers for acceleration and braking you can change to that layout in the options menu by setting the VEHICLE BUTTONS option to VETERAN.

New Aim-relative Control for Turreted Vehicles

BF4 Turret Control

It’s never been easier to drive turreted vehicles like tanks and air-to-air vehicles. Image grabbed from the Official Battlefield 4 Multiplayer Launch Trailer.

There’s a new control system for driving vehicles with turrets meant to reduce complexity for players, as aiming in one direction and moving in another can be tricky. The new default control setup in Battlefield 4 helps move the vehicle in the direction you push the control stick, regardless of in what direction you are aiming the turret. This control method is only active in tanks (MBTs, IFVs, and Mobile AA vehicles) and Attack Boats, as they are the only vehicles where you operate a turret while driving.

VETERAN TIP! Players who prefer a more traditional Battlefield control method for tanks can head to the CONTROLS option menu and change the VEHICLE AIM RELATIVE CONTROL setting to OFF.

Configure the Sticks to Do What You Want

For the thumbstick layout options for both soldiers and vehicles, we offer the same options as we have in Battlefield 3. SOUTHPAW completely swaps the functions of the left stick and right sticks (for example, if a player is left-handed and prefers that) and LEGACY swaps only the X-axes on the thumbsticks, resulting in a soldier control scheme similar to N64-era shooters where moving forward and turning were on the same thumbstick. LEGACY SOUTHPAW swaps the functions of the LEGACY layout between the two thumbsticks. Between the default layout and these three alternatives, any possible combination of thumbstick controls is available for soldiers, land vehicles, helicopters, and jets, separately.

Miscellaneous Control Tips

Inverting the Y axis
Some players prefer to invert the Y axis on the sticks on foot or when in vehicles. You can select this in the controls options as well. For some players, inverting the Y axis in vehicles specifically makes sense, since that means flight controls will more closely resemble real life (where pulling the stick towards you will make the nose of the plane to go up.)

Visit Battlelog on the Fly
One change in Battlefield 4 is how seamlessly we have integrated the core social fetaures of Battlelog into the game, not only on PC, but on consoles as well. Hitting BACK/SELECT will let you quickly open up the Battlelog dashboard to see which friends are online, what they are playing, and also the status of any ongoing MISSIONS that you have accepted or created for your friends.

So if Battlelog is on BACK/SELECT, where has the scoreboard gone that was previously mapped there? The score board is still available quickly, this time by holding the START button.

Set the Sensitivity Just Right
Don’t forget to set the aim sensitivity on your controls. Try it out and see what you prefer – higher means more sensitive for quicker turning speeds, but usually at the sacrifice of finer control when you just want minor course corrections or aim adjustments (usually at longer ranges.)

Why No Full Customization?

We have heard your feedback on the controls for Battlefield 4 and your questions on why they are not fully customizable. While the matter of configurable button mappings on consoles is quite complex, we are investigating whether this is something we could support in the future.

Take the Vehicles For a Spin on the Test Range

BF4 Test Range

Take the vehicles for a spin and evaluate all of the available controller settings in peace and quiet on the non-hostile Test Range.

We know getting to grips with all of the available vehicles in Battlefield 4 can take some practice. That’s why we’ve included a Test Range in the game where you can practice weapons and vehicles in a non-hostile environment. If you want to brush up on your flying skills or try out all of the available controller options to see which ones fit your play style, the Test Range is the place to go.

We hope this blog post answers your questions on the Battlefield 4 controls. Let us know in the comments below if you have any more questions you would like us to answer. Stay tuned for more in-depth blog posts on all aspects of the game. Thanks for reading!


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MINECON live stream!

MINECON live stream

For those of you who are missing MINECON, we have a live stream of some of the most amazing content from it. The opening and closing ceremonies, the biggest panels, footage from the con and interviews plus some world premiere videos from some of your favorite Minecraft talent.

You can see the stream on our YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/teammojang

This is a schedule of SOME of the content we’ll be showing, US Eastern timezone:

Saturday, November 2nd
10:00AM EDT – Opening Ceremony
12:00PM EDT – Developing Mods
01:00PM EDT – Running A Server
02:00PM EDT – SparkleSlamaroo Extravaganza: Animators of Minecraft
03:00PM EDT – The Future of Minecraft
04:00PM EDT – The Creatures
05:00PM EDT – Costume Contest

Sunday, November 3rd
10:40AM EST – Redstone
11:40AM EST – Growing a Server Community
12:40PM EST – Life on YouTube with SkyDoesMinecraft, Captainsparklez, ihasCupquake, and AntVenom
01:40PM EST – Mindcrack
02:40PM EST – Interview with Notch
03:40PM EST – Bringing Modding to the Masses
05:00PM EST – Closing Ceremony

Don’t forget to change your clock on Saturday night!


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Your chance to own a BF4 hoodie: Share your passion for Battlefield 4


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Share your passion for Battlefield 4 for a chance to receive one of fifty Battlefield 4 hoodies!

With the new Social Sharing feature, your Facebook friends will be able to see your progression in Battlefield 4 multiplayer. Ranking up, earning new medals, or winning a game of explosive Obliteration, are some examples of occurrences that can be made visible in these Facebook posts. Your Facebook friends can also see when you join a server, so they in turn can join you on the Battlefield.

Not only does Social Sharing let your friends find you in the game, it also enables Facebook friends who doesn’t own Battlefield 4 to discover what the game is all about. These people can navigate to Battlefield 4 Boot Camp through your Facebook post, to learn the ropes of Battlefield 4.

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Brag about your wins, make people find you in the game, or just let your Facebook friends learn the basics of Battlefield 4 – all thanks to the Social Sharing feature.

If you activate Social Sharing before December 1, 2013 you may be selected to receive 1 of 50 available Battlefield 4 hoodies over at the new DICE Store, courtesy of Jinx. All you need to do for a chance to own a Battlefield 4 hoodie is to activate Social Sharing on Battlelog and have it active on December 1, 2013.

Head to Battlelog for full instructions on how to activate Social Sharing in Battlefield 4.

 


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BF4 Double XP Weekend – times for eligible consumers


We would like to remind eligble players that they can look forward to a weekend of double XP in Battlefield 4. Players who participated in the Double XP Pre-Order Campaign will get double XP playing Battlefield 4 on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, during the time periods listed below.

Double XP Weekend Times:

Starts at: 2AM GMT on November 2 / 7PM PDT on November 1

Ends at: 8AM GMT / 1AM PDT on November 4

Those who used the campaign to pre-order next-gen versions of Battlefield 4 will be able to participate in a Double XP Weekend on December 25-26  - stay tuned for the exact times for that.

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Inside Battlefield 4: Touring the Ten Multiplayer Maps


With the release of Battlefield 4, millions of players are throwing themselves into the all-out war of multiplayer, exploring the variety of environments on offer. As you may know, Battlefield 4 features 10 distinct maps with support for all 7 game modes, with every map custom-tailored for the gameplay characteristics of each game mode. Below, you can find descriptions of all multiplayer maps and some of their distinguishing features. Enjoy the tour!

ZAVOD
Zavod 311
Zavod 311 is the home of an abandoned Russian tank factory, where players are met with a mix of vehicular and infantry combat. With an autumn shroud backdrop, you will be fighting next to rusty train tracks, abandoned buildings, and the aforementioned factory at the center of the map. Zavod 311 features a tall chimney that can be brought down by detonating a warhead, blocking the central path for vehicles and challenging you to re-think your strategy. There is also Levolution of lesser scale; some of the factory’s hazardous machinery can for instance be activated to function as deadly traps for careless infantry soldiers.

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Flood Zone
Set in a Chinese town in the direct vicinity of a large levee, Flood Zone is a versatile Battlefield 4 map with suppport for many different multiplayer tactics. If the levee is destroyed, the map will get flooded and the circumstances will change drastically. Suddenly, light naval units have a great advantage, and infantry can swim to reach the rooftops thanks to the raised water level.

GOLMUD
Golmud Railway
Those looking for vast fighting grounds and vehicular warfare will probably spend a lot of time by the fields and mountains of Golmud Railway. This is the biggest multiplayer map in Battlefield 4, and players will have access to a huge variety of vehicles (excluding boats). One of the control points is located at a train rolling around the level, and the team holding this point will see the train moving closer to the deployment zone at home base. There is also the possibility to detonate a number of IED’s (improvised explosive devices) on the map, creating huge craters in the ground.

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Lancang Dam
Both land, air, and sea vehicles will battle it out on the mighty Lancang Dam, based on the real-life Xiaowan Dam in the Lancang area, China. There are five control points on main land and one located on a small island. Overlooking the riverside, with a research building and power station as some of the key areas, lies the huge dam – destroyable by planting explosive charges. The result is a devastating avalanche of concrete blocks.

PARACEL
Paracel Storm
With its many islands and dynamic waves, Paracel Storm is a perfect choice for fans of naval warfare. Water-based vehicles dominate the scene, but there’s also plenty of room for dog fights and infantry action, as evidenced in the Paracel Storm Multiplayer Trailer. When the dynamic weather changes stirs up a storm, players are given the possibility to untether a destroyer at sea, which then comes crashing into shore. This in turn gives access to the ship’s AA guns and alters the conditions of the island the ship crashes into.

OPERATION-LOCKER
Operation Locker
Tight level design makes Operation Locker ideal for intense, close-quarter infantry combat. In this mountain prison environment, the cell area located in the middle of the map becomes a war-ridden hot spot. Prison doors can be opened and closed, granting a possibility of trapping soldiers inside – an extra devious action if you also blow up the nearby tower. Operation Locker features both in- and outdoor enviroments and the snowstorm outside will dynamically intensify during matches.

HAINAN-RESORT
Hainan Resort
A luxiorous hotel facility at the centre of the map is the focus of the seemingly idyllic Hainan Resort. Here, the focus is primarily on infantry combat, but there will also be lighter vehicles and air units fighting among the palm trees and bungalows. As for massive Levolution moments, the hotel can catch fire and collapse with the help of oil spills set ablaze by the players.

SHANGHAI
Siege of Shanghai
The intense urban warfare of downtown Shanghai was the first Battlefield 4 map ever shown. Making its debut at E3 2013, Siege of Shanghai features all-out war at sea, air, and land, with a great focus on vertical combat. The player-triggered Levolution moment of a falling skyscraper will change the face of the battle, making you continue the fight on the rubble at street level.

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Rogue Transmission
Aptly nicknamed “Silver Sun” during development, Rogue Transmission provides a memorable battleground thanks to the huge satellite dish dominating the vista. Players can battle both on top of the dish and under it, but if someone sends the huge radio telescope receiver crashing down, it is fatal to stay around for too long. Taking all game modes into account, all kinds of vehicles except naval units are available on Rogue Transmission.

DAWNBREAKER
Dawnbreaker
The Dawnbreaker map, featured in the BF4 Multiplayer Launch Trailer, throws you into battle in a metropolitan environment, set at dawn. While Dawnbreaker takes place in an urban setting, vehicles such as jets are still available. In this darker setting, three gas line stations can be overheated by players, causing a chain of explosions along a gas line. This will leave a huge scar in one of the roads and also make it possible to destroy one of Dawnbreaker’s bridges.

Thank you for reading! It’s our hope that you will enjoy the variety and quality of the Battlefield 4 multiplayer maps, and that you find your own particular favorites. Make your voice heard in the poll below, and make sure to buy Battlefield 4 if you haven’t already done so. New to the world of Battlefield 4? Go to Boot Camp and learn the ropes of single and multiplayer.

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The Launch of Battlefield 4: A Personal Message from DICE VP & GM Karl Magnus


The massive launch of Battlefield 4 has begun. DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson reflects upon the past two years of development and what this launch means for him personally, and for DICE as a studio.

A Message from DICE VP & GM Karl Magnus Troedsson

“As we reach the end of a two-year long journey the entire team at DICE is filled with emotions. All the hard work by the team, the shared creative tension by everyone in the studio being hell-bent on building something majestic with Battlefield 4… It feels a bit empty now that all those ideas, thoughts, designs, and discussions from the development of the base game suddenly are about to end. I almost wish we never had to ship — but ultimately, we are of course very excited to get the game into your hands.

Suddenly someone walks past my office, proudly showing off what could possibly be the first retail copy of Battlefield 4 in the world. We laugh, take pictures with it and share them on social networks. Internet high-fives all around, and then it’s back to work! We know that we’re never really ‘done’, and that Battlefield is more than just a game; it’s a service and a promise to every fan that we’ll take care of their experience long after the game has launched. Almost immediately we change strides, onwards toward more great content and updates.

I’m immensely proud of what the team has created, and as we end one journey another begins. We have prepared for the millions of gamers who are going to to play Battlefield 4. Now, we put our creation out there and wait with bated breath for fans around the world to tell us what they think.

It’s time to lock and load once more. See you on the Battlefield, my friends.”

Karl Magnus Troedsson
DICE VP and GM

Get Battlefield 4 now.


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The Road to Battlefield 4: Sounds of the Battlefield


Responsible for the all-out war soundscape of Battlefield, the award-winning audio team at DICE has had its hands full for the past two years making Battlefield 4 sound just right. In this installment of “The Road to Battlefield 4”, our audio experts discuss everything from field recordings of naval units to metaphorical Spaghetti Bolognese.

Try imagining Battlefield without its collective soundscape. You quickly realise how crucial the shouts of squad members, the bullet cracks, jets roaring, or just the sound of your soldier vaulting over a concrete slab, are for the overall Battlefield experience. With several BAFTA, GANG and AIAS awards under their belt, the DICE audio team was confident in taking on Battlefield 4 – but there were many new challenges along the way.

The Battlefield audio team consists of many different divisions. Voice-overs, the sounds of your soldier, Levolution moments, and map ambience all play a part in the soundscape. To shed light on the many elements of Battlefield 4’s sound design, we hand over to Ben Minto (Audio Director), Mari Saastamoinen Minto (Lead Sound Designer), Andreas Almström (Lead Sound Designer), Viktor Israelsson (VO Designer) and Ludvig Kullberg (VO Producer).

Approaching the Sounds of Battlefield 4

As an audio team, we have accumulated great experience in sound design by working on DICE’s previous titles. When a new project comes along, we know we have to evolve but we are confident we are up to the task thanks to our experience. Approaching Battlefield 4 however, many new challenges have presented themselves with features like Levolution, Commander Mode, and Naval Warfare.

Take the falling skyscraper in Siege of Shanghai for example: to achieve something like that, we can’t just get a sound of a collapsing building and add that to the level. We have to find out what it sounds like from different distances. What does it sound like if you’re hundreds of metres away, or actually on top of it? We also need to figure out how the entire map sounds before the building goes down, and what the aftermath sounds like. You can actually tell whether the skyscraper is still there or not, just by listening to the overall character of the soundscape.

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The team responsible for the sounds of Battlefield 4, just days away from the launch of the game.

Another vital part of the new audio is the recording of water-based sounds, these have to be up to the same level of quality as those we already have for air and land combat. We needed to gather new sounds for swimming, diving, drowning, water-based combat and much more connected to water. The drowning sounds took a bit of experimenting. Many audio designers make the mistake of using too much to simulate drowning, which produces a cartoonish sound that just makes you laugh. Our audio director, Ben Minto, was convinced that in order to accurately capture the sound of drowning he needed to fill his mouth, nose and throat with water and then cover the mouth and nose to stop the breathing. It was quite painful to force water around in your system like that, as though you are gasping for non-existent air. It took some time but it was worth it. Those sounds really felt right in the end.

Playing Better Thanks to Sound

One of the most important parts of sound in Battlefield 4 is the information it gives you as a player. Your line of sight in the game can only gives you 60-70 degrees of the panorama, but sound is all around you. So it’s our job to fill in the gaps of information. If you can hear a tank behind you, you can decide to run into a building to hide or run to find more ammo for your RPG. It’s about giving players information so they can make decisions.

We don’t want to make it like a pinball game with effects like “DING! You got 10 000 points!”, though. You should have to work a little bit for the information. By making people listen for sounds like enemies running up stairs or deploying a tripod, they engage more, they take part, they listen and filter for information. The Battlefield should be readable through the sound that is happening.

Battlefield 4 - Paracel Storm_6_Gamestop

Waves crashing, engines roaring, and guns blazing. All these sound sources are mixed in real-time to give the player an immersive and informative soundscape.

Bullet sounds also give you information of the Battlefield, and we can honestly say that those impress us almost daily, even though we’ve worked with them for several years. The impact of the bullets, the sound of the ricochets… being in a gunfight still seems fresh when we play the game thanks to the quality of the recordings, and all the variations.

Personal, Varied and Close

If there’s one major difference in the audio for Battlefield 4, it’s the fact that it’s more personal and close to the soldier than ever before. We’ve worked a lot with sounds related to the soldier’s clothes, helmet and other gear. The sound of rain, for example, has been expanded this time around. Now you will hear rain, or water from indoor sprinklers, actually dripping on your helmet. To achieve these sounds, we’ve done everything from standing with a helmet in the shower to walking around in real rain with microphones tucked in our hoods.

Recording the “soldier” in Battlefield 4 – basically the sounds of us wearing a military vest – was done from scratch by running around with the vest in different environments. A lot of time was spent just on choosing the right kind of fabric for the vest, to get that modern, rustling sound. There are also a ton of variations of sounds like these. Take the sound of the solider vaulting, for example. There is around ten variations of vault, and these in turn have their own pitch variations. And variety is one of the mantras for Battlefield 4. Every time something happens in-game, it should sound as unique as possible.

The maps themselves also have sounds of their own and we try to give all the Battlefield 4 maps their own unique and realistic tone, based on their environments. Right now we’re working together with the audio team at DICE LA on the new Caspian Border in Second Assault, the upcoming Battlefield 4 expansion, and we need some fitting bird sounds. For Caspian Border in Battlefield 3, we used sounds from swallows that exist in the real Caspian area. But in Second Assault it’s autumn, so we want birds with a more autumn-like sound. We’ve found a bird called Caspian Snowcook, but we’ve already used that in the Alborz Mountain map, so the bird hunt goes on… You can really immerse yourself in things like these as a sound designer.

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The sound of a rocket launcher being fired differs a lot in characteristic depending on where you are on the map, and what other sounds exist in your vicinity.

There are also a lot of personal sounds in Battlefield. If there’s an elevator or an alarm in the game, we use the sounds of the elevators and alarms here at DICE for the recordings. When we go on holiday, like when DICE went to Dubai, we record sounds to get exotic birds or the sounds of the desert. That makes it more unique for the player, and more personal for the sound designers who work here.

All these kinds of details may feel like small steps forward, and there’s often a lot of work behind a small step. But they all take you closer to sound that’s really believable.

Real-Time Mixing and Spaghetti Bolognese

It’s hard do give an exact number of how many sounds we have in total, but there are easily over a million files in the DICE sound library: anything from a piece of metal hitting the floor to hour-long recordings of tanks. But the number of audio files isn’t really that relevant. Since we’re using real-time mixing with the help of the Frostbite Engine, the variations of each sound become even greater. The sound of a pistol being fired varies depending on where you are on the map, and the game engine helps us calculate this. An analogy would be that we don’t serve spaghetti bolognese, we create the basic ingredients – pasta, tomatoes, minced meat etc. – and then inside Frostbite we create the recipe, but with an built-in chance for there to be lots of variations in how they are combined.

Different sound variations of one weapon being fired on the Battlefield.

This requires a lot of play testing since there are many combinations of sounds appearing in multiplayer that we can’t predict. As we said, we give players all the basic ingredients, we give them a map and release 64 players into it – and they create mayhem. We can’t test every possible sound permutation beforehand, so we are sometimes surprised how some sounds in multiplayer turn out.

In these playtests we need to ask ourselves a lot of questions. What does it sound like when I’m indoors and a tank drives across and smashes a building across the street? Was there too much glass? Was the bass level too high? Did it feel scary? Is my pistol louder than the tank driving through that building – and should it be? Can I still hear the person that’s sneaking up behind to stab me? Checking things like this takes time, and that’s why many of the sound designers here have over 200 hours of Battlefield 4 playtime.

Recording on the Field

We’ve recorded a lot of the Battlefield 4 sounds in the studio, but of course there’s always the need for field recordings. In the most recent one, we recorded weapons here in Sweden, which became the base of the Battlefield 4 weapon sounds. It’s a huge plus to do your own recordings, since it gives us the control of all the microphones and such. There are recordings that you can buy, but they are recorded with a different mindset, and are mainly designed for movies. We know what versions of sounds will work in the game, that’s why we need the control that own recordings bring.

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Voice actors on our “Field of Screams”, working hard to perfect the tone of the Battlefield 4 battle cries.

All different kinds of people here in Sweden have been very helpful by letting us do our field recordings. We’ve been helped by both people with access to military hardware, but also by swimming pools that lend us their facilites and go “sure, we’ll close the pool down for the afternoon so you can practise drowning each other”. That’s been a pleasure.

The Voices Behind the Soldiers

The voice-over work is another huge part of the sound design in Battlefield 4 and the need for world-class, believable VO – both in single player and multiplayer – can’t be underestimated. We’ve been working with a great cast for Battlefield 4, and the actors have done loads of research on their characters. It’s impressive to see how the actors really become their characters; Michael K Williams is Irish, Andrew Lawrence is Pac, and so on. In multiplayer, it’s a different kind of drama. Even though we use voice-over actors here too, the drama is created by the players, since they often have the power of when the characters speak thanks to the Commo Rose.

It’s easy to think that all the voice-over lines consist of screams and hectic dialouge. Sure, since the lines are spoken on a battlefield, a lot of the voices are of course urgent and noisy. If someone’s throwing a grenade, when it’s a matter of life and death, the tone is going to be hectic. But if someone throws you a medkit or revives you, the tone is calmer. So there’s more variety than you might think.

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The cast of the Battlefield 4 single player campaign, doing voice-over and motion capture work.

To get that exact temperature and intensity of the actor’s lines is probably the most important part of voice-over work. For example, doing VO for Commander Mode was a real challenge. We wanted to find a tone of voice that wasn’t as intense as the tone of the soldiers fighting on the Battlefield. The sound of a Commander should of course be urgent, but at the same time controlled. The actors nailed it in the end, and by giving the Commander another type of radio sound characteristic, that audio really became distinctive.

The Birth Cry of the Battlefield

The absolute best thing of being part of the Battlefield 4 audio team is something that’s yet to come – and that’s the release of Battlefield 4. Just for the audio department, 12 to 15 people have been working their butts off and doing levels and levels of intricate work during the last couple of years. Even though we work close to each other, we haven’t heard everything that’s been done. To experience all the love, effort and little details that are in the final game – that will be a fantastic part of the process.

Experiencing Battlefield 4 going live with real players, and hearing all their combined actions, is also going to be very exciting. We’ve simulated that in playtests, and we’ve experienced a lot in the Beta. But to be there when the final version come alive with real people, that’s where the joy comes out. It will be like watching a child unwrap christmas presents – and hearing what that sounds like.


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Minecraft 1.7.2: The Update that Changed the World (Updated!)

1.7

Update: Pre-release 1.7.2 has been released to address some serious crashes, including the inability to start on some Linux computers.

It feels like we’ve been working on this for a year now, with more than half a million lines of code changed over 1,104 commits we’ve been working extremely hard on this update. We’re calling this one “The update that changed the world”, because it really has in two different ways; there’s over twice the amount of ingame biomes, and we’ve overhauled lots of the code preparing for the plugin API.

Here’s a list of cool things that may be coming your way on Friday, if the pre-release goes well!

  • New world generation!

    • Double the amount of biomes, with new trees/flowers/blocks.
    • New “Amplified” world option.
    • Less ocean, more awesome.
  • New blocks!
    • Two new types of wood.
    • Stained glass! With both blocks and panes.
    • Packed ice, red sand, podzol.
    • Lots of new flowers, including double-tall versions of current plants.
    • Portals can be bigger sizes!
  • Fishing!
    • Added more type of fish.
    • Redone the fishing mechanics. Can now catch junk and treasure too.
    • Fishing rod enchantments!
  • Maps!
    • Put them in an item frame and hang them on your wall. They’re extra big!
    • Lots of new colours for lots of blocks!
    • Now with less lag!
  • Achievement & Statistics overhaul!
    • Now both world (or server) specific.
    • In multiplayer, it’s announced to everybody when you get an achievement.
      • You can move your mouse over this in the chat to see what it was!
    • Some new achievements and statistic types were added.
    • Zoomable achievements screen!
  • Multiplayer enhancements!
    • Servers can now put a 64×64 image called “server-icon.png” in their folder, that you will see on your server list.
    •  You can see who’s online before joining a server; move your mouse over the player count!
    • Lots of hidden preparation for allowing name changes.
  • Resource pack changes!
    • You can now have multiple selected.
    • They can completely re-do your sounds, adding new ones or changing current ones.
    • Servers can now recommend a resource pack for you to use.
  • Chat & command improvements!
    • New commands to spawn mobs or blocks of any type.
    • Command block minecart!
    • Clickable links to achievements and items.
    • Click on somebody’s name in the chat to message them!
  • Lots and lots of technical work!
    • Completely rewrote how the network (multiplayer) works.
    • Completely rewrote the sound manager.
    • New graphics options.
    • Basic shader support testing.
    • Many bugs fixed, including:
      • [MC-291] – Screenshots are treated as links in the console.
      • [MC-673] – Sky/lighting doesn’t get darker during a thunderstorm
      • [MC-715] – V-Sync in Window mode, settings not activated between sessions.
      • [MC-784] – Letters in Arabic Language not connected
      • [MC-881] – Boat inflicts fall damage if it runs aground in some fashion (Slabs, Mobs, Soul Sand)
      • [MC-944] – Armour with Protection on it seems to reduce against hunger damage
      • [MC-1018] – Black Lighting under overhangs
      • [MC-1105] – Villagers act like it is Raining when they are in the Desert, and it Rains elsewhere.
      • [MC-1379] – Transparent texture makes transparent texture behind invisible
      • [MC-2638] – Old AI mobs and Wolves don’t turn back to passive in Creative
      • [MC-2915] – Attempting to tp to an invalid coordinate returns “commands.generic.double.invalid”
      • [MC-3305] – Cyrillic font not displaying on signs and in chat (Russian language)
      • [MC-3871] – Cauldron water does not put out fire / damage blaze
      • [MC-3973] – Silk Touch, pre-lit Redstone Lamps
      • [MC-4150] – Baby Zombies do not drop any loot / xp
      • [MC-4482] – Saplings placed on Farmland are not affected by Bonemeal
      • [MC-4732] – Tools and weapons lose durability without doing damage
      • [MC-4921] – Sounds (eg. Mobs / Portals / Water) Don’t Immediately Fade
      • [MC-4973] – Zombie Pigman from Nether Portal still spawns even if doMobSpawning is false
      • [MC-5238] – 10 MB server texture pack limit too small
      • [MC-5305] – Arrows from a flame bow aren’t extinguished from rain
      • [MC-5550] – Night Time Doesn’t Immediately Allow Sleep
      • [MC-6820] – The generation of terrain surface layer produces local straight glitches (fix included)
      • [MC-7449] – Silverfish infected Stone Brick varients appears as normal stone brick.
      • [MC-8331] – Command block text disappears if too long
      • [MC-9271] – Opening a singleplayer world is counted as a multiplayer join in the statistics
      • [MC-9547] – Incorrect usage string for `/scoreboard teams empty`
      • [MC-9779] – Old versions of output-server.log and lock files remain on harddisk
      • [MC-10077] – Ajasent Obsidian Blocks prevent Nether portal appearing
      • [MC-10257] – when a pig gets struck by lightning it spawns without a sword
      • [MC-10984] – GS4 query listener fails to send player list when len(players) > 127
      • [MC-11027] – Axes accelarate the speed at which Slabs are broken
      • [MC-11280] – Sometimes Water flows out of newly generated Village Farms
      • [MC-11518] – RCON and Scoreboard Command Output Formatting
      • [MC-12450] – Missing usage string commands.scoreboard.players.list.usage
      • [MC-12452] – Scoreboard team join command fails on invalid team name
      • [MC-12454] – Scoreboard option seeFriendlyInvisibles not listed in usage
      • [MC-12541] – the letters for the ‘off’ setting on smooth lighting aren’t capitalised
      • [MC-12731] – Minecraft crashes if you click edit or delete on a LAN game
      • [MC-12769] – when typing /help with a number higher than 4, it produces the wrong message
      • [MC-12984] – getting a locked chest pushed into your head crashes the game
      • [MC-13565] – Fireworks sometimes don’t stack when they should
      • [MC-13661] – When re-sizing window before game loads internal view doesn’t resize
      • [MC-14521] – Boats cannot be steered by using the “left” and “right” keys
      • [MC-14865] – Carpets Are Not Flammable
      • [MC-15547] – Structures (witch huts, nether fortresses etc.) don’t get saved with the world file
      • [MC-15564] – Start up failure: “Cannot determine close requested state of uncreated window”
      • [MC-15688] – Axe breaks all slabs in adventure mode. No drops for stone.
      • [MC-16324] – Massive Amount of “[SEVERE] Reached end of stream” messages
      • [MC-16435] – Boats Still Break on Lily’s
      • [MC-16849] – Crash near pyramid
      • [MC-16910] – Packet250CustomPayload(dk)
      • [MC-17090] – Invalid teamcolors throw an NPE in the console
      • [MC-17831] – Crash selecting resource pack [13w24b]
      • [MC-18569] – Server resourcepacks not implemented yet
      • [MC-18672] – Textures disappearing after setting player walkSpeed to 0
      • [MC-19483] – sounds playing after leaving world
      • [MC-19604] – Cannot /playsound records
      • [MC-21870] – Screen goes blank when modifying walk speed
      • [MC-22927] – Animals running forever after being hit
      • [MC-26151] – Minecraft has advice on an error report that should be deleted.
      • [MC-26608] – /spreadplayers confirmation text is wrong
      • [MC-26660] – Constant minecart sound
      • [MC-27284] – /scoreboard teams option color: Tab doesnt list all options.
      • [MC-27904] – The Hindi, Malay and Norsk (Bokmål) language appear 2 times
      • [MC-28400] – Breeding animals gives xp even if doMobLoot gamerule is false
      • [MC-28405] – The saddle equip sound effect does not play when equipping a pig with a saddle.
      • [MC-28478] – Successful hit sound effect does not match the sound in the assets sound folder
      • [MC-28625] – The horse armor equip sound does not play when replacing others
      • [MC-28768] – Horse Breeding Doesn’t Produce Markings Correctly on Foal
      • [MC-29088] – Shearing sound does not play when shearing a mooshroom
      • [MC-29279] – Bug: the command block can be damaged by the explosion of Blue Wither Skulls
      • [MC-29321] – Jukeboxes play at the sound volume for effects until you change the music volume
      • [MC-29361] – Oceans are too big
      • [MC-29424] – Players appear offset for other clients after going through nether portals
      • [MC-31031] – Spawn eggs can be used on top of water, but not lava
      • [MC-31065] – Villages not generating? (snapshot 13w37b)
      • [MC-32250] – Typo on “Unable to Load Worlds” screen
      • [MC-32534] – piston extention givies tile.nill.name
      • [MC-32679] – Spawned in enderportals are not nameable

To help test the pre-release, open your launcher and press the “New Profile” button. Call it “snapshots” and check the box saying “Enable experimental development snapshots” and save. To switch to the normal version, you can select it in the dropdown at the bottom left corner of the launcher.

Server jar: https://s3.amazonaws.com/Minecraft.Download/versions/1.7.2/minecraft_server.1.7.2.jar
(On windows, right click -> open with -> java)

Report bugs here:

// The Minecraft and Minecraft Realms teams


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