Level artist Linnea Harrison gives her take on the absence of both.
Though it first started out without night-time conditions and dynamic weather, Battlefield 4 might see some of these changes soon according to the latest Battlefield blog post with level artist Linnea Harrison.
On being questioned about the implementation of night maps – which would make IRNV and FLIR scopes, not to mention flares, more useful – Harrison stated, “Good question! In general, we tend to think that night maps look pretty darn cool. You can implement some really neat lighting effects and encourage use of gadgets that generally aren’t used as much, with some really fun results. But there are a few things we considered with creating night maps. Statistically speaking, most people don’t play night maps – maps set during the day get played more. We know this from tracking the numbers of maps played through on Battlefield 3 and Bad Company 2.
“Even if the map is really well-designed, players tend to gravitate more towards day-time maps. Furthermore, players that crouch, take cover and wait forever to shoot someone running by in most maps gets even more common on night maps, where it’s tough to differentiate between objects and people. This has proved to be quite annoying in playtests. It’s possible to balance this – better heat vision, better spotting and so on – but for Battlefield 4 we focused on day-time maps. Future nighttime maps are absolutely something we’re always considering, though.”
As for why a random weather and time of day system wasn’t implemented in the beginning, she clarified that, “Even though each Battlefield game is unscripted in many ways, we wanted the experience to still have an emotional impact and match the adrenaline arc of a normal gameplay round. That way, as more buildings get destroyed, the tickets count down and the gameplay gets more tense, so does the level.”
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