Battlefield 4 Lead Core Game Designer Alan Kertz discusses weapon customisation in the latest FTW interview.
Weapon Customisation has been altered for Battlefield 4, with players now able to access weapon accessories such as canted sights and a variety of grips. A variety of paint jobs can be applied to make weapons blend in or stand out.
When customising, players are presented with a 3D model of their weapon which allows them to view every detail. In addition, information is given to show how much each add-on affects the ability of each weapon. Even secondary weapons can be altered and crafted for a specific game mode or map.
Vehicles are also more customisable than ever before. Weapons can be swapped out depending on requirements such as anti-infantry of anti-air, whilst also having access to their own custom paint jobs.
There is even an adaptive camouflage system which blends vehicles such as the helicopter automatically to match the surroundings.
Tiered reloading means you now don't have to play entire reload animations if you switch weapons halfway through a reload sequence. Once the clip has been removed and you switch to another weapon, switching back means you have to put the new clip in and fire.
So, let's talk about the primary weapons to begin with. How would you customise that for different tactics in the field?
I've got my assault weapon here, this is my Chinese assault weapon which I want to use to get it in close, so I'm going to put a red dot Coyote sight on it - which is the Chinese sight. One of our new things is Canted Iron Sights, this is going to allow me to switch between two sights which mean you don't have to respawn. Which is also a bonus. So, if I'm going in close, I want to be a little more stealthy, I want to get the drop on people, so let's put a Chinese Suppressor on my weapon. We've also really taken the grips and revamped these, so I'm going to put an Ergonomic Grip on my weapon and that's going really let me move and shoot, so I don't have worry about stopping to take that accurate shot, I can get it on the move and keep going, and of course, nothing's really complete without a really good paint job on it. So, if I'm getting close I'll probably want to blend in a little bit, and everytime I unlock one of these paints I unlock it for every gun and every vehicle.
You've got a 3D render of your gun that you can actually look around as well
Yes, you can actually spin it around so you can get a better view of what the gun looks like and how each customisation will affect it.
So looking at these meters here you can actually see how the customisation is affecting your gun?
Yes. We've shown these meters to people so that they can compare gun for gun but they can also say ah, okay, I'm really interested in run and gun I need a good hip fire, oh this vertical grip really helps that. I'm not going to be quite as good as handling recoil, but my hip fire goes way up.
Can you customise secondary weapons in this amount of detail as well?
I'm going to pull up my favourite pistol. This is a 1911, this is a classic, it's been in just about every Battlefield game. We can go in and, you know, maybe I don't like the default Iron Sights very much and in every other game your kind of stuck with them right? Well let's throw a little red dot scope on there and now I've got a red dot scope that I can use. It's going to give me that clear sight picture, that really nice fine point. I'm also going to throw on a tri beam laser sight, I'll get that kind of Predator feel, it gives me that advantage on the mobility.
Can you also tell me about the vehicles in Battlefield 4? Because they're more customisable then ever aren't they?
If we just take our new fast attack boats, we start with a 25mm cannon or we can put a burst cannon on it. We can have different secondaries, I can get this player guided missile, I can get a laser guided, I can get anti-air missiles and I'm also making a choice. Am I going more vehicle? More anti-vehicle? More anti-infantry? But I'm still staying in that kind of nitch of where it is, and just like any other object in the game, you can paint your vehicles. This is a camouflage, it's adaptive. On this level which is Paracel Storm and was shown at gamescom, this adaptive camouflage will pick up the blues from the level. You take in the seas at Shanghai, it's going to pick up greys from that level. So every time I load up a new level or I go into a new environment adaptive camo picks up those colours, keeps your pattern and re-paints your vehicle in a way that blends into the environment.
Tell me about this reloading, that has changed in the game hasn't it?
Well, what we have is what we call Tier reloading. Every other shooter you play you empty the clip. So you fire off all the rounds and you're in the middle of a fight and you don't have time for that, I've got to switch to pistol. Okay, so now I go back and I see that I've already taken the magazine out and all I have to do is put it in and go. So this is our Tier Re-Loading System, it works on all our rocket launchers, you knoe, that rpg's already gone, you don't have to pull it out again. You switch weapons, he puts in the rpg and you're back up and running.