Building Dragon Valley in Battlefield: Then and Now

2015-12-08
EA Staff

We sat down with Battlefield 4 Producer David Sirland to find out how the team brought the map back to life.

We’re dedicated to putting our players first at EA.

For our Battlefield players, we know you wanted to be able to play on the Dragon Valley map originally created for Battlefield 2, so we were thrilled that the team at DICE remastered it for Battlefield 4.

We sat down with Battlefield 4 Producer David Sirland to find out how the team brought the map back to life.

Why did the DICE team decide to recreate the Dragon Valley map from Battlefield 2?
We wanted a truly classic map, so it had to be from Battlefield 2 or an older title. We wanted a vehicle focus and it had to be large, since we knew it would be for current consoles and PC only.

What does the Battlefield 4 community mean to the developers at DICE?
We are continually working hard to earn our community’s respect and trust by doing what we as passionate Battlefield players feel makes the game better.

We put Battlefield community at the very top. We wouldn’t be here without our players playing our game and being so passionate about it!

What type of research went into recreating the Dragon Valley map?
We as a team played the map a couple of times internally to make sure we remembered things correctly – and also let team members that haven’t played Battlefield 2 get a taste for what is was like.
We then utilized extensive knowledge from developers at our studios in LA & Stockholm to make sure we hit the key points and made the map a modernized version of the original.

How long did the process take from beginning to end?
It was a very long process – as any map creation process can be. This time, with the additional challenge of having an original map to recreate, it took about 3-4 months.

What are some of the improvements that players will notice in Dragon Valley 2015?
If you played the original, the first thing you’ll notice are the detail levels and visuals. Secondly, the cloud layer that separates air and ground – and of course how huge this map really is!

Are there any small details in the map that players of previous Battlefield games will recognize?
Of course! We quickly realized Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 4 are very different games, so we had to focus our effort on making the map have the same feeling as the original, and not just be a 1:1 replica. There are several small throwbacks to Battlefield 2, but you’ll have to find the best ones on your own.

How did the dev team ensure that Dragon Valley 2015 looked and felt authentic?
As always, iteration is key. We played the map internally a lot, and we had a ton of fun really early in the process. The extra flags added compared to other Conquest Large layouts in Battlefield 4 really makes the map play differently, like a modernized Battlefield 2.

This is the biggest Battlefield map ever in Battlefield 4. What were some of the challenges in creating a map this big?
This is also the first and only Battlefield map to only appear on PS4, Xbox One and PC, so that gives us more freedom as well. In the end, the thing that was most challenging was actually reigning in our artists and making sure the map performs. We almost went too far in our efforts to push the limits of this game with this one.

What are some of the details in Dragon Valley 2015 that makes the dev team most excited?
Playing Rush on Dragon Valley is one and repairable bridges is another. And the fact that we (hopefully) made Battlefield 3 Team Deathmatch players really happy with the Noshahr Canals layout in the harbor area!

See more of the specific tweaks to Dragon Valley on the Battlefield website.

 

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