At the Bradford Animation Festival, BioWare art and animation director Neil Thompson gave a talk highlighting how game art has changed over the years. The first image featured was of retro classic Space Invaders, while the last was an image from Dragon Age: Inquisition. “It’s the first time anyone has seen a frame of it outside BioWare studios,” he told the audience.
It was on screen for no more than three seconds, but someone managed to grab a blurry, camera-phone shot of it – which you can see here. More important than the image though, was Thompson’s praise of the Frostbite 2 engine being used to create the latest chapter in the Dragon Age saga.
“Obviously Frostbite is the Battlefield engine built by DICE. It’s a beautiful, beautiful engine. And what we’ve found is an improvement with DA3, is the artists who were really battling with the Eclipse engine have just embraced Frostbite. The work they’re doing now is stunning.
“I think the screenshot I showed earlier is pretty stunning. That’s unusual for pre-production. Usually you don’t get to that kind of quality until a week before gold master.
“It makes my job easier because then it’s all about discussing the aesthetic and what you want to achieve. When you’re a character artist or an environment artist you’re focusing on a small aspect of the greater whole of the game. As an art director you’re concerned about the whole, the frame and everything it contains and how everything sits and the consistency. An engine like Frostbite allows you to focus more on that rather than the technological challenges of just getting the damn thing to run.”
After everyone’s complaints about the engine used for Dragon Age 2, I think this sounds like a welcome change.
Source: Eurogamer (Thanks, Darren)