Several creatives of BioWare have criticized the lack of a clear course in Anthem by their top managers, which ended up affecting the development of the game, but also point out the Frostbite technology as an important barrier that greatly hindered the creation of this action-adventure cooperative. “Frostbite is covered by razor blades,” said a creative behind Anthem. And this seems like an opinion shared by hundreds of developers who have worked with the technology designed by the parents of the Battlefield series.
“Frostbite is like a motor of its own with all the problems it brings… and also the problems arising from working with external technology,” says one creative. “No one you work with really designed it, so you do not finish knowing why it works the way it does,” he adds. This kind of problems already happened during the development of Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda, but although the experience with this technology increased, new problems also appeared.
It is very difficult to create a videogame in which you have to fight at all times with your own work tools unlike their previous projects with Frostbite, this was a game played in the multiplayer, so much of the work done in Dragon Age and Mass Effect did not work in Anthem. The creatives of BioWare highlight that many of the ideas they had imagined for the video game could hardly come true with this new technology. Yes, you could design great and beautiful cities or scenarios but did not have the necessary tools to give life to the prototypes that the BioWare developers had created years ago.
In case it was not enough, correcting errors or making changes in the game meant a lot of work that did not always end well. “The biggest problem I had with Frostbite was the number of steps you needed to take to do something basic, ” says one creative. “With another engine, I could do something myself, or maybe with a designer, here is a more complicated thing.”
“It’s hard enough to make a game,” says another creative, who also criticizes how difficult it is to work with this technology. “It is very difficult to create a video game in which you have to fight at all times with your own work tools.” As if that were not enough, BioWare creatives criticize the lack of personnel.
The biggest problem was the number of steps you needed to take to do something basic. Several creatives point out that their team was quite inferior to the one that worked in videogames of the style, like Destiny or The Division. What is this about? Apparently, when the FIFA series made the leap to Frostbite technology, several BioWare creatives ended up working on EA Sports as technical support. “Many talented engineers were working in FIFA when they would have to be doing it in Anthem,” says a studio creation. To make matters worse, it seems that technical support from EA was not enough.
If there were doubts about the use of Frostbite, games like Battlefront or FIFA received more attention from Electronic Arts simply because they generated more income. Weeks ago it was the veteran Amy Henning who highlighted how hard it was for Visceral Games to work with Frostbite, a graphics engine designed for first-person games and not third-person adventures.