Terrain in Battlefield 3: A Modern, Complete and Scalable System

2012-03-13 by Mattias Widmark

Conference: Game Developers Conference 2012

In the session from Game Developers Conference 2011, well take a complete look at the terrain system in Frostbite 2 as it was applied in Battlefield 3. The session is partitioned into three parts. We begin with the scalability aspects and discuss how consistent use of hierarchies allowed us to combine high resolutions with high view distances. We then turn towards workflow aspects and describe how we achieved full in-game realtime editing. A fair amount of time is spent describing how issues were addressed. Finally, we look at the runtime side. We describe usage of CPU, GPU and memory resources and how it was kept to a minimum. We discuss how the GPU is offloaded by caching intermediate results in a procedural virtual texture and how prioritization was done to allow for work throttling without sacrificing quality. We also go into depth about the flexible streaming system that work with both FPS and driving games.