Holy hell, they switched to Frostbite AND switched from max to maya AFTER they’d already started?!?! Of course Autodesk is pushing devs to “switch gears”, they’ve been looking to phase out 3ds since they bought them out years ago. Can’t believe whoever was in charge thought that could possibly be a good idea in the middle of development. Bioware made a semi-new team in a new location, told them to take several extremely sophisticated systems (including the algorithmic animation system) from one engine, rebuild them all from scratch in another engine that was built for beautiful but fairly straight-forward FPS games, make way more content with a different software set (maya), and do it with a smaller team. That’s like switching from a Jeep to a Camaro and then blaming the Camaro for getting stuck when you go mudding. As for Battlefield, even if all of the cut-scenes were rendered at runtime, all the animations would still have been hand crafted since they wouldn’t have to make that many.
Side note: It always cracks me up when devs talk about the technology they use to make their games and kind of make it sound like it’s new or cutting edge when half the time it’s a pretty standard technique or tool. They didn’t really do that in this article, but when they mentioned WorldMachine, it kind of reminded me of other videos an articles that do.