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On March 28th, 2012 in News, Videos


If you had problems with the Battlefield 3 user interface, well, you’re not alone. The massive waste of space on the PC version indicates that the UI is primarily designed for consoles. Not to mention the odd design choices and complete lack of intuitive controls. We wondered many times how DICE could make such a bad UI for a game, and now we know how: they didn’t. They outsourced the UI design to a company that doesn’t make games — they make flashy animations and such.

If you want someone to blame for the horrendous UI, blame the guys from “River”, a digital agency that specializes in user interface design, Flash, and stuff like that. Watch the video above and hear them brag on about Battlefield 3′s user interface.

UPDATE: Apparently the backlash over the video was so great and it received so many downvotes on YouTube (90% thumbs down), that River has removed it. The video was meant to showcase their work and process, but turned out to embarrass them more than anything else.



109 COMMENTS & TRACKBACKS

  1. Implied
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:12 am

    So that explains the UI at least. What next, they Outsourced the Maps too? At least, that would explain that.

    Whoever was in charge of BF3 – Please, just quit. Quit and never come back to the Game Development Industry again. An Animations Studio? Seriously? Least if it was Raven Software or something…. Yes, even the MW3 UI Developers would have been a better option.

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 70 Thumb down 16
    • Implied
      March 28th, 2012 at 7:25 am

      P.S. – So I watched the Video….. Ugh. I get what they’re trying to do, but if they want to continue doing it, they seriously need to improve, and fast. BF3 apart, CCP, NO. PLEASE, NO. NOT YOU TOO. DUST 514 was looking amazing up right till this.

      DICE, even though you’ll likely never read this, next time, (for the PC version) could you pretty please shamelessly rip the BF2 UI? Or at least consider it. :(

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 41 Thumb down 4
      • Lordsxo
        March 28th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

        I don’t think that the UI is that bad, but that is subjective. But after watching the video, it looks like River made the UI for Bad Company 2 as well, and that one was good. That tells me that any problems with the UI with BF3 is not really River, but the client, that gave River direction, which is Dice.

        HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 50 Thumb down 2
        • Brandonian
          March 28th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

          exactly.

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1
        • liar
          March 28th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

          Nothing about the game surprises me anymore. BF3 so clearly stands apart from DICE’s other quality games. If they came out on Sunday (check your calendar) and said that DICE had little to do with the actual development, I’d believe it.

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
        • locktite
          March 29th, 2012 at 11:53 am

          I agree. And more importantly why is it ok for bf3blog to say this “If you want someone to blame for the horrendous UI, blame the guys from “River”, How irresponsible is that? You dont know all the details of this contract to outsource this part of the game. What gives you the right ? Lets hear the other half of the story before you send out the lynch mod.

          Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
        • UltraSPARC
          March 29th, 2012 at 11:02 pm

          Totally agree! Whoever was doing requirements gathering or wrote up the requirements document dropped the ball big time. Great companies can still turn out shitty products if the requirements aren’t there.
          Picture very related!
          http://www.popular-pics.com/PPImages/Software_development_lifecycle.jpg

          Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
        • tam-tam
          March 31st, 2012 at 5:09 pm

          But the UI for badcompany 2 is pretty damn close to what was in 2142.

          Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • Implied
        March 28th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

        In response to the above post replying to mine -

        Indeed, the Bad Company 2 UI was better on PC because it was designed around the PC though. BC2 was done side-by-side for Consoles and PC by separate Teams, so features are more “native” to the PC in BC2. In BF3, as they’ve said, they switched during Mid-Production, so yes, I’m assuming the directive to make the BF3 UI Console-designed did indeed come from DICE.

        Even so, even for a Console UI its not exactly stellar, which makes me wonder how much DICE oversight there really was. When you outsource something, you need to make sure there’s oversight, otherwise you have no idea if the final product will be what you were expecting, and when your Publisher wants to get the Game out at a certain period no matter what, you don’t have time to scrap it and start over at that point if its not what you wanted. Then again, DICE was pleased with the final result of BF3 so doubt they’d have scrapped it even if they had the time.

        Its not super-horrible, but it could have been done several times better. Jeez, seriously how much Outsourcing was there on this Project? UI, Battlelog (turns out that was designed by a company called ESN)….

        Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
        • Mitch McCormick
          March 29th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

          You couldn’t be further from the truth. BC2 was designed only as a console title, then brought to PC.

          Bad Company is the console-centric BF series. Designed and made for from beginning to end and brought to PC later.

          Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8
        • Implied
          March 29th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

          Mmm… Hold on a second while I go dig up an over 2 year old article.

          Aha, found it. Well, not exactly the one I was looking for technically but yeah, it’ll do – http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,705197/Battlefield-Bad-Company-2-x-New-tech-info-about-the-DX11-game/News/
          The part you’re interested in:
          “Anders Gyllenberg: The game has been developed side by side for the PC version and the console versions.”

          I like bursting bubbles…. O.o

          Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • BattleFRAG 3
        March 28th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

        Dice probably gave them 1 hour to get it done and that was on October 26th 2011 at 5pm..

        HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1
      • DarKKaramel
        April 1st, 2012 at 2:51 am

        Wait.. I though CCP outsourced some things to DiCE?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Oh- Excuse me?! EXCUSE ME?!
      March 28th, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Sad, isn’t it?

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1
      • Your Friendly Neighborhood Poster
        March 28th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

        Did you guys read the update?

        “UPDATE: Apparently the backlash over the video was so great and it received so many downvotes on YouTube (90% thumbs down), that River has removed it. The video was meant to showcase their work and process, but turned out to embarrass them more than anything else. ”

        Hopefully that will send a message to DICE to never trying pulling anything like this again.

        I hope they give BF3 a real UI in another patch, not this beta skeleton garbage.

        HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0
        • Implied
          March 29th, 2012 at 3:24 am

          O.o Missed that, cheers! :D LOL………..

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  2. LOLGotYerTags
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Hidden due to lowRated by other readers">comment rating. Click here to see.

    POORLY RATED Thumb up 9 Thumb down 161
    • Indi
      March 28th, 2012 at 7:53 am

      Fail first comment, get ready for the rain of thumbs down on your ass!

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 92 Thumb down 5
    • Kernkraft
      March 28th, 2012 at 10:03 am

      I can’t see anything like that happening in the near future at least. I’m used to this UI now so there’s no problem for me, but everyone I try to introduce for the first time to this game, seems to be having horrible problems when spawning, wether it is in a squad mate or a control point.

      Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  3. Silenz
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:19 am

    lol, and i considered CCP to be bad, that was before i meet BF3 and ea/dice

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
  4. siveZ
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Actually, UI is ok, but it’s ported from consoles, so spawn menu is shit. But gameplay HUD is fine for me.

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 24 Thumb down 5
    • Alpha
      March 28th, 2012 at 8:09 am

      I think it’s ugly and unintuitive personally. On the consoles it’s also very slow and buggy. It’s a shame the PC is being subjected to the limitations posed by the consoles’ dated hardware.

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3
      • Implied
        March 28th, 2012 at 8:23 am

        Rather than Hardware, its more about Controller vs. Mouse/Keyboard, specifically the Mouse, as it allows you to do things the Arrow Buttons/Joysticks on Controllers can’t do. The Team behind BC2 PC (was developed by a separate Team alongside the Console Team) did some modifications so it would be more PC-friendly, but it didn’t happen this time, unfortunately. In a perfect world we’d have something like this – http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/battlefield-3/1447912-ideal-customization-squad-menu-photoshop-mock-uo.html on the PC version, but yeah…. :|

        HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0
        • Your Friendly Neighborhood Poster
          March 28th, 2012 at 8:50 am

          @ Implied
          Someone should print out that photoshoped picture, tie it to a brick and throw it right into the window of a DICE developer’s office with a note saying “you’re f*cking welcome”

          Seriously, who ever made that should be given a medal. Something like that would be perfect for PC. Is is just too much to ask for a decent UI like that?

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1
        • Implied
          March 28th, 2012 at 9:11 am

          Agreed! if only I lived in Stockholm…. Or even Sweden :|

          Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
        • BrotherBloat
          March 28th, 2012 at 9:39 am

          This is absolutely awesome! Big-up to the author. Reminiscent of BF2 and also including so much more than the current BF3 ‘consolised’ version…

          Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
        • Aaron W
          March 28th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

          VERY very very… very good designs for a UI.
          I liked them a lot, I wish Dice would implement it, but I doubt it will be implemented till the next game..

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
        • liar
          March 28th, 2012 at 7:34 pm

          It’s things like the UI that make BF3 feel like a beta/skeleton game.

          See, if DICE actually opened up the game for the modding community, they could fix these dumb deficiencies.

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
        • sadstuart
          March 31st, 2012 at 8:55 pm

          IF ONLY there was mod support *goes and cries in a corner*

          Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  5. Screw Life
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:45 am

    “almost everyone one of us here is a hardcore gamer” NO, you have not seen hardcore gamers, if you think you are one, i hate people who think they are “hardcore gamers” yet they fucking look like social party people

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 17 Thumb down 8
    • Indi
      March 28th, 2012 at 8:02 am

      At least they have a life and not spending there whole time on video games,
      Unlike those hardcore gamers
      U MAD BRO?

      Thumb up 16 Thumb down 23
      • Big_Bubbaloola
        March 28th, 2012 at 8:17 am

        Yeah but then they wouldn’t term themselves ‘hardcore gamers’ now would they? I understand that their are people out there you spend many hours each day sat in front of their consoles that consider them ‘hardcore’, but IMHO, it’s the PC market (and no I do not include Facebook gamers) that could be considered as more in-depth, tech-minded , ‘hardcore’ gamers.
        .
        I know i’m gonna get flamed for that last comment but it’s my opinion that’s all. So to keep the peace, let’s say there are console hardcore gamers out there – it’s just that many (if not most) PC gamers are harder corerer (?!)

        HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4
        • vladskyline
          March 28th, 2012 at 8:33 am

          Facebook gamers lol

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0
        • TheBarron
          March 29th, 2012 at 12:29 am

          I have every single battlefield game; i got battlefield 3 for the console. I have days upon days (not hours) of time in all of those games. Are PC players more “hardcore” then i am?

          The whole argument is dumb. Its true to say most are PC based but to say one is more then the other is completely illogical. I understand both points of view.

          Now talking about what DICE needs to do, i think dice needs to make two separate UI’s for PC and Console. 2142′s UI was great for example! An upgraded version of that to fit the theme and style of battlefield 3 would be awesome! As for the consoles, I like the way it handles, i just wish maybe there was a quicker way to apply attachments for example, maybe like bad company 2′s UI.

          Both PC and consoles need to fix not having the conquest point diamonds not having the letters in them, both could benefit from commo rose(i say this playing consoles for 7 years and pc for 10 years, it would be a great benefit and shouldnt be hard to port to consoles), and both need to fix the spawn menu not doing a great job at highlighting your spawn point, for PC’s you should be able to select it with your mouse on the map.

          Just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to there own.

          Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
        • Tummynator
          March 29th, 2012 at 3:23 am

          @thebarron Bad company titles doesnt count as “all battlefield games” :P

          Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
      • Ken J
        March 28th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        Call me out of the loop, but please enlighten me. Is this whole “u mad bro” thing supposed to be “cool?” I don’t know, I rarely keep up with the current trends because I don’t need to meet other people’s standards to feel good about myself. So often times I’m completely out of the loop in this kind of thing… I’m just curious, not planning on following it like a rat to the pied piper…

        Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5
  6. Indi
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:52 am

    If any one is curious about the patch for PC and Xbox, I played it on PS3 and i gotta tell, that they have done a good job so far,,, But its far from good!
    Theres still sound bugs that cut out whenever on some maps, Theres still a whole lot of problems with guns reload animations (Doesn’t show the reloading)
    The famas is nerfed like crazy, nobody uses it anymore!
    Apparently they made the IRNV A lot better (Gonna try it)
    How ever they put loads of recoil on the M16A3, Its really Sh*T
    I cant believe that they changed almost every weapon, What a joke -_-
    How badly did they F*ck up?
    Apart from that im happy so far

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
    • Alpha
      March 28th, 2012 at 8:11 am

      They didn’t touch the M16a3, they nerfed the attachments. This is of course based on what they’ve told us.

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • Indi
        March 28th, 2012 at 8:24 am

        Mmmm , Your probably true, They did say that the silencer will no longer decrease the recoil? It increases a lot

        Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • DSDSD
      March 28th, 2012 at 9:34 am

      have you’ve tested all the attchments yet?

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • BattleFRAG 3
      March 28th, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Not to mention all the green screen flashing when spawning, game freezing and tons of other little things.. I think this patch was way to big, they should have been doing small patches every week or two for the last three months..

      Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
      • Indi
        March 29th, 2012 at 7:09 am

        Yah true about the freeze thing, My PS3 froze like 6 times in the space of playing 5 hours in a night, But so far I have not seen the green flickering!

        Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  7. MEow~meow~
    March 28th, 2012 at 8:04 am

    maybe many of you dont agree with me but actually i like the pc ui as it is because it looks simple.. same as i prefer google search over yahoo

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 22
    • kelleroid
      March 28th, 2012 at 8:38 am

      It looks like shit. Admit it.

      BF2142 had 1 screen, and the majority of that screen was the map with directly selectable spawnpoints. You could switch it for the loadout screen that showed the class you selected separately on the left side, and loadout configuration was a simple drag-n-drop; meanwhile you could switch class selection to squad menu, AND that also toggled the map into a squad view, highlighting vehicles and players instead of spawnpoints.

      Why not just copy what worked, and then outsource the console interface? It makes too much sense.

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
      • 1942
        March 29th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

        ^^ DICE and EA are still to blame for the shit ui. BF3 on pc a cut/paste consoles with the addition of graphics suitable to this time period.

        This generation of consoles has ruined pc gaming.

        Games have become TOYS

        Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  8. tricome
    March 28th, 2012 at 8:09 am

    lol lol, So they’ve been working on this for over 5 years and they couldent even do the UI themselves. ROFL at ea/dice triple A devs my arse. Now we know why it looks like a kid made it these guys don’t even make games ffs.

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2
  9. Your Friendly Neighborhood Poster
    March 28th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    DICE has plenty of room to work with PC’s, and yet they decide to half ass it by using a UI designed for consoles. It’s just pure garbage to do something like this, and is just plain unacceptable.

    So where did the DICE that made BF2 go?

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Implied
      March 29th, 2012 at 3:31 am

      Apparently a lot of DICE guys (no idea specifically who) are working at CCP Shanghai on DUST 514, so I guess a lot of them have moved on to other Projects/Studios :|

      Even now we had that one guy quit DICE for er, what was it? I forgot. Old Team seems to be gone unfortunately. Replaced by these Money-Freaks.

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  10. iRocket
    March 28th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    https://twitter.com/#!/zh1nt0/status/184929123125301248 The PC patch is coming tomorrow, so get ready!

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  11. Dave247
    March 28th, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I reckon River could of made a decent UI for specificity for PC if they were given the time and resources to do so. The problem was that they were focusing more on making it for consoles then PC.
    It makes the most sense to me that they didn’t get around to the UI part until after they finished with the PC and switched to consoles as their focus.

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  12. Strausser
    March 28th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Blame River?? Hell no! This is first and foremost a decision made by DICE to out source. You can’t expect third party devs to make it perfect, only DICE knows the game best!
    Kinda like, if they decided to out source the whole godamn game, and then we are supposed to blame the third party devs and NOT DICE because it turned out to suck??! Its THEIR responsibility

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  13. Bf2Guy
    March 28th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I miss the bf2 one :(

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  14. captainMAWESOME
    March 28th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    It has already begun, go to video and dislike.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  15. Lakota Gray Wolf
    March 28th, 2012 at 10:39 am

    What a bunch of Fuck Nugget’s. Damn no wonder it eats up so much memory DICE should refund some of the money they ripped us OFF for.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  16. Gudkarma
    March 28th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Finally an answer as to who screwed up te ui.
    It really takes an hour of play time to see its not decent.
    I wish people would boycott the expansions as a way to send a messge to developers.

    As for the editor in this blog commenting its not dices fault.
    Umm. Am I wrong in thinking dice had to sign off on this?
    So they are to blame essentially. That company river does only what it can. It’s up to dice or ea or who ever qa’ed that pile of pixel puke.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  17. Brendan
    March 28th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    It just makes too much sense, given how atrocious and nonsensical the UI is.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  18. roma
    March 28th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Wth are you all talking about? The UI is great!!! Infact is better than great, it has all the stuff I want to see, nothing less and nothing more! It is beautiful made by people who know how to do their job. Stop whining about the UI, you bought the game play it to shoot eachother you noobs, and not to play with the UI. The game is great. If you don’t like it go and play with UI of COD!!!

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9
    • D
      April 11th, 2012 at 1:11 am

      The UI is not well designed. One must click on something to open up a menu and SCROLL through the inventory. It would be much faster to have a grid to select what you want in one view.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  19. Figit
    March 28th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    The way this news post is written is fucking moronic. You’re basicly telling all of your followers (BF3blog) to go and flame river to the end of their carier.

    Sure thing the UI isn’t the greatest but really?

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  20. ?
    March 28th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    how many times do you have to be told? this game is a failure! yet even though your getting cheated and scamed in qauntity and qaulity of the game and is full of bugs,been hacked,dlc being dragged out to a very long time just for some small maps with a nice price tag,the game play online is terrible plus all you mouthy punks ruin the online experience and best of all its basicly consoled game looking pretty! all these games all the same way anymore yet look at all the supporters around here so loyal to a rip off! smell the drift mates your slowly being played!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  21. Johnny Neat
    March 28th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Video is set to private, really?

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0
    • phill
      March 28th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      They can’t handle the truth!

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0
    • yourmom
      March 28th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      LOL it’s been EA-ified.

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0
  22. Water
    March 28th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    lol they received so much hate on the video that they made it private

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  23. Morgan
    March 28th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Damage Control, Engage.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  24. joe69in
    March 28th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    video is private, someone download it?

    cant post constructive criticism oh well

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  25. KaziQ
    March 28th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Hi there guys,

    Can somebody re-upload the video so we can watch it too?

    Thanks.

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

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