Star Wars Battlefront II (SWBFII) is the accumulation of many hours of hard work by extremely talented people with a passion for video games. These people who specialize in different disciplines came together with the intent to create something truly impressive such as SWBFII. Graphics, cinematics, animation, and audio are, without a doubt, some of the high points of the game.
The Star Wars Gaming Network (SWGN) is extremely proud to feature one of those very talented people today. Patrick Gamble is a cinematic animator at DICE who’s responsible for some of the game’s impressive cinematic cutscenes. Back before the game came out many fans, including ourselves, dissected his work in order to find clues about upcoming content. We were also in awe of the quality of work and the sheer joy of seeing Yoda fighting Darth Maul for the first time. Patrick was responsible for bringing this feeling of excitement to all of us.
The SWGN would like to thank Patrick for his time! We’re looking forward to seeing your future work!
Some highlights of Patrick Gamble’s Star Wars Battlefront II work
Patrick Gamble in focus
1. Can you please give us a brief introduction to yourself?
Hey! My name is Patrick and I’m a cinematic animator working at DICE in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m originally from Ireland and studied animation there but my first break into the animation industry came when I got a job at a company called Boulder Media in Dublin where I worked on cartoon network’s “Amazing World of Gumball“.
I later ventured into the games industry, first at Crytek in Frankfurt, where I worked on games such as RYSE: Son of Rome and Homefront 2. In 2016, I joined DICE, where I started to work on cinematics for Battlefield 1, as well as, trailer and creature work on Star Wars Battlefront II.
I love working at DICE and to be working in the games industry, where I get to create top quality animation, with a wide variety of projects that keeps things fresh and exciting.
2. How did you get involved with Star Wars Battlefront II?
After working on Battlefield 1, which shipped in 2016, a large part of the team was brought over to work on Star Wars Battlefront II. Obviously, I was super excited and jumped at the chance. After all, it’s Star Wars!
Some of Patrick’s work in Battlefield 1
3. For the uninitiated, can you give us a brief overview of what a cinematic animator does in games like Star Wars Battlefront II?
There are a ton of different people involved in this process, such as the director, the lighters, level designers, sound designers, 3D artists and technical animators, just to name a few. It can be quite a complicated process but I will try to break it down simply.
Once the script has been drafted and we know the story, we go out and shoot performance capture with the actors that have been chosen to play the part.From there you are bringing that data into a 3D program for cleaning up the data we receive.We then put that into our game engine where all the different disciplines, such as lighting and VFX, will work on it to make it even more awesome.
For Battlefront 2, although I did work on the trailer shots, all the cinematic’s were done by the very talented people at MOTIVE over in Montreal.
As a cinematic animator, my core job is to make sure that the cutscenes in the game look kick ass!
4. How does your work fit with the greater effort of building a game?
The role of cinematics is to keep the narrative of the game together. Making a video game is a big collaboration between all disciplines so anything you do could have a knock-on effect so we all have to be in constant communication with each other.
5. What is the process for deciding what goes into a SWBFII trailer?
We look at everything that we are putting into the game. We then ask ourselves if there is anything new or especially important to showcase. Is there something there that the fans can get excited about? What are we, as developers, most excited about showing?
The hard part is that we aren’t able to show everything, so a lot of it comes down to deciding what isn’t shown. It’s a very exciting process for the entire studio because we finally get to show to the public what we have been working on so hard for so long.
6. What was the most rewarding thing about working in Star Wars Battlefront II?
The most rewarding part is the feedback and the reactions you get from fans. It could be a comment you read on YouTube about a tiny detail that you decided to include, that many others might have missed. It’s that one comment that keeps you going and makes the effort worth the while.
7. What was the most challenging thing about working in Star Wars Battlefront II?
That’s a tough one. A lot of stuff about video game development is challenging.
For me personally, as an animator on Star Wars Battlefront II, it was to make the creatures believable. Not only does the animation for a creature, like the Ronto or the Dewback for example, have to be perfect. In a big multiplayer game, you also have to combine that animation with making the creature react to the players in a believable way. And then you have technical restrictions to keep in mind, so you have to balance the quality of the animation and the performance of the game.
Thankfully, the programmers (that are far smarter than I am), are there to help every step of the way!
8. Do you play SWBFII? Is there a particular aspect of the game you enjoy?
I do play Star Wars Battlefront II and I must say I really enjoy Starfighter Assault. That might come down to the fact that I was a big fan of Tie Fighter, which came out in 1994. Starfighter Assault gives me that immersive feeling when I play it. It’s so good it could be a game in itself!
Starfighter Assault is Patrick’s favorite game mode due to his love for Star Wars classics like Lucasarts’ Tie Fighter.
9. Is there somewhere fans can see your work? (Other than the games you worked on of course!)
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