Ah technology. When I was a lad we had Doodle Jump on our iOS devices and a lump of coal in my stocking — and let me tell you. We were happy. But nowadays? With your new fangled processors and your fancy dan phones we can get games like Battlefield 4 running on mobile phones. Whatever next?
On the most recent Frostbite blog, Kristoffer Benjaminsson, Product Owner for Mobile at Frostbite, explained how it all went down.
"It has been quite a challenge," he wrote.
Since Frostbite focuses on dynamic stuff — explosions, lighting, etc — it was previously a little tricky to use Frostbite to create large, detailed worlds. But 'Metal' Apple's new low-level graphics API has allowed developers to unlock the power of Apple's hardware, meaning that it's far easier to get games like Battlefield 4 running on the system.
And that's what they did.
"So to see exactly how far we could take the engine on mobile we set ourselves up for a real challenge: getting selected parts of the Battlefield 4 – truly a visually demanding game – running on iOS," explained Benjaminsson. "I want to stress that this has been a tech demo to test the engine capabilities, and nothing else.
"There is still much to do, but we’re very happy with the results so far. It’s a great feeling porting a system, get it running, and discover that there’s actually performance left. Even though we have much room for performance improvements on our end, we’re pleasantly surprised of the performance we’re getting from the hardware."
What does this mean for the future? Probably nothing at this point, but I wouldn't be surprised if big publishers try and bring iOS and console/PC development closer together in the future, in an attempt to save money and provide similar experiences across different platforms.