Frostbite developers are making new breakthroughs in trying to get the same game engine used to run games like DICE’s Battlefield 4, PopCap HD’s Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and Visceral Games’ upcoming Battlefield Hardline to run on iOS devices.
It sounds crazy, but with the introduction of Apple’s low-level graphics API called Metal, Frostbite developers have now managed to get parts of a graphically-demanding game like Battlefield 4 running on iOS.
Frostbite’s Product Owner of Mobile Kristoffer Benjaminsson detailed the company’s latest success in a recent blog post on their official website.
“It has been quite a challenge. To handle dynamic features such as destruction or moving light sources, most things in the Frostbite engine happen in realtime. This puts extra demand on performance to be able to deliver large, highly detailed worlds with superb visual quality,” he wrote.
“We were making great progress feature-wise, but hardware and software limitations forced us to either scale down the number of objects and their complexity to retain visual fidelity, or accept lower visual fidelity to cope with a larger number of objects.”
“This all changed when Apple introduced Metal, their new low-level graphics API, which allowed us to make full use of the hardware. Together with the latest range of hardware, Metal has created possibilities previously out of reach and for the first time we can include both high visual fidelity and a large number of objects.”
While it doesn’t mean Battlefield 4 is coming to iOS any time soon, if ever, it does perhaps open up possibilities for ports of future titles to make an appearance on Apple’s new hand-held devices.
“There is still much to do,” Benjaminsson concluded, “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.”