Battlefield 3 Head Tracking Support
EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE)
Battlefield 3 users
More Info at:
Head tracking is a technology feature that is increasingly expected in first person PC air combat and driving games, greatly improving immersion, enjoyability and situational awareness. Other open warfare games with vehicles similar to the Battlefield series, like the ARMA and Operation Flashpoint series, already have support.
Battlefield 2 has recently received support via a camera hack by the name of BF2FreeLook. Camera hacks are not practical when there are frequent executable version changes and strong anti-hack technologies to contend with; integrated support is the only practical solution. Battlefield 3 appears well suited now that the aircraft interiors are more detailed and complete with proper 3D HUDs.
The current dominant commercial game head tracking solution is NaturalPoint's TrackIR but it promotes a closed, exclusive and encrypted interface. It is our opinion that, in the interest of fairness, any special access to view control should be freely accessible to all users and not just owners of NaturalPoint cameras. Special hardware is not compulsory, any webcam with appropriate software can track object or face motions, making the potential userbase much larger than any commercial hardware solution.
Proposed action from most preferable to least:
1. Integrate the FreeTrack open source LGPL 6DOF head tracking interface, used by the two most popular free head tracking software solutions (FreeTrack and FaceTrackNoIR) and currently supported in four commercial game titles, including the ARMA series. It can be implemented and tested without even having a camera by using the demo video in FreeTrack software. Most importantly, TrackIR is not excluded and completely free to access this interface.
2. Provide an interface for supplying view control data.
3. Allow all the view axes to be mappable to controller axes.
We hope that DICE recognizes the growing expectation for head tracking support and puts the interests of its customers first by ensuring any support is accessible to all.