BioWare has unveiled additional details regarding Dragon Age Inquisition’s environment mechanism. According to Lead Environment Artist, Ben McGrath, the power of the Frostbite 3 game engine and next-generation technology will provide a new level of realism. The improvement and enhancement of already existing features through displacement mapping will intensify the immersion, depth and vivacity of the incoming virtual scenarios, as McGrath explained:
Displacement mapping adds a new level of realism to the environment. Normal maps [in previous-gen technology] brought great detail to surfaces, but displacement mapping actually pushes those details out so you can see them in the silhouette. The place where it’s probably the most noticeable is on terrain. Pebbles, sand ripples, cobblestones, and other details all pop out from the terrain and make it far more detailed than ever before.
Another technique being mastered by the environmental department is the interactive waters in levels, whose main purpose is to create a more accurate displacement of water in its natural form. Water will certainly receive a special treatment in Inquisition since even the smallest details have been considered, as McGrath stated:
Interactive water is one of the key things we’ve added to next-gen. It’s got realistic reflections, and also realistically ripples and splashes as you walk through it.
Dragon Age Inquisition will ensure that all ecosystems are alive and living, it will be as real as possible without ever forgetting the Inquisitor’s influence in the world. According to BioWare, all zones will be affected by the ongoing conflict and the impact will soon or later become visible.