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NHL 10 News Post

Gamespot has posted an interview with David Littman, Producer of NHL 10.

Quote:
Gamespot: "Much was made of the distinction between player types in NHL 09. How have those differences been improved in NHL 10?"

David Littman: "Well, we have added the "tough guy" player type. His job is to protect the skilled players and get his team and the home crowd going. Big hits and fighting at the right time are some of the tough guy responsibilities. We also have tuned the differences between 1st line players and 4th line players. Big, tough 4th liners can lose the puck on dekes, but will be more effective in the corners."

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# 1 Qb @ 05/14/09 03:25 PM
Bah, stupid work firewall. Copy & paste anyone?
 
# 2 Money99 @ 05/14/09 03:38 PM
Ask and you shall receive:

Quote:
I'd like to take credit for the new boardplay mechanics in NHL 10, but I know better than that. Late last year, while speaking with NHL series producer David Littman, I was asked what I thought was missing from the game. The first answer that sprung to mind was the in-the-corner fights for the puck that seem to happen all the time in hockey games. When I mentioned it, Littman got a big grin on his face, like he knew something I didn't. Here we are, several months later, and it seems like physical play--both along the boards and elsewhere--is one of the big hallmarks for NHL 10 this year. We recently had the chance to hear more from Littman about the game's physical focus this year, as you'll read below.

GameSpot: Tell us about the new boards physics engine in the game. How will it affect gameplay and did it require a major overhaul of the current engine?

David Littman: Hockey is one of the only sports with no out of bounds. Players have nowhere to hide. Boardplay is a big part of hockey, both on offense and defense. When the puck is near the boards, players use their bodies as much as possible to keep control of the puck, or contain an opposing player with the puck. Our new boardplay engine allows for realistic and authentic boardplay. We had a software engineer and animator working on this new engine for more than half a year, and their hard work really shows. There are many different things you can do when using boardplay

GS: We'll finally be able to fight for pucks along the boards in NHL 10. How will that work in terms of gameplay? How much control will the player have over what's happening as guys fight for possession?

DL: There are two ways to use boardplay in NHL 10.

Offensively, you want to use boardplay to control the puck. By holding the boardplay button on the controller, your player will put the puck into his skates and go into the boardplay protect puck position. You can then move left and right while in this position. You can also pass out of it. Your player will kick the puck in the direction you want the puck to go. The benefit to using boardplay is that you will be way harder to knock off of the puck. A defensive player that comes in to hit you will bounce off and you can maintain puck possession.

Defensively, boardplay is used to contain opposing puck carriers. As the defender, hold down the boardplay button when you are closing in on a puck carrier near the boards. Your player will try to pin the opponent to the boards. You can move left and right during the pin to force the puck in the direction you want it to go. Pinning a puck carrier is a great way to contain and get the puck back instead of risking a hitting from behind penalty.

Of course, player attributes come into play. Bigger, stronger players, and players with great puck control, will be successful using boardplay. Most importantly, the AI will react to boardplay and come help support the puck. I had a goal the other day where I went into boardplay in the offensive zone. My center came down low to support me and give me an outlet pass. I kicked the puck to his stick, and was able to get to the net with the center and score.

GS: Board battles tend to slow the pace of the game down in real hockey--how are you balancing that in in order to keep things moving in the game?

DL: It's actually a great thing that board battles can slow the game down a bit. Real hockey has an ebb and flow to it that I don't think we have captured in our past video games. Video game hockey tends to be more on the fast action side of the game, while in reality there are up tempo moments and down tempo moments. Boardplay gives you a chance to slow the game down a bit and maintain puck control or contain skilled players so they can't set up a play. The key to boardplay is that it is fun to use and the AI reacting intelligently when it happens.

GS: Much was made of the distinction between player types in NHL 09. How have those differences been improved in NHL 10?

DL: Well, we have added the "tough guy" player type. His job is to protect the skilled players and get his team and the home crowd going. Big hits and fighting at the right time are some of the tough guy responsibilities. We also have tuned the differences between 1st line players and 4th line players. Big, tough 4th liners can lose the puck on dekes, but will be more effective in the corners.

GS: It seems that every year, fans ask for better fighting in hockey games. What are you doing this year that's different?

DL: We have developed a first person fighting system that puts you in the skates of an NHL tough guy. The first person perspective makes you feel like you are in the fight as opposed to just watching it. You have full control over your fist and full control over your head movement side to side. So basically you are trying to make the opponent miss his punches while landing your own. The right stick controls the direction of your punch. The left stick controls your side to side head movement. You can also pull down the left stick to tug an opponent forward and at the same time hit him with a hook or uppercut. You can also pull back the right stick to power up a punch. If you are a big tough fighter, you can just throw bombs. If you are a lightweight, you will want to get your head out of the way and be more strategic. Also, if you are a skill player or it's not to your team's advantage to fight than you can always choose to turtle. Another element we have that is authentic to the real life is if you challenge one of the stars to a fight, than one of his teammates will step in to take the fight for him. The CPU will send a tough guy over to protect the star.

GS: How will the first person fighting work? Will it be similar to the first person view in the PS3 version of Fight Night 3, in that your vision will cloud up if you get caught with a good punch?

DL: You have full control of the direction of the punch on the Right Stick as I mentioned above. For example, if the player dodges to his right, you would then have to punch towards 10 O'clock to make contact with his head. If he dodges to his left, you have to punch towards 2 O'clock for the most impactful punch. The aiming of your punches is the key to a quick knockout to ignite your fans and spark your team. If you're aim is slightly off, you'll get a glancing blow. And yes, big punches will have a big impact. Check out the screen shot for a look at the first-person view.

GS: How much (or little) input did the NHL have over the new fighting system? Did the League have any reservations about the team revamping the fighting system?

DL: We work very closely with the NHL to make sure that what we are doing is authentic to the real life NHL. We also want to balance any toughness or fighting features with the grace, skill, and beauty that the NHL is also known for.

GS: What tangible effects will fighting have for your team?

DL: Fighting will get your team's energy level up. If your team is tired, worn down, or intimidated from the opposing team, a fight can turn the tide. The fatigue levels of your lines will go back to full strength and possibly even last a bit longer at full, before settling back to normal. It will also get your home crowd pumped up.

GS: We understand that physical intimidation plays a larger role than ever in NHL 10. Can you give us some examples?

DL: A big tough team that finishes checks and fights at the right times can intimidate an opposing team. Staying authentic to real life hockey, we did not want to add momentum meters or anything like that. What will happen is you will sometimes see changes in player behavior.

Passes may be bobbled
Defensemen will fire the puck up the boards instead of a direct pass
Players will wear down and fatigue more (once they are fatigued and worn down there is a greater chance of injury)

You can turn this around by starting a fight or hitting back. One key to this feature is that you don't need to play this way. If you have a skilled team you can just try and score goals while the opposing team is running around trying to hit and fight you. It is simply one way to play.

GS: Once the ref blows the whistle, how much time will you have to get an extra shot or two in? Can you be penalized if you go too far after the whistle?

DL: Post whistle play is a big part of playoff hockey. In NHL 10 you can start scrums after the whistle and face wash guys to get their attention. If you shoot the puck at the opposing goalie after the whistle you better get ready to fight. The AI players will protect their goalie. You can get penalties after the whistle, so you may want to go after the other team's scorer with your tough guy because if you both get penalties, you have done your job. You can also bait the other team into taking stupid penalties after the whistle.

GS: How has passing changed this time around?

DL: We have created a new precision passing system that gives you full control over the speed and direction of the pass. Gone are the automatic tape to tape passes where you just passed in the direction of a teammate and it ended up on his stick. Now passing is a skill that enables players to bank passes off the boards or play the puck into space for teammates to skate on to it. It really opens up the game, enables you to be more creative and give you a lot more options offensively. Plus, we have also added new animations so players will take poor passes off their skates and kick the puck to their sticks.



GS: Finally, what can you tell us about the rest of the game? Any hints as to what we can expect online?

DL: The EA Sports Hockey League was an incredible success in NHL 09. Over 400,000 people played on a team and there were over 100,000 teams. We are making improvements to the EASHL and adding some cool new features to it that will make it even more engaging.

Also, there are many features and modes that NHL fans have been asking for that we will be revealing in the coming months. NHL 10 will have almost all of the features fans have been requesting. It is our goal to be the "Orange Box" of sports games. Stay tuned!
 
# 3 Qb @ 05/14/09 04:08 PM
Thanks, Hank.
 
# 4 Money99 @ 05/14/09 04:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qb
Thanks, Hank.
Anytime!
 
# 5 davep @ 05/14/09 04:23 PM
Sounds good...love the direction this game has been heading the last 2 years.
 
# 6 mercalnd @ 05/14/09 08:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by boucher
If you shoot the puck at the goalie after the whistle its a penalty
No it's not.
 
# 7 Clarke_311 @ 05/14/09 08:54 PM
Wow, these are great additions!! This game's gonna be so great, I can't wait for it to come out.
 
# 8 onlybygrace @ 05/14/09 09:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealmK
After reading the whole interview all I can say is Thank you Redshirt, Mr Littman and the rest of the dev team. It sounds like you guys are pretty much addressing every single issue I've had with the past couple iterations and not just doing bandaid fixes. Actually putting systems in place that enhance the game, make it more realistic and therefore more enjoyable for us sim guys. Thank you so much!
Thank god I am married with kids or I wouldnt ever have any reason to ever do anything else once I get this game.

 
# 9 bibibanax @ 05/14/09 10:08 PM
I just hope that it will not became a "hit and intimidate fest" and Brashear would become a more valuable player than Ovechkin.
 
# 10 mercalnd @ 05/14/09 10:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogle
in real life, yes it is, of course your a canadiens fan so you wouldn't know about sportsmanship, or class, but if you shoot the puck after the whistle, at the goalie or not, it's a penalty
1)What does thinking that something is a penalty or not have to do with class and sportsmanship per se. I said it wasn't a penalty, not that it was classy or okay. Perhaps I was wrong about the rules but the fact is I have seen guys shoot after the whistle plenty of times and not once has it resulted in a penalty. It usually results in a scrum around the guy who shot it. Of course, I fully expect that if a guy shoots several seconds after the whistle the rule may be different.

2)As for your claim that I know nothing about class because I'm a Habs fan, if you look at my post history in the Pro Hockey forum, you should be able to find a few rants by me about the lack of class displayed by Habs fans at and around the Bell Centre so please don't assume anything about my own level of class without knowing anything about me. Thanks.

Edit: I did a little digging and found some of those posts I was talking about. I suggest you read these before trying to lump me in with the admittedly all too real portion of Habs fans who lack class (there are other similar posts of mine in the ensuing discussion in both threads):

http://www.operationsports.com/forums/pro-hockey/309186-2009-stanley-cup-playoffs-15.html#post2039462825


http://www.operationsports.com/forums/pro-hockey/274008-2008-09-nhl-regular-season-12.html#post2039006200
 
# 11 onlybygrace @ 05/15/09 12:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercalnd
1)What does thinking that something is a penalty or not have to do with class and sportsmanship per se. I said it wasn't a penalty, not that it was classy or okay. Perhaps I was wrong about the rules but the fact is I have seen guys shoot after the whistle plenty of times and not once has it resulted in a penalty. It usually results in a scrum around the guy who shot it. Of course, I fully expect that if a guy shoots several seconds after the whistle the rule may be different.

2)As for your claim that I know nothing about class because I'm a Habs fan, if you look at my post history in the Pro Hockey forum, you should be able to find a few rants by me about the lack of class displayed by Habs fans at and around the Bell Centre so please don't assume anything about my own level of class without knowing anything about me. Thanks.

Edit: I did a little digging and found some of those posts I was talking about. I suggest you read these before trying to lump me in with the admittedly all too real portion of Habs fans who lack class (there are other similar posts of mine in the ensuing discussion in both threads):

http://www.operationsports.com/forums/pro-hockey/309186-2009-stanley-cup-playoffs-15.html#post2039462825


http://www.operationsports.com/forums/pro-hockey/274008-2008-09-nhl-regular-season-12.html#post2039006200
Don't get too riled up, he was just being a douchebag.
 
# 12 scalise89 @ 05/15/09 12:10 AM
EASPORTS...DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE DISLODGED GOALIE NETS ADDED AND PEOPLE FLYING INTO THE NETS LIKE IN THE NHL PLAYOFFS?
 
# 13 boritter @ 05/15/09 12:20 AM
I am pumped after reading this preview. The NHL team sounds like it has spent a lot of time on rock solid gameplay upgrades. Sometimes EA games (read: NCAA) use gimmicks to create a buzz instead of improving the game.

Count me in on launch day.
 
# 14 slickdtc @ 05/15/09 12:46 AM
The after the whistle stuff is something I've long waited for to arrive in hockey games. It's going to add so much more to the game.
 
# 15 scraw28 @ 05/15/09 01:14 AM
that is one step until we get those occasional all out 5 on 5 brawls where there is gloves, sticks and helmets all over the place, players grabbing each other, swinging, 2 on 1, 3 on 2 and the rare goalies mixing it up with others and the goalie counterpart.



only we wish
 
# 16 Dalsanto0026 @ 05/15/09 01:28 AM
The improvements sound great, although I'm a bit concerned about all the focus on fighting. This upgrade is low on my list as I always turn fighting off. If it's implemented as David Littman has mentioned then it should add to the authenticity.
 
# 17 scraw28 @ 05/15/09 01:43 AM
what's next to add? playoff beards.
 
# 18 lat3ralus65 @ 05/15/09 03:37 AM
Board play and better passing... SICK!!!!!! Can't wait for this, definitely a pre-order or first-day purchase.
 
# 19 wildthing2022000 @ 05/15/09 05:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by scalise89
EASPORTS...DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE DISLODGED GOALIE NETS ADDED AND PEOPLE FLYING INTO THE NETS LIKE IN THE NHL PLAYOFFS?
You can dislodge the nets. I've done it numerous times in '09, it's hard to do but you can do it.
 

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