"I'm sitting down inside EA's Tiburon studio getting my first look at "NCAA Football 11." Only thing is, what I'm watching isn't a game, it's a 100 yard race. That's right, a race.
On one side, you have a guy who burns the field with 99 speed and 90 acceleration. On the other side, you have a guy with 99 acceleration, but only 90 speed.
If this was any previous football game, you'd take the guy with 99 speed to smoke the guy with 99 acceleration, even out of the gates where the 99 acceleration guy should've been at his best, but never was.
This all changes with "NCAA Football 11." For the first time, that acceleration rating isn't just something to note, it's something to live by as EA Sports' new locomotion system favors the guys with quick bursts, not just long-range speed.
"In past years, speed has been the big thing everyone has always focused on, but it doesn't really let you model players who can make big plays over shorter distances," explains "NCAA Football 11's" lead gameplay designer, Ryan Burnsides. "Those quick linebackers or the pass rushing defensive ends, in some cases, over 10-15 yards, those guys are just as fast as receivers, but then they taper off the farther they run. We can finally model that now.
"We made some pretty dramatic changes this year," he continues. "Last year's game was really twitchy and people ran upright the whole time, so on long running plays, everything just looked real robotic. It just didn't look like a person running naturally."
To fix this, the designers at EA Sports focused on things like momentum and acceleration, variation in strides, and leaning. "Now you can lean forward into turns and lean forward when accelerating," adds Burnsides."