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Eurogamer has posted an interview with Brian Hayes, Gameplay Producer for Fight Night Champion

Quote:
"Eurogamer: The Champion part of the title: that refers to the new game mode? An RPG-like mode?

Brian Hayes: Like I said, the only thing I'm at liberty to say right now is that there is something new. And as we've probably already said, it is something quite innovative, certainly for an EA Sports title or sports title in general. This approach to a single-player experience hasn't really been tackled. As far as any details, in terms of the design or the mechanics or what it's like, we're staying mum for now. That's the ways the pros do it. Duke [Indrasigamany - senior publicist] just came in and looked at me as if to say I've already said too much.

Eurogamer: Back to the new mode you can't tell me anything about: just how ground breaking will this be for Fight Night as a series? Is it a feature you can't believe you didn't add before? Is it the iPhone of fighting mechanics or the Gizmondo?

Brian Hayes: How groundbreaking is it in relation to Fight Night? It's certainly the most innovative, groundbreaking thing that any Fight Night game or any Knock Out game has done. Even more so, in terms of EA Sports, this approach to a single-player experience is just something that no other EA Sports game has done."

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Platform: PS3 / Xbox 360Votes for game: 17 - View All
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# 1 SHAKYR @ 09/06/10 05:05 PM
I was just about to post this. I'm going to add the whole post.

Fight Night remains one of this generation's best fighting series. The scores are high and the visuals a benchmark of what these consoles can produce. But this time EA wants to go higher - 90 per cent or higher. In order to achieve that, Peter Moore's men have dreamt up an entirely new and "groundbreaking" mode for Fight Night Champion. Something big must be afoot to warrant a name change from Fight Night Round 5. Eurogamer cornered gameplay producer Brian Hayes to find out more.

Eurogamer: Fight Night Champion isn't called Fight Night Round 5. Why is that?

Brian Hayes: There's myriad reasons: some will become more evident as time moves on. One of the obvious ones is that when they picked up the motif of naming it Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, championship prize fights don't normally go up to around 12, so we knew we were going to have to change it sooner or later if the games kept being successful. It was one of those things we knew had to happen sometime. We'd even thought about doing it for Round 4... It can start to drone on if it's the same name. Like Friday the 13th Part VII, you know, whoop-de-doo-daa. But Freddy versus Jason sounds really cool, right?

Eurogamer: There's no more significance to the name than that?

Brian Hayes: As I said, in months to come, there'll be some more revelations. It's also somewhat related to the new game mode.

Eurogamer: The Champion part of the title: that refers to the new game mode? An RPG-like mode?

Brian Hayes: Like I said, the only thing I'm at liberty to say right now is that there is something new. And as we've probably already said, it is something quite innovative, certainly for an EA Sports title or sports title in general. This approach to a single-player experience hasn't really been tackled. As far as any details, in terms of the design or the mechanics or what it's like, we're staying mum for now. That's the ways the pros do it. Duke [Indrasigamany - senior publicist] just came in and looked at me as if to say I've already said too much.

Eurogamer: It's intriguing! I want to know what it is!

Brian Hayes: [laughs]


Eurogamer: You've mentioned that Fight Night Champion will "break the mould" - does that specifically refer to this game mode or are there other areas you're breaking the mould of?

Brian Hayes: It's certainly one of the ways, but we're not a team that's happy to put all our eggs in one basket. The franchise itself has always been recognised for really pushing the bar graphically, and that's not something we're trying to rest on our laurels on. The game looked fantastic for Round 3, and then nobody thought it could look better for Round 4 but then it did. Probably people think it won't look any better than Round 4 this year, but it's going to. We're always trying to innovate and do things that are ground breaking and blow people's minds. It's one thing the franchise is noted for and we take that seriously.

The new game mode, yeah, that's part of the reason why it's going to be mould breaking and ground breaking, but we're definitely trying to push the bar in other areas as well.

Eurogamer: Are the graphics so good now that you could trick a slightly thick boxer into thinking the game was real?

Brian Hayes: Sorry, did you say slightly sick?

Eurogamer: Slightly thick.

Brian Hayes: You know, I guess it's possible. We've seen it in the past where people sometimes do double-takes when they're walking by the television and be like, "What is that? What fight is this?" Certainly, if we were going to get medical about it, if somebody with the beginning stages of pugilistic dementia might be more prone to falling victim to thinking it's actually a real fight.

Eurogamer: Someone like Ricky Hatton? He can't be very clever.

Brian Hayes: Oh come on, you can't have turned around on him that quickly. He only lost a fight!

Eurogamer: It was a big fight.

Brian Hayes: He would not be able to tell whether or not it was a real fight because he'd be looking at it through a pint glass [laughs].


Eurogamer: This new mode you can't talk about, is it multiplayer or single-player?

Brian Hayes: Boxing is a really tricky sport to add any co-operative or team-based multiplayer to. It is a single-player mode. It's not an online head-to-head. That being said, which is a great segue into other game modes I'm going to do whatever I can to get you off the topic of the new game mode [laughs]. Even though we're taking a big step forward with this new game mode, the online gameplay last year was something that even the development team found tremendously addictive. Between me and another producer we probably racked up 1000 to 1500 fights between us.

Eurogamer: Were you guys the best?

Brian Hayes: Heh! Certainly not. That's unfortunate. We know that probably for the first two weeks or so we're going to be hanging around the top of the heap, but it does not take very long... At the end of the day we still have jobs, and there are people out there that are literally spending eight to 10 hours a day perfecting every nuance of the game and finding out all the tricks. We can hang with almost anybody.

Eurogamer: One thing that impressed me about Fight Night Round 4 was the way the career mode integrated with the online mode. What's Fight Night Champion doing in that area?

Brian Hayes: The online gameplay is an area we know people are still playing. Every time I go to the game, somebody sends me an invite to play: they know who I am and they want to beat me up because I'm the producer or whatever. As with a lot of games, that's the type of mode that keeps people playing the game, keeps the game in their consoles. We definitely want to do as many things as we can to make the online community in the game stronger and more vibrant, and communicate more information to the users about who's online, how to find good matches and all that sort of stuff. As far as details go, we're a little bit tight-lipped right now in terms of what features we're adding and improving and all that sort of stuff. The things that our community felt were missing are the things we're working on, to make it more fun to go online and find someone of a similar skill or playing style. We're making significant efforts [online].

Eurogamer: Similar, then, but tweaked?

Brian Hayes: There are elements of streamlining to make it easier to get there, but then there's also depth by adding more things. A more robust experience in the online experience is certainly something we want to provide.


Eurogamer: EA has been keeping people's games in their consoles via the Project Ten Dollar initiative. How does Fight Night Champion fit with this?

Brian Hayes: To be honest, I have no idea what we're doing with that. I know we're doing something, but that's the other producer's ball.

Eurogamer: Back to the new mode you can't tell me anything about: just how ground breaking will this be for Fight Night as a series? Is it a feature you can't believe you didn't add before? Is it the iPhone of fighting mechanics or the Gizmondo?

Brian Hayes: How groundbreaking is it in relation to Fight Night? It's certainly the most innovative, groundbreaking thing that any Fight Night game or any Knock Out game has done. Even more so, in terms of EA Sports, this approach to a single-player experience is just something that no other EA Sports game has done.

Eurogamer: Will it spread to other EA Sports games?

Brian Hayes: It's possible. Obviously all that will depend on the success, which we hope is going to be very high! [laughs]

It's something that could work in a lot of other sports areas. It works particularly well for us because of the nature of boxing, but it's definitely something you could see other games doing down the road. If that happened that would be a pretty cool thing.

Eurogamer: I can't think what it is. Is it a managerial thing?

Brian Hayes: This is perfect! You're good. I have you going nuts.

Eurogamer: It's not going to turn out to be a dog, is it? That's what Peter Molyneux teased for ages with Fable II.

Brian Hayes: I can verify this: it's not a dog. [laughs]

All I can say to that effect is everybody here is really excited about what we're doing. Everybody here is on the same page in terms of like, "Wow, we've never really done anything like this before." At the same time, as much as they're excited about it, there's a wee bit of nerves. Everybody's working really hard to make sure we're knocking it out of the park.

I'm sure there's going to be some cynics out there that when the game drops someone will say, "This is not a big deal." But I can tell you that everyone here, everyone we've shown the contents to, thinks it's a pretty big deal and is genuinely excited and jazzed to see it.

Eurogamer: The press release mentioned that Fight Night Champion will have the most realistic and the most accessible control system ever. How can you have both at once?

Brian Hayes: The realism of the control system is a bit tricky. Obviously we're not putting you into an infra-red capture suit and you're controlling it that way, because that would cost hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars. More it's about what the control system allows you to do in the game, in terms of creating realistic boxing actions inside the ring. The control system is very user friendly and the benefit is that you can do things in better and more realistic ways.

Eurogamer: How different will it be to Fight Night Round 4?

Brian Hayes: We don't want to give too many details about everything just yet. The one thing I would say to you as someone who has experience of Round 3 and Round 4 is that one thing we wanted to do was make sure we don't throw a big monkey wrench into the gears of your Fight Night gameplay experience. For someone like you and for someone like me it's really an element of... you're probably not really going to notice a significant difference because you're already pretty talented at it. [I'm not -Ed.] But it's about making that same control scheme a little bit more entry-level friendly. Where you will find a difference is the fidelity of control you have over the boxer will be greater.

Eurogamer: Is the career mode of Fight Night Champion tied to this new secret mode?

Brian Hayes: I can talk a little bit about the career mode, just to say that FNR4 had the Legacy mode and Legacy mode is back. There's a significant list of additional features and improvements.
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It's alot of things in this interview that makes me nervous. They are keeping the gameplay intact and the Legacy mode with some tweaks.

I'm just reserving my anticipation,because I don't want to get my hope to high.
 
# 2 Money99 @ 09/07/10 07:20 AM
I'm very intrigued by this new mode. Brizzo leads us to believe that it's not related to Legacy Mode.
He says that it's perfect for the sport of boxing and may be used in other sports games.
Could it be a managerial mode of some kind? I hope so.
 
# 3 SHAKYR @ 09/07/10 07:25 AM
EA is good for hyping stuff up that might not be that impressive. It could be create a gym or glow in the dark gear...lol! I will not get excited just yet.
 
# 4 DaveDQ @ 09/07/10 07:37 AM
I think we're all interested in this new mode, but if he says they can't talk about it, why keep asking him? It gets to the point to where the interviewer is almost disrespectful with it. The interview is wasted on him trying to get an answer to something Hayes said he can't answer yet. Very frustrating to say the least.

There are so many questions that could have been asked in relation to the sport of boxing and Eurogamer completely drops the ball. Stamina, footwork, cuts, style of punching, corner work, fighting against the ropes, physics. My goodness ask some real questions?

Instead all I kept reading was "please...please...please tell me..."
 
# 5 albsur2003 @ 09/07/10 11:27 AM
My guess is that it's some type of mode that will be called Champion mode or "The Life" judging from this portion of the interview:

"Like I said, the only thing I'm at liberty to say right now is that there is something new. And as we've probably already said, it is something quite innovative, certainly for an EA Sports title or sports title in general. This approach to a single-player experience hasn't really been tackled."

And he also said that Legacy mode would still be in the game so this mode has to be something different. Of course this is all speculation but it's fun to guess haha. EA Sports has taken a stab at a single "My" player mode in Madden and NCAA, but those modes are basically trash to be honest and don't really add anything to the game. I think that what they're referring to is a fully fleshed out, "living breathing world" that you live in. Something like this has KINDA been attempted in NBA 06: The Life and NFL 2k5, but nothing that serious. I bet that EA Sports will develop a full out "open world" that your boxer can live in with certain customizable aspects like a house, a car, certain places you can visit, minigames of some sort, women and kids or something, and everything in this world would be completely dependent on your progress as a boxer. You would have a time/date system in this world. So if you need to setup a fight, you have to call ur agent or go to his office to sign a contract. If you need to train, you need drive to the gym and play training minigames every day or you won't be as ready for your fight. You can go to a club and talk to some NPCs about recent fights going on in your "world". You wanna go buy a car to actually drive around in, you gotta go to the dealership. You wanna date some girl and go out to eat, you gotta meet an NPC and take her out to a restaurant. Your popularity goes up? You get discounts buying things and certain things/actions/minigames are unlocked. And the quality of your life is all dependent upon how you do in the ring. Lose all the time, and you'll have no money and live in a ****ty apartment and be called a loser. Become a champion, and get the fast car, big house, and money. The world that you live would also be eligible for updates and new stuff if you're online and maybe you can build a house online that can be uploaded to your world. IMO, it's going to be a little bit of the Sims (which is also EA) meets a sports game. If that is the idea, it would definitely make sense that EA sports picked this game to test it out on before adding to any of their big sellers. I'd expect this to be another disc like Mass Effect 2 has two discs. This idea could be done really well and a completely AWESOME mode that changes the sports gaming landscape or it could be half-assed and be a complete bomb.

Or maybe this isn't the idea at all hahaha.
 
# 6 Money99 @ 09/07/10 12:22 PM
That sounds awesome if that would be the case.
 
# 7 StillThe Master @ 09/08/10 12:13 PM
Kinect.... Move..?

Perfect for a boxing game!

Still.
 
# 8 BezO @ 09/08/10 03:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDQ
I think we're all interested in this new mode, but if he says they can't talk about it, why keep asking him? It gets to the point to where the interviewer is almost disrespectful with it. The interview is wasted on him trying to get an answer to something Hayes said he can't answer yet. Very frustrating to say the least.

There are so many questions that could have been asked in relation to the sport of boxing and Eurogamer completely drops the ball. Stamina, footwork, cuts, style of punching, corner work, fighting against the ropes, physics. My goodness ask some real questions?

Instead all I kept reading was "please...please...please tell me..."
Exactly! W T F?
 

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