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Madden 12 News Post


Grantland's Tom Bissell, has posted an article discussing Madden NFL and the future of video game sports. Quite a few interesting topics of discussion inside.

Quote:
On this point, Weber was surprisingly forthcoming: "We read the forums, we read the consumer feedback, we read reviews. I think in general there's a feeling that EA's football titles are starting to feel a little bit stagnant in terms of how you play them. And while the games have progressed on a graphics and rendering and A.I. side, how you experience them, and how you play them, hasn't changed that much, especially in this generation of consoles.

Clearly, the way sports games are played, and the way Madden in particular is played, is ripe for some massive paradigm shift. Why doesn't the quarterback position feel as visceral and pinpointy as firing a rifle in a first-person shooter? Could you make the experience of being an offensive lineman as interesting as anything on the ball? Why, for that matter, is running the ball such an isometric experience? When I put these and other questions to the Madden team in Florida, many of them smiled.

You'd have to read the lengthy article to put those quotes into their proper context, make sure you check it out, right here.

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Member Comments
# 1 alexgamez122 @ 01/19/12 02:26 PM
This is a great article, well done. Gives you a great insight to all the things that the dev team does, all the issues and the overall complexity of the game.
 
# 2 ABR173rd @ 01/19/12 02:39 PM
Good article,be interesting to see how the topics discussed translates into M13.
 
# 3 Gotmadskillzson @ 01/19/12 02:50 PM
To be honest, this article gets re-written every year. Just be a different writer, different media outlet. I remember one year ESPN wrote the article and another year IGN wrote it.
 
# 4 Gotmadskillzson @ 01/19/12 03:26 PM
Key points to the article for those who don't have time to read the whole thing.

1. Roy Harvey is the executive producer of Madden

2. Anthony White says there is nothing they can't do or put in the game. HOWEVER memory is the bottleneck and what is holding stuff back, since everything takes up memory. Basically it is a console problem this generation. He is the person who is in charge of the playbooks in Madden and NCAA, and responsible for AI movement on the field. So therefore I wish I had his email address, for I can email him the dozens of problems with the AI movement when they execute plays.

3. Mike Young is one of the creative directors of Madden now.

4. Donnie Moore is the ratings czar, of course. So yeah we can all blame him for the exaggerated ratings of Madden players. 330 pound offensive linemen with 80 speed ? Really Donnie ? Really ?

5. Anthony Stevenson is the director of marketing for Madden.

6. EA Sports was more scared of NFL Game Day series then the NFL 2K series.
 
# 5 jyoung @ 01/19/12 03:39 PM
This is pretty cool:

Quote:
Someone, they said, might draw up a new play on the dry-erase board. Coach would, in turn, consider that play, explain why the tight ends would be better off doing something else, get up, uncap a marker, and amend the proposed play. That's one of the littler ways in which Coach improves Madden.
 
# 6 jyoung @ 01/19/12 03:47 PM
Another highlight:

Quote:
The modern football video game pushes current-generation technology to its limit. Why are football games so "expensive," in the sense that programmers use that word? Well, first, a football game has to render all the players, all of whom have idiosyncrasies of movement and appearance that must be accurate, and, in the case of marquee players, downright meticulous. Second, the game has to render all the coaching staff and the refs. There's also the crowd to render, not to mention the crowd noise, which is keyed to surprisingly complicated crowd A.I. Let's not forget the grass on the field. Or the light. Or the broadcasting. The game's also scripting, on every play, the individual behavior of every player on the field, most of whom will be doing different things on any given play. In a basketball, hockey, or soccer game, the range of behaviors is more limited. In basketball everyone's doing roughly the same thing from an A.I. perspective. Hockey gets a little more complicated, and soccer a little more complicated yet, but football gives you 22 individual actors obeying a wide range of A.I. scripts. Not to mention the fact that every NFL team has an elaborate playbook with distinct tendencies and play styles. Meanwhile, during the plays themselves, there's tons of contact between those 22 individual actors, all of which they have to respond to. And this has to look good seamless, even. When you start pondering the immense complications of a game like Madden the product of more than 10 million lines of code you begin to wonder how the game even runs without shooting fire out of your console.
 
# 7 Gotmadskillzson @ 01/19/12 03:49 PM
Yeah I hope next gen consoles have at least 3GB of RAM. That way developers won't be bottle necked with memory allocation.
 
# 8 Big FN Deal @ 01/19/12 04:33 PM
Thanks for posting this Rgiles, I enjoyed the read.

Now, "carrots and sticks".

Carrots- I really like what appears to be Mike Young's POV for Madden, not only in the write up but considering he is given credit for DPP. Also, the focus placed on emphasizing the acknowledgement that Madden, even M12, have been stale and stagnant so there will eventually be a paradigm shift, was good to see.

Sticks- As I was reading about the dev team all being down in John Madden's massive football "gameroom", watching real NFL film, there was not one mention of Madden 12 playing on any of the multiple screens for comparison. It is a great opportunity to be able to view and talk NFL football with a living NFL football legend BUT the optimal benefit of that experience comes from actually utilizing that chance to compare, critique and potentially improve the game. When Kobe Bryant and Lebron James wanted to improve their post game, they didn't just go talk to Hakeem Oolajuwon to sit and watch film about the "Dream Shake", so later on they could go home to work on their game. Instead, they utilized that time with Olajuwon to actually show him what they did so he could compare, critique and potentially improve their post game, right there.

Anyway, I still believe Madden 13 will break the traditional "madden" mold and I will withhold too much criticism or praise until the game drops.
 
# 9 oneamongthefence @ 01/19/12 04:43 PM
Good read.
 
# 10 RGiles36 @ 01/19/12 04:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big FN Deal
Anyway, I still believe Madden 13 will break the traditional "madden" mold and I will withhold too much criticism or praise until the game drops.
I'm curious to see what they come up with. Like you mentioned, it's encouraging to see that they realize they've gotta come up with something new. Perhaps a new passing mechanic? Spitballing obviously...

In any event, I don't know if what they're hinting at will bear fruit for M13 -- but I am anxious to see how doubling the gameplay team impacts the upcoming game.
 
# 11 roadman @ 01/19/12 05:36 PM
It was an interesting read, albeit a long one.

Time will tell.

Interesting that the author took a big paragraph to explain 22 players on the field makes it a difficult game to code.

I've heard the same from others on here.
 
# 12 michigan21 @ 01/19/12 06:11 PM
"I think in general there's a feeling that EA's football titles are starting to feel a little bit stagnant in terms of how you play them." Wow that has to be the understatement of the year.
 
# 13 Tolstoy @ 01/19/12 06:19 PM
Great article, really encouraged by Mike Young's thoughts on storytelling and narrative.
 
# 14 roadman @ 01/19/12 06:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan21
"I think in general there's a feeling that EA's football titles are starting to feel a little bit stagnant in terms of how you play them." Wow that has to be the understatement of the year.
At least they aren't hiding behind the statement.
 
# 15 jyoung @ 01/19/12 06:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadman
Interesting that the author took a big paragraph to explain 22 players on the field makes it a difficult game to code.

I've heard the same from others on here.
It's not just the number of players on the field, but the fact that each player is following a different AI script (running a route, covering a zone, etc.).

Plus for the game to be realistic, each player can't just follow his pre-play script entirely.

There has to be a mix of prescripted movement and "on the fly" AI adjustments based on what the other players on the field are doing.
 
# 16 roadman @ 01/19/12 06:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wEEman33
It's not just the number of players on the field, but the fact that each player is following a different AI script (running a route, covering a zone, etc.).

Plus for the game to be realistic, each player can't just follow his pre-play script entirely.

There has to be a mix of prescripted movement and "on the fly" AI adjustments based on what the other players on the field are doing.
True, great point, I didn't go the extra yard in explaining that.

Thanks.
 
# 17 Big FN Deal @ 01/19/12 07:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgiles36
I'm curious to see what they come up with. Like you mentioned, it's encouraging to see that they realize they've gotta come up with something new. Perhaps a new passing mechanic? Spitballing obviously...

In any event, I don't know if what they're hinting at will bear fruit for M13 -- but I am anxious to see how doubling the gameplay team impacts the upcoming game.
It's always fun to speculate and I kept picturing a new position specific field level gameplay view option when reading that part. Just seems like a rather simple addition that instantly adds more immersion and realism. imo.

The story telling aspect Young alluded to, brought a uncontrollable smile to my face. lol. I constantly read on OS how so many franchise gamers have to use their imagination to invent there own franchise storylines to create the "game inside the game" that exist in the real NFL. It's great to read the Creative Director acknowledge that and realize the need for Madden to represent this aspect going forward.

I never have played a franchise mode of any sports game, by myself, against the CPU. However, that would definitely change if Madden can actually represent the internal conflicts and challenges of the NFL, like, "....the long shot who makes the team, is the hero, and has a fall. From there we can almost sequel it and have episodes: his comeback, his being tossed aside for the new rookie. We could go through that whole world...".

I can just imagine each player in Madden having a random "choose you own adventure" type storyline that plays out uniquely over each 30 season franchise. Teams refusing to make marquee trades to division opponents, past players motivated to play against former teams, veterans demanding trades if teams signs a potential replacement, etc. I love the way Mike Young's mind seems to work in relation to NFL football games.
 
# 18 Danknugmelo @ 01/19/12 08:53 PM
They need to omve away from Madden and get in people who are more familiar with how football is played NOW. Madden hasnt coached since, what, the late 70s? And he hasnt announced in 4-5 season.

Game has changed and left him in the past.
 
# 19 roadman @ 01/19/12 09:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danknugmelo
They need to omve away from Madden and get in people who are more familiar with how football is played NOW. Madden hasnt coached since, what, the late 70s? And he hasnt announced in 4-5 season.

Game has changed and left him in the past.
I doubt it, really.

That mancave he has isn't set up to play twiddly winks. Last year, he told the Madden team there seems to be more middle and bubble screens in the NFL.

So, I don't think the game is passing him by.
 
# 20 huskerwr38 @ 01/19/12 10:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danknugmelo
They need to omve away from Madden and get in people who are more familiar with how football is played NOW. Madden hasnt coached since, what, the late 70s? And he hasnt announced in 4-5 season.

Game has changed and left him in the past.
That is probably one of the more ignorant statements I've seen on this board. People's stupidity never cease to amaze me.

Anyways, the x's and o's of Madden isn't what really bother me. In terms of gameplay, it's the way the players move and interact with each other that really bother me. Most games these days use some sort of motion capture animation system, but Madden's animation system is the worse I have played (out of the major games). They really really need to re-vamp their animation system.
 

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