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Madden NFL 13 News Post


GameInformer recently sat down with Richard Hilleman, Electronic Arts Chief Creative Officer, as they discuss Madden NFL 13's focus on making defense fun again.

What are you hoping to see on the defensive side of the ball?

Quote:
Electronic Arts chief creative officer Richard Hilleman says the new leadership group at EA Tiburon is focused on making defense fun again.

Hilleman is no stranger to the Madden franchise, having designed the original game alongside Scott Orr and John Madden back in 1988. When I sat down with him at DICE, one of the big questions on my mind was what fans should expect from Madden NFL 13 given the large turnover at the top of the development team. Hilleman seems optimistic.

"They are doing big things this year," he said. "They're making big changes. Those are big changes that are going to break a lot of stuff, and they know that. What we're after is a better defense that's more fun to play."

The defensive side of the football has been long overdue for a revamp. The last major change to the defensive controls came in Madden NFL 05 with the introduction of the hit stick. Hopefully this retooling will also address the poor awareness demonstrated by the secondary in last year's game and mark the return of true gang tackling. If the new approach to defense was developed by EA Tiburon's shared technology group, there is a chance these features could extend over to NCAA Football as well.

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Member Comments
# 81 Aggies7 @ 02/26/12 01:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionsFanNJ
With the refocus on defense I hope HOPE that the pass rush and blocking logic is adjusted, we can disguise blitzes with some pre snap movement and disguise coverage like ps2 era.
(MAN LOCK I'M LOOKING AT YOU.). And possibly bring back full pass rush move controls.

Either way I'm in wait and see mode.
If by man lock your talking reverse camera for defense I am right there with you on that one. Just hope it finally makes it in.
 
# 82 OPDriver @ 02/26/12 01:35 AM
We shall see. They have a lot to improve and I honestly don't see it happening.
 
# 83 LionsFanNJ @ 02/26/12 11:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggies7
If by man lock your talking reverse camera for defense I am right there with you on that one. Just hope it finally makes it in.
no no. Though i love that camera in NCAA and i agree on that point it would be great in Madden, I'm actually speaking on man lock how it was used on PS, where say you call a zone play, but tap the man lock button, so the players line up like they're playing man coverage, but the zone responsibilities change based on where those players line up. Pretty much a bluff of coverage
 
# 84 DUDERMAN @ 02/27/12 12:31 AM
I would also like to have an option to have my corners play inside coverage or outside. It would help when getting abused up the middle and help cover the sidelines at the end of a game when trying to conserve a win.
 
# 85 kingsofthevalley @ 02/27/12 12:47 AM
The things I hope to see (and pretty much all that is needed imo) is for gravity to be respected and for the players to move about the field similar to human beings, ie heavy turns, weight, a bit of mass, etc. FIFA has this down pretty good. Check the player movement in FIFA 12 or the old gen Madden/NCAAs to see exactly what I mean.

That is ALL that is needed.

Almost forgot, a global editor to get everything just right.
 
# 86 KingV2k3 @ 02/28/12 05:51 PM
I'd like to be able to assign a defender (for example the SS) to cover the CPU TE without it resulting in zone coverage chaos...

The only thing that works is the first 3 WRs...

The 4th WR / TEs/ HBs...not so mucho...

Also:

Smarter "Spy" logic...

I'd like to see the "old stuff" work before they attempt "new stuff"...
 
# 87 Argooos @ 02/29/12 11:39 AM
Here's how I picture playing Madden on defense against the AI:

First of all, the camera is facing the backs of my players.

Before the snap, I have selected a play. Based on my alignment, the opposing QB has a chance of figuring out if I'm in man or zone coverage and adjusting the offensive play accordingly. The chance of him doing this successfully is based on his awareness. I may also have called a blitz or a fake blitz. The opposing QB (and Center perhaps) also has a chance of guessing correctly whether it is a fake or real blitz (his chances of guess right are based on AWR) and changing blocking assignments accordingly.

Also I could, by pressing at most two buttons (a trigger and another button), call in certain personnel packages. The offense might then adjust the play based on the ratings of the players I have brought in (the odds of them adjusting correctly would be based on a combination of the skill of the QB and the knowledge of the Offensive Coordinator). So, I could have different packages for run situations and for pass situations for every play in my defensive playbook, and with the press of two buttons, I could send little skinny guys off the field and bring in the big boys, without ever actually changing the play. The offense would then look at the ratings of the players I have brought in and determine if they need more blocking or if they should call a pass instead of a run or whatever.

As the game goes on, the QB and the OC keep track of what plays I have run, and if I keep calling the same plays or same style of plays, they will begin to call plays that match up well against what I have been calling. So if I keep calling run defense plays and using run defense packages, they might call more play action passes. If I am blitzing a lot, they might call more quick passes or put in more blockers. They will also keep track of the success of my plays, and will adjust accordingly. Of course, the chances of them adjusting properly and in a timely fashion will depend on how aware the QB is and how good the OC is.

I would then imagine offense working in a similar fashion, with the defensive playcaller (usually the MLB) acting as the QB and the DC being used instead of the OC.

Now combine that with realistic physics, realistic OL/DL and WR/CB interactions, and realistic player reaction times, and you've got an addictively fun NFL game, no?
 
# 88 Jakeness23 @ 03/11/12 11:16 PM
Could y'all fix the offense in a major way as well? And do SOMETHING with Association and Superstar...
 
# 89 ANDROMADA 1 @ 03/12/12 12:07 PM
No more teleporting.
 
# 90 KBLover @ 03/12/12 12:25 PM
Too often, you can't make the "right" read because you can't trust what you see.

You see a defender leaving the area, creating a window for the throw. You throw it, the defender, who's momentum should be going totally in the wrong direction, slides over/spins around to make a perfect pick.

It wasn't a bad read, in the real game, a defender can't do that. For one, he might not even see the ball thrown, and trying to make a play like that with his momentum going totally the other way isn't going to happen.

Another example - I have Mike Williams on a curl. The OLB is in a flats zone towards the sideline. The corner is in man coverage playing over-the-top shading. The MLB is middle zone and the SS is cover 2.

Williams makes a good cut, turns is about to show me his numbers. I release the ball with anticipation of his route definition, with pulling back on the L-stick to bring him further from the over-the-top CB, and the CB goes through (literally) Williams to pick the ball. Or the flats defender somehow shifts over to snatch the ball or drop the pick. Then sometimes, Williams, a 99 RTE WR with high AGI will just stop and turn up the field...on a curl. Why? Of course, that plays into the CB's coverage (despite me pulling back to bring Williams back to me) and CB undercuts the pass.

I want defense to play smartly without having the offense "create" plays for the defense to make by suddenly acting like 2 yrs who never seen a field before. I want that CB to anticipate curl (maybe he read a key on Williams) and shift to underneath coverage, making me hold the ball, have to scramble, or just throw it out of bounds near Williams.

Pass defense isn't all about picks and deflections but in Madden it is. Sometimes, it should be forcing overthrown/underthrown incompletes just to get rid of the ball or tighten the window and the QB can't hit it because his S/M/DAC and AWR is too low and the ball is just off target. Sometimes its forcing the QB to scramble and take a 2 yd sliding "run" instead of a risk on an INT. And often, the pass defense starts with the pass rush - and the problems in that area have been mentioned often.

And you should be able to make the read and trust your eyes. Offensive and Defensive players should be both executing, not shifting, sliding, going through (literally) each other without contact, penalties, etc.

If players played smarter, more fundamental football, I bet these "shortcuts" wouldn't be needed. That's what I want to see on defense.
 
# 91 ANDROMADA 1 @ 03/12/12 12:39 PM
^^^^ AKA teleporting/timeshifting/warping/refracting/morphing/the matrix, lol
 
# 92 Trojan Man @ 03/19/12 02:12 PM
I'm just picking up on the word "fun" in the title here. That's not "fun" in the OS sense of the word, but in the Madden community at large sense of the word. If I had to guess what they meant by more fun in a broad sense, I'd think it would be more hit-sticking and fumbling, more injuries and increased responsiveness to user-controlled players.

That's not what I'd consider fun, but if the marketing team is using that as a key word, I'd expect the above.
 
# 93 Big FN Deal @ 03/19/12 06:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNT713
Just thought about this topic again - and I have to add: To people who genuinely care about playing defense, playing defense is already fun. Unfortunately, very few people actually care about defense enough to make it fun. They want to play offense seriously, and let the AI handle the defense.

Think about it this way...

I once read a book that stated that you can train a monkey to play offense - run here, do this, do that. Defense requires a special player that can perform his assignment without knowing where he will line up, where he will run, or who he will defend. Offense is about following a plan, defense is about thinking ahead and reacting.

How many of us can elaborate on every defensive player's assignment simply by looking at the diagram of the play?

Very few.

How many of us know how shifts effect how our players will perform their assignments?

Very few.

How many of us know what to do against every potential offensive alignment?

Very few.

The question is WHY SO FEW?

It's because most players have no interest in playing defense, therefore defense isn't fun. It shows. To quote Bart Scott, those dudes can't stop a nose bleed.

It's not odd that these players are also the quickest to jump on the bandwagon of the latest fad blitzes, 11 man coverages, etc... they are the most unoriginal players on the planet on the defensive side of the ball.

Defense still won't be any fun for them because defense is all about "WANT TO." Show me a guy that takes pride in making tackles and stopping his opponent and I'll show you someone who thinks defense is fun. Show me a guy that just wants the ball and I'll show you someone who thinks defense isn't fun.

I love defense!!!

Later
Looks like we are going to disagree all day like AP. lol

"WHY SO FEW?", Because in Madden, none of those things are a requirement or much assistant for playing successful defense. For most gamers "fun" equates to success and both are readily available in Madden without the need for even much NFL common sense, imo.
 
# 94 Senator Palmer @ 03/19/12 09:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNT713
Just thought about this topic again - and I have to add: To people who genuinely care about playing defense, playing defense is already fun. Unfortunately, very few people actually care about defense enough to make it fun. They want to play offense seriously, and let the AI handle the defense.
I disagree with this point wholeheartedly. When I picked up Madden again in 2004 after a long hiatus, I was one of those players who only cared about offense... and because of that, I thought the defense was actually fine.

None of the flaws, like a lack of gap assignments, or proper alignments bothered me, because I just wanted to hang 70 on the board. I found a couple of blitzes, and line shifts that guaranteed me sacks on just about every play and away I went. For me, that was plenty fun.

It wasn't until I actually wanted to play realistically, and started to learn about real defensive tactics -- alignments, run fits, stunts, coverages -- it wasn't until I began to cull all that knowledge that Madden became a bore to me.

I see the point you're trying to make, but it's too simplistic. You're boiling it down to -- if a person doesn't enjoy what's already in Madden, then they must not know what they are doing -- when the truth is a lot more nuanced. There is a crowd that doesn't know what they are doing, but then there's also more than a few on the other side who understand defense and are frustrated at how flawed it is on a fundamental level.

Personally, I LOVE DEFENSE. It has become my obsession, and because I sought out how it's done in real life, it opened my eyes to just how short Madden has been coming up all these years.

He who increases knowledge, increases sorrow.
 
# 95 KBLover @ 03/20/12 01:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator Palmer
There is a crowd that doesn't know what they are doing, but then there's also more than a few on the other side who understand defense and are frustrated at how flawed it is on a fundamental level.

Personally, I LOVE DEFENSE. It has become my obsession, and because I sought out how it's done in real life, it opened my eyes to just how short Madden has been coming up all these years.

He who increases knowledge, increases sorrow.
Thank you. Exactly.

The fact that I LOVE defense and all aspects of defense and the complexity and intricacies of a defense scheme and the overall defensive flow, purpose, and responsibility of a single play and its strengths and weaknesses is the very reason why I hate Madden's defense.

MLBs that key on fullbacks, 3-4 that doesn't pass rush correctly. Elite LBs that vacate areas and take horrible routes to try to get the ball carrier (instead of just finding their window and filling it - which a LB with high AWR, PRC, and PUR should do consistently), and so on.

The more I learn about the game, the more limited Madden feels on both sides of the ball, but especially defensively. This antiquate play calling system and the lack of true build-from-the-ground play creation alone is enough to make me feel confined.
 
# 96 SuckaRepellent @ 03/20/12 06:02 PM
I would like to see the battle at the line between DB's and WR's.
 
# 97 Senator Palmer @ 03/21/12 06:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNT713
Actually, I feel that not knowing how to create the nuances of legitimate football defensive strategies adversely effects the User's opinion of the game.

There's a huge difference between increasing knowledge and increasing wisdom. The difference being how to practically apply real life football knowledge in a way that is beneficial in a Madden game.

For instance, you mention how there's no "run fits" in Madden. I don't agree, but that's not the point. The point is once you learn about run fits from real life, whether from experience, coaching, or a book - you can't go straight from there to using it in Madden. There's a bridge process that must occur before any of this knowledge is useful in a Madden game.

We all know there is a technique to throwing a perfect pass in real life and we all recognize that throwing a perfect pass in Madden requires a completely different technique. How well we bridge the timing of a pass play, the precision of pressing the buttons, the movement of the stick to 'simulate' what happens when reading a defense dictate results.

I think we can also agree that if you threw the controller like you would a real ball the results would be disastrous. Likewise, if you throw a ball in real life like we do on Madden (twitching our thumbs and index fingers) the results would be even worse.

Defense is fun for me, but it wouldn't be as much fun without the know how to translate my real world knowledge into Madden play.

Later
Okay, you're doing that thing you do, where you kinda talk around the issue and don't address the whole point.

Your point was that people don't like Madden defense because most people don't take the time to learn about real defense, and that to the people who do know real defense, what Madden has to offer is already fun.

I countered with my point that the more actual defense I learn, the more I see how flawed the game is from a fundamental level.

And you countered with this...

Quote:
For instance, you mention how there's no "run fits" in Madden. I don't agree, but that's not the point. The point is once you learn about run fits from real life, whether from experience, coaching, or a book - you can't go straight from there to using it in Madden. There's a bridge process that must occur before any of this knowledge is useful in a Madden game.
^
Let's stick with this right here, because you just agreed with the point that people like LBz, BezO, taz, KB, Big among others make about the game; that you can't play real football, but you have to "bridge what you know" to translate it to Madden. A run fit is a run fit. If my guy has B gap to weak A in a Cover 3, then isn't that how it should work in the game? If this game is as true to life as you maintain, and you always maintain that real football translates to the game, then explain to me how one of the simplest parts of defensive football can't go straight into Madden?

What do I have to do differently to get a run fit to function in Madden? What process must I go though to translate the basic fundamental things I know to input into Madden. Help me out with this one here, because you lost me. Why in the world if I know how a real run fit works in actual football, can't I apply that to Madden?
 
# 98 MaddenSteve2k @ 03/22/12 02:11 PM
I Would Love Problems To Be Fix But Also They Really Need To Make Online Franchises A Little Bit More Fun. And Fix Offline Franchises Too
 
# 99 ragesupreme @ 09/17/12 02:05 PM
Came across this interview today while searching around for some developer insight about M13 before it's initial release. Was looking to see what they actually followed up on in the game, and what was just a bunch of bs.. Anyways, I didn't want to start a new post before searching around to see if anyone had already posted it, and well.. here we are..

I'm wondering how people feel about Madden and what Hilleman said in this interview, now that it's been out for some time, and a few patches and updates have been released? Is the defense any better than it was in M12? I don't think I played that game at all. I have a copy of M13 but haven't had the chance to really sit down with it, so I'm not sure about all of the features that might or might not be included this year. I'll end this post with a couple of general questions I have about the defense this year..

- Can we move db's in or outside of the wr before the play starts for proper positioning?

- I read somewhere that the "defensive assignments" option that allowed us to match up players on our defense to specific offensive players was removed, and instead a "best on best" feature was added. Is this true? and if so, is there anyway that this could be added to this years title? At least as an option for the user to have if he/she wants? I don't understand how you could be trying to improve the users ability to play defense in the game, yet take away something that directly affects the users ability to GAMEPLAN, and run SCHEMES. Sometimes the best player on the field isn't the guy with the highest OVR.. Especially if a generally talented player doesn't fit into my scheme or gameplan. I need to be able to make a change in player assignments based on certain ability ratings and NOT just their OVR. What If I want my 85 OVR MLB to shadow the 95 OVR TE who's route running is 90+ all game because his AWR and COVERAGE ability is higher than say my ROLB whose OVR is 90 because His TAK is 99 but his AWR and COVERAGE ability lacks??? See the problem with that? Maybe that wasn't the best example I could've have used but the point is still there. The players with the HIGHEST OVR's don't always match up well with the player across from them just because the OVR is the same or possibly even lower... I can't count how many times I see ELITE COVERAGE db's get smoked because they're trying to cover the other teams ELITE SPEED wr just because they're the opposed best OVR match up for the game. Doesn't make sense..

Anyways, can't wait to have a chance to really sit down with M13 to see for myself, but always enjoy sharing thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply if you do..
 
# 100 SloeyEZ @ 09/17/12 02:12 PM
Here's a little tip I learned from talking to people in the gaming business. Making something fun, and making something realistic are usually on opposite ends of the same spectrum. The best you can do is get somewhere in the middle because, believe it or not, we gamers are a very fickle crowd! We scream for realism but the second it gets too hard, we cry foul!

It is a very delicate balance that must be struck between realism and entertainment.

So, when I read "focuses on making defense more fun" I can make the assumption that means slightly less sim and more arcade because that is more entertaining (read fun) for most people.
 


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