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Its Episode 19 of the Press Row Podcast, a special Press Row One-on-One with NCAA Football 14 producer Ben Haumiller (@benhaumiller) and host Richard Grisham (@richgrisham). We talk all about the new physics engine in the game, the newest gameplay updates coming this fall, as well as some of the cool things and challenges that come to designing football games for a staggering variety of gamer.

This is the first of a series of shows well do with Ben as NCAA Football 14 information comes out, so let us know what you think and send us some questions and thoughts youd like us to ask Ben in the future.

Do it one of these ways:

1) Follow the show on Twitter at @PressRowPodcast and send us some Tweets while youre there
2) Email the show at [email protected]
3) Respond to this post

Also, the Press Row Podcast is now available on iTunes, so subscribe and rate it too! The link is here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/o...563624090?mt=2

Enjoy the show!

Run Time: 59 minutes

If you can't view or listen to the embedded player below, please click here.


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Member Comments
# 1 jpdavis82 @ 04/12/13 11:03 PM
Nice interview, really excited for ncaa 14 and the future of ea football as we transfer into next gen. I think there will be a very smooth transition to next gen.
 
# 2 Big FN Deal @ 04/12/13 11:04 PM
I was listening intently and planned on providing some follow up questions until at about 20 minutes in, when the host brings up the mythical "fun vs realism balance", UGH!

This reference is a talking point breed by EA, seemingly specifically for their football games. I cant find it anymore but one of EA's creators of FIFA when asked about something along those lines, stated something to the effect of, "we don't worry much about casuals because there is still so much we can add and improve for those that want the most realistic game possible". Why is it that this mantra of a fun/realism balance, isn't touted by other top sports sims? They just focus on making the most realistic representation of the sports possible, not worrying about accounting for their simulations being video games meant to have fun, because they understand that people choosing to play sim video games, find realism fun.

Also those other sports game devs don't seem to focus on and constantly mentioning the challenges of making video games realistic, they seem to understand nothing they do can change the fact that these are just video games, so they just do the best they can to create the game with as many real life aspects as possible, to make the gamer forget that, through immersion. Not Tiburon though, outside of the superficial, like attempting to create photo realistic visual STILLS, it's all about constantly reminding gamers in-game and interviews that they are just playing video games. smh

Anyway, now that I got that off my chest, I will try to listen to rest of the interview later to provide some question for the next one.
 
# 3 Official_Mole @ 04/13/13 02:00 AM
I can understand Madden NFL trying to create a Casual/Hardcore balance due to the fact that the NFL is the most popular sport in America and chances are more people "casually" buy Madden NFL than any other sports game out there. So I can see why Madden NFL would need to accommodate the casual features but also give us hardcore gamers true simulation fundamentals in game play.

NCAA Football, in my opinion, should have a slightly difference perspective on the Causal/Hardcore balance. Most NCAA Football gamers (from my experience) are a little older, like high school and up, and are hardcore NCAA Football fans. Most who continue to play NCAA Football after the release of Madden (or don't get Madden at all) are hardcore NCAA and want things to be as real as possible, in every part of the game.

Now my final thought is this.....

Make Madden NFL and NCAA Football fundamentally realistic, provides users more control. If that makes the game harder for the casual users then that means your making progress because a sport as complex as football is not easy to learn. However, this is a business, you want to attract more fans, I totally understand. That's why I'm glad Ben Haumiller said in the interview that they are providing tools and guides to help those who are new to the game learn and get better. That is how it should be. Provide the user with game tutorials to learn the game but teach the sport.

When I played Madden NFL 07/NCAA Football 08 Online for the first time my combined record was probably -130 wins to losses. I was terrible, but I learned, I got better. Now each year I get +100 wins to losses at least (not counting league games). People can learn to play the sports, do not be afraid to make the game more real even if that means more complex to the casual fan. If they really love the game they will want to learn. And when you can accomplish something like getting better and better at Madden or NCAA then its even more fun.
 
# 4 Big FN Deal @ 04/13/13 02:41 AM
@Official_Mole, there are a lot of things in your post I agree with, most of it in fact, except for the parts about either game needing to sacrifice realism to sell. This reasoning about selling to the casuals, imo, is yet another EA talking point, that even I get caught up in, to justify the way they choose to make the game. There is no reasonable person out there against EA Tiburon creating the most realistic games possible IF they are able to get it to play the way they want. That's where factory settings come into play and why EA football games should have a separate "simulation" setting.

The fact that EA football games are video games inherently limits how realistic they can possibly be, so it's redundant to try to artificially "balance" it when creating the game.
 
# 5 Official_Mole @ 04/13/13 02:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big FN Deal
@Official_Mole, there are a lot of things in your post I agree with, most of it in fact, except for the parts about either game needing to sacrifice realism to sell. This reasoning about selling to the casuals, imo, is yet another EA talking point, that even I get caught up in, to justify the way they choose to make the game. There is no reasonable person out there against EA Tiburon creating the most realistic games possible IF they are able to get it to play the way they want. That's where factory settings come into play and it's telling when EA football games are one of the few sports sims without a separate "simulation" setting.

If I came on OS and just started making stuff up that was easily provably false, people would rightly call me out. So I don't understand when any company does it, why it's any different. I am not coming at you, I am just speaking up against this "Jedi mind trick" EA marketing pulls by making up stuff and getting it repeated enough so people presume it's true. There is no such thing as an objective balance between realism and fun, that's a personal preference but there is an inherent balance to making a game as realistic as possible, because there is only so much that can be done in a video game. The fact that EA football games are video games inherently limits how realistic they can possibly be, so it's redundant to try to artificially "balance" it when creating the game.

Interviews about EA football games are usually so bizarre like they have played a different version of the games than others have. I am not talking about opinionated things like "I enjoyed the passing game this year" but things like "With the game already being so real to football it's must be difficult to find something new to add every year". [insert MJ on Oprah gif here]
I hear ya man for sure. Like I said, my final thought is make the game is realistic as possible for hardcore user but provide tools and tutorials to help casual gamers learn how to play NCAA Football, but teach them the sport of football.
 
# 6 ch46647 @ 04/13/13 04:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettogeeksta
Ben is a savvy interviewee.... Anyway, with the transition from last gen to this gen, sounds like this generation of EA football games was doomed from the beginning "this generation has been a difficult one," And he mentioned how he watched the last transition and how hard it was on those teams. Sounds like they have a whole other team working on the next-gen NCAA Football because Ben stated he does not have to worry about it because he's on the PS3 and 360 titles.
Seems like they are in a better position to transition from this generation to the next, lets hope they blow us away because they owe of us big time.

And EA needs to stop it with the casual crowd and hardcore crowd balance BS! Because realism is fun, this sport is fun to watch and its fun to play, itshttp://www.operationsports.com/forums/images/smilies/graemlins/love.gif naturally fun, which is why its so popular. Just focus on making the game as real as possible and integrate training modes and tutorials in the game like MLB The Show and NBA 2K they have a ton of training modes. This should be EA's new moto...

Realism is Fun!
This X1000
 
# 7 tical2399 @ 04/13/13 06:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Official_Mole
I can understand Madden NFL trying to create a Casual/Hardcore balance due to the fact that the NFL is the most popular sport in America and chances are more people "casually" buy Madden NFL than any other sports game out there. So I can see why Madden NFL would need to accommodate the casual features but also give us hardcore gamers true simulation fundamentals in game play.

NCAA Football, in my opinion, should have a slightly difference perspective on the Causal/Hardcore balance. Most NCAA Football gamers (from my experience) are a little older, like high school and up, and are hardcore NCAA Football fans. Most who continue to play NCAA Football after the release of Madden (or don't get Madden at all) are hardcore NCAA and want things to be as real as possible, in every part of the game.

Now my final thought is this.....

Make Madden NFL and NCAA Football fundamentally realistic, provides users more control. If that makes the game harder for the casual users then that means your making progress because a sport as complex as football is not easy to learn. However, this is a business, you want to attract more fans, I totally understand. That's why I'm glad Ben Haumiller said in the interview that they are providing tools and guides to help those who are new to the game learn and get better. That is how it should be. Provide the user with game tutorials to learn the game but teach the sport.

When I played Madden NFL 07/NCAA Football 08 Online for the first time my combined record was probably -130 wins to losses. I was terrible, but I learned, I got better. Now each year I get +100 wins to losses at least (not counting league games). People can learn to play the sports, do not be afraid to make the game more real even if that means more complex to the casual fan. If they really love the game they will want to learn. And when you can accomplish something like getting better and better at Madden or NCAA then its even more fun.
Those words are great, but you game changers never seem to say that. When you do your own podcasts/ radio shows or whatever, all I ever hear is cupcake questions like "has it been a challenge finding the right balance between fun and realism"? Then you let the rep give his pre scripted response and you move on to the next talking point.

At no point do I ever hear you guys say "well as a player of the game, I'm disappointed every year by your insistence on trying to draw in the casual crowd at the expense of us hardcore fans that have been with you year in and year out" I never hear that.

I never hear a GC say "speaking for most of the community, we'd like to see you focus on absolute realism (good, bad or ugly) even if it pushes some casuals away". You just said it here, why not say it on your podcasts and at events?

You or somebody else will probably say, well they have business concerns that they have to think about so we give them a pass based on that. I say hell no we shouldn't. We here are fans, short for fanatics, by definition we are not rational people when it come to the things that interest us.

I'd love for a GC to tell an EA rep that we as a community dont give a damn if every pure casual up and leaves, because there will always be enough hardcore fans out there to more than sustain the series. In fact, making it more hardcore will probably make it MORE popular.

But you won't tell them any of that. You guys don't want to ruffle any feathers, you want to keep your free sneak peaks at the game, you want to keep your (i suspect) free copies of the games, etc. I just wish the GC would ACTUALLY speak for the community instead of just pretending to as EA sanctioned message filters.
 
# 8 Sausage @ 04/13/13 10:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tical2399
Those words are great, but you game changers never seem to say that. When you do your own podcasts/ radio shows or whatever, all I ever hear is cupcake questions like "has it been a challenge finding the right balance between fun and realism"? Then you let the rep give his pre scripted response and you move on to the next talking point.

At no point do I ever hear you guys say "well as a player of the game, I'm disappointed every year by your insistence on trying to draw in the casual crowd at the expense of us hardcore fans that have been with you year in and year out" I never hear that.

I never hear a GC say "speaking for most of the community, we'd like to see you focus on absolute realism (good, bad or ugly) even if it pushes some casuals away". You just said it here, why not say it on your podcasts and at events?

You or somebody else will probably say, well they have business concerns that they have to think about so we give them a pass based on that. I say hell no we shouldn't. We here are fans, short for fanatics, by definition we are not rational people when it come to the things that interest us.

I'd love for a GC to tell an EA rep that we as a community dont give a damn if every pure casual up and leaves, because there will always be enough hardcore fans out there to more than sustain the series. In fact, making it more hardcore will probably make it MORE popular.

But you won't tell them any of that. You guys don't want to ruffle any feathers, you want to keep your free sneak peaks at the game, you want to keep your (i suspect) free copies of the games, etc. I just wish the GC would ACTUALLY speak for the community instead of just pretending to as EA sanctioned message filters.
Well said and this is pretty much my feelings. As a consumer I have been so patient and end up kicking myself within a month of purchase. Last EA football game I loved was NCAA 11 with its updated presentation and organic gameplay, which was butchered by patches / tuners. I actually still play it in its stock mode, no updates / tuners.

Sent from my HTC VLE_U using Tapatalk 2
 
# 9 roadman @ 04/14/13 02:08 AM
Is the guy, Richard Grisham, that did this podcast a GCer?
 
# 10 Official_Mole @ 04/14/13 02:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tical2399
Those words are great, but you game changers never seem to say that. When you do your own podcasts/ radio shows or whatever, all I ever hear is cupcake questions like "has it been a challenge finding the right balance between fun and realism"? Then you let the rep give his pre scripted response and you move on to the next talking point.

At no point do I ever hear you guys say "well as a player of the game, I'm disappointed every year by your insistence on trying to draw in the casual crowd at the expense of us hardcore fans that have been with you year in and year out" I never hear that.

I never hear a GC say "speaking for most of the community, we'd like to see you focus on absolute realism (good, bad or ugly) even if it pushes some casuals away". You just said it here, why not say it on your podcasts and at events?

You or somebody else will probably say, well they have business concerns that they have to think about so we give them a pass based on that. I say hell no we shouldn't. We here are fans, short for fanatics, by definition we are not rational people when it come to the things that interest us.

I'd love for a GC to tell an EA rep that we as a community dont give a damn if every pure casual up and leaves, because there will always be enough hardcore fans out there to more than sustain the series. In fact, making it more hardcore will probably make it MORE popular.

But you won't tell them any of that. You guys don't want to ruffle any feathers, you want to keep your free sneak peaks at the game, you want to keep your (i suspect) free copies of the games, etc. I just wish the GC would ACTUALLY speak for the community instead of just pretending to as EA sanctioned message filters.
Are you familiar with the youtube channel "The Sim Standard"? They preach fundamental football and bringing true simulation to Madden NFL and NCAA Football and they are great examples of what the Game Changers are all about.

We tell them what the community wants, half the group runs their own sites to collect fan feedback to email developers year round. TraditionSportsOnline.com is run by 5 or so Game Changers and they are one of the best sources for Simulation Leagues. We have guys who at the end of the day want the same thing as anyone else.

Now Im not going to get into some silly debate with someone I don't know about how the Game Changers are "yes men" and all that stuff because its not true, especially me. You saw what I wrote, I want simulation and realism. I don't want the game to cater more to Casual fans and neither does any other Game Changer.

I'm 99% certain you've never met any one of us, but for me personally, I wish I could meet every single person who views us as "yes men" because I would like people to know that we are fans of the game like anyone else and want the same things.

I never hear a GC say "speaking for most of the community, we'd like to see you focus on absolute realism (good, bad or ugly) even if it pushes some casuals away". You just said it here, why not say it on your podcasts and at events?


^^ Lastly, how would you know whether or not we say these things at events? Because the last time I was down there that's all we did. Told them we want fundamental football with absolute realism.

We love the community, we love hearing what fans want because we share the game passion as you and anyone else does. We want realism, we want true simulation football. Period.
 
# 11 Official_Mole @ 04/14/13 02:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadman
Is the guy, Richard Grisham, that did this podcast a GCer?
No he is not.
 
# 12 tical2399 @ 04/14/13 10:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Official_Mole
Are you familiar with the youtube channel "The Sim Standard"? They preach fundamental football and bringing true simulation to Madden NFL and NCAA Football and they are great examples of what the Game Changers are all about.

We tell them what the community wants, half the group runs their own sites to collect fan feedback to email developers year round. TraditionSportsOnline.com is run by 5 or so Game Changers and they are one of the best sources for Simulation Leagues. We have guys who at the end of the day want the same thing as anyone else.

Now Im not going to get into some silly debate with someone I don't know about how the Game Changers are "yes men" and all that stuff because its not true, especially me. You saw what I wrote, I want simulation and realism. I don't want the game to cater more to Casual fans and neither does any other Game Changer.

I'm 99% certain you've never met any one of us, but for me personally, I wish I could meet every single person who views us as "yes men" because I would like people to know that we are fans of the game like anyone else and want the same things.

I never hear a GC say "speaking for most of the community, we'd like to see you focus on absolute realism (good, bad or ugly) even if it pushes some casuals away". You just said it here, why not say it on your podcasts and at events?


^^ Lastly, how would you know whether or not we say these things at events? Because the last time I was down there that's all we did. Told them we want fundamental football with absolute realism.

We love the community, we love hearing what fans want because we share the game passion as you and anyone else does. We want realism, we want true simulation football. Period.
The reason I say you never say it to them is because on any radio show or podcast that the GC are part of none of you EVERY say it on those public airwaves.

You may say it to the devs at events, but what I'm saying is why don't the GC who have actual radio shows ask on those shows and put the rep in the hot seat and make him give an honest non scripted answer on why they ignore the hardcore fundamentals you preach about.

You say you said it at the last event, why not ask them on the air so their answer is on the record. You claim I've never met any of you, and that is true, but to be honest who cares. The fact is some of you have shows/podcasts and I've NEVER heard that question asked EVER.
 
# 13 tical2399 @ 04/14/13 10:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Official_Mole
No he is not.
I was more referring to the GC as a whole not this parties in this interview.
 
# 14 WFColonel56 @ 04/14/13 02:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tical2399
The reason I say you never say it to them is because on any radio show or podcast that the GC are part of none of you EVERY say it on those public airwaves.

You may say it to the devs at events, but what I'm saying is why don't the GC who have actual radio shows ask on those shows and put the rep in the hot seat and make him give an honest non scripted answer on why they ignore the hardcore fundamentals you preach about.

You say you said it at the last event, why not ask them on the air so their answer is on the record. You claim I've never met any of you, and that is true, but to be honest who cares. The fact is some of you have shows/podcasts and I've NEVER heard that question asked EVER.
How about you build your authority in the gaming community and get an interview with a dev and you can ask all of the hardball questions that you want to.

NONE of the gamechangers owe you what you are asking for here. All they owe anybody is to bring their own communities observations, point of view, and ideas to the devs to improve the game. They represent their own community members. As long as they take care of their duties they are good to go. ANYTHING EXTRA, IS EXTRA

If I were a gamechanger or a person conducting the interview I would tell you to kick rocks with open toed sandals. They dont owe you a podcast. They dont owe you a blog about the features. And they damn sure dont owe you answers to your questions about features. They do what they do out of the kindness of their heart and to inform the community as much as possible about the happenings. NOT TO MENTION THEY HAVE DAY JOBS

Dont direct your frustrations with EA toward the gamechangers or people who direct interviews. Its childish, if you want to vent at least vent at the right people.

Like I said, if you want to get the devs on public airwaves and ask hard questions all you have to do is build up your authority in the gaming world.
 
# 15 roadman @ 04/14/13 04:01 PM
Or a person can apply to become a GCer on the the CGer's website and fill out an application.

That's why I questioned if the interviewer was a CGer because we were discussing this podcast, I've only listened to a few minutes of the last GCer podcast and they were just asking questions back and forth without a developer on the podcast.

The last podcast was too long for me, over 1 hr long.
 
# 16 Big FN Deal @ 04/14/13 04:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by WFColonel56
How about you build your authority in the gaming community and get an interview with a dev and you can ask all of the hardball questions that you want to.

NONE of the gamechangers owe you what you are asking for here. All they owe anybody is to bring their own communities observations, point of view, and ideas to the devs to improve the game. They represent their own community members. As long as they take care of their duties they are good to go. ANYTHING EXTRA, IS EXTRA

If I were a gamechanger or a person conducting the interview I would tell you to kick rocks with open toed sandals. They dont owe you a podcast. They dont owe you a blog about the features. And they damn sure dont owe you answers to your questions about features. They do what they do out of the kindness of their heart and to inform the community as much as possible about the happenings. NOT TO MENTION THEY HAVE DAY JOBS

Dont direct your frustrations with EA toward the gamechangers or people who direct interviews. Its childish, if you want to vent at least vent at the right people.

Like I said, if you want to get the devs on public airwaves and ask hard questions all you have to do is build up your authority in the gaming world.
This "owe" stuff works both ways, so seeing as EAGC don't owe anyone anything, which they don't, then no one owes them anything either. Posters like the one you quoted, are free do and state whatever they see fit about the program or anything else, within the TOS. Can't have it both ways, if a EAGC or anybody else for that matter, wants to pull the "I speak for myself or my select group not you" card, of course those not represented by them will not support them or what they do. The EAGC program is not above reproach and people having an opinion about it or those participating in it, is their right, just like with anything else.
 
# 17 roadman @ 04/14/13 05:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big FN Deal
This "owe" stuff works both ways, so seeing as EAGC don't owe anyone anything, which they don't, then no one owes them anything either. Posters like the one you quoted, are free do and state whatever they see fit about the program or anything else, within the TOS. Can't have it both ways, if a EAGC or anybody else for that matter, wants to pull the "I speak for myself or my select group not you" card, of course those not represented by them will not support them or what they do. The EAGC program is not above reproach and people having an opinion about it or those participating in it, is their right, just like with anything else.

I just feel it took the thread off topic, as this isn't a CGer podcast, but that's my opinion.
 
# 18 Big FN Deal @ 04/14/13 05:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadman
I just feel it took the thread off topic, as this isn't a CGer podcast, but that's my opinion.
I feel you Road and I won't go too much into this, being off topic myself by doing so. If Mr Haumiller is stating things in an interview that someone listening to doesn't agree with and/or would like to have their voices heard about, the EAGC is seen and often touted as that outlet. There are pros and cons to that being the case so it's unreasonable for anyone to expect the good without the bad.

Not directed at you Road but just a general question, if that poster had praised the EAGC program for helping get something in-game mentioned in the interview, would that be seen as off topic?
 
# 19 roadman @ 04/14/13 05:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big FN Deal

Not directed at you Road but just a general question, if that poster had praised the EAGC program for helping get something in-game mentioned in the interview, would that be seen as off topic?
I answer with another question.

Around these parts, and yes, I'm starting to go off topic a bit too, do you hear much of any praise for something in-game mentioned in any interview or podcast by CGers?

To answer your question, yes, I would personally feel it's off-topic, positive or negative. This wasn't a GCer podcast, it was a podcast via OS from another website owner.
 
# 20 WFColonel56 @ 04/14/13 05:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big FN Deal
This "owe" stuff works both ways, so seeing as EAGC don't owe anyone anything, which they don't, then no one owes them anything either. Posters like the one you quoted, are free do and state whatever they see fit about the program or anything else, within the TOS. Can't have it both ways, if a EAGC or anybody else for that matter, wants to pull the "I speak for myself or my select group not you" card, of course those not represented by them will not support them or what they do. The EAGC program is not above reproach and people having an opinion about it or those participating in it, is their right, just like with anything else.
Its cool to have an opinion about the GC program. But an opinion on something that you know nothing about isnt a very valuable opinion if you get what I am saying.

Making assumptions and criticizing what they do based on your own frustrations with EA is extremely flawed logic. They can only bring the thoughts, ideas, critiques to EAs door. It is up to the devs to take care of it.

How is any of this fair?????

Quote:
I'd love for a GC to tell an EA rep that we as a community dont give a damn if every pure casual up and leaves, because there will always be enough hardcore fans out there to more than sustain the series. In fact, making it more hardcore will probably make it MORE popular.

But you won't tell them any of that. You guys don't want to ruffle any feathers, you want to keep your free sneak peaks at the game, you want to keep your (i suspect) free copies of the games, etc. I just wish the GC would ACTUALLY speak for the community instead of just pretending to as EA sanctioned message filters.
How is any of that fair?... To talk **** to them based on an opinion that is formulated on something that he knows nothing about.

Posts like that is why GC didnt come here before. And yet nobody seems to care.
 

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