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NHL 14 News Post


SportsNet Canada recently sat down with Sean Ramjagsingh, producer of NHL 14, to discuss this year's title in fourteen points.

Among the details and tidbits in the interview was Ramjagsingh's comments on the topic of fun vs. realism, "One thing hardcore (players) talk about when they play our game is that sticks go through sticks. In reality, sticks can’t go through sticks,” Ramjagsingh said. “Why don’t we make it so sticks don’t through? We tried that. In real life, if there was a stick in your way, you’d go around it, but we don’t have that fidelity right now with our controls. We can’t allow the sticks to contact each other—it makes for a non-fun game-play experience. So we bend the authenticity of the real world to allow for a better experience.”

There is some interesting information in the interview, with a few tidbits on the game as well. Be sure to check out SportsNet Canada to get the full interview.

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Member Comments
# 1 Fiddy @ 08/29/13 10:21 AM
Quote:
3. Reality must be defied to maintain fun.
The task of a sports video game producer is to find the proper balance between authenticity and fun.

“One thing hardcore (players) talk about when they play our game is that sticks go through sticks. In reality, sticks can’t go through sticks,” says Rammer, dropping science. “Why don’t we make it so sticks don’t through? We tried that. In real life, if there was a stick in your way, you’d go around it, but we don’t have that fidelity right now with our controls. We can’t allow the sticks to contact each other—it makes for a non-fun game-play experience. So we bend the authenticity of the real world to allow for a better experience.”
this is the main thing that bothers me.

they can do it, but its not "fun". to who? the causal gamers? cool, thats fine! but why not give us hardcore and casual guys the option to turn this on or off?

if you want it to be defaulted to off in main online/offline game modes, again fine. but give us an option to turn it on for all offline modes and give us a custom lobby so we can play with it on and even a lobby for ranked games with it on.

look at that, you just made both types of NHL gamers happy.

again, he stats that this is the most authentic game on the market. hello, its the ONLY game on the market. dont tell us its the most authentic when you fully support the casual gamers 100%. bc you just contradicted yourself.

im fine with this being an arcade game with authentic elements added in. why cant he say that?

just say its our video game and we want it fun, fast paced, up and down action, but we also want to add some cool authentic elements you see when watching an NHL game live or on TV.

siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiigh!

oh, and they havent finalized if the game will go next gen for NHL 15.

http://o.canada.com/2013/08/27/nhl-1...deo-game-year/

Quote:
Q: Are there plans for NHL 15 to be on next-generation consoles.

Sean Ramjagsingh: We’re still assessing that right now. We haven’t announced anything publicly yet. We’ll have something soon though.
if thats the case, i hope NHL 14 is the last game they put out.
 
# 2 JezFranco @ 08/29/13 10:54 AM
With "not fun" I think he actually means extremely boring and bug infested.

While I'm all for authenticity, I just think that 100% stick contact would completely break the game.
There's not processing power in the hardware, nor anyway to control the players, their limbs and stick like you can in real life, so without clipping of stick and limbs, the game would just be a mess of a game.

In real life your whole body adjust to any situation, and there is billions of combined body positions and stick positions possible.
The current consoles probable has processing power for a few thousand.
 
# 3 savoie2006 @ 08/29/13 10:54 AM
Of course NHL 15 will be next gen, but they have to sell 14 first.
 
# 4 canucksss @ 08/29/13 11:03 AM
So Hockey is boring so you sacrifice the authenticity for fun? RAMM should be kicked out right away for this comment.

I would understand about the stick, perhaps the current gen is not powerful enough to design this, I dont know. But some glaring issues such as Neutral Zone, which is present in NHL, is not present because bunch of kids like to play North and SOuth?

I wish someone from the higher execs of EA will transfer this guy to another project. He is not fit for NHL.
 
# 5 JezFranco @ 08/29/13 11:21 AM
Neutral zone issues, I think is more related to bad programming of the AI, and a tendency to blame the current gens limitation.

I believe the team haven't been able to succeed in programing an AI that can distinguish the times a proper high defense and protection of the neutral zone is called for and when not. And when putting pressure in the neutral zone, the CPU probably is to easy to get by with a simple deke, leaving them to vulnerable with big space behind them.

The coding could probably be put in there, but if it's not done properly it takes up to much space as an "offensive pressure AI", needs a "plan B" and "plan C" AI, when the the offensive pressure fails.
So the simple way to solve it, make the CPU fall back, and defend their own zone (NHL 06-14).



But like I said, when it comes to stick and limbs, there's probably one more (or so) level of contact that could be put into the game, but even with a super computer a la T-800 self learning computer, there are still limitations in how you can interact with the player via your PS3/PS4/PS5... controller.
 
# 6 Madwolf @ 08/29/13 11:40 AM
@Canucksss
I don't think that's what he's saying at all. I think he's saying that the game is very condensed, so in order to get a realistic game you have to take certain liberties, like bigger hits, and out of box, as-is tuning that lets you have the results in a 5min period game, that would at least approach a full 20min period game. To get the full real experience you're going to have to adjust the sliders out of the box.

Now I think they should have a rull real slider set out of the box, but they have to appeal to the biggest swath of players, which unfortunately is the casual player whose going to jump in for 5min period matches.

It's like playing Madden with my buddy. I'd prefer to set the match time to 9 minute quarters, and get realistic numbers, but he doesn't have time to play for that long so we compromise at 6 without any play clock run down. So that means we've both got guys on the field that are taking quick snap after quick snap and running around un-winded when they very well should be. But the game had to compromise between me and my buddy, and that was the solution.

Next gen games should allow even more realism for us hardcore guys. Part of the issue is there isn't enough processing power for the AI. So the AI tends to control players as a unit, instead of individually. That's why you end up with players getting themselves out of position. They're in the right zone, but then the puck is driven between two defenders and the game struggles with who should really be picking him up, and leaves another guy open for the quick pass and score. It's like Madden and NCAA struggling with the line play. The unit might be rushing the passer, but they operate under "rush the passer," not, I'm the DT and this is my responsibility, I'm the LE and this is my responsibility and I have to keep the QB contained on my end, etc. I think in the next gen games we're going to see some major "wow" moments with AI in general. It's going to be fun to be apart of.
 
# 7 Cletus @ 08/29/13 06:57 PM
Why do people in the review business give EA a pass on the AI? NHL 2k3 had different team strategies and each team played different. That game was hard and you know what happened? 2k put enough pressure on EA that they had to revamp their series for the next game. Look at other EA Sports games. Madden finally got some features that they had 10 years ago. There's still some things NFL 2k5 (even though I hated the game) that EA still can't do. They get a pass though because gamers don't want a hard and frustrating game. I'm pretty sure Demon Souls did pretty well in sales, no?

Why is it so hard to get small things right. You mean the systems don't have processing power to add 2 more refs to the ice? Yet they can create worlds in games like Tomb Raider, GTA, and Red Dead Redemption. So what is it? Is it the system that can create huge worlds, but not have space for 14 guys on the ice? Is it the fact that the EA NHL team has never been able to program AI? Why has no one asked these questions? I know some companies would be afraid of being controversial because EA is a huge company, but you would get a lot of respect with gamers.
 
# 8 savoie2006 @ 08/29/13 07:42 PM
It's all about $$. They will sell more games if it caters to a wider audience, bottom line. As for the Ai, it would have required too much to basically rewrite it so it was tweak it until the next consoles dropped. Not only that but the series money maker is online leagues. If they made offline that tempting, they would lose out when people chose playing the Ai over the cheese online.
 
# 9 mkharsh33 @ 08/29/13 08:05 PM
Not buying this year. If they can't make a hockey game that resembles the reality of the NHL, I'm done. Barely gave NHL 13 a sniff, and won't even miss this year's version. From everything I've read about the impressions to this point, I just can't this year...
 
# 10 dlxsf18 @ 08/29/13 09:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus
Why do people in the review business give EA a pass on the AI?

Why has no one asked these questions? I know some companies would be afraid of being controversial because EA is a huge company, but you would get a lot of respect with gamers.
You bring up a good point. Anybody notice that these guys just said Nathan MacKinnon is "legally barred" from appearing in the game until he plays in the NHL? lolwut?

I have rarely seen interviews where Rammer actually answers questions from someone who knows what they're talking about. No rational person is saying the devs have it easy... but I would have so much more respect and patience with EA if they would own up and answer the questions that the hardcore fans have.
 
# 11 Cletus @ 08/29/13 09:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlxsf18
You bring up a good point. Anybody notice that these guys just said Nathan MacKinnon is "legally barred" from appearing in the game until he plays in the NHL? lolwut?

I have rarely seen interviews where Rammer actually answers questions from someone who knows what they're talking about. No rational person is saying the devs have it easy... but I would have so much more respect and patience with EA if they would own up and answer the questions that the hardcore fans have.
The MacKinnon thing is a legal issue until he signs an agreement. I believe the CHL has a different agreement than the pro leagues. The problem is people have asked Rammer questions like that and he just dodges it and no one follows up. I remember someone brought up the practice bug in EASHL, which was buggy from the beginning, and Rammer just went "Oh I didn't know there was a bug." That was that. It's inexcusable for how big EA is to give an answer like that. They get passes on that all the time. Of course if I could get away with stuff like that and be a billion dollar company, I would to.
 
# 12 gator3guy @ 08/31/13 09:47 AM
Quote:
With 2013-14 being an Olympic year, the break for Sochi is reflected in the schedule — but EA did not obtain an IIHF licence to simulate official national-team sweaters and logos.

“We do have generic national-team jerseys and we can update the rosters when the (Olympic) teams are announced and get the players on the right teams,” Rammer explains.
Well there goes the little bit of hope I had this year. If I see the same ugly huge national team sweaters that have been in the game for years now, I might break my controller. I should be able to overlook it, but I just can't help it. They are gross. At least make them "edge-fit".

Guess there's no new teams this year either. $10 says they forgot to add Slovenia too who happened to qualify for the Olympics this year. They should have been added years ago. Meanwhile we still have nations like Japan, Italy, and Great Britain in the game. Not saying they should take those countries out, but do a little research.
 
# 13 Money99 @ 08/31/13 01:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by savoie2006
Of course NHL 15 will be next gen, but they have to sell 14 first.
Irresponsible speculation time!

I wonder if this team isn't going to be responsible for next-gen?
What if it's like the previous generation where EA Montreal was working on the Xbox/PS2 NHL06 while EA Vancouver was making NHL07 for the 360/PS3?
 
# 14 Cletus @ 09/01/13 12:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Money99
Irresponsible speculation time!

I wonder if this team isn't going to be responsible for next-gen?
What if it's like the previous generation where EA Montreal was working on the Xbox/PS2 NHL06 while EA Vancouver was making NHL07 for the 360/PS3?

I don't know if another studio would be any better but it would be something fresher. Of course you have to wonder if most of the problem with EA's NHL is the higher ups rather than the devs.
 
# 15 Dolphins88 @ 09/01/13 06:56 PM
Ya they need to make the gameplay more organic.. Right now it's too up and down..every team plays same way so no strategy.. There are not a lot of differences in skill to differentiate players.. The rinks are all the same w different logos..the puck still richochets around off of players, goalies...2k3 NHL the teams and players played more like their counterparts... Fatigue and endurance for star players should be more noticeable
 

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