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If You Were in Charge of Madden: What Is Your Five-Year Plan (Roundtable)

Madden NFL 18

If You Were in Charge of Madden: What Is Your Five-Year Plan (Roundtable)

With the recent news of Rex Dickson leaving EA, there’s never been a better time for OS’er to put their best name forward to lead the charge of the creative direction for the Madden series.

Yeah we know none of us are getting the job, but let’s at least pretend like there’s a real shot and give our five year plans for the series and see what happens.

Matt Llwellyn

First things first. Franchise mode needs an overhaul and immersion will be critical. Everyone loves to look back to NFL 2K5 for how presentation in franchise needs to be. At this point, the memories are better than how the execution would play out in today’s market when it comes to 2K5, but it’s that feeling people got then that people still desire today. Madden going forward will focus on NFL Network integration so that what we see on Sundays in real life will be seen in the game. I’d even like to implement an option to spectate all scoring plays similar to what RedZone offers in real life. Beyond that there will be full pregame, halftime and postgame shows with full video highlights from around the league.

Beyond immersion, gameplay is key. Too many legacy issues persist but with continual effort and the Frostbite engine, we can continue to march towards the most realistic football game on the market. A better separation between Sim and Competitive game styles must be achieved so that the agency is in the hands of the player.

Madden Ultimate Team will be tweaked so that modes like Draft Champions no longer cost tickets to play. Microtransactions will be limited to pack purchases but taking a play out of MLB The Show’s book, the best cards will be only attainable from programs.

Finally, Longshot will be scrapped in favor of a true single-player career mode. For this, NBA 2K will be the example. Mainly, from the NBA MyCareer games as opposed to the Park or Pro-Am portions, though it may be possible to create a 7-7 street football online mode. From interviews to the combine to practice to endorsements, living the life of an NFL superstar is our ultimate goal.

Ideally, these modes and improvements would be implemented within Madden in the next five years and could really go towards making the best football game that has ever been made and finally put the ghosts of NFL 2K5 to rest.

Kevin Scott

I think I can give you fine folks at EA the future of Madden in one word really: jetpacks.

<blank stares>

<security approaches>

Wait, let me try that again.

Franchise mode will be a much bigger focus. Let’s add more storylines to the season. They say that the NFL is the best reality show there is, so we’re going to see that reflected in the game. There will be a weekly highlight show to keep you abreast of what’s happening in the rest of the league and updates during games to show you scoring plays from dynamic broadcast angles. Draft narratives will be a bigger deal, with more detailed scouting. It will be harder to spot a bust and root out those hidden gems in later rounds.

Madden Ultimate Team will see more variety in their solo challenges, including different ones every single day with generous rewards for those who complete them regularly.

As for gameplay, we will strive to eliminate any and all exploits that don’t involve using legitimate football strategy. There will come a time when you will be able to call for man coverage and have full confidence that your superstar DB will be able to stay with a mediocre receiver on a corner route. There will be less of an emphasis on jukes and hit sticks and more focus on using your blocks wisely and making timely tackles.

We will gradually move to implementing full 11-on-11 user play, starting with 5-on-5 (1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WRs and 1 lineman on offense and 1 LB/S, 2 CBs and 1 lineman). Once people learn to appreciate the finer points of being a guard or tackle, we start adding more user linemen to the mix until complex blocking schemes are being discussed on mic pre-snap.

And then maybe somewhere around year 5: jetpacks. But I’m flexible on that. In conclusion, when can I start and where is my office?

Joel Smith

I’m going to chime in here with some brief direction I’d take and it’s going to be a complete thievery of old ideas and echoing on what previous peeps have already mentioned.

As a guy that is huge on presentation, Madden needs an overhaul — be it over the next couple years. What we currently have isn’t too bad, but what we *should* have by now is what’s needed. My two colleagues both mentioned these points already, but franchise mode needs some serious love. I’m pretty sure most people play Madden for Ultimate Team and franchise mode. Ultimate Team gets huge attention every year and brings in mega bucks, so yeah, it gets improved yearly. Franchise mode is a staple for the series. You need to ensure that whether it’s a small addition or a major boost, it gets one regardless.

As mentioned by my peers, a pre, half and postgame show needs to be added that gives us updates and happenings from around the league. Yes, some people might skip these, but at this point I feel it’s almost mandatory that it should be in the game. These segments are just as important as the games themselves in my opinion, especially when you’re getting closer to playoffs and that implication. Draft analysis should also be a key part of a weekly wrap-up show later in the season. Matt’s suggestion of having NFL Network integration is a fantastic one, as we’ve seen The Show embrace the MLB Network in that game. I also think that, because of the importance of certain weekly televised games, specifically Sunday/Monday Night Football, EA should work a deal with NBC and ESPN so that those overlays and networks can be used as part of the presentation package. These changes would and could be a huge win for EA that would visually push Madden over the edge and mirror the real-world NFL in a way that would leave Madden as the only game people would talk about.

Obviously my focus would be on arguably the most important mode in Madden, which is franchise mode. The Frostbite engine has opened up new possibilities in the game, so other core areas such as gameplay should continue to improve with the hard work of the dev team. A lot more love just needs to be given where it’s due, and I feel that area is franchise mode and presentation overall.

Elliott Jenkins

If I get the opportunity to jump in as Madden’s creative director, we’re going in a different direction. Think about where we were with other sports titles in 2013. MLB The Show was still on PlayStation 3, and the PS4 wouldn’t be released until November of that year. Five years is a long, long time. If I am taking over as creative director, I would utilize the next five years to perfect and refine a football game so good and jam packed with features that fans stop talking about the past altogether.

The end goal would be Madden 24 in 2023. Across the next five years, the team would fight tooth and nail to shed Madden’s “same game every year” reputation and deliver innovation after innovation to the game’s core modes and make it a must-have package for even casual fans. Retool everything and make the gameplay as sensational as it was 14 years ago. Spend a year modernizing franchise mode. Spend another year, per the other writers’ recommendations, creating a top-notch career mode. Explore an NFL Street-style arcade mode built into the game with online tournaments.

I also want to put as much as humanly possible into making Madden the smoothest gameplay ever seen in a football game, which includes implementing random chances without revealing animations. Bring in a new presentation package like the NHL series and NBC. Provide the same updates to Ultimate Team and, as other writers have suggested, make it a more rewarding and less financial experience.

Put together an aggressive marketing campaign that talks about “how things go in cycles” and hammer home that Madden 24 will be discussed and revered the same way that we discuss other greats from the past. Oh, and throw Champ Bailey on the cover to really cement the point that Madden 24 will take over as the best football game of all-time.

 

 

What do you think? What’s in your five year plan for Madden?

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  1. Fire whoever does animations, ask Visual Concepts and SDS to assist in the animation process, cause clearly having the largest animation studio doesn't mean anything. Spend the entire cycle working on situational/contextual/blending animations for any giving outcome. While simultaneously working on the AI and nothing but AI and Animations.
    Franchise and presentation... Yada yada...
    Same song, second verse.
    This has been the rallying cry of gamers and media everywhere for so long, that I think it's just noise to EA at this point. Whoever takes over as creative director will face this as a continuing, annoying challenge. But that's not what's going to endear him/her to his/her creative team and superiors. What will endear this 'lucky' individual is how the title will grow in volume of sales and microtransactions over the next xx years. People want to hear that their jobs are secure, not how much more work they will now be facing.
    The only real way franchise/career and presentation will see any marked improvements any time soon is if real competition surfaces. Trouble is, since the NFL has an exclusive licensing agreement, no other truly competitive product is on the horizon.
    If I was handed the job, I'd focus on an immersive career mode that's scalable to the interests of a broad audience. I'd also tear down the vanilla presentation and create a tangible, 'football' experience for my customers. No more 'video gamey' experience. Screw that. Instead, what you see on fall weekends is what you experience in the title.
    Finally, transparency. Take a year off from a title release, produce a series of development/marketing updates for the public to comment on, remove all disguises. At this point, with the exclusive license, fans will always buy the title. They deserve to know the truth about what to expect.
    1st I would try to rework the philosophy from the top down. Cut the gimmicks and quick money grabs. Let's make a real NFL game that gets the sport right first, then add the frills of other modes and such. Let's get gameplay, franchise, presentation, options/customization, and visuals right first, then work on story modes, MUT or whatever.
    Then I would try to find a dev that could carry out the vision, or either gut most of Tiburon, because I honestly don't think they can get it done.
    I would fire anyone who signed off on the idea of making NO improvements to Franchise Mode for Madden 18
    Then I would put every ounce of energy, penny, and time in Franchise Mode to catch-up with the rest of the sports games.
    Once Franchise Mode is on par with 2k, I would then split the focus and energy across all fields.
    If I were running Madden, my five year plan would be:

    • Complete overhaul of the gameplay engine. In a series where main menu settings impact CFM, where fatigue settings, autosub settings, penalty sliders etc. have a dramatic impact on gameplay, everything needs to be gutted. There is legacy code on legacy code here....nothing positive can happen till the entire thing has been gutted and rebuilt....which is likely a 2 year project.
    • Development of an animation system that doesn't rely on canned animations. It's certainly better than it has been, but dramatic improvements are still needed.
    • Re-done ratings system. Basically, build it so that the overall rating is based on a handful of key ratings based on the player type. So, if a player is a power RB, high trucking/stiff arm will greatly bump up his overall (even if he has crappy elusiveness, spin move, etc.). Right now, the only way to get the overall rating up there would be to boost those other ratings which take away from his identity as a power back.
    • Creation of an ultimate sim experience gameplay-wise. Passing into windows (not to the "open guy"), real pass rush with no artificial timers, a game where ratings matter. I can write a novel here...
    • Enhancements to the franchise mode to add better fidelity for multi-team control, to add greater immersion into the league, and to add more authentic NFL rules. Resist the urge to mimic NBA 2k's awful franchise "starter kit" and do something truly fun and immersive. Deuce's thread isn't far off the mark.
    • Addition of a true "season mode" to the game. Many people just want to play a season with "their team" without the hassle of franchise.
    • Total overhaul to Ultimate Team. Add deeper User v CPU modes that encourage use of a full range of cards in building your team (not just the upgrade, upgrade, upgrade paradigm seen now). Adding of a full season mode where your UT plays against a full NFL schedule (including playoffs). All games will be full sim and the option to use a realistic quarter length and difficulty level for all offline games will be granted (with online matches locked-in at 8 minute quarters). Creation of a F2P mode where you cannot purchase anything or play against anyone who has purchased anything; everything else would be exactly the same as the "pay mode"...which many people will still do to serve their desires for instant gratification.
    • Creation of an 7v7 or 8v8 competitive mode. Competitive sports will never work long-term for true sim-style NFL football. So, using all the licenses, create something different, something that can greatly magnify stick skills, and when something goes awry, it isn't automatically compared to the real thing.

    Gameplay engine would be the highest priority as that impacts all modes. The new sim style would roll out at the same time and would be used for all game modes (with tourneys played on reduced penalty settings).
    Mode enhancements would follow (franchise and MUT) and then the additional modes (new comp mode and new season mode) added.
    Saw this on twitter:
    Year 1: Make the game simulate the NFL.
    Year 2: Make the game simulate the NFL.
    Year 3: Make the game simulate the NFL.
    Year 4: Make the game simulate the NFL.
    Year 5: Make the game simulate the NFL.
    My creative vision for Madden:
    - transition Madden away from an annual boxed release to a year-round subscription service. Sports games on consoles are well overdue for this change and non-sports games are already doing this (one notable example is Rainbow Six: Siege). I want Madden to lead the pack in this space amongst my direct peers in sports games. I assume this transition will require a major technical investment over the entire five years, especially for modes like Ultimate Team and Franchise, so I want to start it today. Once the game is adapted to the subscription model, I'll begin delivering new content to leverage that new position.
    - double down on gameplay mechanics across the board, on and off the field. I want to lower the skill floor and raise the skill ceiling at every position on the field, and I want to create unique gameplay mechanics for different player types to increase roster diversity in all gameplay modes. The goal for this investment is to make an 11-v-11 online game of Madden fun to play for all players regardless of position. I also want to create more roster management mechanics in Franchise and Ultimate Team to make the meta of Madden more interesting, increase the game's authenticity where appropriate to do so, etc.
    - make User vs CPU an adequate training tool for User vs User. I've said this before elsewhere, but it's worth repeating. The user has a massive toolbox at its disposal in Madden, and in my previous bullet point I propose continued investment into that toolbox. The game needs to actively make users aware these tools exist, the CPU needs to organically use all these tools, and the game needs to point out when use of these tools succeeds and fails so the user may learn from his gameplay mistakes. A more organic and skilled CPU opponent makes all single-player game modes better simultaneously.
    - add components to Franchise and Ultimate Team to make each mode a more engaging and social experience. Specific to Franchise mode: I want to integrate Twitch and allow league members to broadcast their games within Madden; for example, if I log into Madden and my brother is in the middle of his game, the first thing I want to see on the franchise hub is a live feed of his game in progress. I want to collate highlights captured by my console or Twitch and present them in my team's hub for other users to see. I want to lift Story Builder from NCAA and allow custom content generation (such as what many people do in dynasty tracker threads) to happen natively within Madden. I want a much better companion app which broadcasts user-generated content, highlights, roster moves, game results, and all other activity to my phone so I can keep track of what's going on in my online league while I'm away from my console.
    - continue development of Longshot on the back of last year's praise, but position it as a new user teaching tool. New users aren't going to be able to just jump right in to Madden and succeed, one-button "easy" modes are insulting to their intelligence, and removed from the appropriate context of Franchise mode Skills Trainer becomes a boring check list. I'd use Longshot to gradually introduce the controls of the game to users to get them at least ready to start attacking the rest of the game.
    ?Cleanup the ball physics and balance the game speed. As I have stated in the past, there is a good balance somewhere in between Slow and Normal speed. The Animations need to branch better with the game speed in order to make the experience more organic. Scrap the franchise mode that currently exists and replace with the franchise mode in Madden 05-08 on the ps2.
    ? Create a Franchise. Now you can make your own team from scratch. Design your uniform, logo, stadium surrounding backgrounds and field types. set prices on all of your vendors and items sold Dynamic crowds based on team popularity, city desire and performance. Earn the right to even have your games televised. 
    ? Downloadable additions to the game that allow for new modes. Call it "The Life". Career mode that takes your player from High School senior and live the life. Option to go to a  big school and be noticed by the world. You will be tempted by boosters, girls and grade tampering. Get caught and it will affect your draft stock. Open world career mode. Give us a chance to drive around a fictional city and spend our money on goods and services and fun. Do something foolish and pay off the law or miss a few games if the commish says so. Take some drugs and have a fun urine test mini game in order to rig the test.
    ?I feel that because personality has been surgically removed from this generation of the NFL, we need to have more to offer the football fan of video games. There is very little reason to play Madden once the Super Bowl ends. The developers need to give us more in the way of gameplay and off-the-field activities to keep us coming back after the last second ticks off of the clock on that manic Sunday.    
    My 5 year plan.
     Start an entire overhaul to make Madden feel and look different.  The game needs to look different than the previous years, and must feel different. I would also focus on the best authentic game play.  The game must first represent NFL football in its truest form.  Game play must be the focus point . Once the game looks like NFL football and plays like NFL football, the building process to progress forward can begin.  Things such as an active sideline where the players are in 3D or beyond and every player with the correct name and number assigned to them. I would include a rival boost in franchise mode, where regardless of a teams record, the lower seeded team in a inter conference rival would get a small boost.  We see this in the NFL today where a team plays conference team a little tougher based on the 2 game meeting in the season. I would work on the presentation to represent the NFL the way it does today.   I would figure out a way to incorporate multi broadcasting, where it's not just the same voices,  which i believe will make the game sound different and not the same every time its played.  We would have a main broadcasting team and then some generic voices so the game can stay fresh.  I would include live highlights in franchise mode as we during game play for live updates.  It was done many years ago, and with today's technology it should  be much better to accomplish. Half time show would be more detailed and in depth.   The way I would do competitive mood is to make the players look and feel as themselves, I personally don't see the point if almost every player that  feels and look the same way, and are all just about a 99 rating, I would focus on parity in this mode and well as the animation of the entire game.  If EA would just make the running animation different for each position the game would look very different  and more authentic. Once this is accomplish then my goal would be to go after individual players.  My goal for the players environment would be to focus on how players react and move in the different clements, degraded fields, proper equipment and clothing for all polygon characters.  My ultimate goal is if you see it in real football you should see it in the game, with exceptions of players getting concussions.  I would work on making a complete game that doesn't need releasing every year, but have much needed updates based on the changes of the NFL to rules and polices and the drafting system from college to pro.  Whatever is excluded or included each year, we would have the ability to update with out releasing another title each year.
    CM Hooe
    My creative vision for Madden:
    - transition Madden away from an annual boxed release to a year-round subscription service. Sports games on consoles are well overdue for this change and non-sports games are already doing this (one notable example is Rainbow Six: Siege). I want Madden to lead the pack in this space amongst my direct peers in sports games. I assume this transition will require a major technical investment over the entire five years, especially for modes like Ultimate Team and Franchise, so I want to start it today. Once the game is adapted to the subscription model, I'll begin delivering new content to leverage that new position.
    - double down on gameplay mechanics across the board, on and off the field. I want to lower the skill floor and raise the skill ceiling at every position on the field, and I want to create unique gameplay mechanics for different player types to increase roster diversity in all gameplay modes. The goal for this investment is to make an 11-v-11 online game of Madden fun to play for all players regardless of position. I also want to create more roster management mechanics in Franchise and Ultimate Team to make the meta of Madden more interesting, increase the game's authenticity where appropriate to do so, etc.
    - make User vs CPU an adequate training tool for User vs User. I've said this before elsewhere, but it's worth repeating. The user has a massive toolbox at its disposal in Madden, and in my previous bullet point I propose continued investment into that toolbox. The game needs to actively make users aware these tools exist, the CPU needs to organically use all these tools, and the game needs to point out when use of these tools succeeds and fails so the user may learn from his gameplay mistakes. A more organic and skilled CPU opponent makes all single-player game modes better simultaneously.
    - add components to Franchise and Ultimate Team to make each mode a more engaging and social experience. Specific to Franchise mode: I want to integrate Twitch and allow league members to broadcast their games within Madden; for example, if I log into Madden and my brother is in the middle of his game, the first thing I want to see on the franchise hub is a live feed of his game in progress. I want to collate highlights captured by my console or Twitch and present them in my team's hub for other users to see. I want to lift Story Builder from NCAA and allow custom content generation (such as what many people do in dynasty tracker threads) to happen natively within Madden. I want a much better companion app which broadcasts user-generated content, highlights, roster moves, game results, and all other activity to my phone so I can keep track of what's going on in my online league while I'm away from my console.
    - continue development of Longshot on the back of last year's praise, but position it as a new user teaching tool. New users aren't going to be able to just jump right in to Madden and succeed, one-button "easy" modes are insulting to their intelligence, and removed from the appropriate context of Franchise mode Skills Trainer becomes a boring check list. I'd use Longshot to gradually introduce the controls of the game to users to get them at least ready to start attacking the rest of the game.

    That will absolutely DESTROY sim game play against the CPU.
    If they did that, the CPU would become an unrealistic cheesefest. What they should do instead is adapt the CPU AI to mimic NFL TEAMS, and for those who want to learn how to play online, they can do it the old fashioned way: play online.
    Madden could do a skill or win/loss based brackets for who you choose to play, like many PC games do (under level 15 in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, for example).
    But training the CPU to mimic online users? HELL no. Instead, create AI that allows the CPU to mimic the NFL, including all the tools NFL teams have at their disposal.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    That will absolutely DESTROY sim game play against the CPU.

    I disagree that "sim" gets destroyed by making the CPU aware of all the tools available to it. We've all been complaining that the CPU needs help for years, I want to provide it that help.
    My go-to example on this is the story of how the Ravens user in my M18 online league led the league in rushing with Joe Flacco. This happened because said user scrambles any time the opportunity presents itself on a passing down, and the CPU doesn't know how or when to use a QB Spy or DL Contain rush unless that assignment is specifically baked into the play call.
    (as an aside: before you said "I'd kick this user if I were you": 1 - he's my friend, so that's not happening; 2 - I don't have the time or patience to enforce video game house rules; and 3 - it's not my responsibility to teach someone the "right" way to play a video game, the video game must enforce its own rules upon its users.)
    Teaching the CPU when and how to use defensive hot routes to counter that tendency forces that user to sit in the pocket and read a coverage, giving him opportunities to round out his skill set. He doesn't know how to actually read a coverage or play the pre-snap chess match at all, so against the very best players of the league he's currently screwed as long as he is allowed to rely on his crutch of just scrambling (because the very best players in our league know how to take that crutch away). I want the CPU to tie his right hand behind his back and make him learn to play left-handed, so to speak.
    Even if making the CPU aware of its toolbox was 100% not "sim" - I already said I disagree, but let's go with it - I also feel strongly that competitive balance of the user population is far more important and wins out over "sim" in this case. IMO Madden is a competitive video game first and a football game second. I want to do my damnedest to make sure anyone who picks up the controller has a fighting chance if he or she goes online.
    for those who want to learn how to play online, they can do it the old fashioned way: play online.

    This is literally the exact opposite of what you need to do if you want to foster a healthy and robust community in your game.
    Going back to my online league - the skill gap between the best player and the worst player is extremely wide. The best player in the league, my brother, has won literally every game against one of our mutual friends for the past three iterations of Madden. As a game designer, I not only want to but I feel I have a strong obligation to provide tools and experiences with which the worst player may hone his skills so he has a chance against skilled opponents.
    For me, it will always be gameplay, gameplay and gameplay first. And, franchise mode needs some serious attention.
    I think Sage hit on a good point, change the philosophy from the top on all the way down, but I just don't see that happening based on past history.
    There are numerous additions to gameplay that need attention and too many to list.
    Also, agree on a lot of JoshC's suggestions that I am in line with.
    If I were in charge of Madden, I'd hire Duece as creative director and give him free reign....then leave him alone and watch Madden sore in sales/popularity.
    CM Hooe
    I disagree that "sim" gets destroyed by making the CPU aware of all the tools available to it. We've all been complaining that the CPU needs help for years, I want to provide it that help.
    My go-to example on this is the story of how the Ravens user in my M18 online league led the league in rushing with Joe Flacco. This happened because said user scrambles any time the opportunity presents itself on a passing down, and the CPU doesn't know how or when to use a QB Spy or DL Contain rush unless that assignment is specifically baked into the play call.

    We saw this issue in the QB scramble thread. You offered three strategies that help stop scrambling QBs. Strategies carry with them risk/reward. They may leave leave other areas open and allow other plays to work much better. But this is how competitions works.
    What was the solution by the sim guys in the thread? Go into attributes and change the scrambling QB into a player that won't scramble so much. It's what I';ve called paint-by-numbers boring. There is no learning, no improving skills. They just dial in the results they want and make them happen. There is no risk/reward.
    I'm with you. I'd rather a game adapt to condition on the field and opponent tendencies to utilize the same tools the User does. That leaves open the risk/reward opportunities to counter what your opponent is doing. If the game were to start doing that, it would render the "adjust attributes" solution even more meaningless.
    Expanding on that, maybe difficulty levels take advanced strategies as way to scale difficulty. On easy, it doesn't adapt. On the Hardest, it adapts to everything. The only problem I see with this is the usual sports gamers battlecry of "Comeback code!"
    In NHL, many players solved the "comeback code" by nerfing the AI's ability to change strategies, so it can't get more aggressive late in the game when it is losing, you know, instead of adjusting defensive strategies to protect a lead.
    So, I'm not convinced that sim players will ever embrace an AI that actually uses the in-game tools to combat your tendencies. And if that is the case, you can't put sim gamers into easy difficulty, as they won't use it. But I think it would be better than changing the speed and abilities at different levels.
    drugsbunny

    ?*Downloadable additions to the game that allow for new modes. Call it "The Life". Career mode that takes your player from High School senior and live the life. Option to go to a *big school and be noticed by the world. You will be tempted by boosters, girls and grade tampering. Get caught and it will affect your draft stock. Open world career mode. Give us a chance to drive around a fictional city and spend our money on goods and services and fun. Do something foolish and pay off the law or miss a few games if the commish says so. Take some drugs and have a fun urine test mini game in order to rig the test.***

    Lol. A mini game fake urine drug test? Lol. I love it! Like, u gotta sneak in fake urine without the lab inspectors finding it. Make sure u heat it up to the correct temp before going. Lol.
    How great would madden or any nfl game be if they did add that type of ‘realism’? Lol. Like, what if Rockstar made an nfl game? You’d have all that stuff in there. Girls, drugs, locker room shenanigans. This will never happen as the nfl won’t even allow concussions in the game. But, it is interesting to think about. I mean, if u had to truly manage a roster of individual men with individual personality traits and balance their ability to like each other and play hard on the field while sneaking fake urine into a drug test, I mean, wow.
    Someone might ask, ‘how’s that new madden?’ And, one might respond, ‘oh, man. It’s great. My stud CB passed his drug test after partying all week with strippers and smoking weed. So, we won the super bowl.’ Lol
    ‘But, hows the gameplay?’
    ‘What?’
    Forget about X’s and O’s, the new madden is all about Exes and Ho’s. Lol
    Ok, I’ll stop, now. I just couldn’t help it. That drug test mini game cracked me up.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    JayhawkerStL
    We saw this issue in the QB scramble thread. You offered three strategies that help stop scrambling QBs. Strategies carry with them risk/reward. They may leave leave other areas open and allow other plays to work much better. But this is how competitions works.
    What was the solution by the sim guys in the thread? Go into attributes and change the scrambling QB into a player that won't scramble so much. It's what I';ve called paint-by-numbers boring. There is no learning, no improving skills. They just dial in the results they want and make them happen. There is no risk/reward.
    I'm with you. I'd rather a game adapt to condition on the field and opponent tendencies to utilize the same tools the User does. That leaves open the risk/reward opportunities to counter what your opponent is doing. If the game were to start doing that, it would render the "adjust attributes" solution even more meaningless.

    As one of the trait-editing advocates, I'll simply say that adjusting from Mobile to Balanced simply fixes whatever EA broke in the patch that caused QBs to scramble at twice the old rate. Balanced simply plays as Mobile used to, so Balanced trait guys will run on you and force you to do all the "learning/adjusting/trying hard" that you valorize above. I just played Rogers, who is Balanced, and he took off on me 9x. I had to spy him almost every play at the end of the game.
    So I think your characterization of the fix is a bit reductive and not entirely charitable. Granted, editing traits is not for everyone, as it's a little extra work, but it's not like it makes for lazy gaming, either. Just sayin'.
    One of the bigger selling features this past year was customization and yet, people that customize the game to fit their personal needs, are slapped with a paint by numbers accusations.lol
    I really don't care how anyone uses their game and would hope no one cares how I get the most of the a user vs cpu experience.
    Five year plan huh? Well how about aliens crashing during a game but you fight them off but they leave their weapons behind causing a team death match but also include a battle royal mode that will make fornite jealous. No? Ok how about going back and looking at all the things that 2k did and update it to 4k. Improving the gameplay and expanding the franchise to include mini camp with free agent and street tryouts, work on making penalties more realistic and do a much better job with presentation, such as the sidelines. I am tired of everyone looking alike on the sidelines ( although that is improving) . Would like to see a " Home field " advantage figured in. This seems to be missing in today s game. Think college hoops 2k8 they did a great job with that. Also when it's rainy or snowing completion percentages should go down. Make it easier to sub in backups. Think Fifa 18 quick sub suggestions. Sideline reporter for injury updates. I could go on and on, a lot you could do in five years!
    I would re-do Franchise mode. EAs is so shallow compared to NBA 2K's MYLeague.
    I want everything to be customizable. Be able to swap teams in, add teams, re-align divisions, create your own teams, draft classes, etc...
    Trojan Man
    As one of the trait-editing advocates, I'll simply say that adjusting from Mobile to Balanced simply fixes whatever EA broke in the patch that caused QBs to scramble at twice the old rate. Balanced simply plays as Mobile used to, so Balanced trait guys will run on you and force you to do all the "learning/adjusting/trying hard" that you valorize above. I just played Rogers, who is Balanced, and he took off on me 9x. I had to spy him almost every play at the end of the game.
    So I think your characterization of the fix is a bit reductive and not entirely charitable. Granted, editing traits is not for everyone, as it's a little extra work, but it's not like it makes for lazy gaming, either. Just sayin'.

    If you run QB contain and use a spy, the QB will run less. What changing the traits do is allow you to defend him in the same way you would any other QB. The threat of a run forces teams to avoid man to man and give up a defender to just spy.
    So yeah, you can "fix" this by changing attributes, but it's really just dumbing down the game. I prefer to have to actually change my defensive style based on the talent and tendencies of my opponent.
    roadman
    One of the bigger selling features this past year was customization and yet, people that customize the game to fit their personal needs, are slapped with a paint by numbers accusations.lol
    I really don't care how anyone uses their game and would hope no one cares how I get the most of the a user vs cpu experience.

    Well, my discussion piggybacks on what CM was suggesting, which is the CPU using more of the tools against users, which helps force the user to play smarter. But that got push back because that would be "an unrealistic cheesefest," as though NFL teams don't watch film and change their tendencies from week to week to account for what their opponent does.
    That's the chess match. If I have a mobile QB,m then I know I will see more zone, one LB or S will be out of the play, and DL will be more focused on contain instead of pass rush. So that gives me options. That means sometimes, I am going to go against grain, because my opponent is assuming one thing, so I will do another.
    But, apparently, that is not sim.
    Impetuous65
    Fire whoever does animations, ask Visual Concepts and SDS to assist in the animation process, cause clearly having the largest animation studio doesn't mean anything. Spend the entire cycle working on situational/contextual/blending animations for any giving outcome. While simultaneously working on the AI and nothing but AI and Animations.

    This right here needs to be the top priority. It needs to be priority number 1, 2, 3, and 4. A game can have the greatest franchise mode, the great customization options, the greatest "anything else feature," and I would not touch it unless the player movement animation are representative of athletes.
    However, I would certainly not look to SDS for animations. That may be a shocking statement, but simply look at the gifs below and you'll understand why. If you actually break down and evaluate MLB the Show, the animations are no where near the level of realism found in Pro Yakyuu Spirits. If you want top level animation input, look to the team that worked on Pro Yakyuu Spirits.
    Pro Yakyuu Spirits (GOOD representation) vs MLB the Show (POOR representation) vs Real Life.
    JayhawkerStL
    Well, my discussion piggybacks on what CM was suggesting, which is the CPU using more of the tools against users, which helps force the user to play smarter. But that got push back because that would be "an unrealistic cheesefest," as though NFL teams don't watch film and change their tendencies from week to week to account for what their opponent does.
    That's the chess match. If I have a mobile QB,m then I know I will see more zone, one LB or S will be out of the play, and DL will be more focused on contain instead of pass rush. So that gives me options. That means sometimes, I am going to go against grain, because my opponent is assuming one thing, so I will do another.
    But, apparently, that is not sim.

    I am purely referencing user vs cpu, not hth. Totally different animals playing the game.
    i went over my 5 year plan in the Rex leave thread
    i would try to brainstorm with @LD2K to turn madden CFM Mode into NBA 2K Lite add a commish mode let u create a 300 man offline draft class in cfm widen out the ratings look at Madden 2003 and madden 2010 Default rosters as ex
    if players complain i would say go to mut we will boost your rating there
    give the user a choice of numbers or badges at their ratings system
    online if u dont play sim go to mut
    custom create a team and stadium in cfm mode offline
    more holding OPI DPI WILL be called
    more Off Def playbooks ex Walsh West coast 99 rams 85 bears def tampa 2 and over 50 more
    code word to unlock ne coach in cfm off line only
    u can download your team music
    think madden 12 on steroids
    My ‘Day One’ plan would be to scrap talk of three or five year plans completely. They never reach fruition or materialise.
    My focus every year would be to build upon what has been added already and build new features every single year that offer something to every member of the community. That includes franchise mode. I remember in past years, the devs for NCAA and Madden would talk about an environment where they were able to pitch ideas and develop them by themselves in some cases if they felt strongly about it. Often spending hours at the end of the day, unpaid, because they genuinely wanted a feature in the game. There’s a clear sense that has disappeared and the corporate structure has consumed the sense of individuality and personality among the team.
    strawberryshortcake
    This right here needs to be the top priority. It needs to be priority number 1, 2, 3, and 4. A game can have the greatest franchise mode, the great customization options, the greatest "anything else feature," and I would not touch it unless the player movement animation are representative of athletes.
    However, I would certainly not look to SDS for animations. That may be a shocking statement, but simply look at the gifs below and you'll understand why. If you actually break down and evaluate MLB the Show, the animations are no where near the level of realism found in Pro Yakyuu Spirits. If you want top level animation input, look to the team that worked on Pro Yakyuu Spirits.
    Pro Yakyuu Spirits (GOOD representation) vs MLB the Show (POOR representation) vs Real Life.

    You're talking about likeness or signature animations. I'm talking contextual/situational animations to fit any giving scenario and it looks natural. Likeness just takes some getting some good actors to mimic or getting the player to come in and doing it themselves.
    SDS, have a whole slew of animations that a 2nd and 3rd tier out of position player has no access to, which makes you reconsider drag and drop when you sub. EA, is just plug and pla when it comes to sports WE all know sports is a meritocracy, some men/women are better and can do more than others. Plug and play is a 90's concept.
    - Scrap the physics engine...replace it with an immensely deep and varied system of scripted, contextual animations for all forms of player interaction and movement thus creating a sense of explosiveness and impact.
    - Take player models to the next level with different varied musculature types, arm lengths/wingspans and bone structure allowing for even more lifelike graphics.
    - Advance and deepen the traits system to further govern the player behavior and decision making both on and off the field. Basically, each player will have their own unique psychological profile making your CFM feel "Alive".
    - Full integration of Pro Football Focus data for player ratings and performance progression.
    - A complete replication of TV Broadcast style presentation using the exact same cutaway shots, replays, overlays, sideline reporting, injury updates, etc* you'd see on gamedays...not some "re-imagined EA" vision of a TV broadcast.
    JayhawkerStL
    We saw this issue in the QB scramble thread. You offered three strategies that help stop scrambling QBs. Strategies carry with them risk/reward. They may leave leave other areas open and allow other plays to work much better. But this is how competitions works.
    What was the solution by the sim guys in the thread? Go into attributes and change the scrambling QB into a player that won't scramble so much. It's what I';ve called paint-by-numbers boring. There is no learning, no improving skills. They just dial in the results they want and make them happen. There is no risk/reward.
    I'm with you. I'd rather a game adapt to condition on the field and opponent tendencies to utilize the same tools the User does. That leaves open the risk/reward opportunities to counter what your opponent is doing. If the game were to start doing that, it would render the "adjust attributes" solution even more meaningless.
    Expanding on that, maybe difficulty levels take advanced strategies as way to scale difficulty. On easy, it doesn't adapt. On the Hardest, it adapts to everything. The only problem I see with this is the usual sports gamers battlecry of "Comeback code!"
    In NHL, many players solved the "comeback code" by nerfing the AI's ability to change strategies, so it can't get more aggressive late in the game when it is losing, you know, instead of adjusting defensive strategies to protect a lead.
    So, I'm not convinced that sim players will ever embrace an AI that actually uses the in-game tools to combat your tendencies. And if that is the case, you can't put sim gamers into easy difficulty, as they won't use it. But I think it would be better than changing the speed and abilities at different levels.
    I'd prefer this. There is currently no strategy involved in games vs the cpu. Every play is completely independent from previous plays
    As was mentioned earlier by CM Hooe, I would move toward a subscription-based service. I would gradually phase out the disc while introducing the subscription. If I made the initial subscription fee $10-$15 less than the disc, more people may be enticed to go in that direction.
    I would incorporate more micro-transactions. Want the latest uniform schemes or helmet design? Make it DLC. Want to play games inside the old Astrodome, Cleveland Stadium, Shea Stadium, etc? Make it DLC. Want to incorporate the new draft class into your Franchise Mode? You got it... make it DLC.
    Redesign or scrap the CFM. Introduce a new offline Franchise Mode, which would have similar aspects of the Franchise Mode on the previous-generation systems. I would like the ability to watch or play other games without having to become coach or owner of that team. I would also give Franchise the ability to add 1 or 2 teams to the league, and possibly leading up to adding 4 teams.
    The only CPU changes I would make would be to have it adjust better to my play calling. If I'm dinking-and-dunking the ball down the field, I would expect the defense to start to creep up. If my QB is scrambling for his life and getting good yardage, I would expect the defense to start spying on him. Personally, I have awful stick skills and the CPU can easily kill me if I screw up a few times. I can coach pretty good, and it is always tempting to go to my money plays. I would expect the CPU would better recognize these money plays.
    Due to my awful stick skills, I don't play much MUT or online CFM- so I can't realistic say what I would do with those modes.
    Longshot didn't entice me, and I'm less likely to play it again. If Longshot 2 doesn't impress me, I'd dump it.
    If the NCAA Football game isn't coming back soon, introduce us to the CFL Grey Cup game. Their season starts sooner and the NFL does have an investment in the league... I'm just sayin'.
    Finally, I'd introduce a new 5-on-5 or 7-on-7 All-Madden League. This would follow a similar path of the NBA 2K League in having tryouts, a draft, and conducting regular season and playoffs. Woven into the regular season would be tournaments, but the tournaments would be different. Maybe have a tournament of the Oklahoma drill, a tournament where every drive starts at the defense's 25, and a tournament where there is no kicking.
    That's a lot to accomplish in 5 years...
    CM Hooe
    My creative vision for Madden:
    - transition Madden away from an annual boxed release to a year-round subscription service. Sports games on consoles are well overdue for this change and non-sports games are already doing this (one notable example is Rainbow Six: Siege). I want Madden to lead the pack in this space amongst my direct peers in sports games. I assume this transition will require a major technical investment over the entire five years, especially for modes like Ultimate Team and Franchise, so I want to start it today. Once the game is adapted to the subscription model, I'll begin delivering new content to leverage that new position.
    - double down on gameplay mechanics across the board, on and off the field. I want to lower the skill floor and raise the skill ceiling at every position on the field, and I want to create unique gameplay mechanics for different player types to increase roster diversity in all gameplay modes. The goal for this investment is to make an 11-v-11 online game of Madden fun to play for all players regardless of position. I also want to create more roster management mechanics in Franchise and Ultimate Team to make the meta of Madden more interesting, increase the game's authenticity where appropriate to do so, etc.
    - make User vs CPU an adequate training tool for User vs User. I've said this before elsewhere, but it's worth repeating. The user has a massive toolbox at its disposal in Madden, and in my previous bullet point I propose continued investment into that toolbox. The game needs to actively make users aware these tools exist, the CPU needs to organically use all these tools, and the game needs to point out when use of these tools succeeds and fails so the user may learn from his gameplay mistakes. A more organic and skilled CPU opponent makes all single-player game modes better simultaneously.
    - add components to Franchise and Ultimate Team to make each mode a more engaging and social experience. Specific to Franchise mode: I want to integrate Twitch and allow league members to broadcast their games within Madden; for example, if I log into Madden and my brother is in the middle of his game, the first thing I want to see on the franchise hub is a live feed of his game in progress. I want to collate highlights captured by my console or Twitch and present them in my team's hub for other users to see. I want to lift Story Builder from NCAA and allow custom content generation (such as what many people do in dynasty tracker threads) to happen natively within Madden. I want a much better companion app which broadcasts user-generated content, highlights, roster moves, game results, and all other activity to my phone so I can keep track of what's going on in my online league while I'm away from my console.
    - continue development of Longshot on the back of last year's praise, but position it as a new user teaching tool. New users aren't going to be able to just jump right in to Madden and succeed, one-button "easy" modes are insulting to their intelligence, and removed from the appropriate context of Franchise mode Skills Trainer becomes a boring check list. I'd use Longshot to gradually introduce the controls of the game to users to get them at least ready to start attacking the rest of the game.

    I would say this is more along the lines of how Madden should and would most likely go. I see EA going towards Twitch and other social avenues...
    I would like to see, though it is probably out of the realm for a Madden game, but COD WW2 has a lobby where people interact. There are things to do like old school Activision games, these are fun, but not sure if they are used often enough to justify others.
    The lobby in COD also, more so than in game action, allows for the micro-transaction cosmetics from uniforms to weapon skins and avatar icons to be seen and shown off. I would definitely spend money to dress up in a Vince Lombardi Fedora and overcoat and hang in a lobby where I could create challenge games and potentially set up practice matches for others to watch..
    If anyone has played COD WW2, players can play against each other in 1 v 1 shout out and the other players in the lobby can watch..
    The COD model needs improvements, and it was a slow launch, but it was awesome.. (note: I have not played the game in about 5 months, so I do not know the status of the lobby system currently; I hope it is running smoothly because it was a great idea).
    When I open Madden I want to be taken into a world of professional football. Not just a flat UI with a bunch of links as in M18 and previous iterations.
    CM Hooe
    I disagree that "sim" gets destroyed by making the CPU aware of all the tools available to it. We've all been complaining that the CPU needs help for years, I want to provide it that help.
    My go-to example on this is the story of how the Ravens user in my M18 online league led the league in rushing with Joe Flacco. This happened because said user scrambles any time the opportunity presents itself on a passing down, and the CPU doesn't know how or when to use a QB Spy or DL Contain rush unless that assignment is specifically baked into the play call.

    I interpreted your comment as the CPU mimicking online MUT-style unrealistic cheese.
    CM Hooe

    (as an aside: before you said "I'd kick this user if I were you": 1 - he's my friend, so that's not happening; 2 - I don't have the time or patience to enforce video game house rules; and 3 - it's not my responsibility to teach someone the "right" way to play a video game, the video game must enforce its own rules upon its users.)

    The rules must be fixed by the programmers then, to favor realistic play and punish idiotic cheese. Call the same play 3 times in a row? CPU gets a massive awareness bonus, for example.
    There are probably much better solutions to that problem as well.
    CM Hooe

    Teaching the CPU when and how to use defensive hot routes to counter that tendency forces that user to sit in the pocket and read a coverage, giving him opportunities to round out his skill set. He doesn't know how to actually read a coverage or play the pre-snap chess match at all, so against the very best players of the league he's currently screwed as long as he is allowed to rely on his crutch of just scrambling (because the very best players in our league know how to take that crutch away). I want the CPU to tie his right hand behind his back and make him learn to play left-handed, so to speak.

    This is the GOOD side of your proposition. But there IS a bad side, and it depends upon how this is done.
    CM Hooe

    Even if making the CPU aware of its toolbox was 100% not "sim" - I already said I disagree, but let's go with it - I also feel strongly that competitive balance of the user population is far more important and wins out over "sim" in this case. IMO Madden is a competitive video game first and a football game second. I want to do my damnedest to make sure anyone who picks up the controller has a fighting chance if he or she goes online.

    IMO that is why Madden is going down the toilet with respect to its original slogan "If it's in the Game, it's in the game."
    If we're talking ideal situations, the ideal situation is to make playing realistically the best way to win. This could include a version of what you're talking about, but it has to be done right. The two are not mutually exclusive.
    But they have to stop using an engine base designed in 2006. Fat chance of starting over and doing it right, of course.
    But imagine a Madden game where doing stupid, idiotic crap that would never work in real football actually gives the user a DISadvantage instead of an advantage? Something like that has already been done in either NCAA or Madden (can't remember). It worked like this: if you kept calling the same play, the other player was able to see your play-call art. This could be adapted to the CPU. They get a situational awareness boost that increases every time you exceed a certain number of consecutive same play calls.
    CM Hooe

    This is literally the exact opposite of what you need to do if you want to foster a healthy and robust community in your game.

    See, you're approaching the problem from the wrong side. Don't start with what users are doing now and make the CPU duplicate it, start with how the engine works, and change it so that realistic football strategy gives an advantage, and unrealistic cheese gives a disadvantage.
    To an extent they are already trying to do this (QB fumbling for example), but unfortunately their tools are too limited to do it right (which is why the engine needs to be thrown out and rebuilt- but of course that's nothing but a dream).
    CM Hooe

    Going back to my online league - the skill gap between the best player and the worst player is extremely wide. The best player in the league, my brother, has won literally every game against one of our mutual friends for the past three iterations of Madden. As a game designer, I not only want to but I feel I have a strong obligation to provide tools and experiences with which the worst player may hone his skills so he has a chance against skilled opponents.

    That's all well and good, but you could also design the game in a way that the best players are the ones who play the game the closest to how NFL games are actually played.
    A tall order, but so is designing an entire system to make the CPU simulate the cheese found in online games.
    Allowing the CPU to adjust intelligently is a good thing. The problem is the engine.
    At least for those of us who want Madden to be an NFL Simulation first and an E-Sport second, which is clearly not the crowd you belong to, so naturally you'd disagree with my take on it.
    improve and add game-play mechanics
    passing game- incorporate an advanced passing option similar to back breaker.
    catching for both offense and defense, make catching the ball a fully manual function.   id have the catching window variable based on the defender and receiver ratings.    match ups would matter, cause now you would want to have your best cb's on the best receivers...
    these two options would go a long way in balancing gameplay.
    AI adjustments  in-game definitely  have to be improved.
    JayhawkerStL
    We saw this issue in the QB scramble thread. You offered three strategies that help stop scrambling QBs. Strategies carry with them risk/reward. They may leave leave other areas open and allow other plays to work much better. But this is how competitions works.
    What was the solution by the sim guys in the thread? Go into attributes and change the scrambling QB into a player that won't scramble so much. It's what I';ve called paint-by-numbers boring. There is no learning, no improving skills. They just dial in the results they want and make them happen. There is no risk/reward.
    I'm with you. I'd rather a game adapt to condition on the field and opponent tendencies to utilize the same tools the User does. That leaves open the risk/reward opportunities to counter what your opponent is doing. If the game were to start doing that, it would render the "adjust attributes" solution even more meaningless.

    And why couldn't an engine incorporate such a thing, but instead of rewarding idiotic cheese, reward realistic football play?
    Then you can have the same kind of moves and counter moves seen in the NFL. This is not a mutually exclusive situation here.
    JayhawkerStL

    Expanding on that, maybe difficulty levels take advanced strategies as way to scale difficulty. On easy, it doesn't adapt. On the Hardest, it adapts to everything. The only problem I see with this is the usual sports gamers battlecry of "Comeback code!"

    Adaptation is not the problem for the sim crowd. The sim crowd WANTS CPU adaptation. Situational awareness and adaptation by the CPU is a HUGE request from the sim crowd. What we DON'T want is for unrealistic play to reward the user, and then the CPU to simulate it to train newbies.
    We want an engine where REALISTIC play gives the best chance of winning, and then by all means put all of that into the CPU and give it the same tools.
    JayhawkerStL

    So, I'm not convinced that sim players will ever embrace an AI that actually uses the in-game tools to combat your tendencies. And if that is the case, you can't put sim gamers into easy difficulty, as they won't use it. But I think it would be better than changing the speed and abilities at different levels.

    Then you obviously have zero idea what sim players want, and haven't really been listening to them.
    Here's what sim players want:
    Super Bowl, Falcons vs Patriots. Falcons get a huge lead. Falcons have a lot of success running the ball.
    Second half comes. Patriots adjust. Running becomes far less effective for the Falcons. The Patriots run a lot more hurry up. The Patriots then, at the most critical moment on a two point conversion, call a play that exploits the way the Falcons had been playing short yardage all game.
    That's what happened in the real Super Bowl. Moves, counter moves, counter-counter moves, etc.
    That is what the sim crowd wants.
    What the sim crowd DOESN'T want:
    User makes Joe Flacco scramble 40 times a game. CPU then simulates that play to "teach" new users how to compete against experienced users online, making Joe Flacco scramble 40 times a game.
    Now every franchise season has Joe Flaccco leading the NFL in rushing.
    The problem is NOT the CPU having access to the same tools as the user. That would be a wonderful thing that sim players would embrace whole-heartedly.
    The problem is that the game rewards idiocy too much and realistic football play not enough.
    Fix the engine, and THEN add this feature.
    JayhawkerStL
    If you run QB contain and use a spy, the QB will run less. What changing the traits do is allow you to defend him in the same way you would any other QB. The threat of a run forces teams to avoid man to man and give up a defender to just spy.
    So yeah, you can "fix" this by changing attributes, but it's really just dumbing down the game. I prefer to have to actually change my defensive style based on the talent and tendencies of my opponent.

    And I'd prefer the talent and tendencies of my opponent to mimic the NFL instead of MUT tournaments, and be challenging BECAUSE of that. I.e., a game where realistic football play yields an advantage rather than a disadvantage. For example, in the real NFL, the Patriots will often come out passing a lot, and then run a lot after they have a lead in the second half (not always, but that is the general trend). Tom Brady is a great QB in real life AND in the game, yet in the game the Patriots are easy to beat because they underutilize Tom Brady compared to the real Patriots, because Tiburon just goes by a play call ratio instead of situational exceptions to play-calling. The so-called "adjustments" you speak of, if done right, would result in Tom Brady passing more early in a game, especially if the secondary is weak, instead of blindly following a pass/rush ratio like the game does now.
    Another example: The CPU playing press coverage when I have a 96 speed WR on the outside. That is something that flies in the face of what BOTH of us want: it's not sim (no team is playing press cover zero against Randy Moss), and it shows a complete failure of the CPU to adapt to what's going on on the field.
    What you say you want is not mutually exclusive with making Madden a football simulation. But an engine from 2006 that's been patched and tweaked for more than a decade isn't the way to get that done.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞

    IMO that is why Madden is going down the toilet with respect to its original slogan "If it's in the Game, it's in the game."
    If we're talking ideal situations, the ideal situation is to make playing realistically the best way to win. This could include a version of what you're talking about, but it has to be done right. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    I’m not sure to what extent the poster plays others sports titles - but if you look at another massive EA title like FIFA you can see how the balance between sim and competitive can be achieved perfectly well to satisfy both without sacrificing one over the other. The idea that Madden has to go all in on competitive is crazy. And if there’s a new model to be adopted on the sports game genre, it will be FIFA that attempts it first. Madden definitely isn’t the trailblazer in the sports category anymore. Ultimate Team and Frostbite both appeared on FIFA before Madden and that’s in EA’s own stable, let alone non Ea game which are even quicker to innovate.
    While I’m on the subject, titles like NBA 2k have set the benchmark when it comes to pushing forward with franchise mode and still satisfying competitive players demands. It’s my opinion that if necessary, Madden should implement non essential micro transactions to satisfy the corporate bottom line.
    I love seeing the community reply with the need for a complete overhaul of gameplay and Franchise mode. Unfortunately it seems only the people who buy the game are this passionate about these things as the developers continue to worry and work only on aspects which will cost people to purchase and purchase.  Business wise, one would think it important to produce a product that a major amount of it's target audience is asking for, yet according to their internal research, I can only suspect we are no longer their target audience.
    My hope is they react for once- honestly- to the public and just say one final time- "Yes, we are embarking on a new path that will ultimately release a game focused on superior and realistic gameplay including Franchise" or "No- these games where micro transactions rule the day are the way we will focus moving forward."
    I doubt anything so transparent will ever be released by EA, but one can continue to hope, can't one?
    Impetuous65
    You're talking about likeness or signature animations. I'm talking contextual/situational animations to fit any giving scenario and it looks natural. Likeness just takes some getting some good actors to mimic or getting the player to come in and doing it themselves.
    SDS, have a whole slew of animations that a 2nd and 3rd tier out of position player has no access to, which makes you reconsider drag and drop when you sub. EA, is just plug and pla when it comes to sports WE all know sports is a meritocracy, some men/women are better and can do more than others. Plug and play is a 90's concept.

    Not quite.
    I hear what you're saying. But what you're referring to is essentially increasing the available number of animation assets and putting trigger limits or access depending on the ability of the individuals (if they're superstars, average or weak) in given a certain situation.
    More importantly, it would fall on the shoulders of the AI programmers as well. Of course the animators would be heavily involved in the process-- they would know exactly when a set of animations should be triggered. But having the proper animations trigger, how and when they should be triggered for a given situation is predominantly the programmers' responsibility.
    Animations C, D,E,F gets trigger when Player X is this many units away from the sidelines, and how many defensive players are surrounding Player X, and the positions of any surrounding defenders, the ball path trajectory, and many more variables, etc. etc. etc. If player X (rated abilities, ranked capabilities, superstar, above average, average, weaker, etc.) and defender Z interacts one of many ways, a set of tiered contextual animations (Ca, Cb, Da, Db) could be triggered, etc. etc.
    ...... But what I'm talking about is not signature animations. I'm strictly talking about capturing proper biomechanics of human athletic movement. They're not the same and SDS falls short in a lot of their "general run of mill" animations. MLB the Show pitchers not tucking their glove side arms, not swiveling their hips and shoulders independently to generate the proper torque angle, not having the proper arm angles with respect to the body as the pitcher rears back, along with improper follow through and recoil is not "signature animations." It's simply about getting the mechanics of movements correct.
    I understand what you're saying and yes, contextual situational awareness along with a systematic animation tiered approach separating capable from less capable players and out of position players is definitely important. But when SDS isn't exactly doing simple athletic movements justice, I would be concerned about bringing them on board. SDS have had years to fix their general basic run of the mill animations and the same ones still plagues the series.
    Or let me rephrase that. Get an understanding to how SDS blends together different set of animations and transitions would be nice, but recruit someone or a team that actually understand the biomechanics of how a body moves. It starts with the basics. Either Visual Concepts, team that worked on Pro Yakyuu Spirits, Dixney/Pixar/Dreamwork to oversea the animation department along with a team who understands how to properly take raw mo-capped sequences, clean them up, and prepare them for in-game animation assets.
    strawberryshortcake
    Not quite.
    I hear what you're saying. But what you're referring to is essentially increasing the available number of animation assets and putting trigger limits or access depending on the ability of the individuals (if they're superstars, average or weak) in given a certain situation.
    More importantly, it would fall on the shoulders of the AI programmers as well. Of course the animators would be heavily involved in the process-- they would know exactly when a set of animations should be triggered. But having the proper animations trigger, how and when they should be triggered for a given situation is predominantly the programmers' responsibility.
    Animations C, D,E,F gets trigger when Player X is this many units away from the sidelines, and how many defensive players are surrounding Player X, and the positions of any surrounding defenders, the ball path trajectory, and many more variables, etc. etc. etc. If player X (rated abilities, ranked capabilities, superstar, above average, average, weaker, etc.) and defender Z interacts one of many ways, a set of tiered contextual animations (Ca, Cb, Da, Db) could be triggered, etc. etc.
    ...... But what I'm talking about is not signature animations. I'm strictly talking about capturing proper biomechanics of human athletic movement. They're not the same and SDS falls short in a lot of their "general run of mill" animations. MLB the Show pitchers not tucking their glove side arms, not swiveling their hips and shoulders independently to generate the proper torque angle, not having the proper arm angles with respect to the body as the pitcher rears back, along with improper follow through and recoil is not "signature animations." It's simply about getting the mechanics of movements correct.
    I understand what you're saying and yes, contextual situational awareness along with a systematic animation tiered approach separating capable from less capable players and out of position players is definitely important. But when SDS isn't exactly doing simple athletic movements justice, I would be concerned about bringing them on board. SDS have had years to fix their general basic run of the mill animations and the same ones still plagues the series.
    Or let me rephrase that. Get an understanding to how SDS blends together different set of animations and transitions would be nice, but recruit someone or a team that actually understand the biomechanics of how a body moves. It starts with the basics. Either Visual Concepts, team that worked on Pro Yakyuu Spirits, Dixney/Pixar/Dreamwork to oversea the animation department along with a team who understands how to properly take raw mo-capped sequences, clean them up, and prepare them for in-game animation assets.

    This here is very key to the success of Madden moving forward - given the fact that the game is now a televised championship series, for one. EA, as well as Microsoft are making it much easier to share game video and screenshots. The animations should be a major focus. YouTube and Twitter are increasing in popularity. Twitter is also a social medium where users share pictures and video.
    The game is beyond something to entertain video football fans. The game needs to strive to become entertaining for video game competitive fans. The game needs to be visually pleasing for television.
    I do not need to be a football guru to watch a video game and say, "That doesn't look right" and have it negatively affect my entertainment value perception.
    Kanobi
    - Scrap the physics engine...replace it with an immensely deep and varied system of scripted, contextual animations for all forms of player interaction and movement thus creating a sense of explosiveness and impact.
    - Take player models to the next level with different varied musculature types, arm lengths/wingspans and bone structure allowing for even more lifelike graphics.
    - Advance and deepen the traits system to further govern the player behavior and decision making both on and off the field. Basically, each player will have their own unique psychological profile making your CFM feel "Alive".
    - Full integration of Pro Football Focus data for player ratings and performance progression.
    - A complete replication of TV Broadcast style presentation using the exact same cutaway shots, replays, overlays, sideline reporting, injury updates, etc* you'd see on gamedays...not some "re-imagined EA" vision of a TV broadcast.

    Wanted to quote this for emphasis.
    In addition to that, I'm bringing a culture change.
    Forget all the user feedback tools, loops, and feeders. This game is now taking an artistic approach to replicate NFL football. By artistic, I don't necessarily mean graphics or cutscenes...I'm talking a body of work that gamers enjoy instead of what feels like a very sterile environment that the game gives off now.
    Glitches happen, but we will do our best to rid the game of all dead man animations (really? Its 2018). Contextual animations will come into play so if a player can't make that play in real life, he's not doing it in Madden. Lineplay...which has been a hot mess in Madden ever since I can remember will get fixed. Most importantly, we will give users all the strategy tools they need to create gameplans and adjustments. Multiple fronts, coverage shells, sights, protection schemes that you can use in an intuitive way
    I wouldn't last through a Dev Cycle.
    All I want;
    Madden 2004-2008 Franchise mode.
    All EA wants;
    .. pretty much everything else
    But I don't blame them. Who knew what MUT would turn in to?! Competitive is free marketing and wildly popular. More power to them. Ride that huge wave while you can. Keep the shareholders happy.
    Its just a shame that doesn't coincide with the wants of their dedicated fanbase that was with them from Day 1. We've been left in the dust.
    Impetuous65
    You're talking about likeness or signature animations. I'm talking contextual/situational animations to fit any giving scenario and it looks natural. Likeness just takes some getting some good actors to mimic or getting the player to come in and doing it themselves.
    SDS, have a whole slew of animations that a 2nd and 3rd tier out of position player has no access to, which makes you reconsider drag and drop when you sub. EA, is just plug and pla when it comes to sports WE all know sports is a meritocracy, some men/women are better and can do more than others. Plug and play is a 90's concept.
    To give a better visual clarification. Here's a general run of the mill simple walking animation. The following is not showcasing any sort of "signature animation." It's simply a general run of the mill "walking animation."
    Madden's biomechanics does not properly replicate how a human being walks. If even getting the simple basics is concerning, then how do we expect them to get even more complex biomechanics right?
    This is why I said priority #1, 2, 3, and 4 should be animations.
    Madden - simple walking animation. Not energy efficient. Imagine walking around like this for the entire day with buckled legs.

    Rugby Challenge - walking animation

    Kicking Animation
    CM Hooe
    My creative vision for Madden:
    - transition Madden away from an annual boxed release to a year-round subscription service. Sports games on consoles are well overdue for this change and non-sports games are already doing this (one notable example is Rainbow Six: Siege). I want Madden to lead the pack in this space amongst my direct peers in sports games. I assume this transition will require a major technical investment over the entire five years, especially for modes like Ultimate Team and Franchise, so I want to start it today. Once the game is adapted to the subscription model, I'll begin delivering new content to leverage that new position.
    - double down on gameplay mechanics across the board, on and off the field. I want to lower the skill floor and raise the skill ceiling at every position on the field, and I want to create unique gameplay mechanics for different player types to increase roster diversity in all gameplay modes. The goal for this investment is to make an 11-v-11 online game of Madden fun to play for all players regardless of position. I also want to create more roster management mechanics in Franchise and Ultimate Team to make the meta of Madden more interesting, increase the game's authenticity where appropriate to do so, etc.
    - make User vs CPU an adequate training tool for User vs User. I've said this before elsewhere, but it's worth repeating. The user has a massive toolbox at its disposal in Madden, and in my previous bullet point I propose continued investment into that toolbox. The game needs to actively make users aware these tools exist, the CPU needs to organically use all these tools, and the game needs to point out when use of these tools succeeds and fails so the user may learn from his gameplay mistakes. A more organic and skilled CPU opponent makes all single-player game modes better simultaneously.
    - add components to Franchise and Ultimate Team to make each mode a more engaging and social experience. Specific to Franchise mode: I want to integrate Twitch and allow league members to broadcast their games within Madden; for example, if I log into Madden and my brother is in the middle of his game, the first thing I want to see on the franchise hub is a live feed of his game in progress. I want to collate highlights captured by my console or Twitch and present them in my team's hub for other users to see. I want to lift Story Builder from NCAA and allow custom content generation (such as what many people do in dynasty tracker threads) to happen natively within Madden. I want a much better companion app which broadcasts user-generated content, highlights, roster moves, game results, and all other activity to my phone so I can keep track of what's going on in my online league while I'm away from my console.
    - continue development of Longshot on the back of last year's praise, but position it as a new user teaching tool. New users aren't going to be able to just jump right in to Madden and succeed, one-button "easy" modes are insulting to their intelligence, and removed from the appropriate context of Franchise mode Skills Trainer becomes a boring check list. I'd use Longshot to gradually introduce the controls of the game to users to get them at least ready to start attacking the rest of the game.

    Agree in large part with some of your points, but I vehemently disagree with the subscription-based idea.
    I think Madden’s gotten fairly lazy with their programming/gameplay and overall content outside of MUT. They’re on a tight leash with annual release, so maybe they have a right to cut corners here and there. I think a subscription-based “service” would only promote more laziness and more cutting corners.
    They could release a half-finished game that’s almost broken for $60, but wait! If you keep putting in $15-$20 a month, you can watch as it slowly returns to a playable form! Now that I type that out, it doesn’t seem like an idea that’s too foreign to EA.
    JayCutlersCig
    Agree in large part with some of your points, but I vehemently disagree with the subscription-based idea.
    I think Madden’s gotten fairly lazy with their programming/gameplay and overall content outside of MUT. They’re on a tight leash with annual release, so maybe they have a right to cut corners here and there. I think a subscription-based “service” would only promote more laziness and more cutting corners.
    They could release a half-finished game that’s almost broken for $60, but wait! If you keep putting in $15-$20 a month, you can watch as it slowly returns to a playable form! Now that I type that out, it doesn’t seem like an idea that’s too foreign to EA.

    MUT is the reason they can get away with such things.
    Take MUT out of the equation, all the unlockables, pay to play, all that revenue... where are they?
    Madden08PCgmr
    MUT is the reason they can get away with such things.
    Take MUT out of the equation, all the unlockables, pay to play, all that revenue... where are they?

    Take MUT out of the equation and you’re halfway there to a decent football game.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    JayCutlersCig
    Could you imagine the Titans running Four Verticals on every play?

    I mean, if you read my post you know that wasn't what I was getting at.
    For the sake of argument, though - if you keep calling defenses which can be exploited by four verts and make no attempt to disguise your coverages, shouldn't the CPU learn your obvious play calling tendencies and take advantage of that?
    JayCutlersCig
    Take MUT out of the equation and you’re halfway there to a decent football game.

    The amount of salt in this community directed at a single mode in a video game is something else.
    CM Hooe
    I mean, if you read my post you know that wasn't what I was getting at.
    The amount of salt in this community directed at a single mode in a video game is something else.

    1. No need to get snarky, dude.
    2. In some cases, the salt is justified. Most of the Sim guys here are from Madden 04, 05, 06 and so on and so forth. It’s safe to say that Franchise has taken two steps backwards in the years since and many people point to MUT. Think about it. MUT Squads were introduced this year. Franchise was left untouched. New MUT Moments were introduced, along with new packs, new cards, etc. Franchise was left untouched.
    A lot of the roads that lead to Franchise’s falling off go through MUTville, IMO.
    MUT has been wrongfully convicted. The mode has some very redeeming qualities and a change of pace in game play styles. Salary cap is very challenging, IMO of course.
    If people are under the impressions that without MUT we would have some all encompassing, robust CFM, I would have to say, you would not. MUT is a mode based off innovation and progression of the video gaming industry.
    MUT brings the game into realms where CFM could not enter. Esports is not for CFM. My Dynasty or My Career, etc. are not Esport material. Esports is a global event. American Football, not so much.. But, bringing american football into the global market is something EA and the NFL are very driven to do.
    Bashing MUT will not solve anything.
    4thQtrStre5S
    MUT has been wrongfully convicted. The mode has some very redeeming qualities and a change of pace in game play styles. Salary cap is very challenging, IMO of course.
    If people are under the impressions that without MUT we would have some all encompassing, robust CFM, I would have to say, you would not. MUT is a mode based off innovation and progression of the video gaming industry.
    MUT brings the game into realms where CFM could not enter. Esports is not for CFM. My Dynasty or My Career, etc. are not Esport material. Esports is a global event. American Football, not so much.. But, bringing american football into the global market is something EA and the NFL are very driven to do.
    Bashing MUT will not solve anything.

    adembroski
    What people miss here is that MUT is very simple. It doesn't really require much attention, except that attention that will be shared (online, online cfm).
    EA isn't going to suddenly start redirecting everyone toward MUT. It doesn't really work that way. If you dumped every resource into CFM, you'd very quickly see diminishing returns because it's such a small, self-contained mode. There's like 2 or 3 designers (actually, a development director/producer, a lead designer, and an assistant producer) and a dozen or so engineers on it. The UI team is shared, so that's not really relevant, plus CFM just needs UI templates, they can build their own data.
    The things that have taken the focus away from CFM have been Longshot, redoing commentary, and engine upgrades, not MUT. MUT is a drop in the bucket as far as resources. That's why they love it so much; huge revenue for minimal investment. Marketing is going to focus on MUT, but the less marketing gets their hands on other areas of the game, the better for us anyways.

    I disagree with the position that MUT critics don't have a reason to resent the mode due to what's lacking in CFM. In addition to the fact that I don't understand why anyone would want to play a mode where player differential seems central, in a game with poor player differential, it irked me that something like "Chemistry" would be included in MUT but not CFM. Then I did a search about MUT and found this: https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/madden-nfl-18-ultimate-team/
    Generally speaking, it's frustrating to see such a focus and admission of depth for MUT, that EA Tib seems to either downplay or not prioritize in Franchise mode. Again, I'm speaking generally, in CFM I would want more NFL based depth but the point is EA clearly understands the merit of depth in a game mode yet it's severally lacking in CFM.
    4thQtrStre5S
    MUT has been wrongfully convicted. The mode has some very redeeming qualities and a change of pace in game play styles. Salary cap is very challenging, IMO of course.
    If people are under the impressions that without MUT we would have some all encompassing, robust CFM, I would have to say, you would not. MUT is a mode based off innovation and progression of the video gaming industry.
    MUT brings the game into realms where CFM could not enter. Esports is not for CFM. My Dynasty or My Career, etc. are not Esport material. Esports is a global event. American Football, not so much.. But, bringing american football into the global market is something EA and the NFL are very driven to do.
    Bashing MUT will not solve anything.

    The thing is, Madden doesn’t just make MUT; Franchise is and has been a fairly big staple in the Madden games. I agree with the fact that “bashing” MUT won’t solve anything.
    But when one game mode overtakes another as far as content and innovation, that’s cause for concern in my opinion. With no offense intended to anyone who plays it, MUT feels like fantasy football for 12 year olds.
    Totally revamp player movement and animations, remove all Qb drop-back and pocket movement animations, remove all canned animations and running animations, go 100 percent physics. Rip out all old animations that have been in the game for years and replace them with new physics based ones. 80 percent of the budget will go towards that area of the game.
    4thQtrStre5S
    MUT has been wrongfully convicted. The mode has some very redeeming qualities and a change of pace in game play styles. Salary cap is very challenging, IMO of course.
    If people are under the impressions that without MUT we would have some all encompassing, robust CFM, I would have to say, you would not. MUT is a mode based off innovation and progression of the video gaming industry.
    MUT brings the game into realms where CFM could not enter. Esports is not for CFM. My Dynasty or My Career, etc. are not Esport material. Esports is a global event. American Football, not so much.. But, bringing american football into the global market is something EA and the NFL are very driven to do.
    Bashing MUT will not solve anything.

    Yeah but your post is somewhat contradictory (only under the assumption of limited resources to spend on designers).
    If MUT and not CFM is the mode that will help usher Madden into the esports world, and since both are primarily controlled by designers, it seems contradictory to claim that one would not effect the other, if only that one could have more people working on them if one were ignored.
    But the rest of your comment is right, I think.
    But CFM is a secondary concern. The real problem is GAME PLAY, and MUT doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it. EA/Tiburon is just as capable of rewarding MUT players who play realistically (by designing a game that more closely mimics the NFL) than rewarding them with cheese (by designing a game that takes willful effort on the user in order to mimic the NFL).
    Franchise needs work, but it still all comes down to game play and whether or not the game looks and feels like the NFL (which is also why graphics, animations, and player interactions are also crucial).
    To me, those are the most crucial issues. Adding more to Franchise would be fun, but I’d prefer a better, more realistic playing and better looking game than a better Franchise mode.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    Yeah but your post is somewhat contradictory (only under the assumption of limited resources to spend on designers).
    If MUT and not CFM is the mode that will help usher Madden into the esports world, and since both are primarily controlled by designers, it seems contradictory to claim that one would not effect the other, if only that one could have more people working on them if one were ignored.
    But the rest of your comment is right, I think.
    But CFM is a secondary concern. The real problem is GAME PLAY, and MUT doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it. EA/Tiburon is just as capable of rewarding MUT players who play realistically (by designing a game that more closely mimics the NFL) than rewarding them with cheese (by designing a game that takes willful effort on the user in order to mimic the NFL).
    Franchise needs work, but it still all comes down to game play and whether or not the game looks and feels like the NFL (which is also why graphics, animations, and player interactions are also crucial).
    To me, those are the most crucial issues. Adding more to Franchise would be fun, but I’d prefer a better, more realistic playing and better looking game than a better Franchise mode.

    One thing will always affect another. Opportunity Cost.
    MUT and its exposure to the Esport and television consumers affects all parts of the game. The game, to be consumable as a spectator product needs to be clean in its game play, logic, animations, graphics etc etc.
    M18 showed a lot of visual holes on live broadcast. Those errors cannot be allowed to continue. So the game will improve in a number of ways to create a more fluid game, which will affect all game modes in a positive way.
    Just played a game that absolutely infuriated me, and I seldom get mad over video games. A bit long, but it gets somewhere, I promise.
    This game showcased how absolutely broken M18 is/can be.
    In my CFM as a RB with the Packers, we were up against the Patriots. Down 45-38, a good game up to then. Coach takes me out of the game, for some reason, which is fine. We have :51 seconds an Aaron Rodgers to work with. No timeouts.
    When I get back on the field, we’re in no huddle, clock ticking, and for some ungodly reason or another, Aaron Williams is in the QB slot, Aaron Rodgers is in the slot receiver space.
    I can’t even hike the ball. I press X, nothing happens. So I let the clock tick down to :00, get the delay of game with :02 left. Five second runoff, game over, right?
    Wrong. We have one last play and I call a HB Screen. There’s a Roughing the Passer penalty, but guess what? The game ends anyway!
    Those responsible, or at least the majority for gameplay need to get gone. I’m convinced they know very little about the rules; I’ve seen overtime games lost because the team with the ball first kicked a FG and won. On a kickoff, I ran a fumble for a TD that didn’t count.
    Unbelievable. I’m so fed up with this game, it’s unreal.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    JayCutlersCig
    Just played a game that absolutely infuriated me, and I seldom get mad over video games. A bit long, but it gets somewhere, I promise.
    This game showcased how absolutely broken M18 is/can be.
    In my CFM as a RB with the Packers, we were up against the Patriots. Down 45-38, a good game up to then. Coach takes me out of the game, for some reason, which is fine. We have :51 seconds an Aaron Rodgers to work with. No timeouts.
    When I get back on the field, we’re in no huddle, clock ticking, and for some ungodly reason or another, Aaron Williams is in the QB slot, Aaron Rodgers is in the slot receiver space.
    I can’t even hike the ball. I press X, nothing happens. So I let the clock tick down to :00, get the delay of game with :02 left. Five second runoff, game over, right?
    Wrong. We have one last play and I call a HB Screen. There’s a Roughing the Passer penalty, but guess what? The game ends anyway!
    Those responsible, or at least the majority for gameplay need to get gone. I’m convinced they know very little about the rules; I’ve seen overtime games lost because the team with the ball first kicked a FG and won. On a kickoff, I ran a fumble for a TD that didn’t count.
    Unbelievable. I’m so fed up with this game, it’s unreal.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    They know the rules. One of them is a former NFL player FFS. They just put that stuff very, very low on the priorities to take care of.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    They know the rules. One of them is a former NFL player FFS. They just put that stuff very, very low on the priorities to take care of.

    They should know the rules, because they can be found online, for one. But being an NFL player does not make one proficient on the subject of rules.
    Many players do not even realize that if you step out of bounds while receiving a kickoff, it counts as if the ball itself went out.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    They know the rules. One of them is a former NFL player FFS. They just put that stuff very, very low on the priorities to take care of.

    I think that’s what makes it so GD frustrating. You can’t have a football game set on Simulation with messed up rules, or rules that don’t align with real life implications. I’m at a crossroads with the franchise, truth be told.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    JayCutlersCig
    I think that’s what makes it so GD frustrating. You can’t have a football game set on Simulation with messed up rules, or rules that don’t align with real life implications. I’m at a crossroads with the franchise, truth be told.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    I think it comes down to they need more resources. Not a clusterfk like 2006, but a unified vision that actually has enough people to tackle these specific issues.
    4thQtrStre5S
    They should know the rules, because they can be found online, for one.

    This is what concerns me though about the entire game every single year. There’s so much information at their hands and they get so much of it wrong every year with no apparent desire to change it. They have the NFL license, NFL players, YouTube, google, etc. yet so many rules are either poorly represented, not in the game at all or completely broken (and have been broken for years). You’d think the NFL would at the very least care about the only NFL video game allowed on the market to be represented accurately.
    YaBarber
    This is what concerns me though about the entire game every single year. There’s so much information at their hands and they get so much of it wrong every year with no apparent desire to change it. They have the NFL license, NFL players, YouTube, google, etc. yet so many rules are either poorly represented, not in the game at all or completely broken (and have been broken for years). You’d think the NFL would at the very least care about the only NFL video game allowed on the market to be represented accurately.

    Take defensive holding, for instance. The MUT and competitive crowd bitched and moaned about it, and it was promptly removed- EVEN IN SIM MODE, and even in offline mode.
    I cried tears of joy when I first saw it called in the game last year. And now it's gone.
    Not even optional. Funny thing: the animation still appears to happen, screwing up timing on routes.
    If they can't figure out what needs to be done to make a proper Madden at this point, it's never gonna happen. Just the same cheesy, unfulfilling take on American football and more gimmicks that don't work, besides MUT and online is all they are concerned with, now!
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    Take defensive holding, for instance. The MUT and competitive crowd bitched and moaned about it, and it was promptly removed- EVEN IN SIM MODE, and even in offline mode.

    And that is a great example of MUT being the favorite and being detrimental to the rest of the game, in my opinion. I don’t get how you praise a feature to split communities up based on style of play but end up catering to one community, only changing the game for them which negatively affects the rest of us.
    But anyway. I’ll do a “If I were in charge.” Assuming I get a head start on M20 this is what I’d want to do if feasible.
    Year 1: I’d go in with the team and get rid of ALL legacy code and any code that isn’t at least 90% clear on what it does. Anything that negatively alters the game based on poor coding needs to be out altogether. Re-write a new functioning foundation based on football fundamentals. Redesign the anatomy of every player (overall and individual) to make them look like real humans and not robots. Brand new locomotion and physics-based animation systems. I want players on the field to be scaled to correct size as well as the stadium and fans. Movement on the field will NOT have any warps or sped up animations to make up for not being able to make a play or lack of available animation options. If a player cannot make a play on the field then that’s what will happen, he will not make a play. Get in the right position to make a play. Make the game look more like a game made in 2018 and not 2006.
    Year 2+: Continue with any leftover projects from Year 1 to fully complete anything unfinished or to add anything that wasn’t able to be implemented that needs to be.
    From Year 2 on basically would be adding Deuce Douglas’ ideas into franchise/online franchise.
    Gameplay wise one thing I need in a football game is a much better play calling system with more variables/options allowed when picking your play. However, pre-snap adjustments would be GREATLY minimized. If you want to adjust your defense do it in your playbook pre-game or call a specific play designed the way you want. Having God mode adjustments every play with God view in Madden creates a game that only resembles football because it has 22 players and a football on the field. QBs do not have access or time to call 4 individual hot routes pre-snap and defenses do not have the capability of telling each player to do something completely different to the playcall and still being able to all work together correctly.
    There’s plenty plenty plenty I would want to add to make the game resemble real football but I’d fill up this thread.
    And MUT can be handled by someone else lol
    My days of detailed Madden suggestions are done, but generally speaking:
    1. Scrap & rebuild the animation engine to remove the stiffness & arcade look, emulating how NFL players move & interact. It all needs lots of work, but 2 or more players interacting is the ugliest, fakest part of Madden. The actors relied too much on a script, not enough on resistance, force, etc. The cooperation is obvious in the interactions.
    2. Scrap & rebuilt the AI engine to emulate what NFL players actually read & react to instead of artificial behavior currently implemented. Depending on the position, defenders read & react to movements of certain offensive players vs. Madden defenders relying on knowledge of the offensive play call. Defenders should be moving independent of offensive players rather than being tethered to them.
    JayCutlersCig
    Could you imagine the Titans running Four Verticals on every play?

    The CPU already spams 4 verts unless you jump through some ridiculous hoops to edit their gameplans.
    No one decent online does. Most versions of the play are too easy to stop. The versions that are hard to stop are only found in formations/playbooks which aren't that popular.
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