Bone-Idle Interview : Peter Frazier Producer on Madden 12 Part 2

Bone-Idle: Is the end game to get to a stage were the player can design individual routes?

PF: We want to get there, for me we want to create the right kind of experience and with a controller in your hand it’s difficult to provide and experience that’s as deep as our “coach” fans would like because drawing a route and inserting transition animation because you want the receiver to plant his foot he turns, there is a lot of logic in it. I think if you had it on a PC with a mouse that you could draw the route it would work or perhaps as gaming interfaces change it might become possible. We are not there yet but I think in the next 2 or 3 seasons you should start to see something along those lines.

Bone-Idle: I was looking at the new system where players react within the game for example if a Quaterback takes a big sacking it can rattle him and he might start throwing more interceptions. How is this realised within the game, does your coach tell you or do you just have to pick up on this yourself?

PF: What we didn’t want to do was do something that was too gamey we didn’t want to have like a meter or something above the players head because Madden is about being a simulation so we do it through animation so you will see the player react and how he plays, we do it through commentary so if a player takes a big hit and he is rattled you will hear them talk about that and what it means, if he is more likely to throw forced passes or take a hit.

Bone-Idle: As we saw earlier with a running back he was holding the ball with one hand and fending off the players with his other hand, but after a fumble he started to wrap up the ball with both hands.

PF: What we have done previously is to put a meter or icon above the players head but the fans don’t tend to like this , they say when I watch a game on a Sunday I don’t see little icons over their heads so they don’t want that in Madden either. We wanted to represent that model as its played on Sundays so you get it through the commentators and the animation and we think that’s the best method.

Bone-Idle: Is that implemented for every player in the game or is it just a select few big stars?

PF: Every player has elements that are dynamic to the way they play so for example a quarterback have several that change if they are under pressure from throwing it away to tucking it and running. Defenders that go for interceptions if they get burnt and you complete a pass they will start to just go for the tackle on the receiver instead. We have big hit traits so as a player get more confident he is more likely to go for a big hit that will cause a fumble.

So virtually every player on the pitch has dynamic traits that will change within the game.

Bone-Idle: Do you think the lock out will have an impact on the game?

PF: It won’t have an impact on the product itself, even with the lock out we have full access to the players and teams so it doesn’t affect the game itself. If it misses a few games will it affect sales, who knows?

Bone-Idle: It might actually positively affect the sales?

PF: I’ve heard that theory as it’s the only place you can get the NFL, as a fan I don’t want it to happen as I want them to just play

Bone-Idle: The new Mocap technology is very impressive in terms of the new camera work where the camera man is right on the pitch with the players. How much time did it take to get that to work?

PF: The most of the time was spent making the rig, but once we had that it was quite quick to add camera’s to the game. What would happen before is that the artist would look at some footage then try to recreate that and it could take days to do and still end up not looking great.

This technology takes the same time as it would for a cameraman to film it. So we have gone from being able to add 100 to 200 camera in a given year depending on how good the artist were. To now being able to add 700 this year so now we have the technology we can just keep adding and adding and they look really authentic. Seeing the guys run around and follow the players on screen it really is a game changer. When we have shown it off to the other guys like Fifa they are saying they want it too, so I expect to see it push out into other games. Just like I want the stuff the Fifa guys want we will be able to swap between the two teams.

Bone-Idle: Think that’s us so thanks for running through that for us

PF: Your welcome.

 

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