Tuesday, June 30, 2009

...And In Comparison

It's Bill Abner week at DQ, apparently, because he has a long interview up with the Madden 10 designers (lead designer Ian Cummings, senior designer Josh Looman, and designer Donny Moore).

I encourage you to read the full interview (particularly for the section on online franchise mode, which sounds pretty amazing), but here are a few excerpts:
--All-Pro is the difficulty level most tuned to the realistic experience
--Quarterbacks have separate accuracy ratings for short, medium, and deep throws (Bill A. has been screaming for that for YEARS)

Here's one example of why ratings in past Madden versions were just ridiculous (this excerpt is from Donny Moore):
I did a rating analysis on this to start out the Madden NFL 10 pre-production cycle and discovered that every CB in the game had between 87-99 SPD in Madden NFL 09. I looked further, nearly 80% of ALL CB’s fell between 4 ratings points (88-92)!

This was always one of my fundamental complaints about Madden, that too many players felt identical. Turns out they were identical, essentially.
--Two-minute A.I. has been significantly revised (historically, that's been my pet peeve)
--Player progression in franchise mode has been improved (a pet peeve of both Bill and myself)

Look, I know that I'm setting myself up for Charlie Brown Syndrome here, but these guys approach making a football game as the process of duplicating something that is real, and that's exactly what I want. That may sound obvious, but it's not how the NCAA designers have approached the game in the last two years.

I mean, come on, guys. How many people watch college football every weekend for three months in the fall? They're voting on the gameplay with their remotes, and ratings for college football in the real world seems entirely healthy. If the NCAA team would just simulate the damn game, it would play great.

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