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My Madden NFL 13 Gameplan: New Kicking System 
Posted on November 30, 2011 at 02:42 PM.
The current kicking system is really boring. Itís extremely simple which is good, but that may also be a drawback since it makes the kicking game far too easy (especially for experienced Madden gamers), which has always been the case in the Madden series. To be fair the lack of difficulty in the kicking game isnít purely on the controls alone. A great deal of it is a result of the engine being too forgiving in users margin of error when inputting imperfect kick power and accuracy; no matter the attribute level of the kicker.

A real life kicker being a bit off in their execution of kicking motion will most likely lead to a failed field goal attempt. And even in the scenario that everything looked good, they still may miss due to several factors. The true difficulty of the kicking game has never been authentically replicated whatsoever in Madden NFL. If the series wants to hold Ďtrue to the gameí, kicking needs to be less automatic than it is currently, especially on the higher skill levels.

I believe the previous kicking control scheme for the current generation of Madden had the right idea, but was missed the ball in implementation. The hockey skill stick worked out very well for the NHL series since it provided the immersion aspect of shooting with a hockey stick. EAís football titles should do the same with kicking, giving it a coat of improved immersion to make the kicking game more enjoyable. The former kicking concept of using the R stick should be revisited, but with some revisions done for better execution this time around.

The primary objective in executing a successfully accurate kick is being balanced and contacting the football at the right spot at right time in your follow through. At least thatís what I assume. The control scheme should replicate this, requiring the user to move the R stick during the whole process in as straight line of a linear line as possible, and pushing the R stick up at a precise moment (while remaining accurately straight). The angle the user has to execute the R stick movement is based on the pre-kick aim angle. If the arrow is pointed at a 20 degree angle, the ideal motion of the user is to move the R stick down to 250į, then up to 20į. The requirement to move the R stick in a straight line is important is because it effects BOTH power and accuracy. Having a shaky thumb when pulling down will affect power, since this is to reflect the kicker being balanced when moving towards the ball; while accuracy depends on the angle of the stick pushed up.

Since there is a importance of timing here, the whole process is done live, meaning when you pull down the stick, the ball is snap, and when you push up is at the point the kicker is kicking the ball. (For punts, this may be at a later point than a field goal) Move up too early, and youíll contact the football at a lower point than intended, which will hurt the drive of the football in favour of height. Do it late and itíll favour the drive, but effect height negatively. (More blocked kicks anyone?) Obviously a kicker is going to kick the football as hard as they can; where they may vary their kicks is on the amount of flight they want the football to get, which is control by height angle arrow pre-kick. A low angle kick is likely more concerned for drive distance than a football that gets more height. Therefore power isnít applied in this control scheme. Accuracy and timing is the focus.

Not everyone likes R stick mechanics due to personal preference. If a user still prefers button for the kicking game, this method should be available for replication on the button scheme. Two buttons presses still is all thatís needed; the snap and the point of football contact. Aside from the actual kicking of the ball timing, this method is fairly limited in user input effecting kick quality, therefore the accuracy and power output of the kick should be heavily computer influenced. Bu that leads to another question, how much influence does the user have in execution?

The user will have a lot. If they essentially execute it flawlessly, 100% accuracy, perfect timing of football contact, and balanced Ďpower build upí will result in a perfect kick based on the kicker attributes. Thing is, making a perfect kick on this consistently will be fairly challenging, meaning human margin of error is going to come in to play. Depending on the kicker attributes and skill level, the margin of error will vary from kicker to kicker. An elite kicker will be more forgiving in minimal mistakes while a low tier kicker wonít be as much. On the higher skill level, the magnitude of forgiveness drops drastically, meaning even with a 99 power and accuracy kicker on All Pro or All Madden, if you make a ~10% mishap in the accuracy or contact timing (in theory), thereís a chance itíll be a inaccurate kick.

This is a more dynamic kicking scheme while remaining simple and not overly complicated. Pull back for the snap of the ball, and push forward at the point of contact, while keeping stick movement in a straight line. Itís more challenging then the meter kicking, but thatís the objective since kicking is too easy currently. It should satisfy the objective of making the kicking game more challenging and less automatic, which will lead to more missed field and give greater importance to good kickers. Though the difficulty should increase, itíll hopefully make the kicking game a more enjoyable experience, and makes those successful big kicks a rewarding experience.
# 1 NoLimits77 @ Nov 30
I totally agree with you. The R stick kicking system was Madden's best at replicating actual kicking but it was too easy to do it straight w/ max power. An easy fix, for a lazy Madden programmer, would be to increase how much the ball deviates from being straight for each angle increment. W/ the R stick system you can be slightly off and the ball would still go nearly straight. There should be more emphasis on getting it exactly straight or else the kick could be iffy. But I like your overall idea better
# 2 KGrove @ Dec 2
yea...old kicking system sucks
# 3 Jeffmm357 @ Dec 2
I agree that the kicking system needs to be overhauled. in my opinion controls are supposed to evolve. a right stick kicking system would be the best for the advancement to the series and provide that extra learning curve for seasoned madden gamers.
# 4 supermanemblem @ Dec 2
You're on point. The old analog system was near perfect except you could set the kick up before the snap. I like your idea. Another suggestion is to make the user change the direction after the snap.
# 5 schnaidt1 @ Dec 2
so basically madden take another idea from 2k....all pro 2k8 had kickin like this...

seems like madden 13 should just copy an paste that game haha
# 6 tril @ Dec 4
cosign..what schnaid1 said.
madden should have used the ncaa kicking system
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