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Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

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Old 07-17-2016, 02:44 PM   #25
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Re: Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

Originally Posted by Gilley
I imagine this is what a football version of OOTP would be like, except for with this, you get to play the games too which would be perfect.
That is actually being made btw...

On topic though, incredible post. I am half way through it, I will continue it later. Hopefully some EA guys see and use this.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:44 PM   #26
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Re: Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

awesome work, add position coaches suggest position changes during off season post draft pre preseason
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:54 PM   #27
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Re: Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

Wow that was one amazing write up. I can't tell you how fast I would buy madden if it had these features. This year's game has been a prerelease disappointment for me as CFM looks mostly the same with minor improvements.

I hope they somehow acknowledge this shortsighted look and quickly hire you or try to integrate as many of these ideas as they can. This would be a total game changer and I would argue and genre changer for franchise modes.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:15 PM   #28
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Re: Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

Well written . I was excited just to read it even thou I knew most of it wouldn't be in the game. Trophy room from the past would be great from ncaa for awards and videos . Time line thru the years . Loved the top 100. Bring NFL Network for weekly updates and draft day show. Well sorta gel and linked the entire league. You'd look forward in watching your league on tv with updates from around the league.

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Old 07-18-2016, 12:43 AM   #29
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Re: Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

I thought it was obvious how to improve free agency: hide their exact ratings of free agents and instead provide a range like in FIFA. In fact, why not apply this to all rosters that are not your own? In this way you now have to scout for players mid-week (an addition to gameplanning) and help you discern whether a player was only successful within the system, circumstance, or is genuinely good. Brock Osweiler has a stupid contract because of the perception of him being a decent quarterback. In Madden as it is now we would know he's garbage and not sign him, but if we have a range and have to devote resources into getting a clear understanding of his abilities (reducing the range of the ratings, perhaps with the best position coaches straight up giving you the exact numbers) to inform your decision. The largeness of the ranges these players would have would be determined by team success, the win rate while this player was starting (even though that obviously wouldn't necessarily mean much), and their statistics from the year. Another way to influence this is your suggestion of the team's identity at the time (win now vs. rebuilding) where a team that perhaps is more desperate to contend or feels they are one player away are willing to take a flyer on a player with little data to show how good they really are (Brock Osweiler, most likely bad; Pernell McPhee, turned out to be very good.)

I also think a range is much better than combine numbers (which would quickly become null with aging players or injuries that would sap their abilities) or using letter grades.

I also think that using real player assets or whatever like they do for 2K is worse than using nice real photos: always annoyed when I traded for a player and suddenly I had this glass-eyed, terribly-emoted image of the player while if they stayed on their original team I'd have these cool pictures in their uniforms looking nice. Same thing with the videos for QBs, I'd rather they expand it to as many QBs who they could get videos for and save the real assets for the drafted players.
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:51 AM   #30
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Re: Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

We're not worthy! We're not worthy!!
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:04 AM   #31
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Re: Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

@DeuceDougles -

You have clearly put a lot of effort into this, and I applaud you for that foremost. You have succeeded in putting together a vision and feature set which would absolutely grab the hardest of the hardcore Madden NFL franchise mode fans. There are some things in here that Tiburon could lift and add immediately to the existing mode and meaningfully augment the Franchise mod experience.

If you do want this to be more of a game design document and not a wishlist (which in my opinion this floats between the two, even shifting tone within itself), I have a couple suggestions and pointed questions for you to answer:

I will be speaking from the perspective of an offline solo player and someone who wants their experience be something that is as deep, realistic and immersive as possible.
Gaming is multiplayer nowadays. You must consider how this feature set applies from the perspective of the online multiplayer user. This is especially true if you intend for this to inform or influence any future creative direction of Madden NFL, which - let's be honest here - is now a robust online multiplayer game first and a single-player game second.

I've done my best to try and provide multiple options in places where things might be overwhelming for the average user but that's something that will differ for everyone so it was a bit difficult.
A couple things in mind with respect to the average user:

1 - Simply adding a "skip" or "simulate" to make a complex or deep-level game mechanic "accessible" isn't sufficient for doing that. If a skip button is the only means available to make a mechanic palatable to someone who otherwise knows nothing about it, it's not a good video game mechanic. It isn't good because it has no value to a large portion of your total audience; they can't engage it because they don't have the requisite background knowledge required to use it. If the majority of your audience isn't using a game mechanic, it might as well not exist. Your total package game subsequently is weaker because there are entire pieces of the game from which your users have self-selected themselves out from ever using. Games are obligated to teach their mechanics to the user, and you can't rely on the user having familiarity with the game's licensed source material to do this for you.

2 - Users are more likely to stay engaged with a game if the game mechanics they interact with in said game reinforce each other. As you've laid them out here, while the pieces you have are nice, they aren't really talking to each other a whole lot. To give you an example of game mechanics reinforcing each other, you need not look any further than Madden 17 (what the blogs have described it to be, anyway, and if they execute their vision it is going to be a very cohesive experience):
  • weekly training reinforces the short-term game and the long-term game; you get a situation specific boost for that week's game, and you also earn resources with which to improve your team (XP).
  • injury Big Decisions reinforce gameplay; you either play the starter to maximize your chances of winning the one game and expose him to greater injury risk, or you choose his lesser backup, which reduces your short-term chances of winning but he gets an individual boost to his ability to improve (double XP); you also get a blurb about it in-game, giving presentation context to your decision.
  • contract Big Decisions reinforce gameplay; there's the obvious team-building choice as to whether to re-sign the player which affects my ability to win on the field long-term, this isn't new, but that's now reinforced with a commentary blurb in-game similar to injuries to add context to your decision.
  • most importantly and at the foundation of the mode, core gameplay reinforces team-building and franchise mode as a whole; individual and team accomplishments in-game earn player and coach XP, which users spend out-of-game to improve players and coaches, which encourages the user to play more games so they can keep improving their players.
  • Play The Moments reinforces gameplay and franchise; it gives the user just enough agency to have control over his success or failure in each individual game, while also allowing the user to get through many more games in a shorter amount of time. This allows the user to stay more tightly engaged with the play game > manage and improve team > play another game loop, and ultimately get through more seasons faster, engage with more pieces of the mode, and keep playing Franchise for a greater length of time.
Madden 17 is probably not going to win Best Game Design Ever, no, and it may be presumptuous of me to assume all the pieces will work as envisioned, but it's plainly obvious how Tiburon is attempting to build the mode, how all the pieces they are adding talk to each other and reinforce one another to form a cohesive franchise gameplay experience. How do the different components of your game design interact with and reinforce each other? What gameplay cadence is laid out to keep the user engaged with the game over a long period of time? For a pointed example - if you remove in-game XP rewards or push most of the XP earning to the new OTA element (leaving the OTA game mechanic as a black box for now), what is the gameplay hook to get the user to keep playing his season? What is actively encouraging the average user to keep playing?

3 - Keep in mind that for the average user, just saying "it's the NFL, this is what the NFL does so that's how we will do it" isn't sufficient to keep the average gamer playing Madden as opposed to Call Of Duty or Pokémon GO. If the game mechanics aren't themselves compelling or harmonizing with each other agnostic of the authenticity provided to them by the NFL, they require some more thought.

Put another way - Johnny Walmart only has a passing interest in the NFL and barely knows what the salary cap is. How are you going to make him want to engage the OTAs game mechanic rather than either A - skipping OTAs entirely to get to Regular Season Week 1, which renders your OTA game mechanics effectively non-existent, or B - quitting the game entirely after seeing a very intimidating and unfamiliar wall of action items between him and his first regular season game?

I want to close with the following as to encourage - with some more thought and polish, you could probably take this to an interested game developer and have this made into your own football game. Probably a text sim GM game rather than a Madden game, granted, but there's plenty enough a start here to get that ball rolling if that's the direction you choose to take this.

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Old 07-18-2016, 11:09 AM   #32
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Re: Connected Franchise Mode: A Rebuild

It's like you don't even realize NBA2K and The Show even exists and are both extremely successful.
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