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Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

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Old 06-13-2018, 10:42 AM   #1
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Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

Just some thoughts from a cinematographer and filmmaker.

What I find interesting, not having played Madden since about 2011 (I've just been playing older NFL games since then) is that when you don't play it every year, the little things people get sick of don't bother you because you don't know them as well. For example, The Show is an uninspired mess to me today but I've been playing it since MLB 06 The Show on PS2. But having recently tried Madden 18 one thing I absolutely can NOT stand is the overuse of what is supposed to look like natural camera movements to recreate a television feel. From the moment the play stops, the camera starts flying around like its on some out of control drone that can't just sit still.

Being a cinematographer and filmmaker this is something that particularly bothers me because I can see clearly a graphics team trying to reproduce television framing and camera movement but without ANY concept of what's involved in shooting a live broadcast. The people controlling how the "camera" moves in game development need to spend some time with cinematographers holding cameras, moving them around, to get a sense of what things look like when you shoot with a camera. This is why NFL2K, the NHL2K series and even some earlier Maddens feel more realistic presentation-wise than today's sports games (this goes for today's NHL and FIFA as well). It's because those games really focused on how television cameras move. They aimed to look like TV broadcasts. The first impression I get of Madden's visuals is that the game is flooded with unnatural movements that aren't true to what cameras can do, depth perception is completely incorrect, zooms and pans don't reflect ANYthing that real cameras can do, and the UI doesn't distinguish itself enough from the background visuals so, everything just looks like a muddy mess. I played a whole game of Madden 18 yesterday, I couldn' tell you after a whole game of calling plays what all the options are on the playcall screen because it's so cluttered, I never got to look at everything.

Again, the people at EA who do the animations and simulated camera movements need to get themselves in some kind of cinematography workshop to actually SHOOT video with different cameras. Right now, the game just visually doesn't work well and I wanted to give a professional cinematographic reason why for anyone interested.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:54 AM   #2
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Re: Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinpanalley
Just some thoughts from a cinematographer and filmmaker.

What I find interesting, not having played Madden since about 2011 (I've just been playing older NFL games since then) is that when you don't play it every year, the little things people get sick of don't bother you because you don't know them as well. For example, The Show is an uninspired mess to me today but I've been playing it since MLB 06 The Show on PS2. But having recently tried Madden 18 one thing I absolutely can NOT stand is the overuse of what is supposed to look like natural camera movements to recreate a television feel. From the moment the play stops, the camera starts flying around like its on some out of control drone that can't just sit still.

Being a cinematographer and filmmaker this is something that particularly bothers me because I can see clearly a graphics team trying to reproduce television framing and camera movement but without ANY concept of what's involved in shooting a live broadcast. The people controlling how the "camera" moves in game development need to spend some time with cinematographers holding cameras, moving them around, to get a sense of what things look like when you shoot with a camera. This is why NFL2K, the NHL2K series and even some earlier Maddens feel more realistic presentation-wise than today's sports games (this goes for today's NHL and FIFA as well). It's because those games really focused on how television cameras move. They aimed to look like TV broadcasts. The first impression I get of Madden's visuals is that the game is flooded with unnatural movements that aren't true to what cameras can do, depth perception is completely incorrect, zooms and pans don't reflect ANYthing that real cameras can do, and the UI doesn't distinguish itself enough from the background visuals so, everything just looks like a muddy mess. I played a whole game of Madden 18 yesterday, I couldn' tell you after a whole game of calling plays what all the options are on the playcall screen because it's so cluttered, I never got to look at everything.

Again, the people at EA who do the animations and simulated camera movements need to get themselves in some kind of cinematography workshop to actually SHOOT video with different cameras. Right now, the game just visually doesn't work well and I wanted to give a professional cinematographic reason why for anyone interested.
this is something i always complain about every year. The presentation just doesnt seem to have any rhyme or reason to it. Every game feels the same whether is a preseason game or the conference championship. Presentation needs a huge upgrade.

this is a thread i created months ago that brought up similar points.

https://forums.operationsports.com/f...sentation.html
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

Presentation features being ' beyond broadcast ' is your answer , the intention of this team isn't to reproduce or imitate network broadcasts but go ' beyond the broadcast' .
For better or worse many of the OPs issues stem from this
Personally I'd just like them to replicate rather than innovate in this aspect , get that down to a tee and move resources elsewhere
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re: Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

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Presentation features being ' beyond broadcast ' is your answer , the intention of this team isn't to reproduce or imitate network broadcasts but go ' beyond the broadcast' .
Ok, but then 'cinematically' (I know, this isn't a movie, but with respect to providing a piece of entertainment, it's essentially the same thing with more interactivity) they're failing both artistically and in the craft of game making. It would be like a fully immersive Assassin's Creed or Uncharted being completely scored with Mario Bros type music and sound effects. It would be a massive disconnect both artistically and technically. If "beyond the broadcast" is the aim, then the network chyrons and graphics, the play by play, the recognisable staples of TV production all should go in favour of something more like Super Mega Baseball or a more realistic version of NFL Hitz.
But we're at the same point. The product as presented is a garbled message unsure of what it is trying to sell. And that's probably why so many of us feel like we just came out of a movie that couldn't decide whether it was a comedy or an action film but didn't work as either.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:04 AM   #5
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Re: Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

This is an excellent post. I don't have much to add except: the strange panning motion after every play has been on my nerves for a while, and the inconsistency between camera positioning/motion/angles is just strange. They'll hit you with a shot that looks like it could have been on a real-life broadcast for around 10 seconds, then cut to a strange-looking shot of a player on the ground and then, without flaw, zoom/pan to a coach halfway across the field just seconds later. There's a strange perfection to it, almost as if all of the camera crew were replaced by sentient AI.

I work in local sports production, so it's always nice to see a professional perspective on Madden's strange decision making. It just doesn't know what type of visual style it wants to have and I think it's because the developers have largely abandoned ideas half way through. Madden 12 was supposed to include real-life angles from each NFL stadium, until 13-17 spent tons of resources on hiring a virtual camera crew from NFL Films for a "beyond broadcast" look. I agree with you in that they need to stick to one identity and perfect it.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:36 PM   #6
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Re: Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

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Originally Posted by CarryTheWeight
I work in local sports production, so it's always nice to see a professional perspective on Madden's strange decision making.
Then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Never worked in sports, but I did work in Network TV news for 4 years.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

Made a thread about this last year:

https://forums.operationsports.com/f...broadcast.html

But you're right and I'm super disappointed the dev team thought this was no big deal.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:19 PM   #8
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Re: Thoughts on today's Madden presentation

I know the OP would probably be interested in the following stuff linked below. Personally, just give me the exact broadcast and be done with it. No extra fluff. I didn't read any of the article below, just ran a simple internet search for Brian Murray Madden and I got the stuff below.


INTERVIEW WITH EA SPORTS BRIAN MURRAY FOR MADDEN NFL '15



Don't touch that dial; Madden's broadcast upgrades with NFL Films know-how

https://www.polygon.com/2014/6/15/58...n-brian-murray

After filming eight Super Bowls, 'filming' Madden is his next challenge
https://www.polygon.com/2015/2/1/796...next-challenge
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