Why the narrow-sighted "AI" is a problem on Madden and NCAA

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Old 07-31-2008, 12:47 PM   #57
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Re: Why the narrow-sighted "AI" is a problem on Madden and NCAA

Originally Posted by TheFuture15
Good idea, but we already do this, except with real NFL coaches. We have no less than 5 NFL coaches (from Quality Control guys to off and def coordinators - Mike Mularkey & Jim Schwartz for example) each year come in and meet with us and talk pure football. A lead programmer and myself even flew to Cincinnati and were given a full day overview of the Bengals defense by Leslie Frazier a few years ago - they treated us just like were rookies. (Awesome experience btw)
By all accounts he seems like a great guy. (Viking fan here) I probably should have assumed you guys have sessions with the NFL coaches, but nonetheless, that is great to hear.

Originally Posted by TheFuture15
So to clarify, your statement about us having to "hire the big guns" to get it right is not entirely true...I can tell you that we have designs written and notes taken that if all implemented could make true-life NFL AI. The problem lies in the fact that AI is without a doubt the most complex area of programming. I'd even say more-so than graphics/rendering. And the even bigger problem is that AI is hamstrung by animation. So even if we have the most advanced d-line gap assignment/technique system that's humanly possible, we have to have a very large amount of animation coverage to make it look like it's working. They go hand in hand.
Yep, that has to be a challenge, especially with db technique and the line play. I think one area where animations might not be such a concern is with zone coverage. And honestly, we will have to probably wait until 09 comes out until people can start evaluating issues. I just hope you guys are open to watching them, and hopefully you can verify those issues through your consultation with the NFL experts.

Originally Posted by TheFuture15
So I guess what I'd sum it up with is...the AI that you all are talking about above IS the future of the Madden franchise. Without a doubt. We all know what needs to go in...I'm not an exploit guy or a tourney junkie; I'm all about creating ultra-realistic gameplay and finding the best way to still make it really fun to play. When I get my ultimate game, jet-packs won't matter because your receiver will end up out with a concussion. And nano's won't exist because real gap assignments will over-rule everything. The NFL license has actually given us this all-access approach to coaches so that's why we're set up so well for the future. But it takes a lot of time to do things like this. I mean we chose to re-write man coverage in full in 08 and that took over 10 weeks from one programmer to finish...and even still it doesn't feel "perfect" because we don't have the correct animation coverage to match it. None of this will come overnight...but I'd be interested in hearing what you all think are the most high priority issues...
This is great to hear.

I'd say the #1 issue is creating an environment in which double team blocks can occur on the line of scrimmage during any running play. The defense is at a numbers disadvantage if at least one dlinemen isn't able to draw a double in his gap and allow a linebacker to flow to the ball unimpeded. This forces you to constantly play 8 in the box to even up the numbers, whereas most base schemes are predicated on stopping or containing the running game with 7.

To back up my claim I'll quote a conversation from an X's and O's coaching message board within the context of a discussion about the Jimmy Johnson 4-3 Over-Miami/Stack front:



Now back to History:

JJ then took it with him to Dallas, and very few people thought it would work in the NFL. It did, and this defense changed the NFL.

It is however, a coordinated "dance" where all the parts hit together or you are in a mess.


The #2 priority imo is tuning coverages further, but again we will probably need to see the game this year and post some video before these areas can be identified and verified by you and your team (I know Rhombic has already posted some of these for NCAA).

Thanks for joining the discussion Ian.

Last edited by Deltron; 07-31-2008 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:51 PM   #58
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Re: Why the narrow-sighted "AI" is a problem on Madden and NCAA

Ian, thanks for that explanation. It really seems like you want the same thing that the hardcore Madden gamers want, and that's good to know going forward in the future.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:57 PM   #59
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Re: Why the narrow-sighted "AI" is a problem on Madden and NCAA

To me, the AI needs to major overhauls

1) Personal based play-calling. In NCAA watching Graham Harrel run the option on 3rd and 5 or watching teams "feed" their 75 ovr RB the ball 25 times when they have a great QB needs to end.

Simply put, the AI needs to have some knowledge of their best players and have it programmed to attempt x amount of touches for that player. Watching great QB hand off the ball and great RB pass block all game just kills me. This needs to go along with having the advantage in the trench's and changed based on skill sets (fast QB=option, fast WR=deep pass, bruising RB=HB dive and so forth).

2) Zone coverage. Its been talked about here before, but I'll give you another breakdown of what I teach my DB's to watch for in coverage.
-Deep zone: Nobody behind you, come up late on curls and outs (avoid the double move). If curl watch the deep drag/post behind you. If you read out watch the wheel. If #1 stays short, check your seam.
(Reading in game terms: Your guarding Streak/Corner, Post, Out, Curl/Hitch and then float inside in that order).

-Flat zone: You have the deepest man before "passing". If two receivers come up late. Vs 1 man take the slant first (inside leverage) if theirs 2 jam the outside and read arrow from the slot.
(Game terms: Your job is any quick throw for 1 second (Slant, quick fade). Otherwise take the curl first and when help comes (LB/Safety) fly into the flats. If you have a double set your first job is the slot arrow or any quick out).

For any position in a zone they are taught to guard a drag if they aren't attacked. IE, if nobody settles in their zone that means somebody is going to run into it.

Players also need to adjust to trips sets better. If theres 3 WR on one side and you have an OLB and MLB in a "hook" zone, they need to "talk" to each other and have the MLB take the first theat (Drag or slant) and the OLB take the 2nd threat.*

*Now, this is where you have blown coverages based on ratings.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:40 AM   #60
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Re: Why the narrow-sighted "AI" is a problem on Madden and NCAA

Originally Posted by rhombic21
Obviously you've been beaten up about this pretty badly, but I definitely think line play, on both sides, and zone coverage are the two biggest priorities right now.
Ditto. It all starts with line play. It is the foundation of the game of football and I hope Madden 2010. If you work on line play and have it work with traps, belly, true zone blocking, gap play A.I.; Elite DE with signature style pass rush, DT that require double teams etc. …the rest of the game will really start to fall in place. You could have the user use the R stick to assign blocking schemes/ Defensive schemes.

(I know every post I write is about line play)
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