Questions regarding development style and strategy

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Old 09-28-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Questions regarding development style and strategy

Though it need not be said, out of respect for the jobs of developers across the industry I will preface my post with the admittance of no knowledge of video game coding or developing.

Having said that, there are two parts to my post. The first of my concerns is the review or understanding of code from years past. The second, is the style in which EA chooses to design and execute their product.

The first of my questions is simple: Is there anyone on the current development team whose sole responsibility, or at least a majority of the job description, that is in charge of reviewing or critiquing the code from Madden's past. Year after year, EA releases a product that features bugs that were seen and documented from years past. I can not comprehend how a company with EA's resources can allow all these bugs to pass through, how multiple years is not enough time for a team to remove or fix glaring issues.

I remember a blog or post that was written by Ian. In it, he was excited to share with the community an error in the manner in which the code was scripted for DL interactions and skill levels. To summarize, it essentially was an error in the coding that curved the performance of higher rated linemen and decreased their abilities. With this discovery comes the greater evil, how many of these lines and problems are out there and simply not being worked on because the entirety of the team is in forward thinking mode, and does not have the time to sit and review old code?

For those of you still with me, the second part of my question regards the design Madden seems to follow. As a majority of members on this board claim to be a "sim" style gamer, or at least close to it, then I assume most would agree Madden is tailored to be an arcade game for more casual players.

What I don't understand, is why does EA believe a more realistic representation of the NFL would not appeal to the masses. In my heart, I believe that the mass appeals do not wish for an arcade game. I believe they just want a football game that isn't as complex or challenging as the NFL is. Over the years, difficulty levels have been the divider between the casual and the simmer. Instead of a complex mirror image of the NFL that could become easier for the user if they so desired, we were given an arcade game on any level that presented a constant struggle for those seeking anything close to what we see on sunday.

Well that is my opinion on the direction this company has taken over the past years since the exclusive deal. I have spent the past several years praying for a game that would be enjoyable and realistic, and I have yet to be answered. I don't think it is ineptitude that holds back our games, I simply feel it is an executive philosophy motivated by money that has slighted loyal consumers year after year. I hope Madden can get back to a shell of it's former self.
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