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Madden NFL 12 Gameplay Q&A (ESPN The Gamer)

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Old 04-28-2011, 09:30 AM   #17
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Re: Madden 12 gameplay adds new tackling system, smarter defense (ESPN)

Originally Posted by rgiles36
I have to agree.

Like I said a few wks ago, M10 was a solid football game and turned the franchise around. But I think they tried to accomplish a lot without re-inventing the wheel. They tried to improve tackling and blocking with existing code, and I think they've arrived at the conclusion that they can not.

So they're going back and re-building the game, piece by piece.
Just speculating, but here's what I'd guess:

  1. the suits have not been willing to devote deep resources to the football series, and thought they could rest after M10, which basically implemented more surface fixes to greater fan and sales benefit.
  2. they tried that again with M11, and decided they could neglect core gamers because they believed they could take that market for granted and the marginal cost of doing what the core fans wanted was much higher. So, they went with more surface-like things to capture more market share among people who did not really know the series. They said to themselves the game was to inaccessible, they wanted to capture the younger demographic and do more online.
  3. Meanwhile, that didn't work out so well, core gamers got pissed at M11 and sales dropped off after a decent first start. The game did not have sales "legs." Doing nothing with franchise mode especially offline sent a strong signal to core fans that they were expendable. Bad move.
  4. At the same time, other titles like FIFA had gone in a different direction by catering to core gamers and these were successful titles with good continuing sales and brand engagement, onlione and off. And it just so happened a guy deeply involved in this approach had a personal football background.
  5. Going into M12 development planning, they maybe already intended to do more work on offline franchise mode but the problems with M11 led them to start talking on the side with Weber to get his ideas on where to go with the football products. He told them what they would have to do, they started to buy in conceptually, and made the decision to bite the bullet and do deeper development work on core game from the roots of the code, adding staff but allocating them to Madden and NCAA to share costs and scale out the benefits. So, even before they put Weber in charge with a new business card, they were moving in his direction, bought off on his plans in concept and then hired him to run the football brands. So even before he had the title, he was exercising some influence.
  6. Now Weber is going to focus on the core gameplay as the necessary strategic precondition to getting market scale and new players, through buzz that builds on brand fanatics in the core community. And he's been given the resources and the authority to do it.
  7. Cummings played the hand he was dealt, has probably been getting burned out, and maybe wanted to grow into the role Weber ultimately has. There may have been some behind the scenes politics and competition between them, even as Weber was consulted on football gaming direction early in the NCAA/M 12 development cycle. Cummings lost, his old friend had a startup, he found himself a new job. Weber now gets to put his own people and department heads in place. I wouldn't be surprised if there is more turnover, without much public fanfare, after this years versions release.
All of that is pure speculation. But I've been around a lot of business transitions in management and strategy, and this story seems, to me at least, to be consistent with what we've been seeing.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:34 AM   #18
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Re: Madden NFL 12 Gameplay Q&A (ESPN The Gamer)

My interest meter just went up a few more notches. If they can nail the commentary and eventually having changing working weather during the game then I may just end up buying Madden again.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:36 AM   #19
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Re: Madden NFL 12 Gameplay Q&A (ESPN The Gamer)

[insert generic complaint unrelated to the blog]

This game is going to be great!
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #20
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Re: Madden NFL 12 Gameplay Q&A (ESPN The Gamer)

I must say that everything that they have said SOUNDS impressive. Unfortunately, I've danced this dance WAY too many times, so what they say and what I play, usually don't jive. I am definitely more optimistic than I have been for this franchise in a long, long time though. Even though I have heard great pitches from them before, somehow, this sounds different. I'm still not buying yet though lol.

They mentioned that the new tackling system and how they eliminated morphing and suction also benefits the trench game. If rushers can actually play like real rushers now, and have movement while engaged, or at the very least can avoid blocks that they always should have been able to avoid, then this will be a huge improvement for the game. The problem is that when they said that Pro-tak would not just be for tackling, but would benefit blocking, that turned out to be hogwash (for both actually) so that has me worried that this is just more rhetoric, but again, IF true, this will be huge.

Glad that the individual audibles are back.

Glad to hear that the Football has been shrunk, finally.

Custom playbooks? Awesome. The only thing is that we go from them saying it can't be done because of space limitations, to BLAM, 400 play playbooks. I'm sorry if no one else agrees, but I call bull ish.

The new zone coverage AI SOUNDS great. Can't help but think that it will feel incomplete though without a means to actually LOOK defenders off, but I guess baby steps. Being able to pump fake to specific receivers (how they could not have this for so long is beyond...) could fill the void I guess, but it's a cut corner method in my book. I'm assuming that they will be using the 2K double tap the button method to fake now, which is intuitive, so that's good if my guess is right.

I like that they are still focusing on the visual aspect of the game as I don't think this game is as great looking as most do (I know I'm in the minority, but I have a very critical eye lol). Still need more work in this department. Wish it weren't so bright and cartoony and were more dark and subtle like NCAA, or at least somewhere in the middle of both, but at least they are still tweaking it. And they haven't actually said it, but I will guess that dynamic lighting is in as well.

Very cool on the 3D grass, uniform, and field degradation. Ditto snow and pellets being kicked up. Keep it up guys.

Still in a wait and see mode (I have to be with these guys) but they have definitely awakened some dormant excitement in me. Long dormant lol. It seems like they might actually (miraculously?) get it. They are even using forum defined terms in their language (the actually said consecutive hit or impact or something along those lines lol).

It's weird. It's like so many things that we have been asking for are all coming at once after years of pining. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I would be remiss if I didn't at least ponder the plausibility or implausibility of two events having a correlation. Namely Ian leaving, and this seemingly new found perspective on the game, including the ridding of Pro-tak which was strongly linked to Ian, whether that is accurate or not. Not saying there is a correlation, just that it seems curious. Maybe my mind is the only one that works that way.

In any event, I am not definitely buying, but I am much closer than I thought possible, this soon. I am really pumped for the demo, if that counts for anything.

If these improvements pan out, and they ever did something (anything) with their animation tech, and did something to bring the passing game in to this century, Madden would be a game that I would be proud to have someone call me a fanboy for.
"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling."
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:03 AM   #21
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Re: Madden NFL 12 Gameplay Q&A (ESPN The Gamer)

While I do agree that people are sometimes overly critical of madden games the truth is that without those complaints we may have never seen EA actually put the effort into making their game better. You can say "vote with your wallet" but the devs do read fan feedback and without specific complaints they wouldnt know what to fix even if sales were lagging behind. The squeeky wheel gets the grease. With that being said i am actually looking forward to this years game even though i dont expect it to be all that we want it to be I gaurantee that it will be a big step in the right direction....a bigger step than we have seen the past few years even.

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Old 04-28-2011, 10:04 AM   #22
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My biggest problems im having with Madden 11 as far as gameplay that needed to get fix

*WR getting bump and run 40 yards down
*Man Coverage not being able to stop the wheel route
*Force to blitz players because your dline can't get pressure
*Passes in the flats not being covered even when running cover 2 or cover 3
*The success rate of jump balls in Madden 11 is rediculous (if I had a player that was over 6 foot 2 no matter what there rating was I can win 80% of the jump pall situations)
*Make the offensive lineman awareness mean something to many unblock players
*Speed shouldn't mean everything!!!!!! The Oakland Raiders is one of the top used teams in Madden and it's only because of there speed and they dominate. I feel if a Wr can't run routes, have a bad release of the line, and a horrible awareness that should show on the field to counter the speed. I am in one league where all my conerbacks speed is over 93 and not one of them have a overall rating over 70 and I shut down teams. It shouldnt work like that

Looks like they are fixing some of these issues hope they take care of the rest
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:11 AM   #23
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Re: Madden NFL 12 Gameplay Q&A (ESPN The Gamer)

Originally Posted by ch46647
"Pro-Tak is OUT, point of contact tacking is in"

This is music to my ears as I never liked the pro-tak tackling system! However, it is just amazing how the #1 feature put into the game two years ago is already scrapped. This is why Madden is where it is today. It seems like nothing is really implemented correctly or built on after it is put in the game.

I am also thrilled that they added WR shading and press back in the game. Hopefully they added a TON of animations for WR/DB interaction as well. This is much needed.
I get the general premise of this point but what they did this year concerning protak versus what they have done in the past, is very different, IMO.

Normally, I watch them just remove some feature for little to no reason, known to me. Like with the Live Opponent feature being taken out and no mention of why. However, this time, they actually removed a feature because what they put in should work better and that is how they should do it, IMO.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:13 AM   #24
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Re: Madden NFL 12 Gameplay Q&A (ESPN The Gamer)

Seems like they are actually really trying, my complaints and issues aside
Originally Posted by TripleCrown9
Guys I think I've seen the light. I liked the Wolverines when I was younger, and now that I've grown up I can't help but start to like them again. As I understood from Shiz in the OT, I have to go through hazing to be accepted into the group?
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We don't want your kind
Originally Posted by TripleCrown9
Ok :/ Go Blue anyways
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