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Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

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Old 08-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
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Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

http://cheatcc.com/extra/maddennfl12interview.html



With the release of Madden NFL 12 a little more than 30 days away, fans of the fabled football franchise are eager to get their hands on the newest installment. To find out what's new this year and what will be carried over from last year's effort, we contacted Mike Young, Art Director for Madden NFL 12.
Patriel Manning (Cheat Code Central): How long have you been working with the Madden franchise?

Mike Young (EA, Madden NFL 12): This'll be my fourth [Madden game].

CCC: What have been the biggest challenges in nailing the look for Madden NFL 12?

MY: Well, the biggest challenge this year was doing more than we ever have in one cycle. I think that we came off of last year and we wanted to make a big splash… We'd been building all these tools for the last couple of years to get there, but we wanted it to look like the game does on TV on Sundays. So a lot of research went into it, a lot of work. To pull off an authentic broadcast you need stadium exteriors and cheerleaders and mascots and runouts, and to do all these things authentically for all 33 teams is a really big undertaking. Having the real camera and all 16 real broadcast cameras in every stadium… it's a lot of research and it's a lot of content to create in one year. I felt like we set this really big objective and it was really hard to nail it because you couldn't just [say] "Oh yeah, these 16 teams are good this year…" So it was really tough to do all those teams all feeling very authentic. Just the fact that we had to build tons of inflatables, different pyro effects… There's just so much content, so that was the real challenge.


CCC: I was noticing that some of the things you were talking about now were also present in NCAA 12. Did some of that sort of bleed over while you guys were working on Madden?

MY: Well, I think we both look at each other's game and look at what was kind of successful in the other products—not just our two products, but the other sports games as well—so that's kind of how we choose to spend our time and effort… What do the fans really want and what's worth it to go after in one year? So I think we influenced each other in that way. There was some sharing, you know; we both added 3D grass this year, we both added particle kick-ups from the field—guys ripping up the grass, black pellets when you're on turf—so we do get to build some of the systems together, so that does help. As far as assets, though, they're totally different.

CCC: What led to the decision to use linear lighting this year instead of something else like image-based lighting?

MY: We not only added linear lighting, but we also added time of day so the shadows are always progressing over the field. The sun is moving through the sky. The first quarter looks different than the fourth quarter. We factored in time zones and Daylight Savings Time, so that was a big deal.
But the linear lighting… really, what it allowed us to do was push our contrast to match TV, but keep our details, the rich details, and keep the accurate colors of the uniforms. If you do a side-by-side between this year's game and last year's game you'd see teams like Vikings where the purples just… they shifted and they really didn't truly represent the Vikings colors. So even though we had the color swatch accurate, the lighting system we had let us down and basically destroyed the image quality. When you see a side-by-side it's totally apparent.
A lot of people feel like our models are more detailed this year, and they're really not. What's happening is that the linear lighting is preserving all of those rich details—the high white ranges and the dark darks—and it makes it feel like you can see all of the high-res texture detail that was kind of blown out or hidden in shadow last year. That was really why. We wanted to look like broadcast; we wanted really rich details. It was very expensive, and that's why we didn't get to it earlier. Not expensive [in terms of] performance, just the fact that you have to touch every single asset in the game so that the colors look right. It's a lot of tuning to do in one year.


CCC: What features are you most excited about?

MY: From the art standpoint, it's matching TV broadcast shot for shot. This year we did over 700 new cameras that were shot with a virtual camera. We had NFL Films' cameramen working with us to shoot every scriptable we had in the game… If it's the Steelers running out, they've shot it hundreds of times in their career. They have equipment that matches what they shoot with on game day… shooting it the way they would be. They know where to stand. They know what lens to use. That level of authenticity and that one-to-one translation, that human, you know, that human movement of the camera, it just feels real. That's the thing I was most proud of and I feel like it's the highest quality.

CCC: Is it something like what was done in, say, Surfs Up or Avatar?

MY: Exactly. The tech that we developed was inspired by the rigs James Cameron had. What we developed had an HD monitor and it was wireless. For football, our field is 100 yards by 50-ish yards, and so we had a space that basically allowed us a 50-yard-by-25-yard volume, so that allowed us to capture these great scenes where a cameraman has to run out on the field to get the coach handshake and he's running through a mass of players. That distance hasn't really been pulled off in a video game before. Usually these systems are very expensive and people are kind of limited to 10-foot-by-10-foot rooms, and they're wired so they're kind of limited with the types of camera moves they can have. But we had guys sprinting out of the tunnel following the star player out, and he's running, you know, thirty yards. That was pretty exciting.

CCC: Have you been able to pinpoint any complaints, either from the fans or the press, that you've been able to say "OK, we fixed that"?

MY: Well, the big one was, for us, that franchise mode hadn't been touched in two or three years in any significant way. That was the harshest criticism against Madden 11 and it was honestly one of our biggest focuses this year, bringing a lot of the best features from a really deep franchise sim we had called Head Coach '09. We had the lead designer from that game on Madden, and he was bringing really all the hardcore community requests. Things like cut days, expanded rosters, the free agent bidding system, having the teams' draft logic… there's basically over a hundred improvements to franchise, several big ones that had been requested for years.


We added the dynamic player performance, which makes players play more like themselves, react appropriately in certain situations; guys like Troy Polamalu we never really represented well before. We had their ratings, which basically captured what you'd capture at an NFL combine, but they didn't behave the right way. So guys like Mike Vick, even though they were at a high speed rating in the game, they would never take off and take advantage of that skill set. So now we have all these new traits added into Franchise mode and Play now that make the league feel more authentic and real. So Franchise was the big focus, and so far the community has reacted really well to what we've announced, and we're eager to see what they think when they start playing it.



CCC: Keeping in line with that topic, some of the players have been able to find some fairly strange physics-related glitches here and there. I was able to find a YouTube video of a guy that put a 5'10", 160 lb. offensive lineman as a center playing against Ndamukong Suh [who is quite a bit larger] and was able to hold his own. What's been done to fix those kinds of things?

MY: The whole collision system has been revamped so the way that people interact with each other… there has been attention towards people trying to break the game as far as freakish bodies and super tiny guys with crazy ratings that didn't match. I mean, there's only so much you do to prevent unrealistic matchups from happening. If people try to break the game, I'm sure there's still ways to do it. But we definitely focus more on actual simulation things that can happen on the field versus chasing down the most ridiculous kind of players people can make and aren't putting people in the wrong lineup spot. We have paid attention to it, but… you definitely want to get the base of reality right first before you start trying to make freakish things work.
[Laughter]

CCC: I found that pretty funny…

MY: We've seen those videos. They're good.
[Laughter]

CCC: How deep is the customization this time around? What kind of new things have been added?

MY: Customization isn't a big focus this year. I definitely think it'll be a bigger focus down the line, but we still have Create-a-Team, Create-a-Player, Create-a-Stadium; they all function with all of our game modes. But we didn't really put a lot of effort into improving those this year, unfortunately.


CCC: I had a question not directly related to the game. How has the ongoing NFL drama affected the development process this year?

MY: You know, it really hasn't other than… people that work here really want to see it happen. We did think strategically going into the year [that] every feature we make better be for that really, really hardcore NFL fan, because they're the ones that really still need to have their Madden. I think a lot of people still buy Madden because they're hyped up about the NFL season going on, so we really catered more to that fan that buys their game every year. The stuff they've been asking for for years. Our marketing guy says, and to a large extent it's true—and I don't use terms like this—that to a large extent, it's a love letter to our fans.
There's a laundry list of stuff they've been asking for for years: the most requested art features, the most requested presentation features, the most requested Franchise mode features… I think that that's why so far the fans have reacted pretty well to what we've been telling them is in the game this year and what they've seen at E3 and in videos and screenshots.

CCC: What are EA's plans for the Wii version?

MY: Well, the Wii [version] is coming out. I didn't work on the Wii version. Definitely there's more of a focus towards connecting more to the traditional Madden fan versus a, I don't know, mythical Wii consumer that likes less sim football. So I think you're going to see that product took a turn more towards a Gen-3 product—which is the Xbox 360/PS3 product—in its thought process and less of a product that's kind of for kids, kind of for adults, and didn't know what it wanted to be. I don't know if that's the politically correct way to say it, but I think there was this kind of thought that there was a different Wii Madden consumer out there that wanted a different Madden experience. I'm sure to some extent that's kind of true, but this one's going towards the guy who likes to play franchise mode with a controller, with buttons. But I don't have a great amount of detail on that product.


CCC: You're a Steelers Fan right?

MY: I am. You?

CCC: [Artfully dodging the question] Are they going to do it this year?

MY: Well you know the thing that they've been talking about is that teams that have consistency with the quarterback and coaching staff are going to have a huge advantage this year. And I think the Steelers are potentially bringing back pretty much their entire starting defense. They've got one free agent at Safety, but I think they're poised to be really good again. I mean, the Ravens are a tough opponent in their own division but, yeah, I think based on having a short training camp… guys are talking about how some have lost months of preparation… I think they'll be able to stand out. They've had Big Ben and the offensive coordinators together for years and there's no big changes made so, yeah why not? I hope so.

CCC: When can gamers expect a demo, or will there be one?

MY: There's going to be a demo. I actually don't know the date. I should know the date… [Laughter]I know we're working on but I don't have an exact date in mind.

CCC: And what is the street date for Madden NFL 12?

MY: This I know. August 30.

CCC: Mike, I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us.

MY: No problem.

Stay tuned to CheatCC for more news and information on Madden NFL 12.


Read more: http://cheatcc.com/extra/maddennfl12...#ixzz1UGrWZgff
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #2
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Re: Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

CCC: Keeping in line with that topic, some of the players have been able to find some fairly strange physics-related glitches here and there. I was able to find a YouTube video of a guy that put a 5'10", 160 lb. offensive lineman as a center playing against Ndamukong Suh [who is quite a bit larger] and was able to hold his own. What's been done to fix those kinds of things?

MY: The whole collision system has been revamped so the way that people interact with each other… there has been attention towards people trying to break the game as far as freakish bodies and super tiny guys with crazy ratings that didn't match. I mean, there's only so much you do to prevent unrealistic matchups from happening. If people try to break the game, I'm sure there's still ways to do it. But we definitely focus more on actual simulation things that can happen on the field versus chasing down the most ridiculous kind of players people can make and aren't putting people in the wrong lineup spot. We have paid attention to it, but… you definitely want to get the base of reality right first before you start trying to make freakish things work.




So is he saying 160 pound lineman can still hold off D-lineman or not. never really gave a definitive answer....
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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Re: Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

Quote:
Originally Posted by crenk
CCC: Keeping in line with that topic, some of the players have been able to find some fairly strange physics-related glitches here and there. I was able to find a YouTube video of a guy that put a 5'10", 160 lb. offensive lineman as a center playing against Ndamukong Suh [who is quite a bit larger] and was able to hold his own. What's been done to fix those kinds of things?

MY: The whole collision system has been revamped so the way that people interact with each other… there has been attention towards people trying to break the game as far as freakish bodies and super tiny guys with crazy ratings that didn't match. I mean, there's only so much you do to prevent unrealistic matchups from happening. If people try to break the game, I'm sure there's still ways to do it. But we definitely focus more on actual simulation things that can happen on the field versus chasing down the most ridiculous kind of players people can make and aren't putting people in the wrong lineup spot. We have paid attention to it, but… you definitely want to get the base of reality right first before you start trying to make freakish things work.




So is he saying 160 pound lineman can still hold off D-lineman or not. never really gave a definitive answer....
I highly doubt it based on what I have seen from Youtube videos of Madden 12, I've seen corners get completely flattened by o-lineman.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #4
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Re: Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

But what if you lined those corners up at LE or DT, would they still get flattened? The point of those who messed around in those videos is it seems like weight matters zero. In those videos 160 pound linemen held their own.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:07 PM   #5
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Re: Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

Quote:
Originally Posted by crenk
But what if you lined those corners up at LE or DT, would they still get flattened? The point of those who messed around in those videos is it seems like weight matters zero. In those videos 160 pound linemen held their own.
I guess we'll find out Tuesday when the demo drops, but we won't know for sure until Aug. 27 or 30th depending on if you have Season Ticket.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Re: Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

Quote:
Originally Posted by crenk
But what if you lined those corners up at LE or DT, would they still get flattened? The point of those who messed around in those videos is it seems like weight matters zero. In those videos 160 pound linemen held their own.
i think they base it on position rather than weight. so when you put a cb on the line, he becomes a lineman. but the ratings should factor in and he should get blown up every time. so it is weird.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:01 PM   #7
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Re: Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

Michael Young he answered without really committing an answer

"The whole collision system has been revamped so the way that people interact with each other… there has been attention towards people trying to break the game as far as freakish bodies and super tiny guys with crazy ratings that didn't match. I mean, there's only so much you do to prevent unrealistic matchups from happening. If people try to break the game, I'm sure there's still ways to do it."

I read this as, yes if you want to line DB's up as DT's they will hold their own.....which by the way doesnt matter to me in the slightest, b/c I will never do that, but I do care if weight matters with say albert Hayneswoth or Haloti Ngata goes up against some undersized lineman.... I mean weight is a factor at the line........
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:26 PM   #8
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Re: Interview with Mike Young Art Director Madden NFL 12(From end of July)

Quote:
Originally Posted by crenk
Michael Young he answered without really committing an answer

"The whole collision system has been revamped so the way that people interact with each other… there has been attention towards people trying to break the game as far as freakish bodies and super tiny guys with crazy ratings that didn't match. I mean, there's only so much you do to prevent unrealistic matchups from happening. If people try to break the game, I'm sure there's still ways to do it."

I read this as, yes if you want to line DB's up as DT's they will hold their own.....which by the way doesnt matter to me in the slightest, b/c I will never do that, but I do care if weight matters with say albert Hayneswoth or Haloti Ngata goes up against some undersized lineman.... I mean weight is a factor at the line........
This is an excerpt from the NY Post Madden 12 Preview article from July that may answer this question.

"Another aspect of Madden ’12 that is almost immediately noticeable is the new animations. I’ve already spoken about the team entrances and new animations away from the field, but on the field is where gamers will really notice a difference."


"From the opening kickoff, I noticed that the game’s speed has been amped up just a bit and there are new tackle animations that add a refreshing feel to the game. Playing as the Giants against the Cowboys, it was incredible to take control of Justin Tuck and wreak havoc on Tony Romo and Felix Jones. On one particular play, I controlled Tuck, blew past the offensive line and smashed into Jones, immediately standing him up and sending him to the ground. The whole play occurred fluidly and there was no feeling of the magnetized tackles that had been commonplace in prior installments."
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