Let's Talk About Football Commentary

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Old 11-22-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
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Let's Talk About Football Commentary

So I'm not quite sure what I really want to do with this thread quite yet, but I want to at least get some dialogue going here in a somewhat centralized spot. As you can see by the name, I am working mostly on the commentary side of things for Madden 13. It's perhaps getting a bit late in the project to put together wish lists and so forth, but I still want to talk about some things with you crazies.

What's your favorite football commentary ever? Why?

What do you look for most with football commentary? Is it more real-life events about teams being discussed in the game (see: last year's storylines), or do you just care about the game knowing about how you're doing in career mode? (You can say "I WANT BOTH!" as well)

Do you have any 'wow' memories in terms of hearing something in (any) sports game that still sticks with you?

Essentially, feel free to answer any/all/none of these questions, but I just want to get the ball rolling. Remember, try to be constructive rather than just simply bash. In other words, if you really really really dislike something then say why you hate it, and perhaps even what you'd do to fix it.

(I respond in post #77)
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Last edited by ChaseB; 12-03-2011 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:10 PM   #2
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Re: Let's Talk About Football Commentary

I really enjoy 2k's basketball commentary. They will continually to comment on different players and discuss what happened last year to them, I guess story telling in a nutshell.

It just goes with the flow of the game.

The sound just feels disjointed, like they aren't in the same booth together. Try to make it sound as authentic as an NFL broadcast as you can, would be my advice.

Thanks for asking.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:40 PM   #3
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Re: Let's Talk About Football Commentary

Commentary in a football game - I'm torn.

Even when it's great, it's repetitive. When I'm watching real games, I say things before the commentators most of the game. For the most part, I find commentary annoying and when the commentators are exceptionally annoying - I listen to the live radio broadcast or mute it completely.

On Madden, I turn the commentary off.

It's certainly NOT a factor in why I love football or the Madden series. I prefer on-field sounds and the PA announcer. Coaches and players can't hear the commentary. I try to simulate that experience.

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Old 11-22-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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Re: Let's Talk About Football Commentary

Originally Posted by TNT713
Commentary in a football game - I'm torn.

Even when it's great, it's repetitive. When I'm watching real games, I say things before the commentators most of the game. For the most part, I find commentary annoying and when the commentators are exceptionally annoying - I listen to the live radio broadcast or mute it completely.
Yeah, I feel pretty much the same. That said, I do want commentary to improve since it's not going anywhere, it is going to be very hard to keep it feeling fresh, especially for the die hard Madden players.

Things that would help, though:

-More situational awareness. Chris Collinsworth should not be saying that a false start is "the defense battling, but it's a big break for the offense" or "A defender trying to do too much and that's a big first down." Just...no. Every TD shouldn't trigger the "he missed on the pick so it was a big gain" commentary chain.

-More awareness of the overall flow of the game. Let's say it's been a turnover-fest. Comments like "if either of these teams could hold on to the ball, they would have an instant advantage".

-More stat analysis, especially at end of quarters/half/games. Highlight a notable stat (I remember NHL 97 would highlight PIM or other stats after each period)

-Awareness of season performances. Not just 1000 yds or such, but something like what Aaron Rodgers is doing (110+ passer rating in 4 consecutive games) something like "If Rodgers can break the 110 passer rating mark in this game, he'll set a new NFL record" during the pre-game of the potential record-breaking game).

-More lines on why guys get open or where it happened because of a mismatch. This happens in the real game and could even help "casual" players understand the game more.

Things I liked and would like to see expanded:

-More DPP commentary. I LIKE what was attempted/done when DPP changes. That is perhaps the smoothest part, except for when it occurs during change of possession (after TD passes or lost fumbles by HBs). It will comment on the DPP change with the other team on the field. Like when a QB gets a TD pass to get his DPP back on track, it'll comment when the other QB is on the field. Perhaps instead, when the TD post-play is going on, comment on how the TD pass appears to have his confidence back, or if it's because of a lot of completions in a row, post-play comment on "looks like he's back in his groove" so it seems more natural and flowing with the action on the field.

-Hot players could get spotlighted pre-game for a potential big day. Cold players could have something said like "he didn't have a particularly good week of practice, but his coaches think he might turn it around on game day."

-Basically, include more and more of the DPP and variances of franchise mode into commentary.

-More Role commentary. I heard for the FIRST time a couple days ago about Adrian Peterson's Fumble Prone role after a 4th quarter would-be fumble (it was overturned). There needs to be MORE role/trait commentary. Comment on how a clutch player might turn around the momentum in the game (and highlight him on the screen with an overlay with his name and game stats), things like that.

-Sideline reporter (even a fake one, as long as she's pretty and has a good voice...er, I mean...) that comments on things like injury status (have the booth throw it to her and she'll comment on the decision the team made on that little menu that pops up).

And above all - have MULTIPLE as in several, lots, many different phrases/chains/one-liners for both commentators in each situation if at all possible.
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Last edited by KBLover; 11-22-2011 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:51 PM   #5
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Re: Let's Talk About Football Commentary

Well it goes without question just model your commentary from the NBA 2k series in fact don't just model it steal and copy every detail lol but specifically I loved what NFL 2k5 did all the generic rookies that came in the game the announcers had a generic rant about them not much but kept the game fresh
Games I'm playing FOREVER: NFL2K5, That is all.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #6
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fluidity, dynamics, stats.

like the title of my post says...the fluidity of the commentating needs to be improved, also i'd like both career dynamics&hearing about storylines in years past. more stat updates in the game like they do in real life. and just overall make it an experience that can substitute for not having the NFL on tuesday, wednesday, friday&saturday (though i love ncaa)

the NBA/MLB 2K games have EXCELLENT commentary, if you guys could lean towards the way they do it, itd be awesome...its the only thing that takes me out of madden 12, the commentary...
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
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Re: Let's Talk About Football Commentary

Chase--didn't realize you work for Madden/EA Sports. Must've missed the thread on that, but congrats.

Here are my thoughts on commentary...

1) The thing, for me, that makes me most enjoy commentary in video games is if/when the commentators are paying attention to the action and remembering key events and how those events develop--both throughout the game and, in a franchise, through a season (and one day, through multiple seasons).

So for me, in Madden 12, what bothers me is the fact that when the QB trots out onto the field, Gus says something to the effect of, "And here's the quarterback, who when we talked to him said he hopes to have a good game out there today."

That's generic, gets repetitive, and doesn't actually INFORM me. What would be better is if the commentators can recall the game I played last week (name drop the opponent if possible) and speak as if they really are aware (like real commentators) what went down, how the player performed, and what he needs to do to continue or improve upon his play for this game.

Why did I win? Why did I lose? What did you legitimately see on tape that might be a point of emphasis for this game that's about to start? Those are not only interesting nuggets from a commentary and audio standpoint, but also possibly knowledgeable things for the gamer to know.

Another example--I think the hot and cold streaks is a cool thing they did for Madden 12. But the commentary fails to build upon that. So if I'm losing a game, I'd love it if the commentators were able to pay attention to my team's tendencies and season trajectory, ultimately informing me that when Peyton Hillis doesn't get the ball more at least 20 times a game, the Browns lose 75% of the time.

These are ultra specific examples, but essentially, I think commentary is best when the announcers aren't just telling you what you see on-screen, but informing you about the game, the team, the players, the tendencies, the development of the season, etc.

2) Another thing that draws me in to great commentary is banter, less dead silence, and more specificity regarding the announcing. The first two are probably self-explanatory, but here's what I mean about announcing specificity.

You gotta have the announcers say players' names--not numbers. You just can't have Gus calling Phil Taylor "Ryan," or Gus calling Tim Tebow "Number 15."

You also gotta stop referring to players as "the quarterback" or "the halfback." I think there are actually a few good things in this year's commentary, but I also hate the fact that Chris or Gus will call, for example, Darelle Revis "the cornerback" when breaking down his play.

He's freakin' Darelle Revis--ya gotta know his name. And if you get those specifics down, in my opinion, you add a lot more immersion to the game.

3) I like the player breakdown's Chris does for the Player's to Watch--but I just wish he had more players to talk about. If he can talk about, on average, 4 players per team, then you have a lot of variety, can change it up depending upon the match-up (talking about RB Chris Johnson for the Titans makes sense a lot, but if Kenny Brit is on a hot streak, maybe he should be discussed in that particular game).

4) This is getting long, but I'll wrap it up with this one--constant talk, variety and big moments. Commentary is always going to get old if you play the game 3 days a week for six months. We know that. But if the commentary is good and varied, I think we forgive the designers and developers for that.

I don't play much NBA 2K and The Show, but when I did play it, I was BLOWN AWAY by the commentary. It felt so fluid and constant, people sworn I was watching a game until they came into the room.

Watch an NFL game and listen to how often the announcers are talking. From the start of the play "The Colts come out in an I Formation" to what's going on pre-play "Reggie Wayne in motion" to audibles "Peyton Manning looks to be changing up the play at line of scrimmage"--the announcers are always talking.

And to me, as long as what they're saying is relevant, informs me of the game and what's ultimately going on with both teams, players, and the NFL at large, and feels real, I don't care if there's a lot of chatter. I welcome it.

As for big moments and variety--I think you have to have specific commentary for specific moments and games. If my WR passes a serious landmark for wide receivers, you gotta have commentary that acknowledges that. If my DE is on pace to break a sack record, that should be worthy of a mention.

And others have mentioned it previously, but unique commentary for the playoffs and Super Bowl would be great. Commentary that's consistent throughout the game where I feel the announcers legitimately know they're watching post-season play (and not just a quick mention of it at the coin toss, either).

Time to breathe.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:23 PM   #8
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Re: Let's Talk About Football Commentary

Post before mine have already said it best but to reiterate, copy what 2k has done. I don't really remember NFL2k5 having great commentary but it didn't stand out as bad. I think the you guys should take the "primum non nocere" approach and "first do no harm".

M12 is the first game I can really point to that demonstrates how game affecting, awful commentary can be. Don't over think it, just do what makes sense and feels natural, which should come through in the final product.

One of my knocks on EA/Madden is the perceived lack of willingness to accept that some things have already been done better than what they can do right now. Whether that's by other games or real life mediums, the point is, with those things there is no need to "reinvent the wheel", just copy what works.

Something potentially innovative like DPP, is grounded in trying to simulate the real life differences in the playstyles of each player. However, for something like commentary, take the same approach taken in M12 with broadcast and copy the networks, which NBA2k seems to have laid a video game blueprint for.
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