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ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

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Old 05-10-2012, 03:56 AM   #1
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ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

When NCAA got the ESPN liscence, I always felt it was important that they bring authentic ESPN style presentation to the table. That area of the game has been lacking for awhile, but they added the swipes and pre-game graphics/music which was a solid babystep.

I still felt they needed to COPY exactly what they saw from a ESPN broadcast, including the replay angles and stat overlays. This is still an area where they need major improvement.

The in-studio updates and priority alerts are a good step in the presentation, but I can't help but think it will feel incomplete to get updates of the stats of other teams games, while the stats of my game are absent.

Although I've always noticed that stat overlays were missing, I wanted to actually go through a real life game and a NCAA game and see how far apart the two sides were. I wanted to see how frequently overlays happen, in what context, and what kinds of overlays occur the most and could be duplicated in a video game.

I traded in NCAA 12 so I had to look for a video on youtube showing a full game.

For the real college football game I wanted to watch the first possessions of both teams and then watch the fourth quarter after teams had accumulated stats to see how they present the information. I realize by actually paying attention to how they do it, that they are passionate about telling a story with their stats. ESPN really does a nice job of doing that.

Anyway, I turned on a 2011 game featuring Oregon and USC. It should be noted that Oregon ran a lot of quick plays which limited the overlays and replays ESPN was able to show (they cut mid replay a bunch of times). Even with that, there were dozens of overlays in the first 7 or 8 minutes alone.

1. After the kickoff, and before the first play, a screen showing the history between the two teams popped up.

Spoiler



2. Before the first snap for USC, the season statistics of Matt Barkley is shown.

Spoiler



3. After the first play from USC (a screen play that gets stopped for a loss) a stat overlay pops up for the Oregon safety that made the tackle.

Spoiler


4. A graphic pops up that shows "impact players" for USC before the next play starts.

Spoiler


5. Then they show the "impact players" for USC.

Spoiler


6. After the USC 3 and out, they decide to punt. Before the punt, there is a stat overlay for the punt returner.

Spoiler


7. As the Oregon offense makes their way to the field for their first possession, there is a stat overlay for their starting QB.

Spoiler


8. After a few plays, the impact player graphic pops up.

Spoiler


9. And Oregon's impact offensive players are featured.

Spoiler


10. After Oregon goes 3 and out, a stat overlay pops up for the USC punt returner.

Spoiler


Fast-forward to beginning of 4th quarter. Oregon is down 20-38 and have possession of the ball. Oregon is running a hurry up offense so there isn't much pause in the action. They march down the field and score a touchdown.

11. As the Oregon player celebrates the touchdown, a stat overlay shows how long the run was.

Spoiler


12. The next stat overlay shows the game statistics for the RB that scored a touchdown.

Spoiler


Barkley throws a pick and then Oregon goes down and scores another rushing touchdown on their next possession (very quick plays, no stat overlays.)

13. After USC goes down the field, they face a 3rd and short and a stat overlay pops up for their third down conversations.

Spoiler


14. After USC picks up the first down on the ground, a stat overlay for total plays and yardage pops up.

Spoiler


15. A play later, USC fumbles the ball and Oregon recovers, and a stat overlay for turnovers pop up.

Spoiler


16. As Oregon marches down the field to try and tie (or win) the game, there is a stat overlay for the QB's stats for the game.

Spoiler


17. Once they are in field goal range, and inside a minute left, a stat overlay for the kicker pops up showing his career long and stats from previous week.

Spoiler


18. Inside of 15 seconds, Oregon down 35-38 and in the redzone, an overlay pops up stating that Oregon will clinch their division with a win.

Spoiler


19. As the kicker runs out on the field a stat overlay for his season numbers pops up.

Spoiler


20. A stat overlay showing Oregon's home winning streak and pac 10 winning streak totals pops up.

Spoiler


21. Oregon missed the kick and won the game. Stat overlay reveals the current records of both teams.

Spoiler


______________

Since coverage for a Saturday Night game featuring a top 5 team late in the season may be different than 'ordinary games', I decided to look at a noon game with a borderline top 25 team (Auburn ranked at 21) and unranked Clemson that took place early in the year (september).

1. After the kickoff (Auburn got the ball first), an impact player screen pops up showing the starting QB and his season numbers.

Spoiler


2. After Auburn fails to convert a 3rd down, an impact player tracker overlay pops up showing the QB's passing numbers on the drive.

Spoiler


3. When Clemson goes on offense, an impact player screen pops up for Clemson offensive players and Auburn defensive players. Both show stats for the season.

Spoiler


Fastforward to the 4th quarter after players have accumulated stats. I've noticed that if you are designated as an impact player in the pre-game, they show your stat updates a lot more and call them 'impact player tracker'.

Spoiler


4. One play later, they do another overlay for the QB. I notice they almost always do a stat overlay for the QB if he misses a 3rd down throw.

Spoiler


5. An overlay shows the punter and returner.

Spoiler


6. After a short run on the first play after they field the put, an overlay is shown for the RBs game totals.

Spoiler


7. Supports my thought that after an incomplete on third down, they show the QB's numbers.

Spoiler


8. A summary of the game screen pops up in the early 4th quarter

Spoiler


I used this online dynasty game to compare the use of overlays.



First thing that's noticeable is the ESPN scorebox is outdated on NCAA 12. That doesn't bother me because ESPN updates their scorebox every year and NCAA will always be a year behind. Hopefully, NCAA has updated their scorebox for NCAA 13.

No overlays for the first possession of either teams drive.

This is what it looks like when a player scores which was accurate as of 2010.



If EA updated their scoreboard for 13, then a touchdown should look like screenshots 11 and 12 for the Oregon/USC game posted above.

The only kind of overlay system that seems to be in place consistently is a recap of what just happened on the previous play.

4 yard run.

5 yard run.

-1 yard run.

Etc.

With 30 seconds left in the 1st quarter, the first overlay pops up.



Once I was well into the 2nd and still hadn't seen any more overlays, I skipped to the 4th.

There were a few more non-dynamic (meaning they didn't use season stats or put the info into any context) overlays like



But for the most part, I went an entire game and saw essentially a handful of overlays.

So it doesn't matter if it's pre-game, first series, or late game situations when stats are accumulated, NCAA 12 does not have stat overlays to help support the ESPN style presentation.

This isn't new info by any means, I just wanted to document what was in last years game, and what broadcast style was featured by ESPN last year.


I understand that it would be impossible to get every single real life overlay into the game, but I think screenshots 1,2,3,5,7,10,11,12,13, 14, and 19 of the Oregon/USC game and screenshot 8 of the Clemson/Auburn game are not only doable, but infinitely more immersive than what is currently there.

It should also be doable to use the ESPN logic of 'third down incomplete pass=show the QBs stats for the game.'

These overlays would breathe life into the dynasty season, and really help distinguish one game from the next.

Last edited by DorianDonP; 05-10-2012 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:37 AM   #2
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Re: ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

First of all great work. People keep begging for College Gameday but I think they should address stat overlays first. Starting lineups and impact players were high on my wish list. I shouldn't have to pause and check my players stats all the time, they should pop up throughout the game! Completely agree with all you said.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:52 AM   #3
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Re: ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

Yeah real good work.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:19 AM   #4
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Re: ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

awesome work and thanks for posting.
i believe this is exactly what the people are wanting. you just can't show stats enough on the screen, imo. it's what we want to see all the time. stats. basically as it is now if you want to see how many yards your RB1 has you have to pause the game and go to player stats to see what everybody has done for the game.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Re: ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

Perhaps more importantly for EA is the added opportunities to sell advertising space.

Look at the larger feature graphics from the Auburn-Clemson game DorianDon posted. Pacific Life game summary. Chick-Fil-A impact players.

Not only will more stat overlays and banners make the community happy by providing a more immersive and authentic presentation, it gives them a chance to make more money by selling more in-game advertisement opportunities.

Plus, technically this really shouldn't be too tough to implement in the grand scheme of things that the community has been demanding. All the statistics that drive these overlays are already kept by the game. All that needs to be done is to port over the graphical templates provided by ESPN's actual broadcast, then write the code linking which statistics should go into what overlays, and when it is appropriate for them to appear.

My hope is that next year we are begging EA to reduce the number of stat overlays. Because sports video games lack the "human interest" stories that the real sports feature so prominently, the stats need to be played up even more by EA.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by rspencer86
Perhaps more importantly for EA is the added opportunities to sell advertising space.

Look at the larger feature graphics from the Auburn-Clemson game DorianDon posted. Pacific Life game summary. Chick-Fil-A impact players.

Not only will more stat overlays and banners make the community happy by providing a more immersive and authentic presentation, it gives them a chance to make more money by selling more in-game advertisement opportunities.

Plus, technically this really shouldn't be too tough to implement in the grand scheme of things that the community has been demanding. All the statistics that drive these overlays are already kept by the game. All that needs to be done is to port over the graphical templates provided by ESPN's actual broadcast, then write the code linking which statistics should go into what overlays, and when it is appropriate for them to appear.

My hope is that next year we are begging EA to reduce the number of stat overlays. Because sports video games lack the "human interest" stories that the real sports feature so prominently, the stats need to be played up even more by EA.
Excellent point.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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Re: ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

Great job. I think that would make the game incredible and like Ryan said I think it is completely doable. (that's what she said?)
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:38 PM   #8
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Re: ESPN overlays in 2011 vs NCAA 12 Overlays breakdown

Excellent review and very well put together. I've forwarded this on to the powers that be at EA. This certainly deserves to be seen.
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