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View Full Version : Game Informer: EA Exec - Madden NFL 13 To Focus On Defense



cdj
02-21-2012, 01:59 PM
Electronic Arts chief creative officer Richard Hilleman says the new leadership group at EA Tiburon is focused on making defense fun again.

Hilleman is no stranger to the Madden franchise, having designed the original game alongside Scott Orr and John Madden back in 1988. When I sat down with him at DICE, one of the big questions on my mind was what fans should expect from Madden NFL 13 given the large turnover at the top of the development team. Hilleman seems optimistic.

"They are doing big things this year," he said. "They're making big changes. Those are big changes that are going to break a lot of stuff, and they know that. What we're after is a better defense that's more fun to play."

The defensive side of the football has been long overdue for a revamp. The last major change to the defensive controls came in Madden NFL 05 with the introduction of the hit stick. Hopefully this retooling will also address the poor awareness demonstrated by the secondary in last year's game and mark the return of true gang tackling. If the new approach to defense was developed by EA Tiburon's shared technology group, there is a chance these features could extend over to NCAA Football as well.

Click here for the entire article (http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/02/21/ea-exec-madden-nfl-13-to-focus-on-defense.aspx#.T0PniZXAOCg.twitter).

bdoughty
02-21-2012, 03:41 PM
I hope they make one simple little change that makes playing defense fun... In NCAA. Player lock with the camera flip. It should have been in Madden last year, if it is not in Madden this year I would be shocked.

ram29jackson
02-21-2012, 06:59 PM
tell me you will sync the audio correctly LOL

i'm not sure whats un-fun about defense now that they could make fun-er

we are going to break alot of stuff.....does that mean talk about it or screw things up on a mass level again?

just build on this past year,,dont try to alter whats good...get rid of the strategy pad..or at least put red marks and distinct outlnes where you are suppose to push the directional pad...

I OU a Beatn
02-21-2012, 09:43 PM
i'm not sure whats un-fun about defense now that they could make fun-er


just build on this past year,,dont try to alter whats good...get rid of the strategy pad..or at least put red marks and distinct outlnes where you are suppose to push the directional pad...

Making it actually work would go a long way to making it fun again. Zone defense is horrible, man coverage is horrible, the pass rush takes way too long to get to the QB, etc...

They don't need to get rid of the strategy pad...it's optional anyway. You can turn it off and use the old hot route system using the face buttons. I personally love the strategy pad...it's much quicker.

jaymo76
02-21-2012, 10:02 PM
"we're gonna break a lot of stuff..." is that the Madden 13 motto???

cdj
02-21-2012, 10:13 PM
"we're gonna break a lot of stuff..." is that the Madden 13 motto???

I'm thinking/hoping he means that some items that worked offensively in Madden 12 (especially those of the less than legit variety) won't work (as well) in M13.

Personally, I didn't think this was a great article and that the author took a general comment into a larger statement than was intended. A video game sports design team wants to make playing defense (the less glamorous side of team sports) more fun to play? That goes without saying.

I think Hilleman was making vague statements about the game (big changes!) and then tossed in something relatively specific that may not necessarily be the top game or gameplay focus and the author took it as such.

JeffHCross
02-21-2012, 11:03 PM
Here's hoping NCAA has a similar focus.

Here's hoping even more that both games are successful at whatever they're working on.

ram29jackson
02-22-2012, 02:08 PM
Making it actually work would go a long way to making it fun again. Zone defense is horrible, man coverage is horrible, the pass rush takes way too long to get to the QB, etc...

They don't need to get rid of the strategy pad...it's optional anyway. You can turn it off and use the old hot route system using the face buttons. I personally love the strategy pad...it's much quicker.


no, you can half get rid of the strategy pad but not really, its still there..when I say gone, I want it completely gone.

What do you mean zones dont work? I am in zone 95% of the time against online randoms and it helps me win more often then not.

I OU a Beatn
02-22-2012, 02:17 PM
I don't know, man, but when I turn off the strategy pad, I have no problem using the face buttons to make adjustments.

...and zones are completely terrible. Against any zone defense, I can run a streak and a corner route on the same side of the field and gain 20+ yards absolutely any time I want. If you watch my videos, I run several instances of this out of Shotgun Tight and Bunch and I can think of less than 5 times that I was actually stopped. Against a cover 2, especially, it's pretty much a 50% chance it's going to be a 40 or 50 yard gain because the corner route is going to be completely wide open. The zone logic is just stupid and needs to be taken care of.

...or enhance the pass rush so people don't have 8 seconds to throw. Either way, something needs to be done.

ram29jackson
02-22-2012, 03:46 PM
look..if they actually do something with defense..it will only be straight players who appreciate it anyway unless its arcade junk because no one in the majority wants to play defense at all ( refering to online games)....someone once mentioned they can see how many times they pick particular plays online like 4 verts being number one...i wonder what the stat is for guys going on 4th ? LOL

JeffHCross
02-22-2012, 10:38 PM
I can't believe I'm about to say this ... but Ram is right. One of the reasons real football is a chess match is because you can't run the same play (let's say 4 verticals) all game and have it work with even a moderate amount of success. I have hopes to the contrary, but I'm not sure I believe that Madden, NCAA, or any football title would ever get the point that a decent player can't find something that will reliably work against any defense, unless you're just plain outmatched. EA could have Gary Patterson designing their defenses and code, and I honestly wonder if that would be enough. There are checks and balances that just can't be replicated.

Without, well, artificial intelligence on the level of Ed Reed.

baseballplyrmvp
02-22-2012, 11:41 PM
i wish you could tag a certain offensive play, with maybe a limit of 2 or 3 plays, that each time those plays are run against you, your defense would start playing better and better against those certain plays, kinda like making the play recognition rating matter more.

bdoughty
02-23-2012, 02:33 AM
i wish you could tag a certain offensive play, with maybe a limit of 2 or 3 plays, that each time those plays are run against you, your defense would start playing better and better against those certain plays, kinda like making the play recognition rating matter more.

Not a bad idea. Though I would rather let the skill of the player/coach have more impact with gameday decisions, so a twist on the idea.

On the both sides of the ball I would be interested in a quick game breakdown option that does not require you to pause the game (something especially beneficial in online play). Something that shows quick and dirty details that coaches have at their disposal in real life. On the offensive side. Audibles, player shift changes and the location of those shifts, shifting to (straight, to strongside to weakside, other) standard defensive alignment, blitz %, Top "X" plays called and others. On defense. Run/pass%, direction of run, pitch/sweep/pulling lineman %, Audibles to pass or run, Top "X" plays called and other things not rattling around in my head.

That said if they ever reintroduced practice mode like the PS2 days, where you had a breakdown of plays the next opponent runs and you practice against it, then based on your success in stopping those plays you would get a recognition boost.

Rudy
02-23-2012, 05:21 AM
i wish you could tag a certain offensive play, with maybe a limit of 2 or 3 plays, that each time those plays are run against you, your defense would start playing better and better against those certain plays, kinda like making the play recognition rating matter more.

This goes all the way back to 2K's VIP tendencies they tried to implement in 2K5. Tendencies should be tracked in football games. If someone is abusing a certain play too often the awareness should go up for your defensive players to stop it. I'm not talking a Tecmo style, destroy the offense type of adjustment, but something should be done.

2K12 baseball is doing something like this with the pitcher vs. batter duel. It tracks how you pitch each batter. If you are constantly throwing fastballs up and in to Batter X he will adjust and make you pay by giving them a boost in that hot zone. Tendency tracking and AI adjustments are something that I thought would have been done better by now but we are still a long way off.

skipwondah33
02-23-2012, 09:31 AM
I can't believe I'm about to say this ... but Ram is right. One of the reasons real football is a chess match is because you can't run the same play (let's say 4 verticals) all game and have it work with even a moderate amount of success. I have hopes to the contrary, but I'm not sure I believe that Madden, NCAA, or any football title would ever get the point that a decent player can't find something that will reliably work against any defense, unless you're just plain outmatched. EA could have Gary Patterson designing their defenses and code, and I honestly wonder if that would be enough. There are checks and balances that just can't be replicated.

Without, well, artificial intelligence on the level of Ed Reed.
+1

On another note I do pretty well at playing defense this version of Madden. My Defense is actually better than my Offense which I've always been a defensive minded player, my offense was always better.

I OU a Beatn
02-23-2012, 11:59 AM
I can't believe I'm about to say this ... but Ram is right. One of the reasons real football is a chess match is because you can't run the same play (let's say 4 verticals) all game and have it work with even a moderate amount of success. I have hopes to the contrary, but I'm not sure I believe that Madden, NCAA, or any football title would ever get the point that a decent player can't find something that will reliably work against any defense, unless you're just plain outmatched. EA could have Gary Patterson designing their defenses and code, and I honestly wonder if that would be enough. There are checks and balances that just can't be replicated.

Without, well, artificial intelligence on the level of Ed Reed.

NCAA '04 and '07 were both proof that they can do it. I had numerous games in both years where I would have shootouts with someone, get into a rematch, and then play a 17-10 game not even 10 minutes later against top 20 players. You were given enough to make adjustments and the AI was good enough to allow for that. Not to mention, the pass rush was right where it needed to be. It didn't take 15 seconds for a 7 man blitz to get there, either.

There's no doubt they've pretty much destroyed defense this generation and there's also no doubt the improvements they've made the past two or three years are still not even close to being enough(ESPECIALLY on Madden). It definitely can be done, though...it's just a matter of whether they're willing to put in the effort or not.

ram29jackson
02-23-2012, 02:04 PM
I can't believe I'm about to say this ... but Ram is right. One of the reasons real football is a chess match is because you can't run the same play (let's say 4 verticals) all game and have it work with even a moderate amount of success. I have hopes to the contrary, but I'm not sure I believe that Madden, NCAA, or any football title would ever get the point that a decent player can't find something that will reliably work against any defense, unless you're just plain outmatched. EA could have Gary Patterson designing their defenses and code, and I honestly wonder if that would be enough. There are checks and balances that just can't be replicated.

Without, well, artificial intelligence on the level of Ed Reed.


ok, but I was also hoping for a link to a database that EA has about online stats or something,since you guys seem to communicate with the EA people LOL

JeffHCross
02-23-2012, 11:42 PM
NCAA '04 and '07 were both proof that they can do it.I think your nostalgia is getting the better of you. I know for a fact that there were plays (or play styles, I suppose) that were successful enough that no matter what you threw at it, it would get the better of you. Does that mean that every game would be a blow out? Of course not, nor would they necessarily play the same from one game to the next.

But my overall point is that real football is a chess match. You have to setup plays, get your opponent thinking one thing rather than another, etc, etc. Very rarely can you just dictate terms to anyone other than a wholly overmatched opponent (this year's title game being a rare exception). By comparison, NCAA can devolve into a brute force victory game, where you can just call the same thing (or the same few concepts) over and over again until you win.


ok, but I was also hoping for a link to a database that EA has about online stats or something,since you guys seem to communicate with the EA people LOLPersonal opinion, but I'd be stunned if that information is presented in anything resembling a public manner, ever. Most companies would protect those kinds of usage numbers like a Golden Goose. They may share one or two pieces here or there, but never the entire database, or even likely a large segment of it.

I OU a Beatn
02-24-2012, 12:07 AM
By comparison, NCAA can devolve into a brute force victory game, where you can just call the same thing (or the same few concepts) over and over again until you win..

Nostalgia has nothing to do with it as I remember playing those games just like it was yesterday. While this generation of games does basically devolve into whoever has the cheapest play and is willing to run it the most, that wasn't the case with '04 and '07. There were extremely effective nano blitzes, but there were still ways to move the ball against it. There was also motion glitches out of Bunch and Tight formations that were a pain to defend against, but again, nothing unstoppable. For the most part, everything was balanced.

On this generation, though, there's always been about 5 overpowered things that are borderline unstoppable. Toss and stretch plays from power formations are just ridiculous, that stupid little route people throw to their RB coming out of the backfield before they make their cut is bullshit, and even QB scrambling is stupid(although it's probably more to do with the fact there's no pass rush).

ram29jackson
02-24-2012, 12:55 AM
/QUOTE]

[[QUOTE] Personal opinion, but I'd be stunned if that information is presented in anything resembling a public manner, ever. Most companies would protect those kinds of usage numbers like a Golden Goose. They may share one or two pieces here or there, but never the entire database, or even likely a large segment of it.


i'm sorry,but i find that laughable if not down right stupid..what would be the great company secret let out if that info was public? you are just displaying what the public uses. I see no harm in that or help for another company looking to get into the football video game business...? just my opinion, dont mean that to be takin' personal as a nasty argument or something LOL

JeffHCross
02-24-2012, 01:17 PM
For the most part, everything was balanced.Okay, I see where you're coming from now. You were talking about balance between players (probably online). I was talking primarily about some of the strategic and tactical aspects of the game that are much more difficult to replicate. Like the things that make players (safeties, LBs, etc, not VG players) susceptible to play action, without making them susceptible to repeated play-action. Coaches and players learn from their mistakes in a way that is very difficult to replicate in a video game. And while 2004 was extremely balanced (and I do agree there, it was my favorite game of the series), it wasn't without its own issues when it came to repeated plays and success.

Keep in mind, I was talking about getting enough success with a single or small set of plays to make repetition valuable. Whether or not the game is balanced is a different discussion, and I think you and I agree on that.


i'm sorry,but i find that laughable if not down right stupid..what would be the great company secret let out if that info was public?I'll admit that I only understand the viewpoint to an extent, but I do know that customer usage is perceived to be highly valuable, and, often, proprietary information. Sometimes you'll see a data dump of that kind of information, but it's pretty rare.

skipwondah33
02-27-2012, 08:30 AM
Like the things that make players (safeties, LBs, etc, not VG players) susceptible to play action, without making them susceptible to repeated play-action.

Keep in mind, I was talking about getting enough success with a single or small set of plays to make repetition valuable. Whether or not the game is balanced is a different discussion, and I think you and I agree on that.

Yeah I'd love it if the Offense had to set up a play-action for it to work well or atleast have someone like Peyton Manning for it to be kind of effective no matter what. I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter if you establish a run game or the threat of the run or not.


On this generation, though, there's always been about 5 overpowered things that are borderline unstoppable. Toss and stretch plays from power formations are just ridiculous, that stupid little route people throw to their RB coming out of the backfield before they make their cut is bullshit, and even QB scrambling is stupid(although it's probably more to do with the fact there's no pass rush).

That is the "V" you are referring to. I can't stand that route as it will work majority of the time against Man coverage and if the QB throws it on time. I can defend it with Zone or manual of course but still haven't liked that route for the past 2-3 versions.

I don't think the QB scrambling ability has to do with the rush but rather the fact that the QB run/slide/walk animation is entirely too fast. You can do the slide/walk animation and be 15 yards out of the pocket in a minimum of 8-10 steps with even the most sleufooted QB's in the game.