• NCAA Football 13 Playbook #1 Sights and Sounds Revealed

    Today, the EA SPORTS NCAA Football development team streamed the first look at NCAA Football 13 with their Sights and Sounds webcast. If you missed it you can watch the broadcast here via livestream as well as it's embedded after the break. They have also now given us two blogs: one via paakaa10 and one via developer Christian McLeod discussing the audio portions of the game to go along with some of the screenshots seen during today's presentation. Continue after the break to watch the video, see the pictures, and read the blogs from today's news as well as a link to the webcast for those that missed it.


    Link to Sights and Sounds Community (included below)
    Link to Sights and Sounds Audio Blog (included below)
    Link to Livestream Webcast










    Sights and Sounds Community
    Hey NCAA Football fans! My name is Brian Parker and I am a member of the EA SPORTS Game Changers program as well as an attendee for Community Events on both NCAA Football 12 last year and NCAA Football 13 this year.
    The development team was kind enough to ask me to share some thoughts regarding the topic of today’s Playbook #1: Sights and Sounds and what that means to me for NCAA Football 13. Since presentation on the whole is something that I care about a lot when it comes to playing games in the NCAA Football series, I’m excited about where things are going for this year’s game.

    As part of their continued effort to get the details right for all of the teams featured in the game, the creative team has once again worked on new traditions to incorporate into the pre-game atmosphere for new schools that previously haven’t had their unique game day aspects included. I know that one of the points we as Community Event invitees keep hearing and bringing up is that every school has their own fan base that wants to see as much unique tradition as possible for their team in the game. With each year that passes for development, it feels as though more and more of these fans are getting catered to in this regard, and NCAA Football 13 is no different.
    The past few years of NCAA Football titles have featured “progressive lighting” at the end of each quarter of the game to reflect the passage of time during a game, but the creative team was keenly listening to complaints about the transitions “popping in” unnaturally between quarters. NCAA Football 13 is working to address these complaints by featuring lighting which progresses after every play. Between the beginning and end of any given game, you can expect to be playing under lighting conditions which are always changing in accordance with the true light progression of all FBS stadiums.

    The same technology used by the Tiger Woods PGA TOUR team to scan Augusta National for the inclusion of The Masters in that game series is also being used in NCAA Football 13 this year to capture the intricate details of some of the brand-new stadiums for FBS play this coming fall; in particular, the new home fields for Florida Atlantic University and North Texas have both been scanned into this year’s game as incredibly faithful virtual reproductions of the real thing. The level of detail for these new stadiums is jaw-dropping, and I can imagine people using FAU and North Texas just to get a highly-accurate digital preview of the new venues before the season starts.

    Another aspect of presentation that I’m excited about in NCAA Football 13 is the inclusion of new trophy presentations for a number of games. Of course the BCS Championship Game trophy presentation has been revamped, but you’ll also be seeing ceremonies after Conference Championship games and some Rivalry Games which have trophies awarded as well. As a college football fan who loves the stories and passion behind rivalries in the sport, seeing this extra attention given to these yearly showdowns is a much-welcomed addition to the presentation package.

    People interested in the audio plans for NCAA Football 13 will be excited to hear that the development team attended big games last season—and even got some fan submissions of audio—to help improve the overall experience of what a college football game sounds like. One of the demonstrations at the first Community Event this year included side-by-side comparisons of crowd audio in NCAA Football 12 versus the crowd audio recorded for NCAA Football 13; the written word cannot do justice to how big of an improvement we heard both in terms of the accuracy of crowd noise and chants, as well as the “depth” of sound which happens as a result of sitting in a packed house for a football game.
    Right click to save and listen:
    Oklahoma '12 vs Oklahoma '13
    Arkansas '12
    vs Arkansas '13

    For as exciting as all of these changes to the Sights and Sounds of NCAA Football 13 are, however, the best is still to come as details on Playbook #2: Gameplay will arrive in just over two weeks. You won’t want to miss learning how the gameplay team is working to make a game that will look and sound better, play better as well!



    Audio Blog
    Hi NCAA Fans,

    Christian McLeod, NCAA Football 13 designer, and I’m here to talk a bit about the audio and commentary improvements we’ve made to this year’s game.

    I joined the NCAA Football team in October and have been working on a few different aspects of this year’s game, primarily focused on anything speech and sound related. I’m also a college football fanatic who lives and dies each week during the season with my beloved Michigan State Spartans- GO GREEN! That being said, it should come as no surprise that NCAA Football has been my favorite game to play each year since it was known as Bill Walsh College Football…I’m an EA SPORTS NCAA Football junkie. I’m extremely passionate about the NCAA Football franchise and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to be working on the game’s dev team.

    Now that you know who I am, let’s get down to business….

    Audio Improvements

    There’s nothing more important to the atmosphere of college football than the crowd. Whether it’s the swelling of noise after a big play, or the echoing of a team specific chant, we’re making a concerted effort to capture the audio nuances of Saturday (and Thursday for you MAC fans out there!), that make college football so special.

    We have a new audio team here at Tiburon dedicated to taking our crowds to the next level. This team is headed by new Audio Director, Aaron Janzen (or as we call him AJ). AJ left the great white north at EA Canada to join us here in sunny Florida in January and we have been working closely together ever since. While in Vancouver, AJ was able to work on both the FIFA and Fight Night series and brings a wealth of sound knowledge to the team—specializing in crowd ambiance. In our time with AJ we’ve been able to harness the same tech and workflows used by games developed in our Vancouver studio.

    Our push to deliver the most authentic crowd experience doesn’t stop there. College football is all about the passion of you the fan, and there is no greater spectacle than thousands of rabid, passionate fans supporting their team in unison. Because of this, we’re making a concerted push to get YOUR voice into our game—literally. That’s right, there’s a chance that if you attend a college football game this past fall that you may be a part of NCAA Football 13.

    We sent people all over the country, including some of our community members to record crowd audio at games during the season. Below you will find a list of the games we had representatives at this year and if you were in attendance, congratulations, you played an important role in this year’s title.

    In addition to the records acquired from games we attended, we also were afforded the opportunity to work with our partner ESPN at this year’s Ohio State vs. Michigan game—one of the most intense and electric atmosphere’s in all of sport. While at the Big House we were able to use a 24 track recorder to pull audio samples that would later be orchestrated by AJ and integrated into our new crowd mix. We hope to continue being able to share in ESPN’s resources and utilize any technological advancements in the future.

    Oklahoma at FL State
    9/17/11
    Attendance: 84,392

    Louisiana Monroe at Iowa
    9/24/11
    Attendance: 70,585

    Missouri at Oklahoma
    9/24/11
    Attendance: 85,547

    SMU at TCU
    10/1/11
    Attendance: 35,632

    Auburn at Arkansas
    10/8/11
    Attendance: 74,191

    Arizona at Oregon State
    10/8/11
    Attendance: 40,403

    Arizona State at Oregon
    10/15/11
    Attendance: 60,055

    Oklahoma State at Texas
    10/15/11
    Attendance: 100,101

    UCLA at Arizona
    10/20/11
    Attendance: 46,565

    Washington at Stanford
    10/22/11
    Attendance: 50,360

    Clemson at Georgia Tech
    10/29/11
    Attendance: 55,646

    Purdue at Michigan
    10/29/11
    Attendance: 112,115

    Northwestern at Nebraska
    11/5/11
    Attendance: 85,115

    Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
    11/5/11
    Attendance: 49,362

    Indiana at Ohio State
    11/5/11
    Attendance: 105,195

    Nebraska at Penn State
    11/12/11
    Attendance: 107,903

    TCU at Boise State
    11/12/11
    Attendance: 34,146

    North Carolina at Virginia Tech
    11/17/11
    Attendance: 50,140

    BC at Notre Dame
    11/19/11
    Attendance: 80,795

    Kentucky at Georgia
    11/19/11
    Attendance: 92,746

    Miami at USF
    11/19/11
    Attendance: 57,572

    Arkansas at LSU
    11/25/11
    Attendance: 93,108

    Pittsburgh at West Virginia
    11/25/11
    Attendance: 60,932

    Penn State at Wisconsin
    11/26/11
    Attendance: 79,708

    Plant at Armwood - High School
    10/28/11
    Attendance: under 1,000

    Ohio State at Michigan (ESPN 24-track recording)
    11/26/11
    Attendance: 114,132

    As you can see, it is a priority to visit large, medium, and small stadiums to ensure we stay authentic to the sounds that are generated in each.

    We’re already planning our trips for the 2012 college football season, and will let you know what games we will be at so you can be sure to rest your voices, drink some hot tea with honey, and have those pipes ready to represent your team on game day.

    Below I’ve attached some assets from NCAA Football 12 and their counterparts that will appear in NCAA Football 13 gathered from a couple of the above games.
    Right click to save and listen:
    Florida State '12 vs Florida State '13
    Texas '12 vs Texas '13

    As I’m sure you will agree, the chants captured for NCAA Football 13 are far superior to anything we’ve captured in the past. Just listening to “Texas Fight” echo through a stadium of 100,000 fans gives me goose bumps, and I’m not even a Texas fan. And listen to the fullness of the new Seminole War Chant captured among over 84,000 Seminole fans. For you Oklahoma fans out there you have to be happy with how deep the tones of Boomer Sooner are compared to our old recording. There simply is no discounting the importance of capturing assets that are provided by you the fan out in the wild- the audio quality is unmatched.

    The entire Audio team can’t wait to have you hear the all-new NCAA Football crowd mix this season, complete with the new team-specific chants. We’re all very proud that the mix brings a richer, more robust sound to your favorite college football stadium. There is always more work to be done to create the ultimate NCAA Football crowd, but we are very happy with our year 1 results. You’re going to notice a difference the second you boot up your first game.

    COMMENTARY IMPROVEMENTS

    Since arriving at EA I began working with the team on a completely new commentary philosophy. The key factors behind this new approach involve increasing the commentator’s contextual awareness and the establishment of a true broadcast flow. What I mean by this is that not only do we want Brad Nessler and Kirk Herbstreit to be smarter about what they are talking about as game progresses; we also want the flow of what they say to be able to mimic the pacing of a real television broadcast. I’m happy to say that after many months of hard work we have made several big strides that will lay the foundation for exciting new commentary additions for years to come.

    As the years have progressed, the team has become aware that the commentary engine we were using was handcuffing us from a technological standpoint with regards to accomplishing our commentary goals. The first exciting step we made this year was to move away from our old commentary engine, and move to an engine that was pioneered by our friends up at EAC. The key advantage to the new system is that it allows our commentary to recognize past events via statistical analysis, and then is able to reference them at any time during the game. In previous years, we were working with a very linear system that was limited to addressing only certain plays from the immediate past..

    I like to use the following analogy when discussing our new engine’s capabilities—imagine our old system as a traditional chapter book where once you begin reading it you are locked into a defined beginning, middle, and end. Our new engine can be related more closely with a “choose your own adventure” novel—an evolving story with multiple branching paths and different endings. The eventual result in future years will be commentary that is much more dynamic and able to evolve over the course of a game.

    Another big advantage to this engine is it allows us to establish a much more natural flow in our broadcast. One of the first areas we utilized this new tech to test it was at the end of each scoring drive and quarter where Nessler announces the score. Our current engine is able to request and return this score data much quicker than the old system. The result is a score summary that flows better, without the pauses and inflection changes by Nessler that have reared their ugly heads in past versions of the game. Feel free to listen to the below example of this change:

    Right click to save and listen:
    NCAA 12 Score vs NCAA 13 Score

    We’ve also made a big change when it comes to how we approached our scripting and recording sessions thanks to the tutelage of another EAC colleague, Phil Nakis. Phil is an Audio Engineer in Vancouver and has worked on the commentary in MVP Baseball, FIFA, NHL, and Fight Night: Champion, employing new stitch techniques along the way to deliver some of the most natural sounding commentary in sports gaming. Among the most important lessons to be learned from the commentary in the games mentioned above was how Phil and company relied on their voice talent to be the content experts—utilizing the talent’s years of real world broadcasting to create a theatre of the mind in the video game they were calling.

    In the past, our team would watch hours upon hours of games that Nessler and Herbstreit called on television, writing lines of scripted commentary that were meant to be in the voice of our talent. We’ve realized that no matter how much tape you watch we were never going to be able to predict how Nessler, and specifically Herbstreit as an analyst, will react and call a situation as it unfolds on the field. Scripting for the two takes away their ability to put events into their own words and provide personal inflections—a key component to capturing a true broadcast sound.

    It is because of this that NCAA Football 13 will mark the first year that we’ve moved away from attempting to write scripts for our talent. The process now involves working in the studio with the talent to paint a picture of the game situation and allow them tell the story in their own words. We want both Brad and Kirk to feel like they are in a booth on a Saturday night, and even pump in crowd noise and fight songs into their headphones to get them into the moment.

    As speech technology advances so does the desire to blur the lines between video game commentary and a real life broadcast. It was critical to the team that we move in this new direction to help achieve our goals. The resulting commentary sounds extremely natural and is the first step in breaking down that barrier between being just a video game that talks, and a smart virtual football commentary experience. I cannot stress enough how important it is to the team that Nessler, Herbstriet and our mystery voice to be named later, bring their own personalities and banter to our game. These guys are college football experts, and it’s impossible to script the knowledge they bring to the table.

    One final note that should be a welcome addition to long time fans of the series: this year we were able to use this new recording approach to refresh thousands of old lines that have become franchise staples. Much like an FPS uses heat map technology that identifies choke points on a map, we are able to look at user commentary telemetry that allows us to analyze how many times a certain line or bank of lines plays. Using this data allowed us to dig into our old commentary scripts to identify the areas where we needed to focus on providing fresh new content and also isolate any instances where we may want to remove certain lines completely.

    We realize stale, repetitive commentary lines have been a legacy issue for the series. Personally I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing Herbie tell me a quarterback was a sitting duck, and how no one likes a sitting duck. I’m happy to not only report the elimination of that wonderful line, but also the elimination of hundreds of other top offenders along with the addition of fresh new lines as replacements. The analysis of commentary telemetry is something that will be very important to us moving forward, and we are focused on enhancing your commentary experience by removing old, tired lines on a yearly basis.

    NCAA Football 13 marks year one of a multi-year approach to make our commentary feel truly dynamic and alive across all game modes. Our new engine, new recording style, and ability to identify repetition are all key factors that will allow us to build compelling commentary into our game, engaging fans in the aura of college football.

    Thanks for reading and I am so excited for all of you to hear more about what we’ve been working on for NCAA Football 13. The team is incredibly passionate about college football, and is committed to bringing you the most authentic college gridiron experience possible. I’ll be back later with an exciting announcement concerning commentary in Dynasty Mode. Until then, let us know your thoughts on what you’ve heard so far. The team is always listening.
    Comments 74 Comments
    1. razorback44's Avatar
      razorback44 -
      We have a new audio team here at Tiburon dedicated to taking our crowds to the next level. This team is headed by new Audio Director, Aaron Janzen (or as we call him AJ). AJ left the great white north at EA Canada to join us here in sunny Florida in January and we have been working closely together ever since. While in Vancouver, AJ was able to work on both the FIFA and Fight Night
      This probably excites me more than anything else in the blog. Glad to see they are bringing in some new blood and then on top of that he comes from a FIFA background which is one of EA's best games to date.
    1. beartide06's Avatar
      beartide06 -
      For the CD guys, what part of the new commentary system will be implemented in this years game? You guys could use an example of what you heard down there. I am just interested to know how much of the new cycle of commentating will be in this year. Will it just be score updates, or will it cover all areas? Thanks in advance for any information.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      The audio blog sounds like a real good direction for this franchise. Using unscripted commentary is a welcome change. 2K has been doing this for years and it's about time EA started bringing guys in and letting them just comment on the fly. The commentary should be a lot better because of it.

      Overall it's a nice start to the info but ultimately will have no impact on my decision to buy this game. Will wait for further blogs.
    1. accfootball14's Avatar
      accfootball14 -
      I was at the VT-UNC game...it was not 50k attendance. Every game has been sold out since '95. Ya there was a spot in the south endzone where people weren't sitting (because it was like 30 degrees and 20 MPH wind) but they were all standing in the corners. Just had to point that out haha. Glad im in the game though
    1. gschwendt's Avatar
      gschwendt -
      More images from yesterday added to our Info Central page.




    1. beartide06's Avatar
      beartide06 -
      Does it look like the ball is a bit smaller to anyone else?
    1. illwill10's Avatar
      illwill10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by beartide06 View Post
      Does it look like the ball is a bit smaller to anyone else?
      It does look somewhat smaller.
      But, I think they wouldve announced it with the blog.
    1. gschwendt's Avatar
      gschwendt -
      A bit more footage from g4tv.com
      http://www.g4tv.com/videos/57993/nca...ew/?quality=hd
    1. Dr Death's Avatar
      Dr Death -
      Quote Originally Posted by gschwendt View Post
      Thanks gschwendt... although I didn't see anything new in that video, one thing that I wish EA would address, and I don't know if it's too late for this coming game, but they have white people way TOO white. Take the Song Girl's for example... these are girls that live in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA... not Northern Alaska... yet all of them look pale white. They have, as far as I know, White - Medium - Dark for player types. They need to expand on white so that people in the game reflect real life people... you know, people who get tanned when in the sun... like the Song Girl's are.

      Tune into a game this year and I'll doubt you see a pale white girl in the group!

      Here's just one image of the SG's... even the blondest blonde has a tan:



      Now compare them w/ the SG's in the game:



      Not a complaint... just saying...
    1. souljahbill's Avatar
      souljahbill -
      Glad to see Olinemen can still be trucked.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      Quote Originally Posted by gschwendt View Post
      The player movement still looks horrible. No weight and momentum. I will never pay full price for another EA football game this generation again. Half price maybe. I can't see me ever loving a game this generation with the people they have in charge. Their vision does not match mine at all. I have never felt more apathetic to an upcoming football video game. I know I'm being very negative but I just see the game as being the same with minor tweaks. That won't cut it for me anymore. I don't even know if I'll be posting here much anymore. I'll just keep playing the Show until the next set of basketball games come out and put my money there instead.
    1. Jayrah's Avatar
      Jayrah -
      Rudy has a good point here, with the clips that we see (though this isn't a gameplay preview meaning that these plays are taken from the earliest build possible just to show traditions and uniforms and player movement likely will look a lot different by the time the game rolls out due to tweaks and just the simple fact that there's still almost 2 months of development remaining). With the 2 examples of plays we see the players get "locked" into animations and there's not a branching system from many of these animations.

      Basically I hope to goodness that with gameplay on the 17th they announce that branching systems apply to more than just tackling this year. DB/WR interactions and OL/DL interactions are where a newly applied branching system would make the most immediate impact. OL/DL is horrible in that a DL can cover so much space in so short a time. In the clip we see, the DE takes a terrible angle inside to bull rush over the OT going to his inside and as big as he is, straightens and turns the corner back to the outside without hesitation to take out a qb that should be out of danger completely based on the momentum of the DE (who honestly should at the very least have to put both hands on the ground if he doesn't fall on his face).

      Anyways, back on topic with the actual preview: The addition of all those head-types (40 were seen on the I hope was for more than just RTG. I really hope (and honestly EXPECT) that those were all added to the entire game. Different lengths of hair for even more of a "look" is not the biggest thing for me, but at the same time I really have trouble in a long dynasty connecting my emotion as a "coach" to my players individually when they all look the same. So adding different faces and hair types will go a long way in making a connection with my team as a whole. It's stupid I know, but I definitely need to feel a connection or else I lose my passion for playing after a while. Another piece of info that made me happy to hear from the livestream was that at least 230 new pieces of uniform were added. I assume not all of those are pure uniform changes but also things like masks and arm pieces, etc. Still, I love the fact that they continue to update the look of the game here. For a while they didn't do this as well.

      And of course the biggest thing is the crowd noise and upgraded Announcing! What a difference those will make. I hope the crowd noise is not exclusive to just those stadiums at which the sound was taken though, knowing that the crowd chants were only part of why the recordings were made. I am hoping the sounds of the crowd were spread to all teams and then as we move forward with going to each stadium we continue to get more variety. Eventually I'd like to hear each individual stadium have it's own crowd "sound" so that no matter where you go it's a unique sound and experience in game. It is not the most exciting info for a lot of people but heck, that's what this livestream was about and I do love the direction they're going here. This new guy Aaron is a great find and we've been discussing bringing someone from the EA Canada series over to help improve the game. Hopefully we feel the difference.
    1. SmoothPancakes's Avatar
      SmoothPancakes -
      Jayrah, you really got to add paragraphs.
    1. xMrHitStickx904's Avatar
      xMrHitStickx904 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
      The player movement still looks horrible. No weight and momentum. I will never pay full price for another EA football game this generation again. Half price maybe. I can't see me ever loving a game this generation with the people they have in charge. Their vision does not match mine at all. I have never felt more apathetic to an upcoming football video game. I know I'm being very negative but I just see the game as being the same with minor tweaks. That won't cut it for me anymore. I don't even know if I'll be posting here much anymore. I'll just keep playing the Show until the next set of basketball games come out and put my money there instead.
      It's not gonna happen on these consoles. It could, but we'd have to go 2 years without a new College Football games. Dangerous gamble.
    1. JeffHCross's Avatar
      JeffHCross -
      Quote Originally Posted by xMrHitStickx904 View Post
      we'd have to go 2 years without a new College Football games.
      Even that is a pipe dream. When you think about it from a business standpoint, the whole "2-year cycle", "3-year cycle", etc ideas really fall flat on their face.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      Quote Originally Posted by xMrHitStickx904 View Post
      It's not gonna happen on these consoles. It could, but we'd have to go 2 years without a new College Football games. Dangerous gamble.
      Quote Originally Posted by JeffHCross View Post
      Even that is a pipe dream. When you think about it from a business standpoint, the whole "2-year cycle", "3-year cycle", etc ideas really fall flat on their face.
      Are you guys certain on this? I know you guys have inside info from the community days but is there no way to tweak this or add an option to improve this area significantly? Isn't this just one of those things where the devs like the way the players move and don't want to change it? Seriously, after reading some of Russ Kiniry's comments in the past on this area I think he likes it just the way it is.
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      With all the talk of a new announcer, does that mean that the Erin ANdrews experience is over? sHE HASN'T BEEN MENTIONED ONCE DY ANY OF THE DEVS.
    1. steelerfan's Avatar
      steelerfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
      Are you guys certain on this? I know you guys have inside info from the community days but is there no way to tweak this or add an option to improve this area significantly? Isn't this just one of those things where the devs like the way the players move and don't want to change it? Seriously, after reading some of Russ Kiniry's comments in the past on this area I think he likes it just the way it is.
      AFAIK, Russ is working on NBA Live now and is no longer part of the NCAA team (not that that answers your question).

      Posted With Tapatalk
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      Quote Originally Posted by steelerfan View Post
      AFAIK, Russ is working on NBA Live now and is no longer part of the NCAA team (not that that answers your question).

      Posted With Tapatalk
      You are correct sir.