Giant Bomb News

41 Comments

Madden NFL 10 On A Quest For Realism

Madden lead designer blogs about bringing this year's game back to reality with altered animation, speed settings.

Yeah, but how will all this impact the speed of the Madden Cruiser?
Bill Harris' Dubious Quality pointed me to a pretty interesting entry on EA's official sports blog from Ian Cummings, the lead designer of Madden NFL 10.

Normally, sports stuff kind of crosses our desk without any of us giving it a first thought, let alone a second thought. But I guess I've always been fascinated by the business and the process behind running an annual franchise like Madden NFL. While things in the football arena have become a lot less interesting since EA bought up the exclusive rights to football and sent Visual Concepts off to focus on basketball, I still occasionally wonder how the teams working on sports games manage to get anything meaningful done in the year or so that they have to produce a new game. Listening to sports fans gripe about it makes it sound like at least one or two heinously unrealistic things get carried forward from year to year.

Well, this blog post makes it sound like the team at Tiburon is going to remove a lot of the weird little animation quirks and other quick-fixes that have apparently been building up over the years. Cummings discusses the domino effect that happens when something as simple as, say, the speed of a quarterback's passes are off. The size of the overall impact on the game may surprise you.

If you're interested in the process of developing a game and how small decisions can lead to a huge impact in how a game feels, you'll probably find the entire post pretty interesting, even if you don't really care about football. Check it out.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
41 Comments
Posted by Jeff
Yeah, but how will all this impact the speed of the Madden Cruiser?
Bill Harris' Dubious Quality pointed me to a pretty interesting entry on EA's official sports blog from Ian Cummings, the lead designer of Madden NFL 10.

Normally, sports stuff kind of crosses our desk without any of us giving it a first thought, let alone a second thought. But I guess I've always been fascinated by the business and the process behind running an annual franchise like Madden NFL. While things in the football arena have become a lot less interesting since EA bought up the exclusive rights to football and sent Visual Concepts off to focus on basketball, I still occasionally wonder how the teams working on sports games manage to get anything meaningful done in the year or so that they have to produce a new game. Listening to sports fans gripe about it makes it sound like at least one or two heinously unrealistic things get carried forward from year to year.

Well, this blog post makes it sound like the team at Tiburon is going to remove a lot of the weird little animation quirks and other quick-fixes that have apparently been building up over the years. Cummings discusses the domino effect that happens when something as simple as, say, the speed of a quarterback's passes are off. The size of the overall impact on the game may surprise you.

If you're interested in the process of developing a game and how small decisions can lead to a huge impact in how a game feels, you'll probably find the entire post pretty interesting, even if you don't really care about football. Check it out.
Staff
Edited by Demodocus

Well they really seem to be on the right track with madden 10 (Still sounds weird). Madden 09 was the best I've played in years.

Posted by LordAndrew

Realism in a Madden game? How delightfully absurd!

Posted by heavymtlhead

I think their first priority should be putting an apostrophe in front of the 10.

Posted by JCD

Madden needs to buy the engine from Backbreaker and just use that. The animation in that trailer is unbelievable.

Posted by Milkman

I'm sure most people will in here all like "LOL FOOTBALL?! I WAS PICKED LAST IN GYM CLASS" but I actually find this really interesting. The more realistic Madden becomes, the better in my opinion. Realism has been working wonders for Sony's MLB: The Show.

Edited by LiveOrDie1212

yeah, hows that "Backbreaker" stuff going?? they need to implement that into Madden and it might, and i mean a tiny tiny "might", get me interested in Madden football.

Posted by AndrewB

I have to admit, I haven't read the article yet as of this comment posting, but still, I have the solution Madden needs for realism in tackling: the Euphoria engine. Get rid of the standard tackling animations we're so familiar with now; the ones where the outcome is predetermined, and work with a heavily tweaked Euphoria to make sure that when you hit someone, you won't just bounce off of them without even a glace in their direction.

Other than that, I'm not really up on my Madden, since the only version I currently play is Madden 2005 (the version I've had a franchise going on 4 or 5 seasons now, and about 5 years now in real time). Since the PC version lost co-op play, and then got scrapped, I haven't moved forward. However, I do know a little bit about the direction Madden took into the later games, and I can tell you at least a couple things that need to worked out.

1) The game needs to evolve away from the "throw a deep pass for success" mentality. In real life, teams that throw the ball deep all the time end up with a losing record the majority of the time. The running game in Madden has always been a joke; whither it was ridiculously easy to run, or prohibitively difficult.

2) There are so many useless features added with every single game to try to make it seem like it was worth the asking full retail price each time. We all know that Madden need not be a yearly release (it could simply be a regular roster update), but EA will never give up on that extra year of money milking, so all I can suggest is to keep it simple and focused. We don't need to create a fan. We don't need a thrown together single player career mode (the one where you control one guy and try to build him into an NFL star).

And now, I should probably read the article and see what they had to say.

Posted by StarFoxA

They should be working on a Mutant League Football sequel, and not this.

Posted by Tom_H

I think in this Madden they should really work on the running game. I find that you either lose yards or make a 50 yard TD run, you never hardly get 3 or 4 yard staright down the middle runs, well I don't at least.

Posted by brettreyu

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Ian Cummings was the lead producer on NFL Head Coach last year?  That game was really good despite a few minor annoyances.  Good to know that someone at EA is paying attention and they put a guy who clearly knows whats up in charge of Madden.

The last few years the hype train had been rolling along on EA's developer blogs but all they talked about were new features and modes, never addressing horrible football basics that have plagued the franchise for years.  That's really what sets 2k5(and 2k8) apart was the slower, more realist feel of every thing in the game.   Madden 10 is looking pretty awesome so far.

Edited by Hexpane

I've every madden since the Sega Genesis, the stats are more realistic now, but the gameplay is more arcadey than ever.   Madden 09 had so many problems it was laughable.   Sure the scores would be 27-21 at the end of the game, but how you got there was an unbalanced, unrealistic, unfun mess.

There are HUNDREDS of youtube vids documenting where madden fails over and over again.  The most glaring example is that stats DO NOT MATTER.  If you created a running back at 5'8" 170lbs w/ ZERO TRUCKING, Break tackles etc... but then play against him in practice mode, he will PLOW OVER the best DL or LB you have.

The entire game is based on their new broken animation system, you'll see things like Peyton Manning literally arm shucking a 300lb dlineman to the ground as if he was Jim Brown getting tackled by Mugsy Bouges

Wow this madden dev is actually admitting the exploits and unrealistic nonsense, and he is even calling out the fanboi tourney players who constantly use exploits... WOW this guy might actually get it???? EA is going to fix the ROOT CAUSE instead of just tweak fixes like they've done since 1999... I'm literally shocked

HOLY SHIT, he even admits this

"""""
! In Madden NFL 09, not only did every QB throw a similar bullet pass in mph regardless of their rating,
"""""

I continue to be shocked by his candor!  EA marketing has the opposite stance.

Posted by TheHBK

I second that, I want to see a modern day Mutant League Football, give yourselves a little competition

Posted by CoIin

In with realism, out with punctuation. I'm listening?!

Posted by mikemosha90

As long as they improve the grass, I think everyone will be happy.

Posted by brettreyu

"I continue to be shocked by his candor!  EA marketing has the opposite stance."

At this point does EA marketing have to do anything to sell this game?  In fact toning down the marketing instead of pitching enhanced realism would probably sell more copies.  You can't mention to the 90% of competitive Madden players that they are shit out of luck(hopefully).

Posted by GeekDown

I really don't see a reason for buying this years madden, even though 09 was great...it's just not worth 60 bucks for an updated roster and a few graphics changes. I'll probably just keep playing Madden 09 instead.

Posted by Tolkienfanatic

The newest Madden expansion, bringing you realism.  Yay.

Posted by PercyChuggs
JCD said:
"Madden needs to buy the engine from Backbreaker and just use that. The animation in that trailer is unbelievable."
Yeah....that TRAILER. It's probably really easy to have 3 or 4 guys crash into each other. But how about 22 guys, each with their own A.I. directions? Not so much.
Posted by Media_Master

I saw the video , can't tell a huge difference unless shown side by side

Posted by Thunder

The running game needs to be changed it sucks right now

Posted by Kush
JCD said:
"Madden needs to buy the engine from Backbreaker and just use that. The animation in that trailer is unbelievable."
I would love to see the new Madden utilize that engine (which may have actually just been the Euphoria engine...not sure). I'm actually quite optimistic for Madden 2010 because Madden 09' was the first Madden game I actually enjoyed in quite some time.
Edited by MrKlorox

This is most assuredly a response to NaturalMotion's Backbreaker. Finally EA has some actual competition.

EDIT: Euphoria is not a game engine, nor is it a physics engine. It is an animation middlewear that uses the existing physics and game engines to generate data.

EDIT: @PercyChuggs: LOL @ your comments.

Posted by matrix_hiei

NFL2K needs to come back...

Posted by destro

lol i was talking about this with my buddy. We were just saying how when the new sports games come out what are we going to call them. They have always had a nice ring to it and the name just flows of the tongue. Madden NFL 02,03,04 etc...sounds nice. Madden NFL 10. not so nice, lol

Posted by LordAndrew
MrKlorox said:
"generate data."
That makes Euphoria sound dreadfully boring. Can't we just continue to pretend Euphoria is a magical game engine that turns every game it touches into gold? That sounds much more impressive.
Edited by TwoOneFive

boy, if only they would give up these damn rights already what the fuck?! the guys who designed MLB 09 The Show could surely create a better quality, and more realistic NFL game. 


but anyways, madden is still a fantastic game, especially after last years. 
its a shame so many people (like the everyone on gaming forums it seems) don't play more sports games. you guys are missing out. there is just as much fun in the gameplay in madden as there is in a game like street fighter 4. 
Posted by Rudigher

Nice! A Mugsy Bouges reference!

I have played these games for a long time now, and I thought that the closest it came to good was on the XBOX, about '05-'06. It seems like they concentrated on graphics and music for the "next gen" and left everything that was fun on the previous generation. If EA does lose their exclusive rights to the NFL then maybe they'll go back to trying to be competitive and make a good game.

Posted by tracerace11

Personally, I grew up with madden, and love the game. Madden 09 was easily the best since Madden 05.  I am really glad they are wanting to make it even more "sim".  The FB dive is way to fast, and as is the QB drop.  I am pretty stoked about 10, but still scared that they may skip something.

Posted by lordofultima

Madden 10 the new Street Fighter IV? That'll be the day.

Posted by chrisg3dinatx

I've played Madden since its inception. Last "season" the overall changes in the game almost - almost - ruined it. Poor passing, tougher running.

I'm a fan of the Euphoria tech used in the Backbreaker sneaks. However, EA's got the most-realistic football animations in a can, so they won't make a change like that. But, the realism of the game could still use a jump start. I'm all for doing away with the split-second fullback dive and the mini-punt passing game.

Posted by Fire_Marshall_Bill

give me a biomechanical A.I. in a football game, then i'll be interested

Posted by Hexpane

I'm confused as to why people are saying MAdden 09 was great.  Even the DEVELOPERS THEMSELVES are SHOWING us the gigantic unrealistic flaws in 09.

They admit the Full Back dive is a broken glitch.  they demonstrate WHY the passing game is an unrealistic mess of nonsense.  He even states that he agrees w/ people who say after playing Madden you feel like it was a CPU sim and you didn't even have control over the outcome.

yet people are still saying Madden was the best yet?  It's crazy talk.  Even the guys who own the code admit it was a broken buggy mess and a result of bugs being duct taped instead of root cause analyzed.

Posted by Crypto136

Dont they always promise that the new madden is gonna be realistic. After what they did with Nascar games i'll be damned if they're getting another 60 bucks from me.

Posted by robbob88

Tiburon is the BEST at making sports games for EA Sports.

Posted by suneku

What the heck was EA trying to make Madden before this "quest for realism"

Posted by Jared

If this game is still sporting the same graphics as the past 4 Maddens then I won't buy it, when will EA ever learn?

Posted by twosided

The EA article was an interesting read, for sure, but the comments that follow... yikes!  I will now be frightened of anyone that calls themselves a 'big fan of Madden games.'

However, the following comment made by one of the users (in the midst of a much longer post) set me laughing for a good minute.

"WE ALSO NEED TO HAVE A VARIETY OF ENDZONE CELEBRATIONS. YOU CANT SHOOT FIREWORKS IN A DOME. "

Priceless.

Posted by Wolverine

The last Madden I've played was 08 and I could see myself picking up 10 if they add enough to the game.

Posted by Lestat_Phoenix

Wait?  R they going to patch some stuff or did i read this wrong?  Also I'm new here so HI!

Posted by choffy21
@Lestat_Phoenix said:
" Wait?  R they going to patch some stuff or did i read this wrong?  Also I'm new here so HI! "
Post was made 5 months ago.
 
I know you're new here, but you don't just go around bumping these old threads. Let sleeping dogs lie.
 
Oh, and welcome to the forums.