With all of the massive changes to Madden NFL 13 this year we had a few questions about some of the new features and some of the old ones. Luckily we were able to get some questions directly from a few people at EA. Be sure to check out our review
of the game when you're done to see how all of these features panned out.
What was the main idea behind the revamping of the superstar and franchise modes into the connected career mode?
Josh Looman (Senior Designer) & Arron Lee( Software Engineer): We have been asked by the Madden community for the past couple of years to make sure the online and offline Franchise mode share features. On top of that, fans also wanted a deeper experience in Superstar mode. We wanted to bring something new and exciting to Madden’s career mode this year, and let people play through a career as a player or a coach, without the two experiences feeling disconnected; and to be able to play either solo, or with friends in the same league, regardless of which career path they choose. The ability to mix and match players and coaches in the same league is a brand new feature in Madden, and we’re excited for fans to try it out for themselves.
Are there any plans to bring back the fantasy draft or the connectivity between Madden and NCAA with Road to Glory and Dynasty?
Josh Looman (Senior Designer): We are working very hard to bring both fantasy draft and NCAA importing back into the Madden franchise. Due to the complete overhaul in logic required by creating Connected Careers we weren’t able to include those features this year, but rest assured we are working our hardest to get them back into the franchise as soon as possible.
What is the one detail the developers are proudest of that the general gaming audience may not notice?
Mike Young (Creative Director): Before every game when you see Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the broadcast booth you’ll notice that their box is in the correct position in relation to the field in each stadium. Not all press boxes sit at the 50 yard line, so our team specifically researched each box to find its proper placement to be sure it was right in the game. It’s a small touch of realism that a lot of people might not notice unless you happen to be a fan of say, the 49ers, and already know their press box sits in a unique location. It’s really one of those things you never think about until you know it’s there, then you’ll spend every pregame looking for it!
Can we play a simple season mode this year instead of having to do it through franchise or connected careers?
Josh Looman (Senior Designer) & Arron Lee( Software Engineer): With Connected Careers you can choose to do as little or as much as you like. As either a player or a coach you can choose to delegate any of the actions that you’re prompted with so you can play through a career without doing anything more than playing games. Of course, then you’d miss out on all the depth of the mode including the new practices, focusing on achieving goals, earning XP, progressing your player or team, scouting and drafting players as a coach and so on. It’s up to you to decide how involved you want to be in your league.
Are there any updates to the challenging system this year? How does a challenge system work in a video game simulation? Does the game intentionally introduce errors that players should look for or is it something more complex?
Mike Young (Creative Director): The Challenge system is a complex piece of AI that’s constantly evolving and being tweaked. We’re always looking for ways to improve it and make sure it’s as close as possible to what see in an actual NFL game.
How much time off does the team get before starting work on Madden NFL 14? Any hints as to what we can expect to see next year?
Arron Lee( Software Engineer): After we finish the retail game the team spends time preparing for launch, which keeps most of the team very busy, before starting working on the next game. Different groups within the dev team are able to start on the next game at different times, so some folks start earlier than others.. With regards to what we have planned for next year … you’ll just have to wait and see! :)
Which players provide the most feedback on their Madden rankings? How much feedback do you get from social media?
Donny Moore (Associate Producer): Lots of players have input about their ratings, and almost every time they’re claiming their ratings are too low! If it were up to the players every one of them would be rated 99 across the board, but things don’t work that way. We hear from players all the time via social media about their ratings, my Twitter feed blows up every time we release a new batch of rankings with players either bragging about their ratings, pleading to give them a higher score or saying things I can’t repeat here!
What are two things players should do when they start the game up?
Josh Looman (Senior Designer): Import their Game Face and Start a new career in Connected Careers.
We'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to answer our questions as well as Brad for coordinating the interview. Nathan Carter and Sean Cahill contributed to this interview.