Featured Interview with EA's Rex Dickson

Discussion in 'Madden NFL Discussion' started by majesty95, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. majesty95

    majesty95
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    On my new weekly podcast, I sat down with Madden's Creative Director of gameplay Rex Dickson. We talked about the development cycle and the challenges of a yearly release, what goes into patches and tuners, Madden moving toward creating a "simulation" mode and much more. You can find the podcast below and you can also subscribe on iTunes here. Take a listen and leave a comment and let me know what you thought!

     
  2. majesty95

    majesty95
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    One of the things that stuck with me in this interview was that he wants to create a "simulation" mode for sim gamers like us. That's fine in theory if it is just a harder mode that plays more like NFL football. My concern is however, that "sim" gamers get stuck in their own mode while "competitive" gaming becomes an arcade like experience which will preclude a lot of sim gamers from wanting to participate. I think Madden is best served if they go with real football as the foundation. If these so called "competitive" guys can't handle dropping passes or throwing incomplete passes then they need to go play tiddly winks or something. Their excuse is that they are playing for a lot of money but NFL players play for a lot more and they get bad luck and bad calls that can ruin their season. If you can't take the heat, then you're not as great as you think you are and certainly not an elite level player.
     
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  3. Sir_Red

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    Great interview. I think the simulation mode is exactly what madden needs. It's actually something I had on my wishlist a few years back. I think there should be a mode where it's almost as deep as head coach was. That way, everyone is happy. Casual gamers can have their arcade gameplay and sim gamers can have their hardcore real football. There is no happy medium because as Rex stated, the casual gamers want instant gratification thru stick skills not realistic probability. Us sim gamers want dropped passes, botched snaps, wr's that slip in rain and snow in their routes, over and under thrown passes, etc. Having two games in one will probably be the best thing EA can do for madden. I do however, think they should reboot the head coach mode and see the response they get from a purely sim game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
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  4. majesty95

    majesty95
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    I hear what you're saying but I still disagree that I shouldn't be able to play online or compete in tournaments because a segment doesn't want real football. I have no problem having a simulation and an arcade mode for franchise so guys can play however they want. But everyone should be able to play all of the modes and enjoy them. Honestly, I can live without drops and overthrows if that's widely requested as long as I at least have stock defenses that stop the plays they have on offense. Its just that "casual" gamers can go into franchise and play that as well as the arcade crap in online H2H, Draft Champions or MUT. But 'sim" gamers are being relegated to only franchise and, yet, we still pay the same as everyone else. That's what I don't like.
     
  5. Sir_Red

    Sir_Red Prospect

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    Very true. I wish we could get 2k motivated to make a game again.
     
  6. majesty95

    majesty95
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    Competition can certainly force you to do things you may not have thought about. However, I don't think that's at the heart of the issue. I think they just get pulled in too many directions. Unfortunately, if more people are screaming "ARCADE!, ARCADE!, ARCADE!" that's what they;re going to eventually move towards. We have to be more diligent in getting our voices heard and make reasoned arguments on why real football is the best way to go.
     
  7. Tbcplowboy

    Tbcplowboy
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    Here's some thoughts I had after listening to Podcast. Read each paragraph as its own because it may not neccesarliy tie right into the previous one. I was going to write it but had too many different trains running. The trains were too long to effectively bullet. Just offering maybe a different insight on a few things mainly about being pro-sim, competive gaming and a change I'd be estatic about pertaining to calling plays. I'd love it so much I might not mind losing.

    I would think the competitive community would benefit from realistic gameplay. Initially there might be an uproar.
    I would think most madden players have played football or at least like football. So why wouldn't/don't they want a realistic game? People are never going to not complain about something. In real life situations players/coaches/fans complain about things initially, due to false initial visions, they would probably argue differently later.

    Attributes of a player should certainly matter in madden. ESPECIALLY competitive madden. If it's called competitive gaming shouldn't the user competing be held more accountable? QBs with bad accuracy is most notable when you're trying to lead a reciever with the joystick full tilt. I'm not sure some players know this but the joystick is capable of functioning other than untouched or against a side. I would think this skill set would be desired by a company giving out such high stakes prizes.

    Wouldn't the audience grow and reach more demographics if it was more realistic style involving more strategy? (football fans>madden bowl fans)
    There's a lot of football fans who don't play madden. It's possible they would tune in to watch a football game being played, especially during the 8 months of no other football. The only people watching the madden bowls are people in gaming. A lot of TV bills are paid by non gamers. Most people I know have never heard of twitch.\par
    Just having more of a viewing audience might open doors to new customers. Not to mention the possibility of bigger TV deals etc...

    I think there's either a possible misconception that competitors don't want sim or those aren't the right competitors to benefit Madden long term. More "football minded" people, which would be more loyal customers than the ordinary casuals, would be involved. Whether it's a parent introducing a child for educational purposes or a former high school football player in need of just a hint of that feeling they'll never have again and can't get anywhere else or just a fan of football who never had the opportunity the play for themselves. I think EA is missing out on a huge demographic of people due to impression of it being a video game with glitches and cheats. Some people haven't or don't play madden because they know it can be more about what trick you learned on youtube vs. football IQ and concepts.

    I can beat a guy 5 times in a row by 50 and if he's still running the same play or formation all the time I'll be more pissed than if I lost by 50. I'm serious, my record only isn't much over .500, it's not because of anything to do with Madden. I can figure most bs out. The reason my record is so bad is because I get so pissed I can't see straight about start throwing shit after I've played 5 games and only faced 3 different O plays, and one D set. I'm usually a calm guy but after years of not playing a down of football I guess I just really want to hit some one when I'm constantly denied my opportunity for a game of football. I doubt I'm alone in that thought.\par

    As for the other guys, how boring is their life that they get enjoyment from running the same stuff play after play game after game? I mean, I'll never be that bored, I live pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

    Closest: Stoplight 50 mi.; fast food 50 mi.; anything other than a post office 25 mi. Women........mi.? <---TBD ##NEVER THAT BORED

    Who's better customer: Football fan who buys Madden for their football fix, or video gamer who's wanting the next hot fix?

    The football fan will buy it every year. Video gamers will buy it while its hot (attention spans continue to decrease). Maybe the sales will for a few years but eventually gamers will go elsewhere. Because there's only so far you can go before it's not a football game anymore. Football fans will be more scorn and less likely to return.

    As far as gameplay goes, in my opinion the biggest issue is playing against the same f'n play against every opponent. Success rate has no bearing on my feelings and lack of interest in it. I also think it could be the root of a lot of disagreements between maddenites. I wouldn't think it would be that hard to solve, maybe there could be a test run patch or something. I also think it could be a major project after I heard in the podcast about how somethings could be a process to change. I've always wanted a counter for the number of times I've called a play in a game. When I play a few in a row and especially when tired I can't remember if I called a play this game or if it was 3 games ago.

    Solution to my biggest problem and possibly beyond to unknowns:
    Somehow put a limit to the amount of times a play can be called during a game. Don't allow the defense to pick an unreasonable personal package based on matchups or situation.

    Solution for oppenents of my stance:

    Easy programming here, just make a different skill level not called rookie. It's programmed with even teams, user sliders 100%, cpu sliders 0% etc... everything would appear normal and adjustable like always so they can still feel about themselves for everything going perfectly. \par
    Chuckee cheese could sponser the "ELITE SKILL LEVEL MADDEN COMPETITION".
     

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  8. majesty95

    majesty95
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    Thanks for your well thought out response Tbcplowboy I'll touch on a few things that I know about.

    1. Competitive guys aren't necessarily ex-football players. I think most former players want the game to represent actual football. However, a lot of these "competitive" guys are kids that have just been playing games forever and spend a lot of time doing it. I would bet a pretty decent percentage of these competitive players have little to no actual football experience, especially HS or later. They only want to win because of the large sums of money and/or the perceived fame that comes with it. So the less glitches and exploits they can find, the harder time they will have winning. That's not to say they can't learn the actual game of football if they spent as much time with it as they do perfecting exploits. Will they is the question.

    2. Rex touched on this but EA is all about new users playing the game. The more hands on the disc, the more money that they company makes. Its capitalism and for a publicly trades company we shouldn't expect anything less. The battle though is how to get there. Rex and Clint are former football players. they want the game as realistic as possible. Corporate suits and marketing people probably didn't play the game at a high level and only see sales numbers. They think big features or fancy thing-ma-doos sell copies. I'm not sure there's anecdotal evidence to support either one honestly. We can all speculate that the more realistic it is the more copies they will sell but I'm not sure we've seen enough to prove that. I would point to the sales decline from 08 and on when they started focusing on online gameplay and it became more arcade as the evidence that realism sells but apparently they have teams researching this stuff and they haven't drawn the same conclusion. They think they just aren't reach a big enough audience.

    3. The solution is becoming more and more apparent that two different modes need to exist within Madden, a simulation mode and a lobby or arcade mode. I hate that these "competitive" guys can't man up and accept an overthrown ball or a dropped pass but they've convinced the devs they need that. Apparently they don't want to alienate them as they have big followings or whatever so the next best option is just to give us what we both want. One mode that plays like real football and one that plays more like an arcade game. Honestly, sim guys are probably in the minority so we should probably be happy they're willing to do that and not force us to accept arcade gameplay which, from what I see on Twitter is what the majority wants. Guys just want to win as easy as possible. People who study the game and want to play like we do are rare so props to EA for at least trying to appease us both if they can't have us meet in the middle (which seems impossible with anything in this country).

    I'm not sure if 18 will be the game that does it. I hope so. I don't think they are that far away. I think deep zones are the biggest issue and I would bet those get fixed in M18. I think man needs to be improved but thinks that's mostly animations that make the receivers get open too easily. That shouldn't be a tough fix. Blocking can still improve and will. Might not get the rebuilt PA system we need but it will get even better overall. Other than that, its mostly much smaller things. Better playe animations and physics. We definitely need more into franchise but once they get the gameplay where it needs to be hopefully they'll dedicate more resources to franchise.

    I hope 18 is the game we've all been waiting for but who knows. I think it will be better and I think it will again be the best Madden to date. Whether its one that makes the vast majority of us happy though is something we'll have to wait and see.
     
  9. Tbcplowboy

    Tbcplowboy
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    Yeah for sure. I understand the where the suits are coming from. We're definitely the minority. That's why I had so many hypotheticals and throwing out the warning about peoples attention spans, especially youngins'. EA wouldn't want to devote so many resources to a group that may find something else better in a few years, damn kids anyway. I would like sim style for online games too and not just in franchise. Seems like both options for everything could e too big. IDK anything about programming so maybe not. I'm really just venting because i was ranked 31th in salary cap mode yesterday. Thought about not playing because i knew i was probably in good shape to qualify for their tournement. But i did play, beat the first guy and was agitated from his one play. started out beating second guy but was pretty much running same stuff as the first. I got very annoyed then lost, so i played again, what would ya know, different guy but same stuff. Anyway, got plumb pissed and idk how many games i ended up losing but dropped down to like 80th.
     

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