Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Madden ‘11 is Doing the Locomotion

I know. It’s okay to hate me for that title. I hate myself for writing and posting it. And yet, I couldn’t make myself change it.


There’s a great post from Madden 11’s Lead Gameplay Designer, Ryan Burnsides, up at the EA Blog. It details how the changes to the player locomotion engine as well as how they’re improving how speed and acceleration are handled this year. It’s interesting stuff and it’s clear that –as Bill is fond of saying- the Madden guys “get it.” Here’s a snippet, but if you’re a Madden player the whole thing is well worth reading:

Momentum: In Madden NFL 10, players couldn’t turn as fast when they were sprinting as they could when they were not. One of the mechanics around this was forcing users to let go of the sprint button when they needed to make sharp turns (like trying to choose a run hole for example). This wasn’t very intuitive for a lot of our users. We knew that we had to make a change that would allow people to move where they wanted to on the field, while still making skills like Agility matter. We tried a few different things, but the mechanic that felt the best was to allow the player to go where you are pressing on the left stick, but slow him down to make the turn you are requesting (based on his ratings of course). It feels pretty natural to gradually round off a turn if you want to keep your speed up, or move the stick sharply to sacrifice speed for making a necessary cut. As soon as we put this in, the game felt way more responsive. You can feel the momentum of trying to turn a big lumbering lineman, but at no point do you feel like he isn’t going where you are trying to make him go.