The lights are on
Electronic Arts chief creative officer Richard Hilleman says the new leadership group at EA Tiburon is focused on making defense fun again.
Hilleman is no stranger to the Madden franchise, having designed the original game alongside Scott Orr and John Madden back in 1988. When I sat down with him at DICE, one of the big questions on my mind was what fans should expect from Madden NFL 13 given the large turnover at the top of the development team. Hilleman seems optimistic.
"They are doing big things this year," he said. "They're making big changes. Those are big changes that are going to break a lot of stuff, and they know that. What we're after is a better defense that's more fun to play."
The defensive side of the football has been long overdue for a revamp. The last major change to the defensive controls came in Madden NFL 05 with the introduction of the hit stick. Hopefully this retooling will also address the poor awareness demonstrated by the secondary in last year's game and mark the return of true gang tackling. If the new approach to defense was developed by EA Tiburon's shared technology group, there is a chance these features could extend over to NCAA Football as well.
Though Hilleman's current responsibilities extend beyond the EA Sports group, he still keeps close tabs on the division. I also asked him how he feels the new development team differs from last year's group, which lost general manager Philip Holt, creative director Ian Cummings, and executive producer Phil Frazier in the span of a year.
"The executive producer on the product line is Roy Harvey," he said. "Roy's been at Tiburon a long time. He did NCAA, so he knows the product and the system really well. Roy was also building a lot of the online back-end systems that supported Madden and the ancillary and flanker products that helped it, so he was being brought into the team where he's a pretty well understood player and he knows what he's got. The Madden engine is an acquired taste that requires specific knowledge. We go through that all the time – I get phone calls I still shouldn't get as far as I'm concerned. We brought Cam Weber on. Cam came from Fight Night and some other products. His cousin is Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators.
"What I like about the new team is that they haven't accepted any of the conventional wisdom about the product. I found that when I went down there a lot and talked about change I wanted to see in the product, I was considered a raving lunatic because I advocated more change than almost anybody else did. I would take bigger risks than anybody else. I think Cam is built out of that same cloth. His attitude is "what can I be," not "what could I lose"...I think Cam will do some pretty interesting things in that space so I'm pretty optimistic. I've loved the people who have worked on that game over the years.
"The other fact is Dale Jackson, who ran it for 14 years or something like that, he's like 35 feet away. So in the larger scheme of things Dale is still around, I'm still around, Roy is still around, and a lot of the new team is bringing the right kind of ideas. I don't think we're likely to make a terrible mistake, and I think we're pretty likely do so some things new that we needed to do."
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Madden need to get back to the PS2 days Period!! Bring back ownership mode, I want to adjust the hot dog prices, jersey prices, bring back those 7 mini camp games ***NOT THE PS3 VERSION/NEXT GEN MINI CAMP GAMES*** the 7 mini camp games let you build up your rookies you drafted, make NCAA roster transfers count! Stop making my rookies I bring over to madden 24 & 25 years old enter my draft, that's been an annoying bug for years! Just duplicate Madden with Mike Vick on the cover minus that corny QB vision...and everyone will be happy...you might even get 9 out of 10 review score from GI.
Maybe they'll finally fix the psychic linebacker issue?
i think EA should take a year off from madden to spend time polishing madden 14.
Eh, when ever I feel like playing a football game I just play NCAA.
ya, i'm just done with this game because its just the same people but like six new guys on each team. Wooh! and why on pics of the game it looks soo much better then it does on the xbox?
maybe they should take a year or 2 off and focus on an entire revamp of this franchise. but who am i kidding, that would be common sense and why would a huge publisher have that
This may be the first year in a long time that I don't buy Madden. Madden 12 was just too disappointing.
i think they need to make it where the helmets pop off again that was a cool feature.
Yeah they need to fix the defense because when you play against somebody really good at Madden and you're on defense... Its not easy or fun.
As a first time purchaser of Madden 12 a few good ideas would be to incorporate the revamping of the defense. This could eliminate the potentiality of nano blitzing and A.I. rocket catching. Another thing to consider would be the realistic interaction of an actual game similar to NFL 2K. I am unsure if the NFL still singles players out as they come on to the field or if most coaches suggest coming out as a team rather than a superstar being introduced separately. Also, the addition of adding realistic video integration could enhance gameplay (Utilization of audio Players actually speaking in the game as an introduction to defense/offense). Displaying players warming up and stretching or maybe the player of the game speaking to the reporter rather than standing silently next to one. An actual half-time would be nice show/presentation of top key plays, rather than displaying the last run or catch. Making the holidays more visually pleasing (Christmas-should have Christmas themed lights as timeouts...more empahsis on Thanksgiving as well). After an extra point my second string QB should not be displayed on the pitch. The integration of popular TD celebrations (Vernon Davis standing on box or dunking the ball in the goal post, Cam Newton "Superman", Victor Cruz "Salsa", Aaron Rodgers "Belt aka Discount Double Check", Clay Matthews "Biceps" Falcons Dirty Bird, Jets Plane, Jerome Simpson Front Flip,etc.).This could lead to unlockable moves or pressing certain buttons consecutively. After a td or field goal switch up music or add more...Tinie Tempah and Lil Wayne frequently play. Maybe make it possible for us to add our own tracks and edit them similar to NFL 2K...the personalization of points!
I'm trading in my madden 12 today in the hopes that I can get a decent price for it. And I'll just hold out on football until august for Madden 13...I hope the sacrifice is worth it!
The Madden franchise is gonna continue to suffer until they fix the pass trajectory problems. For me this is a glaring glitch that goes unaddressed from year to year. I'm no developer but it just seems like this is an obvious problem.
Hi am josh looman lead designer of my madden 13 game I don't give a rats A** about your complaints you will still wait in line to buy my game because you have no other place to go to get your football fix....so piss moan complain all you want while your complaining about how bad my game is and how i removed all your favorite features I'll be counting your money ahhaahahahah