How EA plans to change the football game, an interview with David Rutter
- Posted September 8th, 2010 at 17:36 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 7 Comments
EA Sports has a long history with FIFA. Over the years we’ve seen some major changes, mostly in the control and graphics, but with FIFA 11, EA Canada will introduce some of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the series.
New features like playing as a goalie, 11-on-11 online matches, and player abilities that match their real-life figures are all welcome additions to the FIFA franchise. But some things are slow to change—FIFA 11 will not feature Move functionality or 3D support. In particular, the clear push toward motion controls doesn’t seem to faze the creators of FIFA, but if there is a way to properly implement it, we could see Move as a part of FIFA’s future.
With so many changes, some small like graphic enhancements, others major like the new Personality+ system, we decided to go to the source and find out what we can expect when FIFA 11 hits retailers on just about every system known to man. Producer David Rutter took the time to speak with us about these major changes, and give his opinion on topics such as Move and what puts the FIFA franchise apart from its competition.
Make sure to check out the exclusive advanced defending techniques video provided by EA and let us know in the comments section what new features gets you the most excited. Also, you can check out some new screens here.
PSU: It appears the biggest change to FIFA 11 is the Personality+ system. Why is EA Sports promoting this new system, and why has it taken so long to build in-game characters that closely match their real-world counterparts?
Rutter: Personality+ is a massive feature that integrates itself into every facet of gameplay—Visuals, Animations, Attributes and feedback systems. All in all Personality+ delivers distinctive and distinguishable players in every position on the pitch. Naturally the attributes form the core component of the Personality+ feature. The gameplay is now fully driven by player attributes and traits— both on and off the ball. Even goalkeepers. Feedback from the commentary—and indicators in the menus—also help those less knowledgeable fans understand who’s good at what on the pitch. For visuals we’ve three times as many body types this year, and we can manipulate them almost infinitely. In addition we’ve addressed the largest number of star heads in any 360/PS3 version of FIFA. Animation wise we’ve added tons of new animations for players based on their style of play, and have also implemented a comprehensive facial animation system – including blinking. On top of that the players now have trademark celebrations where appropriate. We were able to achieve this level of individualism for players within the game this year because our engine is now very mature and our gameplay is now so refined that we just need to polish it each year. This enabled us to dedicate more resources to exploring new ways to maximize the database and achieve a more holistic representation of each individual player.
PSU: We know FIFA 11 will not get Move support. Do you think the future holds a spot for motion controls in the soccer (football) game market?
Rutter: We’ve yet to experiment sufficiently to commit. I can say we have some ideas that we’d like to explore – but I’m only inclined to add things if it benefits the game.
PSU: This year, we get to play as the goalie, how do you describe the experience as opposed to playing as a striker who will likely have more ball time?
Rutter: If I look at how I feel in goal there are 3 things that resonate with me. I’m a bit scared when the ball comes near the goal, I feel a bit isolated – and at times bored, and then I end up shouting at people. We took this and put it into the game. The act of saving is pretty intense – it’s easy to make a mistake, but harder to save. It’s a very satisfying, but nervy, experience. I find it quite stressful. The isolation is what makes this happen. It’s periods of inactivity followed by extreme action. It’s quite different from being a striker. There’s little collaboration or co-operation for the keeper. That’s where shouting comes in. We’ve implemented a ‘zoom up pitch’ with the select button, and under teammates are what we call ‘call to actions’ – essentially button prompts. You can get you teammates to do things – a bit like shouting at them. It’s very me
PSU: What were the difficulties in creating true 11-on-11 online matches?
Rutter: Technically it’s very challenging. Online Team Play is all about playing cooperatively and it is a very satisfying experience. We have wanted to introduce playing as a goalie for a long time but we didn’t want to rush it. If we did it badly it would negatively impact OTP. So we had to do it well and do it right the first time. Our gameplay is so polished after years of refining that we can add extra features like this that don’t come at the expense of core agmeplay.
PSU: Over the years we’ve seen a fair amount of changes to ball/dribbling controls, what does EA think about its control system this year? Will we find easier to use controls, greater depth for more advanced players?
Rutter: I like to describe it as deep and richly rewarding. There are different types of dribblers and specific animations for specific dribbles. Speedsters, physical players, technical players, close controllers all handle the ball differently. We’ve got so many different types of player personalities now–each and every type of player feels and looks so different. It’s really enjoyable – and a metagame in its own right. You will also find that new 360 degree fight for possession really adds another element to the game. I was playing a game where I was trying to dribble between two players and I was jostling with one to maintain my dribble and as soon as I released him I had to keep possession of the ball and meet the challenge of the second player and skip through the opening between them. It was very rewarding.
PSU: FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa introduced a two-button control system for those new to the FIFA experience; will FIFA 11 carry a similar system? Is there anything to help attract a new audience?
Rutter: We’ve ‘borrowed’ the 2 button control scheme. We’ve not done a whole lot more to help attract a new audience particularly – except continue to make the very best sports gameplay there is.
PSU: Finally, what sets FIFA 11 apart from its competition this year, which is also promising to offer the best soccer (football) experience on the market?
Rutter: We’ve got the most refined gameplay again, the most fan feedback and the coolest innovations. If you are a gamer, a football (soccer) fan, and ‘competitive,’ FIFA 11 offers probably the most comprehensive, deep, rewarding and high quality gaming available. We believe it’s the best sports game ever made.
- 1:03pm EDT - September 8th, 2010
MW2-LgNd | battal92
- 1:23pm EDT - September 8th, 2010
- 2:25pm EDT - September 8th, 2010
- 3:10pm EDT - September 8th, 2010
looking forward to this, hopefully i won't have as bad an experience as i did online with fifa 10
- 4:52pm EDT - September 8th, 2010
i played PES 2011 demo and let me tell the game as improved alot... now you can even create your own stadium and league
- 8:36am EDT - September 9th, 2010
hey how about added more then 10 stadiums... im sick of playing at a stadium that does not look like it in rl.... eg fullhams stadium, white heart lane etc.... ivy lane is bs
- 3:39am EDT - September 22nd, 2010
Must buy for me, I have got the most value out of FIFA than any other game ever, FIFA9 and 10 pretty much havent left my consle since day one.....UNPUTDOWNABLE
Has to be my best game ever
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