Madden Megathread - Includes 9-11 - Madden 11 Bundled with PS3!!

Jan 29, 2009
7,187
Madden NFL is an American football video game series developed by Electronic Arts Tiburon for EA Sports. The game is named after Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden, a well-known color commentator for NBC Sports and formerly a successful Super Bowl-winning coach during the 1970s with the Oakland Raiders.

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Madden10_Xbox360.jpg
Madden_11_Drew_Brees_cover.jpg
 
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Jan 29, 2009
7,187
http://www.operationsports.com/forum...l-10-news.html

Everything you see on Sunday, see it in Madden NFL

Wow. Just 3 more days until the NFL season officially ends. To all of us that typically triggers a long lasting bout of sports-related depression that doesn’t subside until a few weeks before the NFL draft, we here on the Madden team are trying to make the best of this opportunity by starting to release information about next year’s game, officially titled Madden NFL 10.

We have a big team full of incredibly smart and talented people working on Madden NFL 10, but I wanted to take the time out to introduce a few more people that everyone will get to know over the coming year. We will primarily be the members of the team communicating outwards with the community. There are a lot of new faces on the team for this year’s game, but luckily I think many of you may know these folks already:

Phil Frazier (http://www.easportsworld.com/en_US/profile/8207621)
Phil “Fillycheze” Frazier is the Senior Producer of the team – “The Don” if you will. Phil has worked on countless versions of Madden in a production capacity, including pretty much every single one on PS2/Xbox/NGC consoles. Phil took over Madden 09 last year very late in the cycle, so (like me) he is quite stoked to have a full product year take place under his direction.

Josh Looman (http://www.easportsworld.com/en_US/profile/10842560)
I’m extremely happy to present the news that Josh Looman has also just recently joined the team. Josh was the lead designer for NFL Head Coach 09, a game that will go down in history as one of the deepest and most realistic football games ever. Josh is helping out all across the game, but will primarily focus on Franchise mode. You won’t find many more people with the attention to detail that this guy has.

Donny Moore (http://www.easportsworld.com/en_US/profile/10843815):
“Commish Don” was Josh’s partner in crime on NFL Head Coach, and along with Josh, Donny is going to work on Franchise mode. Donny worked on the rosters for NCAA & Madden for quite a long time until Head Coach started up. He’s also the resident EA Sports fantasy guru, so look around for “commishdon” on the EA fantasy site for his expert advice during the 2008 season (feel free to call him out on his predictions that went wrong).


At the start of the year when we all joined the team, we all got in a room and immediately came to a unanimous decision on what Madden NFL 10 was going to be all about. You saw it in the title of the post, but I’ll say it again: “Everything you see on Sunday, see it in Madden NFL”. “What does that mean?” you may ask…well it means that we have one goal, and that is to make an NFL football game that is as true to life as possible.

We aren’t about gimmicks; we aren’t about fluff; we aren’t about catering to glitchers or cheaters. We’re focused on emulating what you as an NFL fan are used to seeing on TV, and what many of you players and coaches have seen on the field. For every single update we provide you with throughout this year, feel free to call us out if anything doesn’t stand up to our new mantra.

Since we are mostly new to the team, a big goal of ours was to shake things up and we’re hoping to create a lot of “firsts” for Madden’s history this year:
1. We will be talking directly about features in the game about 4 months earlier than normal.
2. We will be releasing information on a very regular basis this year (looking at once a week as soon as we get things rolling).
3. We will talk about brand new tech that has been implemented before features have even been built around it, and take community feedback to choose what features we actually build.
4. We will be directly communicating on the forums throughout the development cycle, and also making changes in the game based directly on feedback gathered from the posts.

So the big question…”When does the real info start dropping?”

Check back here at Halftime of the Super Bowl for the first real bit of news regarding what is going into Madden NFL 10.

Your pals,
- Ian Cummings & the rest of the Madden team
 
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Jan 29, 2009
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Well Madden (and NFL) fans, as promised, we’re bringing you a sneak peek at Madden NFL 10 by releasing a feature that you’ll see in this year’s game! Remember, it’s only a mere 6½ months away!

We have a big goal as a team this year - to relay out as much information as possible. Hopefully in the process we can make the development of this game extremely transparent so you all, the fans, can get an inside look at how the game gets made. In doing so, we’ll often be discussing new features with you as they are finalized and polished, meaning that each and every one of you out there can give suggestions directly to us to try and shape the game towards your preferred direction. Madden NFL as a Franchise has one overarching goal it has to reach every year, and that is to be the best sports game in history. I’m going to leave the discussion to you all on whether we’ve reached that goal in year’s past, but I do know that now we all get to be a part of making it happen this year. You are no longer posting to forums in vain!

So as we sat down as a team and tried to decide what information we wanted to release first, it really made the most sense to focus more on the technical details for the first part of the year. This is for a couple of reasons – one, the majority of the people looking into Madden info right now are most likely going to be the more hardcore fans (who appreciate the details), and two, we obviously want to save more of the big name feature stuff for later in the year closer to launch time. You should see this theme continue throughout the first few months of our updates. Another reason we really like this approach is that some updates (this post included) are purely about new technology that actually hasn’t been fully fleshed out in the game yet. So the hope is that we can take feedback from the community in regards to maybe new ideas they’d like to see us implement with the new technology. This is one of the most exciting aspects for us as a team in regards to our interaction with the community throughout the development cycle for Madden NFL 10.

Enough talk – on to the new stuff!

Let me tell you a story of playing Madden NFL. It’s 3rd and 10, and I’m down 14-7 against my buddy over Xbox LIVE. He’s a pretty conservative player, so I know he’ll sit his safeties back a bit and stay with man coverage on my outside receivers. I’m going to try and send my slot WR on a deep fly to clear the safety out, and hit my #1 WR on a Deep In. I saw Kurt Warner and the Rams with their greatest show on turf make this look easy week after week in the late 90’s! So I take the snap and analyze the situation quickly – no blitz, and the safeties are dropping out…money. I wish I was better at going through progressions, but I’m not - I’m pretty much watching my #1 WR all the way. He’s just coming out of his break on the deep in, and he’s got at least 2 steps on the defender trailing him in man coverage. I fire it in there, a perfect bullet pass where I think only he can catch it. Right before the ball gets to him the DB turns around and in one quick motion steps in front, picks it off, and is headed back the other way. HUH? THE DB NEVER EVEN SAW THE BALL!

Ever happened to you? Did your controller survive to tell the tale?

It is my pleasure to introduce Madden’s newest piece of technology, one that is also shared within many of the EA SPORTS games, called Procedural Awareness. What is it? We’ll you’ve likely heard of “head tracking” with IK. If you haven’t, it’s a way to turn the players head around to face a target dynamically, without the need for canned animations. Well, think of Procedural Awareness (PA for short) as the “next-gen” version of head tracking. Since it is so early in the year, unfortunately I can’t show you any videos of it running in the game, but I can show some “tech demos” of sorts:

[media=youtube]q5DBg1tnA0g[/media]&...fl-10-first-look.aspx&feature=player_embedded

This is definitely pretty cool stuff…we can tune how fast the player switches between different targets, and then also how he behaves when he locks on and follows a target. You can already envision this being used by DB’s and WR’s when the ball is thrown, QB’s as they go through progressions, safeties as they drop in zone, and obviously many more cases. In terms of visual fidelity, PA is also a major step up from any other normal IK head tracking solution. We’re in the middle of some changes so I would rather not show you our player model’s face in the tool (his jaw is missing…it isn’t pretty ), but I can show a video of PA running in the tool with an NBA Live player model – Dwayne Wade. This shows off how the eyes track along with the head, the ability to dynamically “blink”, some really smooth blending between different targets, and even how the spine and shoulders can be “pulled” to follow the eyes/head as well:

[media=youtube]jrIfd5D9vyk[/media]&...fl-10-first-look.aspx&feature=player_embedded

There’s one last cool feature within PA, and that is a concept of “procedural attitudes”. An attitude is basically a collection of a bunch of different variables that alter the way a player “looks” while he is head tracking. So for the above videos, you basically saw just one attitude – “alert”. But PA allows you to not only just tweak how quickly he reacts and the amount of time it takes him to switch targets and such, but you can also toy with a big collection of variables for players to actually express emotion with their head and eye movement. A big problem in many sports games is making characters feel “alive” – and it applies to Madden often times as soon as the play is over. You don’t want to see a bunch of zombies walking around, but you also don’t want to spend months writing code and adding animations to make players act a little more lifelike (especially when there are so many features we need to attack to more realistically emulate football gameplay). Here’s where PA helps tremendously…it allows artists to create subtle emotional attitudes for players without the need of an engineer. Again there is ZERO canned animation at work here…it’s all totally dynamic and can be created by an animator adjusting a few sliders in the tool. Below is an example video of a few attitudes:

[media=youtube]zOz6UND7T-g[/media]&...fl-10-first-look.aspx&feature=player_embedded

Alright, so what’s Procedural Awareness in a nutshell? “The ability to procedurally manipulate the spine, neck, head, and eyes on a player in the game; and also add layers of emotion/attitudes on top of those manipulations”.

So the videos really just showcase the technology…not how we implement that technology in our game to actually change the way the game is played. My story above about getting picked off by a DB that can’t see the ball? Well now we can make a DB track the ball realistically and we’ll make sure that he has a true line of sight before he can make a play on the ball. And if/when he gets burned, he can dynamically look down and shake his head with zero new animations or engineering support.

A very exciting thing for our team while posting this is that we are not using PA’s full functionality in the game right now. We have the standard “alert” attitude hooked up for 1) DB’s and WR’s to track the ball, 2) defenders to track the ballcarrier, and 3) the ballcarrier to track threats. Post away…where else would you like to see PA active? Also, we have created a few other attitudes – confident, nervous, intense, etc, but they aren’t being used in the game yet. Are there any new attitudes would you like to see? Do you have any suggestions on the best area you think we should actually use the attitudes that we’ve created?

We will follow up in a few months (once we’re actually showing videos of the game) and show what all we changed/added thanks to community feedback. I personally can’t wait!

Enjoy the rest of the Super Bowl!

-Ian Cummings
Lead Designer, Madden NFL 10
 
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Jan 29, 2009
7,187
Madden - Megathread

The third party support for PSP will continue throughout the year with a stellar line up of titles from EA SPORTS. Madden NFL 10 will enable NFL fans to build their own formations and plays from scratch on the PSP. Then, through connectivity with the PS3, the plays can be downloaded and perfected on the console. In addition, Madden NFL 10 will deliver a faster and more “PSP-friendly” gameplay experience to adapt to the PSP owner’s lifestyle.
 
Jan 29, 2009
7,187
On April 24th, EA will reveal the cover athlete for Madden NFL 10. Until then, they'll be revealing information on nine candidates for the cover. Thus far, they've unveiled four of the players in the running.

The official Madden website lists Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Ravens free safety Ed Reed, Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson as candidates and provides 2008 stats and wallpapers for each. The website also has videos of Madden NFL 10 announcers Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond discussing the players' abilities. You can watch them below.

EA will reveal the other five candidates in the coming weeks. I suspect Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will be among that group considering his monstrous performances throughout the playoffs last season. Madden NFL 10 will hit stores for the PS3, PS2, Xbox 360, Wii and PSP on August 14th.
 
Jan 29, 2009
7,187
PostGame.bmp


As we creep closer and closer to the NFL draft and our cover athlete announcement (as well as many other events), it’s getting to that time in the year where our features are getting locked down and we can start talking about some bigger ticket items. We’ve been doing these weekly blogs for quite a while now, so I’d encourage you to take a look back and give them all a read if you have a chance.

This week though, we wanted to really dive into a new feature that we are really excited about – Adaptive AI.


Why Adaptive AI?

In nearly every sports game that you’ve ever played, there usually comes a time where someone discovers some sort of gameplay strategy that is extremely successful (in an unbalanced way). Often times these are considered ‘exploits’ because they are either impossible or extremely hard to stop. You may find it on your own, or you may learn it from someone abusing you with it online, or you may even pay to find it on a shady website. Regardless, these exploits can often extremely hamper the replay value of a game because at some point, nearly everyone gets tired of doing the same thing over and over again and beating up the CPU by 100 points…and at this point the game typically comes out of the tray. Whether it’s an exploit or a “money play”, it’s all frustrating…so from the start of the cycle we knew that we wanted to create an Adaptive AI infrastructure in our football games. Two of our most experienced gameplay / AI engineers – Daniel White and Ryan Burnsides – took the reigns with designing and implementing the majority of this system so I hope this blog does it justice. :)

What does it do?

The adaptive AI framework that we’ve built for Madden NFL 10 is rather simple at its base, but its power is in its ease of use and integration to the game. Any designer or engineer can use a tool to set up any number of inputs (variables that come in from the game), as well as outputs (how the AI should react to those variables), and save them off and quickly preview how those changes come out in game. That may sound really technical, so here’s a good example.

Input: QB scramble outside tackles 3+ times for 5+ yards
Output 1: Defensive hot route: defensive end to flats
Output 2: Defensive play call: Boost to QB spy plays
Output 3: Defensive hot route: corner blitz on scrambling side


AdaptiveAITool.JPG


Simple right? At its basic core, it means that we as a team can add some ‘success’ parameters to our tool, and give the defense some simple commands that they can try to use to stop them. The cool part is that we basically create these rule sets by collecting data on how we actually play. If someone is burning you with constant passes to the flats, then you call plays with more flat zones. If someone is burning you with dives up the middle, then you pinch your line and crash them. If someone is burning you with corner routes, then maybe you’ll double cover the receiver or drop back more into a cover 3. All of these situations are extremely easy to add, and we can add these types of decisions into the CPU (coaches and defenders) to help them react with whatever is happening to them in the game. When we dictate what ‘success’ actually means (which is often the toughest thing to judge), we can choose that based on total yardage gained, average yards gained, percentage of total plays run, or other factors.

Another really cool part of this system is actually the ability to directly modify attributes under the hood, simulating true on the fly “learning” of a defender. For example, if an offense is running the exact same play over and over again for big gains, we would boost the defense’s play recognition ratings to emulate them learning for their mistakes to have a better chance to react when they see the same look again. Same goes for something like continuous out routes…a defender will get better and better at man coverage if you keep running the same route over and over again, but would drop back down to his original rating if you keep mixing it up. It should also be said that were keeping some integrity by not modifying physical attributes like speed, jumping, or acceleration.

Having individual defenders make realtime adjustments meant that we could implement Adaptive AI for online and head-to-head play as well (i.e. not just for the CPU players). So if your opponent starts running something that is becoming overly effective, and you don’t feel like you can’t stop it with your play calling, then at least your teammates will start learning how to stop it on their own.

One key detail is that we can also change the ‘output’ numbers per skill level. So for example on rookie or pro mode, the defense may actually know what you’re doing and have a solution for it, but we might actually have them wait a little longer and let you run the same thing a few more times before they start stopping it.

We have added a ton of inputs and outputs that allow us to really tweak the AI in a relatively simple manner. Here are some examples:

Play Types
- Play Action
- Screens
- Counter
- Draw
- Pitch / Toss
- etc

Play Style
- Scramble
- No Huddle

Route
- Entire Route Tree (i.e. in, out, comeback, streak, etc)


We don’t have everything covered here, so this is an area we are really looking forward to continue developing out in the future.

Summary

First and foremost, we hope that our Adaptive AI will add a ton of replay value to our games this year by forcing you as a gamer to continue to mix up the way you play to have success. Football is a very complex game of chess – and this is a great first step towards re-creating that. Secondly, we hope this feature will continue to show our commitment at the Tiburon studio to creating a realistic simulation of football, as it exists in both NCAA Football 10 and Madden NFL 10.

That’s all for this week – please feel free to leave feedback in the comments section or discuss in the forums!

- Ian Cummings
Lead Designer, Madden NFL 10
 
Jan 28, 2009
5,035
Manteca, CA
Idk, that's what people were saying last year. I finally caved in, and at first yeah I liked it cause it's a new madden, but then the problems started happening and I got pissed that I caved in and bought it.
 
Jan 29, 2009
7,187
Idk, that's what people were saying last year. I finally caved in, and at first yeah I liked it cause it's a new madden, but then the problems started happening and I got pissed that I caved in and bought it.

Lol, Trust me though, last years madden was better, but nothing of the old, I'm still waiting. I buy NCAA every year, just to support my team, not EA. And last years was the worst, I'm ready for a good one again like NCAA 2000 and NCAA 2005.
 
Jan 28, 2009
5,035
Manteca, CA
Yeah, it was definitely better than the garbage 08 was, but overall, I think I should have just waited like I was going to do LOL I was gonna wait like 4 or 5 months n then get it for like 20 bucks used, but everybody claimed it was really good. I never bought an NCAA title before. Not really into that genre. I'm sure it'd be differen if I had a school to follow.
 
Jan 29, 2009
7,187
Hello Madden faithful! This week marks a very big week across the Madden Nation in terms of news - gameplay footage, the cover athlete, and some feature / technology releases. What you might imagine is that is that we (the development team) are extremely busy trying to get the game in good shape for everyone to see. So since we don't actually have a ton of time to spend on the blog, and the marketing / PR folks will be releasing a ton of news about the game anyway, we thought the least we could do was just drop a few quick screenshots to showcase some new stuff we've added.


wildcat1.jpg


wildcat3.jpg


wildcat2.jpg



After our official gameplay footage is released on GameTrailers this week, our playbook gurus are going to follow up soon after that with a full blog detailing the Wildcat in Madden NFL 10 - its realistic implementation, it's usage, and even footage of it being run. So we hope this holds you over until then. :)

(P.S. we already are working on the Dolphins helmet logo being too large)

- Ian Cummings
Lead Designer, Madden NFL 10
 
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Jan 29, 2009
7,187
We're now less than a week away from the Madden NFL 10 Draft Experience on the official Madden NFL 10 product website. During the NFL Draft on Saturday April 25th, the website will feature a live, streaming draft analysis show produced right from Madden headquarters in Orlando, Florida. As players are selected, their official Madden NFL 10 ratings will be released and discussed live. The website will also feature dynamic polls, social networking feeds, photos from the NFL Draft, and live blogs from the Madden NFL 10 player ratings team.

To make sure you are as informed as possible about everything happening during the Madden NFL 10 Draft Experience, here are five things you should know going into the Draft on Saturday.

#5 Madden NFL Draft Experience Talk on Twitter. We're already talking about the Madden NFL Draft Experience on Twitter, a popular micro-blogging/social network site. You can follow me on twitter here, I'll be posting updates live from the Tiburon studio during the Draft and am already taking part in some early Madden Draft discussion leading up to the day of the show. Our Madden ratings guru Donny Moore is also on Twitter, so follow him and take part in some of his early Draft and ratings speculation. We're using a special #maddendraft tag for all of our Twitter discussion, so please post #maddendraft in any of your Twitter posts talking about the Draft or Madden NFL 10 ratings.

#4 Check out the preview videos. We've posted some great video content that will help give you an idea of what to expect to see during the Madden NFL Draft Experience. Go here to see some of our War Room discussion over the last week and here to see a trailer video for the Draft Experience show.

#3 Mock Drafts and Pre Draft Discussion all week on EA SPORTS Live. Donny Moore has been visiting us all week on EA SPORTS Live to talk about the Draft. Today he talked about some of the top quarterbacks in this year's Draft class. You can listen to the rest of his segments each day this week on EA SPORTS Live. Click here every weekday at 3:00 p.m. eastern to listen to EA SPORTS Live. Donny has also posted mocks of both the first and second rounds of the Draft, so be sure to check those out as well.

#2 What about the screens and ratings? For several years now we've posted screens of the first round of incoming rookies to the Madden NFL website. Not only will we do that again, we'll also feature their ratings live during the Draft for the first time ever! Screens will be posted for the first round players and ratings will be posted and discussed for both the first and second rounds. You'll also have the chance to share your opinions about the ratings in the comments of some live blogs we'll post to the website. Madden ratings guru Donny Moore will be reading and posting to the blogs throughout the day, so let him know what you think of how he's rated the players. Since the ratings aren't 100% final, you might even be able to influence him if you make some good points in the comments.

#1 Who, when, and where? You'll see the Thompson brothers and Donny Moore all day long on the show, but we've got some special guests in attendance as well. Former All-Pro tight end and current NFL analyst Shannon Sharpe will be in the studio to share his thoughts on the Draft, and NFL stars Matt Ryan, DeSean Jackson, and Matt Forte will call in to the show to talk about their own Draft day experiences. We'll have a few more NFL experts and gaming site media members call in during the day and some of the Madden NFL dev team will be watching the Draft from our EA SPORTS Draft Day War Room.

The most important thing to know of course is when and where to see everything. The show begins at 3:30 p.m. eastern this coming Saturday the 25th on the Madden NFL 10 product site. But even before that we'll have some Draft coverage from New York later this week right here on the Inside EA SPORTS Blog. Stay tuned to both sites in the coming days to make sure you don't miss all of the great Madden NFL 10 Draft coverage.

if you have any questions about our plans for the Draft, feel free to post them in the comments and we'll do our best to answer them right away. See you Saturday!

-raczilla
 
I think I'll pass on this year's Madden.

I wont pass, but I probably wont buy nowhere near release ... I've been gettig rid of games just because I got wayyy to many not having been played, some not even for the first time!

Plus I always told myself since I bought last years big collectors edition that It would be a madden I never got rid of ... since typically sports games are the games I always trade in @ gamestop early in the year while they are still worth something. Hell, I also said for that matter that I would never trade in any of my sports franchises this year just to have a complete library for once.

Well, I traded in NHL because it was just no fun without playing with friends on my friends list ....esp because I know squat about Hockey or its players but it was fun.

I wont be turning in my FIFA, I like it alot and hardly play it ... I may trade in my Live just cus I really want the new one w/ trophies.

I will definitely be picking up the tiger woods game this year as I skipped this last years.
 
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Jan 29, 2009
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This week's highly coveted video exclusive for the exclusive-getters at GameTrailers TV is the first footage of EA Sports' Madden NFL 10, which we're going to bet looks a lot like simulated professional football.

No, we haven't been privy to a sneak peek at the newest guaranteed Madden-branded blockbuster, we're just making an educated guess. The Madden NFL 10 debut also comes with an extra dose of EA Sports boss Peter Moore, who will drop some sporting knowledge on GTTV host Geoff Keighley.

Also coming to your television are details on Activision's Prototype and first cinematic footage of Atari's Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Maybe not quite as exciting as another yearly cycle of EA style football or even Peter Moore face time, but probably worth keeping your eyes open for.