There are those who play soccer and those who watch. But to do both, and do both well, you’ll have to be playing FIFA 15. What’s in store when the game screen comes up this time? For that we turn to Nick Channon, Senior Producer.
Man Cave Daily: What’s the first thing a gamer is going to notice when the game comes onscreen?
Nick Channon: The visuals this year have been greatly improved upon as has the atmosphere, the emotion and the “feeling” of the game itself. You’re going to feel like you’re having a real experience in a big game.
MCD: So the visuals have had a re-up?
NC: We spend a lot of time around visuals, so we’ve been working over the last few years on what we can “physical-based rendering.” What this allow us to do is have a much more natural way to render the world and hugely improves on the physical quality of the game. We’ve completed reworked all of our player models also.
MCD: Does the game take the beginner into account?
NC: We have five different difficulty levels in the game, beginners start at a lower level which doesn’t make it too easy — that’s not fun — but doesn’t frustrate. There’s also a two-button mode for a more simple control for playing. There’s also skill games that will help the new user learn the basics of the game so he can play without feeling confused. It’s important to us that everyone playing can quickly understand what the game is all about, so that’s why we do the above for the new users, so they can get into the game and be assured of having a fun experience.
MCD:What about the game mechanics?
NC: In terms of mechanics, we’ve worked on the responsiveness of the game to the player’s actions — we’ve got a lot more animation in there, more turns and more agility to make the game feel more realistic and responsive as it’s being played. We’ve also worked the responsiveness around the “bending” — we have what is called possession tackles, where you can go in now and do a tackle and the ball doesn’t get as “loose” as it did before, which came off as being unrealistic. So now it’s more likely that you are going to come away with possession of the ball in this scenario.
MCD: So the ball’s been worked on too?
NC: We’ve done a lot of work around the ball physics — so as to make passing feel a lot more fluid. This, combined with the other things mentioned are designed to make the game feel more responsive, more realistic and feel great when playing.
MCD: What about the players?
NC: We’re now tracking the emotional state of all 22 players. This gives a high level of believability — because players will now react. We have a memory, they’ll react more to different situations so that, for example, how they’ll react to scoring a late goal will be very different than an early goal. If a player is fouled or tackled hard a number of times in the game, they’ll “remember” that and start acting differently. So all the things that you see on a game when watching it on TV, you’re going to start seeing those reactions, those emotional feeling from the players as well.
MCD: Tell us about the “cameras.”
NC: We have two different types of cameras: the most important one is the game-play camera, where you play the game from minute to minute. That’s tuned to be as user friendly as possible — so this makes sure the view includes the ball and that you can see it and what is going on without getting confused. We’ve enhanced it on the next-gen to make the players look more believable and more “planted” in their positions, we can do that because we can drive up the frame rate of the animation. Meanwhile the “Replay” cameras are very much mimicking TV, we reworked our whole presentation system last year and now you see authentic cameras — what you see on TV, what you’ll see on any broadcast, you’ll now see those angles and see the replays.
MCD: All this sounds like the next-gen consoles showed up just in time.
NC: Absolutely. We wouldn’t have the processing power to track all 22 players on the pitch otherwise, to track their emotional states. We’re doing work in physics that relate directly to the man to man body contact that occurs and is seen, tracking all the footsteps to (showing up?) on the pitch — all of these things require processing power and memory to do and weren’t possible before.
EA will make FIFA 15 available in September 2014 on the PlayStation 3/4 and Xbox 360/One.
Marshal interviewed a goddess in Why We Love Jaimie Alexander (and Lady Sif).