FIFA 13 Preview: Executive Producer David Rutter Interview
Interview with FIFA 13 Executive Producer David Rutter
The new feature's we've been trying out seem to have integrated fairly well with the game we saw last year. FIFA is an edearing game, how do you think players will react to these new features?
Endearing...I like that! The key thing is that what we've done is rebalance the game in a pretty extraordinary way. So first up, on the one hand last year, we introduced these technology changes that dramatically changed the feel of the game, but didn't necessarily transform the way the game played, with the exception of tactical defending. In the process of introducing that one change, what we did was have a series of things that happened elsewhere on the pitch that we needed to change this year. Players now had a lot more time on the ball but couldn't really do anything with it. And on the other hand, defending was great, but it was a game of patience and strategy and positioning rather than really being able to take the ball away from other players. So those 2 things needed to be addressed this year.
Taking each in turn, having lots of time on the ball, great, how do you get help in attacks, and there's massive changes in attacking intelligence. Let's have really decisive runs, get support play into the game, lets help the team understand what other players are doing and join in that attack at the right moment. Lets have players changing their runs to stay onside in an intelligent way, players creating passing channels to allow you to play the ball to them in ways that a real footballer would expect. Lets have a totally new dribbling system that when you want to, you can really enjoy taking on a player for the first time, and feel like a superhero on the joystick, make you feel pretty special.
Everyone likes attacking, everyone like scoring goals, we're now putting in sweeter features that will appeal to any football video game fan, football fan, or gamer. Everyone wants to score goals. But if it was just a goal fest, it would be a disaster. We wanted to put some other things into the game around Defending, that helped balance that out. We looked at tactical defending, what could we do. There's the strategy, there's the positioning, there's the ability to make sure you're in the right place at the right time, waiting for that attacker to make a mistake, but how can you make that attacker make that mistake. With the push-pull system this year, the ability to influence a players ability to get and control the ball, its a big change for defence. The opportunity to muscle a guy, shove him back, is very important.
I think the other side of it is first touch control system. It adds this true unpredictablity and drama to the game that's been lacking. I think that players used to have this perfect control of the ball was kind of fun but ultimately didn't result in moments that would occur in a football match and didn't have you out of your seat and excited and feeling super engaged as we might have done in previous years. The fact the push pull system can influence that is a big important development.
Its lots of fun in attack, lots of extra tools in defence, lots of unexpected moments and excitement. I think its an almost perfect combination.
Do you think people are going to annoyed they won't have that perfect touch?
I don't think its annoying. I think it would be annoying if it was random, or if it was scripted. I think the game is so good because we've removed those scripted elements, the random elements from previous iterations of FIFA over the past few years. Its so when something happens, you understand why, its obvious why its simulated and its based on context and its accurate.
If it was unpredictably random, total fail. If it was unpredictable, but predictably unpredictable, if that makes sense, you understand why it has happened, then its not annoying, it makes sense. I get it, I hit the ball too hard, i was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or I ran on to it too fast, i'm using sprint too much. And people get it, that's why our gave reviews so favourably, why its so popular. That's our mission.
How is dribbling going to work when it's a player from a League 2 club instead of a Premiership player? Will there be a big difference there?
So, skillful players are more skillful, that's always been the case, and we'll be continuing to support that. That said, we want under human control for people to be able to enjoy it. Go in career mode, build your team up.
You mentioned with free kicks, its a bit more cat and mouse, because in previous games they're “blast and forget”.
It was ripe for some improvements, and its something we've been discussing for a few years. I think it was FIFA 10 or 11, we put the set piece editor in, which was a phenominal piece of technology, but perhaps a little too hardcore for the majority of our users. The ablity now in the game to have a level of control and a level of design of what your team are going to do adds a great amount of unpredictablity on your side to how you can outfox the defence. You're more than welcome to take a shot on goal, but at this point, do I want to try something different because its not something that's been there for most people.
Just to make sure it's fair, we had to do stuff for defenders too. So the ability for the defence to add and subtract players from a wall, that's never been in the game. We put in the ability to move the wall a few years ago but not encroach, now you can, and the ability to get the guys to jump whenever you want, and try and time it, recover and do it again, send runners from the wall, all the things that add to the depth of fun.
The idea of “bullying” another player with the push pull system, do you think that's going to lead to a more dirty style of play?
It could, but you're going to be penalised for it. If you want to bully players badly, knock players down, you're going to get in trouble with the referee. We've done a lot of work on the referee this year to make sure it copes with that. That said, you can influence the player who has the ball by pushing and pulling and maybe takes a bad touch of the ball and looses possession, but there's nothing to say he doesn't loose possession to his own advantage, or to his own team's advantage. You'll see that in the game, you'll barge into a player and you'll trip over him, and now there's a gap in your defence beacause you tripped over. The key for us is to make sure its always as balanced as possible, and we've got six months now to make sure its all working brilliantly.
Care to talk about Trappatoni's chances in the Euro's? What's your background, who do you support?
Oh I'd happily talk about real football! I support Leicester City, I also support Hitchin Town, obvioiusly England. For the Euros, I think Germany will do very well, I think Spain will do well but I suspect the world has now learnt how to beat Spain. I think the Netherlands will do well, I'm sure Italy will sneak through somehow, but I think England and France won't be the powerhouses that perhaps we're used to, might both make it out of the group stages, I don't know. If I was a betting man, which I'm not, I'd put money on Germany, Spain or the Netherlands, I'm not sure, but then again I thought Bayern Munich were going to win, what do i know! Unpredictablity and drama of real world football, worked out quite well for me this year, that saying!
Story by entertainment.ie | 15:26 | Thursday 31st May 2012 | Games
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