EA Sports Grows A Brain – Releases Manuals In PDF!

In one of the more shocking moments of this iteration of Madden, EA Sports has released manuals in PDF format!

There are manuals for Connected Careers as well as the regular game manuals for the 360 and PS3.

Here are the links!

XBox 360 Manual

PS3 Manual

Connected Careers Manual

Madden 13 Demo Arrives – NTTV Has You Covered!

Finding the demo can sometimes be the most annoying experience.  This video will walk you through the quick journey to find one of the most impressive sports gaming demos to date.

We are currently uploading the first tutorial for Madden 13 noobs.  It is based around the ‘Demo’ version of the game, but you should be ready to hit the digital gridiron on August 28th!

Madden 13 – All Running Back Ratings Released

Once again, the hype machine has released their little bit of digital crack to the Madden masses!  Come and get it!

TEAM First Name Last Name Overall Speed Acceleration Strength Trucking Elusiveness
Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew 97 94 95 79 85 93
Vikings Adrian Peterson 97 96 97 84 87 97
Texans Arian Foster 96 92 96 79 96 92
Eagles LeSean McCoy 95 93 97 65 68 99
Ravens Ray Rice 95 91 97 84 75 93
Bears Matt Forte 93 92 93 73 78 90
Ravens Vonta Leach 92 69 80 84 74 40
Niners Frank Gore 92 91 90 78 89 78
Rams Steven Jackson 92 86 87 85 94 67
Jaguars Greg Jones 91 78 80 82 88 44
Chiefs Jamaal Charles 91 97 97 59 62 96
Falcons Michael Turner 91 86 90 85 98 74
Raiders Darren McFadden 91 97 95 74 94 78
Seahawks Marshawn Lynch 90 90 88 84 98 74
Titans Chris Johnson 90 99 98 66 55 86
Panthers Mike Tolbert 89 84 89 82 96 64
Seahawks Michael Robinson 89 79 84 80 85 57
Bills Fred Jackson 89 90 91 77 82 94
Saints Darren Sproles 89 94 98 55 40 93
Giants Ahmad Bradshaw 88 92 96 68 76 89
Chargers Ryan Mathews 87 92 91 74 92 81
Packers John Kuhn 86 79 83 77 89 48
Steelers Rashard Mendenhall 86 89 91 79 92 65
Broncos Willis McGahee 85 86 85 83 93 58
Cardinals Beanie Wells 85 89 87 81 96 74
Raiders Marcel Reece 84 90 92 77 65 60
Dolphins Reggie Bush 84 95 97 58 55 94
Panthers Jonathan Stewart 84 90 91 78 93 65
Panthers DeAngelo Williams 84 93 93 65 49 86
Texans Ben Tate 84 90 92 73 89 72
Bears Michael Bush 83 86 87 81 94 65
Browns Trent Richardson 83 90 96 85 95 76
Chiefs Peyton Hillis 83 85 86 83 93 58
Cowboys DeMarco Murray 83 94 93 74 88 78
Saints Jed Collins 82 75 76 72 71 48
Bengals BenJarvus Green-Ellis 82 82 84 79 94 65
Jets Shonn Greene 82 86 91 79 93 62
Saints Pierre Thomas 82 88 90 75 86 63
Chargers Le’Ron McClain 81 78 81 80 87 44
Cowboys Felix Jones 81 96 94 64 60 86
Niners Brandon Jacobs 81 86 80 87 97 61
Lions Jahvid Best 81 97 95 59 58 85
Bills C.J. Spiller 80 95 96 61 51 91
Bucs LeGarrette Blount 79 85 86 85 97 64
Redskins Roy Helu Jr. 79 93 96 64 68 85
Saints Mark Ingram 79 85 91 74 87 67
Jets John Conner 78 72 81 77 75 45
Colts Donald Brown 78 91 86 73 83 68
Lions Kevin Smith 78 88 90 75 69 79
Patriots Danny Woodhead 78 92 94 52 41 91
Niners Bruce Miller 77 75 82 77 66 35
Texans James Casey 77 82 86 68 79 44
Bengals Bernard Scott 77 93 92 65 68 88
Chargers Ronnie Brown 77 88 85 71 73 78
Packers James Starks 77 90 87 69 82 74
Patriots Joseph Addai 77 88 91 64 55 77
Redskins Tim Hightower 77 86 86 77 87 59
Saints Chris Ivory 77 88 85 77 92 71
Steelers Isaac Redman 77 86 90 82 94 65
Bengals Chris Pressley 76 70 75 77 77 44
Cowboys Lawrence Vickers 76 73 80 81 84 40
Steelers David Johnson 76 75 77 81 69 55
Broncos Knowshon Moreno 76 86 93 66 66 77
Bucs Doug Martin 76 87 95 83 84 75
Vikings Jerome Felton 75 73 76 80 70 50
Niners Kendall Hunter 75 91 96 58 67 88
Lions Jerome Harrison 75 90 91 60 43 85
Patriots Stevan Ridley 75 86 92 78 93 69
Seahawks Leon Washington 75 95 94 62 53 87
Vikings Toby Gerhart 75 85 81 78 89 55
Bills Corey McIntyre 74 75 74 85 70 28
Chargers Jacob Hester 74 83 87 70 75 51
Giants Henry Hynoski 74 69 75 84 74 46
Jaguars Brock Bolen 74 72 76 68 73 45
Redskins Darrel Young 74 73 75 78 86 45
Cardinals LaRod Stephens-Howling 74 94 95 49 37 90
Chiefs Dexter McCluster 74 92 95 47 40 90
Dolphins Daniel Thomas 74 84 88 76 87 78
Falcons Jason Snelling 74 81 86 84 92 49
Falcons Jacquizz Rodgers 74 84 97 54 42 91
Giants David Wilson 74 94 90 65 74 88
Jaguars Rashad Jennings 74 84 87 78 89 60
Raiders Mike Goodson 74 93 95 54 54 91
Bengals Brian Leonard 73 80 84 74 83 55
Cardinals Ryan Williams 73 87 94 68 85 77
Colts Mewelde Moore 73 87 91 60 62 82
Niners LaMichael James 73 92 97 52 53 93
Jets Joe McKnight 73 93 95 59 52 91
Patriots Shane Vereen 73 90 86 58 62 81
Redskins Evan Royster 73 82 89 72 84 53
Titans Javon Ringer 73 87 94 67 68 76
Texans Justin Forsett 73 90 93 65 49 88
Bills Tashard Choice 72 87 89 65 60 74
Browns Montario Hardesty 72 84 87 72 84 62
Dolphins Steve Slaton 72 93 93 63 52 85
Eagles Dion Lewis 72 85 91 59 65 88
Lions Mikel Leshoure 72 85 93 75 87 56
Cardinals Anthony Sherman 71 80 75 78 58 55
Patriots Spencer Larsen 71 72 75 78 55 20
Broncos Lance Ball 71 85 86 71 84 65
Browns Chris Ogbonnaya 71 85 88 74 85 61
Browns Brandon Jackson 71 88 91 63 52 82
Colts Delone Carter 71 85 88 75 92 65
Browns Owen Marecic 70 73 77 76 78 25
Jaguars Naufahu Tahi 70 76 81 84 71 38
Patriots Tony Fiammetta 70 82 74 77 78 50
Ravens Anthony Allen 70 84 82 77 92 54
Falcons Mike Cox 69 70 72 85 68 40
Bears Kahlil Bell 69 85 90 68 72 82
Cowboys Phillip Tanner 69 86 90 73 85 66
Dolphins Lamar Miller 69 94 96 58 55 81
Jaguars Montell Owens 69 84 87 77 82 52
Lions Keiland Williams 69 83 85 74 85 56
Rams Isaiah Pead 69 92 92 60 64 78
Ravens Bernard Pierce 69 88 91 62 77 69
Dolphins Charles Clay 68 81 88 68 81 55
Saints Korey Hall 68 74 79 75 72 50
Bengals Daniel Herron 68 83 89 73 75 75
Broncos Ronnie Hillman 68 90 91 53 55 92
Chargers Curtis Brinkley 68 87 89 65 63 80
Colts Deji Karim 68 90 93 67 72 81
Niners Anthony Dixon 68 83 84 79 90 45
Packers Alex Green 68 87 91 72 84 65
Raiders Taiwan Jones 68 97 96 56 64 86
Seahawks Kregg Lumpkin 68 87 89 65 62 81
Bucs Erik Lorig 67 68 75 81 72 25
Texans Moran Norris 67 65 74 83 70 38
Cardinals Alfonso Smith 67 93 87 64 68 78
Niners Rock Cartwright 67 82 88 78 85 35
Jaguars DuJuan Harris 67 93 95 59 62 87
Ravens Damien Berry 67 83 87 76 87 64
Seahawks Robert Turbin 67 87 91 83 85 76
Steelers Jonathan Dwyer 67 87 78 79 93 59
Bears Tyler Clutts 66 69 74 76 74 37
Cowboys Shaun Chapas 66 69 82 78 75 40
Bills Johnny White 66 86 89 70 83 66
Chiefs Cyrus Gray 66 92 93 64 53 79
Broncos Chris Gronkowski 65 73 76 67 69 56
Chiefs Shane Bannon 65 72 74 69 76 43
Raiders Owen Schmitt 65 73 72 84 88 50
Raiders Manase Tonga 65 71 74 75 77 45
Rams Brit Miller 65 76 75 75 72 44
Broncos Jeremiah Johnson 65 86 92 65 62 82
Eagles Chris Polk 65 88 77 62 85 49
Jaguars Jalen Parmele 65 82 86 71 84 55
Titans Jamie Harper 65 85 91 75 81 62
Browns Eddie Williams 64 77 81 66 73 72
Jets Josh Baker 64 78 83 73 72 33
Vikings Rhett Ellison 64 74 75 63 53 55
Bears Armando Allen 64 83 91 63 63 77
Bucs Michael Smith 64 95 94 72 77 73
Cardinals Javarris James 64 81 85 72 83 52
Chiefs Nate Eachus 64 84 81 75 70 80
Chiefs Shaun Draughn 64 79 84 68 63 77
Colts Vick Ballard 64 85 89 74 88 62
Panthers Josh Vaughan 64 82 86 75 85 55
Redskins Alfred Morris 64 81 83 65 89 57
Steelers Chris Rainey 64 94 97 48 44 92
Vikings Lex Hilliard 64 80 82 83 86 55
Browns Brad Smelley 63 73 69 75 77 38
Eagles Stanley Havili 63 80 84 68 79 54
Patriots Eric Kettani 63 82 78 68 77 39
Titans Quinn Johnson 63 70 75 67 70 30
Bengals Aaron Brown 63 95 94 59 49 87
Bucs Mossis Madu 63 86 87 55 64 83
Colts Darren Evans 63 86 82 78 87 49
Cowboys Lance Dunbar 63 87 90 48 55 80
Eagles Bryce Brown 63 92 86 71 87 63
Giants Da’Rel Scott 63 96 94 62 65 69
Giants D.J. Ware 63 84 86 71 83 55
Panthers Armond Smith 63 94 95 58 45 85
Rams Chase Reynolds 63 84 79 62 66 81
Rams Daryl Richardson 63 89 95 53 48 85
Seahawks Tyrell Sutton 63 88 92 64 65 80
Steelers John Clay 63 78 82 84 93 49
Bengals Cedric Peerman 62 91 84 75 52 79
Chargers Edwin Baker 62 88 82 75 85 52
Falcons Dimitri Nance 62 82 89 72 85 64
Niners Jewel Hampton 62 85 87 79 83 56
Giants Andre Brown 62 87 79 78 86 50
Jets Bilal Powell 62 86 87 74 82 61
Packers Brandon Saine 62 93 95 69 81 48
Patriots Brandon Bolden 62 86 80 73 81 47
Ravens Bobby Rainey 62 86 90 72 61 75
Steelers Baron Batch 62 86 85 67 74 66
Vikings Jordan Todman 62 94 90 58 64 73
Bears Evan Rodriguez 61 83 75 62 67 54
Bucs Cody Johnson 61 78 85 82 82 44
Falcons Bradie Ewing 61 76 73 59 56 45
Broncos Mario Fannin 61 94 86 69 85 63
Browns Adonis Thomas 61 89 93 54 37 86
Cardinals William Powell 61 85 87 63 74 71
Jets Terrance Ganaway 61 84 86 73 87 65
Titans Herb Donaldson 61 81 84 77 80 54
Titans Darius Reynaud 61 89 91 48 46 45
Texans Davin Meggett 61 87 91 74 73 68
Raiders Lonyae Miller 60 90 88 72 86 57
Saints Travaris Cadet 60 82 85 61 78 52
Bengals James Develin 59 73 74 76 77 37
Jets Fui Vakapuna 59 73 69 78 74 44
Panthers Richie Brockel 59 67 77 72 76 42
Packers Marc Tyler 59 79 82 69 87 43
Broncos Austin Sylvester 58 73 77 74 67 25
Packers Jon Hoese 58 72 82 69 74 45
Vikings Ryan D’Imperio 58 69 74 75 55 20
Bears Harvey Unga 58 74 75 76 86 44
Lions Joique Bell 58 85 84 75 85 50
Lions James Bryant 57 77 74 73 73 42
Vikings Matt Asiata 57 77 83 69 80 42
Bears Alvester Alexander 57 93 95 62 51 70
Cowboys Darrell Scott 57 81 84 70 85 47
Falcons Antone Smith 57 92 94 49 37 83
Jaguars Richard Murphy 56 83 84 64 55 75
Colts Kyle Miller 55 76 74 62 63 44
Texans Derrell Smith 52 75 85 67 66 37

Madden-ing: How Finding Madden ’93 In My Parents’ Garage Made Me Re-Think EA Sports and the Direction of the Madden Franchise

20 years ago I was a nine year-old sports fanatic.  I was lucky enough to get a Sega Genesis for Christmas in 1992.  After playing many great games like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 I was still hoping to have a chance to play a sports game.  Eventually, my mom and dad came home with a copy of John Madden Football ’93.  It was a gift for my 10th birthday and I cherished it.  I had played the same game while visiting my cousins in Georgia on a trip to the Citrus Bowl where I saw Garrison Hearst run over my beloved Buckeyes in Orlando.  It had hooked me from the first snap.

After years of asking for Tecmo Bowl for Christmas I had found a game of ‘real’ football.  You had to run ‘up’ the screen and call all sorts of different plays.  There was a manual that seemed to be 1000 pages long with player ratings and explanations of how to play every facet of the game.  I digress, my play-style was far from what many in the hardcore community would call ‘sim’… but dammit, I had a blast!  I could circle the field 3 times with Thurman Thomas before either getting tackled or scoring a touchdown.  So yes, before we get into the nitty gritty of this reflection – there are some incredibly arcade-like things about JMF93.

During my most recent visit with my parents we started going through some of the things I had packed away in the garage after getting married seven years ago (August 27).  In the process, I uncovered a bunch of old memorabilia and video games – including my Sega Collection with JMF93.  As I opened it up after years of storage and checked out the manual and case I was floored with how advanced this game was back in 1992 and perhaps more-so… how unimpressive the title has been in its growth during this generation of consoles.  That is where we will pick up the remainder of this article.

Why John Madden Football ’93 Is Better Than This Generation of Madden

Back Cover Game Features

Anytime you get a new game, the first thing you do is look at the back cover.  In this case, it is no different.  Upon finding JMF93 I took a look at some of the features in this game… and I was impressed.

Back Cover Features – How A Game Puffs Its Chest

“Buffalo’s No Huddle offense makes Washington scramble in the snow.”After seeing this quote, I started to think about some of the things the Madden development team has been championing over the last couple of years.  Teams playing like their real life counterparts and other such pursuits that sound great to anyone looking to have a great experience against their teams rival or the like.  Yet, how does this get so much coverage when almost 20 years ago – it was already in the game.  Granted, this is a small version of what we have now but the fact is that this is nothing new and even what we have tends to be broken from a logic perspective.

“Which four-time champion will dominate?” The next part of our back cover reveal is focusing on something similar to what we have this year – All Time Players and Teams.  This is one of those interesting things we commented in July when relating the inclusion of ‘Legendary Players’ for Madden 13 to All Pro Football 2K8.  In fact, if you want to go back 20 years, you will see that there are “8 Greatest-Ever Teams” that include teams such as the ’85 Bears, ’78 Steelers, ’84 49ers and more.  It tends to make us scratch our heads and wonder how original some of these ideas are or consider the notion that they have a tendency to recycle some of these old features as the games find new audiences.  It is a fine idea, but it seems somewhat off-base to call the inclusion of legendary teams or players anything but an expected inclusion at this point – rather than a ‘new feature’.

“Head butts, Clothesline Tackles and Shoestring catches”You would think that some of the animations from old games would make their way into future games with ease.  Well, clothesline tackles haven’t been included in Madden in almost a decade.  Head butts have gone the way of the Dodo with the NFL becoming more of a police-force trying to censor away the natural violence of their televised sport so Madden can stay rated-E… for the children.

Did You Know You Could Challenge Rulings In John Madden Football ’93?

There are a lot of things that Madden has that don’t really work well when it comes to actual in-game performance.  One of the things that people complain about almost every year is challenging calls on the field.  In JMF93 you could actually overturn penalties (see the picture to the right).  While this was limited to Head-to-Head games, it is still something to look back and snicker about because it probably worked better than the current system ‘works’.

Player Ratings Were Better 20 Years Ago, Kind of.

Another thing I noticed when browsing through the 79 PAGE manual was the listing of player ratings.  When you take a look at some of the ratings you might laugh, but most of the ratings when taken into further consideration come across as pretty fair and downright decent.  If you take a look at the pages we scanned you will see two teams with drastically different talent levels – Cleveland and Dallas.

Ratings have become some of the more contentious sticking points in Madden over the past 12+ years.  If you take a closer look at the ratings in JMF93 you will notice a few things.

– They are simplistic

– They are smaller (on a scale of 0-15 rather than 0-99)

– They are brutally honest

– They are somewhat wonky

For instance, Cleveland’s starting QB (Bernie Kosar) was given a Passing Range rating of 11 and a Passing Accuracy rating of 12.  He was a very slow QB when it came to running and scrambling and he was given a Speed Rating of only 4.  The interesting rating that is included is a Scrambling Rating… Kosar also had a 4.  His back-up on the other hand was given some rather strange ratings.  He was given a Passing Range rating of 0… yes… ZERO and then a Pass Accuracy rating of only 4 with SPD and Scrambling of 3.

If you look at the other page you will see one of the greatest running backs of all time has almost top ratings in every meaningful category.  Emmitt Smith was given 15s in Speed, Agility and Break Tackle with a 4 in Hands or ‘Catching’.  If you take a look at the ratings given to the running backs for the Browns you would think that their players were taken out of a tar pit with Speed Ratings of 7 and 8.  Kevin Mack (#34) was actually a FB and had a 12 SPD rating.  So, it wasn’t a complete loss for the Browns.

This Article Isn’t Meant To Trash On Madden Football

Before any Madden fanboys (see our earlier post if you don’t know what that means) read this article, please take into account that we are giving honest opinions based on evidence from actual games.  Also, it should be considered that we do realize that Madden 93 is clearly graphically inferior and definitely has issues with player movement when compared to current Madden games.  Again, this article isn’t stating that people will enjoy Madden 93 more than Madden 10, 11, 12 or even 13, but it does put current Madden games ‘on the spot’ when it comes to pursuing greatness and innovation.

We want Madden to be great.  We want it to be able to make us turn off a game on Sunday because our digital experience on a console is more enjoyable.  We want to see pass interference and hard hits across the middle.  We want to see head butts, shoe string catches and even an ambulance come onto the field as Colt McCoy asks where he is.  We want better football on our consoles and hope that this can invigorate people to be more critical while still being professional.  You are allowed to be upset, but please remember that this is all in an effort to make people think about the past so we can improve the future.  Even if it means looking into the past and wondering what the hell is going on with current game development.

Making Madden Better – Volume 1 – Ending Games

No matter which form of entertainment you choose – gaming, movies or books, if the ending is bad you will consider it either a waste of your time or sit there for a minute wondering if that really is all that happens.

Madden has a few issues in this department and no where is it more noticeable than at the end of a big game.  We are starting a new series of videos dedicated to helping make Madden a better experience.  These are primarily meant to catch the eyes of developers at Tiburon; however, if you have other suggestions for things we haven’t covered please comment below, send us a message on YouTube or email us at officialnoobtubetv@gmail.com.

Again, the content we provide is meant to be used as constructive criticism in order to improve the game.  There is no reason to point fingers or say anything in an unprofessional manner.  You will get nowhere fast if you think bashing something or someone will make it or them change.

Keep hitting that F5 key as NoobTubeTV is starting to grow more popular we will be posting more often.

EA Game Changers – The Gaming Equivalent of Congressmen (With Advice On How To Interact In Your Online Communities)

Over the past couple years we have seen tremendous growth from EA Sports’ Madden Franchise.  Some people like to attribute this growing quality to the inclusion of what EA Sports is calling Game Changers from the EA Gaming Community.  A few days ago NoobTubeTV covered some of the biggest issues between non-Game Changers and the Game Changers on an interactive level through forums, Twitter, etc.

The Game Changer program is a fantastic idea that seems to have improved EA Sports games.

After scouring message-boards/forums, news and fan sites (many of which are owned by Game Changers) it is evident that they care deeply about the product they have all but devoted their lives to playing.  It is impressive to see many of these sites talk about the intricacies and details that are either present or missing from some titles.  These dedicated gamers eventually gained such a large audience or member-base that their opinions were held in high regard by EA.

When they first made their trips down to EA to visit the studio and get a first glimpse of the game they were pretty limited in what they got to see.  It was all but a finished game and they got to give some feedback but anything else was off the table until at least the next year.

This year, the Game Changers got a few chances to visit EA Sports and watch as the game made it through Alpha and Beta stages.  They also got to give input and suggestions.  In the process of these visits they aren’t allowed to divulge any information that EA doesn’t give them permission to express to the public.

Power (even a little) can make people change for the worst.

This puts Game Changers into a de-facto position of power.  For many of them, it is something they take with humility.  For others, it seems to be going to their heads and it is starting to leave a sour taste in the minds of many community members.  The issue at hand is that many of these valued members of the community are given a ‘a longer leash’ and sometimes no leash at all (especially on their own personal sites).  You will find that some (a minority really) of the ‘premier’ community leaders (aka Game Changers) choose to take things personally and/or respond to commoners in a rather snarky fashion that would often equate to a warning or ban from forums.  This is a problem that was really bound to happen as it isn’t dissimilar from people voted into political offices of power.  They are given power and then they exploit it with little or no recourse to the people they are supposedly representing.

It is important for all of our readers to remember a few things when it comes to taking an active role in the games and game communities in which you are involved.  Below are some pointers for how to better represent yourself and your views when taking an active role in forums.

  • Be Polite and Professional – many sites have TOS (Terms of Service) that spell out how you should act and which types of interaction and comments are allowed.
  • When In Doubt, DON’T PRESS SEND – If you value your membership in a forum/community and you get angry or annoyed with a fellow member or even the game in general you need to think before you submit some sort of choice words.
  • Choose Your Words Carefully – It is vital that a member doesn’t call anyone out or put them on blast by pointing fingers.  This is often how digital fights of words begin and you better bet on community leaders getting the benefit of the doubt over a common user such as yourself.
  • Don’t Be A Troll – If your mission is to go and instigate other members of the community, you might as well refrain from registering from the site to begin with… but who are we kidding?… You are probably getting ready to submit a rude comment here on NoobTubeTV.  The real problem you will find is that by doing that (on here, at least) your comment will be approved and then it will be responded to in a polite and professional manner – therefore making you look foolish.  Again… don’t be a troll.

Community Involvement Doesn’t Equal Community Development

In recent years EA Sports and some other publishers and game developers have started inviting select members of their hardcore gaming community and fanbase to come in and check out their game and give opinions and critiques as well as simply get a chance to play the game in its early build.  For the many people that don’t get a chance to visit places like EA Tiburon for Madden over the course of a game’s development cycle it is easy to think they might do a better job than those going down to Orlando.  There are a few things to consider before you let your mind run wild with envy if you aren’t among the invitees for Community Day (as they call it at EA).  As well, if you are among the lucky few – it will behoove you to pay attention as well.

Before we proceed, it is important to view one of the interactions from OperationSports.  This is between a non-Community Day participant and a Madden Community Day Participant –

Illustrator76 – “This was a great analogy sir, and I agree with what you’re saying. But I disagree with it as well, lol. Actually, I only disagree with the bolded part as it applies to Madden. I just feel like people need to remember why they are at the CD in the first place. Just because EA employees feed you, show you pictures of their kids, their peg leg, etc… that shouldn’t change your reason for being down there, or what you intend to say. Now, it may change HOW you say what you say, but it shouldn’t at all change WHAT you say.”

And the reply –

rgiles36 – “Just to offer a response, are you suggesting that people do forget the reason why they’re down there? And if so, what evidence is there that people go to Tiburon and don’t critique while in the studio?”

MY DIRECT RESPONSE

This is kind of a Catch-22 because there is no evidence that anyone can give that wasn’t there and the people that can give that evidence won’t likely speak freely about anything truly negative as it wouldn’t be beneficial if they wanted to keep getting a trip to Orlando.

I think it would be best practice for those that aren’t going to Community Day to remember that those invited are invited as guests and it is usually customary of a guest to show proper respect and gratitude toward their host(s).

If you go to someone’s house for dinner and the dinner tastes crappy – you (probably) wouldn’t stand up and yell “This tastes like sh*t!”.
However, if your guest stops eating after the first bite and says “This tastes like sh*t!” – you should feel slightly more inclined to either agree with them or give your two cents… otherwise, you hack down what you have been fed and you go home to a nice bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

MY MESSAGE FOR COMMUNITY DAY INVITEES AND PARTICIPANTS

You have to keep in mind that a majority of hardcore fans have no idea about what their favorite game is going to look, play or feel like until they pull it out of the DVD case on release day.  Chances are good that you will be criticized by an ignorant public because they believe that you have an inside track… because you do.  There is a certain level of responsibility that you have when it comes to being a sought-after member of the gaming community and you have to remember that while you have confidentiality clauses and other issues to worry about – you are still in a position of power among people in the community.

Also, as it is widely known among active members of the gaming community itself each person making the trip to Orlando must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that legally prevents them from divulging any information about the game or development of the game without prior approval of the studio/company.

Be that as it may, any person that is invited to a Community Day needs to remember that they were once among the commoners.  While there are rules they must follow, there is also a responsibility for them to be a conduit that other people in the community can utilize to further the overall mission – making the game better.  In my view, Community Day participants have done an excellent job over the last few years and their efforts are much appreciated.

THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is that when you bring in anyone to critique your product you are trying to get some feelers for what could be tweaked.  If the people being invited to give advice or suggestions were better at developing the game than the actual employees they would probably have a job offer to work at the studio.  (Keep in mind, this has actually happened in some cases with EA Sports and Madden)

There is a vast difference between being asked for your opinion and being asked for your help on any project.  For the most part, when people are invited out of the community to check out a game (of any sort) it is in a capacity of giving opinions and feedback but not much else.

Going to a community day is like helping someone hang a picture.  The developers picked the spot on the wall, put the nail in and they standing there holding the picture and asking you, “Does this look straight?”.

It is good to remember that people like Josh Looman pay close attention to forums and Twitter when it comes to community suggestions. Not just those from Community Day.

IN CONCLUSION

The main message here is that you must understand that people invited to give suggestions at Community Day are not there as developers.  They are there strictly on the basis of being valued consultants (at most).  They give opinions and they give suggestions when they are asked.  They give feedback and might even take some notes in order to give a detailed list that is comparable to proof-reading.  However, in the end it is up to the developer to take these suggestions and use them or ignore them.

So, before you accuse Community Day participants of ‘not doing their job’ or tell non-participants to ‘provide evidence’ that you know they don’t have – remember that this entire process is in the spirit of consulting at most.

Madden 13 – Connected Careers and Franchise Mode Questions Answered

It has been just over a month sense E3 and there are still people waiting to hear more details about Franchise Mode/Connected Careers in Madden 13.  There are a few things we can deduce from details that have either been given to the community straight up or through videos that leave you to draw some conclusions.  Not to mention the fact that some of the good people that were invited to Community Day at EA Tiburon have given a lot of great feedback.

This is one of the biggest changes for Madden in years.  The issue we are facing is that the details have become rather muddled.


Here is a list of answers and a few thoughts (after the facts) so you can have your questions answered.

Is Franchise Mode dead?

In name, yes.  In practice, no.  Franchise Mode still exists and it will be under the selection of being a ‘Coach’ – you will still have the same control over your team, etc.  Also, you will have the ability to get fired as a coach.  Everything you have been able to do in Franchise Mode in the past – you can still do in Madden 13.

What about Superstar Mode?

Superstar Mode is still around.  You will ‘Be A Player’ and in the process you will only control yourself.  You will get to choose plays as a QB, etc.

Legends, what’s the deal?

Legends (Coaches and Players like John Madden and Barry Sanders) are not coming into Connected Careers as 99 OVR versions of themselves.  Their presence in Connected Careers is also up to you as the main user to turn them on or off (off is default as of E3).

How does XP work for Connected Careers?

XP is a two tier process –

1– You have to earn it through performance and milestones.  However, you won’t be able to earn more XP if you cheat or run up the score on the CPU.  (IE – If your goal is a 300 yard passing game in week three for 1000 XP and you pass for 900 yards, you still only get 1000 XP)

2– Leveling up costs increase as your ratings get higher.  You will earn XP as you accomplish certain goals, but as you try to make your player either faster, stronger or simply better all-around you will see ratings cost more as you go. (IE – The cost to go from 85 to 86 SPD as a QB could cost you 6000 XP, but the cost to go from 86 to 87 SPD could cost you 7000 XP, etc.)

Do Coaches Matter?

Not really.  Coaches simply get put into one of four levels.  You can grow your created coach into a ‘Level 4’ but it really doesn’t mean anything. (Unfortunate)

Do player ratings change depending on a team’s scheme?

Yes, there are finally ratings that dynamically change to reflect the player’s overall value to your team or coach and what type of offense or defense you run.  A 6’3″ 349 lb DE won’t be valued highly by a 4-3 Defensive Team, etc.  This doesn’t mean his ability ratings ‘change’ but his displayed OVR and value to your team will be.

Can I make existing players retire if I control them?

No, you technically ‘stop’ using them.  However, if you have a created player and retire they will be removed from the game.

Can I still control all 32 teams?

No, you can only control one team or player at a time.

Is Connected Careers Online or Offline?

It is both.  If you hate playing against people online you don’t have to worry about it.

Can more than one person play a Connected Career on the same console?

No.

Can Commissioners kick people out of the league?

Yes

Is there online Auto-Pilot?

Yes.

Can Online Connected Careers have different roles?

Depending on your settings, you can make it so everyone has to be a QB, Coach RB, etc.  It is totally up to the commissioner.

Can I play on the same team as a friend in Online CC?

No.

More to come!  Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV as Madden gets closer.
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A few quick thoughts…

Madden 13 is really depending on Connected Careers being a high quality experience.  There are a few things that it seems EA still needs to figure out for coaches especially.

In NFL Head Coach you would be able to say one of a few different things to your players at key moments.  This added immersion and actually made coaches important.  As well, the idea of a player fitting into a team’s scheme… it should be a coach’s scheme, not a team’s scheme.  The Browns have switched coaches so many times in the last decade that the players change as often because they don’t fit what the coach wants to do and how his staff prefers to approach the game.

Making people earn XP to increase abilities is a great attempt to make the game a bit more involved and honest.  By removing the ‘Potential’ rating you are now pretty much in charge of proving that a player is as good as you think and they will have to earn every bit of that OVR Rating you think they deserve.  The nice part is that it is all on you to do this.

The overall closed nature of Connected Careers is a good thing for this year, but next year it needs to be opened up.  There is a danger in allowing people to mess with time paradoxes, true simulation and that little thing called the game’s actual coding.  This is something that can be improved upon with a more open approach in the future.  Let the beta testers gamers mess with all sorts of things so EA can figure out the issues and fix them rather than avoid them because they are scared of problems with freezing and system crashes, etc.

All things said, Connected Careers is starting to look like a great mode for Madden fans that want to have a nice experience in growing a team or a player as they see fit.  Even with some limitations that make you scratch your head.

Madden 13 ‘Legends’ – I Think I Played This Game Before

Madden 13 is coming to your console with Legendary Players.  If you are excited about this – more power to you.

On the other hand, you could pop in a game that is five years old tomorrow and use quite a few of the same players such as the great Reggie White.

This is a screen capture of Mr. White as a Philadelphia Eagle while it looks very nice, the only thing different is that it is a licensed NFL rendition on the Madden engine.

It isn’t really a question of whether or not Madden or 2K Football is better.  It really is apples and oranges when you start comparing how the games play and other nuances that are too numerous to discuss in this article.

However, the real issue at hand is that EA Tiburon is putting this ‘feature’ in a game and almost acting like it is an original idea.  2K Sports (out of desperation) to please their hardcore football fans and with a feeble attempt to jump into the football gaming foray early on in this generation of consoles tried to grab a foothold with the inclusion of legends such as the aforementioned – Reggie White.  As well, they had players you can see here on 2K’s website.

The Original ‘Legends Game’ can be had for cheap. You will be amazed with the gameplay and animations that might not even be in Madden this year… or ever.

The issue at hand also makes the controversial Connected Careers Mode a little more strange in that it allows these legendary players (Barry Sanders, Ronnie Lott, Troy Aikman, etc.) as well as Legendary Coaches!  It is puzzling that they can’t allow people to do something like edit rosters, but they can allow legendary players onto their teams.

To compound the confusion there is also another vital question that needs to be asked –

Since when does the coach matter in Madden football?

Legendary Coaches is also a nice enough feature (and one that isn’t in APF2K8) but coaches have never mattered in Madden NFL.  You could have gone to the Super Bowl with Romeo Crennel’s ‘I’m Thinkin’ Arbys Cleveland Browns All Stars’ and it wouldn’t matter a bit.  Your coach means nothing in Madden and that has always been the case.

Madden 13 is on par to impress with their usual growth this year, but the inclusion of legends and marketing of their presence in Connected Careers (as well as Ultimate Team) is something that makes a lot of people look at EA with confusion and wonder if they will ever understand that gimmicks (especially those that have been done by another company) don’t sell games or make their game more enticing.  They are cheapening the ‘experience’ and making it feel more and more like it should be Downloadable Content to mess around with like a toy from a Happy Meal and then forgotten forever in the annals of Epic Sports Gaming Fails.

If you want a great game with classic players that requires a more simulation approach than Madden, please follow our link to a bargain of a fantastic football game!

All Pro Football 2K8

Madden 13 – Why Connected Careers Could Be A Great Direction For Madden

While there have been a lot of detractors (yours truly included) coming out against EA’s decision to keep roster editing out of Madden 13’s Connected Careers Mode, there are some things to consider before you decide to hate it entirely.

There is something behind not having control of every aspect of rosters once you start a franchise mode or dynasty.  The biggest (most obvious) downfall is if the coding for progression and regression is bad (see Madden 09, 10, 11, etc.).  However, if the coding and player development is good (see the possibilities for Madden 13’s new XP system) you might have one heck of a deep career mode that will allow you to truly develop players and teams as you feel they should.

If you edit Phil Dawson to have 99 Kick Power and Accuracy you should have to pay for it. In Madden 13 you have to earn it rather than change it.

In Madden 12, they opened up player editing during Franchise Mode and it was/is awesome.  However, the downfall is that you have to really find a way to be honest about your edits and then make sure that you do the same thing for other players and teams across the board.  If your player did well but didn’t progress as you feel he should have, you had the ability to make sure his ratings went up as they’should have’.  The problem with this is that it can ruin the longevity of a Franchise Mode when you have a team that becomes too good either because you edited them that way or you are just great at using the fastest players in the game.

It is nice to develop a great team, but it is even nicer when you have to spend points and be honest with how you go about it.  If you want to make Brandon Weeden have 99 SPD, you will have to spend a ton of points to do so.  While this seems unrealistic, ask yourself how much more realistic it would be if you simply went in and edited him to be that way.  It wouldn’t be realistic at all and you are now stuck looking at Madden 13’s lack of player editing from a more honest perspective.

The main problem with Madden’s Franchise Mode in-particular has never really been in progression/regression anyway.  The issue that is the most obvious is the way players and draft picks are valued.  A player might come in and do an amazing job out of the blue (Matt Cassel for Tom Brady in 2009 is one example).  He then went on to get a big contract offer from the Chiefs where he has been average/above average at best.  The moral of the story is that Madden hasn’t ever really taken this into account.  The player’s value has always been based around his ratings (OVR mostly) and that isn’t how business is always done in the NFL (unless your name is Al Davis (RIP)).

For Connected Careers to work as it should, there needs to be a better value system for players that forces teams to have to make decisions on whether or not the player will work in their Franchise and system.

This is the next aspect that has never been in Madden…. Do players FIT THE SYSTEM?

Stop wondering why the Browns seem so slow, even on the line. Granted, they are supposed to fit the system… although, they don’t seem to know what system it is. (Go Browns!)

More goes into how a player is chosen for a team other than ‘Is he qualified?’

The Patriots and Bill Belichick drafted a player out of Ohio State that played more rugby than football.  They also picked up Danny Woodhead and made him into a valuable part of their team (and he is only 5’8″ 195lbs).

Woodhead is small, but he works for their system.

There are other examples such as different defensive schemes such as the 3-4 and 4-3 that require different styles, sizes and speeds for defensive linemen and linebackers.  There are certain offensive schemes that don’t require a receiver to be fast as long as he can run good routes and catch the ball (West Coast).

Do you think someone like Tim Tebow would succeed outside of Denver if he had to take every snap from the center rather than playing college-style?

If you run a 3-4 offense and need fast, athletic linebackers the last person you want to look for is going to be an average speed 6’5″ 270 lbs… you will most likely want to look for a fast and lean 6’3″ 240 lb mean S.O.B. that doesn’t care about anything other than ripping faces off of QBs.

Every position is important, but in Madden that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Again, say what you want about real-time physics and other improvements.  Those are needed and extremely valuable, but when it comes down to longevity for their most vaunted mode and biggest overhaul in years EA needs to make sure that more than just ratings truly matter.

 

If you aren’t football savvy here is a quick example:

Two people are applying for a car sales job.

The first person is fresh out of college with a degree in marketing and experience working a retail sales job part-time.  They have a good, confident attitude to eventually work at the corporate level and maybe someday head up a department or possibly their own company.
 
The second person graduated from high school and then spent two years at a community college.  They have a strong personality and make you feel like you have known them forever.  They are also from the region and have strong ties to the area.
 
Who gets the job?  The second person gets the job.  Why? Because they fit the system.