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.

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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.

College Football Playoffs – The Nail In NCAA Football 13’s Coffin

It is starting to look rather bleak to be a football gaming fan this year.  Between the debacle with Madden’s limitations to the user and the growing distaste for EA’s monopoly on football gaming in-general.

Now that the NCAA has finally approved a playoff for college football to find a true champion it is a curious situation for EA’s yet-to-be released college title this year.  While this year and even next year’s titles will technically be correct in the bowls and the fact that the BCS will still exist… it does leave us to wonder what is the point of playing a game that will soon see it’s career/dynasty mode become pre-obsolete as gamers want nothing more than the ability to create the playoff system they have always wanted.

EA can’t catch a break.

What are your thoughts on NCAA 13 at this point?

NCAA Football 13 – The Lame Duck Term

The first day for E3 was an amazing one for Madden fans (more on that to come).  However, the same cannot be said for NCAA Football fans.

You have heard of lame duck terms in politics… get ready to see one in sports gaming (again).

It was announced that NCAA Football 13 will not have Real Time Physics like it’s pro counter-part.  On top of that, you have bigger issues facing NCAA Football (the game and the actual real-life money hungry institution).  There will also be no way to import draft classes between the two games.  Granted, this ‘feature’ has been broken for years and with the new intensely improved rookie classes and draft for Madden… who really needs to import the same broken logic players?

If you consider the issues of an impending Playoff format and everything else with teams flip-flopping, this could be a lame duck year for NCAA Football 13.  This is going to render NCAA Football into a bit of a dead-zone for gamers that aren’t die hard fans of the series. How much fun or longevity will there be for your Dynasty Mode if you aren’t able to institute the coming Playoff Format?  What about the idea of 20-Team Super Conferences?  Right now you are limited to 16 teams per conference.

It isn’t really a game killer, but EA really needs to step it up next season on the college football front if they hope to have sales even close to what they were for NCAA 11 and 12.

NCAA Football and Madden will have the same control scheme this year (for the first time ever in this generation of gaming consoles) but that is where the similarities seem to die.  Much like NCAA 10, NCAA 13 is going to be a game that many people will skip because it won’t have the same advances that people were/are hoping for that will make the game more realistic in the actual guts of moving players around the field.  Now with the news that NCAA Football doesn’t have the same Real Time Physics Engine that Madden 13 has… it could be a rough year for college football gaming fans.

Are you passing on NCAA Football this season?  Post your comments below!

Temple of Dooming The Ball – Madden 12 and Bad Ball Physics

If you have played Madden football on the 360 or PS3 over the past few years there is one thing that you may have scratched your head about… or maybe thrown a controller over.

The Ball.

Somehow the ball goes through hands, legs, heads and chests.  This is one of the problems that faces all sports games, not just Madden.  Madden suffers from two big problems outside of the game itself.

Problem 1 – The hardcore audience (like myself) are/is such big football fans and play the game so much that we pick this game apart like a wine connoisseur picks apart a glass of wine.  The problem that EA Tiburon faces with this is that instead of one drink that lasts a few moments, their game is something that people play 365 days a year.  Not only that, but it costs $60+ and comes out every year.  EA has made a lot of improvements over the years but the ball is the one part of this game that suffers from more graphical clipping and ‘magnetism’ than any other aspect every single year.

Problem 2 -Exclusive Rights have killed this game on the current generation of consoles.  While this discussion would get you banned from certain websites and forums it is truly one of the biggest problems facing sports games.  Pay attention to what has happened to Madden since they got exclusive rights.  The last truly great Madden game was Madden 2005.  Since that game, their focus has changed to jerseys and how to pick the guy on the cover.

Please focus on the most important part of the game first and move on from there.

This game focuses on the ball.  In real life and in the video games – it is all about the ball.  Naturally, if the focus is in one spot for the majority of the game you are going to notice these things.  If EA were to focus less on where the ball is and more on what the ball is and how it moves this game would improve drastically.

Ask yourself how many times you have punted in Madden and the ball bounced backwards?  I bet you have seen the ball bounce 25 yards downfield or a few yards sideways, but you haven’t seen it go backwards.  The ball is a living creature on the field and it has a mind of its own.  The ball is a solid part of the game that you can’t put your hand through.  One finger on the ball can change the outcome of a pass play in real life.

I realize that I am not in developer’s studio and they put a lot of work into the miniscule details of this game, but from an outside perspective – I don’t think that matters.  Neither do the 5-7 million people that buy Madden every year… and that includes the few hardcore guys that get upset about the wrong chinstrap on the backup punter for the Patriots.  Focus on the name of the game… football I don’t care about what dance someone does, what color shoelaces they have or how they come out onto the field if the football itself doesn’t matter.

This isn’t a rant as much as it is a plea for gamers to notice and demand a better game from the most simple existence of the game – the football itself.

The Best Time To Be A Noob = Quarter #1

For those that are new to gaming it is vital that you learn a few things about how the schedule of a hardcore gamer works.  This will allow you to understand much more in gaming than simply how to play a certain game, but when to play a certain game.

The first quarter of a new year is usually the most dead time of the year for any game to be released.  It is easily observed that most of the biggest titles to be released come some time in the months leading up to the celebration of commerce we commonly know as Christmas.  Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Arkham City…the list goes on.  However, there is a nice part about this for people that are casual gamers or maybe even what we (super-nerdy, ‘hardcore’ gamers) call Christmas Noobs (people that just got the game for Commerce Day and still don’t fully know some of the important factors of the game —– aka, NoobTubeTV’s Target Audience)

With the lacking amount of top-tier (popular) titles being released during the worst retail months of the year (January-April) you will have a lot of time to learn how to fine-tune your skills in games like Call of Duty.  Not to mention the fact that these are typically the worst weather months of the year as well and you may have some other reasons to hang out in the recliner, couch or sticky bean bag chair in your dorm room.

Just remember, it isn’t a crime to be a noob and like Will Hunting – it’s not your fault… it’s not your fault… it’s not your fault.

Attention Noobs - Its Not Your Fault

If you aren’t crying like Matt Damon right now, please keep your attention on NoobTubeTV.com for more updates on games and what we are referring to as Gamer Etiquette – the one thing lacking so much online that it is a pandemic that has infected 85% of online gamers.

Happy Hunting

Sports Games – The Most Complicated Controls In Console Gaming

To effectively run the ball in Madden or NCAA Football  you have to move the left stick in the direction you want to run, cover the ball with the RB shoulder button.  Then you have to make sure you get through the hole formed in the correct gap and press the sprint button (Right Trigger/RT).  However, you don’t want to press it too soon because the defense is programmed to move faster once you press the sprint button (RT).  Once you have broken away you might have to juke with the Right Stick or Stiff Arm with the ‘A’ button, maybe follow that up with a spin move (‘B’ button) and then jump a defender (‘Y’ button).

[sarcasm]That isn’t complicated at all! [/sarcasm]

In the coming days we will be covering the basics (which are inherently advanced) controls in Madden and NCAA football.  The problem with this being that as simple as one video would be there is the problem that each game has different control schemes and handles differently.  However, it must also be said that these controls are necessary for these games to continue growing in the way they have.  Is that a good thing?  No… but that is a different discussion and it can be had right here in our forums.

If you haven’t noticed, sports games are rather disposable at this point.  New versions have a new year plastered on them and that is usually about all you need to worry about (at least in Madden and NCAA Football) from the control perspective.  The developer, EA Tiburon tried (and failed) to effectively simplify their games with “One Button Mode”.  Sorry, but that just rings of short-bus controls for what Robin Williams would refer to as ‘damaged people’.

We will be making a concerted effort to show you how these controls work on the most basic level and work up to the more complicated parts of these games.  You truly have to learn to walk before you can run in gaming (sports games especially) and we are here to walk you through the process.