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Madden NFL 13: Wishlist — what I want — WHAT WE ALL WANT (Part 3)

The Madden series has been critiqued and bashed with reckless abandon, “glorified roster update” comes to mind. It seems EA and Tiburon over the past few years have been including more and more — the gaming community, to offer their feedback on how they could make the Madden  series in general, but Madden 13 specifically better.

I will speak on some things that I feel will make Madden fans very,very happy. On the podcast (Controlled Substance) we have  a segment called “Letta 4 the Betta” and  it’s our letter — in digital form to our favorite developers to give them suggestions on how to make their games — well — better. Consider this my letter — in written form to EA and Tiburon. The “real” Madden fans and football fans in general should appreciate this piece. Feel free to comment and give feedback CCwants to hear from you.

I will go into extreme details on what I believe will make the game better and why it will make the  game better and hopefully we’ll get what we want. Let’s have some fun shall we? Part 3 is now live, also you can  read the explosive part 1  and part 2.

Dear EA/Tiburon,

Madden 12 is a very, very, very good game but it will never be complete in my opinion without some key fixes/add-ons.

Online Franchise : What we want

Online Franchise — this could be the greatest football mode of all-time — if done right. Now how pray tell can it be done right? Well  simply put, Online Franchise needs to be Offline Franchise. Meaning there should be no difference between online and offline. All the bells and whistles that come with offline plus the future improvements will be identical to online play.

Why this is good:

Imagine all 32 teams being manned by human users with draft logic, trade logic, management, and coaching changes, everything done by players — that my friends would be epic! Playing an incredibly fun franchise mode, potentially bringing that online, playing against friends or people across the globe is revolutionary, who doesn’t want that! Coupled with all the things I explained in part 1 and part 2 being implemented.

File sharing; What we want

Another HUGE! welcomed addition — another game changer indeed. We need a system to share rosters — one with rosters alone, one with ratings alone and one with rosters and ratings, sliders, and anything else relevant to our gaming experiences. Now what would take it to the next level is if you actually could share created players,stadiums,uniforms, etc. along with a rating system. Gamers could comb through which ones the community thinks are the best and download from there.  Now of course it may be overwhelming to release this year, so you could start with the rosters, rating and sliders and then build from there. What gives me confidence we could have this? It’s pretty standard in other sports games. Franchises like WWE and NBA 2K already have this implemented.

Why this is good:

It would give people a chance to instantly play the way they want to play having instant access to roster, ratings, sliders all over the world and would save time and help those who need guidance. We could hand-pick the rosters we feel best represent real-football  we could also hand-pick the most accurate sliders and the community will all be in on the fun.

Fight for the Fumble and Pro Tak: What we want

I’ve been playing for a little while now and the presence of “Fight for the Fumble” and “Pro-Tak” seem to be missing, I don’t know if it’s removed or an extremely rare occurance but in either case this needs to be brought back.

Why this is good:

You were on the right track when those features were implemented — it does mimic “real football” and what do we want? “Real Football!”.

Presentation: What we want

One of the biggest requests of all-time, yes, the huuuge elephant in the room — yep the presentation. Gamers year,after year, after year, have been a requesting a ESPN-like makeover but to know avail, it’s about time we get it.

I know a lot may not agree but  I will say I think that you guys did a heck of job in presentation — in exhibition — at least on-field. Now half-time may need a little work and possibly post-game but I saw where you guys were going with it. I loved the zoom-out effects after quarters simulating going to commercial and I don’t how many people caught this but you guys nailed the halftime show in terms of what you see on TV — highlights with dramatic music right before a half resumes, the official closing credits — “This NFL Broadcast was brought to you by”, now understand we want more, but I thought I let you know your hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

Now franchise however is really what needs the most work, currently it feels sooo empty. It not as detailed and flushed out as it was in the past (Tony Bruno show) and even the ‘Extra Point’ you removed — which may be gamers least favorite but it’s  better-than-nothing and should have been preserved until you could give Franchise Mode the overhaul, Madden gamers have been clamoring for.

I just remembered, where is the Pittsburgh Steelers “Terrible Towel” presentation?

Why is this good:

Like I said, this is one of the biggest requests directly from the community and to have a presentation along the lines of ESPN  would bring an immersion and believablity that’s ten-fold. 

Presentation cont’: More Drama

When a game is on the line in the Fourth Quarter, or teams are fighting for the right to get in the Playoffs, or Superbowl there should be a “drama effect” that gives the player a sense of urgency implemented through the crowd’s reactions, camera shots of players on the sideline “dripping” with anxiousness or  anticipation, as well as commentary. I think commentary could really “bring it home”, in terms of the feeling you get when something is on the line:  “He looks left, He looks right, scrambles, pump fakes, pump fakes again, throws aaannnd TOUCHDOWN!!!

Here’s a video example of the drama that is the NFL:

If you notice the commentators are always keeping the audience in tune with what’s going on, down and distance, time left in the game, the formation, where the best player is lined up, who they think the ball is going to, what’s at stake, how many timeouts a team has — thus creating that sense of urgency and drama we  love so much.

Speaking of commentary have them commentate throughout the replays and while we’re huddled, (it just feels naked without it) as well as explaining what they saw, (during replays) kind of like what you had a couple of years ago, minus the graphic trajectory effects which leads me to…

The adding and removing of features:

One of the annoyances of a new Madden is  add a feature, subtract a feature, add a feature, subtract  a feature, when a new Madden comes out we’re all hoping  they don’t remove a feature that is well received by the community. The goal every year should be  to build on what worked, and to keep adding — not subtracting, for future projects. Another angle you should consider before removing a feature that seemingly the community didn’t like is not to just accept that it wasn’t well received, but why it wasn’t well received. For instance the “Pro-Tak” and “Fight for the Fumble” features. I don’t know if this was complained about but the idea is great — that’s simulation. But maybe gamers had an issue with the execution, maybe gamers felt it wasn’t authentic enough, that they couldn’t really control it — like a pre-canned animation, maybe to them it occured to often, but nonetheless no one should deny it’s  a great idea so the goal should always  be “clean it up” not remove it.

Why this is good:

Keeping features that work and that are aligned with real football is always a good thing, putting it all together (the execution) of new and old features would keep the community in love with your product and ultimately serve as a “Simulation Animal”.

 Pre-Season/Regular Season/Playoff logic:

The way I would like to see you handle Pre-Season, to Regular Season, to Playoffs is this: Crowds get louder during the Playoffs, quieter during Pre-Season and even keel during the Regular Season, however you can make exceptions for crowd noise during the Regular Season for games like Sunday Night Fooball, Monday Night Football or an intense rivalry. For this to work though, it really has to feel different like come Playoff time the crowd has to be rocking! Also in the Regular Season honor teams stadiums in regards to noise, Teams like the Seattle Seahawks (12th man) and Kansas City Chiefs are notorious for having loud stadiums, their stadiums should be significantly louder than other stadiums. In Pre-Season we should see empty seats and as the  rookies and veterans fight for their jobs  and positions on the depth chart, commentators should acknowledge this.

Bottom line, commentators need to be aware of the situation…they shouldn’t be talking about how critical home field advantage is in a Pre-Season game. As far as the Pre-Season logic when it comes to sitting starters at some point and sitting them all together in the fourth game you almost nailed it in ’12 but in the 3rd game, this is most teams dress rehearsal and they almost go the full game.Also when the starters do go to the bench I shouldn’t then see them playing special teams.

Why this is good:

When you take  phenomenal gameplay and match it up with phenomenal presentation your looking at a “classic”.

Frame Rate:

I can’t stress enough how a frame rate is critical to a football game, I don’t know how it is on the Xbox 360 side but the PS3 side needs some work. It should be 60fps (frames per second) standard but if you can remove the  occasional stuttering at a lower frame rate, be my guest.

Why this is good:

A stuttering frame rate destroys anything “special” you might be creating.


Physics is essential to any sports game and Madden is no different I almost didn’t include  it because of the obvious direction. But to dive deeper into physics players need to feel different from one another. Ahmad Bradshaw needs to feel different than Brandon Jacobs and I’m not just talking about ratings, I’m literally talking physics. Brandon needs to feel heavier we need to feel like we’re controlling a 260 pound  man! And making him slower is not the answer, you have to leave room for players that defy general rules, you can have a player — like in Brandon Jacobs case, that is heavy but also has speed.

Why this is good:

We all know why this is good.

Weather Effects:

Visually the weather effects have stepped up (even though there’s still room for improvement) but what I mainly speak of is the feeling of being in bad weather that is currently not being captured. Things like: Players should feel like their trucking through heavy snow/rain and it should sound like snow/rain under the players cleets and why does heavy snow look exactly like light snow and heavy rain look exactly like light rain — a glitch?

Overall, the  gameplay should feel slower and the field should not remain perfect, snow should flop all over the place — blurring the field lines. And in rainy weather a lot of pot holes, you could also add to that, potholes — even in perfect weather conditions (more noticeble field degradation) on fields that uses grass . In snow’s case maybe after every quarter or every timeout it could go back to normal — simulating the field plowers fixing the field.

Why this is good:

Weather should not be overlooked, it is just as an integral part to simulation football as any. The look and feel should be accounted for and simulated. Bottom line: The feel of bad weather should be just as good as the look of bad weather.

Other Tibits:

  • Occasional fights – it would be nice to see them “mix it up” from time to time accompanied by unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, hey they got it in Hockey, why not!
  • How to handle dreads and other forms of hair – I see you have one default hair for (long) dreads — which is, to the back and tied up, same goes for other forms of long hair — just flowing to the back, neglecting the the “wild hair” look seen on players like Troy Polamalu and Clay Matthews, ultimately denying us the diversity we see on Sundays. I remember even some years back thinking you guys would get corner back Al Harris’ hair right.

If you notice in all examples the hair flows to the front and is “super” long, even covering up the names on the back of their respective jerseys — you get this in, it’ll make all the difference.

  • Animations – you guys really stepped up your animation system but I would love to see  a button dedicated to players sticking the ball out to gain extra yardage. Back shoulder throw – Technically you can do it now if you throw it a certain way but if it was really implemented with that in mind, it would make it that much better.
  • Kick returns – Add a reverse play to the kickoff playbook
  • Equipment – Add the “one sleeve” style in equipment becoming more popular in the NFL and is  seen worn by players like  Nate Washington (Tennessee Titans), Tarell Brown (San Francisco 49ers) and Stevie Johnson (Buffalo Bills). Speaking of equipment it seems to be some sort of glitch with the Redskins and Lions not having the ability to add to the players — long socks — please fix.

Nate Washington

  • “On The Fly” System – You guys generally did a good job of this but for some reason this year y’all fell off the wagon. I was requesting all year for you to add the 34/35 on the back of 49ers helmets, “AL” on the back of Raiders helmets and “MHK” on the Patriots Jerseys but to no avail. Please for next year have a system in place so that you can change things on the fly that may come unexpectedly, like teams honoring death within the organization or Coaching changes.

I think if all these things can be implemented this year, you will have one very happy community EA/Tiburon.

Sincerely Yours,





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  1. I would be happy if they had a half time show, or even brought back the extra point i would watch that every week after my game in franchise. I would also like to see messaging it could be messaging talking about the game next week or like in superstar mode i remember if u had a player someone would email u, ik it wasnt alot but that made it more realistic. If they could make the game more realistic then i would love madden!

  2. I would love to see them fix the pants. Not a single player in the NFL wears pants that covera their knees and the shoulder pads are wrong also. Just some minor tweaks would make the game look ways better.

  3. I’d like to see something along the lines of what was mentioned about off field. Maybe local headlines or a player who has a history of some questionable behavior and how that might effect his play or availability sometimes (ie: suspended for conduct, or too many illegal hits…etc.) You hear all the time how some teams just stay away from guys coming out of college who have character issues. I think if you could integrate this off field behavior or personal life aspect into the game, then you could eventually use it when scouting players in franchise mode too. Is this getting away from real football? Maybe, but if we are talking about getting as close to real simulation as possible, then I think this would be a great added feature.

  4. Get rid of the white house ending after you win the Super Bowl. Just keep it simple and allow more updates on rosters. And keeping profiles online of those just out of the league for a year just in case they come back in so you can keep up to date the rosters more accurately. It’s a pain to keep it updating the rosters constantly during off season lol.

  5. i think they should bring back the custom playbook as far as actually custom plays. where you can make custom formations, routes, player move movements and shifts in formations. that would be awesome. think about the chance to actually feel like a coordinator on both offense and defense.

  6. Did EA ever fix the “Extra Point/Field Goal Block” Online Glitch yet? i got sick of that. it kind of ruined Madden for me. i know, i know, something small but playing a whole online match and i block an extra point or a field goal and the game would just end on the spot is unacceptable.

    Another thing is people quitting and me not getting a win sometimes, that’s ridiculous and something that should have never plagued the game any year. Yet another thing that helped ruin Madden for me. i’m a big sports fan and very competitive when playing sports games, so i want my online record to reflect the actual correct wins and losses.

    That has been my 2 biggest issues with the Madden franchise, specifically Madden 2009 and 2010, i skipped 2011 and 2012, so i don’t even know if my 2 biggest issues has been fixed. i won’t spend my money to support lazy and cheap developers that don’t support their own game and fix what would seem such simple to fix glitches.

    That’s my opinion. i like all the things you posted on the wishlist too scholla, as well as the things the com-mentors have posted. Now we just need to spam EA with everything. ~ TRU

    • Yeah I believed they fixed that. I don’t play online personally because I don’t feel the attributes accurately capture real-life football, that’s why I mentioned in the other parts about the capability of bringing your personal rosters online.

      As far as someone quitting and awarding you the win I can’t confirm at this time.

      Post my parts anywhere where you deem it helpful. I appreciated it.

  7. Also add a create a draft class so we can create upcoming players to implement into our future offline franchises and i know alot of ppl will say NCAA import a draft I’ve done this for years and I’m always disappointed w the results rg3 was not even drafted … and creating Brock oswelier 6’8 240lbs looks like a stick after draft either fix the problem between the exporting, allow for editing physical attributes on created and drafted players or add a create a draft class in my opinion that would probably be easier

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