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-   -   Fifa 11 (Davids pic on page 9!) (https://www.cpfc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=203569)

Neil 09-06-2010 08:33 AM

Fifa 11 (Davids pic on page 9!)
Hmmm, I was hoping for something a little headline-grabbing, but we'll see.


While other 10-million-selling game developers throw their lawsuits out of the pram and cuddle up to new sugar daddies, one of the biggest and most bankable development teams in the world quietly gets on with business in Vancouver.

EA Canada's FIFA series will break the 100 million sales barrier with this year's iteration, FIFA 11, and so far the only casualty has been EA Sports boss Peter Moore's credit card: after the last version clinched a 90 rating on Metacritic, Moore threw the team a massive party.

With Konami regrouping for the impressive-sounding Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, however, this is no time to get sloppy, so initially it's a little surprising to discover that FIFA 11's headline features are Personality+ and Pro Passing - systems that emphasise player attributes a bit more and make passing more realistic. Is that it?

Both features are more dramatic than they sound. "We want to use all of our player attributes more fully," creative director Gary Paterson says of Personality+, before explaining that in FIFA 10 the key stats for each player were shot power, strength, speed and acceleration.

FIFA 11 will expand on that so things like dribbling, passing, work rate, tracking back and defending are more personal. There's a huge difference in how Andrei Arshavin and Sol Campbell dribble, for example, but in the past it might just be recognised visually; now the time it takes between touches, the length of stride, the ability to link multiple turns and other attributes will be recognised in gameplay.

This may be particularly interesting in defence, which Paterson acknowledges has "never been done that well" in FIFA. "We had some feedback last year that it felt like strikers could still defend and tackle as well as defenders. We're working on ways in which we can eliminate that," he explains. For example, a good dribbler will be able to cut inside a low-skilled defender, but a higher-skilled defender with a greater tackle range may not fall for it.

Goalkeepers have been a pretty interchangeable bunch in the past, but Personality+ aims to sort that out with different save styles and agility attributes. Jose Reina may be back in his feet almost instantly after stopping a low shot, for instance, whereas an older keeper might not.

With personality making a bigger difference, the EA Canada art team has been putting greater effort into making players recognisable, not just through facial modelling - although that is an ongoing process - but by implementing new body types and animations.

There are specific body types for the likes of Peter Crouch and Shaun Wright-Phillips, for example, and where the range of available animations and body types hasn't been sufficient to support particular players, artists have hand-crafted exceptions - notably Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The area where Personality+ is likely to make its biggest impact, however, is in the new Pro Passing system, designed to lessen the effect of "ping-pong passing" - a pet hate of FIFA fans which allows players to pass the ball quickly to the halfway line and beyond without giving the other guy a look in.

Ping-pong passing "reduced the emotion and sense of achievement of getting a scoring chance or scoring a goal," according to Paterson, and he believes that Pro Passing, which comes in two parts, is the answer.

The first part is giving the player a power bar for passing, but then also providing feedback. "Say the pass is 20 yards and you only power up enough for 15 yards - it's still going to go to the player, but it's going to be a little softer, which will potentially allow defenders in to intercept it, and will at least slow down the build-up," says Paterson. A HUD element will then show you how much power would have been optimal to maintain momentum so you know better next time.
The rest of the preview can be found here.

The Omen 09-06-2010 12:14 PM

The other two parts:


The second part of Pro Passing is contextual error. Last year EA Canada told us how it calculated the "error" on shots to determine trajectory - considering velocities, ball pressure, right or wrong footedness and other factors - and this year some of that is applied to passing. "We're not going to go too far, but the idea is the difficult first-time passes may have more error on than before," says Paterson.

For example, if you receive the ball at speed, while moving, from a player off to one side and behind you, your player is going to need to have fortune and skill on his side to deal with it without taking a touch. Take a touch, however, and you should be better placed to distribute the ball to the next man.

"You can still build plays, but if you want to do these first-time passes one after another it's going to be difficult," says Paterson, who also notes that there may be a cumulative effect. If the first pass is a bit hard, for example, and the next player tries to play it first time, their pass may have more error, which becomes an issue for the next man, and so on.

"It's a lot more subtle than at first it sounds," says lead producer David Rutter. "When we first put it in it was almost as intimidating as your first go on fully manual controls. We've kind of dialled it back a bit.

"Now when I'm playing the game, it allows maybe one or two maximum ping-pong passes before the ball deteriorates to the point you need to take a touch and control it - which is kind of how real football works." The idea is to make you think a bit more tactically to build play, after which goal-scoring opportunities will feel more significant.

If Personality+ works out though, you should be able to identify your most skilful players more easily during build-up, allowing you to advance by using players who stand the best chance of doing deft things at pace. "A really good passer can calm the ball down," notes Rutter. "If you're going to try to be very ambitious with lumbering players like Sol Campbell you're going to come unstuck."

EA Canada has also been taking notes from forums and Twitter. "I'm kind of always suspicious of people when they stand up in front of a room of people and say, 'hey, we're really listening to our consumers and doing everything they want,'" says Rutter. His proof that they have in this case is a massive database of user requests.

There's been a fair bit of minor and major wish fulfilment, in fact. Handball will be optional, for example. "I've been loath to put it in until we have AI for the players to try to avoid it," Paterson admits.

"They still wanted it in, so I put it in as a toggle. It will default to off but you can turn it to on with no penalties or fully on. I don't anticipate a huge number of people will use it, but these certain people do want it."

Another request - one that has gone into PES 2011 as well, amusingly - is to customise goal nets. In FIFA 11 you'll be able to customise looseness and shape.

"The feedback we're responding to is very diverse, ranging from small things like that to very big things like ping-pong passing," says Paterson. "We've not put the streakers in though," adds Rutter. "We get asked for that a lot." Boycott!

FIFA 11 also includes "hundreds and hundreds" of gameplay tweaks. Corner kicks shouldn't be so boring, apparently, with players (including the goalkeeper) now having to read the ball trajectory rather than effectively knowing in advance.

We're also going to see more idiosyncratic techniques, like swerve passes with the outside of the boot, and backspin and driven lofted through-balls.

When you score an amazing goal, you'll also - finally - be able to save the replay locally, even if you're playing an online match.

Like the excellent 2010 FIFA World Cup game, FIFA 11 also has an answer to goalkeepers rushing out and getting chipped all the time in FIFA 10 - although Paterson approached it in a different way to his colleagues on that game.

"The goalkeeper coming off the line created emotion in the game," he says of FIFA 10 and earlier instalments, "because there was pressure on the attacker. But because the chip was so easy it didn't really force you into a decision. We don't want the keeper to creep out so much, but we've also added more contextual error into the chip system."

You'll need to be more composed and on your good foot to guarantee a chipped finish, in other words. Meanwhile goalkeepers will also be smarter at dealing with loose balls and shots from off to one side of the goal.

Speaking of the World Cup game, however, FIFA 11 hasn't ignored it completely and there are some hand-me-downs. The World Cup penalty system will make the transition, as will the two-button control option. "We're not calling it the Dad Pad," says Rutter, "but those controls are coming across as well."

Sadly the scenario mode - called Story of Qualifying in World Cup - isn't making it across, and the team isn't discussing Manager Mode, Clubs or Be A Pro in any depth yet, but we should learn more about those in the coming weeks - perhaps at E3 but more likely at gamescom in August.

In the meantime though, we can chew over one more prospect - audio customisation. "It's probably not quite as glamorous as the gameplay but I think it's a bit of a sleeper hit," says Rutter.

Basically, if you happen to have music or a crowd chant you've downloaded off the internet and burned to a CD, you can rip it to your console hard drive as normal and then import it into FIFA 11. You can assign music to teams and leagues, so you hear it whenever you access them, and you can assign crowd chants to individual teams.

"If you were really hardcore I guess you could get your mates round and record it," says Rutter - something he does with the journalists assembled in Vancouver to see the game. The results probably won't make it into the shipping version.

The big question is, when it does ship - early October is always a good bet for FIFA, although EA's only saying autumn at the moment - will Peter Moore be throwing another party, or have they come up with a better wager this time?

"We haven't had a discussion about it this year," says Rutter. He expects to do so at Cologne though. He must have a wish list, I venture? "I am a gentleman, and all terms of a bet would remain entirely private between me and the person we might or might not be having a bet with." Yeah, until Moore whacks it on his blog anyway. "I know!" he shouts. "Ever the showman."

Neil 09-06-2010 01:07 PM

I didn't copy it all as I didn't want to massively infringe on their copyright.

Icy 09-06-2010 01:21 PM

Joint effort infringement. I bet its still not a patch on the old pro evos (was it 4 or 5?).

Tricky Business 09-06-2010 01:29 PM

They seem to single Sol Campbell out a fair bit there, the poor bloke's highly strung enough as it is without some EA programming geeks adding to his self confidence issues :D


When you score an amazing goal, you'll also - finally - be able to save the replay locally, even if you're playing an online match.
Shows what a sad sack I am, this was the bit that got me most excited. One would hope that the replays are saved on the fly in the background so that you're not forced to sit and wait while someone saves the sixth cut back or chipping the keeper goal they've scored in against you...

The goalkeeper/chip shot fixes look good too.

The Omen 09-06-2010 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by Neil
I didn't copy it all as I didn't want to massively infringe on their copyright.

I thought we are ok as long as we post a link to the original article - as you did?

unsensibleLiam 09-06-2010 01:35 PM

Good news that they are fixing the lobbing problem and the ping pong football. Also would be nice if the fast players could actually be caught up with; when they have the ball sometimes.

The Omen 09-06-2010 01:43 PM

Someone who has already had a play:


Hands on with FIFA 11: Questions & Answers

Around a month a go I was one of the lucky people who was invited by EA out to Canada to play FIFA 11 in one of it's early builds. Today as everyone is probably aware the embargo has been lifted and we are allowed to talk about FIFA 11. I figured I would take this opportunity to create a thread to talk about what I personally saw/played and what I thought of it, as well as giving you a chance to ask any question you may have that I may be able to answer for you.

Player Authenticity

That's right, as you're probably fully aware by now player authenticity has come to FIFA for FIFA 11. I honestly am glad this is now out in the open as the amount of times I have had to bite my lip recently as EA have been accused of not listening and creating a generic game with players who have no personality has been crazy. So I'll take this opportunity to say "EA are listening!" and "give them some credit, they want to create a great football game, whatever you may think of them."

Right, on to the player personality authenticity. First of all this is not some simple inclusion of players doing tricks or the odd animation for certain players, this is a recreation of certain aspects of the engine as well as new additions that makes player personality work within FIFA 11. For example a new player model has been included to recreate certain players.
One major change is that touch distance when dribbling has now been changed so that great dribblers such as Messi and Ronaldo will keep the ball closer to their feet giving them more control over the ball. This recreates the real life dribbling ability of players such as Messi who can keep the ball at their feet. In a demonstration video of this we were shown a player with very good dribbling running in a full circle and his circle was very small and tight, however when a player with not so great dribbling did the same exercise the circle was much larger due to the bigger touches on the ball.
Many people will also be glad to hear that the AI was using skill moves when we played games too. Some were out of context but as it was an early build this was still being worked on... but it's there

So with some change on how players will attack it's only right I mention the changes in defending. Defensive players personalities also shine through as now you can see the difference between an aggressive tackler and a careful minded defender. Player such as Ashley Cole will attempt to cover the defender and prevent him from making a pass until they can steal possession off of the player whilst players who are more aggressive like Obi-Mikel will be more likely to barge, stick in a leg or even slide through a player.
Another addition to defending is players can now read the trajectory of a pass using the new "interceptions" attribute. This means depending on how well a player can read the ball when it's in the air they will adjust their positioning to intercept the pass.

Another huge impact on the personalities front is that you can now see the difference in the mentality of a player. What I mean by this is when watching Manchester United play you could see that when the opposition got the ball Berbatov was doing a lot less chasing of the ball and spent a lot more time walking. However Rooney was chasing the ball down and coming back further as he does in real life. It's these work rates that really brought the players to life for me as I found it a breath of fresh air to see Rooneys aggressive and dogged attitude shining through as Berbatov played his lazy cards out for all to see lol
The work rates are visible in both attacking and defending and give a whole new life to FIFA as you feel like the players are recreated realistically.

One question I asked whilst we were talking to the development team is "Does this individuality carry over to goalkeepers?" to which the answer is "yes". Goalkeepers are now given personalities with different styles such as acrobatic vs Traditional. So you will see more flamboyant saves from your more acrobatic goalkeeper whilst more traditional goalkeepers will be more likely to keep it simple and not throw themselves so much. Goalkeepers also have different techniques in their drop kicks with a new "flat trajectory" style kick.
Goalkeepers have also been given the ability to read the trajectory of the ball and their reaction times will be based on a reflex attribute.

Another big change is when battling for the ball a new sheilding system will be in place allowing a 360 degree fight for possession. Unfortuently this was not in the build that I played and I did not get a chance to test it. However the idea behind it is that it should allow "true freedom in man to man interactions".

Celebrations have also had a touch of genuine splashed on them as you can now press A (or X for PS3) to do a players default celebration e.g. Crouch doing the robot

Now, the biggest change in game play and in player personalities... passing.
FIFA 11 introduces pro passing mechanics which is essentially a lot of changes that result in a more organic and realistic passing game. The biggest adjustment I had to make personally when playing the build was my passing game.
For the record I am not a ping pong passer but having said that it does not mean I cannot ping pong pass, I just prefer not to as I think it takes away from the realism and it is apparent that EA are with me (and a lot of you) on this. Again as I mentioned before, EA are listening and here is an example of it.
When playing the build we played the power bar had a new addition when passing, a small bar that was a guide of where the perfect pass could be achieved on the power bar. I am not sure if this will be in the final release of the game but the idea behind it is that hitting the white line performs the best amount of power to make a pass reach it's intended target. Going over this bar would cause you to over hit a pass and going under it would cause an under hit pass. It was very impressive as the amount of times I tested the ping ponging and found myself under hitting a pass was quite high. Having said that this did not mean you could not put together a nice quick move but it did require more thinking and it also meant reacting quicker to an incoming pass.

This new passing system really brings to life the realism of good passers and not so good passers as a player trying to make a first time pass who does not have a great ability to pass the ball will make the pass but the ball will bobble more and at times be less accurate. The outcome of 4-5 players playing first time passes can be a ball that is bobbling or travelling too fast/slow due to multiple factors such as the players ability to pass, the angle that he attempts the pass, the amount of bobble on the ball that he is attempting to pass on etc Essentially what you see is the more one time passes you make the more likely the move is to deteriorate due to an increase in pass error. This means having a player like Fabregas in your team in the middle of the park can help keep the ball under control as his passing ability is far better along with his first touch etc

Another great addition to passing is the "swerve pass". Quite often in football you will see players with a great passing ability adding swerve to a pass to make the ball harder to intercept. This is also in FIFA 11 as players with great passing ability can swerve a pass making it harder for a defender to intercept it. This pass can also be used as it is in real life to play a pass into the stride of it's receiver rather than the ball having to do through the back of his run. When watching this pass take place it looked very organic and impressive and really added variety to passing, a great little addition.


My personal opinion of the game play is that if FIFA 10 was checkers, FIFA 11 is chess. I know this might sound odd but FIFA 11 feels like a game where the player has to think faster and be a lot more aware of the movement of his players.
I found that in FIFA 10 I quite often went into an almost "robotic-like trance" when finding myself under pressure. I knew where to play the ball instantly and when passing I didn't have to think too hard. However FIFA 11 feels like a big leap in the right direction as I was thinking about every pass I made and more often than not before I even received one pass I was thinking of the next. This is mainly due to the changes in passing which felt a lot more realistic.

I think the game play is better if you ask questions and I answer them as it's a lot to cover and I feel like I'll overlook a lot of things people may want to know, so feel free to ask questions.

The new feature: Customising Audio

As you're probably aware by now FIFA 11 brings the new addition of customising audio. This allows you to edit team specific audio and edit VP and Online pro club music.

So for all of your fellow Bristolians I'm sure Bristol City will hear chants of "One for the Bristol City" or "If you hate the GAS stand up", for fans of others clubs you'll be hearing your favourite chants and for you slightly crazy people like Mr Cooley you'll e hearing some chants of "Glen Glen Glen" :P

The great thing about this is that you can have music playing as your team comes down the tunnel, realistic chants etc and hopefully these will be appearing on Sweetpatch TV - Bringing together the FIFA Gamers of the World

Saving videos

A quick note, we also witnessed first hand the addition of saving replys to the hard drive. So I hope all of you with a small hard drive will be investing in a new one soon as it's coming soon

I feel like I could write a whole lot more but then I'm sure people will probably have questions about things I have forgotten to mention or haven't gone into

The Omen 09-06-2010 01:48 PM

And another:


hypje 09-06-2010 02:26 PM

can't wait

willus 09-06-2010 02:39 PM

When is it out?

Neil 09-06-2010 02:42 PM


(if now is October).

unsensibleLiam 09-06-2010 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by willus
When is it out?

It's usually October time, last year it was October the 2nd. Could be different this year. A demo is usually available early September.

jx2384 09-06-2010 03:04 PM

o0o0o a proper save goal option. Should have been in from the start but still a great addition, Will have a trade up of Fifa 10 + Fifa WC and hopefully get a few squids off

The Omen 09-06-2010 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by jx2384
o0o0o a proper save goal option. Should have been in from the start but still a great addition, Will have a trade up of Fifa 10 + Fifa WC and hopefully get a few squids off

Do you trade them a few weeks in advance or when you buy the new one?

I didn't do it with 09 and have got left with it now as it is worth pennies on the second hand market.

TonbridgeEagle 09-06-2010 05:59 PM

Looking forward to this. Although PES might be back on form.

The Omen 23-06-2010 10:34 PM

Looks good:


The Omen 23-06-2010 10:40 PM

Not as good, but worth a listen


Scrumpy 23-06-2010 11:03 PM

Going to make Pro Evo look shlt (again!)

The Omen 05-07-2010 10:34 AM

Can I quit please?


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