Madden NFL 13 Community Event Experience
Hello Madden Fans, its EA SPORTS Game Changer Devin Peden, but you all know me as Mole, here to tell you about the latest Madden NFL 13 Community Event that I was able to attend. For those who don’t know what these are, Community Events are ways for developers to interact with community members from around the country and get feedback on the upcoming game. This specific community event was focused on Madden NFL 13’s newest mode, Connected Careers, and going over the updated gameplay. The event went from June 20th-22nd.
On Tuesday (June 19th) I had to get up at 6 AM to head out to the Milwaukee Airport for an 8:45 AM Flight to Orlando. The trip took about two and a half hours and since I went ahead an hour I arrive at about 12:20 PM. At the airport I met up some of the other Community Event attendees. They were David Searles (EA SPORTS Game Changer and Tradition Sports Online Social Media Coordinator ), Marcus Freiske (EA SPORTS Game Changer and Co-Owner of TraditionSportsOnline.com), and Keith Pryor and Deshaun Smith, members of the Sim Standard (http://www.youtube.com/thesimstandard), a youtube channel dedicated to providing their insight on how to make a great simulation football game. While on the way to the hotel we were all discussing how we felt the game the game was looking so far and to hear their insight was great knowing we were all there for the same reason. Later that day, around 7 PM, we met up with the rest of the group for dinner. The other attendees were Derek Adams (EA SPORTS Game Changer and Co-Owner of DLG http://dlgnow.com/ ), Russell Giles (Operation Sports), along with Shopmaster (Raymond Goode, Owner of MyMaddenPad.com) and David Johnson (MadScientist, Owner of MaddenMatrix.com) who both are EA SPORTS Game Changers and run Game Changers Radio. Justin Dewiel is our Community Manager for EA SPORTS and also coordinates the event, so he also was there. After Dinner we were all part of the latest show of Game Changers Radio and we discussed several gaming topics while watching game 4 of the NBA Finals. After the game, we went back to our rooms to get ready for the next day.
The first day I got up at 8 AM for breakfast with the rest of the guys and around 10 we went the EA Studio. In the room we each had a table with an Xbox Developers Kit, a TV, and a Computer to allow us to give our feedback. Our goal for the first day was to jump into Connected Careers Mode (CCM) and start a small league. Some of the guys played offline while about 6 of us started one online. I chose to be the Minnesota Vikings since that’s my favorite team, and checked out what CCM is all about. Throughout the day members of the Madden NFL team stopped by to find out what we all thought about the game. Seann Graddy, Development Director, spoke with us about some of the new features of CCM and what the vision was going forth. We also saw Vic Lugo, who is the man behind the new Infinity Engine, which for the first time brings Real Time Physics to the Madden Franchise. Now I attended the previous Community Event back in May and what I saw this time was a lot cleaner and polished and was extremely fun to play. At about 6 PM we left to go back to the hotel and get ready to head out to dinner. We ate a Kobe’s Japanese Restaurant and went over what we did throughout the day.
This was by far the longest day of the trip. We spent over 14 hours testing CCM and Madden’s Gameplay from 10 am up until Midnight. During the day we got all the way into season 2 of our CCM and got to experience the new features (more for online than offline) like the Free Agency Period, Re-signing Players, and the Draft. Now since I knew we weren’t going to get too far I traded picks and players to see what I could get and ended up having an amazing draft. Just like Day 1 other members of the Madden team came down to get our feedback. We met up with Mike Scantlebury (Gameplay Developer), Rex Dickson (Creative Director on Gamplay), and Brian Ferwerda, who works with Online. They were very understanding on our vision and the feedback we had so it was great to be able to speak with them. Now of course this was about Madden so we had to have some fun. Jake Stein, former Game Changer and current Madden Team member, challenged me to a game of Madden. Over the entire trip we played 5 games, I won the series 3-2. For dinner, since we were at the studio, we ordered pizza and wings and watched the Miami Heat win the NBA Finals.
The last day is always the toughest because it is the last day before we head home after an amazing trip. At this point we’ve played over 21 hours of Madden so our day was not as long. We met up with developers once more to give our final feedback and take notes on what we’ve seen throughout the week. Since I spent the week doing a CCM as a coach I decided to start one as a Player. To me both are very fun to play and I can’t wait until I get to play it online when the game comes out. That night we went out to dinner again around 6, went over what happened during the week, and enjoy the last night in Orlando.
Now I know I didn’t get into too much detail about what I saw but don’t worry I will be writing a blog later this week on our CCM and what I felt it brought to Madden as well as how the new gameplay changed the way we had to play. This was a great experience because we were able to provide our insight and feedback on Madden NFL 13 and hopefully will be making an impact down the road. I thank each of you for reading and if you have any questions feel free to post it in the comments.