From Ralphie and his wranglers leading the Colorado Buffaloes on to the field to the racially insensitive undertones of the Florida Seminoles’ traditions, pre-game runouts have been one of EA Sports’ NCAA Football franchise’s presentation staples over the last couple of instalments. Whether team specific intros were something you liked to sit through before kickoff, or you opted to skip them, it doesn’t really matter anymore. EA has dropped pre-game runouts in favor of music video ‘hype pieces’.
Ben Haumiller, a producer on NCAA Football 14, spoke to XXL about life after runouts and other presentation tweaks you can expect from the upcoming release. Via XXL:
XXL: There was a lot done to ramp up the presentation this year, what are some of the improvements we can expect to see?
Ben Haumiller: Presentation is such a big part of college football, from the fight songs to the traditions, to the uniforms; pageantry is what sets the sport apart from everything else. This year a premium was placed on streamlining the presentation moments so that we keep all of the emotion and tradition but show it at a much quicker pace. The pre-game runnouts have been replaced with music videos that serve as hype pieces for that game, these are much faster than previous year’s intros, but hit all of the key moments you want to see in a pre-game. Once the game kicks off you will see a bunch of improvements to the pacing of the post play scenes, the addition of pre-play chatter that gives the players on the field a more alive feel, the addition of new crowd chants in the form of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and “Kernkraft 400” by Zombie Nation, and new playable camera angles to let fans see the field from new perspectives. Commentary also received a big upgrade this year with the addition of Key Player stories and Drive stories. Key Player stories focus on the performance of a star player and their impact on the game. If the star player is having an off day and another player is taking the spotlight the Key Player story can also branch away from the initial player to talk about someone else’s performance. Drive stories focus on talking about how a team has been doing over multiple drives, if they started out hot and have cooled off in the 2nd half the Drive stories will call out that the coach needs to light a fire under the offense to get things back on track. Outside of the game we have done a lot of work to the menus to make them much more responsive and streamlined so that you can navigate them quickly to get you where you want to go.
A popular addition to last year’s college football title was the implementation of studio updates with Rece Davis. Studio updates and game story streams are set to receive a boost, according to Haumiller:
Joining Rece Davis in the studio this year for the new halftime show is David Pollack who calls games with Rece for ESPN’s Thursday night college football broadcasts. In our halftime show Rece and David will give their perspective on the first half action as well as their thoughts on what might be in store in the 2nd half. While Rece and David are breaking down the action there are highlights from the first half as well as stat banners to help reinforce the story of the 1st half of play.
Head over to XXL for more on what can expected in the way of new additions to the NCAA Football franchise, including some details on the new Infinity Engine 2.