David Rutter must have been one of the busiest men at gamescom this year. FIFA is kind of a big deal and everyone wanted a piece of the Rutter pie. We managed to sit down with the FIFA producer for 10 mins to chat about the biggest leap in FIFA... ever.
Q: What does this year's FIFA offer that last year's didn't?
David Rutter: So, it's a completely different game as far as gameplay is concerned. We've revolutionised dribbling, revolutionised the defending, completely changed the animation system ... so those things together combine to totally rebalance the game and make it very fluid and beautiful. On the other side, looking at modes, we've done tonnes of work in the career mode this year, with a focus on managers - overhauled pretty much all the systems in there - and improved, refined and innovated as well as adding a new youth academy system, and tonnes of other stuff really about the managers experience.
EA Sports Football Club is a big deal, so launching that. Create a profile. You know, progress through the game and get experience points, level up, be able to see what your friends are up to, where they're earning experience points, when they're levelling up. A 'support your club' feature where you sign up and pledge your allegiance to your team. Along with all the other fans of that team you contribute experience points to that club provided by the fans' average level of skill and dedication. You can play with whatever team you want there. As well as scenarios from the real world put into the game to create, say, a game from the weekend, throw it into the game space to see if you can do better than Arsenal would.
Two new online game modes this year. One based around ranked-play, one based around friendlies - both of which are longer-term season-based things where you have ten games to either show that you can beat your mate more than he can, or ten games to get promoted into a division above your rank. FIFA Ultimate Tea is on the disc - you can go online to easportsfootball.com, 20 September, and actually start creating and managing your Ultimate Team.
Q: And you have Season Ticket?
Q: You can start playing early?
DR: Three days, I think it is, earlier than launch that you'll be able to have the downloaded game on your hard disc and start playing FIFA and your progress will be carried forward into the full retail version.
Q: With impact engine, that's in-house developed?
DR: Yep, it's a combination of an incredibly talented group of people from the EA tech department who do the EA physics, and then we took some of their work, jiggled it around, and made it a real-time physics engine for FIFA. We are very lucky to work at EA Sports in Burnaby, where a lot of these people are.
Q: So that's something which could potentially be used in other sports games?
DR: Potentially, yeah. I mean, we're kind of lucky that we're at the spearhead of all that stuff. So we work very close with DICE, even, to combine different stuff.
One thing I haven't seen yet is 3D. Are you thinking about 3D yet?
DR: Not really, we had a play with it. We can get it working, but it's not been a massive priority for us. There's quite a lot of tweaking and tuning you need to do to make it really good. We don't really want to release it without it being really good. And, you know, I'd rather be making sure the passing and shooting, and EA Sports Football Club and online work brilliantly, because many many more people are going to benefit from that, whereas 3D is still somewhat niche. It's definitely something we're going to do in the future, just not this year.
Q: At the Sony conference, they confirmed FIFA for PS Vita. Can you tell us anything about that?
DR: Not at all, except it's a team not reporting to me working in it. PS3 in the palm of your hand is what everyone keeps saying, so it's pretty good – very good.
Q: And you also mentioned the Move and Kinect stuff coming next year?
DR: Next year.
Q: Can you say anything about those yet?
DR: Not except that it'll be next year.