Football fans are in their usual frenzy of excitement
ahead of the release of Fifa 13. Hayden Meikle fires
some questions at the game's online producer, Garreth
Hayden Meikle: Every year, we are told the latest
Fifa will be the best yet. It seems the buzz is even
stronger this year. Why is that?
Garreth Reeder: I think the quality of the game has
been getting so much better over the past three to four
years. I think Fifa 12 surprised a lot of people, just
how good it was. Fifa 13 has a lot of features people
are really excited about.
HM: Let's get to those features.
Explain First Touch Control for me.
GR: Sure. The main goal we have with First Touch
Control is to bring some of that unpredictability of real
football into the game. We don't want the game to feel quite
as perfect or as scripted when it comes to how players take
touches with the ball. We're able to do that with the physics
system within the game. It can read the angle of the ball,
the speed of the ball, the spin, where defenders are, and of
course the talent level of the player. It's about trying to
recreate authentic touches of the ball.
HM: And Attacking Intelligence?
GR: We wanted the game to feel more dynamic and
free-flowing on attack. If you have the ball, we didn't want
you to have to manually send your team-mates on different
runs all the time. We wanted it to feel and look more like
real football. So we've got new diagonal runs and curled
runs. Players are now intelligent enough to go on runs, know
where the offside line is, and give you more time to make a
through ball or pass. We've also added the ability for
players to predict two plays ahead. So, if you've got a right
winger, and the ball is in the middle of the pitch, they'll
go on a run ahead of time in anticipation of that. We've
never had that before.
HM: What about the physics engine?
There were a few glitches in Fifa 12 with players
falling over each other.
GR: We worked on that almost all year. We've really
expanded that feature. It's not just about players colliding.
We've applied the model to players jostling, pushing and
pulling each other, and shielding the ball. All those real
battles you see in football are now in the game. Players with
a bit more size and strength can be really effective. It's
not just about pace.
Another feature is Football Club Match Day.
GR: We wanted the game to feel really dynamic, almost
like it was smart enough to know what was happening in real
life. Things like player form, transfers, rumours, league
positions all those things, we can update into the game. The
commentators will reference something that happened in real
life, as well.
HM: Those of us who play the Career mode get annoyed
at the constant transfers. Has that been looked at?
GR: The transfer system has been overhauled this year.
We will definitely see less movement, or movement that makes
a lot more sense.
HM: Why did you get rid of the player-manager segment
of Career mode?
GR: We wanted to build a player career that had a real
structure to it. If you create a new player, you start as an
18-year-old rated about 65. There are tasks to complete, and
it all goes into how you are perceived within the club. The
idea is to grow as a footballer during your career. It's a
lot more defined, and feels like a real journey from youth
player to superstar.
HM: The Fifa series has had the A-League for a while.
Any plans to include New Zealand's ASB Premiership so we can
lead Otago United to glory?
GR: We've got a group looking at licensing and data.
They look at stadium rights and kits and everything. I can't
speak for them but I know we're trying to add new content all
the time. Every country I go to wants to know if their league
will get in. Hopefully, down the road, we can bring it to
HM: Indoor football?
GR: In regular Fifa, I don't think so.
Fifa Street was the game we used to bring in some of
those indoor elements.
HM: I presume you guys are already working on Fifa 14?
GR: Definitely. The gameplay team has already started
on the next game. I'm in online, so it's a bit different.
We've got tons of work to do to make sure Fifa 13 goes
• Fifa 13 releases in New Zealand on Thursday.