Ty and Dan talk with Ben Haumiller from EA Sports about the release of NCAA 14, bizarre requests from gamers, improved option offenses, “post-gaming” lifestyles, future-proofing, and the Tire Fire Offense achievement.
NCAA 14 with Ben Haumiller
Today on The Solid Verbal, Ty and Dan welcome Ben Haumiller from EA Sports to the show to talk NCAA 2014, an annual tradition that signifies we’re one step closer to college football season.
Ty asks Ben about the craziest request he’s received to include in the game. His answer: The socks. Ben says fans have gone wild when they discover their favorite team’s socks in the game don’t match up to real life. He then talks about the level of detail NCAA ’14 provides, getting down to the tricky nuisances of today’s jerseys and equipment.
The guys then get into the “post-gaming lifestyle” and how EA Sports tries to keep older gamers in the fold, despite the fact they might not have as much time to play. Ben discusses some of the features NCAA ’14 contains to try and accommodate the more time-strapped gamers.
One of the big changes to this year’s game is the introduction of the Infinity Engine 2 and how it alters the physics of the game. Ben explains the Infinity Engine 2 should dramatically improve the running game, as it affects everything around the ball carrier, from blockers to how defenders take a stiff arm.
Ben admits the previous incarnations of NCAA were feeling a little stale and the introduction of the Infinity Engine 2 should make the game play feel fresh. Ben also talks about the changes to the recruiting system based off some collaborative work with the West Virginia and Stanford coaching staffs.
Dan asks Ben which teams will look dramatically different in this year’s game compared to last. Ben points to teams like Texas A&M who had a big year in the SEC and a team like Wisconsin with its transition to life under Gary Anderson.
Ty brings up that over the past few years the option play has left a lot to be desired, but Ben says this is the year they’ve finally got it down, incorporating 30 different option styles into the game play.
Ben talks about the custom conference mode and the challenges his crew faces as conferences realign, all while trying to make the game look and feel as real as possible.
Dan then gets into what teams Ben likes to play personally, what team and playbook he’ll use in his office league and the fun new plays and playbooks in this year’s edition.
The conversation closes out with Ben dishing on a few more wrinkles in this year’s version and what gamers might expect from NCAA with a few new consoles on the way.