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Madden 11 – Run Blocking

EA Sports released a blog posting talking about the run blocking AI. This is a good start considering many people as well as myself think the AI overall needs a major overhaul. They have a few short videos showing some of the adjustments that were made. Here is one below.




As we started planning out the changes to make to run blocking In Madden NFL 11, we just focused on creating the true run blocking schemes exactly as they are drawn up in real life. No reason to try and make a video-gamey version of it – it needed to be the real thing. It definitely took a lot of tuning to get the matchups right versus the many defensive fronts in football, but we have done it. The very first thing we had to do was really lay down the law. What I mean by this is that blockers had to be given realistic rules for who they are going to target depending on what type of run it is. We had to devise rules for each run blocker individually, starting from the play-side Tight End to the back-side Tight End, and all the Linemen in between. These rules also had to work in the situations where there was no Tight End, had to affect blockers in the backfield, and had to work whether you had a fullback to lead block or if you were running out of a Singleback formation. These realistic blocking matchup rules have stood the test of time in football at every level of play, from Pee Wee to professional. So we set out to implement these timeless rules into our football game. Daniel White (who from here forward I will refer to as the greatest software engineer of all time) was able to take the rules that I laid out and actually code them into the game. The result? Better overall run blocking, bigger holes for ball carriers to run through, and more realistic running lanes created by smarter offensive players. Let’s look at specific improvement made to the different runs in our game.



EA goes into some great details about some of the basic running formation. Read the Madden 11 – Run Blocking Improvements

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