07: Interview with Jamie Toghill
member of the development team behind FIFA 07 -
press members of XCN (Xbox Community Network), we have been able to ask some questions
to Jamie Toghill, member of the development team behind FIFA 07.
: There have been many FIFA games to date; how hard is it to incorporate new
game play features into such an established and popular series?
: FIFA is the largest selling football franchise in the world.
very easy indeed to incorporate new ideas and game play features into our game.
The harder decision is what do we invest time in and which features will we have
to leave on the design board. Our FIFA team is made up of talented and creative
individuals from all over the globe so what we tend to see is that new features
and ideas can come from any area of the development team. We also read our forums
to see what people want to see in the next installment of FIFA and it's great
when we already have a feature in pre-production that gamers are all asking for.
We do take these comments and suggestions very seriously and often we tend
to find we are in complete synergy with what our fans want to see in the game.
: The Fifa 06 (Xbox 360) had some online bugs - have you overcome these on
Jamie Toghill : Yes we have completely rewritten our on line
experience for FIFA 07 and this is something users should see instantly when playing
the game. In fact most reviews thus far have called out the improved experience.
: What will be the future of FIFA games? In what direction are you going to
take the game?
Jamie Toghill : This is something we're keeping tight
lipped about but you can be assured that we have exciting features in development
today that will be showcased in future FIFA games and not necessarily FIFA08.
Think big and then you're just starting to scratch the surface of the future of
our FIFA game.
XCN : The FIFA
dev team is based in Canada. Do you feel removed from the world of football being
based in a nation that isn't renowned for its love of the sport?
Toghill : If you look around the FIFA team here in Canada we have people from
all over the world. And this was a conscious decision to bring football enthusiasts
as well as talent developers to Canada to provide a global voice to represent
football for the game. I moved from England to specifically work on FIFA and we're
very lucky that people want to come to Vancouver with their sole desire to work
on the game. We're football nuts and we grew up playing and watching football.
the television coverage for European and world football in Vancouver is amazing.
While I might not be able to travel to Goodison Park every week, I get to see
more games than I did in the UK!
: The selection of the licensed soundtrack is great! where do you find all
Jamie Toghill : Choosing the music tracks for FIFA is one
of the exciting and interesting elements of the development process. We have a
dedicated team within EA that specifically research who are the up and coming
bands and which songs feel like they will become future hits.
XCN : Can you explain to the real FIFA
fans out there how you take into consideration their suggestions made in forum
threads, which often contain a lot of very good ideas for enhancing the game?
Jamie Toghill : Well, every year we get together as a group and sift through
the forums to see what gamers are saying about the game. We're often inundated
with great ideas so we spend a lot of time reviewing the ones that make sense
and are achieveable at that time and look at how we can realise them. The gamer
feedback is very important to us because at the end of the day we're making a
game we hope they want to play.
: Rumours are that you cannot perform tricks in the Xbox 360 version. Is that
true or are tricks achievable?
Jamie Toghill : The new physics engine
actually promotes user-defined tricks. There are no canned special moves but rather
the flexibility for gamers to create their own within the context of what is authentic
to Football. We've actually be pleasantly surprised how users are creating their
own special moves when we look at videos on the internet.
: What would have been the one feature you would love to have included in
FIFA 07 if time had been on your side, but we will definitely see appear in FIFA
Jamie Toghill : There are many features that I think each member
of our team would have loved to include in FIFA 07. Our new gameplay engine sparked
a wide variety of cool new ideas we could build onto this system.
: The Lounge aspect of the game is for many what separates FIFA
from other football games. How much does the lounge differ from FIFA
06 and what changes if any will we see?
Jamie Toghill : We've
actually built in more feedback into this year's Lounge mode because of the new
engine. The game tracks all the statistics from each match and now generates ratings
based on your performance.
XCN : What
is the ultimate reason according to you to choose FIFA over PES?
Toghill : We're offering something new to the consumer. This is a completely
new FIFA with an innovate and unpredictable gameplay engine. FIFA 07 is a true
next generation title which exploits the power of the Xbox 360. We've created
a sophisticated engine that does so much more than our competitor's game. If you're
looking for a football game that really showcases your console, then FIFA 07 is
XCN : In what way did you
use the extra capacity of next gen (360) other than just better graphics? and
what is the single biggest enhancement over Fifa 06 you think?
: The main point of focus this year was to build a new gameplay engine from
scratch. The things our new system does, you just couldn't do on the current generation
of consoles. We've really taken full advantage of the Xbox360 technology and our
game is truly next generation. We have no legacy code from our older games. So
when you ask the question, what is the single biggest enhancement over FIFA06,
it has to be gameplay, gameplay, gameplay!
: Thanks a lot for your time and your answers !
Related links :
07 official site
- Other Xbox
Gazette, November 1st 2006
Thanks to : Jamie Toghill,