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NFL Fever 2000 (PC) Interview


We recently had a chance to interview Kathie Flood and Dave Campbell, members of the NFL Fever 2000 team. The interview will help us shed some light on Microsoft's very first football game.

1) Briefly describe your role in the creation of NFL Fever 2000.

    Dave Campbell: Well, two of us are going to answer this ... so first off, I'm the Product Planner, and I work closely with the Program Manager, Development, Art, Sound, User Assistance and Test Teams ... but chiefly with Program Management to develop the vision, feature set, and evaluate the feature trade-offs with consumers for the development of the game. on the pure biz side, I handle the relationships with 3rd parties, including the NFL, Players Inc., and some of the Subject Matter Experts that we have brought on-board ...

    Kathie Flood: I'm Kathie Flood, the Program Manager for Spike. I work with Dave to craft the vision and feature set and negotiate tradeoffs as the game progresses. I also write specs, manage schedules, and coordinate the work of the Development, Art, Audio, User Assistance, and Test teams. I'm also responsible for coordinating pre-releases and playtesting and incorporating that data back into the game itself.

2) What experience do the members of NFL Fever 2000 have in developing football titles?

    The short answer to your question is none-this is the first internally-developed Sports game we've created at Microsoft. However, we hired experienced collegiate and NFL coaches to help develop the game, and we have run numerous playtests with hardcore football gamers throughout the planning and development of the game. We also worked with Matt Millen a great deal, since he was hired as a consultant on the game, in addition to his work as color analyst.

    Our team is loaded with people who are extremely passionate about football and football games, and they're very experienced in software development, animation, graphics, audio, and other game technologies. It's been an exciting couple of years combining the skills and passions of the team to create an awesome game.

3) What will the emphasis be for NFL Fever 2000?

    Dave: Raw football. I'd say hardcore football, but there's a show already called that ... so let's go with raw football. What we mean by that is encompassed in what you've read about it being hard-hitting, fast, easy-to-play football. Chiefly, we designed this first iteration of the game to really capture the intensity of the on-field action in playing NFL football. We clearly felt that was lacking in other titles ... so we set out to capture what we call the "speed and power" of NFL football. It's also worth considering that NFL football is an extremely intense game-on the field. And we wanted to do that .. put you on the field. It's a game, so it's not for you to watch ... we want you to play and experience what's going on on the gridiron as much as possible.

4) Will the game offer a realistic trading model? (i.e. will the CPU will reject trades which are unfair?)

5) Is the game going to offer a records book? (Longest TD run, Longest TD pass, etc...)

6) Is there going to be a custom draft feature?

8) Can you create players in the game?

    Dave: Let's combine questions 4, 5, 6, 8:

    Kathie: The first version of NFL Fever includes a simple set of team manager features. While we don't support a draft or record book, we do offer the ability to create players and do simple trades (one-for-one trades for players with the same primary position, no commissioner). We want to capture the intensity of NFL play this year, while providing a strong foundation from which to build more management features in later versions.

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