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NFL Fever 2000 (PC) Interview


14) Will weather be an effect in the game? For example, on snowy days, players might fumble, slip more often than they would on a sunny day. Also, will it affect teams' strategies? Will a running-oriented team be forced to adapt and rely more on passing based on the weather?

    Kathie: NFL Fever 2000 includes a rudimentary weather model to effect player behavior.

15) Could you tell us what types of multiplayer support the game will have?

    Dave & Kathie: We feature head-to-head gameplay on the same PC, from two to four player support. You can configure that anyway you want: one-on-one, two-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-one.

16) Will Microsoft actually release weekly updates? We've seen this promised by a company before, but they did not follow through. Also, will NFL Fever 2000 use a utility similar to Windows Update to notify the user that updates are available, or will the user have to seek out these updates?

    Kathie: For this year, we will provide updates of the player database during the season, but the frequency is still TBD. Our goal is to provide weekly updates, but only when the verification process is rock-solid. And for this year, the user will have to visit the NFL Fever website to determine if a new database is available.

17) How high of a resolution will you be able to play NFL Fever 2000 in?

    Kathie: NFL Fever 2000 supports 3 resolutions, depending on the capabilities of the user's configuration: 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768.

18) Any last comments you wish to add?

    Dave: Sure, a couple things that we didn't cover:

    1) when we set out to do this game, we really wanted to capture the intensity of NFL football, so the design focus is action oriented. We feel that today's football games don't capture the intensity, the momentum, and the crescendo of the NFL Season. For instance, the NFL has what's called a Second Season, the NFL playoffs, where you win or go home. We really focused on making individual games, and the playoffs intense and exciting. For example, you'll see the playoff logos, and Super Bowl graphics on the field, and at this year's XXXIV Super Bowl site in Atlanta. Likewise, the crowd noise and sound effects are appropriate for the game and action taking place on the field.

    2) We really didn't' talk too much about the graphics, but I think football fans and gamers will enjoy not only the look of the game, but the animations between the players on the field. The tackling and the collisions, and the corresponding sound effects in this game are intense. You will see things that you've always wanted in a football game. For instance, when a wideout makes a dangerous catch over the middle and gets his bell rung, he will shake his head after the play, and the camera AI will capture that moment, too. It's kind of a reward for the gamer, you know, one where the ball carrier thinks twice about that play next time (because he might get injured), or where your opponent feels great about putting a lick on you. NFL football is really a train wreck out there on the field, and the tackling and animations in this game are really designed to capture that ... we really have a lot of different tackling and player animations that are appropriate for the situation, and the play that gets made on the field. In other words, its not about just running into the ball carrier .. you have to make plays, and when you do, sometimes you'll make a tackle, and sometimes you'll make a spectacular play.

    3) Also, we do have Practice Mode, which many sports games are just now starting to implement. Practice mode is important in the sports category because we're trying to grow the market beyond today's hard core sports gamers who already know how to play these games. We want to create a fun learning curve for new gamers, those sports fans who want to get into gaming, to pick up and learn to play a game without being intimidated for frustrated. So we make Practice Mode a fun, easy place for sports fans to try out the game and get familiar with the controls.

    Kathie: Another unique feature is "Millen's Call." This is a section of the in-game Play Picker that enables you to see what plays Matt Millen might select in a given game situation. Novices like this feature because they don't have to navigate or understand the entire playbook. Experts also like this feature, because it provides an opportunity for them to learn more football strategy on the field. Another feature that has been a big hit with our playtesters is the ability to preview the play you selected while you're at the line before the ball is snapped. This is great for learning or reviewing what play you picked before you snap the ball, and it's a great way to practice playing the game.

    We realize a lot of people are clamoring for head-to-head Internet multiplayer, but that's just not a reality until we have better high-speed connectivity and really well-designed Internet-based games, which no doubt we'll be working on. This version of NFL Fever is a great way to play intense action-style NFL football on the PC, especially in a heated One-on-One or Two-on-Two match up.

We would like to thank Kathie and Dave for taking time out of their schedule to answer our questions concerning NFL Fever 2000.

Click here to read our NFL Fever 2000 preview.

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