In this, the last BTTF we’ve currently got planned, we want to know what can be added to FIFA as a whole to enhance the experience. Lots to cover…
Being able to manage your trades and auctions when away from your PC/Console is an absolute must and frankly the financial success of FUT tells us that a smartphone app is a matter of when rather than if. So what needs to be in there? I imagine the ability to access the FUT markets on the go would be the primary use, but what about squad management? If there was the ability to manage squads and send links to social networks, would they be used? Would squad management be too fiddly on a small screen?
A smartphone app also opens the doors for features not yet available in game or on the web. iOS devices have excellent reminder capabilities (Android/WP7 may do too, I don’t use them) meaning you could be notified when players you’re bidding on are close to ending/you’re outbid or when items from your trade pile sell, similar to the way the iOS ebay app works.
Does the web app need much work? There are certain touches from the console UI we’d like to move into the web app and vice versa, but are there any features missing from FUT that would make peoples life easier?
Creation Centre had received a fairly substantial overhaul when it went live for FIFA 12, including some excellent changes to the team creation segment. The new kit options were superb and allowed people to recreate teams with a massively increased level of authenticity. Moving forward, it would be nice to see Gameface support for created players. When we created the FSB team last year, we had to individually recreate ourselves with a mild level of accuracy which was frustrating considering we all had our Gamefaces there and ready to go.
The ability to create your own tournaments was a nice addition, especially considering you could import them to CM, but it still fell a little short in some places. Whilst you could create leagues, complete with branding, to play through, you couldn’t move outside of that single table. A natural progression of this feature would be the ability to pin a created league into the existing licensed leagues, with full promotion/relegation between them. This would allow users to create lower leagues that don’t exist within the game and still hook into the full CM experience. No doubt there would be HUGE technical hurdles in getting this to work, mostly integrating created players/teams into the transfer/player story systems, but this is “Blue Sky Thinking”.
Getting your content into the game also needs a lot of optimisation. Currently, downloading content in a usable state is hit and miss and even when it has worked, the load times to get into a match using created content is horrendous. Try using two created teams against each other, you’ll see what I mean.
One feature we’d love to see implemented is the ability to actually see your club members gamefaces. In our recent interview with Gary Paterson he discussed the technical hurdles in getting this to work and the reasons for it being dropped after FIFA 09, but there must be a solution, given time and tech advancements. The benefits could be seen elsewhere too, such as Creation Centre, as mentioned above. To me there isn’t a lot wrong with the actual Gameface app itself. I’ve created myself and updated it every year without any fuss and have always been pleased with the results. More variety in facial hair/hair styles and colours would be great, but I think the basics and beyond are covered.
It was about 18 months ago, just after FIFA 11 launched, that I wrote this regarding Replay Theatre. It’s awful that a full release later, the exact issues brought up are still there. Once we’ve seen what changes the FIFA Street Network brings to the table, we’ll have a better idea of what to expect from the future of Replay Theatre if there is one. Hopefully we’ll see a drastic increase in the quality of the videos, as well the ability to save full replay files instead of just clips. Post save editing would be a great luxury but would never allow the production values of some YouTube videos. Full screen playback in HD is an absolute must, as well as increased storage slots (or hey you know, letting me just use whatever space I have on my hard drive…) and a full, web integrated search and replay suite built into the game.
Another area we’ve written about before, and again we didn’t see much change from FIFA 11 to FIFA 12. I think most people take the set it and forget it approach to custom audio (I certainly do) but there could still be more tools to allow us to set things up correctly. Being able to test your audio against the in game crowd and adjust the volume accordingly would help avoid chants being drowned out, as well as being able to assign chants/audio to more events like pre match music for created tournaments.
Challenges and EASFC are new additions from FIFA 12, so until FIFA 13 is released, we won’t get to see how EA see them growing. In terms of improvement, are the challenges OK as they are or should you be able to select your difficulty for each challenge and recieve an XP reward accordingly? Should you then be able to tackle higher levels of difficulty and receive the balance of XP or should it be a one time only deal for each challenge.
The media page on EASF needs some serious work. The bugs regarding media information need squashing and the quality of your uploaded content needs a HUGE lift.
Apart from FUT, could any of the other features above benefit from being available whilst you’re out and about? Would a Creation Centre app be a useful tool? Personally I’ve rarely touched CC since around Nov/Dec because by then, I’d created everything I wanted to and downloaded it to my console. If there was a way to update and create content on the go I’d probably use it more. What about a portable, scaled down version of EASF? Complete with media viewer and updates for challenges/leaderboards?
As ever, we want your thoughts. Please expand on the above with your own ideas in the comments below. If you’ve got feedback on other areas of the game, check out the BTTF tag and search for the relevant post.