The developers working on FIFA 18 have almost overhauled a heck o fa lot of features in the upcoming game. In addition to the next stage of The Journey being expanded upon with the next step of Alex Hunter’s career through the world of FIFA, the developers have also overhauled a ton of other content as well.
During the EA Play livestream the lead gameplay designer from EA Vancouver talked about a lot of the new features they’ve added to the upcoming game. One of the things they overhauled was the animation system. In addition to having Cristiano Ronaldo motion capture for the game they’ve also introduced a new animation engine into the FIFA 18 ecosystem known as the Real-Player Motion Technology.
This new tech is being fed into the Frostbite game engine that allows them to not just blend animations per set, but blend animations per frame.
It’s explained that in the past they used to chain together different animation sets at the end of the set or key-frame, but now they’re able to blend and change animations in between frames before the set even ends. What this means is that there’s now blending taking place thanks to the Frostbite’s ANT system that allows the player motions to realistically and seamlessly transition between every single little thing they do and reactively display those changes smoother than ever before.
In actual play this should mean that you won’t see any player clicking or animation set stops or the start or stop time of key-frame transitions. You can get a small glimpse of what this new feature looks like in action with the EA Play trailer below.
This new Real-Player Motion Technology also increases input reaction times for better and smoother player control, along with all new animation archetypes spanning six different types that ranges from stocky short players to tall thin players, and everyone else in between. This will help make the character movements and behavior on the field a lot more realistic and refined to the idiosyncratic nature of the real-life players.
The Vancouver team also improved the drilling mechanics in FIFA 18, which ties into the RPMT, as different player types and behaviors will affect how the drilling can be executed on the field.
AI and player behavior has also been overhauled so that different player types attack and defend the pitch based on their real-life behavioral patterns. This affects both the defensive and offensive players.
The shooting system has also been improved and upgraded to better reflect the shooting and scoring from real life soccer.
Lastly, they’ve overhauled the atmospheres and arenas in the game to take advantage of the Frostbite’s ability to make use of physically based rendering, so different arenas and pitches will look different depending on the time of day when they’re played, the weather conditions, the lighting setup and the atmosphere generated by the crowd.
EA Vancouver has really worked hard to increase the overall playability and immersion factors for FIFA 18. If you’re a fan of FIFA you might be excited about all of these changes, especially the better animation framing and smoothness thanks to the behavioral upgrades provided by the Real-Player Motion Technology. The game is due for release on September 29th, 2017 for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
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