Insights from Working in Football Game Development: Clearing Up Misconceptions and Shedding Light on Game Mechanics
Working in the football game development team has given me the opportunity to delve into many aspects of the game that most people do not have access to. Many of these things are completely different from what I believed before I started working in this field. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding certain topics, and in accordance with our agreement from the previous session and as a way of giving back to everyone for their support and trust in buymmog, I will answer some of the frequently asked questions in plain language using a Q&A format. There are many other things that I either do not understand or cannot say too absolutely.
Q: Does FIFA have a scripting system?
A: Yes, but it is not as most players believe. The Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment (DDA) system does exist and is EA's patented technology used to improve player experience and retention. In FIFA, DDA is primarily used in single-player modes such as Squad Battles. Most of what players commonly refer to as scripting is actually due to network issues, and the rest is due to variance, which is basically random numbers. This is what makes the game fun. For example, in a situation where all other variables (position, stamina, etc.) are constant, a player with 90 strength and a player with 80 strength will have a 10% chance (estimated value) of winning a physical confrontation. Even a player with 70 strength will have a chance, although much lower. Similar principles apply to shooting, passing, and other numerical confrontations. It is currently known that at certain time points such as 45, 90, 105, and 120 minutes, the attacking side will receive an all-around buff, which is the only scenario in UT online mode where DDA is used.
Q: Why do players pass the ball to the opponent's feet, defenders miss tackles, and goalkeepers make strange saves or dives?
A: Generally speaking, FIFA's game performance is divided into three main layers: input layer (controller), calculation layer (judgment), and presentation layer (animation). Everything is just animation, and all the scenes mentioned above are just performances. EA's technology is very strong and can ensure that the calculations made in the judgment layer are perfectly executed by changing the animation layer's performance. In other words, without such technology, many shots that have already been judged as goals would be blocked by defenders or goalkeepers, such as half-tackles, nutmegs, reverse saves, and unsuccessful headers. In these cases, the calculation layer has already determined that you have lost, and the animation is just a performance. The player models in the game, including limbs and even the torso, can be changed, and the models can be penetrated. (Being able to penetrate the models also makes the game feel better, especially in many situations that require ball control.) There are also some situations where players do not tackle, shoot, or save, purely because the animation cannot be selected due to incorrect positioning or distance. The game will try to perform the animation whenever possible.
Q: What is "kidney deficiency outer instep" and what is the specific principle behind it?
A: Simply put, "kidney deficiency outer instep" refers to a shooting technique in FIFA where a player with low shooting power and accuracy can still score easily by using the outer side of their foot to shoot the ball. This is actually a small design flaw in EA's game, as the shooting values in FIFA are tied to the trajectory of the ball, which in turn determines the success rate of the shot. The trajectory of the "kidney deficiency outer instep" shot is very powerful and difficult for the goalkeeper to save, even though EA's developers believe that the trajectory is not that strong. The threshold for this technique changes as the game progresses, from 85-86 to 90-91, which shows that EA has a slider system with hundreds or thousands of adjustable parameters.
Q: Do players have "hidden nerfs" in FIFA?
A: I can tell you with great responsibility and certainty that there are no "hidden nerfs" for individual players in FIFA. The perceived "hidden nerfs" are usually caused by adjustments to the game's overall balance and sliders over time, which affects the strength of players. The development team has too many other important tasks to handle, and they do not have the time or resources to single out specific players for "nerfing". Many players complain about "hidden nerfs", but it's simply not true.
Q: Do players have special AI, and is there a distinction between good and bad AI?
A: First of all, the term "AI" is somewhat misleading. The so-called "AI" in FIFA is actually a set of pre-programmed behaviors based on the player's position and formation, which can be further adjusted by tactical instructions. The "special AI" that players refer to is actually a combination of specialized animations, numerical values, and offensive/defensive mentality that make certain players perform better than others. For example, some players have special animations for dribbling or tackling, while others have specific model dimensions or skeletal data that affect their performance in certain aspects. These specialized players not only have high base stats, but also receive additional bonuses from certain numerical values or factors that make them even stronger. However, there is a limit to how much these bonuses can boost a player's performance, and some specialized players become less effective over time. Overall, FIFA is designed to encourage attacking play, so attackers generally have an advantage over defenders. The offensive and defensive mentality of a player affects their frequency of runs and their speed of returning to defensive positions, but there is no such thing as "bad AI" for specific players. All players follow the same numerical logic and perform the same set of actions, but some may have additional advantages due to their specialized animations or numerical values. In recent years, the numerical logic and animation system in FIFA have become more detailed and sophisticated, which has reduced the gaps between high-end and low-end players.