OT - Kickstarter opportunity to create new college football video game

Submitted by trueblueintexas on May 20th, 2013 at 12:23 PM

I know there are many video game players on the board. We also know the many complaints of our fair leader about the current NCAA Football game (damn anti-Chris Graham super linebackers with their great hands and leaping ability). Here's your chance for change.  This company has a kickstarter to create a new college football video game to launch prior to the 2014 season. Check out the link and watch the video to see how this one will be different. For those that don't know, Austin is a center for video game production. I have questions about the ability to get the NCAA licensing, but I do know this is a legit program.



NOLA Wolverine

May 20th, 2013 at 12:35 PM ^

Eh, modeling the offensive 7-on-7 movement (with QB's and WR's espcially) has never really been challenging. Things like OL to DL interaction, OL blocking schemes, defensive back coverage, and simulating the difficulty of playing QB in real life (obviously, from the blimp view playing QB is easy, as it would be in real life as well. They need to simulate rush somehow. Instead of doing this, developers make over the top pass defenders to take away passing lanes instead (EA Sports), or make the actual act of throwing and catching way more challenging than it should be (2K Sports).). I honestly think that the QB cone was the best way to address this, and if they could pair that with good trench game play I think that's about as good as we can get.

But, I can live with $20 for the vision they've shown thus far.  

NOLA Wolverine

May 20th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

That's another great option, and it's been tried a couple of times before. Madden had a camera view like that in '05 or sometime around then, and Back Breaker has that view point I'm pretty sure. I personally think that would be too hard to sell as the main camera view because it asks too much of the player to read/anticipate/know where to look, but I've always found it as a fun way to play the game as a change of pace like you said. From what I can tell, it hasn't been wildly popular (Madden dropped it. Although, they also dropped the passing cone, so my dream looks unlikely of panning out), and I would guess because people don't understand the timing.  


May 20th, 2013 at 6:00 PM ^

I was going to say the same thing about BackBreaker and the Madden games.  I think the problem with the first-person views is that people are used to being largely omniscient when playing a 1st-person game, but in football part of the reason it is so difficult is that you have limited sightlines and can't necessarily prepare for rush defenders, LBs dropping into coverage, etc. I liked the passing cone as well because it at least simulated this limited vision somewhat, but even then you could see the whole field and make plays regardless.  

Personally, I'd rather they focus on improving the running game versus the QB tweaks.  I haven't played the most recent versions of these games, but I remember playing NCAA 2012 with Denard and Fitz and barely being able to get a running game going against the likes of NW and Minny.  Drove me crazy.  Get to the point that linemen actually block a play for more than a second and I'll come back to these franchises.

NOLA Wolverine

May 20th, 2013 at 7:47 PM ^

One last thing I'll add in about the passing cone, and I don't know if they addressed this on the initial release or not, but one of the variables (on top of cone size) for QB ratings should be speed at which you can switch receivers. While you'll still have that omnicient view, you're still slightly hindered by this.

EA Sports has been trash with the running game in the NCAA series, and Madden has been only slightly better. From what I can tell option blocking is just non-existent with EA game. I've opted to play APF 2K8 when I want to play video games again purely because of how well they did the run game. Of course, I have to trade off the ability to run the option game. 


May 20th, 2013 at 12:42 PM ^

This sort of thing takes a ton of money to get off the ground, so while I do hate EA I am very skeptical. I would love to see 2k studios take another shot at it


May 20th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

I have designed and produced a sports title a long time ago. If you think you can produce a viable sports sim that can compete against EA for a million dollars, I've got a bridge you maybe interested in. The artwork alone will cost multiple millions, even before any development and licensing costs are added.


May 20th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

I could be that these guys are using the KS campaign to demonstrate a viable market for their product, so as to be able to secure investment funding down the line.  Everyone can knock em' for having a dream, but you have to respect their enthusiasm at least.

I have hated the EA games for so long... 20$ seems like a good deal.  And I don't even own a PS or XBox.


May 20th, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

Similar to what Brian said earlier but I'd really be interested in a text-based cfb simulation (aka the early Football Manager games for the pc). Take out the actual in-game graphic budget and gameplay concerns and you have a significantly easier to produce game with a much lower overhead. Of course, it would only appeal to the niche audience of people who really get into the roster management, recruitment, play creation, play style and all the other minutae of running an 85 scholarship football team. Having leagues online would be relatively cheap to support as well because the bandwith demands would be so slight. 

I would do anything for a game like this.



Edit: FWIW I pledged $60 for this game because it could possibly be better than the EA crap anyway. 

the Glove

May 20th, 2013 at 1:50 PM ^

The reason is when 2k rivaled EA in making a college football game they fought over the exclusive rights too many things. For example, 2k had the rights to the Rose Bowl and EA had the exclusive rights to the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta bowls. Also, 2k had the Maxwell Award while EA had the Heisman. This will be the same with brands such as Nike and Adidas, which could possibly cause a specific teams uniforms not being in a game. I'm 30 and I do believe some people are too young to even remember this problem. I will agree that EA doesn't have the greatest game play sometimes, but it is nice to have everything in one game. What will end up happening will be a bidding war for all of the rights to everything. That's how EA won in the long run in getting the exclusive rights to college football because they had more money. I know there is good intention behind this, but it's just going to cause a problem in the end.


May 20th, 2013 at 2:02 PM ^

This came up before, but if someone made Football Manager 13 for college football, that game would likely be the best game of all time. And I'd throw down 30 bucks every year for updated versions. 


May 20th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

I would be more impressed if they had some tech demo to demonstrate what they are talking about. My wife can put up some random pictures of generic 3d models. You would think if they have "rock star" developers, you can at least come up with some simple demos...

Mr. Rager

May 20th, 2013 at 2:29 PM ^

There are so many things wrong with this.  I appreciate you for posting it on this site - it really shows to me how dumb some people are.

Why is this dumb, you say?  Well, let's see if I can mention most of the reasons:

1) $1MM is probably not enough for an xbox arcade game - at least one for a college football game trying to eat away EA Sports' sales (the average budget for these arcade games was $750K in 2009 - per a Google search I just did).

2) He's looking for $1MM, but the top bucket of giving is only $10,000?  And no mention of equity given to investors?  Come on.

3) Speaking of no equity given to investors... this is really an investment best suited for a few rich individuals who believe.  Not thousands of idiots on the internet looking for a "discounted" game (since when did Arcade games cost $30?  I always thought a majority were around $20...).

4) Given his budget, this timeline of his (before the start of 2014 season) is probably way too aggressive.

5) Who wants to play a college football game where absolutely nothing is licensed by the NCAA?  Anyone?

6) Who wants to get into the college sports video game business when the O'Bannon lawsuit is going on?  Anyone but this guy?  

Look, it's easy to hate on this guy.  He's clearly a tech dude with no real business acumen.  I don't mean to put down anyone's dreams - because anyone should be able to pursue their dreams.  The tough thing about pursuing your dream, though... is it takes a good idea, a metric FUCKTON of determination and drive, and connections.  I am not sure this guy has any.  


May 20th, 2013 at 2:49 PM ^

Kickstarters can't provide equity, by the way. That's not what they're for.


That said, this Kickstarter proudly proclaims that they have no business executives, and that fact is painfully obvious from every other part of the presentation and business strategy.


Finally, I would play a good college football game that's not licensed by the NCAA. 

Mr. Rager

May 20th, 2013 at 3:05 PM ^

You provide cash in exchange for certain things.  Not sure why one of them can't be equity.  At least not sure why it can't be for things within legal boundaries (e.g., not for sexual favors).

Kickstarter is good for certain things (e.g., HTTV).  This ain't one of them (which is your 2nd point, clearly).  

Ron Utah

May 20th, 2013 at 3:19 PM ^

Not the 'Bama one, the Obama one.  SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) regulations currently say you can't offer equity on crowd-funding sites.  This is one of the many things holding back the crowd-funding movement, which could be vastly more effective if donors (or investors) could acquire an equity stake in the project.

That said, I essentially agree: these guys need serious money from venture capital, angel investor(s), or private equity.  KS is not the right solution, and really shows how little these guys understand the business.


May 20th, 2013 at 2:30 PM ^

It says there will be licensed teams and logos, but then also says for your $10k donation you can get featured advertising on one of the 6 billboards that are present in every stadium.  So The Big House is in the game and they are putting giant billboards in it with advertising that will be visible during every game for those sponsors?  So licensed teams, but fake stadiums?  Or real stadiums that they alter to make sure sponsors can get ads visible?


May 20th, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

Just curious as to who owns the intellectual property if the games takes off. For example, say it rakes in 5 billion. Who gets it? Some of the profit go to charity? Or are we funding some dude to become wealthy? Not trying to be argumentative, just curious as to the cash windfall if successful. Also, don't forget copyright-trademark costs if using NCAA marks, someone will need to appropriately license. Sorry to be a sour puss. Good luck nonetheless.


May 20th, 2013 at 3:02 PM ^

So yeah, you are funding some dude (or more accurately, some dudes) to become wealthy.  I think a lot of kickstarters have started going that way.  Look at some of the kickstarter-backed Hollywood movies that are getting funded.  If those make millions, who is going to rake it in?  It isn't going to be the people that put in the money on kickstarter. 



May 20th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

This thread just makes me miss NFL2K that much more.  The last version of the NFL2K series was close to NFL football perfection.  To their credit though, EA has always had the best college game.


May 20th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

Love the notion of giving EA some reason to actually do more than a roster update and shit features we don't need while not addressing the terrible gameplay but $1 Million isn't enough to make a shitty Arena Bowl game, let alone anything that can compete with EA. It needs to be a major studio....OR....OR....EA can dump this universal sports game engine that only served NHL and FIFA this gen and build a football game using all the other good engines & tech they have for games like their FPS's. The games may not be great but the tech behind MOH and BF3 is amazing and a football sim wouldn't need half the effects and such as them. *Sorry, Android app so no paragraphs* Finally, after their first two shit releases this gen I emailed a real EA NCAA dev who used a fan forum for feedback. I suggested they just use the PS2/Xbox engine from last gen and spice it up a bit. Ya know, better visuals but doesn't need to be a giant leap, more accurate physics, player models and numbers, etc. Just use that engine and add all the things the last gen limited you from doing as those were mostly great games. He replied that it was, and I quote, "Impossible". Impossible as in "cannot be done due to hardware. Not a year later the PS3 started getting revamped PS2 hits with the games PS2 engines running fine on the PS3 (sure the 360 could handle the same). Some remakes/remasters were done in literal months and were amazing. F*ck your "impossible", EA. We got stuck with an entire gen of console with one NCAA/Madden that was even playable (2013...barely). An entire gen of EA trying to polish that turd engine that actually made the games LOSE features from the previous gen it was so bad, lol! They went universal sports engine and only NHL & FIFA were fun. NCAA & Madden were just atrocious until last year and even then they were bad. Worse than any PS2 outing. I played NCAA 11 more than any current gen NCAA game because EA was too lazy to make exclusive engines/use other game engines or too stupid to polish up the previous gen's engine when they realized that 3 games in the ball wouldn't rotate more than once on a 50 yard pass. The ball did that on the Genesis, ffs! haha /end rant


May 20th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

DICE develops Battlefield for EA and yes it is a great game.  But very little of that could be leveraged for a college football game.

You have to remember that for some games EA is more of a publisher than they are a developer.  EA's college football has been developed by a company in Florida named Tiburon for years and years.  I'm sure they get tech help and resources from EA, but they have nothing to do with DICE, Battlefield or any other EA games (except they probably share some resources with the Madden team). 


May 20th, 2013 at 6:08 PM ^

They produce and publish games for studios they own and do not own. On top of that they have good tech for their owned IPs. Yet, they build "one engine to rule them all" for their sports games (regardless of studio as the EA dev admitted) and decided to keep polishing a turd on the football side to the point that the next console gen is starting this year and they've yet to make a football game I'd call "good". Just don't know why they didn't tweak the old engine (not impossible as we now know) or use other tech. As a tech geek I get your point 100% but assure you that engines can be used for just about anything. Some are specialzed, sure. Yet, most any engine can technically create any atmosphere/backdrop you wish. It just depends on the fit or performance. This gen EA went with one engine for their sports games. It clearly suited some sports better than others, for instance. The Unreal Engine (and dozens more) are made for universal backdrops, be it a FPS, sports game, open world, action adventure 3rd person, RPG and in whatever size you want. Not a huge fan of it but it's universality makes it a go to for tons of companies. Then, you have tech like Havok for physics and Bink for video/animation overlay. Etc. EA just had no competition so why evolve or try or spend? I like the notion of another NCAA game but a Million won't make anything worth playing these days.


May 21st, 2013 at 11:29 AM ^

Yes, a generic engine can be used for anything. Yes, a graphics engine can DISPLAY just about anything.  But a completed, specialized engine can't just be repurposed for an enitrely different game.    You are understating the amount of specialization that a football engine has in it.  It has NOTHING in common with a first person shooter, other than both model humans moving around in them.  You are modelling two entirely different things.  It would be a gigantic waste of time to try and convert any part of, say, the Battlefield engine to Madden football.  Unless you are trying to recreate the scene in Dark Knight 3 where they destroy the football stadium. 

I'm not even sure what the point would be.  The main benefits of an engine like Battlefield (large, open, destructable environments) would be 100% wasted on a football game.  What needs to be fixed in EA's football games in mostly in the AI, not in the graphical presentation anyway. 




May 22nd, 2013 at 12:51 AM ^

(First off it's called the Frostbite Engine and BF3 uses FB2. I have first hand knowledge of it. No, not an EA or DICE employee) Anyway, point is that few engines are geared for ONE game or genre. Very few. In fact, the very engine you speak of wasn't built for a shooter as much as what it can DO for a shooter in regard to tech and other tech implimentation. FB Engine just happens to run FPS games optimally (as I stated above, any engine can technically host any backdrop but optimization and performance could suffer. I admit that and am not advocating they use FB Engine for a football game despite the engine being used for upcoming racers, RPGs and an open world game). My point is that the current EA sports game engine is universal and shit for football games as opposed to soccer and hockey. So, like last gen, give each sport it's own engine or they should have optimized the last gen engine and used it in the current as the one engine system left us with an entire gen of shit football games. Last point being that EA owns many IPs with specialized tech. They also work with studios and tech they don't own but merely publish/finance. Use other engines/tech. Thats all. Stop polishing a turd of an engine that gave us lessfeatures this gen than last and use open tech. I hate the Unreal Engine but it's universal, as is physics tech such as Havok, Bink, NL, etc. They refuse to do that because......why? No competition. You play our NCAA/Madden or get bent. So, you're wrong in your premise that FB Engine is simply made for FPS games. It's optimized for such but making an admittedly cumbersome football game from it does not mean you need explosions and shit everywhere. haha. Thats what the engine does for a shooter. Engines control everything from code to lighting systems to exterior tech and FB Engine can play with many outside techs. I wouldn't use it but it's not impossible and, frankly, could hardly be worse than what we have now.


May 20th, 2013 at 5:02 PM ^

My friend works for EA in the Madden division, and he says the only reason why NCAA is profitable for them is because they can use the Madden code base.

I don't think this guy can make a full fledged video game for $1M. Too much programming to do in too little time.


May 20th, 2013 at 6:39 PM ^

I think it is a bad assumption to assume that they will only have a million dollars. There is nothing to stop them from putting in their own money or getting more backing in the future ( thus the term kickSTARTER). Though that might end up against the claim of no executives, but if they are successful they will end up violating that claim. That said, no way I would give them money. Chances of successfully competing against EA are not good, that is why their crappy game still dominates the market.


May 20th, 2013 at 8:16 PM ^

The owner of the Kickstarter used to work for EA Sports, so I think he knows what he's doing. The Kickstarter says that the engine itself is almost done, and all thats left to do is graphics/presentation, additional game modes, and licensing. Also, Kickstarters are all or nothing, and you're allowed to go over the minimum amount of money you put, so its better to lowball the figure.

I really like their concept of the engine (which is described in their video) as well as the 4 year recruiting of a player (starting from his freshman year of high school). Hope this ends up becoming reality.