Talking with EA Sports UFC Creative Director Brian Hayes in partnership with sister site GameRevolution, Sherdog.com Managing Editor Mike Fridley got the lowdown on the submission mechanics of the developer’s debut UFC effort, which hits shelves this spring.
Mike Fridley: The most frustrating element of each and every MMA game that precedes EA Sports’ UFC title is a submission system that feels unrealistic and cumbersome. Will EA Sports UFC revolutionize the ground game and if so, what specific innovations should hardcore fans and grapplers get excited for?
Brian Hayes, EA Sports UFC Creative Director: Here’s the thing, you can roll in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with your eyes closed. In fact, a lot of times, in various positions and situations, you might only be able to actually see your opponent’s leg, or their butt. Maybe your face is actually pressed into the mats. Who knows? A great deal of the ground game in real life is about feeling your opponent’s weight, feeling where their center of gravity is, feeling their wrists in your hands, etc.
In a video game, realistically, we are only capable of giving the user visual information. So, ask a grappler how well they think they would do if they lacked all sensation in their body below the chin. It’s really easy to say, “let’s not have a submission mini-game.” It’s a lot more complicated when you have to actually give users the ability to perform submissions in a video game.
That being said, we are doing some new things and some different things than fans have seen in the past. Our submission system involves an onscreen mini-game. It’s based on two core principles:
One, the person you’re trying to submit is rarely interested in letting you make progress towards your goal of making them tap. In real jiu-jitsu they’re looking to move in a way that will alleviate pressure and make it possible to escape. In our game, they have the ability to try and escape by pushing the right stick up, down, left or right. You’ll be able to see where they are trying to escape and how close they are to escaping. You can push your right stick in the same direction to lock them down, but they can instantly move in another direction.
Two, there’s an element of timing to sinking a submission in deeper. You have to be ready to react when the opening presents itself. Whether it’s sliding a forearm under your opponent’s chin, or tucking your foot behind your knee in a triangle. This comes in the form of an onscreen prompt to flick your left stick up, down, left or right. Every submission has multiple moves that must be executed before it’s locked in 100% and each time you advance a move, the defender goes back to square one trying to escape.
There is a lot of different stuff that comes out of this system and it really makes for a clear difference between fighters with disparate submission abilities, but this answer has already gotten really long. I figured this was [Sherdog.com’s audience] though and went deep [with submission game details].
Check out the full interview with Hayes from Sherdog.com and GameRevolution following the jump below.
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