What is this game?

Madden NFL 18 is a sports simulation game where you can assemble your favorite players in American Football into your own dream team, or select a real world team and compete to win the Superbowl.

This is Madden like you’ve never seen it. Powered by the Frostbite engine, Madden NFL 18 introduces Longshot, a football redemption story you can play. Your decisions lead forgotten prospect, Devin Wade, on the pursuit to fulfill his NFL dream in the first ever Madden story mode.

What did I contribute?

When I first joined the team there was a definite lack of collaboration, it was just heads down and get your work done.  I spent a great deal of time bringing the team together and increasing communication in order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the team.  This had a very positive impact on morale at a time when it was needed.  We grew into a team that could trust each other and help each other achieve our goals.

With extremely limited resources and non-existent tools I was able to rework the tutorial screens for the game and improve understanding of the game over what was in place previously.  This was a very large effort with every screen in the flow printed and taped to the wall, filling an entire hallway in the building.  This “UI Tunnel” was where I posted up many of the things I was working on for the whole team to see and provide feedback on.

While on the team I designed and implemented the MUT (Madden Ultimate Team) Level system, and subsequently the reward schedule for what players receive when they reach each rank/level.

This effort led to the creation of the Level Up Packs, which were reward packs players would receive as they progress in the game.  Each pack was either meant to show players something new, or give them something to encourage them to try out a new tactic or new part of the game.  For non-spenders this system was designed so that players would be receiving upgrades each time they received one of these and encourage them to keep progressing through the game.  We also used this system to introduce one of the more valuable parts of the game, upgrade shards for master players.

I spent an exhaustive amount of time doing research and reviewing the UX flow and structure of the menu systems in the game.  I documented various friction points, created endless mocks and ways of organizing and navigating, and put these in front of people both inside and outside the studio to get data on what would work the best for our players.  Based on this work I documented and presented what I had concluded was the best way to structure and present things to strike an optimal balance between usability and navigation speed.  Ultimately not enough resources were available to execute on this vision, but the foundation was laid for future games to strive towards.

I created and tested various content for the launch of the game, including various solo challenges and all the XP earn amounts throughout the game that would contribute towards MUT Level.

Other Info

Publisher:   Electronic Arts
EA Tiburon
PS4/Xbox One
Model:   Traditional purchase, live service
Modes:   PvE, PvP, Auction, Story
Team Size:   ~ 350
Dev Cycle:   ~ 1 year

Released:   2017