NHL 15 is hitting next generation consoles this fall. Early screenshots indicate the game will be beautiful. Examiner's preview goes into detail about how the game looked and played. This author was able to get a quick interview with the producer behind the series, Sean Ramjagsingh. He describes some of the things to expect with the physics engine, the new Vision A.I., and the overall look and presentation of NHL 15.
1. With 12 player collision physics on the next generation version of NHL 15, what types of things will the A.I. be doing?
From the A.I. perspective, We're working with a new A.I. system called Vision A.i. where they are really looking 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds ahead. On the multiplayer, as you can see (in reference to the gameplay at the EA booth) there's a lot of incidental contact which is causing guys to fall over and we are working on the A.I. logic so those things won't happen and we'll also tighten the physics. But the A.I. every year is a huge focus for us both offensive and defensively.
2. What details can we expect on the next generation version in comparison to the current generation?
In terms of the visuals itself, starting with the player models, we actually stripped the player models down almost like the Michelin Man. This year we are modeling the full body of the player from top to bottom, modeling the equipment atop the body and using some technology from the fashion industry. So now when the players move, you'll see it in respect to the equipment underneath it and the fluid motion that comes with it.
Using some of the world class visuals from the UFC game, we are bringing it over to NHL 15 as well. Player likeness is a focus for us along with the facial animations giving players emotions. And also with the visuals, clearly starting with the ice, there is real-time dynamic carving in the ice so wherever the offense and defense is not playing, it will remain crystal-clear. If guys fall over, they will clear the ice afterwards.
The arenas are authentic for the first time. The crowd will have over 9000 new members with the entire lower bowl being unique. You will see home and away "super fan" guys and also people taking selfies along with vendors, so really that is the visual overhaul for us.
3. What will the current generation version offer in comparison to last year?
A lot of details on generation 3 things will be announced over the next few months but there should be some crossover there. The NBC presentation is TBD.
4. The NHL on NBC presentation upgrade is a long needed upgrade. What aspects can we expect in NHL 15 to help replicate the television broadcast experience?
Literally, we spent a lot of time studying NBC and studying their camera cuts getting directors and camera guys who actually worked on the broadcast to help replicate the shots that they use so they can properly represent the way they portray the game.
5. Will we ever see a version for Vita? We need portable hockey.
You are the second person today who asked me. We will see but no current plans.