• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

August 17 Q&A with HB - Answers

HB_AJ

Academy Player
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
140
Country Flag

Canada

Club or Nation

England

Hi guys,

Thanks for the questions. Apologies if we didn't get to answer all of your specific queries. Thanks go to Glen, Matt and Nick for contributing some of these as well.


TVH11 - Do u have any plans in place to update your "shipped squads" to final 30 man squads? (have a feeling this has already been answered)

The rosters we have were our proposed 30 from May when we had to lock content for the game. We were able to make a few last minute changes, but in order to hit a release date of August 26th, we had to submit the game to Microsoft and Sony in June. The notion that we can continue to make changes to a console game within such a short period of release is a misconception. After we lock the game, we send it to QA for final testing, then it goes to MS and Sony into a queue with all of the other games that need to be tested and approved by them. Once it's approved there (a game's achievements magically appear online around this time), it goes into the queue for manufacturing (the duration of this depends on how many other games are coming out at the same time - we were lucky for RWC as the late summer period has been relatively quiet for new releases) and then gets distributed to territories all over the world who then have to get the game on the store shelves for you to be able to buy it. So if you work out the timeline, you'll see it doesn't happen immediately when we stop working on the game and it certainly doesn't happen overnight.

We don’t support DLC for updating the squads as this is a very time consuming feature to develop for functionality that is almost as easily replicated by allowing you to edit the side to update with players who aren't in the default rosters, but who will be on the plane.

How did you and your team decide which player likenesses were more important to "get right".

A lot is driven by our ability to source reference materials for each player.


TRF C A Iversen - I'm sure you guys were aware of quite a demand, but has the level of demand for customisable features been a surprise to HB? If so, will this impact on any future decisions should there be follow-up ***les?

The most important thing for us to get in to the game this year in terms of editing was the ability to edit player attributes. We haven’t been able to do that in any of our previous games. As for whether we expand on this area for future iterations it’s something we will definitely be considering.


raziel-eire - What follow-up support can we expect after the games release? Will bug fixes, rule amendments, gameplay improvements be made available as updates?

We are in the process of submitting a patch to 1st party at both Microsoft and Sony as we speak. We have been reading some of the comments on the forums and are taking on board as much feedback as we can. We hope to have this patch approved ASAP. We will then evaluate issues after release to see whether there is anything else that requires our attention.


hobsonm - How long can we set the length of halves to?

Halves can be set to 5, 10 and 20 minute halves

From what I understand, the official kits will be released as DLC. How long after the release of the game will this occur?

The official kits all come on the disc and are fully accessible upon entering a one-time code during your first boot of the game, or from anytime from the Main Menu. The code will be viewable from the Main Menu if you are connected to Xbox Live or PSN as well as from the Rugby World Cup 2011 game website: www.rwc2011game.com


David Smith - Can you play as more than 1 team in the RWC 11 mode?

Yes, you can have up to as many as 20 human controlled teams playing in the tournament mode. And you can play any match with a max of 4 controllers, which means any combination of 4 player co-op, 2 vs 2, 3 vs 1, 2 vs 1, and so on.


psychic duck - Are the player names for unlicensed teams which neither the RWC game or Jonah Lomu challenge have such as Georgia, Samoa and Fiji real, half real (i.e. S.Masupua or R.Buacaucauni) or totally fictional?

All unlicensed teams in Rugby World Cup 2011 have fictional player names which are based off of names common to that team’s country. For example, the Georgian team player names were selected based off of our research of names which were somewhat common in Georgia. During this process we also must make sure we are not utilizing any names which resemble any real life players (both current and past) which we do not have a license for.


jh95leinster - Thanks for doing this. If the team ratings are based on the world rankings, will their be updates changing the rankings? Ireland are playing England the day after the game is released and whoever wins will probably end up ranked higher. So, if Ireland were ranked 5th and therefore rated worse than England in the game when it's released but then beat England the next day moving them up to 4th would there be an update in the week that changed their respective ratings?

Our Rosters were locked back in late June for Rugby World Cup 2011. There are currently no plans to update the rosters and in turn the rankings which are based on the player’s ratings themselves. Though you are free to adjust player attributes in the player editor as you see fit for offline play, which in-turn also re-adjusts the overall team ratings dynamically.


Scotsman - Do HB intent to do more motion capturing for the next game so it doesn’t look so similar to its predecessors?

Definitely something we will be looking at for further Rugby ***les. There are new animations within our game this year. The challenge of getting this game playing the way it does on the new technology was not inconsiderable, so we actually take all of the "it's like 08" as a compliment actually.

What would the priorities likely to be for the next game? i.e more teams, more tournaments/licenses, improved ruck play, new set plays etc

Once the dust settles on Rugby World Cup we will be looking ahead to the future of Rugby. New Gameplay, Modes, Presentation and Licenses are all very important in the long term as part of anything new that we may release. We have a long list of things we want to do in future rugby games but there is nothing decided at this point.


Butterytingz - In the demo, after a try the ball is set to take the conversion kick and there is no option to move to ball closer or further from the try line. Will we be able to move the ball in the full game? My main reason for asking this because the achievement "Kick with the Wind" is unlocked by "Score a penalty goal or conversion from 55+ metres" so I just thought it would be fun to score under the posts and attempt the conversion from 55m out.

Yes, on Medium and Hard difficulty settings you are able to place the ball for the conversion. On Easy difficulty it is pre-set.


Xander Is Over - How likely is this game to get a sequel and if it does will it be yearly/every two years or will it be tied into the next world cup in 2015?

Future iterations of the game depend on the success of Rugby World Cup 2011. A couple of things that I think folks have slightly lost sight of recently:


- This is a game that has been developed and funded independently by HB. We have not had a publisher funding either the development or licensing for this game. This is unprecedented for a sports game with a license of this magnitude.

- We have very clear data on what Rugby games sell in World Cup years and in non-World cup years. While there is a very passionate core audience of Rugby gamers who are fans of the Club game, the commercial success of a ***le depends on engaging with this constituency as well as the wider more casual gamers who engage with Rugby during a world cup year. We've seen the data on our previous games built on the FIFA Engine, with the considerable distribution clout of EA as well as EA's brand and marketing. Rugby's not a game that supports an annual console release at retail.

- As much as you guys would love to see huge budgets being spent on making the ultimate Rugby game (believe me so would I), we won't greenlight a game that has no realistic chance of recouping the development costs, and publishers have a much higher threshold than we do and won't pick up a ***le that has no chance of delivering a significant profit. That's the reality of the games industry.

- That being said, we want to continue to deliver better and better Rugby gameplay experiences to you in the coming years. We don't want to wait another 4 years for the next rugby ***le. What this means is that we have to be more clever and innovative with how we do this. More news on this soon.


joeyboy07 - Are the ball physics from the demo being tweaked?

No.


lionmaull - For the rucking tactics, what is the difference between balanced and forward and first to ball, I know what they mean and seen the explanation on the other thread, But in what scenario is either forward rucking or first to ball rucking the better choice than balanced rucking. Wouldn't balance rucking tactic make the best choice for you, would seem kind of pointless to even use forward or first to ball rucking tactic, if it was that way. In other words what is the risk in using balance over the other two rucking tactics?

Balanced is the default choice as we don’t expect that everyone playing our game will want to use this sort of advanced tactics option. Nearest man is best suited to swinging the ball wide so you can get players out wide into the ruck quicker but the risk is that the players going into the ruck may not be as skilled at rucking but the reward is that you will get players in there quicker. Forward play is best suited for playing close to the ruck, particularly when you are up against it when playing as a lower ranked nation against one of the better teams. Generally the forwards are always going to be the best rucking players in your side so if you wish to play a tight game then the forward strategy will work best. I think you will find particularly on the harder difficulties that the other 2 strategies will become more useful, but we also predict some people won’t be concerned with adjusting strategy in which case Balanced is a good middle ground for everyone.


cimbomjubi82 - Will there be any classic teams/players/kits available in the game, or via later DLC?
Will there be any extra modes available at a later date via DLC? i.e online multiplayer modes.


There is no DLC planned for Rugby World Cup 2011


jack6161 - Does the AI play a kicking game? Unlike for example Rugby 08 where you kick it to them, and they run back at you.

Yes you certainly will see teams utilizing their kicking abilities to gain ground and put the pressure on you in your end, especially on the harder difficulties, and when playing against the top nations with good tactical kickers.


Will it be possible to create your own set plays? (would be amazing to be able to )


Unfortunately no, it wasn’t in the plan for this ***le.


esoj - Is there any chance of a wii version ever coming out?

There have never been plans for a wii version. It's not a big enough market for us and even the biggest selling franchises are starting to see sales drop off on the Wii.


ACT1NUP -Does the AI take into account the score at all when you play them? In other words do they take drop goals/penalties even when 20+ points down.

The AI decision making takes into account such factors as their position on the pitch, the time on the clock and the score in the match and acts accordingly based on the scenario. For example, if the clock is at 78:00 and the AI is down by 6, they will generally play for the try in an attempt to win back the match. This decision making especially towards the end of matches, when the CPU team is down on points, has also been further enhanced in the upcoming patch.


Rugbybrain - Will players get noticeably tired during game play or can you just keep in the sprint button during the whole game?

There is a fatigue system in the game which works similar to other sports ***les. Each player has a sprint bar which drains while the player is sprinting (holding RT/R2). Once the bar is drained they can no longer sprint. Also the more a player sprints or gets involved at breakdowns throughout a match, the quicker that player will get tired and lose energy, this causes the player’s capacity for sprinting to decrease more and more as you get further into the match.


Thanks again for your questions.


Also, wanted to update folks in South Africa, that I'm still awaiting word on the timing of the demo being available in your territory. I suspect many have already found workarounds to the specific issue we were having. Will update when we know more.

We're all very excited about the launch of the game next week and really do appreciate all of the feedback we get on the game and look forward to hearing more from you over the coming months.
 

TRF_Olyy

English Arrogance
Staff member
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
100,006,567
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Sale

We don’t support DLC for updating the squads as this is a very time consuming feature to develop for functionality that is almost as easily replicated by allowing you to edit the side to update with players who aren't in the default rosters, but who will be on the plane.
Ah, that's a shame :(
 

Angry Panda

Academy Player
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
46
Country Flag

UK

Club or Nation

New Zealand

Ah, that's a shame :(

Biggest Understatement of the Year. Not even to update squads ... just cancelled my pre-order, I gave them the benefit of the doubt but now it's blatantly clear this is just a cheap, lazy cash in on the world cup. I'm so dissapointed.
 

Scotsman

Academy Player
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
81
Thanks for the answers, particularly feedback about future ***les - I think we all need to be more realistic. A developer without the financial support of a publisher is severly limited on what can and can't be done, so I don't recon we can expect yearly ***les. If returns are so much higher in World cup year i can't really see how HB are going to be able to afford to release a game any less often that every four years - looking forward to hearing more about their strategy to overcome this. God if only rugby was as popular as football!
 

Scotsman

Academy Player
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
81
Biggest Understatement of the Year. Not even to update squads ... just cancelled my pre-order, I gave them the benefit of the doubt but now it's blatantly clear this is just a cheap, lazy cash in on the world cup. I'm so dissapointed.

cheap, lazy, cash in? Did you not read the answers to the questions? They are a developer and with limited budgets are quite rightly using the world cup to boost sales - without it, there's no game. Its not cheap and lazy, its their only option right now.
 

HB_AJ

Academy Player
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
140
Country Flag

Canada

Club or Nation

England

Biggest Understatement of the Year. Not even to update squads ... just cancelled my pre-order, I gave them the benefit of the doubt but now it's blatantly clear this is just a cheap, lazy cash in on the world cup. I'm so dissapointed.

I don't remember if it's been said here before but Rugby 08 was actually cancelled in development because there wasn't confidence in the size of the rugby gaming market to support another game. HB actually fought to keep the game alive, continued to develop it for a time on our own coin, and in the end managed to develop a game that was very well received.

This year, HB took the very considerable risk of developing another Rugby ***le. An enormous amount of passion and dedication had gone into this game, against significant odds, in order to deliver an experience that is already being played and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands around the world.

I can assure you it's been neither cheap nor lazy. Thanks for the feedback.
 
Last edited:

Angry Panda

Academy Player
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
46
Country Flag

UK

Club or Nation

New Zealand

cheap, lazy, cash in? Did you not read the answers to the questions? They are a developer and with limited budgets are quite rightly using the world cup to boost sales - without it, there's no game. Its not cheap and lazy, its their only option right now.

I understand the economics of this and I appreciate their honesty ... I'm just gutted that there won't even have squad updates, which to me seems pretty basic.

I don't remember if it's been said here before but Rugby 08 was actually cancelled in development because there wasn't confidence in the size of the rugby gaming market to support another game. HB actually fought to keep the game alive, continued to develop it on our own coin, and in the end managed to develop a game that was very well received.

This year, HB took the very considerable risk of developing another Rugby ***le. An enormous amount of passion and dedication had gone into this game, against significant odds, in order to deliver an experience that is already being played and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands around the world.

I can assure you it's been neither cheap nor lazy. Thanks for the feedback.

Again I appreciate the honesty, you guys have always been open about the percieved limitiations of the game.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

HB_AJ

Academy Player
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
140
Country Flag

Canada

Club or Nation

England

I understand the economics of this and I appreciate their honesty ... I'm just gutted that there won't even have squad updates, which to me seems pretty basic.

To the end user, DLC functionality seems basic. Creating DLC functionality for a game is not basic.
 

Angry Panda

Academy Player
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
46
Country Flag

UK

Club or Nation

New Zealand

To the end user, DLC functionality seems basic. Creating DLC functionality for a game is not basic.

Your right, I won't even begin to pretend I know whats involved with this. Apologies for the rant.
 

Thingimubob

First XV
Joined
Jun 2, 2007
Messages
2,854
Country Flag

Wales

Club or Nation

Cardiff

I understand the economics of this and I appreciate their honesty ... I'm just gutted that there won't even have squad updates, which to me seems pretty basic.

You getting Rugby Challenge? If so, I haven't seen that they're planning on online squad updates (don;t quote me on that though), and hell, the club team squads are a year out of date (same major editing gonna be needed for the Ospreys on my game...) , so you might as well cancel any pre-order you may have for that, as it's obviously oh so important to you. The editing options makes up for the lack of squad updates, and I know its gonna take me a while before I'm happy with the squads of both games, but im happy the customisation is there.
 

Angry Panda

Academy Player
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
46
Country Flag

UK

Club or Nation

New Zealand

You getting Rugby Challenge? If so, I haven't seen that they're planning on online squad updates (don;t quote me on that though), and hell, the club team squads are a year out of date (same major editing gonna be needed for the Ospreys on my game...) , so you might as well cancel any pre-order you may have for that, as it's obviously oh so important to you. The editing options makes up for the lack of squad updates, and I know its gonna take me a while before I'm happy with the squads of both games, but im happy the customisation is there.

I agree with you with the fact that they've added the player editor feature. My dissapointment stems from the fact that this is a tournament game, and I exepected it to be as authentic as possible. I guess I let my expectations get the better of me. I hope this game is a commercial success so that they can put out a game with a bigger budget. Kudos to them for taking a risk and fighting for Rugby gamers.
 

DuncTheDoodle

First XV
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
1,664
Country Flag

Wales

Club or Nation

Ospreys

So the most sucessful home system in the current market isn't a big enough market? What? I won a PS3 and shall be getting the game anyway, but it just seems an odd reason to distance yourself from the Wii.

Besides that, thank you for the infomation once more, shame about the squad updates, but considering you'd have 4 or 5 days to get most of them done, dusted and out the door for launch, I'm not suprised. By the time everything's finished to a decent standard and approved, the World Cup'll be over, and people won't want to play with an England squad minus Care, or Wales without Matthew Rees, etc.
 

HB_AJ

Academy Player
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
140
Country Flag

Canada

Club or Nation

England

So the most sucessful home system in the current market isn't a big enough market? What? I won a PS3 and shall be getting the game anyway, but it just seems an odd reason to distance yourself from the Wii.

Besides that, thank you for the infomation once more, shame about the squad updates, but considering you'd have 4 or 5 days to get most of them done, dusted and out the door for launch, I'm not suprised. By the time everything's finished to a decent standard and approved, the World Cup'll be over, and people won't want to play with an England squad minus Care, or Wales without Matthew Rees, etc.

Lots of Wii's in the wild. Not so many people purchasing Wii software... let alone sports games.

The work involve in creating DLC is not in creating the updated squad. It's in creating and testing the functionality to do this. It was on the list, but there were higher priorities.
 

jovialjonny

Academy Player
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
102
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Munster

I don't remember if it's been said here before but Rugby 08 was actually cancelled in development because there wasn't confidence in the size of the rugby gaming market to support another game. HB actually fought to keep the game alive, continued to develop it for a time on our own coin, and in the end managed to develop a game that was very well received.

This year, HB took the very considerable risk of developing another Rugby ***le. An enormous amount of passion and dedication had gone into this game, against significant odds, in order to deliver an experience that is already being played and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands around the world.

I can assure you it's been neither cheap nor lazy. Thanks for the feedback.

Good stuff, it wont quieten them but this is what those with unrealistic expectations need to appreciate.

Its annoying to me on the outside looking in that people are so aggressive about HB when you guys until this year were the only ones fighting to build a rugby gaming franchise. I understand the games industry and the economic challenge of the smaller market of rugby gamers veruss other sports and that you guys are doing your best with the means available.
I'm massively appreciative to both yourselves and sidhe for giving rugby fans some ps3 rugby at last.

Just curious AJ, how is the team feeling about the mixed response from rugby fans to the RWC game thus far?

There is certainly positivity out there, and while some of the negativity is miles over the top but there is some level headed feedback in amongst it. Is the team confident that perceptions will improve when people get hands on with the harder difficulties and start playing each other online?

It strikes me that multiplayer online is where this game will really find its fanbase, playing AI only ever goes so far, I cant wait to hammer people with Ireland online!
 

goodbuttoi

Academy Player
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
7
Hi AJ, could you explain the editing? Can you edit player names? can players be moved between teams? Can you edit player likeness/height/weight? Thanks for all the hard work down the years!
 

Dougydeluxe

Academy Player
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
408
Country Flag

Canada

Club or Nation

Scotland

What is the difference between a "patch" and "DLC"... little lost on that one.
 

TRF_Cymro

Cymro The White
TRF Legend
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
13,973
Country Flag

Wales

Club or Nation

Barbarians

What is the difference between a "patch" and "DLC"... little lost on that one.

Patch = Corrects issues with the game
DLC aka Downloadable Content = Adding additional features to the game.

Hi AJ, could you explain the editing? Can you edit player names? can players be moved between teams? Can you edit player likeness/height/weight? Thanks for all the hard work down the years!

This has been covered. I will once again post what can be edited ...

Bio

First Name
Last Name
Primary Position
Secondary Position
Alternate Position
Height
Weight
Preferred Foot



Attributes

Attack
Defense
Speed
Acceleration
Agility
Handling
Passing
Kicking
Kicking Power
Goal Kicking
Tackling
Strength
Rucking
Scrummaging
Hooking
Lineouts
Discipline
Aggression
Stamina
Consistency
Temperament
Creativity
Bravery



Special Skills

Command
Passer
Playmaker
Scoring
Goal Kicker
Tactical Kicking
Crash Ball
Tackle Breaker
Ball Winner
Defensive Organizer
Scrummager
Jumper
 

cimbomjubi82

Academy Player
Joined
Jun 4, 2011
Messages
125
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

England

@ HB_AJ:

To me, Rugby 08 (on PC) was a good game which we here at TRF have been modding now for some years. Though, as the years have gone on, competitions change and so does the game, but the actual gameplay is still solid. Seeing as we can edit all the graphics etc, i formally ask if it would be possible (assuming that RWC 11 doesn't warrant a sequel in the worst case scenario) to help us at the games forum tweak the game so it can be updated better from your knowledge of the games development. We would need some help to update some animations (i don't know if anything could be ported over from the new game) and maybe something so we can adjust the fixtures and teams in a competition, so we can add Super 15, and 4 nations etc. Help with coding really that is otherwise in accessible to us to edit.

I know it sounds a bit crazy, but we do love this game, as as we are long standing fans of HB's rugby series i feel it'd be a good way to give us something for the future, if no other HB game is on the horizon.
 
Top