TRF and HB Studios - Rugby 2012 update #1

Discussion in 'Rugby World Cup 2011 Game' started by TRF_Saints, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

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    As promised, TRF is the exclusive place for all updates surrounding HB Studios' up and coming game, Rugby 2012. I put a series of questions to the HB guys and they have replied in record time and provided us with some fascinating answers that will build speculation and debunk some myths!



    Many thanks to Glen and Alastair for taking the time out to answer these questions.






    Dan: So, on behalf of the rugby community, thank you for announcing a new rugby game! You must be excited about the new project?

    Glen Gavin [Producer]: You’re Welcome J. Rugby has always been a big part of HB Studios and has allowed us to branch out and work on a variety of games in the past few years since Rugby 2008. For myself this will be the first time I have worked on a Rugby title since Rugby 2006 so I am very excited to be back working on it again.

    Alastair Jarvis [Studio Head]: I think it’s safe to say we are all thrilled to be working on Rugby. It hardly seems like 4 years have passed since we were in pre-production on Rugby 08, but looking around the studio, a lot has changed since then. As Glen says, we’ve been working on a wide variety of titles, all the while looking forward to the right moment to start the development of a new Rugby game.




    Dan: A lot of people think the announcement of Rugby 2012 has come out of the blue but if course, it won’t have done so at your end. Obviously you are in the early stages of development at the moment. What size a team do you have working on the game?

    AJ: We’ve been looking forward to moving Rugby onto the PS3 and Xbox 360 for years now. Between Rugby 2004 and Rugby 08, we learned a lot about the Rugby games market. If I asked you which of our Rugby titles sold the best and which sold the least, I bet you’d be surprised at the answer. It’s clear that the focus of the world is on Rugby during a World Cup year and consequently it makes sense to release in 2011.

    GG: I am the Producer on the project, and Matt Lane is Game Designer. You will see us both on these forums from time to time.




    Dan: There have been some automatic assumptions on The Rugby Forum and on various gaming websites that EA Sports are going to be your publishers and have heavy involvement in the making of Rugby 2012. Are you in a position where you can confirm or deny this?

    AJ: Yeah, folks have been quick to make assumptions – I’ve even seen one report of a Project Natal Haka simulator, though to be fair the article did come out on April 1<sup>st</sup>. Rugby 2012 is being developed independently by HB Studios and, though we obviously continue to work with EA on a number of projects and have great relationships with many of the talented folks at EA Sports, EA aren’t funding the development of this game – which is a departure from how the game’s been made in past years.



    Dan: If that isn’t the case, are you able to tell us yet who the publisher is going to be? If not, are you close to being able to make an announcement?

    AJ: Once we have announcements in this area, TRF will be the place to read about and discuss them.





    Dan: A big point of discussion amongst the community so far is that of licensing. Can you give us further information about any licensing that you are pursuing?

    AJ: What I will say is that this is another area which is different this time out. In the past, EA have handled all of the licensing for our Rugby games, but this year HB are dealing with this aspect of the game. It’s an aspect of the process that I’ll look forward to talking about in the future, but it’s not something I’ll get specific about just yet.




    Dan: The ideas, reasonable or otherwise, have been flowing on the forum in the past week! Have you seen anything yet that has caught your eye and is something you’re considering? What sort of criteria, if any, do you have when selecting an idea from the community?

    AJ: There’s been much discussion about the size of budgets etc. It’s important for folks to know that the fact that FIFA outsells Rugby by something like 20-1 has a real impact on what we do relative to the FIFA team. This isn’t to say that we can’t make a great Rugby title for the PS3 and 360, it just means we have to be clever about how we prioritize the features we put in the plan. Make no mistake, the feature wishlist at HB is considerably larger than what you’d compile from the forum – and I think you’d be happy to know how much the two lists would have in common – but the Pre-Production phase of the project is where the team will prioritize that wishlist and whittle it down to a feature set that can be delivered within the timescale available to us with the team that is afforded by the production budget. This year, we want see that the voice of the community is included in this process.

    GG: Often the simplest suggestions can have the biggest pay-off. So perhaps that is what we look for the most, small suggestions for how to improve the game with a big pay-off.

    AJ: It’s inevitable that some of the ideas are going to seem simple enough, but when given the scrutiny they need to go from idea to implementation within the game, they most often fall down along the following lines:

    a.) They aren’t fun/accessible game mechanics.


    b.) They’re are prohibitively expensive to implement from a feature size, a technical or a licensing perspective.

    c.) They are logically flawed or have consequences in other parts of the game.
    Clearly it’s difficult for forum members to anticipate whether their ideas will run up against these problems, but there have been posts that have made very constructive contributions. I remember one post from a couple of years back that offered a very detailed and thoughtful suggestion on how a revised design of the breakdown could look. It was an excellent post and was definitely looked at and considered here as we were prototyping changes to this area of the game during pre-production of Rugby 08.




    Dan: TRF is well known throughout the gaming world for the selection of modifications for previous games. Would HB consider using the technical expertise in place on TRF as part of the Rugby 2012 project? Can the community do anything to help in general on a technical basis?

    AJ: We’re always impressed by the talent in the modding community and we value their input as well. Clearly a pressing question for a large number of Rugby Forum members is whether we’re planning a PC version of the game. We frankly haven’t decided yet. Our focus will be on the 360 and PS3 versions as we sell far more versions of our games for consoles than we do for PC. Piracy is definitely a concern for us and features heavily in our discussions about the PC version – there is nothing more dispiriting as game developers than dedicating so much blood sweat and tears to a project, only to see torrents showing up within 24 hours of the game’s release.

    GG: Perhaps if there are some stats junkies out there we might come calling in the future so that we can ensure that the players in our database are as accurate as possible. There are a lot of quality players out there and we want to make sure we reflect that.

    AJ: Yeah, there are definitely other sports games who do a great job of including their communities to ensure the player databases are as accurate as possible, and in fact have entire departments devoted to coordinating this effort. While we can’t devote a department to this, there’s definitely a perspective that comes from following your club day in and day out in your corner of the globe that we’d love to see represented in our game.





    Dan: Do you have any particular messages or requests to ask of the community at this time?

    GG: Keep supporting our game, we have wanted to communicate with you guys for a long time now and we are glad to finally have the chance to do so. Keep the feature ideas coming. We will definitely try to incorporate as much as we can.

    AJ: I’m really pleased we’re associated with The Rugby Forum this year – you guys are part of what makes this such great experience for us – to see honest feedback from the people who are passionate about our games. I think you’d be surprised and pleased by how closely the threads have been followed over the years. Personally, I’m still waiting for a contender from the Northern Hemisphere to take on Gay-Guy so that a World Champion can be crowned.




    Again, many thanks to HB for taking the time to answer my questions, asked on behalf of you, the rugby community.
     
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  3. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    Great work Dan!!!
     
  4. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Two thumbs up!
     
  5. SecondRow04

    SecondRow04 Member

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    Excellent work!
     
  6. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

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    It's only as good as HB make it, they provided me with some fantastic and honest answers, that's the most important part of ANY Q and A.
     
  7. Lochsta22

    Lochsta22 Senior Member

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    I'm very impressed at how involved they seem to be with the community. Good job guys!
     
  8. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

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    I think one of the most interesting points is that they have been watching TRF and the modding community for a long time. HB and EA used to get a lot of stick for never responding to e-mails. HB definitely showed an interest in us and now they're striking out on their own without EA, they are fully involved with us and we are fully involved with them.
     
  9. Lochsta22

    Lochsta22 Senior Member

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    I can't wait till they start releasing screen shots, or better yet when it comes out :)
     
  10. irishguy

    irishguy Member

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    GOOD JOB! EA not involved...... good or bad?
     
  11. TRF C A Iversen

    TRF C A Iversen Rugby Gaming Nut

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    I think it's important that we recognise that EA still have a wonderful association with HB Studios and this project just happens to be something which EA don't really see in amongst their future release candidates and have therefore not funded the development this time. We are not going to go down the road of giving EA grief on the forum over this. :)

    I was very pleased to see that there was some verification of what I have said regarding piracy. Titles with smaller markets like Rugby need heavy sales support. We basically offer HB more of an opportunity to make another Rugby game with every copy we buy. Simple as that. Also, something to remember, is that the games have generally gotten better steadily since their involvement, so there is solid indication that this is not a soulless, money driven exercise and we can be thankful for that.

    Other interesting points were acknowledgement that the breakdown (the heart of rugby gaming mechanics) is being looked at. Not much more we can say other than that's incredibly good news.

    Finally, the issue of budget was addressed and I think that clearly states that HB want to make a brilliant game and would love to put in literally everything. The realistic side of things is that simple practical gameplay suggestions are where we are likely to be offering the most helpful idea or two. There simply isn't likely to be the Madden and Fifa type money, men and hours to include everything. Maybe a really revamped and well worked, create your own team, World League will be next?

    We shall see, but won't it be great to hear the occasional piece of news like this?

    I forgot to say, thanks Glen and Alastair, much appreciated. :)
     
  12. candybum

    candybum Member

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    Gayguy got a mention!?! Funny stuff
     
  13. brmcgrat

    brmcgrat Junior Member

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    I'm not worried about licences, rosters, stats etc. The Pro Evo franchise just put in a really good edit mode to allow players to update the games themselves. An edit mode would be even more vital for this game as we'll probably have to wait years for the next installment and will need to keep the rosters etc. updated oursleves.

    What really concerns me is the actual game mechanics, as this what makes the game fun to play, not licences. The AI should attack and defend realistically and force the player to play realistically. For example playing Munster in Thomond Park in a knockout cup on hard mode, should be bloody hard. It should not result in the player winning 49-0, with 7 tries from Brian O'Driscoll.

    Rant over. It's good to see that HB are keen to listen to what the fans think though.
     
  14. theo

    theo Junior Member

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    Agreed on the licenses. Would we rather have HB put their resources (ie... money) into putting the best game out or dumping it into paying for the licenses?

    I guess it all depends on what they can get their hands on and at what price. I'd be just as happy with a license free game that has customizable teams and players if it meant we got the best gameplay possible and extra modes of play (like franchise, 7's, World League, etc.). Some of my favorite sports titles of All-Time didn't have licenses.

    Licensed rights are really nice, but not the end all be all.

    Roster updates are easy to come as online play, through the PS3 & XBox, has developed. If I want the opening day rosters for MLB 2010, they are readily available for a quick download. The same can be done with Rugby 2012.

    If it hasn't already been mentioned, a franchise mode would be great. If we're only going to get a title every four years, then we need game modes that will keep us driven. Online leagues will help towards that, but a great single player franchise mode will be neccessary. Games like NCAA Football or some of the baseball titles kept me playing for the mere purpose of trying to one-up the stats and records I set the season before.
     
  15. Intercept King JDV

    Intercept King JDV Senior Member

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    Fantastic work Dan, thank you!Glad to see how positive things are going at the moment between TRF and HB.And thank you HB for beginning to get involved with the Rugby community.

    I will be bitterly disappointed if they don't make a PC version!I can understand that they are worried about the piracy factor, but gheez! I've been buying all the Rugby games from Rugby 2001 to Rugby 08 and I'm a die-hard PC gamer, so what about me?

    It's a damn shame that all the sport games I love are being removed from the PC platform, 1st Tiger Woods Golf, then International Cricket 2010 and now they want to do the same with the sport game I love the most, RUGBY, I won't survive it!:(

    Like C A Iversen said in one of his other post that they could maybe bring out the PC version after the PS3 and XBOX have sold well, I'm all for that!Think it's the best way to go.But please I beg you HB, don't forget about us PC gamers, PLEASE!!!
     
  16. Duckdee

    Duckdee Senior Member

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    I find the fact that EA aren't involved slightly exciting, as I'm now not expecting Rugby 2012. to be like anything. As long as I can play as a team in green, red & white stripes, I'll be happy. :)
     
  17. esoj

    esoj Senior Member

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    wow amazing it's being done independently without EA. some really good answers there and good to hear from HB themselves how much they value and want to talk to the trf community. slightly sad news about the pc version situation but I can fully understand their decision.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  18. TRF C A Iversen

    TRF C A Iversen Rugby Gaming Nut

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    If only that emergency hadn't happened on the day of the NZ Rugby '06 Tourney, leaving me to fly home, I would've bested Gay-Guy and brought home the trophy! Then his publishing of his big Rugby'06 tips book on here. It was nothing more than a bunch of glitch exploits! Oh how I will have revenge on him, it's just a matter of time. I hope you cuddle that trophy at night GG. I'm going to steal it back!

    And no, I am not bitter.
     
  19. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

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    I'll take on the Southern Hemisphere - single handedly!

    Here is what will happen when me and CA Iversen go head to head:

    http://lolcollision.ytmnd.com/
     
  20. TRF C A Iversen

    TRF C A Iversen Rugby Gaming Nut

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    Not quite right. that clip doesn't show me walking away afterwards, dusting my hands, lol. ;)
     
  21. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

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    You'll think so when I kick it after 5 phases!
     
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