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Technology of Connected Franchise
By EA SPORTS May 31, 2013
Arron Lee is the Software Architect for the Madden NFLfranchise, and has worked on every Madden NFL game since Madden NFL 09. He is now the Lead Senior Software Engineer and Software Architect for the Madden NFL franchise, and is responsible for creating the technology behind Madden’s ‘Connected Franchise’ mode.
As the Software Architect for Madden NFL 25, one of my responsibilities is to identify areas where we need to improve an existing technology, or create something entirely new in order to bring the gaming experiences to life. One such area was the technology used to build our franchise/career mode.
I had a vision for creating a richer, deeper, more engaging career mode in Madden NFL 25, one that our fans could enjoy regardless of whether they wanted to play offline or online with friends. This vision is one that was shared by our lead designer Josh Looman.
The tech behind our previous Franchise mode, while acceptable, was largely unchanged for more than a decade. It didn't give our designers much creative freedom, and they couldn’t really “see” what was happening inside the mode.
Thus was born 'FranTk' (pronounced frantic), our “Franchise Toolkit.” This new technology was first used to create Connected Careers within Madden NFL 13, and is now being used by other EA SPORTS development teams to enhance their existing game modes. We've continued to use this new technology to enhance Connected Franchise in Madden NFL 25, giving players the chance to play as the owner of an NFL team.
'FranTk' is a suite of technologies that allows the development team to rapidly develop and test new features of the game’s career mode, such as the flow of the mode, the behavior of the characters, and the logic that drives decisions made in the game. The technology allows our designers to create a data model of the NFL that includes the league’s hierarchy, player attributes and stats, and the behavior of everyone in the franchise. Defining how characters behave allows us to create a world that is far more alive and dynamic than ever before.
With FranTk, we can not only give our designers and engineers the tools they need, but also a way to really "see" the effect their changes are having on the game. FranTk has helped create a great new mode that brings together aspects of a traditional Franchise, along with a story-driven narrative, an RPG-like XP system, and a great multiplayer online experience.
Madden NFL 25 will be available on Tuesday, August 27, for Xbox 360 and PS3, and fans can learn more at the Madden website. Pre-order today to receive exclusive Franchise Packs for your Connected Franchise and Madden Ultimate Team!