Here is the second part of our detailed interview with Madden NFL Connected Franchise Creative Director Kolbe Launchbaugh who gives us the inside track on Confidence, Practice Mode, and the addition of draft boards in Madden NFL 16. You can take a look at part one here if you missed it.

The Natural: That’s good, that’s great that you guys listen to community feedback and put those things in that people have been asking for. Let’s talk about confidence- confidence was a big issue that some had with the game last year, and they felt that it wasn’t tuned very well and people would lose and their confidence would tank and it made it really tough for people like us, Sports Gamers Online, who run a lot of leagues and we have a lot of people in the draft and leagues where sometimes a guy might drop off and he might lose, and we bring somebody else in, and the team is totally tanked of confidence. You know, zero across the board, so what kinds of things have you done to address that in terms of confidence issues?

Kolbe Launchbaugh: Yeah, nothing, no I’m kidding!

The Natural: Alright, we’re done!

Kolbe Launchbaugh: No, so, we’ve done a lot. Josh Looman and Scott Poorman, two designers we spent all year, those guys focused on just tuning all of the aspects of CFM, and that deals with confidence, physical aggression, regression, draft classes, all of those things. So, they spent a lot of effort trying to get confidence right, confidence is a whole lot better, we’ve tuned the maximum amount that you can be affected by having low confidence way down, so the maximum you can go down is 3 OVR now. The maximum you can go up is 3 OVR now, and we’re a little bit more forgiving in the middle, so it’s like if you have a couple of bad games, you probably won’t go down, but if you’re having two, three, four really bad games, you’ll start to go down, it’ll be one, then two, and you’re affected in your most natural attributes for your position. So, it’s still very important, it’s still very much in the game, but it is still something a lot easier to manage, and it isn’t the only thing that you have to manage in order to have a successful CFM.

The Natural: Also, you gave some features in off-season where you can do things to boost confidence up as well, right?

Kolbe Launchbaugh: Yeah, they’re really like training camps, type things, where there are special events that show up, and allow you to greatly boost the confidence for guys who played the season badly.

The Natural: Also, another great addition that a lot of people asked for from the community is practice. You guys added the ability to practice with your team; do you get any confidence of XP boosts doing practice at all? Or, is it just kind of a free practice?

Kolbe Launchbaugh: Yeah, no, there’s nothing gained in there. There are no injuries in there, it’s like safe land, yeah, you don’t spend anything, you don’t lose anything, and you don’t gain anything.

The Natural: And it’s your offense versus your defense, I assume?

Kolbe Launchbaugh: Yeah, it’s your offense versus your defense, which we did not add practice teams this year. But, it was absolutely, like coming out of the second to last community event with the CFM guys, we had them stack rank all of the things that were the most important to them, and that was number one thing on that list, so we went back, looked at what it would take to get in, at that point, we had a little bit of extra time, that was a bigger feature to get in, but we were able out bit the bullet and get that thing in. And when we came back the last time and showed them it was there, their minds were blown, they were like ‘oh my god, you listened!’ It’s like, we always want to listen, it’s just whether or not we have the time to react and do what you asked for.

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Curtis Knight
A fan of sports game since his first EA sports title Madden 93. "The Natural" has been an active member of the Sports Gaming community since joining the MWS in 2003. Having participated and won in the Madden challenge and countless other tournaments earlier in his career he has moved on to more of a sim style over the years. He is always looking to do what he can to push simulation style gaming forward.