NHL 15 Interview – Game Modes, Kickstarter, and More


He shoots, he scores! PlayStation LifeStyle recently had the chance to talk with publisher EA Sports about their upcoming game NHL 15. In this interview, we talk with Sean Ramjagsingh, Producer for NHL 15 about upcoming game modes, possible Kickstarter campaigns, and more.

PlayStation Lifestyle: Some people might say the games don’t change much between years. How would you respond to that?

Sean Ramjagsingh: We have an extremely passionate development team that pour everything that they have into the game to deliver the best experience possible to our fans year after year. If you look at NHL 15, we’ve pretty much changed everything with our gameplay and presentation highlighted by the following:

a.       The Next Generation Player

b.      New player and puck physics

c.       NBC presentation and new commentators

d.      Bringing the arenas to life to authentic arenas and a brand new crowd 

PSLS: Why is there not a version for the Vita?

SR: At this time, we’re pouring all of our development efforts into delivering the best experience possible on the PS3 and PS4.

PSLS: Have you considered Kickstarter for your projects that you’re worried about, like a Vita version of NHL, for example?

SR: Kickstarter is definitely an interesting platform, but I can’t say that we’ve considered it as an option.

NHL 15

PSLS: Do you find it difficult to find ways to improve the game on a yearly basis?

SR: Not at all. There is never a shortage of ideas when you combine the features that we couldn’t get into the previous iteration, all of the fan feedback we get and the new ideas that we come up with throughout the development process as a team.

PSLS: What are the biggest changes in NHL 15?

SR: There are four key things.

1. The Next Generation Player

2. New player and puck physics

3. NBC presentation and new commentators

4. Bringing the arenas to life

 To start with, we’ve created a next generation hockey player by rebuilding the model from the ground up. We’ve modeled the body of the player, with the equipment on top then layered on our dynamic cloth which is a first for the franchise. As you move, you’ll see the players jersey moving as it would in real life.  The detail that we were able to achieve this year in the player visuals is something that we’re extremely proud of. We’ve also changed the way the players think with our new Vision AI that focuses on proper puck support and reading the play to react appropriately based on the situation. And the last piece is giving our fans more control than they’ve ever had with some new moves that have been added to the Skill Stick.

With physics, this year we can have up to 12 players in physics at any one time which adds another level of realism to every collision and we’ve also rebuilt our puck physics from the ground up. The best part of physics is that we literally model what would happen in the real world and drop it into the game. 

We’ve also added the NBC Sports presentation package which means that what you see on tv is what you’ll see in NHL 15 from the flyover intros, to the on-screen graphics, to the commentators. We have Doc Emerick and Eddie Olczyk calling every game like they do for NBC with a third man down at ice level in Ray Ferraro.

The last piece is bringing the worlds to life starting with unprecedented detail in each of our authentic arenas plus over 9000 unique crowd models adding a whole new level to the atmosphere within every game. 

PSLS: In NHL 14 you could play in the WHL and OHL as a youngster. Have you considered expanding into the European leagues for Be a Pro?

SR: It’s definitely something that we’ve thought of given the popularity of our game throughout Europe. We’ll have more info on Game Modes as we get closer to the launch of NHL 15.

PSLS: While things have improved over the years, server stability and online connectivity during matches is still an issue every year.  How have you addressed that this year?

SR: For NHL 15 and EA SPORTS as a whole, the online experiences that we deliver are a huge priority. We’re continuously investing to improve the end user’s online experience knowing that more and more people are playing online each year.

PSLS: The VGHL (Video Game Hockey League) is a huge part of the NHL community each year. Have you ever considered teaming up to add the VGHL as a mode inside of the game?

SR: We have an extremely passionate community as represented by the VGHL and we love their enthusiasm and passion. That said, partnering on a mode is not something we’ve looked into yet.

NHL 15 PS4

PSLS: Will gamers see more customization options when creating their Be-a-Pro?

SR: We’ll get into the specifics of our modes as we lead up to the launch of NHL15.

PSLS: Will PS3 and PS4 gamers be able to play online matches with and against each other?

SR: We’ll get into the specifics of our modes as we lead up to the launch of NHL15.

PlayStation LifeStyle would like to thank Sean Ramjagsingh and EA Sports for taking the time to answer our questions. NHL 15 is set to release on September 9th in North America, 12th in Europe for the PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.