Interview with David Littman Part 2

In Part 1 of our look at EA Sports’ NHL 10, we got you inside with the game play refinements including the improved passing system, the new board play feature, improvements in the goal scoring department and improved goaltending intelligence just to name a few.

Today, in Part 2 of our look at NHL 10 we will get you inside with the new game modes including the new Be a GM Mode and The Road to the Cup mode. On top of that, you’ll get information on this year’s EA Sports Fall Preview event where Milan Lucic was a representative for this year’s game (NHL 10’s cover athlete is Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks).

In Be a GM mode – An improvement of the old Dynasty mode – The user will indeed be in the shoes of a General Manager. Here is what Producer David Littman had to say about the new GM mode.

“Be a GM mode is a reinvention of our Dynasty mode,” Littman stated. “All the aspects are there from trades to free agency to the NHL Draft.”

The Draft has been installed before in Dynasty mode but never has it been enhanced like this. In previous year’s it was “just a draft.” This year however, GMs can trade picks and players on Draft Day.

On top of that, the Trade Deadline will also test user GMs on being buyers or sellers for the rest of the year.

“The two of the key dates in a GMs season (Draft Day and Trade Deadline) are indeed two key dates in Be a GM Mode,” said Littman. “In the game, the user will have a blackberry available with all the proposed trades (from other GMs) and from there you can accept or reject.

“On Draft Day, all the aspects are there. The user can trade players and picks and perhaps move up or move down in the Draft.”

Don’t forget users, reputation is also very important with the other GMs (as in real life). NHL 10 put extra emphasis on this for Be a GM Mode.

“Similar to a real life role of a General Manager, the users reputation is very important,” said Littman. “The better the reputation, the more deals the user will get done and more deals will come your way from other GMs in the league. The users with the worse reputation, the less deals you are going to get done and the less any GM in the league will make a deal with you.

“In Be a GM Mode, you are deciding the future of your career.”

Not a fan of Be a GM Mode? Well there are other modes in NHL 10.

On top of online play with the EA Sports Hockey League (which had over 400,000 players and over 100,000 teams in NHL 09), one can pick from Season mode (with multiple users), Playoff mode and Battle for the Cup mode (also new in NHL 10).

In Battle for the Cup mode, two teams battle it out for the right for the Stanley Cup. Users can choose to play in either a 3-game, 5-game or 7-game series. You’ll also see story lines involved throughout the series (and in playoff mode as well).

“You’ll see a lot of story lines involved in Battle for the Cup from a presentation standpoint,” Littman noted. “For example if Detroit is playing Pittsburgh and a Red Wings player goes after Sidney Crosby with a cheap shot in Game 1 in Detroit, then when the series goes to Pittsburgh for Game 3, the crowd will remember that moment and that player who went after Crosby will become a villain.”

On top of the storylines – and just like it is in real life – the playoff atmosphere will be there from a crowd standpoint.

“In NHL 10, you’ll get the same crowd reaction that anyone would see during a playoff game,” said Littman about crowd atmosphere. “You will see home colored jerseys, towel waiving, and everything else that you would see in a playoff game.”

And finally to wrap things up, Littman talked about the EA Sports Fall Preview, in which Milan Lucic was in attendance representing NHL 10.

This was the first year of the EA Fall Preview event where a few athletes, including Dwight Howard (Center for Orlando Magic and NBA Live 10 cover athlete) female tennis star Venus Williams (for Grand Slam Tennis) and Chivas USA star Sacha Kljestan (for FIFA 10).

“This was the first time we had an event like this and we had four of the greatest athletes in the world,” Littman said about the Fall Preview. “Milan was amazing and we brought him in because of his toughness, which we have really emphasized in this year’s version, and his goal scoring touch.

“Milan shared his knowledge with the community on how to fight, and when it is important to fight and that is what we are emphasizing in the first-person fighting mode this year.”

Here is a video of the EA Fall Preview Event with the King of the Court Event that includes one of Littman’s favorite moments of the event via Dwight Howard.

The Release Date for NHL 10 is September 15.

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