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Moving Forward: Exploring Real Player Motion Tech

Learn about the tech revolutionizing EA SPORTS

Quick Breakdown:

  • Real Player Motion Tech, or RPM, is a new technology designed to improve animation quality
  • RPM improves animation quality by letting us more closely mimic real-life actions of players
  • This technology is coming to our EA SPORTS games and is already present in FIFA 18 and UFC 3

“EA SPORTS: It’s in the game.” Since 1991, EA SPORTS titles have strived to emulate, as closely as possible, the sports they depict. Accurate team rosters, realistic play calling, professional commentary—all these elements have been implemented into EA SPORTS games with increasing fidelity. Year over year, it can be difficult as a fan to catch all of the gameplay improvements.

Enter Real Player Motion Tech (RPM). RPM is a new animation system that delivers our most responsive and fluid gameplay ever. UFC Principal Software Engineer Geoff Harrower described it in greater detail.

“Before we adopted RPM Tech, animation features in our games consisted of small animation clips stitched together at runtime. Not only were these systems time consuming to build, there was a very real limitation on the visual quality you could achieve using this approach,” Harrower said. “In contrast, RPM Tech allows us to capture long clips of animation. There’s no need to cut this data up. The result allows for much more natural looking motion that is more authentic to the context in which it is meant to be played.”

RPM will bring new player movements, improved physics and more control across the field.

There’s already a slew of ways the dev teams are planning to put RPM in coming titles. For example, RPM is expected to impact stick moves, locomotion, and touchdown celebrations in Madden NFL 19. But as a new technology, Madden NFL 19 Lead Gameplay Designer Clint Oldenburg thinks the biggest challenge is not in using RPM, but figuring out what it can’t do.

“We haven’t yet had the time to get to everything RPM offers—which is a great thing for our players,” Oldenburg said. 

“RPM will bring new player movements, improved physics and more control across the field. But there’s a lot of untapped RPM tech that we did not get to for Madden 19 that we will implement and build upon the RPM story moving forward into the future.

While the sky's the limit for RPM implementation in coming games, there were some growing pains for the titles that paved the way.

“Adopting RPM was not trivial. It required us to rewrite the entire standup game for UFC 3,” Harrower said. “That gave us opportunities to make huge improvements we might not have otherwise made, but the biggest benefits centered around movement. It really felt like a generational leap forward.”

Below are examples of how Real Player Motion Technology was introduced to FIFA 18 and UFC 3 and will be implemented in other upcoming EA SPORTS titles:

FIFA 18:

The animation system unlocked next level responsiveness and player personality, allowing Cristiano Ronaldo and other top players feel and move exactly like they do on the real pitch.

UFC 3:

Every punch, kick, block, and counter has been recaptured and rebuilt using RPM Tech. Players can now move and strike at the same time, and create seamless combinations with the world’s best UFC fighters.

Madden NFL 19:

Player experience is always at the forefront of Madden NFL 19. Advances with RPM Tech have been made to give players even more control and responsiveness, along with hyper-realistic animations that bring incredible elements to the ball carrier control.

NBA LIVE 19:

RPM is going to give our players a much smoother and more responsive experience. Where it really shines is ball carrier movement in terms of being able to change direction, attack the basket, and how smooth and fluid everything looks—a big jump in quality.

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