Raymond Lee (Lead Designer) Interview


Reserve Team
Maybe this has been posted before, news to me anyway..


We recently spoke with Lead Designer Raymond Lee from Electronic Arts Canada, on FIFA Street. We discussed with him what we can expect from FIFA Street, which soccer stars we can play, what his favorite platform is and a few other issues.

GameBiz: Can you tell us about the Career Mode in FIFA Street and the other game play modes available?

Raymond Lee: In career mode, you start out by creating your character and entering the world of street ball with a junior team. As you play you’ll be able to upgrade your characters skills, increase your reputation and recruit better players for your team. (and of course earn rewards and unlock content) Another cool feature in FIFA Street is the ‘Star Team’, in which you can create your own customize team of FIFA superstars and go head-to-head against your friends ‘Star Team’ and finally settle the argument of who’s got the better team.

GameBiz: Have you had any development input from any of the pros? What kicks they would like to show off etc?

Raymond Lee: For FIFA Street, we wanted the gameplay to be a real reflection of street football. To demonstrate the freedom of control players will have at their fingertips, we went straight to the European street football champions such as Lenny Netteb and Edward Van for input – these are real street-ballers doing moves you’ve never seen before in a football game.

GameBiz: Who are some of the soccer stars we can play?

Raymond Lee: The game features the real players from the top national sides in the game today. You’ll play against them and if you earn their respect, they’ll play for your team. Imagine facing Ronaldinho, Henry, and Beckham on the streets of Marseille.

GameBiz: Ok, we know it's in the streets. But what streets will we play in? (Localities)

Raymond Lee: FIFA Street venues capture the passion for playing football in the streets around the world. They range from the urban concrete jungles of Marseille, France to the hillsides of Rio de Janeiro. Places where the legends of football would have learned their trade.

GameBiz: Tell us about some of the sick moves we can perform.

Raymond Lee: FIFA Street has an innovative control system that lets you chain together a sequence of skills you can use to throw your opponent off balance. You have a variety of ways to finish a move – from going around, over the top, using the nearby walls, or by brining it home with a humiliating nutmeg.

GameBiz: Will we be rewarded for flare and style?

Raymond Lee: The gameplay revolves around moves and skills performed one-on-one. Showing skill and style while beating your mark will net you points towards your gamebreaker meter. Showing street attitude with the ball and letting your opponent know where they stand is what the game’s about.

GameBiz: Do you have a killa move for FIFA Street? And what is it?

Raymond Lee: Anything that’s a nutmeg because that’s what street ball’s all about – create a style that’s effective at scoring goals as it is a means to humiliate your opponent.

GameBiz: So in FIFA Street we can pull off some really tricky moves, explain to us the GameBreaker move.

Raymond Lee: In FIFA Street you are rewarded for style and flare, so when you start chaining together combos you start gaining points towards the gamebreaker meter. Once the meter maxes out, you can at any point in the game initiate an extremely powerful kick – the gamebreaker move. The point is to gain a clear line of sight on goal, because the gamebreaker move CAN be deflected by the opposition defensemen if they get in the way. So the gamebreaker is by no means a silver bullet, you still have to work for it.

GameBiz: Like NFL Street 2, will walls play an part in FIFA Street?

Raymond Lee: Some of us have termed the wall as the fifth man, and that’s because in FIFA Street you can flick the ball off a convenient piece of nearby architecture to your awaiting teammate, who can finish with a spectacular juggle and overhead or with a cheeky shot off the shoulder. The whole idea is to pull off obscene moves, score amazing goals and make your friends jaw drop to the ground.

GameBiz: What online modes will there be for the Xbox and PS2?

Raymond Lee: Unfortunately there will be no online mode available for FIFA Street on any platform.

GameBiz: NFL Street certainly looks impressive, what can you tell us about the graphics engine?

Raymond Lee: FIFA Street utilizes custom character and environment lighting for all three platforms. Basically, we’ve created a custom character and environment lighting code for each platform separately. The results, dramatic environment and unique character lighting unseen before in a sports game.

GameBiz: Anything else you would like to add?

Raymond Lee: Yea, the cool thing about FIFA Street is that you’re able to do things pros would never attempt in a real match. It’s just as rewarding to score a goal as it is to go back and nutmeg the defender again just to prove your skills are that much better. I’ve played football for a long time, but the moves we’ve got in this game are OBSCENE! You’ll watch these moves and realize they’re REAL moves. Not fantasy, not stuntmen on wires – FIFA Street is football passion dialed up to 11 and it’s going to change what you think is possible with a football!

Five very quick questions. First thing which comes to your mind.

GameBiz: The EA Sports Street franchise is growing; can we expect a MLB Street in the coming year?

Raymond Lee: Almost all professional sports games today evolved from a street environment. Some has deeper roots than others, so it’s a possibility but then again who knows? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

GameBiz: What are your thoughts on the PSP and DS?

Raymond Lee: They’re both awesome in their own rights. One thing’s for sure, handheld gaming just took a giant step in the right direction. It will definitely be an interesting battle as we see the type of games both of them can offer.

GameBiz: PS2 or Xbox, which do you prefer?

Raymond Lee: Xbox

GameBiz: What's your favorite game? Raymond Lee: Generally I love any football game, but at the moment I’m really enjoying NBA Street.

GameBiz: Will you take me on with a game of FIFA Street? (Laugh)

Raymond Lee: Yea, totally!