Congratulations on being selected as an EA SPORTS Game Changer RynoAid. This puts you in some elite company among sports gaming community leaders. About how many Game Changers are there and what do you think it does for Tradition Sports Online? Right now there are 26 EA SPORTS Game Changers spread across the EA Sports titles. Each title has representation in the group.. some guys are Tiger guys, some guys are NHL diehards... and like myself, some are football centric. Being a EA SPORTS Game Changer is huge for TSO in several aspects. - Gives us the ability to influence the game with a sim perspective in mind - Validates our core values of sim gameplay and strong community - Provides our members a direct outlet to engage developers and producers - We will always be the first with hands on news and information about the games - It gives us increased exposure to the online football gamers and benefits the growth of the site Which games have you been granted early access to so far? Well, that depends on what your definition of access is. As far as actually getting a chance to impact the game before release, it's only been the NCAA Football 11 title so far. EA SPORTS community managers do send us early copies of most of the sports titles so that we can prepare media and reviews for the retail launch. I've received Madden NFL 11, NHL 11, EA MMA and of course the NCAA Football 11 early so far. EA SPORTS is always really good about getting us the games we have interest in. Could you explain what you do as a Game Changer and the process involved? We have several different goals. First and foremost is to work directly with the EA SPORTS development teams to enhance the overall quality of their titles. Through game play testing, feature evaluation and brainstorming sessions we are expected to provide feedback and tangible ideas to help improve the direction of the game for that development cycle. Secondly, we interface with the community through gaming events and play dates. Keep your eye out for some upcoming events and articles from the group. You will see more organized community activities and content from the EA SPORTS Game Changers in the coming year. Did you have a lot of interaction with the other members of the EA SPORTS Game Changers? Yes, we all spend most of the sessions together in a big testing room. We pretty much travel around in a pack during the time we are there. It's great to spend time with other members of the gaming community who have as much passion for the games as you do. From your time during the early access with NCAA Football 11, can you give any examples of feedback from the Game Changers during the event that heavily impacted or made it in the final version of the game? Last year the big feature we were real concerned with was the implementation of the no-huddle offense. The first few builds we played lacked the realism you see on Saturdays. (QB delaying the snap, looking to sidelines, other pre-snap animations) Teams were running a million miles an hour and it wasn't a real representation of how things look when you watch a team like Missouri. So we worked real hard on trying to define how a team would truly operate when running this style of offense. What down WOULD they huddle on and how to balance their quick up-tempo styles with proper animations at the LOS before the play. Also, in the first build we played, the defense did not have their entire play book available and we emphasized how important that would be to give the D the same tools as the O when the No huddle is deployed. That is just one example of many features and enhancements that we get a chance to impact in a positive way. I have read some criticisms around the web that EA SPORTS only caters to the casual football gamer and that they are too influenced by user feedback on fan sites and forums. Having had a more intimate experience with the developers of the game, could you address these criticisms and do you think the Game Changers program gives voice to the more hardcore sports gamers? I can tell you they are very in touch with the community and fully aware of the feedback out there on fan sites and forums. They monitor things like The Gaming Tailgate's NCAA Football feature bracket tournament they hold every year. They also spend time on forums interacting and reading the wishlist's, criticisms and the positive feedback about what they are doing right. I think the whole program is proof of EA SPORTS interest in getting true feedback from hard core gamers that are in the community engaging with other gamers every day. I think that is what they are looking for, to provide an experience that everyone can appreciate, even the most serious online coach.