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'Madden 13' showcases Nike uniforms

4/16/2012
"Madden 13" shows off the new Nike NFL uniforms. EA Sports

When it comes to the secrecy surrounding what the new Nike uniforms will look like in "Madden NFL 13," the game's art director, Jean Adams, says the design team's studio was on CIA-type lockdown.

"We moved all of the people working on the Nike project into one room, and we even disabled the Internet connection in the room just to guarantee there would be no leaks," Adams explains to me over the phone as Nike unveiled the real NFL uniforms to the world on Tuesday. "I first saw these a few months ago, so it's great to finally be able to show what they will look like in the game."

Adams flew out to Portland to meet with the uniform designers, and was one of the first people outside of Nike to see the early prototypes. "I saw the generic uniform that all of the new NFL uniforms were going to spawn from," says Adams. "At that meeting, we didn't see the actual uniforms, but they gave us enough information so we could get started with the design in 'Madden 13.' Based off the initial designs, we were able to get the templates into the game, and then a few weeks after that, I met with the designers again and that's when I saw the final uniforms.

"That's when we were able to photograph all of the uniforms and get all of the pictures back to the artists at EA. It was all very hush-hush. It's probably the most secretive project I've been a part of since working at EA."

On top of the secret room and meetings, the producers of the game even had to make a separate build of the "Madden 13" preview code to limit access, blocking even other members of the "Madden" team from seeing some of the designs before they were announced. "That was the strangest part of the process for me," says Adams. "But if anything got out before the announcement, we wanted to make sure that the leak wasn't from us."

But now that Nike has finally unveiled the new look, Adams can't stop gushing about the cool details he notices upon closer inspection. "The material actually changes the colors for some of the teams," he says. "The Buccaneers' color shifts a little bit with the pants, and the Saints, they usually have gold, but the way the uniform is matted it changes the way it looks slightly. All of the cuts and designs are all very angular, and the stitching around the collar is very unique and will be really noticeable to a lot of the fans watching the games. There is also a new look to the pants where a lot of players are going to incorporate what looks like the Pro Combat-style pads to their thighs and knees, and that's very distinct.

"I think when people play 'Madden' and they zoom in, they are going to notice a lot of the cool little details, because everything from the stitching to the piping is different. The pants are different because they have a jersey mesh on the side, and they've never had that, so I think gamers are going to appreciate that we have all of the details right. We even have some of the details and jerseys Nike hasn't revealed just yet. There are a lot of great alternate uniforms this year that people are going to love. There are some big surprises that are coming with helmets and things like that, that people don't know about. I can't wait until they see it in the game."