On April 8th, 2010, EA Sports announced that former University of Florida quarterback and 2007 Heisman Trophy Winner Tim Tebow would grace the cover of NCAA Football 11. This also broke the two-year trend of having a different player on the cover for different platforms.
Two weeks later, the cover art was revealed for the game with different covers for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions.
In an article that ran on ESPN.com on February 26, 2010, the first features were revealed. These included:
- On-field referees with avoidance logic
- Pro-Tak gang-tackling engine
- Auto-save feature
- Auto-loading rosters
- Formation substitutions
- New player equipment
- Single bowl season
- Dynamic conference logos
- Numbers on helmets (for teams such as the University of Alabama)
Beginning on March 4, 2010, EA Sports began adding screenshots of new mascot models that would be included in the game to their Facebook page every week. Examples include the University of Oregon, Texas Tech University, Stanford University and many more.
On March 25, 2010, EA Sports designer Russ Kiniry released an article detailing the revamped lighting system implemented in NCAA Football 11. Using linear lighting, the development team was able to achieve natural skin tones, as well realistic reflections on jerseys and helmets.
A week later, on April 5, 2010, an article was posted on EA Sports' blog with revealing a revamped locomotion engine. This new engine was to be momentum-based and involved any actions a player made involving running, turning, and cutting. While previous iterations of NCAA Football placed a heavy emphasis on a given player's speed rating, this new engine placed more weight upon a player's agility and acceleration ratings, giving players with a lower top speed more utility. A larger motion capture facility also enabled the development team at EA Tiburon to create more natural run cycles.
For the first time in the series, full ESPN integration was to be included for the in-game presentation. Previous entries included live updates from ESPN's Sportscenter and a news ticker, but NCAA Football 11 was the first to include ESPN College Football theme music, as well as in-game graphics. The updated in-game UI included the ESPN game clock, stat banners and replay wipes. The main menu was also updated with an ESPN look and the best recruits are tagged with the ESNPU Top 150 tag.
In late April, NCAA Football 11 Associate Designer Mike Scantlebury revealed the improvements made to general gameplay, dubbed Real Assignment AI. These improvements were largely made to the AI blocking schemes in the gameplay engine. This allowed for the gameplay design team to create realistic blocking assignments for more complicated running schemes, with specific mentions of read option, triple option, stretch and draw plays. It was also announced that running AI for the CPU would be greatly improved from past versions of the game.
It was later announced that there would be a number of team-specific stadium entrances, adding to the in-game presentation in a way never seen in the current generation of consoles. Teams announced to have received this treatment include Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia Tech and more. There are rumored to be 30 teams in all to have specific stadium entrances. In a video that was released later, it was also revealed that there will be fan-specific cutscenes and chants for a number of teams.
Dual-Analog Stick Controls
New this year is a new Dual-analog stick controls which gives you control over both lower and upper body of the ball carrier for example if you have a fast agile runner and lean away from a defender and you setup a easy spin move to get out of the tackle.
Other features added to the game include:
- Game speed slider
- More challenging Hit Stick
- Auto-Turbo option
- New onside kick camera
EA Team Builder
Like NCAA 10, NCAA 11 allows you to go online and create a school to use in the game. You can customize the logo, uniforms, fields, mascots, programs, and rosters of the team and when the game is released you can download the team to the hard drive and play.
NCAA 11 allows users to establish an online dynasty with the ability to have friends play as the opposing teams. Either in-game or online via the NCAA Football 11 website, a dynasty commissioner can control the flow and settings of the franchise, as well as provide weekly news stories to breathe some extra life into the fun.
In order to participate or establish an online dynasty, an individual must have used the Online Pass code that came with a new purchase of the game, or purchased one via the EASports website.