The Tournament Creator provides game designers a method to control online tournaments in great detail. A typical weekly tournament consists of over 500 individual settings one can choose from to make each tournament a unique game experience. I've provided 2 interfaces to manage this task. The first interface allows for broad stroke tournament creation with limited input from the user. A rule engine is used to make decisions as to what the game designer wants. For example, a tournament designated as “Hard” may have fast greens, over grown fairways and intense weather.
The second interface to this application provides micro management for cases when we want to override the rule engine. The challenge was creating an interface that wasn't overly daunting.
This application supports plug-ins. Several plug-ins were created to allow for new tools as the project evolved. Some of the examples of plugged in tools include a survey manager, banner ads manager, and a media manager.
The Live Dashboard project was designed to provide near real time statistics to management. Telemetry data was collected from the gamers and processed for reporting. Reports were shown visually in graph (line, bar, pie, or ribbon) or table format. Each query was customizable by the management team in real time by providing easy to use filters. Examples of end user customization include filtering by date/date range, any combination of products, views, or thresholds. I've also used this tool to create forecasting reports and “one off” requests.
This tool also provided the more technically advanced user an interface which allowed for the aggregation of data in table format for an overall dashboard like view.
Play the Pros System
During the course of a golf season we provide the gamer with the opportunity to match his gaming skills with that of the real athletes. As the pro golfers play their tournaments an outside data source provides EA with updates as to how each golfer is playing. That data is then fed into the game in near real time and each gamer gets the experience of playing “with” his or her favorite golfer. I designed and/or implemented most of this system briefly described in the following sections.
Feed Capture – The data feed is provided by an outside source. It is sent in XML format, parsed and used for game experience. The feed is also saved so that it can be used again in the future.
Replay – The replay system allows previously captured feeds to be replayed in either real time or compressed time.
Manual Entry – This system was designed to imitate the original feed source in the case of failure. A team of EA employees manually enter scores and other data for golfers. The data is stored in a database and sent to the feed capture system in the expected XML format.