EA SPORTS TeamBuilder
EA SPORTS TeamBuilder
Launch the Site

EA SPORTS TeamBuilder – Your Glory Days, Revisited

Create your team here

Riding the success of EAMobile.com, Spore Origins and, most recently, EA.com; EA SPORTS and Fi collectively hit the ground running to create TeamBuilder in time for the venerable E3 Conference.

The TeamBuilder website allows users to log-in via their PS3 and Xbox 360 accounts to create teams, and browse teams other users have created. All teams created can be downloaded to the consoles, where users can then play them in single-player, and/or online against their friends. From a marketing perspective, the ability to create a team ready for game-play months prior to release will increase advance sales, buzz and anticipation for NCAA Football 10.

Project Screenshot

The Process

By previewing the game and downloading demographic data from EA SPORTS, we developed a strong understanding of the consumer and the game in advance of development. This was a critical step in creating a unified user interface and technical solution capable of accommodating a multitude of tasks, including: editing logos and fields, customizing uniforms, picking mascots and adjusting the exact set of skills and characteristics of all 43 players on a team.

Once in the trenches, our process began with the review of preliminary wireframe sets created by EA SPORTS. After a series of in-depth strategy sessions, we collectively determined to take a step back to square one in order to structurally identify precisely what we were building. We wanted the application to feel more like a game than a website, to foster a direct connection between the online and console aspects of NCAA Football 10. With this in mind, we wireframed each facet in the creation of a team from scratch, with the requirement of instantly and visually displaying the results of each change in-line.

The Result

The results of this revised approach is evident in the process of customizing a team uniform. Instead of using a standard series of dropdowns, we introduced a responsive hotspot system allowing users to directly interact with the uniform and receive instant feedback. The resulting experience is in-line with what gamers expect in today's world of HD gaming on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

During the technical ramp-up, we built a system for interacting with the data API EA SPORTS provided. For TeamBuilder to work, team data had to be shared between the game versions on Xbox 360 and PS3, as well as the TeamBuilder website. Using the newest features of Flash 10, we were able to solve issues like loading files directly from user's hard drives, evaluating lightness of images, use of 3D and seamlessly layering over 140 graphics for a single uniform, while allowing the customization of each part.

Subtle and complimentary, TeamBuilder's design features a solid non-competitive backdrop to clearly differentiate the active components in the user interface. The choices of a dark atmospheric background for the editor, and a bright green home and browse pages, were made to clearly differentiate the various interfaces within TeamBuilder. Ensuring the over 10000 graphical assets were accurate, right down to matching the 125 colors of historical NCAA teams, was no small task.

Success to Date

The unveiling of TeamBuilder at E3 was a complete success. In its first week, TeamBuilder has been used to build over 50,000 teams and to date over 100,000 teams have been created. The demand for the TeamBuilder experience across all of EA SPORTS offerings have been burning up Twitter. Stay tuned for more stats about TeamBuilder.

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Components

A collection of components from EA SPORTS TeamBuilder

Project Icon

Client
EA Sports

Release Date
June 1, 2009

Technologies
Gaia Flash Framework
Actionscript 3
Flash CS4
Flash 10

TeamBuilder, by the Playbook

To get "in the game", Fi's developers created a series of "plays" to map-out the build process for TeamBuilder. It was unusual to hear creative's bellowing, "hot route! Double Option, on two, on two" from Fi's SOHO conference room.

Read more on Fi's Kontainer

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