Monday, June 26, 2006

FIFA - Remaining Group Play results

EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
Holland 1 x 1 ArgentinaHolland 0 x 0 Argentina
Ivory Coast 2 x 3 Serbia & MontenegroIvory Coast 3 x 2 Serbia & Montenegro
Portugal 2 x 3 MexicoPortugal 2 x 1 Mexico
Iran 0 x 0 AngolaIran 1 x 1 Angola
Czech 2 x 1 ItalyCzech 0 x 2 Italy
Ghana 0 x 2 USAGhana 2 x 1 USA
Japan 0 x 2 BrazilJapan 1 x 4 Brazil
Croatia 2 x 4 AustraliaCroatia 2 x 2 Australia
Togo 0 x 2 FranceTogo 0 x 2 France
Switzerland 2 x 1 KoreaSwitzerland 2 x 0 Korea
Saudia 0 x 2 SpainSaudia 0 x 1 Spain
Ukraine 2 x 1 TunisiaUkraine 1 x 0 Tunisia

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

20/6 Update - The English case

3 out of 4, 1 identical score.

Curiously, all the predictions regarding the English team were quite accurate: 3/3 correct outcomes and 2/3 identical scores. Coincidence, or good feedback from EGC?
EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
Ecuador 0 x 1 GermanyEcuador 0 x 3 Germany
Costa Rica 2 x 1 PolandCosta Rica 1 x 2 Poland
Sweden 2 x 2 EnglandSweden 2 x 2 England
Paraguay 2 x 1 Trinidad & TobagoParaguay 2 x 0 Trinidad & Tobago

Degrees of Creation

Raph Koster's website has a great post on user created content.

"The lesson here is that everyone is a creator. The question is “of what.” Everyone has a sphere where they feel comfortable exerting agency — maybe it’s their work, maybe it’s raising their children, maybe it’s collecting stamps. Outside of that sphere, most people are creators only within carefully limited circumstances; most people cannot draw, but anyone can color inside lines, or trace. If the games require serious commitment and challenging creation tasks equivalent to drawing from scratch, they will have smaller audiences."

Player creativity and user created content are some of my favourite subjects, and this post gives a pretty good picture of what is going on there.

Monday, June 19, 2006

19/6 - 100%!

3 out of 3 with 1 identical score! Great, specially when considering the previous round.

I'm not sure why the exclamation points, though. Nothing to be so excited about, really...
EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
Togo 0 x 2 SwitzerlandTogo 0 x 2 Switzerland
Spain 2 x 1 TunisiaSpain 3 x 1 Tunisia
Saudia 1 x 3 UkraineSaudia 0 x 4 Ukraine

FIFA update (17-8/06)

The worst EA´s FIFA performance so far: only one out of six. The second round ends today. Let´s see how it goes...

EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
Portugal 1 x 2 IranPortugal 2 x 0 Iran
Czech 2 x 0 Ghana
Czech 0 x 2 Ghana
Italy 2 x 3 USAItaly 1 x 1 USA
Japan 1 x 1 Croatia
Japan 0 x 0 Croatia
Brazil 1 x 1 AustraliaBrazil 2 x 0 Australia
France 3 x 0 KoreaFrance 1 x 1 Korea

Friday, June 16, 2006

FIFA update (15-16/6)

Who could have predicted that 6x0? Well done, Argentina...

EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
England 2 x 0 Trinidad & TobagoEngland 2 x 0 Trinidad & Tobago
Sweden 1 x 2 Paraguay
Sweden 1 x 0 Paraguay
Ecuador 1 x 3 Costa RicaEcuador 3 x 0 Costa Rica
Mexico 2 x 0 AngolaMexico 0 x 0 Angola
Holland 2 x 1 Ivory CoastHolland 2 x 1 Ivory Coast
Argentina 2 x 0 Serbia & MontenegroArgentina 6 x 0 Serbia & Montenegro

EA Sports is not that bad either: 50%, with two identical scores (33%)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

FIFA x EA Update (14/6)

Again, two out of three.
EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
Spain 1 x 1 UkraineSpain 4 x 0 Ukraine
Tunisia 1 x 1 SaudiaTunisia 2 x 2 Saudia
Germany 2 X 1 PolandGermany 1 X 0 Poland

13/6 Results

Having predicted two correct outcomes out of three matches, EA was, like myself, expecting more action regarding Brazil's debut in the World Cup.
EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
South Korea 1 x 1 TogoSouth Korea 2 x 1 Togo
France 2 x 2 SwitzerlandFrance 0 x 0 Switzerland
Brazil 3 x 1 CroatiaBrazil 1 x 0 Croatia

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

FIFA Watch: Monday

Not so good: One right predition out of three. Just like plain guessing. On the other hand, their appointed champion, Czech Republic, played like they could actually win this tournament.

Note: I might stop updating the blog till next Monday. This is not really going anywhere, anyway.

EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
Italy 2 x 2 GhanaItaly 2 x 0 Ghana
USA 2 x 2 CzechUSA 0 x 3 Czech
Australia 2 x 1 JapanAustralia 3 x 1 Japan

Monday, June 12, 2006

Commented Interview on game design

This is not an integral translation of that interview, but only one of the questions I've commented on my portuguese-writen website,

What does one need to be a "games creator"?

Chico Queiroz - If you play games, you´re potentially a "game creator". You think about things that could have been made better, new rules. Today, you can even transform them using tools made available by game companies. What you really need is some time to learn and some creativity - something most game enthusiasts already have.

Although this point ("those who play can make it") sounds exaggerated and even simplistic, I believe it still makes more sense when applied to games than other activities. The borders between game producers and players are quite open: Modification tools are made, distributed and even supported by companies. Plus, it could be said that a game often forces players to analyse and explore several of its aspects. Through this reflection, the player can understand - even if unconsciously - the basic functioning of the game in question.

In What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, James Paul Gee summarizes some qualities, or principles, that make games suitable for teaching many things, including the mechanics of the game and its components. Those, I believe, are the same qualities that can make the transition from player to producer easier than other media. Old news, I know, but it's always good to remember that.

Sunday EA´s FIFA predictions

Short note: I will post on other subjects apart from the World Cup. Probably today. Bear with me, please.

EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
Serbia & Montenegro 0 x 1 HollandSerbia & Montenegro 0 x 1 Holland
Mexico 1 x 1 IranMexico 3 x 1 Iran
Angola 0 x 3 PortugalAngola 0 x 1 Portugal

Even better than last time: 2/3 correct outcomes, one identical score.
Quick question: So far, they have predicted Ecuador's defeat to Poland and a tie between Mexico and Iran. Did they pay attention to Central/North and South American qualifiers (and, in the case of Mexico, the Confederation's Cup)?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A good day for FIFA Soccer

On the second day...

EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
England 3 x 0 ParaguayEngland 1 x 0 Paraguay
Trinidad & Tobago 1 x 0 SwedenTrinidad & Tobago 0 x 0 Sweden
Argentina 3 x 1 Ivory CoastArgentina 2 x 1 Ivory Coast

Not bad, this time.
Two correct outcomes. Scores quite close to the actual ones. Some would say Argentina did score three times.

Friday, June 09, 2006

EA's World Cup - First Matches

Ok, let's start comparing the numbers...

EA FIFA's prediction:Actual match result:
Germany 1 x 1 Costa RicaGermany 4 x 2 Costa Rica
Poland 2 x 1 EcuadorPoland 0 x 2 Ecuador

No coincident outcomes, so far. Let's see how it goes till next Monday...

Any thoughts on the matches (or the World Cup so far)?

For a minute or two during the matches I thought they could be right. But I guess Costa Rica couldn't resist the pressure, and Poland didn't take advantage of ball possession...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

FIFA Soccer as prediction maker

(via gamasutra): "Global publisher Electronic Arts has announced that, using its video game 2006 FIFA World Cup as simulation, it predicts that the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany will be the Czech Republic."

I imagine that gamers around the world play FIFA with their national teams and, depending on how superstitious they are, believe (or at least hope) their results will occur during the actual tournament (by the way, did we have a "games for the superstitious post"? if not, we should provide it soon). EA's case is similar, with the difference that their team is the game itself.

If this kind of prediction is the ultimate test for any game that intends to simulate a real event, why not put EA's football game into test? I have pasted the full list (taken from of results below and I will keep you informed on how it compares to reality. I can't promise to update it every day, but I will try to post as often as I can.

PS: It starts tomorrow! Germany Vs. Costa Rica and Poland Vs. Ecuador.

EA SPORTS(TM) 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) Results:

Group Play


Group A


Germany 1 x 1 Costa Rica

Poland 2 x 1 Ecuador

Germany 2 X 1 Poland

Ecuador 1 x 3 Costa Rica

Ecuador 0 x 1 Germany

Costa Rica 2 x 1 Poland

Group B


England 3 x 0 Paraguay

Trinidad & Tobago 1 x 0 Sweden

England 2 x 0 Trinidad & Tobago

Sweden 1 x 2 Paraguay

Sweden 2 x 2 England

Paraguay 2 x 1 Trinidad & Tobago

Group C


Argentina 3 x 1 Ivory Coast

Serbia & Montenegro 0 x 1 Holland

Argentina 2 x 0 Serbia & Montenegro 0

Holland 2 x 1 Ivory Coast

Holland 1 x 1 Argentina

Ivory Coast 2 x 3 Serbia & Montenegro

Group D


Mexico 1 x 1 Iran

Angola 0 x 3 Portugal

Mexico 2 x 0 Angola

Portugal 1 x 2 Iran

Portugal 2 x 3 Mexico

Iran 0 x 0 Angola

Group E


Italy 2 x 2 Ghana

USA 2 x 2 Czech

Italy 2 x 3 USA

Czech 2 x 0 Ghana

Czech 2 x 1 Italy

Ghana 0 x 2 USA

Group F


Brazil 3 x 1 Croatia

Australia 2 x 1 Japan

Brazil 1 x 1 Australia

Japan 1 x 1 Croatia

Japan 0 x 2 Brazil

Croatia 2 x 4 Australia

Group G


France 2 x 2 Switzerland

Korea 1 x 1 Togo

France 3 x 0 Korea

Togo 0 x 2 Switzerland

Togo 0 x 2 France

Switzerland 2 x 1 Korea

Group H


Spain 1 x 1 Ukraine

Tunisia 1 x 1 Saudia

Spain 2 x 1 Tunisia

Saudia 1 x 3 Ukraine

Saudia 0 x 2 Spain

Ukraine 2 x 1 Tunisia


Group of 16


Costa Rica 2 (Wanchope (2))

Paraguay 0

Argentina 1 (Crespo)

Iran 0

USA 2 (Donovan, McBride)

Brazil 3 (Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Robinho)

France 2 (Zidane (2))

Spain 1 (Torres)

Germany 1 (Podolski)

England 0

Holland 2 (Robben, Van Nistlerooy)

Mexico 4 (Bravo, Borgetti (2), Pardo)

Czech Rep. 3 (Koller (2), Galasek)

Australia 1 (Viduka)

Switzerland 2 (Frei, Vogel)

Ukraine 1 (Shevchenko)


Quarter Finals


Costa Rica 1 (Wanchope)

Argentina 3 (Messi, Tevez, Riquelme)

Brazil 1 (Ronaldo)

France 0

Germany 2 (Podolski, Ballack)

Mexico 0

Czech Rep. 3 (Baros, Smicer, Koller)

Switzerland 0


Semi Finals


Argentina 1 (Tevez)

Brazil 2 (Adriano (2))

Germany 0

Czech Rep. 2 (Baros, Nedved)


3rd Place Game


Argentina 3 (Tevez, Messi, Galetti)

Germany 1 (Schweinsteiger)




Brazil 1 (Ronaldo)

Czech Rep. 2 (Baros, Rosicky)

Monday, June 05, 2006

The most amazing nongames website

... It's not this one. It's Ken Perlin's personal website. The Oscar-winning (!) NYU Professor has published over 100 experiments - Java applets that load directly from the page - on his site. Actors, crowd behavior, texture, input, texture, board games, casual games... Almost every interesting topic is covered by one (or more) of his experimental demos. Maybe the post title is not quite right, since it's not exactly a nongames website, but it's filled with brilliant sandbox, free-play experiences.

A huge source of inspiration, Perlin's website certainly has something that will make you think of interesting design possibilities.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Da Vinci Coders

I haven't seen the film and I didn't read the book but, as far as I know, The Da Vinci Code had everything to be succesfuly turned into a game. After all, it's an epic atmospheric puzzle with a backstory about conspiracy theories. So I was not surprised when they released the tie-in PS2/XboX/PC game. In fact, Dan Brown's story could have been a game in its original incarnation, as almost every element required was already there (well, maybe except the most important ones - interactivity, agency, etc. But you got the point).

However, I was surprised to find out about The Da Vinci Code casual game. For a second, I was a little bit shocked: How much are casual game developers willing to pay for licensing, now? Maybe I am wrong, but I thought the low-budget model inspired (or forced) developers to create original IPs.

But the move makes perfect sense: The Da Vinci Code (the book) presented a literary puzzle-adventure and reached the masses - the same audience that, it is claimed, plays casual games. If the casual market is as big as it's supposed to be, and given the success of the book, TDVC casual game has all the conditions necessary for selling quite a lot.

I can't put my finger on it, but something feels upside down in this story.

PS: can you imagine how popular The Da Vinci Code interactive storyworld could become?
Copyright, Chico Queiroz