By Andre Gwilliam •

FIFA 19: The Future of Gaming at Parallax

Neymar vs Manchester City FIFA 19 Champions League

It’s that time of the year once again, when every FIFA gaming enthusiast gets teased with all the latest trailers, screengrabs and gameplay spotlights from the newest instalment of the long-running football series. We’ve always been big fans of FIFA at Parallax – we think it’s a fantastic game that encourages teamwork, friendly competition and the importance of taking some time out for an afternoon break.

Gaming: More Than Just Another Perk

Everyone who works at Parallax is invited to fire up the games consoles in the corner of our office every afternoon and partake in a quick round of FIFA, Mario Kart or Rocket League. The current incarnation of the Xbox One football staple – FIFA 18 – has provided some pretty memorable moments for us over the past year, including our very own in-house World Cup tournament. We have just one iron-clad rule – anyone on the losing end of a 7-0 match is duty-bound to send a Moonpig card of apology to the victors. Employees past and present know all too well that particular sting of defeat feels!

FIFA teams demo

We’ve even brought some of our famous innovation into the way we play FIFA. Our resident interactive Slack bot Donnie has been programmed to set up games after 3pm and organise people into teams. It’s as simple as typing @donnie sign me up into the chat window – Donnie will automatically enter the player into the FIFA pool so other people can join alongside. @Donnie who’s playing? and @Donnie let’s play will let gamers know who is playing or pick teams at random.

Jack Sails - VR
oculus Go VR

Virtual Reality Football

According to a recent article VR could end up playing a huge part in the future of the franchise – something we’re keen to embrace. Parallax have recently invested in an Oculus Go, and we love the idea of being thrust into a virtual FIFA stadium and experience total immersion in a match. At Parallax, we’ve been experimenting with VR more and more – our design team really believe virtual reality is the way forward for gaming.

We’re hoping to use VR in our projects much more regularly – we can bring it on board to enhance the games or animations we’re making. It’s been so much fun experimenting with the kit. There are several tiers of devices – from Google cardboard at the basic end to Vive at the top end – so we’re mindful it has to scale accordingly.

- Gareth Battensby, Digital Interaction Designer

How FIFA Has Inspired us to Develop Games

As an agency, we’re no strangers to dabbling in the world of gaming. Over the years, our designers and developers have produced a wide variety of excellent online games, for both our clients and ourselves. Notably, Topple Trump – our interactive Q&A game developed for the 2016 US presidential election – landed us the front page of Smashing Magazine, and Breaking Badly was a WebGL game we developed as part of a driving safety awareness campaign for our client CitiPark.

Keeping It Real

This Eurogamer article explains why it feels like a lot of decisions seem to go against the players. Scripting, handicaps and momentum all seem likely candidates for the computer’s ability to outfox you, but the EA SPORTS developers behind FIFA say that simply isn’t the case and it’s more to do with how the game was designed to emulate real life.

According to a response from the company: “We build the game to try and give the best representation we can of real football, where things like poor touches or poor shots do exist.” The gaming body goes on to say that sometimes games are very much like the real thing and that, “sometimes when these go against you it can feel like the game is playing against you or trying to make you lose. That is not the case, it’s simply that similar things can happen in FIFA that happen in the real world game.”

Another Exciting Year of FIFA

The gamers of Parallax are chomping at the bit to get stuck into the latest edition of the FIFA series – so much so, we’ve already pre-ordered it! With incremental changes year on year, football games are evolving to become closer and closer to the real thing. And with huge advancements in technology such as VR and impressive improvements to FIFA’s AI, we’re genuinely excited about the future. The official FIFA 19 release date is September 28th 2018.

If you’re interested in discovering some of the other great perks of working at Parallax, or perhaps want to discuss your ideas for developing a game, please get in touch.