PDA

View Full Version : Expanding on tigerhgrrrrrr's "Intro to FM" idea



Innawerkz
27-04-2009, 20:22
In a different thread, tigerhgrrrrrr came up with a fantastic idea to ease new players into the game's terms and processes.

Here is a link to his original post. (http://community.sigames.com/showpost.php?p=3115239&postcount=264)


This made me think....how about an unskippable / or skippable pre-season friendly routine that leads you in to the game?, where the Ass Man gives useful opinions on tactics, playing staff and utilisation of them. After the few game its up to you the manager. Or maybe a pre set tutorial (maybe a Man Utd save game is set up for 3/4 matches - I pick man U as most FM gamers would be familiar with them IRL) that flexes to adapt to your team selection & tactical selection.

His post didn't seem to get the attention or feedback I feel it was merited, so I thought creating a new thread with an eye towards expanding his original idea might be a fun & beneficial exercise. Admittedly, I haven't had long to ponder the idea, so it may be lacking in polish (and prone to rambling), but hopefully with enough feedback from new & experienced users who can ideally reflect on what the most challenging aspects of the game were/are to learn, we can come up with an easy-to-follow step by step guide on where to find the appropriate information, some suggestions on how to interpret it and put the new managers wishes into action.

Using an existing team (or fake might even be better) that has just come out of an off-season and is looking forward to it's first 'real' game for the new season. There has been one coach who has retired (and would need replacing) and the Ass Man's team report has identified that the Right Full Back position is currently the teams weakest position. I'll start with a general idea: "One Week in the Life of a Football Manager"

---------------------------------------------------------------

Day 1: Welcome to the Last Day of your Social Life

First is the customary 'thanks for buying this', here is a guide to find most of the necessary functions, blah blah blah. A pop up would then say: Click here for your Inbox. All incoming communication from your coaching staff, media outlets, etc. will be found here. (heavily paraphrasing) The player would follow that link and within it would be 3 e-mails: One from the coach who has retired, a team report from the assistant manager and a media hype message about the first game of the season coming in 7 days.

Player is guided to click on the e-mail from the coach telling of his desire to retire. The pop-up saying we should look for his replacement. It then points to the magnifying glass explaining this is where Player & Staff searches start. Following the link, its off to the Player Search screen where the pop-up guides them to 'Staff'. T

The next step would lead them through all of the actions involved with creating a filter based on the departing coaches strengths were (eg: he was a tactics coach) and the search (in this example only) would come back with two options for the player to think about. One with good coaching stats, but with a high compensation penalty and the other that is less proficient but is currently not committed to a team.

(aside: not sure how you go about explaining what is required of a tactics coach without volunteering the perfect attributes for a 7 star coach, but you get the idea.)

Interesting Decision #1: Take the higher quality coach with the higher fee or take the lower quality one at a cheaper rate, allowing more money for the transfer market? The game would then guide the player to the next mail.

The Team Report: Here it outlines where the strengths/weaknesses of the team are but paying particular attention to the Right Full Back needing strengthening. From here, it suggests we go to the Squad screen (again hi-lighting ways to interpret the information, customize, etc.) and eventually ends up on the current right back player.

Player Screen: Clicking on his name we find within his profile that he is 33 and all of his attributes are there. Off to the personal screen where it shows he is thinking of 'being a coach when he is done playing'. To the coach report (again, explaining the info) all leading up to where the final analysis is a 2 star player whom the assistant feels we should be looking to replace.

Back to the Player Search screen, the game guides you through another filter looking for a Right back. Before, it asks you to choose what type of Full Back you wish: One that joins in on attacks, blitzing sidelines and raining crosses into the box or one that is a defensive specialist that effectively shuts out opposing wingers? Interesting Decision #2

Regardless of what the player chooses, 2 options come up. One expensive established player and one cheaper, but with better potential, player. Depending on which option they made with regards to the coach, they may or may not be able to afford the 'expensive' player. Demonstrating the consequences of their prior decisions.

Player is instructed to open both players profiles and is taught how to Scout the Players. However, because of the proximity to the first game of the season and that we want this player for the season opener, we should get a 'Report Card' only. (further elaborating that it is typically better to scout them over a prolonged period of time).

After the scouting has been assigned, the player is sent back to the Inbox for the last mail. The upcoming match. Here it will explain the odds, location, etc. Also within this mail is a note from the opposing manager stating quite simply that he will enjoy beating your team in the season opener. now, its off to the...

Opposing Manager Screen: Here their shown their counterparts managing and play-style, if he prefers to man mark or not, etc. and inform the player that some educated guesses as to what to expect from his opponent could be gleaned from this screen.

Before moving on, the player is invited to open the 'Manager Interaction'. Within is the typical Friendly/Negative response with the game asking how he would like to respond to the aforementioned comment. Unknown to the player is that either choose has a trade-off.

Interesting Decision #3: He says something positive to the manager, his team isn't sure that he should be responding in such a manner to 'the enemy, however the Fullbacks that are being scouted (conveniently) belong to the same manager, so he is willing to release the player for slightly less. If he responded negatively: "We're going to beat your team senseless' it fires up the players team, but consequently raises the asking price for the fullbacks. The pop-ups would go on to elaborate that your teams reaction to your words are influenced by the teams overall personality with professional teams expecting you to behave accordingly, etc. We're now ready to advance to the next day.

---------

Day 2: Dollars & Sense

Day 2 has e-mails from our scout Reporting on the Fullbacks. It expands on what we already knew: One would immediately improve the position, but commands a heavy price. The other is a serviceable player and although not currently elite, has the ability to develop into a division star through training.

The player is then invited to select which player he wishes to sign (or the only option, depending on the players previous decisions). Using the scout advice on what would be a good offer for transfer, a contract screen comes up and elaborates on the various options. Again, for the sake of convenience an offer is drawn up and the decision deadline of Today & the contract is Non-negotiable.

Before moving on, the player is walked through the Transfer rumour screen, the teams internal transfer log (showing the coach and the player status) etc.

The player is instructed to 'Advance the Day'. A positive response arrives in the mail. Guided to 'Offer Contract' the player is now in front of the contract screen where every ting is explained. A contract is drawn-up with what the player is asking for. A pop-up explains that using the Scouting information we see that the player is EXTREMELY INTERESTED in playing for us and is looking between x & y dollars. Since the player is so hot to be a member of our team, we can try to negotiate the weekly wage slightly in our favour.


The coach has also agreed to the contract offered and can now be 'Accept'-ed. Player is then advised to advance the game.

---------

Day 3: Tac-Tic-Toe

Today, the coach & fullback have arrived. The player looks at the coach mail and is taken through to the training screen. Here the player is shown how to set-up the coach for the First Team and Youth squads. The workload & 'star ratings' are also explained.

Since the Fullback needs a training assignment, the game guides the player to create a training schedule that is generally appropriate for the style of player he has chosen and advised to keep an eye to the future and the teams overall tactical outline. This of course leads to...

Tactics: Now, the player is guided through some rudimentary tips on the Tactics screen. For example: "since you chose a more defensive Fullback and can feel a bit more secure in your end, maybe consider a more aggressive tactic allowing your forwards more freedom up front. (4-3-3)

Or conversely: "since you chose a more dynamic Fullback, you should perhaps consider the more balanced 4-4-2 so that you don't leave your wings vulnerable when he joins into the attack. This way the Right Midfielder can more readily help with the defensive duties on the wing while the fullback (wingback) goes into attack mode."

And so on and so on.

---------------------------------------

All of this handled in a 'narrative' of sorts about the exciting new season, the anticipation for the upcoming games & the boards/fans expectations with suggestions on how you could meet them. A lead up that essentially follows each screen with a series of pop-ups for the new players and 'Did you knows?' for the more experienced players with information that may have been overlooked before or has been recently introduced.

It would elaborate on Player Instructions, Team Instructions and so on without feeling like each step is monotonous or drawn out, but more of a methodical plan leading up to 'THE BIG GAME' coming up in a weeks time.

Would it take awhile? Yes, but if done properly could drastically reduce the need for an expansive manual (one of a game design company's highest costs), could be edited & formatted down to the last day before release (to reduce the number of errors) and could be updated and patched so that it always contains the most recent facts and guides for the game (Walkthrough 9.3; for example).

Anybody who has played Civilization knows about the Civilopedia. Essentially an in-game dictionary/glossary/concept reference that can be pulled up with one click that elaborates on the terms used (what does 'through ball' or 'target man' mean) to football 101 (Set-piece coach: A rare breed. Determined individuals with great discipline and motivational skills who excel in the attack, mentality & technique fields of coaching) to the more elaborate things ('how does mentality affect my players actions' or 'effects of morale on team performance').

I could continue, but I'll stop it there. WAY longer than I had planned. Thanks to anyone who reads it. You have my respect for your patience in suffering through my ridiculously long post! :thup:

Deadbloke
27-04-2009, 22:02
Good idea, might not need that much detail in the final thing tho. Like the idea of the 'Civilopedia', a kind of indepth version of the current help, explaining basically everything... all the terminology etc ... is that the idea?

Innawerkz
27-04-2009, 23:36
That's the idea for the civilopedia. The rest of the idea was to more or less ease players into the interface, guide them through some basic planning and introduce them to the overall game gradually.

I've recently introduced this game to a friend and - although this is exactly his type of game - he is going through the steep learning curve to understand all of the games concepts. I've found some well written literature on some introduction steps into the game to help him out.

That and tigerhgrrrr's post got me thinking. Why isn't there something like this in the game already? All of the literature is already there. All the documentation a game designer could EVER need to create a gradual introduction to the game & comprehensive foot-e-pedia is available on the net - free of charge.

It's simply copying, pasting and editing it to fit their style and welcome new players to the game... and to SI's bottom line.

MarkyMark
28-04-2009, 02:56
An approach like what Civilization does would be a good idea. I'm a relatively new player myself so I have a lot of sympathy for those who find the game EXTREMELY overwhelming at first, like I did. There is just so many options that cause new players to think "Where do I start?" A guided started would help new players get off the ground and give them confidence that what they are doing is right.

tigerhgrrrrrr
28-04-2009, 12:33
In a different thread, tigerhgrrrrrr came up with a fantastic idea to ease new players into the game's terms and processes.

Here is a link to his original post. (http://community.sigames.com/showpost.php?p=3115239&postcount=264)



His post didn't seem to get the attention or feedback I feel it was merited, so I thought creating a new thread with an eye towards expanding his original idea might be a fun & beneficial exercise. Admittedly, I haven't had long to ponder the idea, so it may be lacking in polish (and prone to rambling), but hopefully with enough feedback from new & experienced users who can ideally reflect on what the most challenging aspects of the game were/are to learn, we can come up with an easy-to-follow step by step guide on where to find the appropriate information, some suggestions on how to interpret it and put the new managers wishes into action.

Using an existing team (or fake might even be better) that has just come out of an off-season and is looking forward to it's first 'real' game for the new season. There has been one coach who has retired (and would need replacing) and the Ass Man's team report has identified that the Right Full Back position is currently the teams weakest position. I'll start with a general idea: "One Week in the Life of a Football Manager"

---------------------------------------------------------------

Day 1: Welcome to the Last Day of your Social Life

First is the customary 'thanks for buying this', here is a guide to find most of the necessary functions, blah blah blah. A pop up would then say: Click here for your Inbox. All incoming communication from your coaching staff, media outlets, etc. will be found here. (heavily paraphrasing) The player would follow that link and within it would be 3 e-mails: One from the coach who has retired, a team report from the assistant manager and a media hype message about the first game of the season coming in 7 days.

Player is guided to click on the e-mail from the coach telling of his desire to retire. The pop-up saying we should look for his replacement. It then points to the magnifying glass explaining this is where Player & Staff searches start. Following the link, its off to the Player Search screen where the pop-up guides them to 'Staff'. T

The next step would lead them through all of the actions involved with creating a filter based on the departing coaches strengths were (eg: he was a tactics coach) and the search (in this example only) would come back with two options for the player to think about. One with good coaching stats, but with a high compensation penalty and the other that is less proficient but is currently not committed to a team.

(aside: not sure how you go about explaining what is required of a tactics coach without volunteering the perfect attributes for a 7 star coach, but you get the idea.)

Interesting Decision #1: Take the higher quality coach with the higher fee or take the lower quality one at a cheaper rate, allowing more money for the transfer market? The game would then guide the player to the next mail.

The Team Report: Here it outlines where the strengths/weaknesses of the team are but paying particular attention to the Right Full Back needing strengthening. From here, it suggests we go to the Squad screen (again hi-lighting ways to interpret the information, customize, etc.) and eventually ends up on the current right back player.

Player Screen: Clicking on his name we find within his profile that he is 33 and all of his attributes are there. Off to the personal screen where it shows he is thinking of 'being a coach when he is done playing'. To the coach report (again, explaining the info) all leading up to where the final analysis is a 2 star player whom the assistant feels we should be looking to replace.

Back to the Player Search screen, the game guides you through another filter looking for a Right back. Before, it asks you to choose what type of Full Back you wish: One that joins in on attacks, blitzing sidelines and raining crosses into the box or one that is a defensive specialist that effectively shuts out opposing wingers? Interesting Decision #2

Regardless of what the player chooses, 2 options come up. One expensive established player and one cheaper, but with better potential, player. Depending on which option they made with regards to the coach, they may or may not be able to afford the 'expensive' player. Demonstrating the consequences of their prior decisions.

Player is instructed to open both players profiles and is taught how to Scout the Players. However, because of the proximity to the first game of the season and that we want this player for the season opener, we should get a 'Report Card' only. (further elaborating that it is typically better to scout them over a prolonged period of time).

After the scouting has been assigned, the player is sent back to the Inbox for the last mail. The upcoming match. Here it will explain the odds, location, etc. Also within this mail is a note from the opposing manager stating quite simply that he will enjoy beating your team in the season opener. now, its off to the...

Opposing Manager Screen: Here their shown their counterparts managing and play-style, if he prefers to man mark or not, etc. and inform the player that some educated guesses as to what to expect from his opponent could be gleaned from this screen.

Before moving on, the player is invited to open the 'Manager Interaction'. Within is the typical Friendly/Negative response with the game asking how he would like to respond to the aforementioned comment. Unknown to the player is that either choose has a trade-off.

Interesting Decision #3: He says something positive to the manager, his team isn't sure that he should be responding in such a manner to 'the enemy, however the Fullbacks that are being scouted (conveniently) belong to the same manager, so he is willing to release the player for slightly less. If he responded negatively: "We're going to beat your team senseless' it fires up the players team, but consequently raises the asking price for the fullbacks. The pop-ups would go on to elaborate that your teams reaction to your words are influenced by the teams overall personality with professional teams expecting you to behave accordingly, etc. We're now ready to advance to the next day.

---------

Day 2: Dollars & Sense

Day 2 has e-mails from our scout Reporting on the Fullbacks. It expands on what we already knew: One would immediately improve the position, but commands a heavy price. The other is a serviceable player and although not currently elite, has the ability to develop into a division star through training.

The player is then invited to select which player he wishes to sign (or the only option, depending on the players previous decisions). Using the scout advice on what would be a good offer for transfer, a contract screen comes up and elaborates on the various options. Again, for the sake of convenience an offer is drawn up and the decision deadline of Today & the contract is Non-negotiable.

Before moving on, the player is walked through the Transfer rumour screen, the teams internal transfer log (showing the coach and the player status) etc.

The player is instructed to 'Advance the Day'. A positive response arrives in the mail. Guided to 'Offer Contract' the player is now in front of the contract screen where every ting is explained. A contract is drawn-up with what the player is asking for. A pop-up explains that using the Scouting information we see that the player is EXTREMELY INTERESTED in playing for us and is looking between x & y dollars. Since the player is so hot to be a member of our team, we can try to negotiate the weekly wage slightly in our favour.


The coach has also agreed to the contract offered and can now be 'Accept'-ed. Player is then advised to advance the game.

---------

Day 3: Tac-Tic-Toe

Today, the coach & fullback have arrived. The player looks at the coach mail and is taken through to the training screen. Here the player is shown how to set-up the coach for the First Team and Youth squads. The workload & 'star ratings' are also explained.

Since the Fullback needs a training assignment, the game guides the player to create a training schedule that is generally appropriate for the style of player he has chosen and advised to keep an eye to the future and the teams overall tactical outline. This of course leads to...

Tactics: Now, the player is guided through some rudimentary tips on the Tactics screen. For example: "since you chose a more defensive Fullback and can feel a bit more secure in your end, maybe consider a more aggressive tactic allowing your forwards more freedom up front. (4-3-3)

Or conversely: "since you chose a more dynamic Fullback, you should perhaps consider the more balanced 4-4-2 so that you don't leave your wings vulnerable when he joins into the attack. This way the Right Midfielder can more readily help with the defensive duties on the wing while the fullback (wingback) goes into attack mode."

And so on and so on.

---------------------------------------

All of this handled in a 'narrative' of sorts about the exciting new season, the anticipation for the upcoming games & the boards/fans expectations with suggestions on how you could meet them. A lead up that essentially follows each screen with a series of pop-ups for the new players and 'Did you knows?' for the more experienced players with information that may have been overlooked before or has been recently introduced.

It would elaborate on Player Instructions, Team Instructions and so on without feeling like each step is monotonous or drawn out, but more of a methodical plan leading up to 'THE BIG GAME' coming up in a weeks time.

Would it take awhile? Yes, but if done properly could drastically reduce the need for an expansive manual (one of a game design company's highest costs), could be edited & formatted down to the last day before release (to reduce the number of errors) and could be updated and patched so that it always contains the most recent facts and guides for the game (Walkthrough 9.3; for example).

Anybody who has played Civilization knows about the Civilopedia. Essentially an in-game dictionary/glossary/concept reference that can be pulled up with one click that elaborates on the terms used (what does 'through ball' or 'target man' mean) to football 101 (Set-piece coach: A rare breed. Determined individuals with great discipline and motivational skills who excel in the attack, mentality & technique fields of coaching) to the more elaborate things ('how does mentality affect my players actions' or 'effects of morale on team performance').

I could continue, but I'll stop it there. WAY longer than I had planned. Thanks to anyone who reads it. You have my respect for your patience in suffering through my ridiculously long post! :thup:

Excellent stuff, progressed my idea much further than I had considered but very much in line with my thoughts. Age of Empires is another good example, in that your little soldiers get sent out on small skirmish battles before you attempt world domination! Dont know how that equates to FM but I think more detailed feedback for that lead in period, the kind of info experienced FM players would hate to see in the game for real(!), would really help to start with. The in game help function promises so much (its all in there!) but delivers so little (does not relate). I like the idea of a controlled 3/4 game (or even a single game if that is all that is easily codeable) "example" where the FM intelligence can give feedback in some depth. If the sheer depth of variables make that impossible (which I could, unfortunately, understand) then maybe (as a last resort) a file on the game disc which contains a "video" walkthrough, in a popular format, of the kind of situations I alluded to, with commentary & examples of changes & effects tactically. That surely Would be possible.

jayahr
28-04-2009, 15:14
That MUST however be skippable...

Schotsmannetje
28-04-2009, 15:23
That MUST however be skippable...

I agree, but I've never seen a game in which the tutorials weren't skippable.

Although there are many games that have an unskippable tutorial hidden in the gameplay so subtle that you don't even notice it. I guess that such a thing is impossible to implement in FM though.


I think it is absolutely one of the best ideas I've seen on this forum for a while. Not everybody has had the privilege of also playing the earlier CM versions in which the main menu consisted of 5 buttons.

Innawerkz
28-04-2009, 15:23
That MUST however be skippable...

I usually try not to state the obvious.

tigerhgrrrrrr
28-04-2009, 16:49
That MUST however be skippable...

The way I envision it it would NOT be "skippable" because it would not be part of the main game, it would be like a save game file that you are guided towards if you so choose, and at any point you should be able to cancel & exit it.

Innawerkz
28-04-2009, 17:09
The way I envision it it would NOT be "skippable" because it would not be part of the main game, it would be like a save game file that you are guided towards if you so choose, and at any point you should be able to cancel & exit it.

Good idea. More or less what I was thinking. An option on the main menu:

Start New Game / Load Previous / Load / Play Tutorial

tigerhgrrrrrr
28-04-2009, 20:30
Good idea. More or less what I was thinking. An option on the main menu:

Start New Game / Load Previous / Load / Play Tutorial

It works for Sim City.......