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Posts posted by Amaroq

  1. Six ideas for Team-Talks:

    - Improve Team Talk Feedback

    - Add "Motivation" to the Select Team Talk screen

    - Add a "Special Team Talk Available" icon to the Select Team Talk screen

    - Rename the "None" team talk

    - Add a pop-up indicating in more detail what the team-talk means in context

    - Don't provide any team-talk which is nonsensical in context

    Discussed in more detail at:

    Team-Talks: UI improvements?

  2. Manual Rolling Save Mode

    Spot on - I wholeheartedly endorse this idea.

    I've got the exact same habit crouchaldinho has, Ctrl-S after every match, because I hate it when a power outage or Windows bluescreen makes me replay a match. However, because of that, I rarely go the full week and get the benefit of the rolling save mode.

    Never understood why it isn't linked - if I have rolling autosave on, just "roll" every time I save regardless of whether its human-initiated or auto-initiated.

  3. (I followed with:)

    That's a brilliant idea, crouchaldinho. Just like pre-match scouting, some post-match breakdown. Would love to see that done up well - it would be a great boon to players who are struggling.

    Especially if it tackled some of the why behind one's struggles. For example, in the current A.M. feedback module, you can see things like "We've really struggled with our passing, gifting them tithe ballme and again." However, it doesn't address why that's happening, or give me any suggestions as to what I might want to change tactically to try and address that.

    If this post-match analysis could come in and say, "Look, we just kept hitting it direct up to two strikers who were well-covered. We'd have been better suited to try some possession build-up," or, "Listen, the soggy wet conditions made a mockery of our attempts to play short possession football", that might help me understand why my tactical approach was wrong for the day.

    (End of cross-post)

  4. To which crouchaldinho replied with the following idea:

    Really good idea Amaroq and something easy to implement as this already happens with the tactical options (i.e. if you hover the mouse over them).

    I would also like to see assistant manager feedback implemented for after the game has finished. So after a match you get a message in the inbox saying, 'You assistant has spent some time analysing the performance against Team X and he feels...'

    Such information could include responses such as:

    '...the assistant feels that the team talk "no pressure" resulted in some of the players feeling complacent and unmotivated'.

    '...the assistant notes that your supportive half-time team talk completely failed to motivate your players to defend their lead.'

    '...the assistant mentions that Player X was confused by your inappropriate team talk as he couldn't understand why you were angry with his level of performance.'

    It could even be tactical or other general issues:

    '...the assistant feels that we didn't get it tactically right on the day and that we should spend some time looking at why our passing let us down'.

    '...the assistant feels that we weren't adventurous enough on this occasion and that we should have thrown caution to the wind in the second-half'.

    '...the assistant feels that team gelling issues are one of the key problems at the moment and he hopes that things will get better as the side play more matches'.

    Just an idea... I realise that it would have to be a lot more complex and interesting than this.


  5. (Cross-post from FM'09 going back on the shelf)

    Here's my thought on team-talks.

    Currently, we have a very short phrase to choose from, which has to be short because it has to fit into a drop-down menu with limited size.

    As has been noted often, some of the labels don't match exactly what is being said; I thought team-talks were "broken" until I figured out that I can use "None" at times; I think of it as "Keep it up, lads, now let's talk tactics."

    However, wouldn't a lot of the ambiguity go away if the game UI presented us with wwfan's longer extrapolations of meaning (post 514)? For example, as mouse-over text, or using some of the space which is unused when I have an 11+7 squad to choose from.

    E.g., place up at the top a bit which says "Current talk: ". Then, as I toggle through options on the drop-down, it indicates what I'm 'actually' saying, so .. when I select "We can win this", it shows me wwfan's line - "Current talk: This will be a tight match, but if we play to the best of our ability we can win this."

    SI would have a spot more translations to do, sure, but I think that it would be a dramatic improvement in terms of the impact to the "average" user - the one who isn't out here on the forums and expects team-talks to be a common-sense, "does what it says on the tin" module.

    It would, in particular, be useful if those "Current talk:" lines changed according to the context, so that the case where a slight favorite says "We can win this", gets to halftime 0-0, and says "Pleased" is clearly different from the case where a massive underdog says "No pressure", gets to halftime 0-0, and says "Pleased".

  6. Brilliant stuff, Captain.

    4. A career confidence bar - No point.

    There is a point, actually. The current Confidence bar is very much a "What have you done for me lately" approach. Yes, it does seem modern football has that attitude often .. but then you also see long-term legends like Sir Alex. When we're talking about 20-season save games, that's the sort of character we're talking about ... and yeah, at that point, I think a career confidence bar adds a lot.

    It sort of hints towards the Club Legend status that I've proposed elsewhere - in which, basically, if your achievements dramatically exceed the club's reputation when you first took over, then you've achieved a sort of permanent Legend status with the club. In my suggestion, boards would be willing to "write off" one season of failed expectations as bad luck / injury crisis / rebuilding .. board takeovers would find it impossible to sack you because of the fan backlash .. and you'd be able to be sacked / resign / accept a different job without falling off the Club Favorites list.

    Its a pretty simple set that I was asking for, but I think C.P.'s idea gives that a lot more depth than I was thinking of, and Gypsum's follow-on post about Iconic players is equally valuable for that continued-immersion-after-20-years factor.

    6. The Manager dot! - No point.

    Umm... we have the fourth official dot and two physio dots .. how is the manager dot any less useful than either of those?

    Imagine seeing the manager dot come a yard onto the pitch to argue a call, or move to the end of the box to argue with the fourth official, or huddling close to a player as he gets his final instructions before stepping onto the pitch. Immersive, nothing else.

    . . .

    The ideas I'd add, C.P., are around #5 -

    5. Manager stats/attributes

    I'm my own manager, how I play the game is totally different to my mates and there should be some attributes and stats that relate to that. The ones that exist currently again seem half-implemented and don't seem to work correctly (e.g. preferred marking style ont he personal screen).

    I would love to see a set of number than breaks down what I'm like as a manager, I'd like number to say that I'm a wheeler and dealer in the transfer market, I please the media and I'm quite angry in the dressing room. I also want it to show what my current favourite formation is as well as playing style.

    I think it would be fantastic if these attributes and stats related to other game content too. Media/Other Manager comments about me and my personality and my preferred playing style. This is in already in a very limited fashion and could be expanded on.

    I'd very much like to see these things built up.

    Preferred Formation, Preferred marking style, etc., should all be things that the game can "understand" just by looking at what I trot out every week.

    My other behaviors, similarly - in fact, it might help players learn how the game is interpreting what they are saying. For example, if it told me I was "quite angry in the dressing room", I'd realize that I was being more volcanic than I'd intended to be.

    Beyond that, though, there is a bunch of "stat" things we could see.

    Why not a "History" page similar to that for clubs and players?

    I'd love to be able to look back and see my club, league, W-D-L, GD, and finishing position for every season of every managerial stint I've had, maybe with termination results, for example:

             Club         W  D  L   GD  GF GA  Pos   
    2008/09  AGOVV        1  7 12  -27   9 36  20th  Dutch Erest Divisie    Sacked
    2008/09  Port Talbot  5  6 10  - 8  26 34  13th  Welsh Premier League
    2009/10  Port Talbot 10  5  9  + 6  36 30   6th  Welsh Premier League   Resigned

  7. As a general rule, assuming mostly British players settling into an English squad, all speaking English and of average adaptability .. you'll see marked improvement by the six-month mark, probably a bit earlier; I usually see my team start to "gel" around the end of November, start of December.

    If you don't change the team, by the second season, they will feel infinitely more consistent.

    ... of course, that's assuming that things don't "go wrong", like players disliking each other, etc.

  8. Just giving a bit of insight into the industry, and I don't work for SI so this is industry info, not SI-specific:

    For most annual-installment games, the process is at least 10 months in length, sometimes as long as 20.

    Identifying the feature set for next year's game is usually done before this year's game completes, so for SI, summer of '08 is when they would be discussing the design goals for FM'10, and what they're going to put their resources into.

    Major feature revisions might start in summer '08, with a couple of senior architects looking at it, but most of the team will still be focused on FM'09 at that time.

    Once FM'09 launches (fall '08), most of the team will take a well-earned vacation, say two to four weeks. Then the majority of the team will come in to work on FM'10. Stuff will probably start a bit slowly, say, through December, as people take a bit of a natural "breather", look at bugs for FM'09 patches, etc.

    By January, though, things will be in full swing as major feature development cranks out: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, probably, will see the most progress on the game. QA (the test team) may be asked to test specific modules as those modules are completed.

    By about four months until launch (May '09, for SI's case), the game is usually considered "Feature complete", and is ready to enter full testing. If the company have an "alpha" team, those testers would receive it. QA begins their heavy testing period.

    About six weeks until launch (mid-August?), the game would start getting "locked down". Depending on the company, the process will differ, but its not uncommon to have a "Bug Council" that will decide whether a bug is worth the risk of fixing at this late date, can be targeted to a future patch, or should be assigned to next year's game. For the most part, only "showstoppers", e.g., major broken functionality, crash bugs, etc, are worth the risk of a late fix .. If there is a "beta program", those testers would probably receive the game at around this time.

    SI take their final DB update with transfers from the end of the summer window, e.g., August 30th, so let's figure that DB update gets in by a week later, then they have to focus on testing the DB update for a week or two.

    By about two weeks prior to the launch, the team are working on making their "gold master CD", so bug fixes are very few and far between, and testing will be focused on the installer, not the game itself. When the gold master is signed off on, it is sent off to the production facility, and the distribution process outlined earlier begins.

    Of course, after the launch, and depending on the company, there may be patches - SI have a phenomenal service record in this department, which I don't think we-the-community give them enough credit for. So, some team members may remain focused on FM'10 through December '09 and that January '10 data update .. eighteen months after it all started.

    So, "Why can't we buy it earlier?" ... basically, we get to buy it at the earliest date that SI think it is "ready" and can run it through the production and distribution process.

  9. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by skinnymalinky:

    Will a players influence rise if given the armband? My squad is bereft of players with a high influence rating. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes. That effect has apparently been around a while, but was made more pronounced with FM'07; somebody said they made one of their guys captain for three years running, and saw his Influence rise from '3' to '18' or so .. I don't know how pronounced it is in '08.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by michaelcheetham:

    just confusing that my assistant always reccommends player with highest teamwork. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think the folks that swear up and down by influence are still living in the CM01/02 world. icon_wink.gif As noted in my linked post, teamwork is pretty key.

  10. Panpardus - I'd been foreshadowing it for quite some time.. and not just those recent interviews, either!

    Thanks, aaberdeenn, I hope you'll be joining us in the new thread.

    irishregan, your support all along has been tremendous; I don't think we'd have gotten this far without your encouragement, and that of everybody else who has posted a KUTGW! along the way.

    Behind the curtain, I had originally intended the story to go something like this: start at Lancaster, take them into League Two, then step down to York, my favourite club, and turn them into a European powerhouse.

    I got the York job a bit too early.. and then around about February of 2007, in story terms, Dave C posted his rant (since deleted in the purge of GQ) about taking York from the Conference to fourth in the Premiership, only to get sacked for not taking the title in the following year (while still alive in their first Champions League, no less!).

    Apparently, consistently exceeding expectations while raising a club too high, in FM'05 especially, caused the board to expect you to continue to exceed expectations, if that makes sense. In other words, their expectations became unreasonably high.

    His point spurred my interest in the "Club Legend" concept, basically, that a manager who has achieved what he had would be much more secure at a club; it would also help prevent things like Sir Alex getting fired in the first season for not winning the title with Man U.

    However, it gave me serious concerns about the long-term prospects for the story - and, though I hadn't yet posted the first episode, I was already concerned for my readership; I figured it would be more painful to get an difficult-to-explain sacking after eight to ten years with the club than to see our narrator make an easy-to-explain step up, so I started interviewing.

    If I had one thing to do over, I'd have waited a week or two to apply to Sheffield, so I could finish out the title run.. heck, even a "DELAY" button would have been nice! icon_wink.gif

    If you want to find out how things turn out for York.. well.. you'll just have to read along!

  11. Sunday, 22nd April, 2007, midnight.

    I yawned blearily. "God, what a day."

    Tappa, who had been helping me clean out my office, gave me a sympathetic smile.

    "Its a great move, boss."

    "It is, I know."

    The retiring Jamaican midfielder, of course, has been one of York's key players over the past three seasons.

    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre"> Season Pos Age GS GP Goa Ass MoM Av.R League


    2004-05 AMC 32 15 18 7 7 7 8.28 Conference

    2005-06 AMC 33 22 28 6 10 5 7.71 Conference

    2006-07 AMC 34 20 31 2 8 4 7.16 League 2


    Totals AMC 57 77 15 25 16 7.62</pre>

    Without his brilliance, I suspect I'd still be down in the Conference!

    "So," I asked. "Are you coming with me?"

    "What do you mean?"

    "I've got complete control over hiring. You have your coaching badges. I'm offering you a position."

    He broke into a great big grin.

    "Thank you, mon, but no - I've already got one."

    "What?" I almost thought I'd misheard, but his beaming countenance assured me I hadn't. "Get out! Where?!"

    "I'm going home. You be talkin' to the new coach of the Jamaican national Under-19s!"


    "I start in Kingston in three weeks."

    "Congratulations, my friend!!"

    "Right back at you, mon. Its been a joy playin' for you, an' I hope I can be as good to them as play for me."

  12. Sunday, 22nd April, 2007, late.

    The year in review: York team statistics, 2006/07 season - League Two.

    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">Players Pos Age GS App Goa Ass MoM Av R

    Paul Edwards SC 24 22 27 17 1 2 7.22

    Simon Roberts SC 16 0 21 8 2 1 7.10

    John Shepherd SC 19 12 19 4 5 0 7.21 Transferred £350,000

    Marc Walton SC 19 8 9 5 1 0 7.11 Loan

    Thomas Carroll SC 23 2 10 4 0 0 7.00 Loan

    Keith Barker SC 20 4 8 1 1 0 6.88 Loan

    Levent Yalcin SC 21 3 5 1 0 0 7.00 Transferred £275,000

    Robert Cousins AMC 18 29 36 11 4 3 7.39

    Tappa Whitmore AMC 34 20 31 2 8 4 7.16 Retiring

    Micah Richards AMC 18 24 30 2 6 1 7.10

    Ryan Ashington AMC 23 7 9 1 1 2 7.11 Transferred £ 30,000

    Ricky Shakes AMC 22 1 4 1 0 1 7.00 Loan

    Joe Foote AMC 19 2 7 0 3 0 7.00

    Lee Croft AMC 21 8 10 0 1 0 7.00 Loan

    Daryl Peters AMC 17 2 6 0 0 0 6.67 Transferred £ 12,000

    Phil Townley AMRL 20 24 38 4 4 1 7.13 Loan

    Jon P McGovern AMR 26 28 32 1 7 1 7.25

    Campbell-Ryce AMRL 24 11 17 0 4 4 7.29 Loan

    John McGrath AML 25 26 31 0 4 3 7.10 Transferring £40,000

    Mark Goodwin MR 19 4 6 0 2 0 7.17

    Adam Corbett ML 17 5 9 0 1 0 7.00 Transferring £150,000

    Richard Fox AMRL 17 4 9 0 1 1 7.00 Transferred £ 85,000

    Alan Navarro DMC 25 37 38 2 2 1 7.21

    Ian Bannister DMC 17 13 16 2 0 0 7.00 Transferred £ 10,000

    Malcolm Parker DMC 19 1 1 0 0 0 7.00

    Liam Fontaine DC 21 40 40 0 1 0 6.97

    Graeme Law DR 22 39 40 1 1 0 7.05

    Joe Keenan DLC 24 29 33 0 2 0 7.09

    Jamie Cooper DC 18 26 27 0 1 0 7.15

    Michael Staley DC 19 22 23 0 0 0 6.61

    Adam Eckersley DL 21 14 19 1 0 0 6.95

    Mark Wright DC 19 14 15 1 0 0 7.07 Transferred £100,000

    Tony Craig DL 22 10 11 0 0 0 7.18 Loan

    Mark Dixon DR 17 9 9 0 0 1 6.89

    Daniel Smith DR 17 2 2 0 0 0 6.50 Expiring

    Kevin West DLC 17 0 1 0 0 0 7.00 Transferred £ 35,000

    Kevin Eaton DC 17 0 0 0 0 0 -.-- Reserve

    Players Pos Age GS App Con Cln MoM Av R

    Alan Blayney GK 25 42 42 31 21 4 7.10

    Kevin Butler GK 18 4 6 3 3 1 6.83

    Nick McDonald GK 17 4 4 3 1 0 6.75

    Paul Carruthers GK 17 1 1 1 0 0 6.00 Transferred £20,000

    Colin Hart GK 16 0 0 0 0 0 -.-- Reserve</pre>

  13. Sunday, 22nd April, 2007, night.

    "Thanks for coming in so late," I said, to my assembled players and coaches - ex-players and ex-coaches - at a late-evening team meeting.

    "I've called you here to tell you that I'm leaving the club, effective immediately. I've accepted a position with Sheffield United.

    "Viv will be taking over in my absence.

    "I want to say 'thank you' for everything you guys have done for me these past three years. We've really built a family, here, and I deeply appreciate all of your determination and sacrifice, and the team spirit which you so obviously feel for each other.

    "I won't be here for the big game against Cheltenham, but you don't need me: you lot have done all the hard work yourselves.

    "I just want you to do one thing:

    "Win it.

    "Win it for yourselves.

    "You deserve to be champions!"

  14. Sunday, 22nd April, 2007, sunset.

    "Congratulations," Steve Beck told me, and seeing the genuine smile on his face, at least half my tension over the decision melted away.

    I could feel my shoulders melting, I hadn't even realized how stressed I had been about how he would take it.

    "No, I'm not surprised," he told me, reading my face. "Mister Dooley had to call me to arrange transfer terms."

    I blinked; I hadn't even considered that there might be transfer fees involved for managers. Its obvious, of course - there are fees for players, coaches, and physios, and a manager is just another employee.

    "Look, lad, at last I can explain myself fully," he said, walking around the large desk to join me on the visitor's side of his office.

    "One reason we haven't done a deal is to ensure that you considered your options.

    "I know you're loyal, to a fault at times, but you're going to go far - further than this tired old club could take you.

    "These past two years have been a dream .. but with this ground, and our catchment area? We're not poised to take you to the Premiership, and I think that's where you belong.

    "I hope you'll forgive me, but I thought you might need a nudge out of the nest, so to speak."

    I was overcome by emotion, and couldn't trust myself to speak. Mister Beck, at his most demonstrative, reached out and placed a brief, manly hand on my shoulder.

  15. Sunday, 22nd April, 2007, evening.


    Even as I said it, I suffered a last pang of regret: how will I break it to Steve Beck, and the McGills, who have offered such faith in me these past three years?

    Stacy had been the one whose advice pushed me over the edge: she reminded me that we'd dropped our entire lives - jobs, friends, family - in California to come here, to pursue my dream, and the least I could do was "go for it" when such a glorious opportunity presented itself!

    Tom telling me the terms hadn't hurt - they weren't just generous, they were utterly shocking: five thousand pounds a week, over £250,000 per year! The deal also included a signing bonus - enough to put a down payment on a house at last - and large bonuses for winning promotion to the Championship, or any trophy, plus a guaranteed raise if by any chance we reached the Premiership.

    It wasn't the money, I told myself.

    I think it was true.

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