I’ve been thinking about how we flatten the learning curve for FM and I keep coming back to a “training wheels” approach. Loki Doki’s recent video inspired me to finally write up how I think it might look.
Assume that I’m a new player, I’ve created my manager profile and I’m ready to pick a team to manage. There’s a big friendly button, or a checkbox or something saying “Tutorial”. When the tutorial starts, it defaults to my picked favourite team before the final game of the previous season.
I get a welcome email from the team’s current manager, maybe the board, saying how pleased they are I’ve joined them etc. My manager tells me he wants me to get familiar with the squad and run training. He outlines a quick tour of the interface and says I’m free to poke around, but the first thing he wants me to look at is training for the team. Maybe there’s a quick blurb to look at what he’s trying to do with the tactic and what he suggests the team focus on.
I can now look at any screen. The Tactics screen will have my AI manager’s preferred tactic loaded and the team already picked. The only screen I can change things on at this stage is training. When I load that screen up the popup question marks go into a bit of detail around what I can change here, and I can set training any way I like. Once that’s done, another big “?” over the continue button.
I hit continue, and there’s another email. “Good stuff, I think you’re doing well on the training ground, but I think a couple of our players would benefit from some additional focus.” There’s a bit more text about attributes, which ones the manager thinks are most important for a couple positions and then it’s off to the squad screen, getting familiar with players and choosing some individual training for them.
Continue again, and another email comes in about an upcoming fixture. This is the intro to the schedule screen, and suggests looking at the opposition report from the scout. It also introduces some basic opposition analysis, and the tactics screen. The manager asks you to focus specifically on say a CM position, think about how it would fit into the overall tactic he’s already got set, and suggests based on what you’re seeing to pick a role and maybe some individual instructions for this one player. Quite a bit of time should be spent here just explaining some basic tactical concepts (e.g. the fluidity, mentality settings). Continue when ready…
Match day, and you get to watch the game. Manager asks you to take the team talk (offers suggestions where normally the Assistant Manager would), and there’s a scripted injury where he asks you to substitute the player, and any others you think would be a good idea. There’s a quick intro to shouts as well.
The day after the match there’s an email from the manager or data analyst (if your team employs one) giving you a quick tour of the analysis screens, and a note that these are also available during a match.
When you continue past here, the manager introduces you to scouting, offering some suggestions from the chief scout. There’s a crash course in the finances screen as well, and after you continue a quick pop-up tour of the scout report. The manager asks you to make an offer for a player, which you negotiate with some popup hints, contract negotiations and then either once the player agrees or talks break down you continue again.
At this point you get a notification from the board that the manager has moved on, been sacked, whatever, and they’d like you to take over on a one year deal. Tutorial over, good luck, it’s now 1st July of the current season and the team’s all yours.
It probably needs work and there’s maybe a better way to order the screens being introduced, but I think something like this would be miles above the current approach which dumps you in front of a bunch of screens with text on them and asks you to look at those “?” icons.