fmobande

IGN member speak the truth about Football manager

347 posts in this topic

It's the AI, and the human's interaction with that AI, that is the be-all and end-all of every game. Graphics can compensate to a certain degree, or they can make it worse. But superficial things like graphics are never enough to make or break a game. If a game is good, it's good despite poor graphics. You don't get a good game despite poor AI.
Of course you can get a good game despite poor AI. Civilization V is reviewed in this vein, i.e.: http://uk.gamespot.com/sid-meiers-civilization-v/reviews/sid-meiers-civilization-v-review-6276683/ Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow could also fit into this, where the AI was idiotic at times.

A game can have dreadful AI but if its real selling point is multiplayer (which, say, is very good), then nobody really cares about the AI being dreadful and the game will be good despite it.

While that ("You don't get a good game despite poor AI.") might be true for single-player games that are good, what about games that are poor (i.e. your assertion of Tribes), where the AI could be a redeeming factor? You could easily get a game that is "poor, despite the fact the AI is brilliant" (hence my example of a very boring game having perfect AI).

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I'd say its the ability to judge their own squad correctly that causes most of the problems. It's what's causing them to look for the wrong players that leads to them having 5 strikers when they only play one up front, for example.

The ability to judge a player definitely needs some work, but that's not the crux of the problem imo.

To me it is...

I've seen plenty of Top Clubs spending good money on 19yo "prospects" with Championship-level attributes, no hopers and one-trick-ponies. Not once, not twice, but almost every signing, especially when newgens [whose patterns and development is another area in need of a massive revamp, albeit it's been slowly improving] is NOT good enough and will never be good enough.

And then good players can be signed as free agents for a reasonable wage because the AI is too stupid to sign them before the contract expired, or because the Reputation system made the players unreasonably stuck-up or greedy.

That's the main reason the game becomes too easy as years go by.

I could live with City buying 6 strikers IF those strikers were top-shelf material. Sadly they aren't, and if that's not the crux of the problem I don't really know what it is.

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All of that can be drawn back to the AI manager looking at their squad and making bad decisions about it.

If they judge their squad poorly, they'll buy players that aren't as good as what a human manager will expect.

If a player has Championship level attributes at 19, it means they're likely to be considered hot prospects, or do you think every Premiership player should be Wayne Rooney quality at 19 ;)

Most young players bought by Premiership clubs in real life never go on to actually do anything either. Human managers always seem to look for youth players that are already good, rather than also considering players that could be good.

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The FM match engine generates 45 minutes of football in approx. 2 seconds at the start of every match.

FPS have 5 people on screen who need to decide whether to duck behind cover or not.

It's hilarious that you actually think this is true.

EDIT: Sorry, that was too short to be deemed constructive. Let me put it this way: it now makes sense how you are dazzled by Sports Interactive and the code in FM.

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And it's incredible if you genuinely took that last sentence seriously.

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Oh while I remember, do you even know what legacy code is?

Do you also realise it's present in pretty much every PC and Mac game?

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Oh while I remember, do you even know what legacy code is?

Yes.

Do you also realise it's present in pretty much every PC and Mac game?

Yes.

Do you realise that the amount of legacy code can make a huge difference in how much freedom you have while coding? Have you ever coded anything? Do you realise that Sports Interactive have to, at some stage, re-write the game from scratch to keep up with new technology and ageing software? I mean, the comments you've made about FPS AI in this thread are mind-boggling. Is it the "friend from Capcom" that taught you about AI in first-person shooters?

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And it's incredible if you genuinely took that last sentence seriously.

Obviously you were being very tongue in cheek, but interested to how know it differs between FM and and a shooter like say, Ghost Recon. Probably a very general question, but I'm curious.

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Obviously you were being very tongue in cheek, but interested to how know it differs between FM and and a shooter like say, Ghost Recon. Probably a very general question, but I'm curious.

Have to be way more specific than that. Obviously there's a huge difference when coding a turn-based game, as it's easier to let the user select X amount of actions before rules kick in. With a real-time game like a FPS, you need to instantly apply rules for a ton of actions impossible to predict beforehand.

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Just to brag I was 15th (out of a few hundred thousand players), before I stopped playing due to real world stuffs, on SEA server in Starcraft 2 so I am pretty good at the game and the AI is terrible. It doesn't need to be good. SC2 is about multiplayer. Lets move on to Diablo 3. Terrible AI also with crazy monster affixes dominating you in inferno instead of good AI. I also remember playing FEAR when it was released and how everyone was touting its AI as amazing and stuff. And it was for that 'era' with enemies trying to flank you etc...But it still wasn't that good. Stealth games like Thief and MGS has very basic AI also. Those type of games are more like puzzle games where you are suppose to know how the AI acts and it is up to you to solve the puzzle by getting from A to B.

FM has good AI. It should be better but it is not super crap. Still I hope it is a priority for SI along with the ME. I feel the tactics system is too restricting.

On another note I feel uneasy at all the accusations that SI are lazy and complacent just because they don't have any competitors. The games' industry is unique to other industries such as one that makes homogenous product in that you don't necessarily need a competitor to want to do better. I doubt those who bash SI on this actually know whether the developers are being lazy due to lack of competition or they are working hard because they are passionate enough. Until you know I think you should refrain from making such accusations.

My opinion is that they aren't being complacent. The dev cycle of releasing a game every year is incredibly short and the changes made year by year are decent enough for me. You can't expect revolution every year. Most of the yearly sports titles I play are far behind SIgames in the year by year differences. It is amazing that there are those that expect SI to go far and above the industry norm.

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Have to be way more specific than that. Obviously there's a huge difference when coding a turn-based game, as it's easier to let the user select X amount of actions before rules kick in. With a real-time game like a FPS, you need to instantly apply rules for a ton of actions impossible to predict beforehand.

It is not easier it is just different. Yes AI in FPS is really advanced in recent years. No longer are AI following patterns and responding with basic maneuvers. But they still follow a set rule. They don't instantly apply rules for tonnes of actions. They mostly work on pathfinding and line of sight, pre-processing of terrain and obstacles in making decisions. Not to mention FPS AI is still extremely restrictive and difficult. The AI of an enemy soldier is top notch in the first 20 or so seconds but after that you get a noticeable degradation of AI behaviour as the options open to the AI gets bigger and the queries become more complex. Which is why you still get a lot of FPS games giving you set pieces where you fight in a small area then move onto the next one. And where you can kill enemies fairly quickly. Quantity over quality. You don't get long shootout duels in FPS and when you do the 'boss' follows a pattern anyway.

In turnbase AI there are different considerations. There is the actions of the player to consider and also the simulated world. It isn't just the AI will do a list of xyz just because abc triggered it. The AI algorithm has to take into account priorities. What do I give up for that player or which castle should I storm? I need resource A, B, C but which do I farm first? It is the most basic of queries but in a simulated world the complexity of simple things ramp up very quickly eg. instead of a ladder you would have a weird looking tree

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Again; it's code. It's not magic. The talent lies in creating the algorithms that control what you experience as game behaviour. The true beauty in FM lies in what PaulC does with the match engine. As in; how 22 code elements should behave to make it look like an actual football match is taking place on your screen. But even the ME is being re-written from scratch, so obviously that wasn't as good as it could have been either.

I know it is code, not magic. But thanks for the condescension.

I'd agree that the ME is a work of genius. However, Paul has gone on record stating exactly how difficult to get the balance right in the AI squad building / transfer modules and that he's glad he doesn't work on them anymore. My own interpretation of AI squad building problems is that it rests somewhere in the recognition and reputation of players between the ages of 20 and 24. Unless they are already world class (which most are not) the AI teams tend not to play them, which means they don't develop properly. They won't got to lower rep clubs on loan for a few years prior to being good enough for the big clubs. They just sit in the reserves and stagnate. Users have a huge advantage as they can recognise the quality of these players, buy them cheap, develop them and profit monetarily or on the pitch. This seems to repeat in all iterations of FM. Perhaps you could suggest a solution? Or, if you think I'm wrong, explain which parts of the squad building / transfer modules are causing the imbalance?

The ME is also not being rewritten from scratch. I don't know where you got that from. Paul stated he needed at lease two development cycles (if not more) to work on core elements in the ME. He believed that he should do it now as the 2011/12 ME was well balanced, meaning it would remain robust across iterations and that it was a good starting point for these key changes.

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On another note I feel uneasy at all the accusations that SI are lazy and complacent just because they don't have any competitors. The games' industry is unique to other industries such as one that makes homogenous product in that you don't necessarily need a competitor to want to do better. I doubt those who bash SI on this actually know whether the developers are being lazy due to lack of competition or they are working hard because they are passionate enough. Until you know I think you should refrain from making such accusations.

My opinion is that they aren't being complacent. The dev cycle of releasing a game every year is incredibly short and the changes made year by year are decent enough for me. You can't expect revolution every year. Most of the yearly sports titles I play are far behind SIgames in the year by year differences. It is amazing that there are those that expect SI to go far and above the industry norm.

Finally, someone hits all the nails on the head, SI as an entity aren't lazy, as individuals they aren't allowed to be.

They try just as hard now as they did when there was some kind of competition.

They don't get everything right, they can't make us all happy because we have too many different personal priorities, nevertheless they won't stop trying to achieve both.

I certainly would like to see a vast upgrade of AI squad management which endures into a long career game, I'm well aware what a mammoth task that is because the AI isn't and can't be sentient.

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The games' industry is unique to other industries such as one that makes homogenous product in that you don't necessarily need a competitor to want to do better.
Where did this one come from?

In every industry, there is a desire to improve, even in a monopoly.

But in industries like this one, you need competition to push everyone that last extra mile.

I'm sure SI work hard, but I'm sure they'd work harder if they had an equal rival (and/or rivals) where one slip-up could hit their paycheque substantially.

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On another note I feel uneasy at all the accusations that SI are lazy and complacent just because they don't have any competitors. The games' industry is unique to other industries such as one that makes homogenous product in that you don't necessarily need a competitor to want to do better. I doubt those who bash SI on this actually know whether the developers are being lazy due to lack of competition or they are working hard because they are passionate enough. Until you know I think you should refrain from making such accusations.

My opinion is that they aren't being complacent. The dev cycle of releasing a game every year is incredibly short and the changes made year by year are decent enough for me. You can't expect revolution every year. Most of the yearly sports titles I play are far behind SIgames in the year by year differences. It is amazing that there are those that expect SI to go far and above the industry norm.

Complacency is the wrong word really, but I can see why people use it.

Competition does help to up performance, the footballing world often cite bringing in players in certain positions to push those who think they are already trying hard as they can, to try that little bit harder.

Specifically when it comes to SI, when they are having development decisions it makes them ask different questions. You have to do different things to retain and gain customers from the lure of competitive products, compared to retaining or gaining them from nothing.

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I would love a sparkling newly written game in 64 bit, better me, 3d engine and AI, I would also like to win the lotto, marry Ponelope Cruz and have a brewery...

That's rather frightening, as you're in Australia, thinking the same as me here in Spain, right down to Penelope Cruz and a brewery! :eek:

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Where did this one come from?

In every industry, there is a desire to improve, even in a monopoly.

But in industries like this one, you need competition to push everyone that last extra mile.

I'm sure SI work hard, but I'm sure they'd work harder if they had an equal rival (and/or rivals) where one slip-up could hit their paycheque substantially.

Motivation by fear? I think the team is motivated enough by pride and passion for their product.

You only have to look at the Research team for the game, unpaid volunteers like myself, to know that there is passion out there to make it the best it can be.

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Competition in this case could be a double edged sword really. Sure it could motivate SI to work even harder but on the other hand it would bring an even bigger need for shiny new features (read: pointless fluff to help sell copies). Ultimately it's a moot discussion anyway as there (probably) never will be a competitor. The time and resources needed to build a database that could compete with SI's is way too much for anyone to bother.

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What is 'AI' mean ?

Artificial Intelligence

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Motivation by fear? I think the team is motivated enough by pride and passion for their product.

I'm sure the pride and passion are there, but competition would have even more of an effect. For example, tighter deadlines would have to be hit and slippages will be costly.

There are plenty of other factors that determine the quality of the end product, and competition is part of that.

There's nothing wrong with "motivation by fear" in this regard. If you are proud of your final product, you aren't going to want it to lose to your competitor. Which will make you even more motivated.

You only have to look at the Research team for the game, unpaid volunteers like myself, to know that there is passion out there to make it the best it can be.

Unpaid volunteers hardly have to worry about pay day in this regard. Passion is all you have to go on.

Competition, however, might have even more benefits to the consumer. For example, if there was a competitor with an even better database, SI might have to hire (more?) paid researchers. But of course unpaid researchers would still be needed (and welcomed).

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All you genius' should get together and provide SI with the competition they need or apply to work for SI yourselves and help deliver this more advanced AI of which you speak. Should be easy enough for people with such knowledge. I can understand wanting an improved product but questioning the motivation of people you don't know is insulting.

I have no-one competing against me for my job yet I still manage to motivate myself to do the best job I can as do most of those I work with. The ones that don't soon get told or moved on.

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All you genius' should get together and provide SI with the competition they need or apply to work for SI yourselves and help deliver this more advanced AI of which you speak. Should be easy enough for people with such knowledge. I can understand wanting an improved product but questioning the motivation of people you don't know is insulting.

Nobody is questioning the motivation of the staff. It is just that competition often brings out a little bit more in terms of the quality of the end-product, which is a boon for customers.

I have no-one competing against me for my job yet I still manage to motivate myself to do the best job I can as do most of those I work with. The ones that don't soon get told or moved on.
You might not have direct competition yourself, but your company has competition.

And indeed, I would bet you would work even harder if you did have someone competing for your job.

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I'm sure the pride and passion are there, but competition would have even more of an effect. For example, tighter deadlines would have to be hit and slippages will be costly.

There are plenty of other factors that determine the quality of the end product, and competition is part of that.

There's nothing wrong with "motivation by fear" in this regard. If you are proud of your final product, you aren't going to want it to lose to your competitor. Which will make you even more motivated.

I've never thought of it this way. You've completely opened my eyes to a new way of motivating creatives. Fear of losing their jobs is obviously going to motivate them to take innovative risks. Csikszentmihalyi, eat your heart out.

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I haven't seen anyone call SI lazy or complacent in this thread, but I guess you have to invent arguments when the discussion isn't going in the direction you want it to go.

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Where did this one come from?

In every industry, there is a desire to improve, even in a monopoly.

But in industries like this one, you need competition to push everyone that last extra mile.

I'm sure SI work hard, but I'm sure they'd work harder if they had an equal rival (and/or rivals) where one slip-up could hit their paycheque substantially.

Kinda wrong. Monopolies improve their products in line with profit maximisation. Mostly monopolies try to reach economies of scale and they try to reduce costs instead of improving their product. Sure they may improve their product but only to provide barriers to entry and at the most to keep the customer satisfied. The whole point of a monopoly is that there is no competition. You do not ever get a monopoly improving their product for the sake of improvement. So you are pretty wrong there.

You are also wrong about that last extra mile. That is an skewed mentality to take, expecting perfection and ultimate sacrifice. Except these are people with lives outside of work and family. Even the best indy developers would not push that last extra mile when they become established. It just isn't possible to keep going at that pace forever. No company in ANY industry does that. It is that sort of expectation that lets yourself down, not the company letting you down.

And I am not saying that competition wouldn't do SI any good. It will probably make them better. But I just think it is folly to think the product SI puts out is below par for lack of effort. I don't think the product is below par and I do not think there is a gross lack of effort either. Also one slip-up hitting their paycheque substantially comment is why a lot of games do not take risks. In that sense perhaps it is better FM does not have any real competition. It lets SI push the boundaries and not worry about having slip-ups. The caveat is, of course, that they are willing to be innovative in the first place.

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I haven't seen anyone call SI lazy or complacent in this thread, but I guess you have to invent arguments when the discussion isn't going in the direction you want it to go.

Kinda like dropping the whole coding thing for FPS when you don't have a reply. Like saying a baseless and wrong comment like turn base AI is easier and not extrapolating on that at all.

Not to mention there has been posts calling SI lazy AND complacent ("safer than safe" to mention one). RBkalle has a few. Please don't accuse people of inventing arguments unless you are going to get it spot on. It is many things not good.

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every game is different for each of us.this reviewer probably lives in a bedsit,five knuckle shuffle palace.

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I haven't seen anyone call SI lazy or complacent in this thread, but I guess you have to invent arguments when the discussion isn't going in the direction you want it to go.

If they aren't lazy or complacent, then they must be incompetent? Given the problem of AI squad building issue is so blatant and the solution so obvious, yet they continually fail to find it, it must be one of the above?

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Ok, I'm now taking bets on when Miles will post in this thread.

Monday morning is 2/5 favourite. ;)

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Because there aren't any options. There is no competition.

And it's not like the game is unplayable. I still enjoy it, but it could be so much better.

Forgot to add this. You said it yourself they are being lazy or/and complacent. Or is the "there is no competition" suppose to imply something different? Would love to hear it.

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Nobody is questioning the motivation of the staff. It is just that competition often brings out a little bit more in terms of the quality of the end-product, which is a boon for customers.

You might not have direct competition yourself, but your company has competition.

And indeed, I would bet you would work even harder if you did have someone competing for your job.

I would more likely be more motivated by more money or being recognized as the best in my field. If I was weaker than others at the same job and feared for my job I would look elsewhere to a job that suited my ability.

Why is there no realistic competition? Could it be because SI and Sega are the only ones prepared to put resources and effort into a single game for what profit that is worth? I would imagine the competition, such as EA, have considered trying to take it on and deemed it not to be worth it, what do you think? If it was just a case of getting their staff to work harder then there should be several competitors. You can work staff as hard as you want but without the knowledge/resources it is pointless.

I don't personally believe that this lack of competition should have any bearing on the motivation of SI to produce the best game they can year on year. Just an opinion though.

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I'm sure the pride and passion are there, but competition would have even more of an effect. For example, tighter deadlines would have to be hit and slippages will be costly.

There are plenty of other factors that determine the quality of the end product, and competition is part of that.

There's nothing wrong with "motivation by fear" in this regard. If you are proud of your final product, you aren't going to want it to lose to your competitor. Which will make you even more motivated.

Unpaid volunteers hardly have to worry about pay day in this regard. Passion is all you have to go on.

Competition, however, might have even more benefits to the consumer. For example, if there was a competitor with an even better database, SI might have to hire (more?) paid researchers. But of course unpaid researchers would still be needed (and welcomed).

You're right of course in that competition is a factor in ones endeavour to improve and strive to be the best, but my opinion is that it's not a big a factor as you would have it in the case of Football Manager. I guess the difference in opinion comes down to my belief that the team at SI needs no more motivation to make FM the best it can be, other than their passion for Football and software development and their pride in their end product.

This point isn't regarding yourself, but i'm sure a lot of the Researchers wouldn't be as motivated to provide top quality data from U18s to the First Team squad if they didn't think the guys they were supplying it to didn't utilise it by producing the best game they could. A lot of us scout our clubs from top to bottom to provide the community with the best experience they can have in FM, safe in the knowledge that the guys in London are equally, if not more, driven in their goals :)

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And I am not saying that competition wouldn't do SI any good. It will probably make them better. But I just think it is folly to think the product SI puts out is below par for lack of effort. I don't think the product is below par and I do not think there is a gross lack of effort either. Also one slip-up hitting their paycheque substantially comment is why a lot of games do not take risks. In that sense perhaps it is better FM does not have any real competition. It lets SI push the boundaries and not worry about having slip-ups. The caveat is, of course, that they are willing to be innovative in the first place.

Why is it better in that sense if there is no competition? If SI take a risk and slip-up, then there is always SI's competitor to fall back on.

If they aren't lazy or complacent, then they must be incompetent? Given the problem of AI squad building issue is so blatant and the solution so obvious, yet they continually fail to find it, it must be one of the above?

It's more like "there is no evidence to suggest that SI are lazy or complacent", which leaves that question open.

I would more likely be more motivated by more money or being recognized as the best in my field. If I was weaker than others at the same job and feared for my job I would look elsewhere to a job that suited my ability.

Which would benefit customers at the end of the day if a more appropriate person took your role.

Why is there no realistic competition? Could it be because SI and Sega are the only ones prepared to put resources and effort into a single game for what profit that is worth? I would imagine the competition, such as EA, have considered trying to take it on and deemed it not to be worth it, what do you think? If it was just a case of getting their staff to work harder then there should be several competitors. You can work staff as hard as you want but without the knowledge/resources it is pointless.

There's no competition because FIFA Manager's engine has been the same since forever and Championship Manager is now finished due to a bizarre pricing scheme and poor product. Nothing to do with the desire to commit resources or anything.

I don't personally believe that this lack of competition should have any bearing on the motivation of SI to produce the best game they can year on year. Just an opinion though.

It doesn't, but then again has there been any serious suggestion there's a lack of commitment or motivation? Only that competition can surely make things better, especially fairly glaring issues like squad building.

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"Why is it better in that sense if there is no competition? If SI take a risk and slip-up, then there is always SI's competitor to fall back on." That is assuming the competition is actually really good. A possible scenario is that both franchises stagnate.

I do respect your opinion that competition can surely make things better. Mine is that even if there was competition, it would be marginally better at best. I have seen other gaming franchises become bad once there is real competition (2/3 horse race) as they all release similar products and it gets quite crappy.

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It's more like "there is no evidence to suggest that SI are lazy or complacent", which leaves that question open.

To be honest, I don't think mantralux or yourself can escape the argument that you are accusing SI of being either lazy, complacent or incompetent. You have both stated that the problems (that we've all agreed the game has) are easy to solve. If they are, and SI aren't solving them, then, by definition, you are accusing them of not being up to the task.

Of course, they might be really difficult to solve, which suggests something else.

It doesn't, but then again has there been any serious suggestion there's a lack of commitment or motivation? Only that competition can surely make things better, especially fairly glaring issues like squad building.

Can or surely? Different things. Also, in major doubt. There has never been any serious competition, so how can you have any idea what it might do? You are extrapolating a claim from a contested and extremely contemporary theory of motivation and presenting it as "truth".

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I've never thought of it this way. You've completely opened my eyes to a new way of motivating creatives. Fear of losing their jobs is obviously going to motivate them to take innovative risks. Csikszentmihalyi, eat your heart out.
If you'd've read the initial quote, "paycheque" was being used literally as a metaphor for a company's profits.

Having a competitor is naturally bad for anyone in the company when it comes to job security. However, having a competitor means the company as a whole has to naturally take risks to differentiate themselves. Risk-reward and all that.

Which is what I mean by "motivation by fear" as not being wrong in this regard - the margin for error is slimmer when you have competition, which increases the pressure on the employees, but the end result is that consumers benefit. From a customer's perspective, that's a win.

Even though "motivation by fear" is a metaphor, even if it were true, you certainly don't motivate your employees that way. If the company is struggling, you don't motivate your employees with threats. A company has stakeholders and employees, and it's obvious that both sets of people have competing desires in the company, and hence need different messages. If there is competition, the stakeholders will demand increased profits and market share, but only an idiot CEO would use this as the sole motivational tool for his employees.

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There's no competition because FIFA Manager's engine has been the same since forever and Championship Manager is now finished due to a bizarre pricing scheme and poor product. Nothing to do with the desire to commit resources or anything.

Why did these not provide competition given it is not a question of resources or desire? Why did Fifa not just create a new match engine given that they had the resources and desire to be a realistic competitor? They clearly had competition to motivate them in the form of SI/Sega. I don't understand why they failed given what I've learnt today in this thread.

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If you'd've read the initial quote, "paycheque" was being used literally as a metaphor for a company's profits.

Ah. The literal metaphor. So foolish of me not to pick that up.

Having a competitor is naturally bad for anyone in the company when it comes to job security. However, having a competitor means the company as a whole has to naturally take risks to differentiate themselves. Risk-reward and all that.

Again, you are confusing contemporary theory on motivation with historical evidence that disputes it. The contemporary theory is focused around the logic of market rationality, which, might, according to recent evidence, be a little flawed?

Which is what I mean by "motivation by fear" as not being wrong in this regard - the margin for error is slimmer when you have competition, which increases the pressure on the employees, but the end result is that consumers benefit. From a customer's perspective, that's a win.

Even though "motivation by fear" is a metaphor, even if it were true, you certainly don't motivate your employees that way. If the company is struggling, you don't motivate your employees with threats. A company has stakeholders and employees, and it's obvious that both sets of people have competing desires in the company, and hence need different messages. If there is competition, the stakeholders will demand increased profits and market share, but only an idiot CEO would use this as the sole motivational tool for his employees.

So, fear is another metaphor? Wow, I feel stupid now. What is it a metaphor for, by the way? Motivation by "worry"? Motivation through "increased pressure and shorter deadlines?"

Could you expand on "competing desires?" Is it only the stakeholders and employees, as grouped entities, that have different desires? Aren't employees actually stakeholders? Aren't we stakeholders? Are there any other groups that might have different desires?

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To be honest, I don't think mantralux or yourself can escape the argument that you are accusing SI of being either lazy, complacent or incompetent. You have both stated that the problems (that we've all agreed the game has) are easy to solve. If they are, and SI aren't solving them, then, by definition, you are accusing them of not being up to the task.

I don't think I've said it's easy to solve, and mantralux has given a suggestion that sounds easy but of course will not be difficult to implement in practice.

Depending on how "legacy" the codebase is, easy solutions might simply have complex implementations. Markov decision processes, the suggestion I put out, are very easy to actually do but integrating that with the legacy codebase could be difficult. Imagine, for example, if squad building wasn't a module in itself, but a criss-cross of dependencies.

Is it an accusation of ineptness? Probably. Which is why we'd like developers to tell us why it's so hard. The mantralux suggestion of a very simple condition (I'd prefer it if it were a goal, if the AI is goal-oriented) would be to have two players per position - why wouldn't that work?

Of course, they might be really difficult to solve, which suggests something else.

I'd like to hear from developers why it's so hard. You can find algorithms for Markov decision processes quite easily. Does the codebase not use anything similar? If so, why is it hard to adjust?

Can or surely? Different things. Also, in major doubt. There has never been any serious competition, so how can you have any idea what it might do? You are extrapolating a claim from a contested and extremely contemporary theory of motivation and presenting it as "truth".

Championship Manager? Maybe not an equal competitor, but a competitor nevertheless.

When I used "surely" in that sense, I was trying to put out that "it can't make it any worse", i.e. P(game gets worse) = 0 (or is negligible).

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I don't think I've said it's easy to solve, and mantralux has given a suggestion that sounds easy but of course will not be difficult to implement in practice.

Depending on how "legacy" the codebase is, easy solutions might simply have complex implementations. Markov decision processes, the suggestion I put out, are very easy to actually do but integrating that with the legacy codebase could be difficult. Imagine, for example, if squad building wasn't a module in itself, but a criss-cross of dependencies.

Is it an accusation of ineptness? Probably. Which is why we'd like developers to tell us why it's so hard. The mantralux suggestion of a very simple condition (I'd prefer it if it were a goal, if the AI is goal-oriented) would be to have two players per position - why wouldn't that work?

I'd like to hear from developers why it's so hard. You can find algorithms for Markov decision processes quite easily. Does the codebase not use anything similar? If so, why is it hard to adjust?

I'm not a coder. Paul Collyer has told me it is hard. That is enough for me. But at least you are now being honest about your motivations. You think SI are inept in squad management AI coding. You think it the squad building issue should, theoretically, be easy to solve. You assume the legacy code is the reason it isn't. You'd like clarification. Fair enough.

Championship Manager? Maybe not an equal competitor, but a competitor nevertheless.

When I used "surely" in that sense, I was trying to put out that "it can't make it any worse", i.e. P(game gets worse) = 0 (or is negligible).

Ah, but now you've made your bed, you must lie in it. SI are never going to share any coding information with anyone if they feel it will give away a competitive advantage. They can't simultaneously tell their fan base all their technical secrets and keep an advantage over their competitors.

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Why did these not provide competition given it is not a question of resources or desire? Why did Fifa not just create a new match engine given that they had the resources and desire to be a realistic competitor? They clearly had competition to motivate them in the form of SI/Sega. I don't understand why they failed given what I've learnt today in this thread.
It's possible they didn't have the resources to build the game from bottom-up. Let's not forget FIFA Manager is not a huge cash cow for them.
So, fear is another metaphor? Wow, I feel stupid now. What is it a metaphor for, by the way? Motivation by "worry"? Motivation through "increased pressure and shorter deadlines?"

"Fear" as in pressure from people with financial stakes in the company.

This pressure drives shorter deadlines and increased risks. If you fall behind, your competitor will gleefully accept.

So the full metaphor is "Motivation/pressure (in some form, hopefully positive) to meet shorter deadlines."

Could you expand on "competing desires?" Is it only the stakeholders and employees, as grouped entities, that have different desires? Aren't employees actually stakeholders? Aren't we stakeholders? Are there any other groups that might have different desires?

Employees might be stakeholders depending on whether or not they have a desire to see the company develop. A loyal employee might want to see a company develop because he cares, so will be a stakeholder. Some employees hold shares in the company, which means they have an interest in doing well and growing their investment. Some employees, of course, are in for their pay packet and nothing more.

Are customers stakeholders? In a lot of ways, I'd argue no, unless you hold shares in Sega or are an employee as well. If you really care about a company, then you could be considered a stakeholder as you too would suffer if it suffers.

Stakeholders hold stakes for different reasons and even stakeholders will have different desires. A loyal employee or caring customer wants to see a company do well both financially and reputationally. A shareholder cares more about financial results.

There are others, like the government, unions, regulators and auditors who would fall into the categories of "interested parties", but not all will have stakes in the company. In a lot of ways, some of these wouldn't be too concerned if the company failed, as long as the company wasn't too large, of course.

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I'm not a coder. Paul Collyer has told me it is hard. That is enough for me. But at least you are now being honest about your motivations. You think SI are inept in squad management AI coding. You think it the squad building issue should, theoretically, be easy to solve. You assume the legacy code is the reason it isn't. You'd like clarification. Fair enough.

I'm not assuming the legacy code is an issue, but it's the first thing that comes to mind. One possible alternative could simply be a lack of unit/integration testing so there's no desire to stomach a refactoring, because you never know what breaks. There's a few other reasons why it's hard.

But in my experience, it's usually legacy code.

Ah, but now you've made your bed, you must lie in it. SI are never going to share any coding information with anyone if they feel it will give away a competitive advantage. They can't simultaneously tell their fan base all their technical secrets and keep an advantage over their competitors.
They don't have to tell us the coding secrets in detail. If they said "we use Markov chains/goal-based AI/neural networks/some common AI construct", congratulations, they've just told the world they've used one of the most useful technical constructs known in this area, which happens to be used by a large number of universities and companies. If they say they use some custom-built AI, then it will be a lot more interesting because I don't know why they'd pick something over things that simply work.

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For example, tighter deadlines would have to be hit and slippages will be costly.

There are plenty of other factors that determine the quality of the end product, and competition is part of that.

Tighter deadlines often have the opposite effect in terms of quality, actually.

You often hear people in this forum (possibly you included) claiming that FM would be better if it was released after the January transfer window, or even better every other year (the financial repercussions such a decision would have on the company have already been discussed countless times).

I very much doubt tight deadlines are a quality-determining factor.

As far as competition leading to a better product is concerned, we could all come up with examples supporting and contradicting that claim until we're blue in the face.

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It's possible they didn't have the resources to build the game from bottom-up. Let's not forget FIFA Manager is not a huge cash cow for them.

So why should SEGA pump money into FM development when EA have little interest? Out of the goodness of their heart? I'm sure if they were happy to not make any money all sorts of things could be achievable and I'd love to hear SI pitch that idea to SEGA. Its as unrealistic as when people suggest missing a release to allow for extra development.

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Tighter deadlines often have the opposite effect in terms of quality, actually.

You often hear people in this forum (possibly you included) claiming that FM would be better if it was released after the January transfer window, or even better every other year (the financial repercussions such a decision would have on the company have already been discussed countless times).

I very much doubt tight deadlines are a quality-determining factor.

That's what project planning is for. :) If deadlines are too tight, then it might be that SI need to hire more developers to fill the gap, because not filling the gap (or filling it badly) will result in the competition gaining an advantage.

So why should SEGA pump money into FM development when EA have little interest? Out of the goodness of their heart? I'm sure if they were happy to not make any money all sorts of things could be achievable and I'd love to hear SI pitch that idea to SEGA. Its as unrealistic as when people suggest missing a release to allow for extra development.

One day, I hope I can say it's down to customer pressure, where customers stop trying to hold back their demands for the game to improve and actually focus their energies on asking things of SI.

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That's what project planning is for. :) If deadlines are too tight, then it might be that SI need to hire more developers to fill the gap, because not filling the gap (or filling it badly) will result in the competition gaining an advantage.

I guess a company like Valve believe a quality product will always be successful, however long it takes to release it and however hard their competitors try in the meantime.

And they're probably right...

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The FM match engine generates 45 minutes of football in approx. 2 seconds at the start of every match.

FPS have 5 people on screen who need to decide whether to duck behind cover or not.

Ackter, are you saying that the result of the 1st half is decided before its played, and not actually as i watch it?

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That's what project planning is for. :) If deadlines are too tight, then it might be that SI need to hire more developers to fill the gap, because not filling the gap (or filling it badly) will result in the competition gaining an advantage.

Deadlines are not the only thing to be met. A budget will also exist so hiring new staff is easier said than done for most companies. Since there is so little competition would increasing the budget be worth the extra sales? Would a better AI win over than many new customers? I don't know, do you?

One day, I hope I can say it's down to customer pressure, where customers stop trying to hold back their demands for the game to improve and actually focus their energies on asking things of SI.

Is this forum not full of such pressure? Often with no foundation as well. See the wishlist threads for people "focusing their energies on asking things of SI" and doesn't this thread itself do this even if rather poorly?

10 characters

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@godetc. If you or the AI don't change anything during the first half, it is. If you change anything during the first half, even the tiniest little thing, the rest of the half will be re-calculated. And so on. Repeat for 2.nd half.

This is what I have been lead to believe, anyway. It is the way it has to be, in order to bring you goal/key/extended highlights.

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