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Retro databases- are SI missing out on something here?

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Firstly, I have to say well done of FM classic, I've really enjoyed playing that. I hardly touched FM 12 and 13, I tried the full version of FM 14 briefly- but at the age of 26 I have to say my days of proper FM sessions are gone :(

Anyway, I (like many others) am always interested in a good classic database. If you look around the net there are some brilliant efforts, I remember a 95/96 retro for FM11 (or around then), there's a 2000-1 out for FM13, one glance at http://www.champman0102.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1224&page=3 (I've linked one thread in particular) and there is some pretty amazing work being done.

I have had a glimpse of how time consuming it is to update a database, I updated CM0102 in around 03ish and that took a while, I only really did the premiership and a major transfers abroad, I won't even think of how long a full database would take.

Anyway, my suggestions are…

1) With such dedication from people around the net to make such databases, rather than having one person spend bloody ages to make one independent database, are SI missing out on something here? Would there be a way to get these people, or some of them, on board to make a proper licensed retro database?

2) Especially given how from some years there is so little change in the games (not moaning, it's natural), could the databases be designed in such a way that the older recent databases could be uploaded onto the latest FM version? I'd find playing a database from even say 4 or 5 years ago fun.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

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I can see how they might be attractive to play to some, (not me I will admit), but from the SI point of view, is there any money in it?

That's it at the end of the day and I think the answer is probably no. You might want 01/02. I might want 03/04. Someone else might want to go back to another year. Although it's possible that customers might be willing to pay a few quid for each database, (I'm not sure I would), is that really where we want SI to be spending their time and resources?

The other thing to consider is that I think, (not positive here), but didn't the Championship Manager company get the database after the split? We got the user interface and they got the stats? (Or something like this).

I can see why the idea is attractive, but if you want it then you can take advantage of some third party updates.

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I personally would love it, but understand SI would have to make some cash for it to happen. I'd pay for it mind you.

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I can see how they might be attractive to play to some, (not me I will admit), but from the SI point of view, is there any money in it?

That's it at the end of the day and I think the answer is probably no. You might want 01/02. I might want 03/04. Someone else might want to go back to another year. Although it's possible that customers might be willing to pay a few quid for each database, (I'm not sure I would), is that really where we want SI to be spending their time and resources?

The other thing to consider is that I think, (not positive here), but didn't the Championship Manager company get the database after the split? We got the user interface and they got the stats? (Or something like this).

I can see why the idea is attractive, but if you want it then you can take advantage of some third party updates.

Even so mate, from 05 onwards it was FM.

Also, yes while certain years might interest me more- put it this way, any retro database within the last 25 years would interest me.

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I can see how they might be attractive to play to some, (not me I will admit), but from the SI point of view, is there any money in it?

That's it at the end of the day and I think the answer is probably no. You might want 01/02. I might want 03/04. Someone else might want to go back to another year. Although it's possible that customers might be willing to pay a few quid for each database, (I'm not sure I would), is that really where we want SI to be spending their time and resources?

The other thing to consider is that I think, (not positive here), but didn't the Championship Manager company get the database after the split? We got the user interface and they got the stats? (Or something like this).

I can see why the idea is attractive, but if you want it then you can take advantage of some third party updates.

You do make some constructive points, but for this one- iirc the researchers do it for free- as I've said, plenty of people would be willing to join in. Even if I had to do just one team from a certain year, I'd be interested.

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This idea is clearly far away, but what I'd absolutely love to play one day is a database from say 1990. And then for every batch of regens to be the actual players that came through at their clubs. Plus with changes in competition rules as they happened…we can all dream!

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You do make some constructive points, but for this one- iirc the researchers do it for free- as I've said, plenty of people would be willing to join in. Even if I had to do just one team from a certain year, I'd be interested.

The researches do it for free yes, but how do you research a player that is no longer playing. In any case you are not researching how they are now, you are researching how they were then.

So effectively you can't actually research. You can go from memory and from other opinions and even old video archive, but that's not exactly research.

The cost involved doesn't vanish though. Once you have created the researchers/video archivist blueprint of what the player used to look like, it still has to then be converted into a player within the game.

From a customers point of view, the answer would be to use the existing stats that are now owned by someone else. Now either there is an additional cost there again or there are legal issues with copyright.

I must admit I hate the idea of knowing that a certain player is going to come through the youth system the following season. That's one of the best bits of the game for me. Waiting for that day to tick over in anticipation of not knowing what I am going to get.

The other thing of course is, that this "idea" becomes completely null and void after you get to the current day. What happens then? You have been creating pre-existing already created regens and then suddenly you have to stop that and start creating newgens.

I get why the idea is attractive for some, but I probably wouldn't pay it if it was free, never mind about paying to download it. If someone like me isn't going to pay for it, then who is? (Because I was around actually watching football at least then). I spoke to my son (17) just after Christmas and we were playing FM and the subject of Gazza, (at least I think it was Gazza, actually no it was Glenn Hoddle) came up and he said "who is Hoddle?" The point I am trying to make is that it is only us "oldies" who will be interested in this and I for one prefer to play one long-running save with each issue of the game. I can't see where the money/incentive is in this for Si.

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If by retro databases you are talking about those from previous FM/CM versions rather than other footballing eras (e.g. 70s) which would need lots of research, then what would be needed would be an extended database editor that can convert the old databases to run with the current game - could be relatively simple for the recent FM ones, and get progressively more difficult as you go back to older database formats.

Just that would allow people to use databases from any version of FM they own. The other thing to do would be to then offer access to a library of past databases.

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maybe it's the difference between European sports and American sports, but over here, people love playing sim baseball as the 1927 yankees or the 1935 Cardinals or in football, the Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960's, sometimes even more than the current year's team.

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Personally I would love to go back to 85/86 the season the Hammers finished 3rd and then make the signings that dear old John Lyall didn't make at the time to make the squad stronger. Would think that the opportunity to play different formations that weren't used at the time would be fun as well but I suspect it would be a massive undertaking and as someone said a lot of stats would be based on memory and peoples opinions. However I think to an extent that's the same now. A Club's researcher obviously has different opinions than some of us fans because we aren't happy at times with some of the stats present day players get in the game. However I still think that it would be far to big a project.

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Football Manager got the database and code, Championship Manager got the interface.

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There's also the very real issue of licensing for the true legends like Pele, Maradona etc. They'd have to make a hell of a lot of money off the feature to break even.

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I've asked Miles about this directly on Twitter before and the answer is always the same, it's impossible because of license restrictions.

He and SI as a whole never elaborate on this, but sadly it seems like an official 'retro database' is off the table. It's a shame as I'd definitely be willing to pay for a full database from the past.

There have been some great retro databases created by enthusiastic FMers (I've made some myself), but they're extremely time consuming and the details contained within are bound to be subjective.

If I ever win the lottery and don't have to go to work every day, I'll work to create a full retro database. I'll even hire some people from the forums to work on it! :D

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The other thing to consider is that I think, (not positive here), but didn't the Championship Manager company get the database after the split? We got the user interface and they got the stats? (Or something like this).

Actually, Eidos got the CM name and interface, and SI got database.

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I get why the idea is attractive for some, but I probably wouldn't pay it if it was free, never mind about paying to download it. If someone like me isn't going to pay for it, then who is? (Because I was around actually watching football at least then). I spoke to my son (17) just after Christmas and we were playing FM and the subject of Gazza, (at least I think it was Gazza, actually no it was Glenn Hoddle) came up and he said "who is Hoddle?" The point I am trying to make is that it is only us "oldies" who will be interested in this and I for one prefer to play one long-running save with each issue of the game. I can't see where the money/incentive is in this for Si.

Obviously your son is one type of FM-playing youth, and I am another type, but I would love to play in the 1970's or the 1980's. Build a dynasty up to try and rival Liverpool. There was a Championship Manager update that allowed you to go back to that time but it was poorly made and didn't even work on my phone...

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Doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose of the game though? Like, you wouldn't be rivalling Liverpool's dynasty, you'd be replacing or hindering it. Players coming through the youth ranks, you'd throw loads of money at a young Cantona (player who becomes great yet their club would be willing to sell cheap) or whoever, with a major advantage over the AI. Best way I could see it working would be with real world pre programmed transfers. Then you are seeing if you could have done better than a real manager did.

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Doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose of the game though? Like, you wouldn't be rivalling Liverpool's dynasty, you'd be replacing or hindering it. Players coming through the youth ranks, you'd throw loads of money at a young Cantona (player who becomes great yet their club would be willing to sell cheap) or whoever, with a major advantage over the AI. Best way I could see it working would be with real world pre programmed transfers. Then you are seeing if you could have done better than a real manager did.

Rivalling is the same as hindering in that they would be competing with each other and taking points off of each other, so I'm not sure what your point is? And I'm interested to hear what you think the 'purpose' of FM is since I thought it was pretty obvious that the game can be played in a huge variety of ways and for a variety of reasons.

Of course there could be an option (like in OOTP Baseball) to have realistic transfers turned on, however again you seem trapped in a sort of single-minded view of FM and what it's for. What if someone wants to build up a wonderteam of Laudrup, Batistuta and Cantona? Or see what happens if Leeds kept Cantona or Newcastle kept Cole? An FM game set in the past would not be played in the same way -- it would be more of a 'what if?' engine than anything else.

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I didn't mean it like that, not saying there aren't a variety of ways to play the game, but creating that wonder team would be no challenge at all. Fair enough if you just want to play with a wonder team, but I mean you go into the game knowing who is good and who isn't and able to sign them all young. What's the difference between that and just using an editor to increase all your players stats? The names?

And with the Liverpool thing, what I meant was if you play a game of FM set before the dynasty you've talked about has happened, then you haven't rivalled it, because it never happened. Even if you just simmed it and didn't take control of a team, it might not happen in the game. Once you start playing the game everything after that is a hypothetical simulation of events in a history that you're presence has altered. Play 10 seasons of FM14 and win the league a few times, for all you know you're rivalling the great Arsenal/Chelsea/City/Liverpool/United dynasty of 2014-2024.

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Love this thread - i personally love dipping into the old databases and then try to emulate that moment of your life that you enjoyed so most in football. I think the only way this can move forward is to create a pool of members who would spend there time creating a league/team then passing onto the next. Maybe it would be their specialty or something like that. I might do a post and see what would be the most popular season to try and tackle

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for a start, it would be really amazing if you could do just some legendary teams... barca from 90's, liverpool from 70s, 89s... tottenham... you get the idea, just about 50ish teams from around europe... and let people play with them in online mod... i think just this would be worth the effort not to mention full database...

on a relatively similar note, whoever is interested in old school football might want to check this iron curtain database that sets the world of football back to pre 1991 times.

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/445136-xxxxx-IRON-CURTAIN-xxxxx?p=10770365#post10770365

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Part of the question is how do we simulate the differences? Even from a research perspective, tactical thinking was different in those times if we set those teams up with the formations and tactical set-ups they had then, odds are they would be decimated by modern day teams.

Even going back 15-20 years, the fitness aspect of the game has moved on phenomenally. If we try to rate those players as they were, they just wouldn't be up to competing with the footballers around today.

The most telling aspect I think would be defensive organisation, I haven't watched too many games from pre-70's but I've seen quite a lot in the 70's and the games are good to watch, but the defending is dreadful. If you actually factor that in then you have players who are very good technically but mentally and physically are league 1 level or below.

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This is a familiar concept for anyone who has played OOTP Baseball and toyed around with the Lahman Database. On that game, you could start from any year from 1901 onward. Players would be added to the baseball universe the same year they started in real life. A player's skill attributes would also adjust each season to reflect how they fared in real life. Interesting for a while, but ultimately a bit too easy for a game, since the future was too rigid/predictable/obvious.

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It would be an excellent thing to have, but it would be an extraordinary amount of work. I once toyed with the idea of doing this using the database from 01-02 (or whichever the freeware version is), since I did not have to research, I could just directly edit players. It is a complete nightmarishly large amount of work you have to do. I do not think it is feasible in any meaningful way.

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I, too, have a dream...I may be in the minority here, but the football format these days drives me crackers. I often reminisce of the days when the Champions League was the European Cup whereby it was only the league winners that entered, and the entire competition was a knockout from the first kick of a ball. Likewise Cup winners' cup and the UEFA Cup.

When I win the lottery I will also employ someone from SI to re-program the game to incorporate the old European competition formats.

I'm not a total Luddite as I actually like the playoff system that are in domestic football. The one change I would love to see is most definitely the Europen competitions.

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We can't do it for licensing reasons but there's nothing stopping the community creating their own.

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We can't do it for licensing reasons but there's nothing stopping the community creating their own.

Thanks Neil. If the community did it and we could get enough resource, is it possible to future schedule players as 'regens'. So for example, starting in 1990 with say John Barnes at Liverpool and future schedule for Sterling to come in.

I'd use Charlton examples, but no-one would know what I meant...

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Thanks Neil. If the community did it and we could get enough resource, is it possible to future schedule players as 'regens'. So for example, starting in 1990 with say John Barnes at Liverpool and future schedule for Sterling to come in.

I'd use Charlton examples, but no-one would know what I meant...

I won't lie - I've wondered a few times what FM would be like if you could start a save in the past and then, as the game wore on, new players came in based on when they made their senior debuts. In a way, it's a bit like OOTP, where you can follow the in-game progress of baseball superstars from Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson to Derek Jeter throughout the years.

I've always wanted to manage the Arsenal team from 1989/1990, the season during which I was born, or the 1998 Double winners. I know I can do the latter on CM97/98, but I also know that I will never get to see Cesc Fabregas or Jack Wilshere come through the youth set-up, so I can see why such an idea appeals to some people.

Then I thought... that is going to take A LOT of research. The current FM database contains something like 500,000 people, but for a retro database that can go back even only as far back as 20 years ago, you're talking millions. And for it to be realistic, SI would have to include as many players as possible - they couldn't really include all the big teams' youth graduates and then ignore someone who made a couple of substitute appearances for Leyton Orient and never played professionally again.

There's also the butterfly effect of team movements in football's meritocracy, as opposed to baseball, where the major league teams stay the same year in, year out (save for the occasional franchise relocation) and there are no youth academies. Would Theo Walcott have come through at Southampton if they were a Conference club in 2005, or would he have gone elsewhere? If Chesterfield were in the Champions League with state-of-the-art training facilities, how would a youth product like Ashley Foyle (yeah, exactly) be rated potential-wise?

Another thing to bear in mind when playing with a retro database is that you would have the benefit of hindsight. If you're starting in the early 90s, for instance, you could just sign a load of promising youngsters like Kahn, Maldini, Cannavaro, Zidane, Davids, Giggs, Batistuta, Shearer... I could go on... and you'd pretty much be set up for the next decade. Where is the fun in that?

In short: it's a nice idea, but it would be far too complicated to implement accurately. Anyway, I'm happy with the current newgen system, and I'm not complaining that Marcus Rashford isn't in my long-term FM13 game.

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i agree that having complete database like OOTP is impossible for reasons CFuller and others have pointed, however i find fun is in something completely different. if you had like 20 legendary teams (liverpool 70s, 80s, man utd 90s, milan 90s, and so on) you could have tournaments in versus mode that would be hugely interesting.if you had also legendary national teams you'd have a possibility to do fantasy world cup with best teams in the world..

as i've said, having this in regular career game would be extremely unlikely, but i think these teams would really shine in quick temporary competitions and cups for online game.

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We can't do it for licensing reasons but there's nothing stopping the community creating their own.

Yeah. I'm sure Steve Bloomer would sue your arse off if you did an 1890s database.

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I would love to see the 1st ever database added as a retro database. I never owned the first champman but a friend had it and use to play multiplayer on Amiga after school. Problem was that he would always continue after I went home and messed up my team so would have to start with a new one. There was no leagues outside of England, so would have to be England only playable league. Though you were able to buy some real players from outside England.

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So you can't do it due to licence issues. Could it be possible for a Third party company to create Third a party databases to Sell. with SI games getting a Cut and being able to change the start of the game Year.

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So you can't do it due to licence issues. Could it be possible for a Third party company to create Third a party databases to Sell. with SI games getting a Cut and being able to change the start of the game Year.

Pretty sure that if they're not allowed to do it, taking a cut of someone else doing it wouldn't be much better. The best - and only - bet is an unofficial community created database.

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This would be epic. I dont get what the license issues might be obviously the people in charge know best, but since this has to be done through unofficial workm via editor, perhaps you could make the editor more old era friendly using thw basic editor.

What I mean is that the game tends to crash when you remove nations from Uefa, Asian, African competitions or continents. If someone wants to recreate the first World Cups or the first Euros then the game crashes because there are too few nations in the continent. I know there are some ways through advanced editor but not many can work with it! (If there's another way through the basic editor pls pm me anyone who knows)

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What licensing issues are there if you are using your old databases?

Purely speculation on my behalf, but I imagine after a player has retired and is no longer with a club his image rights to all representations/portrayals of himself revert to him/his management company. No league/club collective bargaining. At that point, to get the thousands of players around at the time included in the game you'd need to track down and negotiate with each individual. Maybe you could get it for free from the vast majority, who'd like to be included in something again but one or two big names asking for exorbitant fees (on FIFA 2000 they included the 1970's Brazil team, but Pele was in the game as "Number 10" and remember Ronaldo for a number of years was just "Number 9") could put a downer on it for most.

If you start narrowing it down to a very small pool of 'legends' (like ultimate team does on xbox) it would become rather hollow, particularly as you would have to artificially inflate some of their abilities like natural fitness & stamina to compete with modern pros.

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Plus I imagine there are now an absolute boatload of licenses that didn't exist when the database was originally created. For example, see the 16.3.1 update where they had to change a few things due to licensing.

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When starting a new safe, I often put in classic historic players as +/- 16 years olds at their real life starting clubs, with low current ability and very high potential ability, and with abilities and their characters largely based on my recollection of their abilities/mentality, and just look at how they develop. It is actually quite fun.

Once I even created The Beatles. John Lennon was a right footed eccentric, slightly aggressive AMC, Paul McCartney a left footed (he is left handed) left winger that could basically play anywhere (high versatility, he is a multi-instrumentalist irl), George Harrison was an industrious DMC (I'm sorry, that's just how I think he looks), and Ringo Starr was a goalkeeper (drummers and goalies are both mad, let's be honest). Was quite fun actually, their characters in the game were actually quite close to their characters irl.

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I've often wondered about this as I'd love to go back to old databases. I had though that backward compatibility could be an option? As someone else says above, if they are SI's old databases, would that present a licencing problem? Or to introduce backward compatibility in order to upload an old database into this (i.e. SI don't supply the database, just the ability to load into it, change the year etc...)

As for players coming through, I recognise that signing Messi, Ronaldo etc when they are 16 would make the game easy, but to me that would be no different to going into the editor searching for all the high PA youngsters and signing them. By choosing which club you start with, who you try to sign, whether you look at online Wonderkid lists etc, FM is as easy or challenging as you make it, another reason we've all fallen for it :)

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I've often wondered about this as I'd love to go back to old databases. I had though that backward compatibility could be an option? As someone else says above, if they are SI's old databases, would that present a licencing problem? Or to introduce backward compatibility in order to upload an old database into this (i.e. SI don't supply the database, just the ability to load into it, change the year etc...)

As for players coming through, I recognise that signing Messi, Ronaldo etc when they are 16 would make the game easy, but to me that would be no different to going into the editor searching for all the high PA youngsters and signing them. By choosing which club you start with, who you try to sign, whether you look at online Wonderkid lists etc, FM is as easy or challenging as you make it, another reason we've all fallen for it :)

We've already seen on FM16 that the previously existing database was changed due to a licence changing with Brazilian clubs. I'd be absolutely amazed if they could put up the old databases without either firing a lot of money at some licence holders, or redacting so much that it makes the database look like a CIA report.

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We've already seen on FM16 that the previously existing database was changed due to a licence changing with Brazilian clubs. I'd be absolutely amazed if they could put up the old databases without either firing a lot of money at some licence holders, or redacting so much that it makes the database look like a CIA report.

I wasn't aware of this, but I agree it does imply problems with using old databases. Perhaps licences are time limited.

Still think that the backward compatibility for the user to upload their old db could get around this; we can all change details using the editor, which is surely no different. Or winding back the clock to start in an earlier year, especially given that the DB will contain a lot of data that would form the basis of the game. But then comes the cost / benefit question, and I realise that to satisfy a few old romantics like myself, there probably would be little benefit for SI.

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