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[Discussion] In-Game Social Dynamics

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I would really like to see the social element of football represented in more detail in the game. For example

- Social Connections

- Squad Dynamics

- Methods of communication

- More representation of player personality

Social Connections

The relationships in the game could be 'linked' 6 degrees style, in a way that made your manager character either connected or not connected to any other game character. A small icon like a head or a phone could go in the top right corner of the profile page, and be colour coded from gold (direct friendship) down to black (no connection.) Perhaps it could also go in the other direction down to red (negative connection.)

A gold connection would provide the greatest benefits. If the connection is with another manager, then more information should be visible about the players at that managers' club, for example a more accurate (than scouting) report card, more accurate information about the players' personalities and things like contract clauses and possible asking prices. I could also recommend players to that manager who he may not have been able to scout himself, and vice versa.

If the connection is with a player then again I should have more accurate information about that player's personality, contract etc. I should be able to speak to the player and congratulate him on a particular achievement, or influence his transfer decisions. Perhaps he may also come to me and ask for advice about whether he should move clubs. Perhaps an incoming club president is promising to sign a player who I have a gold connection with - I can apply for the job and specifically say that I could get him this player.

If the connection is with a scout then I should benefit more significantly from their scouting knowledge and sometimes even receive recommendations from him even when he doesn't work for me.

If a connection is with a board member (for example your ex chairman) then he may ask you for your input on your successor, or approach you later in your career for advice on a new appointment.

In between gold and black would be a grey icon which indicated a partial connection. This could be players who you have worked with but not formed a significant relationship with, or gold connections of your gold connections (for example if I was good friends with John Terry but had never managed Lampard, I may still have a grey connection with Lampard to indicate that Terry would be happy to introduce us. A grey connection in this situation would have some benefits, but not as many as gold. For instance it may grant me the opportunity to ASK a particular thing of him, but not really influence the actual decision.

Squad Dynamics

While it's possible to look at the attributes and personality of a player and make assumptions about what that player is like off the pitch, I think this aspect of building a squad deserves a clearer representation. It would be good if I had a screen similar to the training overview that had information on my squad dynamics. For example who are my locker room leaders? Do they have cliques? Are they a positive or negative influence? Are people being excluded from the jokes or does everyone feel comfortable and part of the squad? The current combinations of hidden personality attributes could be classed as being either "dominant, neutral, or submissive," for example, with balance between these characters being needed.

Crucially, this would mean that players would behave based on a "perceived social status," aka "power." Players who have a high perceived social status are more likely to complain about being dropped, more likely to complain about fines and discipline, more likely to express unhappiness with signings or tactics and more likely to do things such as take a hat-trick penalty even when they aren't the designated taker. They may also be more likely to publicly contradict you or criticise the team in the media (all dependent on their personality and relationships also.) They would also be more likely to be threatened by possible arrivals, especially those who display similar social traits to themselves, for example two dominant characters.

At the other end of the scale, players with a low perceived social status are less likely to complain, break ranks or try and take control, however they may be more likely to struggle to fit in, or become less happy. Players with a dominant personality type but a low perceived social status would be more likely to become unhappy, or have arguments with players who are higher up socially.

The major influence on personality type (dominant, neutral, submissive) would be the personality attributes, while perceived social status would depend greatly on squad status, ability, wages, form and captaincy. Of course the personality type would also be a factor, for example a dominant personality naturally rising in the rankings, or a submissive character naturally aligning with senior dominant characters, and having power by association.

I think this would add in the interesting challenge of managing players on a more personal level. Making sure that negative personalities don't think too much of themselves, ensuring there are no overly powerful negative cliques or giving a positive personality an unexpected captaincy to make their influence more official.

Also I think it could contribute to making player complaints a bit more realistic, as players will generally "know their place" and you can assume that somebody who isn't regarded by the squad as that important isn't going to feel like they can demand more football, especially if the senior players find that funny. Of course the player could be so determined and professional that such a situation only spurs them on to new heights. Or perhaps this player, although not very good and out of form, is good friends with your captain, which makes him feel more ballsy about demanding things.

Methods of communication

I'm not going to suggest that a mobile phone is implemented in the game, but I think we do need to accept that communication has reached that level. If I have a GOLD connection with someone else in the game, then there should be an entire screen just for my relationship with that person. It could show relevant combined history, the recent events involving that person, the persons career plans, opinions on players at that team ("thinks he shouldn't take himself so seriously," etc), and any other random information that player might know, for example an impending transfer involving a friend.

On this screen interactions opportunities would be available, such as praising a goal the player scored, praising his recent form, asking him to get in touch with a friend of his you want to sign, asking him if he going to accept the offer he has from another club, or giving him advice on whether to sign a new contract, or leave the club etc. The idea here would be to assume that you have a constant relationship with your friends, hence the extra information you automatically have on this screen, but also there would be specific things you may want to talk about. That could be things like above, or more unique, situation specific interactions such as expressing concern over your job security, complaining about another manager, or asking his opinion on your next career move. You could also be approached by other characters that you were friends with about similar issues, where they want your help or advice.

More representation of player personality

Instead of using the hidden personality attributes to generate a personality description, use them to trigger slightly different text descriptions and events. For example, players at your club (Grey connections) would still have the extra social page that you use to interact with your gold connections, except the interactions available are purely the existing club-based ones. Other information, such as the players reactions to their team-mates, the team's results and just their general happiness etc would be visible here. A variety of text (many already existing) would indicate different things about their personality. For instance, "thinks the club could win the league in the next few years" may indicate loyalty, whereas, "has been saying he wants to win the league in the next few years" may indicate ambition. Other things I could imagine seeing would be "has been going down rather easily in training," "thinks the squad needs to show more X," "jealous of player Y's transfer to Barcelona," "has been making fun of player X's recent goal drought," "doesn't seem to celebrate with the rest of the boys," "thinks the managers policy is too strict." and so on. These could be triggered purely by personality factors, but also could be influenced by social standing and friendships etc.

Any thoughts? Personally I would love to really tone down the effectiveness of scouts and player search, and I think the above would help to achieve this by 1: increasing the significance of factors other than star rating into the process of identifying players and building a squad, and 2: by having the majority of this extra information require social links to fully understand and benefit from.

Edited by YKW
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I love all of that. It is there in a very very basic form at the moment but I agree on all your points and would like to see (something similar to) this implemented.

For example, Pep Guardiola was going to go to Wigan late in his career after a series of 1-on-1 phone chats with Paul Jewell, but last minute his other friend, Juanma Lillo, convinced him to go to Dorados in Mexico. Sure, this was player/manager interaction but it was a precursor to Manager-Manager relationship as you have detailed above.

I like it.

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OP, I didn't read a single thing I didn't like. This is always assuming, of course, that resources are not taken away from the match engine team to get this done.

Given what this game is trying to do, I'm quite surprised there isn't already a page that deals purely with squad personalities. There is a page that deals with 'Promises' to players or the board, but that should be a subpage to something bigger, like what you have been talking about.

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The social connections I like the sound of a lot. The squad dynamics I would be weary of introducing, as I feel it might take more away from the game than it adds if implemented poorly. Do I want to to play FM to manage "cliques?" Probably not. I think it is maybe a level of realism that is maybe too far for the FM series.... But on the other hand it could be a cool thing to implement as bringing in players such as Irbra to Man Utd would obviously have a massive change to squad dynamics, so maybe it is time to introduce this kind of thing.... It just has to be introduced in a clear and proper fashion.

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  • 1 month later...

It could be a feature that you can include or exclude at the start of the game like the 'Add staff and players, Show hidden attributes, Enable in game editor'.



Edited by theopert
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  • 1 month later...
On 09/06/2016 at 11:45, YKW said:

Squad Dynamics

I loved your ideas @YKW, I was expecting for it in FM. I quoted this part because it remembers the Team Dynamics from FIFA Manager, and I loved it .








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For Social Connections on a pure level, I'd like to see a more visual mapping of the relationship between people in FM. Clicking through Favoured personnel is a bit tedious.

Example, like the Collusion website tracker relationships:


It would be good if personal connections played more in the dynamics of the game, I agree.

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13 hours ago, tiago_wakabayashi said:

Yes! Hahaha. This will be the fourth year in a row that I have specifically mentioned this feature from Fifa Manager. It's right at the top of my personal wishlist.

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  • 3 months later...
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