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Cap'nRad

FM: A new direction

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I've been playing the fm games for a while now (though not as long as most of the old timers on here, I'm sure) and I've enjoyed every singly one; however, something's been bugging me recently. As a virtual manager, I realize that I'm more of a Guardiola/ Klopp/ Wenger than, say, a Pulis. What I mean by this is I place more importance on playing my way than winning by any means; philosophy takes precedence over results, and I'm sure that's the same for a lot of us fm'ers. The issue with fm right now is it has become increasingly hard to play exactly the way I want simply because of the tactical & ME limitations.

As the modern game has evolved, we have started seeing increasingly complex systems from managers which imo can't be properly replicated by the tactics creator. The philosophies it was based on (Rigid, Flexible, Fluid, etc) have been outdated for quite some time, and although si have done quite a good job of merging the old concepts with newer innovations, i think the time has come for a new direction: A new tactics creator. One more advanced and up to date with modern concepts; one that can replicate most of the football we see today. There was a time when sliders were all we knew in terms of tactics creation, and after a while they became stale and archaic, leaving a lot of the users frustrated as they witnessed a real life tactical evolution that they couldn't emulate virtually. SI came to the rescue back then with player roles, and i think the current evolution in the game is signalling a similar change in the fm tactical system.

But where to start? A lot of the suggestions casually mentioned on the site: different defensive/ attacking tactical screens, generic player roles with a wide range of possible instructions, player positions for each of the different half spaces, etc, all point towards the same direction: more tactical flexibility. The current model of limiting players based on their roles is too restricting! Who's to say my defender can't make a late run through the field into to area, and head in the incoming cross? Definitely not Zidane, as that seems to be Sergio Ramos' m.o recently! I want to be able to tell marc bartra to dribble all the way into midfield and send that beautifully weighted through ball to auba for the finish, but currently it just can't happen. His 15 passing, 15 technique, and 14 vision is essentially wasted. I want to be able to tell poulsen, werner, sabitser, and forsberg to cut the passing lanes, completely denying midfield access and creating a solid defensive structure. All I have now is close down much more and mark tighter. I've been currently trying to tell my central midfielder to overlap my inside forward to create a wide overload. Instead he's just been "moving into channels." He scores goals, yes, just not the way I want. The pressing, marking, movement, etc are all a bit too limited, archaic in some cases; change is needed.

So here's the money question: how is SI supposed to implement this need for tactical flexibility? Well I'm no graphics designer, so I can't estimate the amount of innovation and effort needed to create such a fluid match engine, probably a tremendous amount. However I feel the "FIFA" yearly model they adopted is severely limiting them,  as it'll probably take more than a year to create a modern M.E too go with the tactics creator, and tactical research would also take a while. IMO, the yearly releases should be restricted to the touch version, as it's inherently more casual. They could then spend 2-3 years each creating/ perfecting a more advanced ME. Sometimes it's best to wait a couple of years and then release something spectacular, than to release annually but barely get the job done. I remember playing the witcher 3 for the first time and being completely blown away by the level of innovation. I sat there thinking to myself: "so that's why they took 3 years to build this; it's an absolute masterpiece." I want to feel the same way about the next fm, be it fm 18 or fm 21. I want to be completely blown away; I don't care how long it takes.

I really hope somehow some from SI sees this and takes to the idea, cause a bi-yearly cycle is perfect for a game like fm. I'm sure that currently the rush to fix post release bugs, and work on the new fm tends to make things more hectic and rushed. A 2 year cycle would give them more time and enhance the quality of each version, and I'm sure most fm'ers wouldn't mind the wait. If SI is to take this on board, a good place to start is right here on the site as there have been quite a lot of superb suggestions from users with high tactical knowledge, as well as nice ideas for future features. What's clear though, is that something must be done. Fm simply can't stay somewhat archaic while modern football continues evolving, else there will soon be a noticeable disconnect, with fm looking like a tiny kids piano trying to emulate the sounds of a master keyboard; just not the same.

 

TL;DR: FM needs a new tactical creator, increased focus on modern tactics, and bi-yearly releases.

 

Edited by Cap'nRad

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I think you first need to realize there is zero chance SI would consider doing the game every other year. Financially for them it wouldn't make sense and they'd probably have to cut their staff, not add to it.

But as far as a major tactics overhaul, who's to say they wouldn't be able to begin working on it with plans to release it several years down the road? So whenever FM18 work starts, they'd begin work on it with plans to release it in FM19. Plus, tactics and the ME in FM is constantly evolving. I don't think with any timeframe the result would be a "finished product". Any big change to tactics is likely to upset equally as many people as it will please.

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Definitely would like to see the concept of half-spaces introduced, and the ability to tweak when players cover/arrive in them. Also different variations and intensities of pressing in different zones of the pitch and phases of play (i.e. being able to apply alternate team/player instructions for defensive transition phase before retreating into full-on defensive phase).

Would also like to see greater customisation of playmakers - e.g. only seek the ball in the left half space next to, but slightly ahead of, the left centre half, and don't cut across other central midfielders to receive possession.

Another ideal adaptation would be the hybrid box-to-box/ball-playing centre half like Marc Bartra/David Alaba that you mention above.

As you've correctly outlined, seeing the more complex aspects of modern tactical theory and player movement being incorporated into the match engine would be a really big plus, not just for the extra variety for the tactically-minded but to get FM to the level of realism that we are witnessing in real life.

I think the high-profile and sudden mass arrival of innovative coaches, with very distinct but flexible tactical philosophies, in the EPL (such as Guardiola, Klopp and Conte) will shine a brighter light on recent developments in tactical theory, and how far we've come from the days of "bog standard 4-4-2". This may accelerate a shift in FM away from the more rigid tactics creator we have now and into something that is far more customisable, and reflective of the direction that tactics are moving in throughout the world. I think this is inevitable as more people become aware of the greater complexities involved in modern football, and increasingly demand the mechanisms necessary to imitate it.

Websites like Zonal Marking and Spielverlagerung in recent years - and books like Pep Confidential or Pep: The Evolution - have also played their part in increasing enthusiasm for understanding tactics and delving deeper into how a system really functions with all of it's various intricate movements and subtle differences in positioning. These are never evident when the TV broadcasts show the line-ups in those very rigid and symmetrical formations that, in reality, don't actually exist in practice. A left winger is no longer a left winger but any one of a number of roles - FM recognised this in part by introducing the specialised roles but hasn't yet taken the next step of allowing us greater customisation in where we can position those roles, i.e. in half spaces and not just in the rigid, equally spaced squares we can drag and drop players into on the tactics screen.

Customisable positional grids are a must for future versions of the game, in my opinion.

Good discussion you've started and one well worth having.

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1 hour ago, puffascruffowitz said:

I think you first need to realize there is zero chance SI would consider doing the game every other year. Financially for them it wouldn't make sense and they'd probably have to cut their staff, not add to it.

But as far as a major tactics overhaul, who's to say they wouldn't be able to begin working on it with plans to release it several years down the road? So whenever FM18 work starts, they'd begin work on it with plans to release it in FM19. Plus, tactics and the ME in FM is constantly evolving. I don't think with any timeframe the result would be a "finished product". Any big change to tactics is likely to upset equally as many people as it will please.

 

I believe you've reinforced my point here: they don't need to give up on yearly releases, only replace them with FM touch. So assuming we start from FM17, the cycle would go like this: FMT17 & FM17 -> FMT18 -> FMT19 & FM19 -> FMT20 -> FMT21 & FM21... and so forth. Or, they could leave the touch version as is, and change the regular version. That way people can pick which they prefer, and touch will have served it's main objective of drawing in a different userbase. Either way, I doubt the current tactics creator should remain as is, with all the shenanigans Pep, Klopp & co are pulling tactically.

Edited by Cap'nRad

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1 hour ago, Michael Zorc said:

...As you've correctly outlined, seeing the more complex aspects of modern tactical theory and player movement being incorporated into the match engine would be a really big plus, not just for the extra variety for the tactically-minded but to get FM to the level of realism that we are witnessing in real life.

 

Yeah, it can get a little frustrating trying to work around the limitations within the player roles. I've always felt that a real manager would simply instruct his player to do something; the difficulty comes from the player's ability to follow the instructions, and rarely from the manager's ability to communicate them. Don't get me wrong, I love FM to death and appreciate SI's efforts at innovation; I just feel like they're currently focusing on the wrong areas to innovate. Social media and other little additions, though cool, should come after tactics and certainly shouldn't be the main selling point of an installment imo.

Edited by Cap'nRad

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53 minutes ago, Cap'nRad said:

 

I believe you've reinforced my point here: they don't need to give up on yearly releases, only replace them with FM touch. So assuming we start from FM17, the cycle would go like this: FMT17 & FM17 -> FMT18 -> FMT19 & FM19 -> FMT20 -> FMT21 & FM21... and so forth. Or, they could leave the touch version as is, and change the regular version. That way people can pick which they prefer, and touch will have served it's main objective of drawing in a different userbase. Either way, I doubt the current tactics creator should remain as is, with all the shenanigans Pep, Klopp & co are pulling tactically.

That won't work.

Skipping the full game will cost them greatly and touch is a version off the full game wich are sold together. So skipping touch is pointless. 

 

Having said that some extra flexibility would be great!

Edited by Feddo

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4 hours ago, Cap'nRad said:

 

I love FM to death and appreciate SI's efforts at innovation; I just feel like they're currently focusing on the wrong areas to innovate. Social media and other little additions, though cool, should come after tactics and certainly shouldn't be the main selling point of an installment imo.

+1

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8 hours ago, Cap'nRad said:

 

I believe you've reinforced my point here: they don't need to give up on yearly releases, only replace them with FM touch. So assuming we start from FM17, the cycle would go like this: FMT17 & FM17 -> FMT18 -> FMT19 & FM19 -> FMT20 -> FMT21 & FM21... and so forth. Or, they could leave the touch version as is, and change the regular version. That way people can pick which they prefer, and touch will have served it's main objective of drawing in a different userbase. Either way, I doubt the current tactics creator should remain as is, with all the shenanigans Pep, Klopp & co are pulling tactically.

No, that wouldn't work. How can a game developer who's been operating with a yearly release for years now suddenly cut that in half? From that standpoint alone it doesn't make sense.

I do like some of your ideas though, more flexibility would be great. They might worry about tactics becoming a little too complex, which would then alienate a large part of FM players, many of whom are already upset at having to spend time on tactics.

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They are not going change from a yearly release of the main format.

There are been feature requests for the Tactics creator in various forms, if you want to add more, please most your thoughts in the features section so it can be logged.

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The main difficulty with adding lots more complexity and customization is reworking the AI, I think.  Every extra choice available to it has to be accounted for in its logic, as does the new interplay between choices, and of course the AI has no actual understanding of tactics.  The explosion of customization you're suggesting here would therefore require a tremendous amount of work to make the AI even vaguely competitive, and even then it would probably be the most exploitable AI yet seen.

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On 12/15/2016 at 20:44, Tajerio said:

The main difficulty with adding lots more complexity and customization is reworking the AI, I think.  Every extra choice available to it has to be accounted for in its logic, as does the new interplay between choices, and of course the AI has no actual understanding of tactics.  The explosion of customization you're suggesting here would therefore require a tremendous amount of work to make the AI even vaguely competitive, and even then it would probably be the most exploitable AI yet seen.

 

Yeah I understand that limitation... maybe making it more pvp oriented  would help to increase difficulty? Maybe an online version akin to FM Online

 

On 12/15/2016 at 12:10, themadsheep2001 said:

They are not going change from a yearly release of the main format.

There are been feature requests for the Tactics creator in various forms, if you want to add more, please most your thoughts in the features section so it can be logged.

 

Hmm, I agree a bi-yearly release is impractical... but then what do you suggest to improve the quality of the yearly ME's? From the bugs we see with each release we can infer that the ME creators need time to perfect their engine. Also, this isn't really much of a request, more like a discussion.

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I agree with the first sentiment.  It would be exciting to tell players to do whatever I want.  It would be an AI challenge, but to innovate you have to ignore the naysayers.

I don't see a problem with annual releases.  It's perfectly feasible to have a group of engineers work on redesigning tactics/AI over a longer term while other engineers work on incremental yearly changes.  Or even the same engineers doing both.  

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Goosewinkle said:

I don't see a problem with annual releases.  It's perfectly feasible to have a group of engineers work on redesigning tactics/AI over a longer term while other engineers work on incremental yearly changes.  Or even the same engineers doing both.  

Annual releases feel a bit more problematic when developers and testers cite them as the reason why broken features aren't for the current version.  In this version, we've heard that for second-half stoppage time issues, and for tactical roles in previous versions.

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6 hours ago, Sunstrikuuu said:

Annual releases feel a bit more problematic when developers and testers cite them as the reason why broken features aren't for the current version.  In this version, we've heard that for second-half stoppage time issues, and for tactical roles in previous versions.

I'd love to see a link where SI have said that. 

Most features aren't designed over a yearly cycle, and ME development is continuous. 

The problem with discussion with discussing SI development processes here is that the vast majority or people will have no idea how they work in the first place. 

So saying it should change, when one has little idea of why it's that way in the first place doesn't really work. 

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6 hours ago, Goosewinkle said:

I agree with the first sentiment.  It would be exciting to tell players to do whatever I want.  It would be an AI challenge, but to innovate you have to ignore the naysayers.

I don't see a problem with annual releases.  It's perfectly feasible to have a group of engineers work on redesigning tactics/AI over a longer term while other engineers work on incremental yearly changes.  Or even the same engineers doing both.  

 

 

You more or less took the words out of my mouth.  What you say is the only way it could work, in effecr a team working on the ME for every other years realeae.  This would ensure that they had two years to work on the ME

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6 minutes ago, Tony Wright 747 said:

You more or less took the words out of my mouth.  What you say is the only way it could work, in effecr a team working on the ME for every other years realeae.  This would ensure that they had two years to work on the ME

Again this simply isn't true. They don't stop working on the ME. 

With respect this thread has shown why people can't really debate the practices, when so much of what they are saying initially is wrong 

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I think there is some under appreciation of just what sort of work goes on to enable the match engine to evolve. Significant background work has gone on in recent years to enable that evolution, but it takes time. You can't just rebuild from scratch and get anywhere near the depth and quality of something that has taken 20+ years and nearing 3 million lines of code to develop.

So whilst on the surface we might think that no major work is occurring, in fact a huge amount of work is going every year on to improve the foundations for the future, whilst still enhancing the here and now.

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i have no problems with the way how SI releases the game. they can do as they please and they already did improvements on ME in long run (working on FM13 ME i think for 3 years or something like that). However, i agree with the tactics part. I'd add that it is lacking in defensive shape as well in attacking. This is what i believe should be done, how? i have no idea.

fm went a long way and TC is important part of that journey. the best thing TC did was to bring more football language to the game while pushing the under the hood mechanics (sliders) where they belong - under the hood.

ironically, while best part of the TC was promoting more football like environment in creating tactics, at the same time, it suffered same problems sliders suffer. TC left the inner workings of the game on the surface by leaving "mentality" and "philosophy" in there. while both terms might be found in football tactics vocabulary, they aren't really what they represent in the game. Nobody in football world would have it easy with mentalities and philosophies in the game. they are just simple labels for complicate workings of the game that should be under the hood as much as sliders.

TC did a great leap forward at the time but it didn't cure the old disease. what we need in tactics creator is more football concepts.

The team should first be split in two main phases (i'll leave out the transitions for simplicity): in possession - without possession

It should also be split according to thirds; defensive-middle-attacking, and possibly sides (left and right flank)

From these very basics you should assign:

- team shape (in possession and without possession),

- player roles (in possession and without possession),

- pressing triggers in attacking third (on opposition backpass to their defensive third), or high counterpressing or both, middle third or near the touch lines (if there is split by flanks)

- D-Line height in possession and without possession 

this is just a brief organization of team that happens in real and is nowhere near what FM offers. I realize that translating this into the game mechanics is completely different thing, but it has to be done if the game wants to be more life like just as sliders had to go.

things shouldn't be based on guess work, at least not the kind of guess work we have currently where guardiola or conte couldn't tell what is mentality. that stuff should be hidden deep beneath the surface and tuned by team and player instructions.

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2 hours ago, themadsheep2001 said:

Again this simply isn't true. They don't stop working on the ME. 

With respect this thread has shown why people can't really debate the practices, when so much of what they are saying initially is wrong 

I didn't say they stopped working on the ME I was pointing out that if there was two teams, they would have two years to work on it before it had to be realeased

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13 minutes ago, Tony Wright 747 said:

I didn't say they stopped working on the ME I was pointing out that if there was two teams, they would have two years to work on it before it had to be realeased

And how does two teams work at cross purposes on the same match engine? How do you balance one teams set of changes against anothers? 

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5 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

And how does two teams work at cross purposes on the same match engine? How do you balance one teams set of changes against anothers? 

Well they could still comunicate and interact with each other but each team could work on different aspects.  It would just mean they would have a longer period to sort out any bugs etc

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4 minutes ago, Tony Wright 747 said:

Well they could still comunicate and interact with each other but each team could work on different aspects.  It would just mean they would have a longer period to sort out any bugs etc

The ME is a continuous interacting unit, how does diverging development merge together? There's a reason the ME works as it is after years 

 

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I suggest the following:

- Split yearly production into two areas..match engine and interface..Alternating yearly with making drastic changes to any of them. .....For example next year keep this match engine and work on the visual side of things, im sure the 3d manager and other interface parts would've been better implemented if they were a priority and not a desperate last minute attempt. This also applies to teamtalks, player and media interaction that were not touched for five years now.

Then the year after give us an improved match engine where the usual silliness is ironed out and the tactics system is more relative to what happens on the pitch. Instead of watching repetitive action till your eyes bleed.

 

- Tactics should be split into two areas, while defending and when in possession, I cant visually find out how much pressure Is applied or who is pressing who, its just random and looks off. Also set pieces and training drills need to be easy to personalise to each managers approach. Not shut off most of styles in fear of exploitation. I cant tell my team to pump it forward to the big man unless I spend 15 mins making sure no other instruction is conflicting.

 

- The shape and mentality...They dont make sense and theres no proper explanation into what they actually do, The same is with in game team talks.

Edited by qwerty22

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3 minutes ago, qwerty22 said:

I suggest the following:

- Split yearly production into two areas..match engine and interface..Alternating yearly with making drastic changes to any of them. .....For example next year keep this match engine and work on the visual side of things, im sure the 3d manager and other interface parts would've been better implemented if they were a priority and not a desperate last minute attempt. This also applies to teamtalks, player and media interaction that were not touched for five years now.

Then the year after give us an improved match engine where the usual silliness is ironed out and the tactics system is more relative to what happens on the pitch. Instead of watching repetitive action till your eyes bleed.

 

- Tactics should be split into two areas, while defending and when in possession, I cant visually find out how much pressure Is applied or who is pressing who, its just random and looks off. Also set pieces and training drills need to be easy to personalise to each managers approach. Not shut off most of styles in fear of exploitation. I cant tell my team to pump it forward to the big man unless I spend 15 mins making sure no other instruction is conflicting.

 

- The shape and mentality...They dont make sense and theres no proper explanation into what they actually do, The same is with in game team talks.

Again, the first two paragraphs littered with complete inaccuracies and falsification

In fact so much of this thread is so wrong on development, that's there is no actual point discussing it. There are some good features requests in here. Please post them in the features thread by Friday if you want them considered for FM18, particularly you OP. 

But as a discussion this isn't going anywhere when people a) don't know how things work and b) are making things up. 

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