Exclusive FM2011 blog with Miles Jacobson day 10: First view of the all new and improved match animation

Author: Miles Jacobson. Link to original: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/blogs/football-manager-2010 (English).
Tags: FM11 Blog, FMFan.ru Submitted by Homep13 13.10.2010. Public material.

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Just 2 years later, with Football Manager 2011 there have been a huge amount of improvements. It now looks like this:

Which is a pretty big difference, and a huge step in the right direction!

Over the next two days I’m going to give you a bit of an insight into what has changed in the last year in the match views. Before I do that though, just a little bit about the match engine itself.

Unlike the action football games on the market, we are trying to create a real simulation of the full 90 minutes of a game of football. We are constantly working on improving the match engine itself, and constantly looking at the changing ways that football is played, whilst giving the flexibility for you to be in complete control of your tactics, and how your players play on the day (although, of course, their personalities might mean that they completely ignore you and do whatever they want to anyway!).

We spend a lot of time looking at real world stats for shots, passes, tackles, runs, saves, last ditch challenges etc and constantly compare those to the stats that are being outputted from our match engine, as well as working with ex-players, such as Ray Houghton, to ensure that the flow of the game is accurate, and that players positioning and movement is how it would be in real life.

So whilst we are more interested in the way the game plays, rather than how it looks, it’s still important to us to ensure that the football looks believable. We aren’t trying to make players look like they do in real life, as, well, it would be impossible anyway with over 430,000 players and staff that we have in the game, but we do want them to look like they are footballers at least!

One of the main areas we’ve been concentrating on match view wise this year has been the animations. We have revamped nearly every animation in the game, and improved the contact points (the point where the ball and animation meet) throughout.

We also have well over 100 new animations, which relate to different kinds of kicks, headers, tricks such as step overs, and emotions. We’ve also added in lots of nice touches, such as players making last ditch lunges for crosses and passes.

Emotions are something that are brand new to Football Manager 2011, and add an extra element to the visual look of the players. Players react differently to events in matches depending on their personality - so you’ll see inspirational players attempting to rally the troops after your team concedes, whereas others will bury their head in their hands. Emotions range from players signalling their disgust at misplaced passes from teammates to furiously questioning why a teammate didn’t pass to them instead of blazing a chance over the bar, and much more.

They’ve also lead to a lot more varied goal celebrations in the game some of which you’ll notice on the videos that we’ve already uploaded to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/sigamesofficial.

All in all, the animations are dramatically improved from last year’s release, as are all other areas of the look of the match view, but I’ll go into that more tomorrow.

Just before I go, I’m getting a LOT of questions at the moment on Twitter, Facebook and our forums about when the demo of the game is going to be released. For those that don’t know, this is a free demo of the game that allows you to play half a season, and then carry on your game once the game is released and available to buy.

The answer to this question at the moment is that we don’t know. We have to wait until the game is in manufacture before preparing the demo, as we want to ensure that when the demo is released, it is identical to the version of the game that will be able to be bought in the shops.

The demo is normally released 2 weeks ahead of its release which, this year, is on November 5, but we cannot commit to any dates yet so please be patient and, of course, as soon as we have a date, I’ll be writing about it here for mirrorfootball.co.uk.