get closer to Sports Interactive - blog#6

Author: Miles Jacobson. Link to original: http://hmv.com/hmvweb/navigate.do?ctx=3583;6;-1;-1&pPageID=3604 (English).
Tags: FMFan.ru, football manager Submitted by shevelevee 25.10.2008. Public material.

Translations of this material:

into Russian: get closer to Sports Interactive - blog#6. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required. Completed: 99%.
Submitted for translation by shevelevee 25.10.2008

Text

Well, the old age and lack of sleep have caught up with me, and I now have man flu on top of everything else.

We're playing a waiting game. The release candidate is with SEGA, and they are doing the final tests before we can officially be declared finished. We're expecting this early next week, and there's little more we can do now.

Many of the team who've been doing stupid hours the last few weeks are, rightfully, at home in bed catching up on sleep. There's still lots of people manning the forts, waiting for info in case anything is found out to be wrong. And in my flu like state, I want to be at home, but am currently sitting in a video edit suite watching the various possible incarnations of the Football Manager TV ad and trailer have the finishing touches to them so that I can approve them on the spot.

There've been lots of interesting phone calls marketing and PR wise the last few days. I don't really understand why so many of these things happen so late in the day, but there are always some last minute things that come through. I look forward to sharing some of these with you next week.

Anyway, after yesterday's PSP new feature splurge, here's some more PC & Mac stuff, and the last new features to be revealed through these blogs. Next week, the blogs will be more in-depth looks at some of the new features already announced. Fear not though - there's still more to announce, and the podcast that will be out tomorrow evening (Friday) through iTunes will have some more, and some other interesting news. And next week, there'll be some other new features announced through Shortlist magazine's website over at Shortlist.com.

So, what have I got for you today?

Let's start off with preferred squad numbers. If a player has a preferred squad number, you'll now see this when you register your squad numbers for the season.

A personal favourite of mine is something really simple, but very useful. In the game, you've had the possibility for many years of adding on a percentage sell on clause for a player, but having done some research into this, many clubs now utilise a percentage of profit sell on clause. So it's only fair that we add that as an option in game too.

Another favourite is changes to the way youth compensation happens in the game. Previously, you've just paid a small fee to "steal" a youngster from another club, but this became a hot topic in the Summer with the transfer of Bostock to Spurs, so you'll find now that as well as paying an upfront fee, you'll also have to pay for first team appearances, and a sell on percentage.

There are also improved qualification rules in the game, so the more complicated rules are explained better, such as in the Asian leagues and South American leagues.

Let's take a break from new features for a minute, and answer some of the questions that have been sent through to the blog mailbox ([email protected] - but don't ask about new features please!)

Craig Green asks "When did the Football Manager 2009 experience start for you? Will you be thinking up ideas for the next version straight away, or enjoying this years creation for a while?"

Well Craig, the first properly playable code for FM2009 was around April time, although not all the features were active by then, so I started playing the game properly towards the end of June. As for the next version, we already have ideas for it, and will have the features meetings pretty soon after the release of FM2009. That doesn't mean we don't spend time enjoying it, as there won't be a playable version til April or May next year, at a guess.

Gary Thomas asks "What are the chances of turning your expertise towards a boxing manager game?". Well Gary, I'd say they were very, very slim. We've tried out a couple of other sports management titles with Ice Hockey and Baseball, and now trimmed back to just doing Football, and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Gogotte asks "I just want to know what is your favourite/best position on the football field as a real player?". My favourite position is left midfield or left wing, being left footed and quite short. Most in SI Towers would say that my best position on the football field is either on the subs bench, or as manager. My footballing skills aren't exactly good....

Have I mentioned yet that 3 new goalkeeper attributes are shown in Football Manager 2009? First touch, free kick taking and penalty taking are now there, what with more and more goalkeepers taking free kicks and penalties, particularly in South America, they're important things to know now.

Oh, and I don't think I've mentioned roaming scouting either. Unless you specify areas for your scouts to go to, they will choose themselves where to roam, and continue to give you summaries of players that they find.

Finally for today, and for the blogs in this format, there seem to be a lot of rumours going around based on the previews about tactics changes in FM09. There will be a blog next week that will give more details on this, as the reasons behind it need to be explained properly, but some changes were made to tactics during the testing of Football Manager Live which changes the way that "arrows" work in game. What we found with FML is that people didn't really understand what the arrows did, including internally at Sports Interactive, so arrows now signify forward runs. Other tactic areas have been tweaked to make them work better to take into account this change, so you'll still find players running into channels and space, but that's more down to the players ability now. As I've said, there will be a blog explaining this all next week from the co-founder of Sports Interactive and the guy behind the match engine in the game, Paul Collyer.

Right, that's it for today's blog. As mentioned above, there'll be more new features in the podcast which comes out tomorrow, but this is the last blog for this week. Hopefully next time I'm typing, I won't be full of snot...

Cheers

Miles