Aug 03

Roadmap – Thinking about the future

 

Finally the roadmap of future features, and an estimate of when they can be expected, has been revealed. Over three parts Marc Duffy’s blogs talk about some of the new features that will be coming to FML throughout the coming months. If you haven’t read them yet they can be found on the official Football Manager Live Blog.

162x90genlogo Roadmap   Thinking about the futureAll I’m trying to say is that with the roadmap and the timelines within 4-5 months we’ll have removed pretty much all of the key issues that have been widely reported on the forums. It’s up to us somehow to convince you the long term subscriber that this will be good enough to attract new people to the game (and keep them) and somehow tempt old subscribers back.
Marc Duffy

As the launch date for these features approaches we’ll look at each a bit closer, but this week I wanted to highlight the forum threads for each instead, and some of the suggestions and concerns thrown up within.

Match Engine

The new match engine has been coming for a long time, many might suggest too long. But all reasons aside the confirmation of the new ME coming in 1.3 is good news for all.

The FM09 engine has basically been bypassed for FML and the new arrival will be the same one used for FM10 – importantly that will also be fully compatible with the 3D add-on, although that won’t be seen until next year and will be entirely optional.

Not a lot in this forum thread of note, the new ME will be welcome and from what I’ve seen of it in beta it’s looking very good. The question of whether stadium atmosphere will be keyed in to the new ME is a big issue for many, still no definitive answer on this one though (but we’ll continue to push for answers). The other important note to come out of this thread was Ov Collyer’s assertion that from the time the new ME is launched it will be kept up to date, even if that requires separate updates to the FML client.

Youth Academies

Still under development and nothing seen in beta at this stage, this area is likely to be a winter release (yes apparently the UK still refers to changes in seasons). As mentioned in the blog there are a number of areas where final decisions are yet to be made, so this could be a very important thread to have your say in.

So far it’s clear that people don’t want “money” to be the key factor in who attracts the quality youth players, but at the same time the flexibility to build and upgrade your academy should be a focus (much like stadiums). Judging Potential likewise shouldn’t be used as a factor in determining who you get, although many would like to see the scouting skills having an effect here, so you could influence the regions that your youth arrivals come from.

The over-riding concerns here are making sure it’s not purely about the money spent guaranteeing quality, and still utilising some form of scouting control. Overall it looks like a very big feature, or possibly one that can be added to over several upgrades. To start with people just want something, but the more interactive it becomes over time the better.

Tokens

Tokens will come into FML in order to replace the cash elements in friendly competitions. This will have a big impact on the more extreme managers, but should go a long way toward addressing concerns around DYM’s in early worlds as well as making official FA matches and positions more relevant.

A lot of good responses in this thread showing a lot of interest in being able to “buy” options with the tokens to customise stadiums, kits, etc. A lot of good feedback and the proposal to add a range of items for purchase that don’t directly affect on field performance have been accepted well. Again it looks like a good addition that can be developed further with each future upgrade. As mentioned in the blog this one is currently being tested behind the scenes in Beta (to see what kind of rate tokens can be gained) so whether it makes 1.3 or not is uncertain. Hopefully an early version will come in soon though.

AI Teams and Missions

AI got off to a bad start in FML, with many being confused about the impact the current AI manager has. Considering that it will be interesting to see the reactions in game to proper AI controlled teams, having seen them in beta I can say it appears a great addition.

Initial concerns about where the players come from – players in AI teams are from a separate database and are not available to real teams. Beyond that there is still lot of questions surrounding this addition. The good news is they will definitely be included in 1.3 in some form, whether the “missions” aspect also appears that early is another matter.

Offline Control

Surprisingly this one gets slammed a bit in the thread, personally it’s my favourite addition of the lot. The ability to make sure my team plays the way I would in any match, whether I’m there or not, combined with the fact the opposition I play against when they are offline will be making changes, substitutions, etc, based on that managers choices (and not some random AI influence) means an end to the current AI manager.

It really surprises me that many would prefer the current “AI manager” to playing against their opponent, even when they’re not online. Perhaps people have started to realise how easy AI is after all. But given that the option to allow these match plans (or not) will be added to competitions it shouldn’t be a major issue.

Still I’ll be avoiding the AI as much as possible, and only joining competitions where I know my opposite number is having an influence on the match. If you want to add your thoughts to this thread make sure you have a read of post #64 first.

Bigger Better Competitions

The early stages of this have already been implemented into all game worlds, with the addition of two new super FA’s and some new alternatives to the old FA’s. The continuing push to integrate more progression into the FA system is a big part of future development, the new suggestion from this blog entry is the addition of AI teams into the FA structure. This should go some way to ensuring more stable numbers in each tier, and ensure teams aren’t promoted before they are ready.

A number of good posts throughout this thread, no major concerns with what’s been added so far but people clearly still want more flexible options in competition creation. Good to see this area developing, and as it does we should more interesting options added in the future. Have your say on what you’d like to see.

162x90genlogo Roadmap   Thinking about the futureYou’ll notice that the wording in the blogs and the intro isn’t date specific – more seasonal. However we’re shooting for new versions every 12-14 weeks so the dates might not be too difficult to work out … but it’s all subject to change or slippage depending on the feedback / beta testing.
Marc Duffy

A brief summary of the coming changes and some of the reactions to them, with FML being very much influenced by the community make sure you take the opportunity to voice your opinion in any of the linked threads above.

That’s not all of the features, just those that have been announced so far. Keep an eye on the official blog site for more news in the future, and when it’s released be assured we’ll have another look at it here.

Mark Burton

Written By Mark Burton
A moderator since May 2008 in a number of beta worlds and now GW Fowler, he strives to highlight the community aspects of FML and inform new & experienced users about future game development.
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  • Don't worry Aidan, you've definitely left your mark in the game. How else would have so many moderators learned to use their tools? In our hearts, always!  :-P

  • Aidan Parry (Banned FML Player

    1.3 Does look really good, it's a shame i won't be able to take part :'( , but something i will regret no doubt. Either way, the road-map looks promising and a clap to the developers.

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