Foot Like A 3D Engine: Football Manager 2014

By Adam Smith on October 14th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

Have there ever been two foot-to-ball posts on RPS during a single twenty four hour period? I’d go back and search through the archives but I can hear Kenneth Baubles, the ill-fated librarian, dragging his pegleg around back there. Best not to disturb him. Whatever the case, we’re almost back-to-back with balls today. First it was Graham’s turn to give FIFA a good kicking, although he was wearing fluffy slippers at the time so ended up delivering a gentle foot caress. Now I’m stepping up to the spot and staring at Football Manager 2014′s new 3D match engine as it throws shapes between the goalposts in an effort to confuse me. Below, you can see the revamped engine’s first public appearance.

When walking the corridors of RPS Towers, I have to whisper everytime I express my admiration for Football Manager. It’s a forbidden love, even if complex stat-heavy simulations are precisely what PCs were built to contain. Shhhh. They’ll hear us.

Let’s relocate.

Come on in. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe as long as you don’t stand on any of the completely rotten floorboards and weigh less than forty five pounds.

This is where I go when I want to play a sporting simulation. The others don’t know about it, which means they can’t stop me. It used to be in much better condition but a group of angry Football Manager fans bombarded me with biscuits and bovril when I mentioned that I actually like playing with the 3D match engine rather than the more traditional top-down view or using the hallowed ‘commentary only’ mode. I’m an exile in my own community, you see, but I simply refuse to change my ways.

I like the match engine and last year’s was great once the early kinks had been worked out. I’m looking forward to putting the new one through its paces as soon as the beta is available, which should be any day now.

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20 Comments »

  1. MuscleHorse says:

    Shit, this is probably the first and last comment I’ll ever make on an even tenuously sport related, but by god do I love you for the ruddy bloody marvelous Alan Partridge reference in the title.

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  2. DiamondDog says:

    I did rather doggedly stick to watching games with just commentary, until I realised I was missing out on watching my new £30m striker repeatedly launch his shots into the stratosphere. After the initial bugs are sorted out they’re always pretty solid, to be fair. It’s also fascinating watching the die hard FM fans unravel the workings of the updated engine like it’s some kind of arcane alchemy.

    “Ahhh so if you put the RB onto easy tackling, the CM on pressing in his own half, and the AML on zonal marking, you win 93% of all home games! At last I have the formula!”

  3. Ed Balls says:

    Excuse me, am I going to be needed in this post as well? Although I will say that Foot-to-Balls sounds decidedly unpleasant to me.

    PS: Yvette insists it’s acceptable if it’s her foot.

  4. n0m0n says:

    To answer the question in the first paragraph; yes there have – August 11 2010.

  5. Jimbo says:

    Finally, Football Manager on Ice.

  6. skullBaseknowledge says:

    Speaking of 3D, the way the tie curves on the cover art is heretical.

  7. El_MUERkO says:

    2013′s match engine was a disaster, defenders could not defend against players running in from the wings making winning a lottery based entirely on the oppositions tactics and team selection.

    The problem was so pronounced if you looked at Goal of the Year/Tournament competitions and you’d often see three identical goals: player cuts in from the wing, skins defender, jinks away from the goal to slot in at the near post.

    • Pockets says:

      As someone who went cold turkey on FM a few years back, I’m intrigued. On a scale of 1 to… well, 20 , how broken are we talking about here? 03/04 MC->FC arrow with Orri Freyr Oskarsson?

      • El_MUERkO says:

        Ah, I went colder again, not played it since the days of the Amiga till 2011, then gotten the last three, clocked near 500 hours with 12, gave up on 13 after 80. They made an all new match engine for 13 so it was a big change that needed support, but after the January transfer window the dropped all support for it.

        Basically defenders were broken, especially full and wing backs, you could do some things to mitigate it but pacey attacking players running in from the wings would repeatedly run by them as they stood stationary and then score identical goals, sometimes several in one match.

        You won’t see the number of complaints and unhappy people on their forum though, they diligently deleted it all, see no evil. So I’ll get 14 if it’s truly fixed 13′s problems, and only in a sale of some kind.

        • Joriath says:

          While the its true that SI never really sorted the match engine for FM13, they did improve it beyond the problems you’re talking about. There was at least patch post-january transfer update which mitigated some of the pacey winger issues and the game is still very enjoyable. Is it perfect? No, but frankly I don’t think they’ve ever had a perfect, or nearabouts, match engine. As you say, they introduced a new engine last year which was quite different to previous versions, which also meant that tactics that had worked before were no longer feasible. A lot, but obviously not all, of the complaining on the forums was due to people struggling or refusing to adapt their tactics to the new match engine.

        • Hawat says:

          Here is the kind of broken stuff you could see in fm13 engine.

          • Adam Smith says:

            I’ve spent a terrifying number of hours with FM13 and never seen anything quite so disastrous. On the other hand, I’ve been watching football live and on the telly for almost thirty years and seen a fair few clangers like that.

            The biggest problems with the match engine were the predictability of attacking movements, as El_MUERkO says, which became predictable because of poor defensive movement. I found a noticeable improvement post-patches and they VERY quickly ironed out the passing problem, whereby my Bury FC would string together perfect passes just outside the opponent box for three minutes at a time, patiently teasing the defense apart and looking for an opening. In fact, that may have been a beta problem but, good grief, every team behaved the same way for a while.

          • Hawat says:

            I think it would be fine if the engine did this kind of disaster move on purpose but I highly doubt it.
            Check the other goalkeeper videos in that channel as well, there are more examples of engine problem. I have seen my fair share as well of bugs like that playing about 300 h of fm13.
            Things like defenders jogging slowly backward while trying to catch a ball and an attacker that was 10m late and started running after that defender get the ball first. Or defenders getting the ball bouncing off them then moving very slowly in the toward the goal and yet the defender just watch without trying to actually get the ball back before its too late, probably hoping that the goalkeeper at the other side of the square will get it first.

          • sibul says:

            Posted November 27.

          • Erithtotl says:

            I’ve played over 1000 matches of FM 2013 and this is not really a problem since the first few patches.

            The main problems I have with the match engine are

            1) low powered shots means very few goals from outside the box
            2) Very few FK goals (related to 1)
            3) Bad marking on corners results in way too many corner goals
            4) Game requires far too much of tackling instead of good positioning/shape on defense (tackle numbers are double real life)
            5) High class defenders still too likely to commit really stupid mistakes.

            In all the results make sense, but how they are arrived at, not always so much.

  8. Ernesto25 says:

    As shown above the match engine needs alot of work and i stick to 2d as 3d looked awful to me but ill give it another try this year (the 3d engine).