Moustaches And Match Engines: Football Manager 2015

It’s probably the case that the biggest updates to Football Manager every year, the ones that will make the biggest difference over the following months, are found in the interface. In such a complex simulation, with more data than a Next Generation marathon, it’s important to have access to important information on a single screen, or at most a single click away. The video below shows the return of the sidebar, along with cleaner graphics for scouting, manager history and the like.

But, lets be honest, everyone is going to end up talking about the burger vans and moustaches.

The burger vans are part of the foliage that sprouts around a football ground on matchday and are represented in the series for the first time as part of the updated 3d engine, which also features advanced lighting and motion captured animations. I’ve been a believer in the 3d engine since its earliest appearances and while it’s usually where most issues in the annual beta are apparent, it’s also where some of the biggest improvements to the simulation can be seen.

More intriguing is the move toward a roleplaying experience. When I spoke to Sports Interactive director Miles Jacobson last year, I felt that this year’s instalment would continue the trend toward simulating the human side of management. That certainly seems to be the case and I couldn’t be happier.

It’s exciting to see such a long-running series exploring different ways to interpret player input. And, yes, I’m genuinely excited about the video. I’ll spend enough time with the game in the next twelve months that every little detail is important to me.

The old joke is that Football Manager is a game about spreadsheets and while that was never really the case (at least not anymore than many other games are about spreadsheets), the focus on personal relationships and player roles all seems intended to simulate the actual experience of management rather than the abstract form that we’re accustomed to. On the grand strategy sectrum, FM15 is moving closer to the Crusader Kings II side.

You’ll have stats, which begin when you create a character, choosing between two distinct classes – the tracksuit manager or the tactical manager. Hybrid classes are available.

You’ll have relationships, with players, with the board, with club legends, with journalists (now divided into broadsheet and tabloid classes of their own), and with your own staff. Many will gripe at the extra focus on media interactions, including interviews in tunnel and at training grounds, but they’re all part of the world’s texture, and can presumably be automated.

And, of course, there will be relationships with other managers. I’m hoping for something along the lines of Shadow of Mordor’s nemesis system.

There’s loads more in the video, including the creation of the new player role ‘Raumdeuter’ (‘space investigator’), which seems to have been invented purely because Thomas Müller exists. I can’t wait.

Release is November 7th and if past years are any indication, there’ll be a beta starting a couple of weeks before. Oh, and the moustaches are dynamically occurring, with various styles and stages of growth, and tie in to the Movember charity.

11 Comments

  1. amateurviking says:

    Some of my fondest gaming memories are of playing FM 02/03 hotseat multiplayer with friends and beer. Have never really recaptured the magic playing solo but always consider dipping my toe back in the water ever year.

    Maybe this year?

  2. Ginger Yellow says:

    All I really care about is if they’ve made classic mode just a little bit more complex/flexible. Basically I want the interactions of Champ Man 01/02 with the modern UI and under-the-hood engine.

  3. idiotapocs says:

    Match engine still features figure skaters instead of footballers. Please bring back the FM12 match engine… or reignite the Eastside Hockey Manager series.

  4. Rao Dao Zao says:

    When I see the back of the be-suited football manager man, I always do a double-take thinking it’s a Hitman game.

  5. SPCTRE says:

    “Raumdeuter”? Color me confused, and German *is* my native tongue.

    (Okay, apparently it’s a term he coined himsef in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung. A play on words on the German “Traumdeuter”, “dream interpreter”…)

  6. Lacessit says:

    This sounds excellent! Considering I’ve skipped 4 iterations now, this could be the one to make me revisit Serie C2!

  7. webs1 says:

    Animations look better, maybe this year’s the first time watching a game in 3D is actual fun.
    I’m looking forward to more interactions, as long as they don’t get repetitive too fast. The distinction between tabloid and broadsheet sounds great, I always wanted to cultivate my image as a “Schöngeist” while shunning the likes of “Bild”.
    Not sure about the Tracksuit vs Tactical Manager thing, I guess you have to play for a while to see the effects of that.

    Re: beta testing: will RPS get some keys??? Pretty please???

  8. The King K says:

    Looking forward to the stats system. Reminds me of Anstoss 3. I hope it a feature in classic mode, I never touch the normal mode anymore. Takes too long and the one thing I really dislike are the interviews.

  9. iyokus says:

    Please tell me I’m not the only one rolling my eyes at the new ‘features’ like tunnels, stewards, personalised crowd banners, stadium designs and, yes, burger vans. I know they have to talk this stuff up, but come on.

    • Arathorn says:

      I’m actually pretty impressed with how they managed to accurately model the talking guy’s stubble. The talking animation is a bit wonky at times, but perhaps that’s just the vibe they’re trying to convey. It does make him look like the kind of 40+ supporter I’d expect to see in the stands of a Championship or League One stadium (and I really mean that in the most positive way).

  10. DrollRemark says:

    I imagine it’s probably correct, but for some reason the FM engine always looks like the pitch is way bigger than it should be. The players look tiny.