Build Your Own Offspring: Football Manager 2016

Did you know that you can have children in Football Manager [official site]? Spend enough time in the managerial game and a player appears in the youth ranks of your club, a ‘regen’ who shares your family name. It’s your son, that, and he might go on to be a star. In previous installments, Junior was made up of a random assortment of stats, as likely to be the next Bruno Cheyrou as the next Zinedine Zidane. In this season’s release, you’ll be able do design your son for the first time.

It’s a little known fact that footballers do, in fact, design their sons. Daughters? They’re left to chance but every son undergoes a process of stat-buffing, hairpiece modelling and positional awareness training before leaving the delivery room. David Beckham still harbours plans to raise an entire first eleven, each newborn slotted into formation immediately as they enter the world.

In Football Manager, you’ll have to wait a little longer. The Design A Sprog feature is only available in the Touch edition of the game – formerly Classic – and a screenshot suggests it unlocks after you’ve spent 20 years at a club. If that’s 20 years at a single club, as the wording suggests, rather than a 20 year career, Designer Sons will be a rare sight. I tend to make one in the editor anyhow and the Create-A-Club feature that’s new to the game this year will allow me to make a team of Smiths. Obviously, I’m going to make an RPS team though, with Alice as the flaneur-like Raumdeuter, Alec as a pacey wingback and John as the team’s GPS, picking out long range passes from the heart of midfield. Haven’t decided on the rest but I’ll most likely pop Horace in goal.

This is a little addition, a gimmicky thing, but I think this year should be a good year all round. The hardcore are complaining because of the melty-man avatars,but if the squad-building AI is genuinely improved, and new stat analysis and tactical screens do the trick, I’ll be as happy as a clam.

It’s the little details that make Football Manager’s world so convincing. The way that the 3D match engine visually represents the number of spectators at a game, for example, meaning that lower league grounds will often contain a few lonely blokes standing in an otherwise empty corner of the stands. They don’t seem to know one another and shift from foot to foot uncomfortably for an hour, until a goal causes them to burst into motion befitting an excitable Bez.

15 Comments

  1. Hunchback says:

    Did they hire MAXIS devs too? :D

  2. Themadcow says:

    Excellent feature that quite clearly existed in CM01/02 with Graham’s Save Game editor which pretty much everyone used a bit. By 2026 I fully expect FM to have achieved and possibly exceeded the level the game was at 14 years ago.

  3. amusingthebrood says:

    I can’t help feeling that is a little harsh on Abby Normal.

  4. Le blaireau says:

    Adam, it’s actually ‘Raumdeuter’. Translates as ‘Space Investigator’ quite apt for Alice.

  5. Pantalaimon says:

    I remember a few years ago (back around FM07) when the first person to discover this ‘feature’ found their son in their youth team, and detailed a long story of giving their son a proper career in world football. Only their son was pretty rubbish so they had to go to great lengths to bring them on in the team, like hiring former legendary players to coach them. It was quite a adventure in the end.

    I’ve never had a son in any of my long running career games sadly. After all this time I don’t feel like I would ever use a feature to magically design them, I’d rather they were just a product of some numbers thrown into the mixer (just like real life, then…)

    The 3D manager feature this year, though, is one of the tiny little things I’ve wanted forever. It shouldn’t matter as much as it does, but I can’t wait to see myself (as weird as that is) dancing up and down on the touchline. All the managers who diss me in their press conferences better watch out!

    • Pantalaimon says:

      (I also doubt someone’s ‘hardcore’ credentials if they weren’t a little gleeful that either of these features were finally a thing)

  6. ChrisGWaine says:

    Which attribute governs how he treats Thai sex workers?

  7. Possums says:

    Hold on, is there no longer a Classic mode for FM16?

  8. JamesTheNumberless says:

    Aw, so it’s just a gimmick for the casual version? What would actually be nice is a way to edit the names and appearances (but not the stats, that would be cheating) of regular re-gen players

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