Posts Tagged ‘Sports Interactive’

Football Manager 2018’s best wonderkids

Football Manager 2018 isn’t just about playing for a season, giving up, then starting over – it’s about building a legacy, relationships and a squad to be proud of. With that comes the need to sign people who are still legally children for more money than most of us will ever see in our lives. Wonderkids, then.

With that in mind, I’ve trawled through the game to find 36 of the best young players in the game, across all positions, and for a selection of budgets. The days of genuine bargains have faded into near obscurity, but you’ll still be able to put together a winning squad for a reasonable amount. Just remember they probably won’t be winning anything until 2023 at the earliest.

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Wot I Think: Football Manager 2018

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Nobody listens to a word I say. I might be a legend of the game and one of the most beloved footballers of my generation but as soon as I stick my nose in at half-time, all the energy is sucked out of the dressing room.

Football Manager 2018 gives me all of the data I need to understand why the team are uninterested or unhappy, but I’m not convinced it gives me any meaningful or interesting tools to address those factors. On the pitch, I’m enjoying it as much as I ever have, but whether it’s a reflection of reality or not, I find the basics of dealing with a squad of sulks as tedious as Ashley Cole’s autobiography.

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How 25 years of AI development and messy reality shape Football Manager

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This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Football Manager [official site].

Do want to play a cavernously deep simulation of a world of viciously competing factions? Do you dream of leading your people to glory and dominating all comers? Do you relish bending complex systems of law to your advantage? Do you savour the idea of surveying the world for the sharpest operators and spying on your rivals’ smallest decisions?

Forget Crusader Kings 2. Its network of aristocratic machinations is a kid’s toy next to Football Manager. And nothing in Football Manager is quite as vast and encompassing as the transfer market, in which hundreds of thousands of players, scouts, agents, and managers live out digital careers in an international scene of countries and leagues. 25 years in the making, Football Manager’s transfer system is a blend of artificial intelligence, maths and hard data, and it’s designed to simulate the real business of football, behaving credibly into an infinite future of football. “We haven’t perfected it,” director Miles Jacobson tells me. “But we’re pretty close.”

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Football Manager 2018’s dynamics and cliques explained

better pyramids than Assassin's Creed

A man stopped following another man on Instagram the other day and newspapers and websites around the world wrote ominous headlines about it. Football in 2017 is very strange and one of Football Manager 2018’s [official site] big new features looks like it’ll be bringing some of that strangeness into the simulation. The system is called Dynamics and it models relationships within a squad as well as the social groups that form or fall apart. A video explains all.

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Football Manager 2018 will change scouts, stadiums, AI and more

Harry Redknapp is not a wheeler-dealer. The subs bench is not a bed. Transfer deadline day is not suitable for work. Transfer deadline day is your entire existence now.

I’ve been waiting to see what’s new in Football Manager 2018 [official site] since the release of Football Manager 2017. A short transfer window spoof video from Sega and Sports Interactive doesn’t reveal an enormous amount, but overhauled scouting, fancy-looking stadiums and a mysterious ‘dynamics’ system are all teased, along with AI improvements on and off the pitch.

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Football Manager 2018 announced for November

Football Manager 2018 [official site] is a game which exists and will launch on November 10th, publishers Sega announced today. Football Manager Touch 2018 also exists and will also launch on November 10th. That is about all Sega say. What’s new with this year’s instalment? They won’t tell us until September. As Sega won’t offer details, we’ve turned to our trusted secret sources [it’s Ian Video Games wearing an assortment of fake moustaches and a Darth Vader Voice Changer Helmet -ed.]. Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy Of Football Manager’s sparse crowds

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We’re poised in the drop zone, hanging on by a thread, and nobody seems to care if we cling on by the skin of our teeth or tumble into oblivion.

I am the manager of Bury FC and the terrible results aren’t the worst thing about this season. The truly heartbreaking thing is the apparent demise of a small club and its generations-old local support base. If a last minute goal condemns a team to relegation and nobody is around to see the ball hit the net, does it even matter? In Football Manager [official site], they only sing when you’re winning.

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Football Manager has secured the Bundesliga license

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Gary Lineker once summed football up as neatly as anyone ever has: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.” Lineker was wrong, of course. The goalkeepers rarely chase the ball.

The quote is even more inaccurate when applied to Football Manager [official site]. There, football is a simple game where twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, an alternate universe, corrupted copy of the Germans always wins. Football Manager, you see, has not had access to the Bundesliga license for many years, which means if you want official team and player names, you need a mod. Starting in 2018/19 and for the four seasons (presumably with possibility of an extension) following, Sega will have an official German license as well.

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Football Manager 2017 pass-and-save diary, part four: Hell in a handballcart

It's all going well

Adam hands me the pass-and-save Football Manager Touch 2017 file with the following pep talk:

“I got us to the semi-final of the FA Cup, and the draw for that is coming up shortly, and we’re through to the 2nd Knockout Leg of the European Champions League,which is a big deal. We might end up playing Barcelona or Bayern Munich in which case we’re probably doomed, but HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL. The League is dead though. Nothing good can happen there.”

Good pep talk, Adam. Top management. Read the rest of this entry »

Football Manager 2017 pass-and-save diary, part three: Half-empty cups

I’ve always said a manager should be judged on the trophies in the cabinet rather than their position in the league table. Give me the choice between finishing 17th in the Premier League but winning the League Cup and finishing 2nd but having no trophies to show for it, and I’ll go for the cup every time.

When I say I’ve always said that, I mean I’ve been saying it to the Leicester board repeatedly for the last couple of weeks. Our Football Manager 2017 League campaign is a dud; not a disaster but a damp squib. But we’re still in the Champions League and I calmly guided us to the semi-final of the FA Cup. Now it’s all on Pip. We’re going to do the double (and finish 15th in the League).

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Football Manager 2017 pass-and-save diary, part two: Enter the Tinkerman

Ian Football’s long brown raincoat hides four people inside: Pip, Adam, Alec (who already took his turn) and me, Graham. It’s now my turn in our pass-the-save (or pass-and-save, geddit) playthrough. Our mission: take control of Premier League champions Leicester City in Football Manager Touch 2017 and perform better than they are in real life.

Where Alec has limited experience with football, I watch half a dozen matches every weekend. I haven’t spent much time with FM16 or 17, but I spent many thousands of hours playing previous iterations so that shouldn’t matter. I also read a lot of Football Manager fan fiction as a teenager, in which people would embellish after action reports with imagined details of their manager’s personal lives.

I thought about this as I kissed Mrs. Football goodbye on Wednesday morning, before climbing in my Renault Clio (the car of Footballs) and beginning the drive to work. I burped, detecting the taste of the Venky’s chicken (the meal of Footballs) I’d eaten the night before. Read the rest of this entry »

Football Manager 2017 pass-and-save diary, part one: A game of four halves

Two of us know far too much about football. Two of us know far too little. Together, we will create chaos for once-proud Premiership club Leicester City.

Here’s the deal. In Football Manager Touch 2017 (chosen over the full-fat version as it’ll move quicker), we take control of Leicester for the 2016-2017 season, which is effectively working just a few months behind what’s actually happening now. That being that Leicester won the title last year, but are having a hard time this year. You ain’t seen nothing yet, lads. Every quarter of a season, whoever’s in charge passes their savegame onto the next player. As we’re alternating between people who know what they’re doing and people who don’t, this is going to involve quite some degree of calamity and, hopefully, salvation.

It starts with me. Graham, Pip and Adam will follow. Adam has observed that if the club is not in the relegation zone when the save reaches him, he will consider it a great victory. Oh dear. Read the rest of this entry »

Football Manager 2017 free to play this weekend

Oh, Sega, your cunning knows no bounds. Recognising, no doubt, that many football fans are itching for some excitement during the doldrums of an international break, they’ve only gone and made Football Manager 2017 [official site] free for the weekend on Steam. And that weekend starts now, but please don’t miss work or school tomorrow and blame “that man at RPS”. Blame Sega.

Download the game now and you can play with no limitations until 8pm on Sunday (UK time) and even though I don’t think Football Manager is perfect, I guarantee you’ll have more fun than you would watching a World Cup qualifier. Especially if you’re English because let’s face it, if the despair doesn’t end us, the hope just might. Merry Footmas!

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Best Football Manager 2017 mods so far

Sports Interactive’s Football Manager series (once known as Championship Manager) is the Chosen One of sports management games. Rarely does its year-on-year instalment fall from Steam’s top ten most played games list and while the latest edition, Football Manager 2017 [official site], isn’t exactly brimming with new features, it has finely tuned almost all of its existing ones – to the point where this season’s outing is one of the best in the series’ illustrious 14-year career. “I have been impressed; greatly impressed at times,” says Adam in his review.

Similar to the waves of players and personnel who switch employers each year, mods come and go with each passing iteration of FM. The following list gathers the best that are available so far for 2016/17’s incarnation – but we’ll be adding to this list as the season unfolds.

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Football Manager’s Miles Jacobson On Leicester, Brexit And Building Better Artificial Intelligence

Just before the launch of Football Manager 2017 [official site], with the beta already released to the many people who preordered the game, I spoke to Sports Interactive director Miles Jacobson about the changes his team have made in this latest game in the series. We talked about AI improvements, Brexit, and whether Leicester winning the Premier League was a happy day or a sad day at Sports Interactive.

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Wot I Think: Football Manager 2017

Football Manager 2017 [official site] is out tomorrow but I’ve been playing the beta for a couple of weeks now, striving to climb from the lower leagues to the dizzy heights, and seeing if I can do a better job with post-Ferguson Manchester United than Jose Mourinho. Neither of us know quite what to do with Paul Pogba, I have concluded.

Along the way to trophies and triumph, I’ve had to deal with social media, new artificial intelligence routines and a coaching staff that are chattier than ever. Here’s wot I think.

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Football Manager 17 Includes A Brexit Simulator

Football Manager [official site] is not a political game. I recall being extremely surprised when the 2022 World Cup was relocated to Argentina from Qatar in my first playthrough of last year’s edition. Given reports about the bidding process and the feasibility of hosting the tournament there, as well as more troubling stories, I wondered what the reasons for the move were in the fictional future of the game. Turns out, it might simply be a case of Sports Interactive not wanting to rewrite the calendar for a winter World Cup.

But they’ve been rewriting a lot of code for another political event. Football Manager 2017 will simulate several possible Brexit scenarios.

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Back On The Net: Football Manager 17 Feature Reveal

I’m always a little bit upset that I can’t play the new version of Football Manager [official site] as soon as the season starts, though I understand the reasons why (namely, the fact that the bloody transfer window doesn’t stop when the football starts). Usually I console myself by reading about the new features that I can expect once the game arrives. This year, the feature reveal has been a little later than usual, but it’s here now in the form of a half hour video. Social media feeds! Improved transfer and on-pitch intelligence! EXCESSIVE DATA ANALYSIS.

You can watch it below.

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Sega On Amplitude, Strategy And Becoming A PC Giant

Even though Sega have been publishing PC strategy and simulation games for years now, I still can’t see the company logo or hear the word without thinking back to hours spent at schoolfriends’ houses, trying to work out if Sonic was too fast or I was too slow. The acquisition of Amplitude was the point that I decided that I needed to ask Sega a very simple question: “Do you want to marry PC strategy games?”

At Gamescom, I sat down with Jurgen Post, COO of Sega of Europe.

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Help: The Game Collection Benefits War Child Charity

Eleven developers, including familiar names like The Creative Assembly and Rovio, have teamed up with War Child to help raise money for children in areas of conflict. The bundle includes 12 unique games for £9.99/$14.99 and all proceeds go to the charity. It’s an excellent chance to do good while playing some fine games.

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