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Mihai

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  1. Transfer Deadline Day is one of the biggest, and most dramatic, fixtures in the footballing calendar. We’ve all been there, watching the clock tick down on the big screen and waiting for one of the pundits to break the news that our club is about to make a massive late addition to their squad. From done deals to rumours sparked by the brother of someone’s yoga instructor’s neighbour, we’re hooked, for every single minute of it. For clubs, Transfer Deadline Day is a different beast entirely. In an ideal world they’d have their business done well in advance, but football doesn’t always work out like that. A run of poor results in the first few games of the season can quickly conjure a storm of transfer speculation, while players tempted by lucrative contracts, best-laid plans coming undone and season-changing injuries can all contribute to a last-minute foray into the transfer market. Likewise, sometimes a deal simply materialises that is just too good to turn down. In Football Manager 2022 we’ve sought to replicate the drama of Transfer Deadline Day in game, upping the immersion factor and making it an unmissable part of every season. Modelled on discussions with those involved in all aspects of the real-life drama, it’ll feel like you’re watching events unfold on your television whilst simultaneously positioning right you in the middle of the action, sitting in the managerial hotseat making all the big calls. We know how focused managers need to be to deal with the chaos of Transfer Deadline Day. By bringing all the information you might need together in one place, it’ll be far easier for you stay on top of things and ensure you’ve got a strong, happy squad capable of delivering those all-important victories over the weeks and months to come. Our new, dedicated Deadline Day experience opens the door to a dramatic end to your business each transfer window, so let us walk you through the best bits… Brand-new Transfer Deadline Day Hub Much like the all-new Data Hub (link here), our redesigned Transfer Deadline Day experience brings together all the key information you need to conquer the transfer market and finesse any last-gasp recruitment drives. If you choose to take part in Transfer Deadline Day a brand new dedicated Transfer Deadline Day skin will appear, complete with left-hand menu icon, countdown clock, yellow-and-black branding and much more. It won’t look like an ordinary day because it isn’t one. We’ve also redesigned the processing panel for Deadline Day so you can see time ticking away and all the latest drama, intrigue and transfer activity unfolding – don’t wait too long to make your move, when the deadline’s looming timing is everything. The main Deadline Day screen features four key sections focused on your club’s business – Agent Offers, Attracting Interest, Contracts Expiring and Listed Players. More on those in a bit. Deadline Day wouldn’t be complete without a good helping of media reaction, and at the bottom of your screen, you’ll see a breaking news-style tracker ticking through the day’s latest deals and speculation. Clicking the Transfer News ticker will take you to the Deadline Day hub’s second main screen… Transfer News While you might go into Transfer Deadline Day thinking you’ve finished your business for the window, it’s never really over until the clock strikes midnight and those last bits of paperwork are fully signed off. Just like the real-world where transfer news is shared instantly across social media and TV news networks, our revamped Deadline Day Transfer News page features a tracker of all day’s activity. Covering the biggest rumours and the most recently completed deals, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your rivals and see who’s moving where and when. It could be that a player you scouted earlier in the window is now pushing for a switch, providing new opportunities for you to swoop in, or that your closest title challengers are planning a move for a dynamic attacking talent you weren’t aware of. With more speculation and information coming through on their plans, you’ll have a better chance of making your move to strengthen your side at their expense. Additionally, the option to filter the tracker by nation and division allows you to cast your net far and wide to catch any potential late bargains. Agent Offers Heading out of the Transfer News tab and into the Deadline Day homepage for your club’s activity, a key element of this year’s Transfer Deadline Day overhaul is Agent Offers. This view evokes the frantic activity that goes on at clubs worldwide on the busiest day of the year for football business. Your virtual phone won’t stop ringing as you receive approaches throughout the day from agents offering you available players on their books, from veteran goalkeepers looking for a change of scene to ambitious young strikers seeking a breakthrough at a new club. Each offer can be actioned in several different ways. If a player piques your curiosity, you can either declare an interest in signing them to begin negotiations or simply jump in and make an offer. Alternatively, if they don’t make the grade, you can discard them from your list as you continue your search elsewhere. In FM22 it’s not just you keeping an eye on the latest comings and goings. Agents now monitor transfer dealings and will suggest potential options to you from their client lists from time to time when you insist on signing a replacement before selling a player in another deal. Your actions and the actions of others can send shockwaves through the transfer market which you can use to your advantage. The stream of offers coming your way could present you with a hidden gem that helps carry your team to title success come the end of the season. It’s well worth keeping an eye on Agent Offers to see what surprise opportunities might come your way throughout the day. Managing your Outgoings Alongside the Agent Offers tab, you’ll see three more screens that focus on players you’ve already got at your disposal. Under Attracting Interest, you’ll be able to see which of your players are being chased by other sides – both for outright sales and loans – and gauge how much interest you’re likely to have in them during the day. When receiving multiple offers for a player, you can now accept a proposal and simultaneously issue an ultimatum to any other clubs who’ve already made bids to match the highest offer. With this new visualisation and functionality, you’re able to stay in control, responding to the dynamic nature of Transfer Deadline Day and ensuring you always get the best deals, whether that’s sending a youngster out for a much-needed development loan or selling a player surplus to requirements to free up some valuable wage budget. You can adjust the filter on the Attracting Interest tab to include your Youth players, many of whom may also be listed on the Listed Players tab. By combining the information on these two screens, you’ll be able to work out which of those players you’re likely to shift before the window slams shut. The Contracts Expiring tab shows which of your players have less than 12 months left on their current deals. Alongside their current transfer value, you’ll have feedback from your senior backroom staff on whether they think it’s worth renewing each player’s contract. If not, you might want to capitalise on any potential Deadline Day interest by selecting a player and using the ‘Offer to Clubs’ action at the bottom of the page. Once you’ve decided that your business is complete, you can always click the ‘Conclude Transfer Business’ button to put your feet up and watch as the final hours of the window tick down (but why would you leave early when there are always last minute bargains to be had?) Immerse Yourself in the Drama The new Transfer Deadline Day module makes one of the most important fixtures in the football calendar an unmissable experience in FM22. You’ll be able to snap up some bargains, thwart your rivals and maybe even complete some deals you didn’t think possible… It’s time for you to win the transfer market and set yourself up for your most successful campaign yet.
  2. Important, regular communication between managers and their backroom teams is vital to the smooth running of any football club. Previous iterations of Football Manager have included frequent backroom advice delivered in the form of inbox items but in FM22 that’s profoundly changed. Don’t mistake this upgrade for a simple lick of paint – our drastic staff interaction overhaul is anchored by the all-new weekly Staff Meeting. Numerous discussions with real-life football professionals working across a variety of levels and departments have given us a real insight into many details of intra-staff communication at football clubs: how frequently meetings happen, who they typically involve and the sort of things addressed to ensure that everyone is working in unison for the ultimate benefit of the playing squad. As you’d expect, every club does things slightly differently, but the general consensus is that there’s typically one big meeting every week, featuring everyone from the manager themselves to scouts, analysts and the Head of Youth Development. This real-life insight provides the inspiration for FM22’s brand-new Staff Meetings. Bringing weekly reports on Coaching, Recruitment, Player Development and Staffing together all in one place means you’ll spend less time wading through inbox items and more time making the decisions that matter. There’ll be fewer interruption from day-to-day admin leaving you more time to focus on the tasks most important to you. The Staff Meetings are a crucial element for making your club run as efficiently as possible, deal with everything in one place and turn your team into the title-winning machine you want them to be. Let’s get into the specifics of how the new Staff Meetings work… What do the meetings look like? Before we get into the core sections of the meeting, we thought it’d be worthwhile walking you through their functionality and the options that you, as manager, have at your disposal to make the most of them. Suggestions presented to you in staff meetings can be dealt with in a variety of ways: you can accept them straightaway, agree to action them after the meeting, ask your staff to remind you in a week, move to the next item or skip that section in its entirety. Likewise, for every suggestion you receive, you’ll have the option on the left-hand side to get a second (or third, maybe even fourth) opinion from another staff member. Don’t like your Assistant Manager’s pick for Vice-Captain? Ask one of your first-team coaches to see if there’s a better option in your squad. Once the meeting is completed, you’ll receive a summary of the topics discussed and, if required, a follow-up inbox item, listing those actions you said you’d pick up afterwards. If, for whatever reason, you haven’t got time for the meeting any given week, you can simply request a high-level summary direct to your inbox. Likewise, you’ve always got the option to adjust the frequency of the meetings, making them weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Coaching The first section in each Staff Meeting is Coaching and ultimately this is the one that’ll probably prove most beneficial to you, week in, week out, during the season. When first stepping into the managerial hotseat at your club, your backroom team will address things like suitable captains and vice-captains, your best set-piece takers and areas you should get your players to work on in training ahead of the upcoming season. For all the training activities your staff recommend, including player trait alterations and improving the weaker foot skill of your players, they’ll offer contextual reasons as to why it’s worth pursuing for that individual. As the season progresses, they’ll also flag anyone struggling for fitness and suggest adjustments they think need to be made to training. With all this information more clearly at your disposal, you’ll be better placed to rotate during busy periods of the season and keep a happy, healthy squad on track for success. Recruitment Recruitment is one of the best parts of any Football Manager save and incorporating regular updates from your scouting team in the Staff Meetings greatly enhances your prospects of dominating the transfer market. Your Recruitment Team will let you know which of your players are likely to push for a new contract in the near future, the transfer policy the club ought to be pursuing and anyone you should be looking to stick on the transfer or loan list. When you’re approaching a transfer window, they’ll also flag any players heading towards the last six months of their contract, meaning you won’t run the risk of losing a star player on a pre-contract ever again. Combining all this information in one, regular interaction should help you avoid the sort of squad unhappiness that can derail a campaign. With the whole team satisfied with their current deals and long-term prospects, everyone will be working in perfect harmony and you’ll have more time to focus on pre-match preparations. Development The third section of the Staff Meeting covers Player Development. Directly linked to your squad’s Dynamics, in this area you’ll be kept abreast of player personality changes, movement in the squad Hierarchy and any training unhappiness that might have arisen recently. Additionally, if you’re not complying with a pre-agreed Playing Time Pathway, your staff will let you know about it. Rectifying any issues early will prevent disruption within the squad and keep your players focused on the goals ahead – big victories and climbing the table. It won’t be every week, but you’ll also receive clear explanations of your current support levels within the squad – if things aren’t going well, hopefully this will enable you to act before it’s too late. No one likes being sacked. Your Head of Youth Development plays a key role at this point, reporting on the highest potential youngsters in your squad. It’s up to you whether you’re bold enough to embed them straight into the first team or feel they’d be better off spending some time maturing out on loan. Staffing Last but by no means least, the final section of your weekly Staff Meeting is dedicated to Staffing itself. Any gaps that need to be plugged in either your Coaching team or Scouting and Transfer departments will be addressed, while your existing staff will highlight areas and positions you can improve upon. This includes your Medical team, perhaps the most essential for keeping your best players fit for the season’s key moments. No one wants to lose their star striker or dominating centre-back ahead of a Cup Final – by receiving more direct prompts to improve the quality of your Physio and Sports Scientist team, hopefully serious injuries will be a thing of the past. A New Fixture in Your Calendar Remember, if you aren’t a fan of big meetings don’t worry! Your staff can always send you some information to the Inbox instead. But not all of it. Some things are best discussed in person… FM22’s brand-new Staff Meeting will get you and your backroom team working in perfect harmony. It’ll cut down the number of inbox items you receive, make your management more organised and help propel your squad and staff to new heights. It’s one calendar appointment you won’t want to miss.
  3. Data analysis has become an integral part of day-to-day life at football clubs around the world, fuelling the success of teams at all levels of the game. It has also become an accepted part of football culture, as commonly discussed in the media as Tactics and Transfers. Some might argue we’ve played a small role in making data analysis a bigger part of the footballing landscape but, beginning with FM21, we wanted to go even further and revolutionise the depth of data and analysis available within Football Manager. We wanted to give you the power to harness the same detailed metrics and reporting methods that top teams use to find a winning edge over their rivals. Last season, we introduced a raft of new features around performance analysis including the addition of xG and deeper pre- and post-match analysis. In FM22, we’re introducing a dedicated Data Hub alongside some brand new metrics and more interaction with your team of analysts. These improvements not only allow you to view reports and key metrics but also let you tailor analysis to your needs and shape the direction of your analysts’ work. The Data Hub is powered by your on-pitch performances and your team of analysts now have more tools at their disposal than ever before… The New Home of all your Data You’ll immediately notice that the Data Hub takes its place as a new addition on the sidebar in FM22, cementing it as one of the core areas of the game. Our main goals when creating the Data Hub were to make it clearer and easier to see how your decision-making affects your chances of success on matchday, to diagnose problem areas and to judge which players are making the most effective contributions. You’ll need to play a few league matches before the Data Hub is active, but you’ll be informed once it’s ready and there’s a brand new tutorial from your backroom staff to help you find everything easily. This is the Overview screen where you can see a selection of key metrics – ideal for managers who just want a quick snapshot of how their team is stacking up against the rest of the league. One of the most useful sections on this screen is the Key Findings panel that picks out the most consistent trends from your recent matches. The type of information that might be listed includes analysis of your team’s shots on goal, xG tables and opposition insights that can illustrate the ways your opponents are responding to your tactical setup. You can click into any of the individual key findings to pull up a data visualisation that shows exactly what your analysts have noticed. Even if you don’t want to fully immerse yourself in the world of data analysis, it’s worth checking into the Overview screen as you make your way through the season as you may notice a pattern of Key Findings that keep cropping up which could be rectified before they begin costing you on the pitch. Elsewhere on the Overview screen you’ll see polygon graphs relating to your team’s overall performance and how they stack up against the rest of the league in key attacking and defensive categories. Just like Key Findings, you can click into any of the visualisations to see them in more detail. Your reports and data visuals all live on the right-hand side of the screen, available whenever you need them at the click of a button. Get More out of your Analysts If you’re the type of manager that constantly seeks marginal gains, then the Ask For function is made for you. The Ask For system provides a wealth of potential statistical and visual information that allows you to fully customise your own suite of data analysis to deliver the information most relevant to your team’s success. Using the Ask For system, you can explore even more detailed reports from your analysts on a wide variety of data in just the same way that real-life managers study analysis to inform their pre-match planning, test their assumptions and strategise for success. When you click the Ask For button a menu pops up giving you the power to search by key word for specific analysis including updated and re-designed data visualisations. You’ll also see suggested data visualisations such as shot maps and xG tables that you can click into immediately. Each of these visualisations can be expanded for more information and pinned to your Data Hub allowing you to create your very own unique analytical dashboard to power your decision making. For example, if you wanted to see how your strikers were performing in aerial battles compared to the rest of the league you could simply search for ‘Aerial’ using the Ask For system to see all potential aerial data. You could then select the ‘Aerial – Forwards’ visualisation to see each of your forward players’ aerial data and compare how they stack up against their peers. Team, Player and Performance Analysis Let’s move on to look at another section of the Data Hub - the Team analysis page. Clicking on the Team tab within the Data Hub brings up a customisable dashboard relating your overall team performance. Here you have the ability to view visualisations relevant to your team or your upcoming fixture and comparisons to the rest of the teams in your league across multiple categories. You can also organise and remove previously pinned visualisations via the “Edit” button. Using the same functionality as the Overview screen you can select each visualisation on the dashboard for a deeper dive into the data. In addition the dropdown Team tab menu lets you view Shot Accuracy and Analyst Reports for previous games. The Players tab also includes similar functionality to the Team page but focusing on data that shows how your individual players stack up against their peers in the league. Just like with the Team data, you can fully customise the dashboard to bring in the categories you care most about and take out the ones that you don’t. Additionally, you can view data for each area of the pitch which is especially helpful to diagnose potential problem areas by position. For instance, you might see that your defenders are strong in the air but your full-backs’ crossing leaves a lot to be desired which will require a re-think of that 4-3-3 system with overlapping Wing-Backs you had lovingly created. We’ve also brought several of the new elements we’ve highlighted such as Key Findings and team performance graphs to existing screens such as the next opposition report – which can be found on the Next Opponent tab - along with the last match analysis report which can be found on the Matches tab. New Visualisations While using the Data Hub, you’ll notice that there are some new and reworked visualisations of data in FM22. These have been designed to mirror the way that real analysts present complex data sets and help to bring to life more elements of the huge amount of data stored in Football Manager. We’ll take a look at the Match Momentum graph first. This brand-new graph gives you a clear perception of the flow of a match so you can see where the momentum shifted over the course of 90 minutes. It measures both teams’ dominance of possession and the danger they posed as a result and is a great visual guide to show where certain in-match decisions were particularly effective. For example, you may have just lost a game and did not have had much momentum in the first half, but the momentum graph shows that you dominated periods of the second half, meaning that you might want to incorporate the tactical tweaks and line-up changes you made in the second half into the start of your next match. Over the course of the season, you might notice regular patterns on the momentum graph that you may want to address on the training ground or as part of your pre-match preparation – for instance if your side is consistently on the back foot in the last 15 minutes then you could choose to work on improving stamina amongst your squad. Another new visualisation for FM22 is the Zone Map. As the name suggests, zone maps split areas of the pitch up into six zones – three in your own half and three in the opposition’s territory. Zone maps can be used to visualise a whole range of different data categories such as: where your team is gaining possession, where your players are attempting to play their passes and where your team are performing the majority of their defensive actions. On the left-hand side of many of the visuals, your analysts will also provide you with a summary of the data presented including whether you were performing above or below average in that category. Finally, we’ve reworked pass maps for FM22, introducing colour coding and clearer directional arrows to ensure that it’s easier and quicker to see your passing network and which are the most frequent passing combinations. A New Era The introduction of the Data Hub marks a new era in the way you can work with data in Football Manager. The Data Hub not only allows you to access more information, faster but you’re more in control than ever before of what insight you receive from your analysts. You’re able to delve deeper than ever before and discover more detailed, data-driven reasons as to why your team are performing the way they are. Put simply, in a sport often decided by marginal gains, it’s now easier for you to see exactly what you need to do to extract the maximum performance from your squad.
  4. Every year the match team here at the studio seek to get even closer to creating a perfect simulation of real football. Most years there are one or two areas of the match AI, animations or overall visuals that they place an emphasis on enhancing or updating for the upcoming release. This year, however, the team have been able to implement a suite of new additions that take our match simulation to new levels of authenticity. At the centre of all of these improvements is our new animation engine which is debuting in FM22. We’ll go on to talk about the technical details about the new engine and the different elements that have been enhanced because of it over the course of this blog but you’ll notice a vast difference when playing FM22 to the overall feel and flow of play in matches. The new animation engine has enabled us to introduce new elements to the match engine that simply weren’t possible with the previous engine. Some of these are subtle additions that replicate the flow of play of real football, and some are larger more in-your-face changes that are felt across every match. Let’s take a look at what makes the new animation engine so special. New Animation Engine The goal with implementing our new animation engine for FM22 was to give our animators more control to create more believable actions on the ball. In FM21, we significantly improved our off the ball animations with a new locomotion system but it led to somewhat of a disconnect in quality between on the ball and off the ball animations. We’ll get into how we’ve overhauled on the ball animations shortly but let’s dive into some technical details about what makes this year’s new animation engine such a significant development for the series. One of our main points of focus for FM22’s animation engine was to build a new system built around the new addition of root motion. This means the movement of our 3D models is now based off of the animation of their skeleton which enables us to give a much broader range of movements to the 3D models in-game. The previous animation engine tied players to the 2D discs that formed the basis of our switch from the 2D to 3D view. With FM22’s new animation engine, players can move off those discs to give themselves more flexibility of movement and motion and it allows them to make more realistic touches on the ball too – more on that shortly. The impact of the new engine can be felt from the moment you play your first match in FM22. You’ll immediately notice that players move much more naturally and realistically than before. For example, a player moving to receive a pass in previous years would make very few movements before controlling the pass and would often ‘slide’ before they reached the ball. Adding root motion means that is a thing of the past in FM22. In addition to building a new engine, we’ve also worked tirelessly on improving the context and logic on which animations are selected. Dribbling We’ve already touched on the fact that on the ball animations have been vastly improved for FM22 and the main factor in that has been a new dribbling system that we’re introducing this year. You’ll notice in FM22 that players now take much more varied and definitive touches on the ball and, thanks to the new animation engine, have a much broader range of options available to them when they are dribbling. Something that we see a lot of in real football is players is players pivoting on the ball and passing it backwards to a team-mate if the space for them to move into is closed down. In previous years, it wasn’t possible for players for to do this in FM because of the fact that they were tied to the 2D disc. As a result, they would often have to make decisions with a low probability of success such as crossing the ball into the box with just a single team-mate to aim at. In FM22 we’ve been able to replicate the pivots on the ball that you see week in, week out in the real world. Additionally, we’ve worked hard to improve the AI decision-making when dribbling so that players are now much more aware that they can play the ball backwards to a team-mate to retain possession, potentially creating a higher quality chance at the end of the attacking move. Players can also receive the ball on the half turn more often as well, giving them more potential to open up space in front of them. We’ve added in a whole new range of dribbling animations as well as players are more aware of the ball at their feet than ever before. You’ll see much more variety now when players turn on the ball and look to cut inside – some of these are subtle additions but there are some major new movements that have been added such as Cruyff turns. Pressing Dribbling and on the ball improvements are just one aspect of how we’ve improved the overall flow of play over the 90 minutes of match action. The main defensive development this year has been an overhaul to the pressing system in the game. For FM22, we’ve added pressing triggers as part of a complete overhaul of the existing pressing system. This means that players on the defending team have much greater awareness of when they should and shouldn’t press. Everything is much more closely linked to your defensive team instructions – such as line of engagement and defensive width – and those team instructions now dictate the angle that players will go and press the ball. This also leads to defenders working better as a unit when pressing. Each player now has the concept of their sprint capacity so know when they have the energy to press and when they need to conserve energy and drop back into their tactical position. Each player’s sprint capacity is based on their Stamina attribute so it’s more crucial than ever to implement training sessions around fitness and conditioning if you’re going to play a Gegenpress style. It’s also worth noting that if you have a squad that is lacking stamina then playing a Gegenpress system over the course of 90 minutes isn’t the best idea in FM22. We’ve also refined defensive shape and structure as part of our pressing overhaul. For instance, strikers will more often defend and press behind the ball and there is much more vertical compactness between the lines. There’s also a new opposition instruction built around pressing triggers that you can use to target players in the opposition backline who are weak on the ball. Further AI Enhancements Outside of the pressing revamp, the match AI in FM22 has taken another step forward with a suite of upgrades that make them the most intelligent in the series’ history. One of the most significant areas we’ve worked on this year is accuracy and inaccuracy, making sure that the number of errors on shots, passes and headers is more realistic compared to real-life data. As part of this, we’ve rebalanced the way that the length and difficulty of a pass affects the accuracy so, for example, long-range through balls will have less chance of finding their target. The way under hit and overhit passes look in the match is also significantly improved. Errors have also been applied to first touches for the first time, so it’ll be more obvious when players have overhit or mistimed their first touch. This all leads to a more realistic representation of how possession and momentum shifts over the course of a match. The changes we’ve made to accuracy and inaccuracy go hand-in-hand with the overhaul to the pressing system in FM22. If your players are pressing too hard and lacking condition during a match as a result then you’ll see your team making more inaccurate passes, taking heavier first touches and making more errors. It’s worth bearing that in mind when you’re setting up your tactical system and making your second half substitutions as forcing your team to cover plenty of ground in the first half can have consequences as the clock ticks down to the final whistle. In addition to the changes to accuracy and inaccuracy and the decision-making improvements we’ve made as part of the dribbling overhaul, we’ve put a significant amount of work into our decision-making when players are on the ball. For instance, players will now show more patience on the ball and play fewer direct passes, allowing them to show more variety in key situations such as low crosses from out wide or cutting the ball back from the byline. You’ll notice far more passes being played in general as we felt that getting the ball from the back to the front was a little too fast paced and one area we’ve focused on in particular is getting central defenders to play more passes as they look to patiently create an opening. To ensure the new Wide Centre-Back role (we’re getting to that in a moment, we promise) works as it does in the real-world we’ve revised the way that the overlapping and underlapping team instructions work in the match engine, not just for players on the ball but also how players off the ball react and operate around players overlapping or underlapping. You’ll more frequently see players waiting for their team-mate to overlap/underlap, holding the ball up to let the overlap/underlap happen or looking for a second option if the overlap/underlap is shut down. Team-mates will also look to cover for any defensive gaps caused by the overlap/underlap. Wide Centre-Backs We loved seeing the reaction from so many of you to this feature when we included it in our teaser trailer last month. It’s something that we’ve wanted to get into the game for a couple of years, but we needed to take the time to make sure it was being implemented properly which meant adding in the changes to the pressing system and overlap instructions that we’ve already talked about. You’ll be able to use Wide Centre-Backs as part of any defence with three central defenders and will include the ability to set attack, support and defend duties to the role to reflect the wide range of ways the role is deployed in real-life. Setting a Wide Centre-Back to Attack duty will result in them looking to overlap and underlap more frequently and create two vs one situations in the middle of the park. A Support duty will result in your Wide Centre-Backs looking to occasionally break forward and overlap or underlap to create a more advantageous attacking situation for your team. A Wide Centre-Back set to Defend will still support the wide areas, but instead of overlapping or underlapping they will look to provide security and recycling passing options to team-mates. They’ll often position themselves at the base of your attacking triangles in wide areas. In addition to setting the role up to work realistically across various duties, we’ve also spent a lot of time ensuring that the rest of the team will adapt its shape to prevent themselves from being overexposed to counter-attacks when you’re using the Wide Centre-Back role. We’ve implemented a large number of positional rotations for different situations – such as when your central or defensive midfielder can’t drop and cover for the overlapping Wide Centre-Back – to ensure that players will respond logically to the Wide Centre-Back role, regardless of the system you’re playing. We can’t wait to see how you’ll innovate your tactics in FM22 with the Wide Centre-Back role. Additional Improvements When viewing match stats during a game, you can now view first half and second half stats as well as the overall totals from the match. We’ve also added in more contextual information such as the attendance and weather conditions to the match stats page on the touchline tablet. xG is not only viewable on the match stats screen but it’s now included in match reports as well so you’ve got a clear idea of what the final outcome should have been. For those of you who prefer to play with the 2D match view, we’ve added a new feature to auto adjust the zoom level based on the dimensions of the pitch. This is especially useful when playing in smaller stadiums where the default zoom level may not be optimal. Finally, whether you play in the 2D or 3D view, you’ll benefit from more variation in the commentary around the most common match events. A New Chapter The match improvements that we’ve laid out over the course of this blog represent the beginning of a new chapter for the Football Manager match engine. Our new animation engine creates new possibilities that we’ve just scratched the service of in FM22 and lays the foundation for what we hope to achieve in future versions of the game. The improvements to pressing, accuracy and dribbling in FM22 have created the most authentic on-pitch action in the series history while the addition of Wide Centre-Backs gives you new ways to showcase your tactical ingenuity. Quite simply, the FM22 match engine is the best that FM has ever seen.
  5. As you can probably imagine, given what we do and how important data and research is to our games, here at Sports Interactive we use a lot of data to help us make business decisions. We constantly monitor our roster of games using a process of ‘cost-benefit analysis’ which, simply put, means that we look at how much it costs us to develop, QA and release each separate version, then compare that against the revenue it will bring in (alongside any other benefits or costs it may offer to our business, outside of pure profit and loss). Sometimes this leads to us having to make difficult business decisions that we know won’t be universally popular, but we have to look at the bigger picture and decide what’s the best for the majority of our players and for us as a studio. So, today I want to talk about some changes to the formats that we will – and won’t – be releasing Football Manager Touch on this year. But first, let’s take a quick look back on that game’s history. Football Manager Classic, as Touch was originally named, was added as a game mode within Football Manager 2013, as a streamlined way for people to play. At the time, our research showed us that there was a growing audience who wanted something simpler than the ‘full fat’ FM, but more in-depth than our mobile game at that time, Football Manager Handheld (which has since been renamed as Football Manager Mobile). Classic was first released as a standalone game in 2014 on PlayStation Vita and did much better there than we were expecting, so we looked to expand it onto other platforms. We first made it available for iOS and Android tablets in April 2015, although it would only work on the most powerful versions of that early hardware. In 2015 we changed the name from ‘Classic’ to ‘Touch’ as the control system was very much geared towards touch screens – and also because research showed there was confusion over the use of ‘Classic’, with many of our fans thinking it was a historical version of FM. In 2017 Touch was removed as a ‘mode’ from FM, and became a standalone release, following an initial experiment with selling it separate from FM in 2016. Initially this was very successful, but with the release of the game on other platforms – such as the Switch version in 2018 and then last year’s Xbox Edition, both of which are closely modelled on Touch – and changes to the way people play games, sales on the PC, Mac and tablet versions of the game have fallen significantly. Developing for the tablet market, particularly on Android, is also very challenging, due to the huge range of different hardware versions available. With the pandemic and changing working practices thrown into the mix, we also have to weigh up internal resources, both short term and long term, when making format decisions. And yes, I am setting a small group of you here up for some bad news. As Roxette once said in the best greatest hits album title of all time, ‘Don’t bore us, get to the chorus’, so… Football Manager Touch 2022 will only be available on Nintendo Switch. There will be no version of the game available on Steam, the Epic Store, the App Store or Google Play. Anyone who wants to play a streamlined version of FM anywhere other than Switch will still be able to do so, but the game won’t be called ‘Touch’. For PC players, the Xbox Edition will be available to purchase via the Microsoft Store or via Game Pass, while tablet players will be able to stream that game to their devices via Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service (which is available to anyone with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription). The full range of options is set out in the platform matrix below. One positive about Football Manager Touch which was revealed by the data was that many of our fans ‘dipped in’ to Touch to take advantage of Versus Mode (which allows players to test their FM squad in head-to-head online matches against other managers). As a result of this, we are working to implement Versus Mode in Football Manager 2022, although this won’t be introduced until early next year (as there’s quite a bit of development work required and we didn’t want to delay the game’s release). Removing games from the FM line-up is not something we do lightly (or often) and when we do it’s only ever to improve the things for the majority of our players. I know that the decision to limit the availability of Touch will not be popular with a section of FM fans, but I also know that it’s best for both the studio and the wider FM community. Cheers, Miles
  6. FM 2022 New Gameplay Features New Game Mode: Versus While the details of this game mode remain unknown, the following text is shown; “Exclusively for FMFC members. Join now and find out more >”. Nothing has been posted yet on FMFC. New Area: Data Hub There is now a centralized hub area which will be displayed as a tab on the left side of your screen. In there you will find reports labelled as “Key Findings” which will inform you on your club’s data. Some of these reports are; “Overall Match Momentum”, “Last Match Passes”, “Last Match XG Performance”. Sub comments are given to each report title. When clicked on, a pop up displaying a detailed graphic is shown. New player role: Wide Centre-Back New role in the Central Defensive positions. Instructions for this role are; “Stay Wider”. Description is as follows; This new role also has the sub-roles of “Defend”, “Support” and “Attack” (it is assumed that Automatic may also apply). Recruitment Department Looks like the scouting department may be replaced with a new/revamped “Recruitment” department. It still seems that there are four main areas of your staff; Coaching, Recruitment, Development & Staffing. 3D Match improvements We're able to see more clearly wheel-chair and infirm spots now in the stadium on display within the video. More customizable manager avatar Eyebrows are now editable for your in-game character, among other options.
  7. Overcome the odds and earn your success in Football Manager 2022, launching Tuesday, 9th November on PC/Mac. Following an incredibly successful campaign on Xbox last year, Football Manager 2022 Xbox Edition also debuts on 9th November. For the first time in the history of our series, FM22 and FM22 Xbox will be available with Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC from launch. More information on FM22 Xbox and what playing on Game Pass means for you is available in our dedicated Game Pass announcement. New Features and Game Upgrades Starting with FM22 on PC/Mac, new features and licensing updates will begin to be released from late September onwards across our social media channels. Join the FMFC squad to get feature details and member exclusives direct to your inbox before anyone else. Game upgrades and a host of exciting additions across all platforms will be also be revealed from early October across our website and social media, so get following to get ahead of the game. Get Early Access to FM22 Managers pre-purchasing FM22 (Steam/Epic/Windows) before launch from a participating digital retailer* will net a 10% discount and the Early Access version of the game, which is typically available two weeks before the street release date.** Handheld titles return for the new season FM22 Mobile (iOS/Android) also steps out onto the pitch on November 9th. FM22 Mobile should be available for pre-order on the App Store and pre-registration on Google Play from early October. By pre-ordering FM22 Mobile on iOS, you’ll own the game and be able to play immediately upon release. For Android users, FM22 Mobile pre-registration means you’ll get notified when the game is ready for download. Full release details for FM22 Touch, including our return to Nintendo Switch™, are coming soon. Earn it for the fans Big dreams realised through craft and skill is what Football Manager is all about. Powered by new, progressive ways to impart your footballing philosophy, it's time to earn the success that the fans of your club have been dreaming of and for you to take place your place amongst the managerial greats. *Early Access is available from SEGA-approved digital retailers only. Please check to see if the store you’re purchasing from is participating in the offer. ** Please note – The Early Access version of the game may go live at different times on different platforms.
  8. Whenever I mention women’s football on social media, people inevitably respond by asking when we’re going to release a women’s football version of Football Manager. Up until now, I’ve always replied with vague answers such as “When we do it, we’ll do it properly”. What I haven’t said, because we tend to keep our plans under wraps, is that we’ve been working on women’s football in the background for some time now. A few people inside football are aware of this, as we’ve been talking to them about it behind the scenes, but now I believe that the time is right to go public with our plans. Before I get into the detail, though, I would like to make one thing incredibly clear… we have NO interest whatsoever in making a standalone women’s football version of FM. What we are doing is adding women’s football to FM... one sport, one game. FM players will be able to move seamlessly from managing a men’s team to a women’s team and back again. Women’s football will be a part of the living, breathing world that constitutes every one of your FM saves; that world will just be whole lot bigger and a little more varied. We also know that adding women’s football to Football Manager is going to cost millions and that the short-term return it delivers will be minimal. But that’s not the point. There’s no hiding that there’s currently a glass ceiling for women’s football and we want to do what we can to help smash through it. We believe in equality for all and we want to be part of the solution. We want to be a part of the process that puts women’s football on an equal footing with the men’s game. We know that we’re not alone in this – the historic TV deal that Sky and the BBC recently agreed with WSL in England is proof of that – but we intend to do everything we can to get women’s football to where it deserves to be. We know that our voice is very powerful and we want to use it for good. Longer term, as the women’s game grows in popularity, the financial rewards may come, but at the moment we’re embarking on this journey because we know it’s the right thing to do. So let’s dig a little into the details... One request we’ve had over the years is to release a women’s database that works with the existing FM. This simply wouldn’t work, as there’s a lot more to adding women’s football to FM than simply replacing the male players with female players, but the question of women’s data is an interesting one, so let’s start there. First of all, it’s going to take some time to build a comprehensive global database of women’s football. Our existing database has taken 28 years to build (so far) and there’s a lot of info in there that we need to research when adding just one team, let alone multiple leagues. To get our women’s database right we will have to examine every single in-game attribute and define exactly how we judge the data; attributes such as pace, acceleration and agility will likely stay with the same range, but some attributes may need a different scale. These attributes also feed into our match engine of course, and work done in this area (for example, looking at height of players and how that may affect how they play – such as aiming shots higher if a goalkeeper is smaller) will be of benefit for the match engine overall. And data, of course, is just one of many elements that are going to need careful consideration. For example, we already have female character models in the game, but these currently only represent staff members – and our in-game staff models are relatively basic and require a limited number of animations. We have thousands of ‘motion captured’ animations for our male footballers and when you apply many of these animations onto female bodies… well… they kind of move like cowboys. Women’s body shapes are different to men’s and so is their bone structure, so we have no choice but to go back to the beginning and recreate all of our existing motion captured animation data using female players. That’s not just a case of going into a motion capture studio for a couple of days either – it takes months to clean up and perfect the data generated by each motion capture session and get it looking right in the match engine. Our in-game female 3D models, historically, are also not as advanced as the male versions and women’s football kits are also different (once again due to those different body shapes) so there’s more work to be done there too. Our art and animation teams have been growing over the last couple of years with this extra work in mind. It doesn’t stop there either… the transfer system in women’s football is also different to the men’s, as are the financial and wage structures. We will also have to accommodate the unique rules of many of the women’s leagues. Then there are other questions that we have to ask ourselves, such as how detailed should we go initially? There is a lot of existing literature available about the impact of the menstrual cycle on training and injuries, but how do we incorporate this without it having a major effect on gameplay? And what about pregnancy? If we have pregnant players and staff in game, do we need different 3D models for the different stages? And then there’s the in-game text and translation to be considered. You can already play the game as a male or female manager, so most staff ‘strings’ (the term used for phrases in game that refer to a character, whether playable or otherwise) are already in place for both male and female characters. However, as all of the current in-game footballers are male, all of the strings relating to them are gender specific. This leaves us with more than 100,000 strings to rewrite… and then translate into 19 languages (which works out to be approximately 3,000,000 words). This is a simpler task for some languages than it is for others; Danish, for example, has no adjectival agreement or other gender-specific grammar considerations, so we should in theory be able to batch translate ‘he’ to ‘she’ (for example) and then go through each string via the ‘localisation QA’ process to see what was missed. With many other languages (including French and German) that’s simply not possible and each string will have to be retranslated from scratch. That process is going to take up a lot of time, as well as generating the bulk of the cost. As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, we’ve been working on this project for quite some time already. I’ve had many, many conversations with people who work in all areas of women’s football and have built up relationships with some amazing people in the sport who will be helping us realise this dream. In terms of practical steps, we’ve already completed our first two motion capture sessions with the London-based twin professionals, Rosie and Mollie Kmita. Given the restrictions applied to motion capture during a pandemic it was essential that we were able to work with two people who shared a ‘bubble’ and Rosie and Mollie provided the perfect solution, as well as being fantastic footballers. This, of course, is just the start of the ‘mocap’ process and there will be plenty more sessions carried out over the coming months, including specific goalkeeper sessions. One member of the SI team who is already deeply engrossed in this project is our newly-appointed head of research for women’s football, Tina Keech. Tina, a qualified coach and former head of research and analysis at Smartodds, has already started the process of building our women’s database. Our design team is about to start work on taking the information we’ve gathered to date and turning that into specific tasks and a full design document. As with most of FM’s features, that document will give us a multi-year roadmap for engineering tasks. Nothing in FM is ever finished – there is always more we can add – and the same will be the case with women’s football. It won’t be a case of just adding it, then forgetting about it, but it will continue to grow along with the rest of the world that we create for you to manage in. Of course, many of the tasks mentioned so far can run simultaneously, which will shorten the timeline, but we are realistic that bringing women’s football to FM is going to be a multi-year project. At this stage we don’t know exactly how long the process will take so we can’t say exactly which version of FM will see women’s football make its debut, but rest assured that our plan is to make this happen as soon as we possibly can, whilst ensuring that you are still getting all the features you’d expect from new versions of FM by adding resources to the existing team. I mentioned earlier in the blog that the cost of this project will be substantial. To help offset some of those costs we have already started conversations with some potential commercial partners who share our vision and who will be able to offer financial help in return for a wide integration of their brand into FM. But we’re also committed to being a commercial partner for women’s football. We have ongoing partnerships with AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Girls and Watford Women as part of our deals with their men’s teams. But that’s not enough. So, today I’m also proud to announce that we’ve signed a commercial partnership agreement for the 2021/22 season with Leicester City Women, which will see FM branding feature on the dugout and interview boards for the club. I’d like to finish by saying that I hope these blogs can become a semi-regular feature. We know that last year’s piece which explained how COVID 19 was going to be handled in FM21 was very popular and many of you appreciated the transparency, so we’ll look to ‘pull back the curtain’ a little more in the future. Thanks for reading – I hope you all join in with us on what is going to be a fascinating journey. Cheers, Miles
  9. Look what the Euro 2020 dragged in
  10. După o lungă aşteptare a apărut cea mai nouă versiune a softului care ne susţine cu brio forumul în spate, cu destule noutăţi, mai ales în partea de administrare. În ceea ce priveşte partea publică, câteva chestii interesante sunt aici: - https://invisioncommunity.com/news/company/whats-new-in-460-r1229/ - https://invisioncommunity.com/news/product-updates/45-simple-stock-photo-picker-r1177/ - https://invisioncommunity.com/news/product-updates/45-forum-view-updates-r1193 Ah si s-au resetat rankurile
  11. Nu cred ca merge pe FM Touch. @Raulic poate confirma
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