Monday, 22 December 2008

The Daily Roundup...

One of my absolute favourite features in v1.1 of FML is the daily roundup mail - this summarises all of that day's news items into one convenient mail, allowing you to check up on all of that day's club news, results, contracts etc in one place, while ridding your mailbox of spam.

It's absolute genius. Here's one I got earlier...

13:33 You have unlocked the 'Well Travelled 2' achievement.

12:16 You have unlocked the 'Matches Played' achievement.


13:06 James Elvins has left feedback for you.


12:00 The AI playing rights to Now Is The Time's CWA Casual Qual 4 match against Chris Burton's Shankton Boys FC have now been awarded after the AI date passed.


00:03 Now Is The Time have a current cash balance of £61,900 and a projected cash balance of £1,531,011 in 28 days.


13:18 Francesco Tavano picked up an injury in his last match. He should be back sometime this evening.

12:16 Eugene Seleznyov picked up an injury in his last match. He should be back later this afternoon.

01:48 The injury crisis at Pedro Ribeiro's S. L. Benfica has deepened further following an injury to Martinez. He will be out until later this morning.


00:03 Now Is The Time have dropped fifty-seven places to 406th in the World Rankings after the one thousand four hundred and seventy-five matches that were played today.


23:11 Now Is The Time are 7th in the Casual Qual 4 after their 0-0 draw with S. L. Benfica

13:33 Now Is The Time are 7th in the Casual Qual 4 after their 1-1 draw with Shankton Boys FC


16:03 You have finished training Level 2 of the Finance skill.

13:12 You have finished training Level 1 of the Finance skill.

04:30 You have finished training Level 1 of the Individual Player Run With Ball skill.

Transfer Auctions

12:12 Roberto Dolorier will stay at Now Is The Time after no club was prepared to meet the starting amount for bids in the auction that just ended.


23:44 A representative from SI Construction Inc has regretfully informed you that unfortunately construction work at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane has run into some problems and so completion of the work will now be later than originally expected.
Each item comes with a link to the full story too - it's a real time saver and cuts down on what could be a daunting task...

Friday, 19 December 2008

FML Hard Launch dated at long last?

I'm not sure if this article on Eurogamer is 100% accurate, but... well, it's got loads of quotes from Miles Jacobson which makes it look official!

FML: Out January 23rd.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


So the big new feature for v1.1 will I guess be the stadiums. This will have an enjoyable but far-reaching impact on FML, and how we play it, so it's well worth considering what effect they are going to have.

The first point is that daily income will now be separated into two streams - one based on the current daily income, and one on 'stadium income'. I guess this stadium income is based on some sort of average attendance figure, which is likely influenced by ranking, team reputation and so on.

Everyone starts off with a stadium that seats around 7000 people, and in a new world your initial attendance will be around 2000. This will rise as your team attracts new fans; currently, in the beta world my attendances figures are up to 6793 after a few weeks. Something stands out already - I'm running out of seats for the fans to sit on, and that will cap my stadium income if I'm not careful. I've just completed the first of a series of stadium upgrades, so my capacity is now up to 7920. I've got more upgrades planned, which will eventually see the team ('Now Is The Time' - thanks Richard...) playing at a 12640 capacity venue.

There is one caveat - my beta world models a retail world, and so at the moment we still have only the daily income, but we are getting warning of the imminent changeover - just like managers in the retail worlds will do. SI have learnt from the v1.0.1 complaints, and will be giving plenty of warning of the impending change; they are doing this via the finance news mail at midnight each night - mine reads:
Scottish manager Nik's good natured Now Is The Time have a current cash balance of £61,900 and a projected cash balance of £1,531,011 in 28 days, equivalent to an average daily profit of £52,468.

Important! As of Friday 26th December 2008 daily income will be split out into general income and stadium income.

Now Is The Time's current stadium and fan base is estimated to bring in stadium income in the region of £121,533 with general income being approximately £33,656, bringing it to a total of £155,189.

This compares favourably with
Now Is The Time's current daily income of £134,625.
So with the stadium upgrades I've put in place, you can see that I stand to do OK financially. However, without the upgrades, I was scheduled to take a £20k per day CUT in my income. Be sure to read the mail, and avoid splashing £55k a day on crappy 15 year olds and you should be OK.

I say watch the finances, stadium upgrades cost money - and a lot of it. There are an almost bewildering number of different options available for stadium upgrades - style of stand, style of terrace/seating... all of which come at different prices, and attract a different sort of fan.

Each of the basic stands ('Basic Single Tiered II) is divided into 5 blocks - each of which can then be fitted with a different type of fan accomodation - plush seating for the execs, terracing for the hardcore, etc. There are an array of stand styles - multi-tier, different land area, different amounts of exec boxes, different number of ad hoardings etc... Do you want to be an Arsenal, or a Millwall...?

I've added in a couple of blocks of cheap terracing to my East stand, which will be my Kop - at £85 a square metre, adding a block of terracing costs £34,000 but adds 1600 to your capacity. It will attract hardcore fans, who could be problematic and won't pay very much; it could also prevent me from entering certain competitions where terracing is not allowed - it's a good, cheap option for the early starter though. It takes over 2.5 days to complete building of a block of terracing too... Plan ahead!

The initial stadium is set up with 'Astilla' seating only - the cheapest seating available. To add a block of that costs £102,000 - a block seats 880. I've added a block of 'Disagio' seating to try and get more families in - the children are the future! Finally, the 5th block I've added was of the 'Pieghevole' variety, for a slightly more refined (i.e. richer) supporter.

As a Blades fan too, I've not got much time for those that would be sitting in the plusher 'Di Lusso' seating, so they can wait - all 14 of my corporate fans, that is! In total, I've so far upgraded by adding 1 Astilla, 1 Pieghevole, 1 Disagio, and 2 terrace blocks - which has cost me £527,200.

Your fans will also feed back what sort of stadium they want - sign a load of bruisers, and the hardcore/devoted will be knocking at your door asking for a quiet word. Best install some terracing, pronto...

Spending big on wages doesn't seem such a great idea now, does it... Of course, with a stadium comes repair costs, so we have to pay to maintain the stands now and then, or risk running into the shame of having to close a section of the ground (the shame, I said, Wednesday fans, the shame!)

Also in to match the new facilities are new 'Infrastructure' skills:
  • Construction: Reduced building costs
  • Foreman: Reduced build times
  • Surveying: Reduced chance of unforeseen complications during building...
  • Diligence: Reduced deterioration rate
In summary - there's a lot of depth in this new feature. When v1.1 lands (I think in January some time), it's going to revolutionise the way we play FML - but in a good way. SI have heard the complaints about the introduction of v1.0.1 (which was a far bigger fuss that was necessary) and have learnt. These changes could decimate a team's income, but I think you'll get a month or so to make the necessary upgrades to your stadium before the income split comes in. Just make sure you do - and don't come crying to us if you don't... You will have been warned!

I'll be back with more at the end of next week when the change will have been implemented in my beta world, Coppell...


I'm still awaiting official clearance on whether or not I can blog on the FML v1.1 beta, so thought I'd kill some time by despairing at the world.

It takes a while for things to come to my attention, as I don't have access to an actual proper retail world yet, but something has appeared that caught my attention - it's an oldie, but still not a goodie.

Someone is paying £55k a day for a 15 year old player, which is ludicrous and cretinous enough - but the manager in question doesn't even have the 'Judging Potential' skill... Why would someone do something so daft? Why? WHY? I give up, it's beyond comprehension.

This is a trend mirrored by a few really daft plonkers, I mean, managers across the gameworlds who patently have failed to realise that they're going to have to expand their stadiums in January if they are to maintain their daily income at current levels - that dumbass £55k wage bid is really going to bite then.

That's not nearly as big a deal as it sounds, and I will be back later today hopefully, with some further clarification - once I get clearance... SI have certainly learnt from the v1.0.1 complaints, and the changes will be introduced with plenty of warning - but they are coming. A wise manager might not be taking massive gambles anyway...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Media Addons v4

I'm busily putting the finishing touches to version 4 of my English media file - you can find links to version 3 here on the SI Games forums.

I've found these really add some value to FM09, but I'm kind of reaching the limits of what my resources and/or patience can achieve. I've added 401 journos so far, and would like to get it up a bit further (oo-er)... but I need help!

Do you live in England? Do you have a local newspaper lying around? Do you listen to a local radio station? If so, I'd love to know these details:
  • The name of the paper / radio station / magazine / fanzine etc...
  • Where/when/how often it's published
  • Does it have any bias towards a particular club, or it does it cover a whole town/city?
  • Who writes the football articles!
  • Any details - their nationality, favourite club...
Any willing parties should comment on this blog with details, and I'll get them added for the next version. With a bit of help, I can push this on a bit more and we can add a little more value to FM09 and beyond! I'd really, really appreciate any help people can give, and it will only take a few minutes of your time - you can submit comments anonymously, so you don't have to even worry about registering here or anything!