Exclusive FM2011 blog with Miles Jacobson: Day two: What's new in this year's game?

Yesterday, I attempted to answer the “what is Football Manager?” question . Today, it’s onto Football Manager 2011, and what’s new in the game.

Each year we try and raise the bar that we set ourselves with our previous release, and attempt to make the most accurate simulation of football management known to man, or woman.

We were pretty happy with Football Manager 2010. We’d spent a lot of time looking at areas of the game where there were niggles, and concentrated on fixing them, rather than adding in lots and lots of new features. Well, that’s not actually true – there were still 150 new features last year, but the key word to describe the game was “polish”.

We did that because we were looking at changing the way that we make games. We’re a much larger team than we were five years ago, with nearly 70 people working on our games full time now, 60 odd contractors, and our huge research and translation team (the game is released in 18 languages!) and that size team requires a lot more organistation.

At the start of the year, we spent three weeks locked in a room going through every idea that we had for the game. Some of these were based on real life incidents, some ideas that we’ve had lying around for a while, some ideas from our amazing community and fans, some from people inside football, some overheard down the pub, and some burning desires of things we wanted to work on.

By the end of it, there were well over a thousand new features we wanted to work on, and I had to go through and work out which game they would be worked on, as it would simply be too much to do, let alone test that it works OK, for one game.

Which means we’ve ended up with around 400 new features in Football Manager 2011. Some of these will be small things, like buttons on news items to help you find your way around the game easier, and some of them are huge things where we’ve completely re-written a part of the game, or have something completely new that’s never been done before.

Before we started the blogs, we’d made a few announcements about the new features in the game. I think it’s around a dozen so far. There’s a video that shows the first half dozen in a lot more detail over at our YouTube channel , and lots of screenshots too which hopefully you can see on this page!

Today I’m going to recap what we’ve announced in the three feature announcements we made to date, plus one more thing that’s been kind of announced via our podcasts (which are free on iTunes – just search for the Football Manager podcast or look in the sports section).

- Live contract negotiations, including the introduction of agents

- Twitter & YouTube integration

- Huge improvements to the 3D match viewer, including 100’s of new animations, player emotions, new stadia, and new celebrations.

- A new training system, including match preparation

- Dynamic league reputation

- Lots of new news items, and a better news display system

- New match analysis options

- A set piece creator

- A revamp of the press conferences

- A new system for generating players

- Improvements to b-teams and amateur teams

- A new conversation player interaction system

With each of these new features, there will be blog about them in the coming weeks that will go into more detail about them.

One thing that’s been mentioned on the podcasts are the improvements that we’ve made to the editor this year – there are 30 new database fields that can be edited to give you even more power if you want to modify the game. Again, there’ll be a separate blog about what these later on in the series.

Tomorrow I’m going to start the in-depth blogs properly, and I’ll be looking at the media side of the game.

See you then for some exclusive reveals about Football Manager 2011, only on www.mirrorfootball.co.uk

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williamhill.com

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