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More Manager Mode Musings From Marcel


Manager Mode fans rejoice; Marcel Kuhn, who is working on FIFA 10’s MM, has been slowly but surely answering questions on the official EA FIFA 10 next-gen forums. To see the answers, click the button below – and if Marcel answers any more of the questions asked over the next few days, we’ll let you know.

But before I forget, happy 4th of July to our American cousins!

PbNCharlie: I’m curious […] the teams you play against in MM are completely fatigued after just a couple of games, but if you upgrade your own staff, you’re at full stamina all season long. This has surely been fixed, no?

Marcel Kuhn: As I’ve hinted in the answers to your/[Wepeeler]’s questions we have tuned the fatigue system – the impact of staff has been reduced, which will result in the players having better stamina off the bat and the players not all becoming “supermen” when you have a high fitness staff level. In addition we’ve introduced CPU line rotation, which means that in case the CPU players become fatigued, the CPU manager will actually replace them with another suitable player in their line-up. On a screen level we have changed the layout for the pre-match report as well, so you can actually review your opponents starting 11 on this screen now.

Athir8: [Will] the [sponsor] payout be fixed this year, because three star teams get a lot for some reason!

Marcel Kuhn: The sponsors are still in the game, but they will not provide you with an “endless” source of money any more. We wanted to make sure that Manager Mode becomes more challenging. One of the ways we tackled that is to rewrite the financial system. The board will now provide you with a transfer [budget] and wage budget at the beginning of the season; the budget allocation will be based on the performance against the board’s expectations. To not alienate users that really like to have more cash in their pockets, we’ve also added a board difficulty level. One of the effects of setting this to a lower level is that you will have more cash to spend and even if you’re not 100% fullfilling the expectations of the board, they will provide you with a fair amount of money to spend.

Captain_Hilts: I’m going to throw in a little repeat of the “not enough players” bug in hope that it will not be forgotten.

Marcel Kuhn: We’re currently still working on the transfer system and the reasons why player negotiations fail. What I can tell you is that I’ve not seen the “not enough players” message for a failed transfer in FIFA 10 yet. I really hope it stays this way as it is highly annoying!

Sc0rp1o: Is the bug fixed that if you [get] promoted from the Championship to the Premier League you would qualify for the ECC?

Marcel Kuhn: Yes – pleeeease! We’re working on this at the moment and I think this should be fixed for [FIFA] 10.

Sc0rp1o: Can we now add players to a shortlist for easier access?

Marcel Kuhn: Yes, you can shortlist up to 20 players.

Sc0rp1o: Can we trade players (maybe [with] some extra cash)?

Marcel Kuhn: Unfortunately not – something I really wanted in, but when you look at reality this is often talked about (i.e. Van der Vaart + €30m to Munich for Ribery) but rarely actually happens.

Sc0rp1o: Is there work being done to fix the loans issue? In the real world lower league sides survive by loaning youngsters or unwanted players from higher league levels. Also two loans for a whole season isn’t realistic.

Marcel Kuhn: As mentioned before, we didn’t have too much time to work on loans. I have heard about the two loans per season limit and we’re looking into it at the moment.

Sc0rp1o: Will players become unsettled when they don’t play many games and request a transfer?

Marcel Kuhn: In FIFA 10, their form will suffer from not playing.

Sc0rp1o: When viewing the league table, will [the] champions, European qualification and relegation [spots] be visible [via] highlighted bars?

Marcel Kuhn: Great idea, but we didn’t have the time to implement this for [FIFA] 10.

Sc0rp1o: Will we be able to view other league tables than our own?

Marcel Kuhn: This is a problem we’re planning to adress in the long run. The new match result sim engine will most likely allow us to do this in the near future but unfortunately not for [FIFA] 10.

Sc0rp1o: Are long term injuries now included (broken leg, whole season out [etc.])?

Marcel Kuhn: These are already in FIFA 09, they probably trigger too rarely; we’ll look into tuning this before release.

Sc0rp1o: Will we be able to change our stadium in Manager Mode? Say you’re playing with a lower league side with a small stadium but eventually get them in the [top division], it would be stupid to keep playing in the small stadium…

Marcel Kuhn: You will be able to select and rename your stadium at the beginning of your career.

Dan1247: [Could you rename stadia such as] Ivy Lane [to] Villa Park or something like that?

Marcel Kuhn: You can rename and assign any generic stadium that’s in the game. I already make use of it by giving my teams Sturm Graz and VfB Stuttgart the appropriate stadium sizes and names for Mananger Mode!

cooler08: By any chance we will also be able to rename unlicenced tournament names?

Marcel Kuhn: You won’t be able to do that in [FIFA] 10. But I think it’s a great idea, that could be part of the MM intro flow, I’ll try to remember it for the coming FIFAs! The stadium renaming is a test to see how much people actually use this type of feature. I personally think that customisation is super-huge, especially for Manager Mode as a single player mode. [I love this guy, he knows what it’s all about – Chris]

Sc0rp1o: So [you’ll only be able to rename] generic stadiums? And how about when you begin Manager Mode and during the season you see for example Leeds playing in a stadium that isn’t appropriate. Can you then change their stadium and will that be effective in your save game? Or do we have to start all over again?

Marcel Kuhn: It’s only generic stadiums [that you will be able to rename], licensed stadiums already have the correct name! Plus the people that license the stadiums and its name to us would not be happy if we shuffled them around too much. [As for Manager Mode], if you take some time and do all the changes [before starting a Manager Mode game], they will carry over into Manager Mode.

Sc0rp1o: Also I’d like to ask how things are going with the injuries? You said that long term injuries were present in FIFA 09 but rarely came [into] effect. I personally (and most of the people here) haven’t had ANY long term injury in [FIFA] 09. Will this now be rectified?

Marcel Kuhn: After you mentioned this we looked it up in the code. In FIFA 09 there should have been injuries (i.e. broken leg with healing complications) that last for a maximum of 60 weeks (15 months). But they were never triggered due to a specific email never being sent. This is a bug. We’re looking into fixing this for [FIFA] 10, keep in mind that it still will occur very rarely as we don’t want to cripple the user’s [team] or [the] CPU teams.

thanvar: [Will you be able to see other league tables and stats? What about transfers?]

Marcel Kuhn: In FIFA 10 you won’t be able to see other leagues tables and stats, but during the transfer season we’ve added several features related to the activity in other leagues. First two new sim screens, one on which you can see some of the players that are being placed onto the transfer list worldwide and a second one that informs you about the players that have actually been transferred. But my favourite new features related to transfers are the transfer rumors and the other club’s interest in players. On the hub you’ll see that there will be rumours about players transferring to top clubs, i.e. today while playing with Sturm Graz in the Austrian league I had a rumour about Donovan going to Stuttgart, which was pretty cool. The other club’s interest gets important when you’re trying to bid for a player. When you are on the negotiation page you will be able to see if other clubs are trying to sign this player as well and before handing in your offer you should check what they are offereing him!

Googenspiel: Can any of the FIFA 10 developers confirm that the issue with computer generated player names will be fixed? At the moment the names seem to be randomised, rarely (if ever) reflecting the player’s nationality.

Marcel Kuhn: [Player names] are regionalized in FIFA 10, [so] no more Scott McFadden from Brazil or Joao Dos Santos from Denmark!

Murkvape: [FIFA 10 producer David Rutter] said that kit number editing wasn’t used very often in FIFA 08 and was also incredibly expensive to implement. I thought that once it’s in the code it’s in the code right? How can a feature like renaming a stadium or changing a kit number be expensive? Could you maybe shed some light on that?

Marcel Kuhn: These three are the most expensive things to consider when creating any new screen, no matter how simple it looks to the end-user! On top of that come the opportunity costs, which means the time we spend on a lower priority feature that we could have spent on a high priority feature. This is why Dave mentioned that implementing these features was expensive. Now that we know how important the kit editing screen was (based on the amount of complaints we’ve received for not having it), we’ve made a new one for FIFA 10!

ODST Fodder: Will there be more media interaction than previous FIFAs? If you are hearing gossip from other clubs will you be able to create your own gossip in the media such as declaring an interest in a player? (I guess you’re either ignoring my other questions a few posts up or are not at liberty to disclose anything I have mentioned.)

Marcel Kuhn: There will only be slightly more media interaction as you will receive more incoming messages and be able to react to them on the spot. Due to us working a lot on the fundamentals of the mode, we were not able to get as deep as being able to spread rumors about players you are interested in and provoking a reaction by doing so. That being said you can shortlist players in FIFA 10 and you will be notified if other clubs were interested in the same player, so you can modify your offer to seal the deal. [As for your latter comment], you are somewhat correct! Do I ignore your questions? No, definitely not. Can I not disclose some things? Definitely. In addition we’re still working on the Manager Mode for FIFA 10 and some features are not done. So in the end they might work out and will be included in the game, or they won’t and we’ll have to pull them. While I am really excited being able to discuss all the features with you, I have to be careful about not spilling too much information as well!

-costasss-: Can you change [the] sponsor on [your club’s] shirt and make new shirts every season?

Marcel Kuhn: Nice idea but as far as I know, we’re not allowed to change the sponsors on the shirts of the clubs. We have agreements with the clubs that have licensed shirts and the connected sponsors to us and they don’t like their assets being altered!

-costasss-: Can you create [new] stadia?

Marcel Kuhn: We’ve [been] looking at [stadium creation] for a while now as there are lots of requests for this. But the related effort is simply too big to tackle this feature yet.

-costasss-: [Can you perform pre-season transfers?]

Marcel Kuhn: Yes, due to the pre-season friendlies you will have an extended period of time in which you can negotiate new transfers.

-costasss-: [Do the budgets change each year?]

Marcel Kuhn: Yes, based on your performance the board will decide the amount of [money is in the] transfer and wage budgets you have at your disposal.

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