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FIFA 10 Manager Mode - Player Development

  POSTED August 28 |   VIEWS 11241

So much has happened since my last blog – where to start. Let’s recap quickly…we’ve talked about Match Realism and Transfer Authenticity in the last blog. The remaining two major Manager Mode topics I want to cover are Player Development and Football Atmosphere. In addition to this blog, the thread where you – the community – and I discuss the Manager Mode is still going strong. 

If you’re interested in reading up on everything related to Manager Mode, just click on this link: Manager Mode questions and answers. By now this thread has received over 2.000 posts and over 100.000 views – more than all other sticky threads together. Before we get going big thanks to you all for contributing and keeping that thread blistering hot over multiple months now!!!

Let’s get started with this blog and the feature that has received a complete rewrite this year – Player Development. When we’ve first discussed the idea of re-doing the player development system a couple of major concerns related to the old system came to the surface immediately:

- Authentic player development and manual Experience Points (XP) assignment don’t gel very well
- Growth is way too fast to be believable
- Player age seems to have no impact on the development

Based on these comments we came up with a stereotypical model of what the player development in FIFA 10 should look like.

 
As you can see we want age to play a major role, therefore we created 3 different growth curves that together affect all player attributes. Depending in which category attributes fall they will grow at different times:
- Mental attributes have a slow and steady growth with most players peaking really late in their career
- Physical growth is really steep in a players early 20’s and then drops off fairly quickly 
- Skill is consistently learned and stays fairly solid as the player ages
 
NOTE: There’re variations on this curve in the game, i.e. different players peak at different ages and the player performance affects if you will ever get around to fulfilling your potential. So every player will grow different in FIFA 10.
 
In the end, the result is a natural and realistic overall player growth curve. This resulted in the decision to remove the manual growth from the game. Now you might say there’s nothing I can do as the user to influence my players growth – not true . While it was pushing experience points around before, in FIFA 10 it has become your task as a manager to assess a player’s potential, notice his growth speed and to help him to become the next superstar by giving him playing time – or to let him rot on the bench.
 
Here’re the main things you have to consider:
- Age – Check a player’s bio to find out their age, younger players tend to automatically grow faster.
- Potential – Keep an eye on how fast a player is collecting experience points, the faster he is going up the further away from his potential he is. This in return means that there’s a lot of room to grow for this player.
- Playing Time – The amount of playing time influences how much experience a player can potentially earn during a match. Players that don’t play still collect experience, but nowhere near as much as a player that plays the full 90 minutes.
- Player Performance – This is the icing on the cake, if a player is able to perform consistently on a high level, he will be able to break through his potential. You can take control of your most prized asset, make sure he performs well and watch his overall grow sky-high.
 
As you can see there’s a lot to watch out to ensure your player’s get the best chance to unfold their full potential. 
 
Enough talk – let’s have a look at how this new player development system works in-game…
 
1 – Beginning of Manager Mode

 

As you can see at the beginning none of your players has collected any experience, once you start playing games that will change very quickly. In order to be able to review all aspects of your player’s growth all the columns on this screen are sortable.

2 – First friendly match played, sorted by current overall

 

As you can see, my players started to collect experience after winning the first friendly against Wigan. 

I’ve left the formation up to my assistant coach for the friendly and he fielded the following starting 11:

 

Cech

Ferreira – Carvalho – Terry – Alex

J. Cole – Ballack – Essien – Zhirkov 

        Pizzaro – Anelka

 

NOTE: Don’t worry…we know that Pizarro transferred to Bremen recently. This will be fixed before FIFA 10 is released and “The Pizza Man” will be on Bremen instead of Chelsea.

I’ve simmed the game, so players might have been involved in various amounts – you can see that the players that actually been fielded have collected some XP (i.e. Terry) while the ones that sat out (i.e. Lampard) did not. Also even though some older players played (i.e. Ballack) they have either not contributed enough or their growth is really slow as they are already at their peak.

Sort this by Skill XP and you will see that the younger players in the Chelsea squad have collected a lot of experience.

 

3 – First friendly match played, sorted by Skill Experience Points

Right away you can see that these younger players collected a lot more experience compared to the established Chelsea stars. This is a sign, that they are far away from their potential and you should consider giving them more playing time speeding their growth up even more.
 
One more indicator for growth and the player potential is your scout – depending on your scout’s level you can get a more or less accurate assessment of where this player will go in the next couple of years. In order to be able to show you what I mean, I’ve upgraded my scout to the maximum level of 10
 

4 – Scout Assessment – Level 10

With the Scout Level at 10, my scout can provide me with an assessment of a players overall development over the next 7 seasons. This curve is always based on potential – remember that by playing the player and making sure he performs well, you can break through this curve. In addition the scout is never 100% accurate and the further into the future he looks the more likely it is that the reality will vary from the prediction.

 

 Let’s follow one of Chelsea’s new acquisitions Y. Zhirkov for a while so I can show you what happens when he actually grows.

   5 – Current 1st page of attributes            6 – After Skill XP hits 100%

 

 

NOTE: Disregard the white arrows, they just show he is on neutral form  and have nothing to do with player growth.

At the point Zhirkov 'grew' I was 24 matches into the season, he didn’t play every game but this is just to give you an idea how hard a player that is close to his potential has to work to grow some more. 

 

If we have a look at all other players, we can also see that it is the older players in the team that are starting to show some decline in their overall. Even though Anelka is playing almost every game and has a very solid season (12 goals and 1 assist after 24 matches) he is starting to lose some overall points.

 

We’ve talked about Player Growth for a while now and I guess it’s obvious that I am pretty happy how it turned out at the end. One last thing I wanted to mention is, that all of the above is related to the Growth during a season. There is also an Off-Season Growth that happens once every season, this Off-Season Growth will affect ALL players in the game. This way we ensure that it’s not just your club that suffers or gains from the new player growth model. One of the things I can’t wait to see is, what CPU managers will do on the transfer market in the later years of the Manager Mode, trying to transition out older players and brining in some young & fresh talent.

 

Running a bit out of time & space for the 2nd part of this blog that is dedicated to “Football Atmosphere”, I will therefore only focus on some of the improvements we’ve made.

Let’s grab these 3:

- Manager Mode Commentary 
- Crowd
- Manager Mode messaging

Commentary wise, we wanted to make sure that the new Commentary compliments and supports the new features. Therefore we’ve added a ton of tournament specific commentary, this ranges from comments about the team you play against, specific people scoring goals (i.e. your captain or a poor striker) to the latest scoop about your relationship with your board. If you guys are interested in this one I can post a more detailed list in the forums.

 

In terms of crowd we’ve further improved the variable crowd attendance as well as the club specific crowd coloring. In addition we’ve added some more animations which will make the crowd animate smoother and react to exciting match events quicker. Also like the players, they will change their clothes based on the weather, which is an improvement that nicely complements the authentic Manager Mode weather in FIFA 10.

 

For the last one…I have to admit “Manager Mode messaging” sounds a bit cryptic, it also includes quite a lot. We’ve added some more depth to the Newsflash system that announces major events in the Manager Mode world. One of the major changes is, that you can now take control of whatever is happening around you on the spot, i.e. if you bid on a player that is for sale on the transfer market and your negotiations fail, you can renegotiate on the spot – or if one of your players gets injured, you can alter your line-up right away. It might sound minor at the moment, but it just keeps you in the moment and allows you to control the fate of your team instantly and without having to navigate through the menus.

 

Ok, that’s it from me for this time…we’ll keep chatting about Manager Mode in the forums and I am looking forward to all your comments and feedback once the game is released.

 

Let’s FIFA 10!!!

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