Terça-feira, 31 de Julho de 2007

Spong entrevisa Miles Jacobson da Sports Interactive sobre FM 2008


Fonte


O site Spong teve a oportunidade de entrevistar Miles Jacobson da Sports Interactive sobre o jogo Football Manager 2008 e eis o este teve para dizer(também falou sobre o outro jogo da SI, o MMO de simulação, Football Manager Live):

Sports Interactive managing director Miles Jacobson is, I’m not remotely ashamed to admit, one of SPOnG’s favourite men in the games industry. A thoroughly engaging chap, he’s always liked to do things a bit differently, and the latest example of that was when he threw an evening barbecue at his recently completed new house, to announce Football Manager 2008’s new features to a selected band of journos. Naturally, we were there, and after we’d admired Miles’ awesome North London bachelor pad (highlights include a steam-room in the garden and a self-drying bath which, Miles was at pains to point out, was installed by the previous owner), I grabbed him for an interview. This is what he said.

SPOnG: So, what is new in Football Manager 2008?

Miles Jacobson: As always, we’ve piled a lot in – there are over 100 new features. But we’ve looked at the game this year in two different ways. We did a lot of usability studies last year, which is something we haven’t really done before – with both new users and experienced users. Some of the team have been concentrating on improving the game for new users, so there are a lot of changes in the interface – it’s a lot cleaner and easier to use.

We’ve also added an Advisor system which is a little bit like that paperclip in Microsoft Word, but not as annoying. If you’re stuck on a screen for an amount of time, it will try to work out what you’re trying to do, and then say: “Are you trying to do this?”. You can click on it and, if you are trying to do what it suggests, it will make the buttons flash, showing where you need to go. There are also a lot more buttons on news items – because with a lot of the features in the game, like referee league tables, people don’t know they’re there.

SPOnG: Are you carrying on with the hints and tips?

MJ: We’ll keep the hints and tips, and they’ll be added to a lot. The tutorial is still there, and we’re completely rewriting the manual. We’re just trying to get rid of people saying that the game is too in-depth for them, because it isn’t – anyone can play the game.

Obviously, we’ve got to do work for established players as well, so we’ve added in a new system called Match Flow. Some of the feedback that we had regarding the actual match-day experience was that it was just match-day; there was no experience to it. So we spent a lot of time watching TV broadcasts from across Europe, seeing how they do football TV. And we’ve ripped off a load of that, basically.

The reason it’s called Match Flow is that it all flows, so you’ll start with a media pundit giving a comment on what they think is going to happen during the game, plus the betting odds, any milestones that are going to happen. Then it goes through picking the team, the team-talk, opposition instructions. When you go into the actual game, whereas before you’ve been able to press the Tactics button, so it goes into Tactics and the game pauses, in real life, managers do not get a chance to have time-outs. So, what we’ve done is made it so that when you press the Tactics button, you’re changing things on-the-fly – which you could do before with Quick Tactics – but it now puts a little radar screen showing the pitch on the Tactics screen, so when you’re making changes, you can still see what’s going on in the game.

We’ve completely revamped international management, because it just wasn’t good enough – there wasn’t enough stuff for people to do. We’ve added things such as being able to watch other matches, and your assistant manager will recommend which players you should watch that week. And there’s international scouting. One of the reasons we did this is that every time Steve McLaren or Sven- Goran Eriksson was at a game of football, the cameras would pan to them on Match of the Day. So, in the commentary of matches, it will say: “And the England manager is here today – we think he’s watching this player.” It’s touches like that which have made our game so good. You can call up a player if he can qualify for dual nationality and hasn’t played international football for another team.

SPOnG: And the money side?

MJ: The finance system has been completely overhauled. So, if you had a million quid in the transfer budget, but you didn’t have any wage budget left to spend in the old game, it was kind of useless. Now, you can take some of your transfer budget and put it into your wage budget, and vice-versa, so there’s a lot more flexibility.

There are little things in there like fan days – for those of us who support smaller teams, you often get games during the season at which the board expects lower attendance, so they might do Kids For A Quid, or let season ticket holders bring someone else in for half price. If the team do really well that day, you’ll get higher attendances for the rest of the season.

Another really big thing is confidence. Before, you just had: “The board are happy with you/ the board are not happy - you might get the sack if you don’t win.” Now, it’s split up into sections for the board, supporters and media. So, the supporters will comment on every single signing you make, throughout that player’s first season. Even if you’ve won the match, they can still say that they didn’t think you performed very well during the match, so it absorbs you more into the world.

SPOnG: Which pundits are you using in Match Flow?

MJ: We haven’t got any name pundits in there. There are many different styles of pundit, which people might recognise, but they are taken from across the whole of the European football world, not just England. We have a pundit working at our place – Ray Houghton – which helps us with things like that. But the different styles are important – particularly when people get things wrong. If someone predicts that I’m going to get tonked by someone and I end up winning, some pundits will say it was a shock result, and others will try to make excuses.

SPOnG: Have you worked on the differences between the PC/Mac version and the console versions?

MJ: The PC/Mac version is coming out before Christmas, and FMH – the handheld game on PSP – will be out before Christmas, although we don’t know exactly when yet. We’ll start talking about that in a month or so. The Xbox 360 version will be out slightly later, because we need to more work on the game, making it easier for people to control. So, we’re going to take our time and make sure we get it spot-on. I think last year’s version was much better than the previous one, in terms of its control method, but we haven’t gone far enough, so we’re going to concentrate on that a little bit longer. Thankfully, SEGA have given us full support.

SPOnG: Are you not bothering with a PS3 version?

MJ: Football Manager 2008 will not be on PS3.

SPOnG: What about the Wii? Because that has a decent installed base.

MJ: It’s nothing to do with the installed base – the Wii definitely isn’t FM2008. I think the Wii audience is slightly different to the Xbox 360/PS3 audience, so if we were going to do something on Wii, we’d do something a little bit different. And I feel the same way about the DS and the PSP – I think they’ve got slightly different audiences. The PS3 we’re looking at – but we just haven’t pressed the button to start on it.

SPOnG: How is Football Manager Live going?

MJ: The beta so far has been a pretty big success – we’re getting really good feedback from people. We actually changed the whole transfer/wage auction system in the game this week, just as an experiment to see if it worked, based on feedback we’ve been getting. And it hasn’t worked perfectly, so we’ll do something else with the next roll-out next week. But people seem to be really enjoying it. It will be out before the end of the financial year, which is March.
publicado por DC_Comics_fan às 14:30
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