90 Minutes First Impressions of Football Manager 2021

It’s that time of year again.

At a time when we are not leaving our homes because of the pandemic, you mean? Yes; Those of us living in England are currently in the second nationwide lockdown in a few months. But it’s also the time of year where the latest edition of the Football Manager series drops, which is a lot more exciting.

With the release of Football Manager 2021 on November 24th and 90 minutes, we’ve been lucky enough to get a first look at the alpha version of the game, to get some first impressions of how it feels and plays.

We also got a chance to speak to Football Manager director Miles Jacobsen, who talked about the new features you can expect and what it’s like making a game when the team works from home. has been

“We talked to a lot of people during the pandemic who said, ‘Thank you for helping me get through this,'” Jacobson told 90 Minutes. There is, and this is going to sound a little confusing, how important sport is to so many people, how it is a hobby, and how it is an escape. We’re not just a game.”

It is true. A record number of players has led to the previous installation of FM20 over the past year, with a combined 985m goals scored in 470m matches by 1.8m players. And these numbers were correct till August. By the time it transitions to FM21 it will be much more than that.

But while last year’s edition helped people pass the time in the last lockdown, he also wanted to make sure that making FM21 wasn’t an additional source of stress during an already difficult time.

“We really care about our team,” Jacobson added. “The pandemic has been hard on everyone — working from home hasn’t been as fun as people thought it might be.” We’ve been really concerned about the mental health of our team and making sure no one has to do overtime – those things were huge. sensitive so that people are not overstressed by real-world situations.”

Football Manager also managed to hire 40 people during the lockdown, and has an additional 20 vacancies open in the coming weeks and months. This will certainly give them a head start on next year’s edition.

My boss @sonic_hedgehog is obsessed with speed. This is what he asks me about our games.

So we ran a 1-season holiday test on FM20 and FM21*.

Saving a game is about 76% faster.
Overall, the game is about 14% faster #FM21Features #optimisation.

— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) November 8, 2020

New hires have also helped in various aspects of this year’s game, but a huge win can be determined by how quickly you can progress.

“The thing I’m most proud of is that I believe when you play the game you won’t know we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Jacobson added. “There’s a lot of new stuff in the game, it’s faster than ever, it’s better than ever and I’m happy with what we’ve been able to deliver.”

We have set the pace of self-testing and it is quite remarkable. I’ll autosave my games weekly and in previous editions have used that moment to stream, check my phone, maybe have a real life conversation like a normal person. But this year it will be much more difficult to do because it saves very early.

Numbers really don’t lie… as long as you have a computer strong enough to handle it.

Oh look Diogo Jota is trending?

Must be because of his incredible football manager… ??‍♂️

He told us about it here ⤵️https://t.co/FRAO6YwtR5

— Football Manager (@FootballManager) September 19, 2020

What is your favorite thing about Football Manager?

Signing that new player who will make the difference for your team? Perhaps more accurately in my case, it’s selling out half the squad of players one summer and then having your arrival read ’26’ in the following transfer window roundup – just to think about. Why aren’t things clicking right away?

Nothing gets my nerd like finding a player that screams future profits. But it’s always been a long process as you find a player you want and assign scouts to expect a price, only to find out his club doesn’t want him. to sell it.

The introduction to communicating with agents changes this year, and you should get used to it.

Now, you can go directly to a player’s agent and find out what it takes to sign with your team. This will tell you his expected wages, what it would cost to get him out of his current club, and what it would take to get him if joining your club isn’t currently an option.

“This is an important feature for people who play long-term games,” added Jacobson. “If you are managing the Championship and you want to sign a player who is very good, you want to know what you need to do to get that player in.

“These are kind of pointers and cues as to what you need to do to sign that particular player, but every player will have different impressions.”

We got FM?

It happens to the best of us…at least we got to show some nice finishes here?

Watch the full stream: https://t.co/yMCOvc0n63 pic.twitter.com/jlY5wTDoph

— Football Manager (@FootballManager) November 7, 2020

The agent feature was introduced to work with a revamped transfer system that needs to reflect the situation we’ve been living in since March. The coronavirus has had a huge impact on football in general, as anyone reading this will know, but the trick was where to draw the line between realism and escapism.

“The changes to financial modeling and transfer systems that have been brought about by the pandemic, and partly also by Brexit, have been spectacular,” Jacobsen added. “We basically tore up a system that has worked well for 20 years and went ‘no, it doesn’t work anymore because of the situation that’s going on’.”

The fans are in the stadiums, but the real-life transfer window changes and reflects the financial situation of clubs at all levels. It was an important one to get right — something they’ll ultimately leave up to the public to decide — but it felt like the right combination.

“There was a point during the cycle where we were going to replicate everything exactly, and were talking about a random opportunity when people would be allowed back into the stadiums, and it felt like that. Wrong to do. And without money. In the game, it doesn’t really make it fun – so that was part of it.”

Gestures and body language is something you will need to pay attention to.. / Football Manager

The biggest change in Football Manager 2021 is in your interactions. Now, gestures and body language are one thing, and you really have to think about how you’re delivering your messages, rather than what you’re delivering.

In one-on-one conversations with your players, your dressing room team talks, even with journalists in press conferences, you can’t ignore this new feature.

“Changes in the way we’re doing press conferences will make people want to do it again, and that’s a really good thing because every year we see it take off and people use the Assistant button,” Miles said. are,” Miles said. “It’s really important, like in anything you do.

“if you [as an interviewer] Sitting here with a face like you’ve been punched and there’s no question, I’m going to react the same way. Other players will react to other players’ body language, other players will react differently than you based on their body language and may make worse decisions based on their body language.

“They may also be more determined or determined to prove you wrong based on body language — it’s as important as morale has been for many years.”

Thinking about what you say and how you say it will shape your personality and relationships, so it’s something to think about – but you also need to get your head around the conversational setting. Will be. Team talks and press conferences are now placed on screen in a room, with the conversation jumping around to reflect where the players or journalists are sitting.

You could never tell me that throwing a water bottle in anger wouldn’t be a worthy addition to the FM series.

Yes, you have to accept xG / Football Manager this year

This year a real effort has been made to make the match experience as immersive as possible with the word experience in mind.

Managers will be given the opportunity to make tactical changes before a match and their backroom staff will be given last-minute analysis that can swing the game in their favour. You can also make changes by viewing the team sheets, which are now displayed before kick-off.

You’ll also get in-game analysis and tips, and you can really see how your team is doing with the integrated new Expected Goals (xG) feature. Smarter defenders and more intelligent AI mean a significant upgrade over the actual match itself, and players will still be making decisions every quarter of a second – able to change their minds mid-decision.

Now there’s a lot to think about in the game, a lot to see and consider. But there are a number of simple changes that will make it easier for you to adjust on the go. Jacobson acknowledges that it’s the combination of each feature — typically a thousand are added each year, with about 5,000 still sitting in a pool — that makes the game work as it does.

“The important thing for me is always the sum of all the parts. I’m the director of the game, a film director can have a particularly favorite line of the script, but if it doesn’t all work together then he’s failed. That’s how the game hangs together.”

So what can you expect?

From our perspective, this is as significant an addition as the team has ever offered, given the world we’re living in this year and the number of people who have returned to the series – more and more people have It was time. Do it, of course. Don’t be surprised if the big numbers drag on until ’21.

“We’re trying to get people to escape the messy world we live in right now and live in a parallel universe,” Jacobson added, and it’s still for someone like me. Important – which has already been plowed 30+ hours since alpha was given. Access “The suspension of disbelief and making you feel like you’re part of this universe is always a really important thing, and I think it’s stronger than ever this year.”

Combine that with the new features, which are added seamlessly as usual and give you something extra to consider when going down the rabbit hole – a big part of it is homegrown, mind you. – and you are the winner.

The good news is that we’re getting closer to release, and saving the best for last? Nugenes look human!

For more from Scott Saunders, follow him on Twitter

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