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Old 12-06-2023, 05:08 AM   #1
Ben E Lou
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Exclamation FOF 9.0d Patch Released

.
Quote:
Version 9.0d Update

The 9.0d update was released on December 6, 2023.

Issues Addressed
  • Reset tired (red) highlight on skill and defense depth charts when right-click removes player from depth chart.
  • Adjust Hall of Fame threshold for several positions.
  • Combine screen in Almanac reverses player order in each category, and does not allow click-through to player card for the Solecismic Test.
  • Notification for offensive linemen with short arms should reflect engine difference between interior linemen and tackles.
  • The overall list of staff, bowl appearances column, should include both bowl wins and losses, not just losses.
  • Enable click-through to Staff card on Team Staff screen for section with entire franchise staff history.
  • Cosmetic error on player card for safeties when mentor indicated.
  • Team and individual statistics related specifically to drop-backs against the blitz should only include pass attempts and sacks, and use that for sack percentage calculation.
  • Individual Air Pass Yards Completed and Air Pass Yards Attempted are reversed in how they are read from saved game files (depending on when this information was saved, these stats might be permanently corrupted in saved universes).
  • Individual Fair Catches on punts are not tracked in the engine.
  • Play-by-play text refers to a spy as a linebacker, when it should simply refer to a defender.
  • Highlight players from controlled franchise on Individual Statistics screen.
  • Show active players required by position for games during off-season on Active/Inactive screen.
  • A player who was only on the team's roster for the playoffs should still receive a Ring if the team wins the championship.
  • Improve sort order for draft pick lists of Trade screen.
  • Add indicator of original team owning draft pick to Trade screen's negotiation area.
  • Revise Edge Rusher filter to accurately reflect best fit for allocation draft and amateur draft.
  • An injury to a small percentage of players on the home team may be identified in the play-by-play as belonging to the visiting team.
  • When running game in play-calling mode, coach calling the plays, and a touchdown occurs, the play diagram shows personnel from the point-after attempt.
  • Too Many Men on Field penalty causes a change in field position when called on run or pass play.
  • Do some work to try and prevent multiple clicks on Call Play in play-calling mode from causing unusual results.
  • Do some work to try and prevent clicks during the save-game procedure from causing issues with the saved game.
  • Improve messaging and accuracy about salary cap room when signing and releasing a player during the season. Correct error in calculating effect on cap room of releasing a player during the season.
  • Increased threshold for giving players the franchise tag. Prevent AI teams and user from releasing a player signed to a franchise contract.
  • Some work on increasing staff movement, particularly between teams.
  • Have AI run more slightly more short-to-medium out routes to better fit pass engine.
  • Add a field for the rating being compared on the Find A Player screen.
  • Re-seed the attribute list when changing positions on the Find A Player screen.
  • If no random players are created to fill out a draft class when using a user-created draft scenario, the Combine assessment function doesn't run.
  • If the user-created draft file has an unbalanced distribution of players by position, the game does not ensure enough draftable players in each position group.
  • Added note to example_players.txt providing a brief overview of what the game tries to do to fill out the player pool when using a user-supplied player file.
  • A little more work to ensure the game can't be saved while the playoff probability thread is running scenarios.
  • Added News events for a few key single-season and single-game records after two years (single-game) and four years (single-season).
  • Change Injured Reserve rules to allow up to eight re-activations per season and a wait of four weeks or more to reactivate a player.
  • Add field to game-planning play list for ball carrier or primary receiver.
  • Additional code needed to prevent the AI from creating an option play where the quarterback “options” the ball to himself.
  • When a running play is called for fifth player in backfield (only eligible runner would be a fullback), the run is switched to the running back.
Data Files and Saved Games
  • Saved games can continue.
  • For those who are working on customization, please remember to back up all your work. This update does not change any of the .csv files.
  • Steam updates should not touch other .csv files, but we can't guarantee that.
Steam Update Process

Your installation of Front Office Football Nine will automatically update on its own. If you go into the Steam app's Library and right-click on the game and examine Properties, you can change the priority for Updates. There's a line at the bottom of this screen that tells you when your game was last updated.
You can also view the Credits screen in the League Menu within the game. This screen shows the game's version. This update is version 9.0d.
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Old 12-06-2023, 09:46 AM   #2
Habsfan18
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Do these bug fixes require a new game to be created for the changes to take effect? Or will they apply going forward in existing saves as well? Thanks.

Edit: Just noticed the “saved games can continue” so I think that answers my question.

Last edited by Habsfan18 : 12-06-2023 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:28 PM   #3
Mike Lowe
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I can see the error with my air yards per catch and air yards per attempt being reversed. I am in Week 6 of my 2023 season. Will this fix itself for next season or anything like that?
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:40 PM   #4
cupofjoe
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Dang, I was hoping for a fix for the AI releasing players to work with the cap.



Hopefully it comes with the next one. This was a nice update though, a lot of good tweaks

Last edited by cupofjoe : 12-06-2023 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cupofjoe View Post
Dang, I was hoping for a fix for the AI releasing players to work with the cap.

Hopefully it comes with the next one. This was a nice update though, a lot of good tweaks

Same. I don’t really want to get into my main long-term sim until the issue of the mass releasing of players is fixed. Thankfully at least they’re aware of it and apparently working on it.

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Old 12-06-2023, 12:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Habsfan18 View Post
Same. I don’t really want to get into my main long-term sim until the issue of the mass releasing of players is fixed. Thankfully at least they’re aware of it and apparently working on it.


Yeah, I've put my game on hold, waiting for that patch. I'll start my serious save whenever it's fixed.


I trust him when he says that it's a lot of work to fix. He has always been fast at fixing issues, so this must be a mountain
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:52 PM   #7
henry296
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Originally Posted by Mike Lowe View Post
I can see the error with my air yards per catch and air yards per attempt being reversed. I am in Week 6 of my 2023 season. Will this fix itself for next season or anything like that?

I would assume any games played with new patch will be correct. Not sure about the historical states. If it is just a mismatch from the database to the display it probably will. If it is something else probably not.
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Old 12-07-2023, 06:28 AM   #8
Cole
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Nice to see another update, but count me amongst those who have shelved the game until the AI salary cap/roster management issue is sorted.. it’s just too jarring and unrealistic at this point.

I’m curious if this was an issue even with the beta or first version of the game that dropped, or if the problem somehow got introduced along the way with subsequent updates.
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Old 12-07-2023, 08:30 AM   #9
Habsfan18
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Originally Posted by Cole View Post
Nice to see another update, but count me amongst those who have shelved the game until the AI salary cap/roster management issue is sorted.. it’s just too jarring and unrealistic at this point.

I’m curious if this was an issue even with the beta or first version of the game that dropped, or if the problem somehow got introduced along the way with subsequent updates.

Jarring and unrealistic is right. In the vast majority of cases where UFA’s sign multi-year big money contracts with new clubs, I know they’ll just be released after the first year of their deal. I mean, it happens in real life too but not to the extreme that it does in the game right now. A wide receiver making 10 million per could put up his best statistical season in year 1 of the deal signed with his new team. 1,500 yards with 12 touchdowns and 115 receptions. Basically exceeding expectations and they still get released after that season. A big time defensive player could put up 15 sacks with 12 tackles for loss and have his best statistical season by far with his new club. Released after year one. Etc..Etc.. Teams will release damn near their entire wide receiver room after winning their division and leading the league in receiving yards lol

Thankfully most of the big time superstar players are saved from the releasing issue, thankfully. But it’s still a big time problem overall.

It’s one thing for teams to release underachieving players. But it’s another for teams to release productive players “just because.”

Last edited by Habsfan18 : 12-07-2023 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 12-07-2023, 10:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Habsfan18 View Post
Jarring and unrealistic is right. In the vast majority of cases where UFA’s sign multi-year big money contracts with new clubs, I know they’ll just be released after the first year of their deal. I mean, it happens in real life too but not to the extreme that it does in the game right now. A wide receiver making 10 million per could put up his best statistical season in year 1 of the deal signed with his new team. 1,500 yards with 12 touchdowns and 115 receptions. Basically exceeding expectations and they still get released after that season. A big time defensive player could put up 15 sacks with 12 tackles for loss and have his best statistical season by far with his new club. Released after year one. Etc..Etc.. Teams will release damn near their entire wide receiver room after winning their division and leading the league in receiving yards lol

Thankfully most of the big time superstar players are saved from the releasing issue, thankfully. But it’s still a big time problem overall.

It’s one thing for teams to release underachieving players. But it’s another for teams to release productive players “just because.”

My CAP frsutration also comes into play for a created universe where you try to begin with a much lower starting CAP. Initially most of the salaries are in line with a few being much to high for the base created in the csv. Then within 1 season you start seeing some crazy high requests that far exceed what a team can afford at thatr CAP setting. From there it just continues to seem to get worse. So the only option is to start any universe with a high CAP so the game seems to fall in line.

With that also comes the crazy cost for trying to build a stadium as well as the ticket and luxury box costs. The base CAP established for your universe doens't seem to have any effdect at all.

It is something I do hope Jim will entertain looking at at some point.
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Old 12-09-2023, 12:00 AM   #11
Mike Lowe
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I know variable things happen with the roster, but in my game I created after the second patch, the Bears have started Bagent at QB 100% of the snaps through 7 weeks.

I get that my universe won't always match reality, but an undrafted rookie beating out another young guy the team has invested heavily in doesn't seem right.

Bagent may be rated higher, and that's fine, but somehow, the game should recognize the commitment to Fields for at least a little while.
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Old 12-09-2023, 04:15 PM   #12
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by Mike Lowe View Post
Bagent may be rated higher, and that's fine, but somehow, the game should recognize the commitment to Fields for at least a little while.
Um, no. Not just no, but...





I want the game to be as challenging as possible for me. That means the AI teams need to play their BEST players, not make decisions based on investment or some other non-talent-based criteria.
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Old 12-10-2023, 08:08 AM   #13
markprior22
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Sounds like fictional or x factor would be up your alley. With no x factor, rosters should be as realistic as possible. The difficulty of editing players makes this even more important. Through 10 weeks Cee Dee Lamb has 450 more receiving yards than anyone else in my league...very overpowered. I'd like to throttle that back some but no easy way to edit that I'm aware of.

I figured this version would be smooth as heck. Jim had all the time to work on it as no one knew it was coming. Very disappointed so far compared to the excitement I felt when hearing of release.
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:40 AM   #14
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by markprior22 View Post
With no x factor..
Per the documentation, there is no such thing as no X-factor, just reduced.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOF9 Manual
Use full X-Factor when creating ratings from player file. When this is selected and you're using a player file, the game will use a larger range when determining each player's ratings. There's always some X-Factor in determining ratings, but they'll be closer to the guidelines in the player file without this option.
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Old 12-10-2023, 01:06 PM   #15
Cole
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Originally Posted by Ben E Lou View Post
Um, no. Not just no, but...





I want the game to be as challenging as possible for me. That means the AI teams need to play their BEST players, not make decisions based on investment or some other non-talent-based criteria.

I think this is an overly simplistic response. There’s wanting the game to be challenging, which is great, but there’s also wanting the game to be a realistic pro football simulator.

Real-life GMs don’t have up to the minute “ratings” of players that they can simply plug in the “better” player as soon as one is rated higher than the other. And there is definitely cases where a starting QB job is a certain player’s to lose, even if the backup may be ever so slightly better rated. This is how it happens in real life, either an injury or subpar performance leads the backup to get a chance that he takes advantage of .. as opposed to it simply being a “ratings” thing …

While I don’t think Fields is established enough that he should be a guaranteed starter, it’s not a bad thing to have modelled in game for realism sake … for example whether it’s reputation or some other factor … the same reason that we wouldn’t want to see say the Chiefs AI go spend lots of money on a free agent QB while they still have Mahomes, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have the game give a high draft pick more rope or opportunity than they would give an undated free agent or other player with lower potential, because it’s more realistic to real life …
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Old 12-10-2023, 02:09 PM   #16
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by Cole View Post
I think this is an overly simplistic response. There’s wanting the game to be challenging, which is great, but there’s also wanting the game to be a realistic pro football simulator.

Real-life GMs don’t have up to the minute “ratings” of players that they can simply plug in the “better” player as soon as one is rated higher than the other. And there is definitely cases where a starting QB job is a certain player’s to lose, even if the backup may be ever so slightly better rated. This is how it happens in real life, either an injury or subpar performance leads the backup to get a chance that he takes advantage of .. as opposed to it simply being a “ratings” thing …

While I don’t think Fields is established enough that he should be a guaranteed starter, it’s not a bad thing to have modelled in game for realism sake … for example whether it’s reputation or some other factor … the same reason that we wouldn’t want to see say the Chiefs AI go spend lots of money on a free agent QB while they still have Mahomes, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have the game give a high draft pick more rope or opportunity than they would give an undated free agent or other player with lower potential, because it’s more realistic to real life …
There's always going to be tension between "immersion" style game play versus "this is computer game of 1s and 0s" style of play. Quick example: I've fired multiple head coaches immediately after they won the title. I just checked in FOF MP and saw that I once even fired a head coach after he'd taken my team to four straight title games, winning three of them. Why would I do this? Because in every instance, there was another coach available who had better ratings. Would that ever happen in real life? Of course not. Is it the better move for the human to maximize his chances of winning? Of course. It also follows that if the AI is stuck with a mediocre head coach just because his team won the title and I get to sign him instead, that ends up giving the human another distinct advantage. All of this takes me to this comment:
Quote:
Real-life GMs don’t have up to the minute “ratings” of players that they can simply plug in the “better” player as soon as one is rated higher than the other.
Right, but in this computer game, we do have those ratings to use. As a result, many of us are always going to play the higher-rated player. I'm going to do it every single time, and there are dozens--perhaps hundreds--of examples of this with first rounders that I could pull up from the FOF MP world. A team drafts a player in the first round, his ratings bust in training camp, and he is cut before Week 1 of the regular season. (And in some cases, no team ever picks him up.) Here's one from the current season in IHOF--drafted #16, ratings took a nosedive, cut before week 1...probably will never play a single down for any team: LDE B.J. Shellhaas Player Details


In real life, there are outside influences that would cause a team to stick with a player that simply aren't modeled in this computer game. I mean, first off, the entire front office staff would probably lose their jobs if they admitted before Week 1 of the regular season that they had colossally missed on their first round pick and it would be better for the team if they just moved on without him. I suppose in a perfect world, some sort of setting where you could choose whether "AI teams play highest-rated players" or "AI teams try to do what a real-life GM would do" would be ideal, but I don't foresee that sort of thing coming any time soon, if ever. So to make the game as challenging as possible, I want the AI to be as ruthless in these kinds of decisions as a human player would be.
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Old 12-10-2023, 02:44 PM   #17
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I think this is an overly simplistic response. There’s wanting the game to be challenging, which is great, but there’s also wanting the game to be a realistic pro football simulator.

I don't think FOF was ever intended to be a "realistic" simulator from the NPC perspective but instead from the overall data and stats developed. Action PC is more a "realistic" sim with fixed ratings. Personally I appreciate the FOF approach as it really is a new and unique experience every time.
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Old 12-10-2023, 03:36 PM   #18
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by NawlinsFan View Post
I don't think FOF was ever intended to be a "realistic" simulator from the NPC perspective but instead from the overall data and stats developed. Action PC is more a "realistic" sim with fixed ratings. Personally I appreciate the FOF approach as it really is a new and unique experience every time.
I think a better way to frame this is that FOF is intended to be realistic overall, but it is clearly NOT intended to be a replay sim. The most obvious manifestation of this is the X-factor and how it has been explained in previous help files over the years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOF8 Help File
A Random Start to Each Game

Let's face it. There's not a lot of information about players who don't have extensive professional experience. How should free agent Alex Smith perform in Kansas City? How should players with only a couple of games worth of part-time experience perform?


All other games on the market try and make an educated guess. Front Office Football is no different - except for one additional X-factor. Sure, I gave Smith a set of ratings. After two or three years, he will perform in a manner consistent with other quarterbacks selected first in the draft. Most of the time, at least.


That's where the X-factor comes into play. It's based on the number of games the player has started at the professional level and his years of experience. For instance, the average quarterback has started 37 games in a 5.5-year career. So the X-factor for a quarterback with 22 games in two seasons is about 50. Smith's X-factor is a little lower.


That X-factor determines the random element that changes the core ratings each time you start a new game. When the X-factor is 0, the core ratings can vary by up to 50 percent from the assigned rating. When the X-factor is 100, which it is for about one-third of the players in the league, the core ratings only vary by up to 10 percent.


The net result? Front Office Football generates a new universe every time you start a new game. Most of the time, Smith will be a decent quarterback. A good percentage of the time, he'll be outstanding. And some of the time, he'll be fairly mediocre. Well-established players will perform more as they did in the past, but there will still be some variety.


You'll have to rely heavily on your scouting staff to determine whether or not a player is worth drafting. You'll have access to your scouts from every screen you can make a personnel decision from. They'll know more than general reputation allows.


This allows for a more challenging game and greater replay value. What's the fun of a game where you know that Smith will be a huge success? Or a game where you know that linebacker Brian Cushing is always an undervalued superstar, so your first move in guaranteeing a 12-win season is acquiring him in a hugely unbalanced trade?
I mean, the X-Factor is explicitly designed to do the polar opposite (at least with regard to younger players) of what you'd want in a replay sim. If FOF were in any way intended to be a replay sim, there would either be no X-factor, or a way to turn it off to the point where every player would get the EXACT ratings in the rookie file, but that has never been the case in any version of FOF.
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:05 PM   #19
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Against my better judgment, I will post here. I'm trying to get out of posting entirely (I don't even read off-topic any more), so this is an even dumber post.

But it's also a cautionary tale, so maybe one or more of you who would like to get into this business can learn from my mistakes. And that would be worth it, because this is an easy business to get into, but a really tough one to succeed in. I have not succeeded.

There are three different ways I can identify to approach sports gaming.

1) Video Game. For this you need artists, motion-capture, an understanding of how physics works in sports. What you're doing is the most basic of why people like to play games - put yourself into the game. You're the quarterback or the running back or the linebacker.

This category is most of the market, especially in the US, where football is far and away #1. Madden has a huge budget and does this very well. But once you go this route, statistical realism and career play are challenges on an entirely different level. Even with their big budget and access to people who understand how those numbers work, it really can't be done as well as most would like.

2) Statistical Replay. This is the original alternative. The beginning of simulation. Dice-and-paper. The goal is to try and recreate seasons with players rated as accurately as possible. Career play is limited, because either you script drafts as they happened or you don't (yeah, I'll take that unknown backup from Michigan in the first round as we're doing 2000).

Strat-O-Matic showed us how to do this very well. I got into dice-and-paper even a little earlier. If you wanted realism, you didn't play the backup with superman stats more than he played in real life. It was up to you. This approach works far better with baseball than any other sport, because it's a long season and lineups can be scripted and limits easily enforced.

With statistical replay, ratings are everything. You need to accurately assess each player, and in football, where stats are a function of 22 players crashing into each other at the same time, teasing out ratings is crazy difficult. Really, a full-time job, and we're now seeing groups that do that well. But you can't just steal their work. That's not fair.

Which brings us to 3) Career Simulation. I think this is the natural evolution of statistical replay - a sandbox of sorts where you try and create something realistic out of how the numbers in the game work. Because physics is one extreme and exact ratings are the opposite extreme. Career Simulation is the half-way point.

This is where FOF tries to be. That's the game I'm trying to create, and I have no idea if it's also the game others would try to create. I have little interest in 1) or 2).

My game doesn't attract people interested in 1). I don't have much of an art budget and my graphics arts skills are limited.

Partnering means sharing revenue, which means not enough to quit the day job unless you pass the test of company growth. I did not. Many businesses fail that one. What makes me good at one thing works against me elsewhere. That's life. I have a severe hearing impairment, which makes teamwork a lot more difficult. Not for lack of trying. I need to read most everything and I need a very quiet environment, and teams often work through meetings and phone calls.

My game does attract people interested in 2). Why wouldn't it? Neither requires a heavy art investment, and 2) and 3) share a small niche in the market. The problem, however, is that it's impossible with football to do both 2) and 3) properly with the same product because you have to abandon the sandbox approach - natural statistical fluctuation at a level that makes 3) entertaining makes the results untenable for people who are looking for 2).

In baseball, ratings are a function of individual statistics. Why wouldn't they be? Just drill down to the right level, and you can get a great compromise. The 2) people probably want a high triple rate from a guy who had one career triple in 15 at bats. The 3) people probably don't. But there are ways to do this that satisfy both camps.

In football, you're adding game plans to the mix. Football coaches have to have an understanding of the game on a level baseball managers never need. Because n^2 < n^22. But most people who play these games don't want to scout opponents endlessly and play what I call the chess match. That's a full-time job, too.

This creates a huge division between 2) and 3). The further I go toward 3), the more I create a world that can aggravate those who prefer 2). An ideal 2) world would be game plans scripted from real game plans. An ideal 3) world has plays you can create from scratch.

Now I'm not here to tell you I'm pure 3), as much as I'd like to be. You all know the "familiars", which I've toned down a bit in FOF9, but keep you from abusing the chess match and figuring out ways to manipulate any AI that doesn't rely on the level of scouting you see at the NFL level (now at major colleges as well). And if I try and give you more 3), there are going to be limits in play-editing/design that will irritate the 3)s anyway. The familiars are there for everyone's sanity. I don't move further toward 3) because the rabbit-hole is too deep. The AI required to scout properly and use that information is as big a challenge for one person as it would be for one person to create all of Madden's artwork and use of motion-capture.

So I'm aiming at a fractured niche in a sport where that fracture is rather deep. OK, that's a goal. I think I've done a decent job making decisions that define a product. I'll never say that FOF is "the best" at doing anything. I don't know. I don't care. And I will never put down others who are sacrificing so much to put out other similar products - I'm really rooting for them, particularly people like Gary who are doing this out of love for the game. I don't know my other competitors, but I'm sure they're all good people. Support them.

But my sales numbers tell me I'm not bad at this. What I haven't done is make great business decisions.

The way to make this type of product work is to have annual new products. Make a few changes - good changes - to your base code, add a new player file, and it's a job. You get new revenue every year. The people who like your work support you. It can work out. Others have done it, even with 2/3) games.

I chose not to use that model. Mistake number one. I always make life more difficult for myself. It's my nature.

Mistake number two is that I like to rewrite things, make them more robust, solve the same problem differently. I can't resist changing things up. I've done that in pieces over the years with new versions.

But FOF9 is different. All I heard after FOF8 was "great sim, but it looks like crap." So the goal of the OOTP game was "get Jim out of the looks-like part and have him concentrate on the sim." I liked that idea. There's only so much "looks like crap" one can hear before one concludes that he is a crap programmer.

Well, that didn't work.

Then I thought, after another false start which I can't say much about, "why not take the OOTP UI design and do it myself?"

The problems with that are the following: I had FOF8. I had the start of FOF-OOTP, with no artwork. I had a couple of pieces in side-projects that I thought could be part of FOF-OOTP. I had a lot of ideas and new features for FOF9 that hadn't yet been written. How does that amount to a new product?

I ended up deciding to start an entirely new code base, with data structures done like OOTP does them (they use the std:: namespace of C++ and I had an unusual backwards bit-by-bit approach that was hard to maintain). I kept the UI design we had for FOF-OOTP. I rewrote or wrote everything else to fit those data structures. So, programmatically, it's a code base 3-4 times larger than any other development effort I've ever made. And a UI that has the functionality we wanted, but without the benefit of a full-time artist taking the time to make it look better. It's rather bare bones. No elements like shadowing or custom work to make it look more modern. There's one piece of clip art in the entire game now - the injureman - which I modified to show body areas. No one likes injureman. I wrote a custom anti-aliasing function to play with the logos, but it's no substitute for learning something like modern DirectX.

So, I hear a lot of "FOF8 had this, why did you remove it from FOF9?" Not that much didn't make it back into FOF9, but everything that was part of FOF8 had to be rewritten in such a way that it works in the new database. And just for grins, I wanted a new geography model. That started with wanting twelve months of weather norms rather than six. It mushroomed. First it was separating out metro areas. Then the TV stations. Then why not just replace everything? Stuff like that always mushrooms with me. I have no discipline whatsoever during development. The biggest new piece is multi-threading. Which is a development nightmare, but why the sim is so much faster than in the past and why the UI responds so much better to every click.

Long story slightly shorter (I figure the TLR people are long gone now), it's an entirely new game and that's a big mistake when you already have a brand. Big picture-wise, I see that. While it's going on, I just do it anyway. Was New Coke that bad? Ok, bad example; it was.

So I'm paying for that. Instead of just sticking with my old interface that people hated, I have a new one that my core customers have to learn from scratch. If you know OOTP, you have a good sense of what I'm doing and why, but it's not as pretty as OOTP. Either way, it's a lot of development work that amounts to less for the customer base I've built and that overshadows the new stuff.

I hope all of that clears some things up.
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Old 12-11-2023, 04:30 AM   #20
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Really appreciate you sharing your experiences. I occasionally remind myself how surprising it is that this series has produced some of my all-time favourite gaming memories, whilst somehow being developed by just one person.

I think it's ultimately difficult tick every single box for every single player. We all have our own individual thoughts and playstyles. The ability to add player pictures for example, for me, is something I always wanted and am really happy to see in FOF9. For others, this adds nothing to the experience. Equally, I'd love to one day see a way to either mask player attributes/have an option to make scouting less accurate (hence relying more on statistical output/adding difficulty if required for veteran players), but to somebody else this would be obfuscation and no fun at all.

Overall though, I love that instead of playing safe, FOF9 is trying new ideas and a new UI. I've been planning my custom universe in my head for the last month, and am really excited to get started on a long-term save. The new UI/portraits, geography element (especially for a custom universe) and other new bits and pieces are making this feel like a truly new experience, and I'm really glad to see it, especially after it looked like we might never get another instalment.

p.s. also appreciate the speed of these patches, and thanks Ben for sharing with each update.
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Old 12-11-2023, 08:45 AM   #21
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Great post, Jim! Thanks for peeling back the curtain for us on all of that.
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Old 12-11-2023, 09:02 AM   #22
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...

I hope all of that clears some things up.

As someone who has been a huge fan of text-based sports sims (OOTP, Fast Break, EWR, TEW, FHM, Football Manager, FOF obviously) for a long time, I always imagined the life of a developer of these genre of games is pretty thankless. It's a difficult and tiny niche. My friends pick on me a little about playing these games (not in a mean way). But there's something very addictive about running simulations and being able to play the role of a GM over a long period of simulated time in a much shorter period of real time.

If you're not sure, you have done a fantastic job with FOF, and I think it's arguably the pioneer of these types of games. To many of us, FOF is legendary. This is especially true when you consider some of the complexities of football versus other sports that you outlined. So thank you for making these games. I would gladly buy a new one every year, and would never expect any huge leaps. We don't even see huge leaps in improvement from developers like EA and 2K with their billion dollar games. I just want these types of games to remain worth making to developers, because they have given me so much joy for 20+ years.

Sure, the UI isn't great, but it's serviceable. Of course, I remember when the UIs for text simulators were terrible and basic as hell, so maybe my viewpoint is skewed. But I would just say, keep doing what you're doing and try not to pressure yourself to make a 10/10 every year. Keep just doing what you think is best and improving as you can while considering the wants of the community.

For the other people who were talking about "gaming the system" I think one way to combat this is to have an optional "Fog of War" option where ratings are a bit more obscure and you have to make decisions based on the results and statistics you see. Yes, these games ultimately come down to crunching numbers and optimizing factors, but obfuscating somethings can automatically insert a certain "role playing" element. This can also be helped by placing modifiers in the game such as players being statistically less likely to sign with teams who fire their coach often, or trade players often. Something Madden and 2K have done that I will give them credit for is putting more importance on free agents considering things like: does this team have a franchise QB? Are they historically a winner? Are they in a tax free state? Am I likely to get more playing time based on their current roster? Are they a rebuilding team?

These are just suggestions and things that work in modern sports games. Either way, I will support FOF and the rest of these games because I know they're so niche and I feel always endangered.
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Old 12-11-2023, 09:59 AM   #23
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Thank you Jim! I deeply appreciate your efforts and approach. I for one understand some of your feelings of kind of being your own worst enemy at times as you want to tweak, adjust or create a different approach as I did similar things in my previous life. I find it interesting that most understand that change is inevitable yet when that change occurs we find that we are not always ready for it. Please just keep doing what you do, being who you are. If I have only one complaint it would be that I am in the third phase of my life and only have a finite number of years left to enjoy your work so please keep at it and allow me to appreciate the joy it brings me.
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Old 12-11-2023, 10:12 AM   #24
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Thanks for posting Jim.

When v9 released I was a bit surprised by some of the backlash from long time users. Hell, we went from "FOF is a thing of the past" to having a new game. If we learned one thing from OOTP it is there will always be issues when doing a total rewrite. OOTP2006, the first SI version, had a lot of issues too, but it established a great base to build on.

As a newly coded game I think FOF9 is way ahead of the first rewrite of OOTP. Once the end of season roster turnover is tamed down this game feels complete to me as far as a long term save goes. One can quibble about "quality of life" changes that could be made to the GUI, but for sports sims like this that is a never ending wish list anyway.

I hope sales are good enough that a FOF10 is something that could come in the future. If not FOF9 IMHO is coming into shape quite nicely with the timely patches. If there is a future version, well you certainly have a great base to build on.
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Old 12-11-2023, 12:05 PM   #25
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Um, no. Not just no, but...





I want the game to be as challenging as possible for me. That means the AI teams need to play their BEST players, not make decisions based on investment or some other non-talent-based criteria.

Ha, 100% agree. I meant, "It's fine if the universal x-factor scrambling suddenly decides he's better, but..."
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Old 12-11-2023, 12:19 PM   #26
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Against my better judgment, I will post here. I'm trying to get out of posting entirely (I don't even read off-topic any more), so this is an even dumber post.

But it's also a cautionary tale, so maybe one or more of you who would like to get into this business can learn from my mistakes. And that would be worth it, because this is an easy business to get into, but a really tough one to succeed in. I have not succeeded.

There are three different ways I can identify to approach sports gaming.

1) Video Game. For this you need artists, motion-capture, an understanding of how physics works in sports. What you're doing is the most basic of why people like to play games - put yourself into the game. You're the quarterback or the running back or the linebacker.

This category is most of the market, especially in the US, where football is far and away #1. Madden has a huge budget and does this very well. But once you go this route, statistical realism and career play are challenges on an entirely different level. Even with their big budget and access to people who understand how those numbers work, it really can't be done as well as most would like.

2) Statistical Replay. This is the original alternative. The beginning of simulation. Dice-and-paper. The goal is to try and recreate seasons with players rated as accurately as possible. Career play is limited, because either you script drafts as they happened or you don't (yeah, I'll take that unknown backup from Michigan in the first round as we're doing 2000).

Strat-O-Matic showed us how to do this very well. I got into dice-and-paper even a little earlier. If you wanted realism, you didn't play the backup with superman stats more than he played in real life. It was up to you. This approach works far better with baseball than any other sport, because it's a long season and lineups can be scripted and limits easily enforced.

With statistical replay, ratings are everything. You need to accurately assess each player, and in football, where stats are a function of 22 players crashing into each other at the same time, teasing out ratings is crazy difficult. Really, a full-time job, and we're now seeing groups that do that well. But you can't just steal their work. That's not fair.

Which brings us to 3) Career Simulation. I think this is the natural evolution of statistical replay - a sandbox of sorts where you try and create something realistic out of how the numbers in the game work. Because physics is one extreme and exact ratings are the opposite extreme. Career Simulation is the half-way point.

This is where FOF tries to be. That's the game I'm trying to create, and I have no idea if it's also the game others would try to create. I have little interest in 1) or 2).

My game doesn't attract people interested in 1). I don't have much of an art budget and my graphics arts skills are limited.

Partnering means sharing revenue, which means not enough to quit the day job unless you pass the test of company growth. I did not. Many businesses fail that one. What makes me good at one thing works against me elsewhere. That's life. I have a severe hearing impairment, which makes teamwork a lot more difficult. Not for lack of trying. I need to read most everything and I need a very quiet environment, and teams often work through meetings and phone calls.

My game does attract people interested in 2). Why wouldn't it? Neither requires a heavy art investment, and 2) and 3) share a small niche in the market. The problem, however, is that it's impossible with football to do both 2) and 3) properly with the same product because you have to abandon the sandbox approach - natural statistical fluctuation at a level that makes 3) entertaining makes the results untenable for people who are looking for 2).

In baseball, ratings are a function of individual statistics. Why wouldn't they be? Just drill down to the right level, and you can get a great compromise. The 2) people probably want a high triple rate from a guy who had one career triple in 15 at bats. The 3) people probably don't. But there are ways to do this that satisfy both camps.

In football, you're adding game plans to the mix. Football coaches have to have an understanding of the game on a level baseball managers never need. Because n^2 < n^22. But most people who play these games don't want to scout opponents endlessly and play what I call the chess match. That's a full-time job, too.

This creates a huge division between 2) and 3). The further I go toward 3), the more I create a world that can aggravate those who prefer 2). An ideal 2) world would be game plans scripted from real game plans. An ideal 3) world has plays you can create from scratch.

Now I'm not here to tell you I'm pure 3), as much as I'd like to be. You all know the "familiars", which I've toned down a bit in FOF9, but keep you from abusing the chess match and figuring out ways to manipulate any AI that doesn't rely on the level of scouting you see at the NFL level (now at major colleges as well). And if I try and give you more 3), there are going to be limits in play-editing/design that will irritate the 3)s anyway. The familiars are there for everyone's sanity. I don't move further toward 3) because the rabbit-hole is too deep. The AI required to scout properly and use that information is as big a challenge for one person as it would be for one person to create all of Madden's artwork and use of motion-capture.

So I'm aiming at a fractured niche in a sport where that fracture is rather deep. OK, that's a goal. I think I've done a decent job making decisions that define a product. I'll never say that FOF is "the best" at doing anything. I don't know. I don't care. And I will never put down others who are sacrificing so much to put out other similar products - I'm really rooting for them, particularly people like Gary who are doing this out of love for the game. I don't know my other competitors, but I'm sure they're all good people. Support them.

But my sales numbers tell me I'm not bad at this. What I haven't done is make great business decisions.

The way to make this type of product work is to have annual new products. Make a few changes - good changes - to your base code, add a new player file, and it's a job. You get new revenue every year. The people who like your work support you. It can work out. Others have done it, even with 2/3) games.

I chose not to use that model. Mistake number one. I always make life more difficult for myself. It's my nature.

Mistake number two is that I like to rewrite things, make them more robust, solve the same problem differently. I can't resist changing things up. I've done that in pieces over the years with new versions.

But FOF9 is different. All I heard after FOF8 was "great sim, but it looks like crap." So the goal of the OOTP game was "get Jim out of the looks-like part and have him concentrate on the sim." I liked that idea. There's only so much "looks like crap" one can hear before one concludes that he is a crap programmer.

Well, that didn't work.

Then I thought, after another false start which I can't say much about, "why not take the OOTP UI design and do it myself?"

The problems with that are the following: I had FOF8. I had the start of FOF-OOTP, with no artwork. I had a couple of pieces in side-projects that I thought could be part of FOF-OOTP. I had a lot of ideas and new features for FOF9 that hadn't yet been written. How does that amount to a new product?

I ended up deciding to start an entirely new code base, with data structures done like OOTP does them (they use the std:: namespace of C++ and I had an unusual backwards bit-by-bit approach that was hard to maintain). I kept the UI design we had for FOF-OOTP. I rewrote or wrote everything else to fit those data structures. So, programmatically, it's a code base 3-4 times larger than any other development effort I've ever made. And a UI that has the functionality we wanted, but without the benefit of a full-time artist taking the time to make it look better. It's rather bare bones. No elements like shadowing or custom work to make it look more modern. There's one piece of clip art in the entire game now - the injureman - which I modified to show body areas. No one likes injureman. I wrote a custom anti-aliasing function to play with the logos, but it's no substitute for learning something like modern DirectX.

So, I hear a lot of "FOF8 had this, why did you remove it from FOF9?" Not that much didn't make it back into FOF9, but everything that was part of FOF8 had to be rewritten in such a way that it works in the new database. And just for grins, I wanted a new geography model. That started with wanting twelve months of weather norms rather than six. It mushroomed. First it was separating out metro areas. Then the TV stations. Then why not just replace everything? Stuff like that always mushrooms with me. I have no discipline whatsoever during development. The biggest new piece is multi-threading. Which is a development nightmare, but why the sim is so much faster than in the past and why the UI responds so much better to every click.

Long story slightly shorter (I figure the TLR people are long gone now), it's an entirely new game and that's a big mistake when you already have a brand. Big picture-wise, I see that. While it's going on, I just do it anyway. Was New Coke that bad? Ok, bad example; it was.

So I'm paying for that. Instead of just sticking with my old interface that people hated, I have a new one that my core customers have to learn from scratch. If you know OOTP, you have a good sense of what I'm doing and why, but it's not as pretty as OOTP. Either way, it's a lot of development work that amounts to less for the customer base I've built and that overshadows the new stuff.

I hope all of that clears some things up.

Appreciate the insight, Jim. Thanks for replying. Have loved your work, and only wish I could help more in some capacity.

I don't know a ton of programming, but I do know design (and work professionally in it and manage an entire team of designers). I made this little Madden app as a fun side project. It's just a big numbers game, really, but I was proud of it.
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Old 12-11-2023, 12:24 PM   #27
Mike Lowe
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Back to the *potential* next patch...if I continue this 2023 season slowly, will the *potential* fix to teams cutting players be likely to work in my existing save so long as I don't advance to the offseason yet?

I've put my save on hold for now...
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Old 12-11-2023, 04:17 PM   #28
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Injurman is legendary. I might be his #1 fan. I might need to create a shrine of him
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Old 12-11-2023, 06:22 PM   #29
Dutch
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Jim, you have been nothing short of amazing with FOF and this latest version is even more appreciated now that we see how much was involved in its creation. You were the GOAT of 3.) with FOF1 and still hold that title 25 years later. Hell, you’ll probably hold that title forever.
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Old 12-11-2023, 07:45 PM   #30
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Injurman is legendary. I might be his #1 fan. I might need to create a shrine of him

Yeah, I think he should have added a crotch indicator to cover groin and hamstring issues!
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Old 12-14-2023, 10:18 PM   #31
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Against my better judgment

.

Quite a post, wow.

I really think the "it's ugly" talk is largely abour colors clashing.
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Old 12-15-2023, 09:11 AM   #32
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I'm not sure it was a bad decision to go with a new interface and engine. That's perfect for new players. Maybe the mistake is calling it FOF9 instead of something else that's new.
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Old 12-15-2023, 12:53 PM   #33
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I don’t think it was a mistake to rewrite, and I don’t think it was a mistake to call it FOF9 - it’s very much similar enough to be a member of the FOF9 family.

For a brand new game, it’s remarkably stable (yes, there were a couple of bugs here and there that were quickly fixed, but I don’t recall a single crash when I was playing) and looks infinitely better than FOF8.

Once the modders have a few tools to adapt to your likeness (which were developed over years of previous games) I have not doubt it will be even more welcoming, and the last patch included some elements to make the game more vibrant.

There is one element that needs a big fix (cap releases) but once that is fixed, we’ll have a fully formed game on our hands with room to expand even further, either as FO9 version x, or in the future as FOF10

I think that makes rewriting and calling it FOF9 both excellent decisions TBH
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Old 12-16-2023, 03:43 PM   #34
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I hope all of that clears some things up.

Jim to me you are an absolute legend and it pains me to hear you down on yourself, you singlehandedly produce the GOAT football sim and have every right to be proud regardless of what the haters say. we love and appreciate your hard work and you deserve every penny and success!
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Old 12-16-2023, 09:32 PM   #35
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I think that makes rewriting and calling it FOF9 both excellent decisions TBH

Yeah, it's very clearly an innovation on FOF8 and not a wholesale new game. Calling it anything else would've doomed it to zero sales, quite literally.
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Old 12-17-2023, 09:01 AM   #36
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Jim, thank you for sharing your thoughts on developing the game. I just learned about the game this year after watching a YouTube video tutorial. I am enjoying learning the game and I hope you will continue to make improvements and develop new versions in the years to come. Thanks again!
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Old 12-17-2023, 08:07 PM   #37
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Jim, thank you! Your efforts and strategy are much appreciated. As someone who has been there and done that, I can relate to the sensation of being your own worst enemy when you want to change things up or try something new. To think that most people know change is constant and yet aren't prepared for it when it happens is fascinating to me. Never change who you are or what you do; it's working. The fact that I am now in my third phase of life and have a limited amount of years left to savor your work is my only gripe; thus, I implore you to continue creating it and grant me the grace to fully appreciate the happiness it provides me.

Last edited by krunker : 12-17-2023 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 12-19-2023, 07:47 PM   #38
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Which brings us to 3) Career Simulation. I think this is the natural evolution of statistical replay - a sandbox of sorts where you try and create something realistic out of how the numbers in the game work. Because physics is one extreme and exact ratings are the opposite extreme. Career Simulation is the half-way point.
****

But my sales numbers tell me I'm not bad at this. What I haven't done is make great business decisions.

The way to make this type of product work is to have annual new products. Make a few changes - good changes - to your base code, add a new player file, and it's a job. You get new revenue every year. The people who like your work support you. It can work out. Others have done it, even with 2/3) games.



Thanks for the heartfelt post which breaks down the sports gaming industry in an interesting way. And thanks for the great games you've created.


Yes, this is what Football Manager does. They have a much bigger team and they sit around a table and decide how many of their potential "upgrades" they need to include in order to keep sales numbers up, and how many to save for next year's game.


Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of FM. But even with their large development and research team, their AI becomes easy to beat.


But what's the option? Make a realistic game? 98% of us, me included, would have no chance to succeed = NO FUN. Guess what boys and girls? Almost none of us is actually better than the people actually running NFL and Premier League teams! I chuckle when "FM Jurgen Klopp" doesn't know what to do with my tactic. But that's the fantasy.


Anyway, it's obviously a tough business. Best of luck in the future. Maybe operations like PFF want to develop a game which uses their data/ratings?


Go Blue! I'll be in Pasadena on Jan 1 and, hopefully, Houston on Jan 8!
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Old 12-22-2023, 12:19 PM   #39
kingnebwsu
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What a great post by Jim.

I'm in a challenging phase of life and don't really have text-sim time right now but I still check FOFC sometimes and as soon as I saw the FOF9 release, I bought it.

This is about supporting Jim and what he has done while dreaming of a life phase where I will have time to enjoy his creation.

Jim, if you read this...you rock! Thanks for all that you do and I hope you have enough ongoing financial success to continue doing what you want with life.

Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2024, 05:42 AM   #40
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I appreciate Jim sharing his experience. However, I believe he may have misunderstood the negative response in some way. Many people complain about these types of games. If you check the feedback for OOTP and FM, you will find plenty of negative reviews on their forums and respective Steam pages. For FOF9, I even saw a guy on Steam who criticized the game's but had logged over 500 hours already. If you dislike the game, why play it for 10 hours every day?

I think the game is great and deserves a better GUI. While I appreciate the new UI as a step forward from previous versions, it still lacks something. I can see that you drew inspiration from OOTP, which, in my opinion, was not a very good decision. FM has much better navigation, and OOTP is frequently criticized for its poor navigation tools. FOF could benefit from better organization of information. Currently, it is not structured and represented very well. I believe a single graphic designer and a front-end programmer could do the job for a fixed fee. I'm not talking about 3D animations and such, people do not expect that and frankly it is not needed. Just a better visual appeal by and improved functionality and readiness using the same simple graphical representation.

I'm glad you decided against collaborating with OOTP. Sharing revenue with them wouldn't be fair because FOF is already a well-working game with top-notch mechanics. As someone said, there's a beast of an engine under the hood. It just needs a bit of a facelift to appeal to new customers and catapult the game closer to the genre leaders
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Old 01-02-2024, 01:02 PM   #41
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Haiku,

Agreed. The game has some warts, the game is hard to navigate, but the rest is incredibly solid for a football sim. So he shouldn’t beat himself up over the negative commentary. In this day and age, doom, gloom, all pessimism all reign supreme on the Internet. Jim must be cautious about taking strangers comments too harshly these days.
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Old 01-09-2024, 06:08 PM   #42
Solecismic
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There's a lot of risk involved in growing the company in any way, whether it's through a partnership or trying to find another programmer.

I thought it was worth it with FOF9 because even the positive reviews of FOF8 often came up with new and exciting vocabulary to signal just how much the reviewer hated the interface.

One way to look at it (and now I've come to think of this as potentially accurate in the end) is that FOF8 players had invested a lot of time in learning how things worked in the game and simply got used to it and took pride in knowing how to use this unusual and quirky tool.

But the other way to look at it is that I had essentially cut off new potential customers by having a product where the UI was reviewed so negatively.

I felt that to continue with FOF9, I had to have a radically new interface.

OK, what to do? I had two problems. The first was the UI. And the second was marketing. In 1998, I knew how to do this on my own. Get the game in front of the magazines with the reviewers who were respected in PC gaming. Today, everything is different and depends on influencers and mentions.

Without a solution to both problems, I was stuck. The OOTP solution solved that. Their style of interface gives me the ability to retain the piece I think is most important - having a base type of screen that displays enormous amounts of data.

So I followed that UI plan, minus more extensive artist assets. To go with something else isn't just a matter of using a new tool or paying some random programmer to use a new tool for me. It's heavily integrated into the game. There are more than 200 screens in the game and I would hate to give up my primary list control, which offers better functionality than the top tool on the market (Qt). I also added a lot of new features that just weren't going to be a part of the OOTP version.

Anyone worth while able to create a modern interface is going to cost a lot of money. With OOTP, I was "paying" for both that and the marketing side. That's worth a good percentage right there. Without both, it's financial suicide to add the risk of paying anyone.

Since OOTP is a very successful game, I was comfortable with my decision on the UI. I still am. To start over again (months of integration required - you don't just slap a UI on something like it's a case for your smart phone) with the UI makes no sense at all.

So it's sad to see the reviews. When someone with 5,000 hours in FOF8 posts a negative review after trying FOF9 for 15 minutes... you don't beat yourself up - you're simply reminded that it's a different and harsher marketplace out there now and in the end, it's still just a business and maybe it's time to try something fresh (and a lot smaller).

I had my chances to grow the company and I didn't. That's life. It doesn't define me. I feel bad that FOF failed to make it into the 2020s properly, but it's too big (this really is a massive project internally) to reinvent yet again.
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Old 01-12-2024, 06:38 AM   #43
Cole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
I had my chances to grow the company and I didn't. That's life. It doesn't define me. I feel bad that FOF failed to make it into the 2020s properly, but it's too big (this really is a massive project internally) to reinvent yet again.

This has a rather defeated type tone to it that is disheartening to hear.

The game has released in the 2020s, and yes there have been some negative reviews but it’s “mostly positive” reviews on Steam and for all the people who don’t like the new UI there are also those who do prefer it and consider it an upgrade.

Maybe sales haven’t been what was expected/needed and that’s what you’re referring to, but I personally don’t think it’s fair to say the game hasn’t successfully made it to the 2020s. It’s still a best in class product in a lot of ways and I think you need to give yourself a lot of credit for that.

That all being said, any update on the AI player releasing bug fix ?

Last edited by Cole : 01-12-2024 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 01-12-2024, 08:25 AM   #44
nilodor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole View Post
This has a rather defeated type tone to it that is disheartening to hear.


I empathize with Jim's take, looking back on my career there are risks that I've taken that I shouldn't have, there are risks that I didn't take that I should, but with the information I had at the time, I made a reasonable decision and the rest I've either learned from or accepted. That's life, I don't see it as being a defeatist, it's owning that we make decisions that may not work out as we had hoped. Going forward it's the same, I'm not sure what Jim's definition of success is, but that's what he should be pushing towards.
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Old 01-12-2024, 09:57 AM   #45
Haiku
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I'm a new user and appreciate the game a lot! I haven't played prior versions. Of course, there are certain things I would like to see improved, which I have outlined in the following thread:

https://forums.operationsports.com/f...ad.php?t=99169

I have also sent them to the support email. I hope Jim will take the time to go through my suggestions.

Last edited by Haiku : 01-12-2024 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-12-2024, 11:27 AM   #46
Ruthian23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole View Post
This has a rather defeated type tone to it that is disheartening to hear.

The game has released in the 2020s, and yes there have been some negative reviews but it’s “mostly positive” reviews on Steam and for all the people who don’t like the new UI there are also those who do prefer it and consider it an upgrade.

Maybe sales haven’t been what was expected/needed and that’s what you’re referring to, but I personally don’t think it’s fair to say the game hasn’t successfully made it to the 2020s. It’s still a best in class product in a lot of ways and I think you need to give yourself a lot of credit for that.

That all being said, any update on the AI player releasing bug fix ?

Just for the record regarding sales, there's at least one long time FOF fan waiting for the fix you mention before I get the game. I know there are some others who are monitoring the game's progress as well but were waiting for this (and some of the other early issues that have since been resolved) to be fixed before buying, so I don't think sales have topped out yet by any means. I hope Jim isn't too discouraged by anything. He's given me many hours of joy over the years and I definitely plan to buy the game when it is ready to support a good long term save.
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Old 01-12-2024, 11:47 AM   #47
angrygeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthian23 View Post
Just for the record regarding sales, there's at least one long time FOF fan waiting for the fix you mention before I get the game. I know there are some others who are monitoring the game's progress as well but were waiting for this (and some of the other early issues that have since been resolved) to be fixed before buying, so I don't think sales have topped out yet by any means. I hope Jim isn't too discouraged by anything. He's given me many hours of joy over the years and I definitely plan to buy the game when it is ready to support a good long term save.

Same here.

I bought previous versions, and look forward to this one. But I am waiting for the roster fix.

I am super bummed that Jim is feeling bad about the current release. I loved the previous releases, and appreciate his dedication to the sports sim craft.
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Old 01-12-2024, 01:24 PM   #48
cupofjoe
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I think it was a rough launch with some of the bugs and people trying to adjust to the new interface. So some bad reviews flowed in from the beginning. Unfortunately some of those people have played FOF for a long time and didn’t give Jim the benefit of the doubt to fix the issues.

I’m also one of the people waiting for the biggest bug to be fixed before I continue to play. It’s taking some time though

Last edited by cupofjoe : 01-12-2024 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 01-13-2024, 05:24 AM   #49
mozelmanzana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post

So I followed that UI plan, minus more extensive artist assets. To go with something else isn't just a matter of using a new tool or paying some random programmer to use a new tool for me. It's heavily integrated into the game. There are more than 200 screens in the game and I would hate to give up my primary list control, which offers better functionality than the top tool on the market (Qt). I also added a lot of new features that just weren't going to be a part of the OOTP version.

Anyone worth while able to create a modern interface is going to cost a lot of money.

.


I have to say, personally I think this game firstly does not so much need an overhall in UI optics but in UI functionality. What feels so ancient about this game is the tab naviation and fixed info screens. Individually adjustable views would take this SUCH a long way (like in SI - Football Manager [Soccer])
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Old 01-13-2024, 06:00 AM   #50
Solecismic
Solecismic Software
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Canton, OH
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole View Post
This has a rather defeated type tone to it that is disheartening to hear.

The game has released in the 2020s, and yes there have been some negative reviews but it’s “mostly positive” reviews on Steam and for all the people who don’t like the new UI there are also those who do prefer it and consider it an upgrade.

Maybe sales haven’t been what was expected/needed and that’s what you’re referring to, but I personally don’t think it’s fair to say the game hasn’t successfully made it to the 2020s. It’s still a best in class product in a lot of ways and I think you need to give yourself a lot of credit for that.

That all being said, any update on the AI player releasing bug fix ?

Tone is difficult to read. I'm disappointed, yes. I think the game failed in many ways, and it's probably marketing more than anything else, but reviews matter and "mostly positive" doesn't get you on the right lists. This will limit the time I can spend on FOF.

You can always find updates in the Updates section in the product documentation. I haven't changed that in a while - still waiting for people to get back to me. Some have, and I appreciate that.
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