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Old 01-13-2024, 08:31 AM   #51
Haiku
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
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.

Do not give up on the series. This is a huge transition and basically feels like a brand new game. It is a difficult field since it is a niche game. Negative reviews are there to improve the game, and of course there's a lot of hard core users who are not used to the new look, but that will change. OOTP and FM went through similar patches. Go check FHM Steam reviews. It is only the last 2 versions they received positive reviews on average. Just keep improving the game, bring out new versions and reviews will change so will the sales go up. It's never an easy start. If you give up now it's all your hard work for nothing. But there's so much value and so much potential in this game you just cannot leave it there.


Last edited by Haiku : 01-13-2024 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 01-13-2024, 03:23 PM   #52
Solecismic
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One can always make the "one step backwards, two steps forward" argument, but one goal was to address review issues with the old interface. The other goal was to add so many new features and add depth to the engine so that people would want to invest the time to learn the new and more traditional interface.

Since reviews of the past products on Steam were much better and FOF9 has far more depth than past iterations, I'm not sure what to conclude. Only that the project has become far too big for one person, but it's too risky and expensive to bring in someone else. OOTP would have been perfect, since they have the relevant experience, but that didn't work.

I appreciate the sentiment. I think trying to engage with reviewers on Steam will backfire. I don't know what to say to people who have thousands of hours in on FOF and reviewed FOF9 negatively after 15 minutes, but I think that's just how life is in the 2020s. They're not trying to improve the game, though - I would dispute that.

It's anger - you see anger everywhere these days. I'm not sure why, but many of the angriest reviews (and dozens of "likes" for the most unpleasant of them) came in the first two days of the release, and there were far fewer bugs than with past releases and the two or three that really affected game play were fixed within a week. I think we're in an angrier world post-COVID, and this is a bad time to be an independent developer.

I'd hesitate to interpret this in ways that lead to conclusions about the future. I don't know what's next. I have a couple of ideas, and I need to take time away from FOF (I'm working on an update, that's not a contradiction of my Updates section). But if an established publisher came in tomorrow with solid plans, I'm definitely listening. After 25 years of this, though, if we're still talking about "potential," then I'm not the guy who should be running the show. Experience should also teach humility.
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Old 01-13-2024, 08:53 PM   #53
Ruthian23
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Originally Posted by Haiku View Post
Do not give up on the series. This is a huge transition and basically feels like a brand new game. It is a difficult field since it is a niche game. Negative reviews are there to improve the game, and of course there's a lot of hard core users who are not used to the new look, but that will change. OOTP and FM went through similar patches. Go check FHM Steam reviews. It is only the last 2 versions they received positive reviews on average. Just keep improving the game, bring out new versions and reviews will change so will the sales go up. It's never an easy start. If you give up now it's all your hard work for nothing. But there's so much value and so much potential in this game you just cannot leave it there.

Yeah, I would echo this. I very much remember the outcry (myself included) against OOTP6 (I believe), which was the first version Markus made under the SI umbrella. It was a significantly worse, less fun game than OOTP5, but I think he's obviously been proved right in the long run, as after that adjustment year the game got better than it ever was.

Obviously Jim can do what he chooses and if he doesn't feel the juice is worth the squeeze any more, I get that. I just hope he's not too discouraged. He's still really good at what he does and brings joy to a lot of us. I really look forward to buying the game when the mass release issue is resolved and putting many hours into it.
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Old 01-13-2024, 09:23 PM   #54
underlinedi
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Originally Posted by angrygeek View Post
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.

Same for me too. I was so pumped when I saw that FOF9 released, I jumped on these forums for the first time in years. I really like the looks of the new interface, and I cannot wait to get back into proper sim football with this game. Like others have said, I am just waiting on the AI roster fix that's been mentioned.
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Old 01-13-2024, 09:34 PM   #55
SgtTomorrow
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I appreciate the developer's work on this game from version one. I was glad to notice 9 came out on steam and just installed it today. I like the changes I've seen so far, I'll learn where things have moved. It's like unwrapping a present actually. I haven't played any version in a long while and this is a nice time and version to learn the game again. FOF is Jim's baby and I wish him well picking up every extra dollar that can be made from a lifelong project like this. Once I get enough hours logged I'll review on steam and try to help out. Thanks and all the best going forward.
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Old 01-13-2024, 10:07 PM   #56
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Jim, I feel that when most say "potential" it is not in respect to what the game provides but may be more aligned with a lack of understanding exactly what it is you as a developer want it to do for us and what you see as your continued development path.

For example during the earlier venture with OOTP I think that many saw the "potential" for an OOTP supported FOF to allow for a historical timeline (format, teams, schedule, etc.) similar to what they do for baseball. I know I did. Now with FOF9 you have again given us an amazing game that feeds us an amazing amount of depth and detail and represents the real game of American football better than any other product I know of. In addition you have built in the ability for us to create various universes in a variety of configurations to satisfy our own individual preferences. Yet we don't, well I don't, know what your plan is for continued development of that part of the game, if there is any at all.

I am beginning to do the old man ramble but what I am trying to convey is that for some of us having an understanding of your development path and vision would go a long way in helping us understand. As one once said - Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember but involve me and I will understand!

As for any negative feedback. Take what makes sense, digest it and see if it has any value and aligns with your development path. Otherwise allow yourself to move on from it. As for those less than content with the new GUI, so what. Many have found and are finding it to actually be very useful. Sure some will always think this icon should go there and that one over here but the reality is with time and use it grows on you and soon becomes easy to navigate. It does require time because for those upset legacy FOF fans it differs, the same ones that likely found earlier versions hard to navigate when you reworked them, and takes us, the player, a little committment and effort. That committment and effort pays off.

I for one am behind what you have done and like many others have experienced hundreds of, if not a couple of thousand, hours of enjoyment as well as frustration (in MP leagues I suck!). I have and will continue to enjoy FOF9, more so when I get tired of tinkering with graphic files, and eagerly look forward to whatever the future holds for the franchise.

Thanks!
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Last edited by NawlinsFan : 01-13-2024 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 01-14-2024, 01:05 AM   #57
james17
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Just agree with Nawlins fine post above. FOF9 was a lot for me to digest when it first came out but now that I've played it for a couple of seasons, I've developed a familiarity with the new interface and appreciate all the new features that have been added.



I consider the latest iteration to be a success. It is tough out there for individual developers in the text sim arena. First off, Madden sucks all the energy out of developing anything for the general football audience. But there is a place for text sims as finely done as FOF9 and the gaming world, at least the football part of it, will be much worse off if this franchise doesn't continue in the future.


So, Jim, your work is really appreciated and I hope you keep it up.
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Old 01-17-2024, 11:32 PM   #58
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I had a dream that the new patch was released. I woke up excited, expecting that it was true.


Sad trombone
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Old 01-18-2024, 10:00 AM   #59
garion333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
It's anger - you see anger everywhere these days. I'm not sure why, but many of the angriest reviews (and dozens of "likes" for the most unpleasant of them) came in the first two days of the release, and there were far fewer bugs than with past releases and the two or three that really affected game play were fixed within a week. I think we're in an angrier world post-COVID, and this is a bad time to be an independent developer.

While you may very well be correct that the world is angrier now than it was, but I think the FOF9 release was perhaps released at a bad time. This year on Steam games that came out buggy did not do well. There was a huge theme this year in gaming to not release games until they were ready. According to you, and you would know better than I, FOF9 had less bugs than FOF8. Problem is my experience with early FOF9 was that it had more obvious bugs than I ever recall seeing in FOF8 or earlier releases (wrong defenses, bugged PD%, trading crash, etc). When you can open a game and immediately notice a handful of minor or minor-ish bugs you are not likely to get a thumbs up from someone, regardless of whether they had played FOF8 for thousands of hours. Sure, some will give thumbs ups because they feel they owe you for all the years of quality gaming, but others don't feel beholden to that view, especially when they feel like it encourages bad behavior from devs to put out unfinished, buggy games and play catchup down the road. That's the dev/publisher mentality folks are pushing back against and FOF9 fell right into that narrative.

UI. I don't entirely want to open this giant discussion up in this reply because I still feel like a lot of people don't know what they want or why they don't like a given UI. However, even cheap games can look clean: Football Coach: College Dynasty on Steam

The giant pink elephant in the room for me continues to be the lack of mp. How do games pick up word of mouth nowadays? By being good to their communities. While some of the FOF mp community responded rather childishly to the news that there would be no mp in FOF9, I still understand why they were so upset. These folks love this game to the point they continues playing FOF8 despite believing there would never be another FOF release. You've always said that the mp community is a drop in the bucket compared to full sales, something OOTP also mentions. However, the mp is free marketing for you. They're more engaged online than the sp-only folks and help drive word of mouth. A typical sp player might play FOF once a week, whereas the mp community is engaged on a daily basis. They're thinking about your product daily, communicating about it online and keeping the game alive on Steam charts. I mean, there's still more FOF8 being played on Steam than FOF9:

Front Office Football Eight - Steam Charts

Front Office Football Nine - Steam Charts

You wanted more positive thumbs ups to balance out the negatives? Well, the mp community could have added to that. Hoping a publisher would swoop in and add mp to your game seems like ... hubris? I don't know. It seems like a pipe dream, honestly. There isn't exactly many text-based sim publishers out there and you already took a swing at working with one of the big ones. Who exactly were you expecting to swoop in? I don't mean that in the condescending way it sounds, but quite literally: Who else is there who publishes text-based sims? Wolverine has their (not great) football games. OOTP seemingly isn't in the market atm. Com2uS likely only partnered with OOTP because they had Perfect Team bringing in long term revenue. I don't expect an answer here, it's just stating what I know some of us were thinking regarding the comment that the "market" will determine if FOF has mp added in.

You want folks to deep dive into your games? Single player folks can do that, but the deepest dives in FOF8 came from the mp community. The SP AI is simply not good enough to warrant as deep a dive as the competition within the mp community. That is very much true in FOF9 where I can consistently win against the AI without engaging in any of the new features in FOF9. The only challenge left for me is self-guided, which is fine, except it doesn't drive engagement from me with FOF9 the same way a more robust AI would or a mp community can.

One last comment in re marketing. Text based sims not named Football Manager are uber niche products. That's the only series that will receive thousands of reviews on Steam, and elsewhere. That said, the GM Games website exists and has been chopping wood for the genre for years now. Perhaps an interview there would've been good? Their YouTube channel isn't huge, but their FOF9 video has nearly 3k views. That's not nothing and there's clearly a desire for FOF in the world.
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Old 01-18-2024, 11:02 AM   #60
sovereignstar v2
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I wouldn't use Football Coach's tablet interface as an example of a good UI. I don't want to have to scroll down when I'm looking at a single conference's standings.
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Old 01-18-2024, 12:04 PM   #61
garion333
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Originally Posted by sovereignstar v2 View Post
I wouldn't use Football Coach's tablet interface as an example of a good UI. I don't want to have to scroll down when I'm looking at a single conference's standings.

The reason I chose it is because it's a single dev who made a clean looking interface. Look at the reviews, positive or negative, and you won't see tons of complaining about the UI. Why? It *looks* newer.

I forgot to mention above, but releasing FOF9 as Early Access for the first month would've helped keep folks from thumbs downing their reviews. "It's in EA so a couple minor bugs are to be expected" rather than "full release has a bunch of bugs". Anyway, I know the EA ship sailed, but Football Coach is in EA, pushes out updates and gets lots of praise and word of mouth for it. Something to consider for the next project.
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Old 01-18-2024, 03:33 PM   #62
HansMellman
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Originally Posted by garion333 View Post
The reason I chose it is because it's a single dev who made a clean looking interface. Look at the reviews, positive or negative, and you won't see tons of complaining about the UI. Why? It *looks* newer.

I forgot to mention above, but releasing FOF9 as Early Access for the first month would've helped keep folks from thumbs downing their reviews. "It's in EA so a couple minor bugs are to be expected" rather than "full release has a bunch of bugs". Anyway, I know the EA ship sailed, but Football Coach is in EA, pushes out updates and gets lots of praise and word of mouth for it. Something to consider for the next project.

I thought it was a good choice of game - it was one of the highest rated sports games on Steam at a point last year, in spite of the need to scroll down momentarily to view the conference standings. Undoubtedly an enviable position for any single dev sports sim project. It seems like more and more of these types of games that begin as mobile projects are now being ported over to PC and bringing with them this more tablet/mobile catered UI in some parts (see also Hockey Legacy Manager). Football Manager has that type of UI to an extent, despite not being a primary mobile project originally, also I think that's the direction OOTP are heading in with their recent UI overhaul for their latest release.

I can't disagree with anything in the rest of your post either, pretty much hit the nail on the head with it all.

Last edited by HansMellman : 01-18-2024 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 01-18-2024, 04:15 PM   #63
Solecismic
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When I made the decision about MP about a year ago, I worried about the effect on the MP community. I posted at length about this before the release. The reasoning, etc.

I realize that the day after I make a post, most of it is forgotten, but it's my answer to your review of the product as well as the MP part of the post above. I can't continue to litigate this. You can go back and read my posts as easily as I can repost them.

I hope you and others in the MP community reconsider your thumbs-down reviews. I'm not asking for thumbs up if you don't recommend FOF9. I would never do that.

All I ask in return for thousands of hours in the game and all the work I did to try and build what people wanted for MP (I kept going back and adding MP features on request, hoping it would grow the community, but fewer people played FOF8 MP than FOF7 MP, and that was a critical part of the decision) is not to go to the effort of posting a negative review.

As for "hubris" about publishers. I think you're misreading tone. I don't expect it. I've had a few ask about the game, even in the last few years. But in these cases they were expecting me to expand to handle the graphics end. Which means I would have borne the risk. Maybe that works out, but at my age I'm risk-averse and if I had done that on my own, I might not need a publisher.

GMGames didn't ask for an interview. I appreciate what they do, but I can't force myself on any site. All I've heard from them is a request to join my affiliate program. I don't have one. I can't even get a review on Operation Sports, which actually hosts FOFC. Plus, being hearing impaired, I'm not exactly the best interview subject.

Moving on to the releasing players issue. Teams release a lot of players in the NFL at the start of the cycle - even some starters. The question is over what to do when teams get into "cap hell" and simply can't deal with keeping anyone. That's why being a cap guy in the NFL is a full-time job and teams can ease out of that situation before it becomes critical.

So the "long fix" means working on the AI for easing out before teams have to go into a season with six long-term contracts and a ton of dead money. But teams are still going to release a lot of players, as they have in every version. I have them flying too close to the cap now before they think about easing.
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Old 01-18-2024, 07:36 PM   #64
garion333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
When I made the decision about MP about a year ago, I worried about the effect on the MP community. I posted at length about this before the release. The reasoning, etc.

I realize that the day after I make a post, most of it is forgotten, but it's my answer to your review of the product as well as the MP part of the post above. I can't continue to litigate this. You can go back and read my posts as easily as I can repost them.

I hope you and others in the MP community reconsider your thumbs-down reviews. I'm not asking for thumbs up if you don't recommend FOF9. I would never do that.

All I ask in return for thousands of hours in the game and all the work I did to try and build what people wanted for MP (I kept going back and adding MP features on request, hoping it would grow the community, but fewer people played FOF8 MP than FOF7 MP, and that was a critical part of the decision) is not to go to the effort of posting a negative review.

As for "hubris" about publishers. I think you're misreading tone. I don't expect it. I've had a few ask about the game, even in the last few years. But in these cases they were expecting me to expand to handle the graphics end. Which means I would have borne the risk. Maybe that works out, but at my age I'm risk-averse and if I had done that on my own, I might not need a publisher.

GMGames didn't ask for an interview. I appreciate what they do, but I can't force myself on any site. All I've heard from them is a request to join my affiliate program. I don't have one. I can't even get a review on Operation Sports, which actually hosts FOFC. Plus, being hearing impaired, I'm not exactly the best interview subject.

Moving on to the releasing players issue. Teams release a lot of players in the NFL at the start of the cycle - even some starters. The question is over what to do when teams get into "cap hell" and simply can't deal with keeping anyone. That's why being a cap guy in the NFL is a full-time job and teams can ease out of that situation before it becomes critical.

So the "long fix" means working on the AI for easing out before teams have to go into a season with six long-term contracts and a ton of dead money. But teams are still going to release a lot of players, as they have in every version. I have them flying too close to the cap now before they think about easing.

Appreciate the reply, truly.

I'm not actually playing mp anymore, FOF kind of ran the course for me in FOF8. I still have friends who are involved who I talk to, however, and occasionally chat in the FOF Discord. (Those are friends I made through FOF mp, btw. Thanks for that. Seriously.) They all read your reasonings for not developing mp, but it's a tough pill to swallow when a major feature is removed from a new version. And it's especially tough when you don't know the ins and outs of coding and developing in general. As in the "You had it before, it can't be *that* hard to develop" mentality. That some took the lack of mp personally and hoped FOF9 would fail was pretty sad to see. That attitude seems to be more a modern thing, and I don't like it.

Anyway, I'll keep changing my thumbs up and down. I have a love/hate relationship with FOF9. Part of it is I get excited about an idea, but then have next to no one to bounce it off of since most of the mp community is still FOF8-focused. That's more of a me problem than a you problem.
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Old 01-19-2024, 12:05 PM   #65
Dutch
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I stopped playing MP after FOF7, maybe during FOF7, so that was a life decision, nothing to do with the game itself since that experience brought so much joy. After all, MP pulled you deep into the experience. Really deep. (I'd spend a lot of time trying to figure out how (or if it was even possible) to be as good as Ben, Quik, Malcpow among many others. That was the big hook for me. The crazy part was that Ben and Quik were open books, sharing all of their knowledge, a lot of what I did was try to consume every piece of information they provided and make it fluent within my own game. Very addicting and appealing to try to "figure it all out". (I was still never really that good at it, despite their efforts to give us all the FOF codex). FOF 7 released November 2014 - Hours played in 2 years: 714 (probably more if FOF7 was release prior to Steam, I can't remember.)

When FOF8 came to fruition, I was definitely out of the MP scene by this point. I considered joining a new league, but after a few test runs in SP, I found myself thinking two things. 1.) There is no way I'm going to be able figure out Gameplanning remotely close to the tweaks that Ben and Quik and the many other good and excellent MP competitors were going to squeeze out of the game. So, MP was out, and 2.) The UI was not easy enough on the eyes. It was a struggle. I tried many times to overcome that, I'm a generally optimistic and open-minded person, especially towards a developer and product that I have strong loyalty ties to, so I didn't not like it on purpose, but it set off a chemical imbalance in my soul somehow and I just couldn't get past that. FOF8 Release November 2016 - Hours played in the 6 years since release: 68

FOF9 appeared on my radar as surprisingly as Aliens in Brazil might. I purchased FOF9 (loyalty for the win) and loaded it up. I was interested. Excited even, but my expectations were calmed by the thought of having to endure whatever it was in FOF 8 that made my eye twitch. Within about 5 seconds of loading FOF9, I'm pretty sure my first words were, "Praise Jesus!". Because guess what? Jim (the one-man band) had obviously put forth some sort of herculean effort to redesign the look of FOF9. The sweats were gone, the eye twitching was gone, the feeling of warmth upon looking at FOF9 returned goodness to my soul. Basically, I was very, very pleased by this change. When I looked at all the screens (which appeared a giant horde of options in new places) I didn't look at it with dread, I looked at it with enthusiasm. Playbooks? Let's go! Let's figure these out. New stats, which ones? Let's investigate. How do I do x, y, and z? Gotta be here somewhere! What's the best way to walk through the off-season? Best way to walk-through the regular season? What buttons clicks do I want to be my 'routine' when simming? It's been a lot of fun, honestly. Now, for those who play MP, I understand the frustrations there (especially for ongoing leagues that are being asked to maintain FOF8 and FOF9) and that's got to be a bummer, but for me, I felt like FOF9 SP put Solecismic back on the right track and it's been a lot of fun learning and playing FOF again. FOF9 Released November 2023 - Hours played: 178 and counting 2.5 months after release.

So, something happened for me personally between FOF8 and FOF9, and I'm pretty sure it's the game ability to show stats in a clean (and non-distracting) way.
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Old 01-19-2024, 04:40 PM   #66
james17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
When I made the decision about MP about a year ago, I worried about the effect on the MP community. I posted at length about this before the release. The reasoning, etc.

I realize that the day after I make a post, most of it is forgotten, but it's my answer to your review of the product as well as the MP part of the post above. I can't continue to litigate this. You can go back and read my posts as easily as I can repost them.

I hope you and others in the MP community reconsider your thumbs-down reviews. I'm not asking for thumbs up if you don't recommend FOF9. I would never do that.

All I ask in return for thousands of hours in the game and all the work I did to try and build what people wanted for MP (I kept going back and adding MP features on request, hoping it would grow the community, but fewer people played FOF8 MP than FOF7 MP, and that was a critical part of the decision) is not to go to the effort of posting a negative review.

As for "hubris" about publishers. I think you're misreading tone. I don't expect it. I've had a few ask about the game, even in the last few years. But in these cases they were expecting me to expand to handle the graphics end. Which means I would have borne the risk. Maybe that works out, but at my age I'm risk-averse and if I had done that on my own, I might not need a publisher.

GMGames didn't ask for an interview. I appreciate what they do, but I can't force myself on any site. All I've heard from them is a request to join my affiliate program. I don't have one. I can't even get a review on Operation Sports, which actually hosts FOFC. Plus, being hearing impaired, I'm not exactly the best interview subject.

Moving on to the releasing players issue. Teams release a lot of players in the NFL at the start of the cycle - even some starters. The question is over what to do when teams get into "cap hell" and simply can't deal with keeping anyone. That's why being a cap guy in the NFL is a full-time job and teams can ease out of that situation before it becomes critical.

So the "long fix" means working on the AI for easing out before teams have to go into a season with six long-term contracts and a ton of dead money. But teams are still going to release a lot of players, as they have in every version. I have them flying too close to the cap now before they think about easing.


I think the game manages the cap pretty realistically. Some pro teams have 20 or more first-rate players and role-players hitting free agency after this year alone. It sometimes can't be helped when you have to stay under the cap, keep your core players, allot some funds for free agency pickups, and fund the amateur draft.
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Old 01-19-2024, 07:57 PM   #67
Solecismic
Solecismic Software
 
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Location: Canton, OH
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
I stopped playing MP after FOF7, maybe during FOF7, so that was a life decision, nothing to do with the game itself since that experience brought so much joy. After all, MP pulled you deep into the experience. Really deep. (I'd spend a lot of time trying to figure out how (or if it was even possible) to be as good as Ben, Quik, Malcpow among many others. That was the big hook for me. The crazy part was that Ben and Quik were open books, sharing all of their knowledge, a lot of what I did was try to consume every piece of information they provided and make it fluent within my own game. Very addicting and appealing to try to "figure it all out". (I was still never really that good at it, despite their efforts to give us all the FOF codex). FOF 7 released November 2014 - Hours played in 2 years: 714 (probably more if FOF7 was release prior to Steam, I can't remember.)

When FOF8 came to fruition, I was definitely out of the MP scene by this point. I considered joining a new league, but after a few test runs in SP, I found myself thinking two things. 1.) There is no way I'm going to be able figure out Gameplanning remotely close to the tweaks that Ben and Quik and the many other good and excellent MP competitors were going to squeeze out of the game. So, MP was out, and 2.) The UI was not easy enough on the eyes. It was a struggle. I tried many times to overcome that, I'm a generally optimistic and open-minded person, especially towards a developer and product that I have strong loyalty ties to, so I didn't not like it on purpose, but it set off a chemical imbalance in my soul somehow and I just couldn't get past that. FOF8 Release November 2016 - Hours played in the 6 years since release: 68

FOF9 appeared on my radar as surprisingly as Aliens in Brazil might. I purchased FOF9 (loyalty for the win) and loaded it up. I was interested. Excited even, but my expectations were calmed by the thought of having to endure whatever it was in FOF 8 that made my eye twitch. Within about 5 seconds of loading FOF9, I'm pretty sure my first words were, "Praise Jesus!". Because guess what? Jim (the one-man band) had obviously put forth some sort of herculean effort to redesign the look of FOF9. The sweats were gone, the eye twitching was gone, the feeling of warmth upon looking at FOF9 returned goodness to my soul. Basically, I was very, very pleased by this change. When I looked at all the screens (which appeared a giant horde of options in new places) I didn't look at it with dread, I looked at it with enthusiasm. Playbooks? Let's go! Let's figure these out. New stats, which ones? Let's investigate. How do I do x, y, and z? Gotta be here somewhere! What's the best way to walk through the off-season? Best way to walk-through the regular season? What buttons clicks do I want to be my 'routine' when simming? It's been a lot of fun, honestly. Now, for those who play MP, I understand the frustrations there (especially for ongoing leagues that are being asked to maintain FOF8 and FOF9) and that's got to be a bummer, but for me, I felt like FOF9 SP put Solecismic back on the right track and it's been a lot of fun learning and playing FOF again. FOF9 Released November 2023 - Hours played: 178 and counting 2.5 months after release.

So, something happened for me personally between FOF8 and FOF9, and I'm pretty sure it's the game ability to show stats in a clean (and non-distracting) way.

Thanks, Dutch. Yes, FOF7 was sold only through ViaTech for about a year, then both Steam and ViaTech afterward. It was popular enough that Steam offered me a highlighted position in one of their sales, and then pre-Greenlit FOF8 when I asked about the procedure and timeline for a new campaign.

With FOF8, what prompted the idea that a complete redesign was necessary was getting a hi-res monitor. All of a sudden, I realized my eyes were getting old and FOF7/8 did not handle hi-res well at all. The old MFC idea of setting a size and a specific font, which was fine back in the early 2000s, can quickly become an eye test. MFC had evolved with proportional display capability a long time ago, and I began experimenting.

Because it's Microsoft's own tool, there's so much you can do with it beyond accepting the base graphics set. C# MFC is the same code base, slightly different default exposure through what they call Forms. I'm comfortable with a lot of languages, but faster with C++.

I might change the default font with 9.0e. Go from 11 to 12 with Calibri. Just in case I'm losing sales from people with hi-res monitors who start the game full-screen and see far too much blank space before they realize that's partially in their control. There seem to be fewer people on lower-end laptops where full-screen and a 12-point font choice mean there's no room for anything and a lot of ...s in grids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by james17
I think the game manages the cap pretty realistically. Some pro teams have 20 or more first-rate players and role-players hitting free agency after this year alone. It sometimes can't be helped when you have to stay under the cap, keep your core players, allot some funds for free agency pickups, and fund the amateur draft.

For the most part, it does. I don't think I'm going to end up changing much. I really hope people aren't too sensitive to seeing 10-20 releases at once - that's just a reality and to make that go away is going to make it easier to beat the AI. My goal is an initial year-end release of about ten players per team and at least half of the teams able to make realistic efforts to obtain top free-agents.

The issue, as I see it, is when teams have committed too much future money and don't ease their way out properly. Cleveland is a challenge with the default player file. What I'm trying to avoid is when teams have to release just about everyone except the quarterback and it takes three years to get out from under this.

There are other minor issues as well. Releasing players who were just drafted shouldn't happen. Maybe a 5th rounder at the start of training camp, but certainly no one who already has a bigger bonus accrual than that salary - and no one immediately after the draft. I'm still not quite happy with the position distributions of what's available. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 01-19-2024, 08:52 PM   #68
aisle_nine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
Cleveland is a challenge with the default player file.


Nah, that's easy for Cleveland. Just add a player status modifier labeled "arrested" and give it a return timeline of 20 years to life
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Old 01-21-2024, 04:44 PM   #69
Mo.Raider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
When I made the decision about MP about a year ago, I worried about the effect on the MP community. I posted at length about this before the release. The reasoning, etc.

I realize that the day after I make a post, most of it is forgotten, but it's my answer to your review of the product as well as the MP part of the post above. I can't continue to litigate this. You can go back and read my posts as easily as I can repost them.

I hope you and others in the MP community reconsider your thumbs-down reviews. I'm not asking for thumbs up if you don't recommend FOF9. I would never do that.

All I ask in return for thousands of hours in the game and all the work I did to try and build what people wanted for MP (I kept going back and adding MP features on request, hoping it would grow the community, but fewer people played FOF8 MP than FOF7 MP, and that was a critical part of the decision) is not to go to the effort of posting a negative review.

As for "hubris" about publishers. I think you're misreading tone. I don't expect it. I've had a few ask about the game, even in the last few years. But in these cases they were expecting me to expand to handle the graphics end. Which means I would have borne the risk. Maybe that works out, but at my age I'm risk-averse and if I had done that on my own, I might not need a publisher.

GMGames didn't ask for an interview. I appreciate what they do, but I can't force myself on any site. All I've heard from them is a request to join my affiliate program. I don't have one. I can't even get a review on Operation Sports, which actually hosts FOFC. Plus, being hearing impaired, I'm not exactly the best interview subject.

Moving on to the releasing players issue. Teams release a lot of players in the NFL at the start of the cycle - even some starters. The question is over what to do when teams get into "cap hell" and simply can't deal with keeping anyone. That's why being a cap guy in the NFL is a full-time job and teams can ease out of that situation before it becomes critical.

So the "long fix" means working on the AI for easing out before teams have to go into a season with six long-term contracts and a ton of dead money. But teams are still going to release a lot of players, as they have in every version. I have them flying too close to the cap now before they think about easing.

I have been playing every version except the cd version. I remember the first time I played literally thinking how did this guy do this, and how did he read my mind? I had always played football games since a kid, and was enjoying FOF more than any of those in my 30's.

I have never left a review. I would leave one now, but it would be for the developer alone. I purchased FOF9 solely on your past work but have yet to play because of time, and quite frankly I think FOF8 was a work of art (still playing). I mean that literally. I am tech averse and I just marvel at how you were able to put true football knowledge into pc programming. The work you put into that thing must have been incredible. Then even after release free update upon free update! I saw a few of the reviews and didn't hesitate to purchase based purely on past performance by the developer.

Anyway, I hate to see someone with the work ethic and passion for their work you have get down. Chin up brother. I think if everyone was being honest they knew that any bugs that were discovered would be taken care of leaving a very solid product.

P.S. I get what you are saying about hearing impairment. My wife has had hearing aids since she was about 30. They work great most of the time, but not on the phone. The funny thing is when she tells someone this, they often say "maybe we could FaceTime instead".
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Old 01-28-2024, 09:32 PM   #70
cmatsko
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I almost never post and honesty I'm not sure if I'm posting in the correct spot but I've played every version of FOF and this has been by far the best football sim around. I personally learned to love the older versions where you could arrange all your tabs around the screen. It's nice to able to see all your options without clicking on other tabs. With that said I love the setup of OOTP and I was extremely excited when you partnered with them. It was sad to see it didn't work but such is life. I thought the game was going to die after that and it didn't so I'm happy as sh&^. I haven't put much time into this new version yet because of the depth chart issue I'm having so I'm waiting for that bug to be fixed...not sure why I can only fill my QB and OL depth but can't for any other positions. Either way I'm glad you are still producing this game. Thank You...I'd also love it if you would bring back the option to sim one game at a time not sure why I love doing that but I do.
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Old 01-29-2024, 05:43 AM   #71
Haiku
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Originally Posted by cmatsko View Post
I haven't put much time into this new version yet because of the depth chart issue I'm having so I'm waiting for that bug to be fixed...not sure why I can only fill my QB and OL depth but can't for any other positions.


There must be something specific on your end. I am able to fill all positions on the depth chart.
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Old 01-29-2024, 08:29 AM   #72
Capital
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I do think "smaller" type developers who use Steam effectively have gravitated to First Access status for their games before the actual release. It's become essentially a beta period for games utilizing your user base. It also creates some marketing buzz as well.

I play many STS type card games and almost every game in this genre utilizes this method. Personally, I do not purchase first access games anymore, but have them on my wishlist and watch their progress - to ultimately see if I want to purchase them. These games just come out better after first access than they would just being released. I've played many FOF versions and a first access period would probably help. It would be like being on patch 3 when the game is released.

It also shows the public, which may not be familiar with your title, that we have a good game ready to be played but improvements are being made, before the actual launch. It seems effective.
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Old 01-30-2024, 10:21 PM   #73
docholliday
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Yo Jim! It took me a a bit and I had to adjust the way I play a few thing (letting CPU make minor roster moves has been awesome in FOF9), but I have now gotten in a smooth gameplay loop. Ripping through season faster than FOF8 which I think this game is all about for me. I enjoy watching the playoffs and just seeing if I can get a dynasty. I even appreciate the trade interface as it stops you from taking advantage of the CPU.

Anyway, great game. Enjoying it more than 8 after getting over the intial shock. 😁
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Old 01-31-2024, 04:23 AM   #74
Stanley92
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Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
For the most part, it does. I don't think I'm going to end up changing much. I really hope people aren't too sensitive to seeing 10-20 releases at once - that's just a reality and to make that go away is going to make it easier to beat the AI. My goal is an initial year-end release of about ten players per team and at least half of the teams able to make realistic efforts to obtain top free-agents.

The issue, as I see it, is when teams have committed too much future money and don't ease their way out properly. Cleveland is a challenge with the default player file. What I'm trying to avoid is when teams have to release just about everyone except the quarterback and it takes three years to get out from under this.

There are other minor issues as well. Releasing players who were just drafted shouldn't happen. Maybe a 5th rounder at the start of training camp, but certainly no one who already has a bigger bonus accrual than that salary - and no one immediately after the draft. I'm still not quite happy with the position distributions of what's available. We'll see how it goes.

I throw in my 2 cent on this big releasing at the start of a new game. Why not first and foremost increase the squad from 60 to 70. Those days in pre-season teams might handle bigger squads in this game, as they do IRL. Think they got a diminishing roster during pre-season , but this game don't have to be that correct. However a squad of 70 might help both you and the AI to evaluate players until they cut it to 53. The realise at the end of seasons is just what it is. How teams in real life handle that could many times makes you wonder. A combo of economics and skill and ideas on what next years team will be can't be similar for each team. So if one team make big cuts then I have no problem with.

To backup that wish of a slightly bigger squad one has to think that many players have an overall rating of 0 and 1 (some even 10, lowest)
When the game start up those could have very different final ratings depending on the X-factor. So every start will have the AI cut different players.
Overall I think it's a good game. Much easier to see (my old eyes) already than previous versions. Increasing fonts even more could help even more.

But on depth charts one can only mess around with the starting player on each formation, and maybe a base depth chart on each position could help. Example is that behind your starting QB you can't set who is number 2.

Also I would be happy to be able to see that basic Depth Chart on more than my own team. (Helps a lot on my tests on player files). In real life it's almost certain common knowledge on how depth charts looks for every team, so why not FOF9 ?

Could the eagerness of getting a Fullback to every team (since all teams got a listed starting FB in that column) be diminished. I see crazy signings of FB from the FA pool by teams that got no FB in their roster at start, then they never use them since they have a playbook with hardly any FB used. Lots of TE could fill that role as IRL.
Also making it possible to add a OT on one of the TE spots to the Jumbo package would help. Very common too these days. 23 personal needs 3 TE and a FB, so good if one OT could be moved in on those.
Little more flexibility on thos DC picks overall.

Since one can put a RB on any WR position why not Deebo Samuel and some other WRs into a RB position.

Last edited by Stanley92 : 01-31-2024 at 04:40 AM.
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