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Old 10-04-2017, 10:14 PM   #1
triplechin's Arena
OVR: 2
Join Date: Jul 2010

CFM is in need of a major re-haul. It is my hope that EA copies this word for word. All feedback is welcome, I believe if sim gamers get on the same page we can make unified demands and let EA know exactly what we want from franchise mode. This is a draft of my ideas on how to make franchise fun and realistic.

The whole connected franchise aspect has not taken a significant step forward from the franchise modes of old. It has been shown in other games that many players, not just hardcore gamers, enjoy an in-depth franchise mode. It is time to bring back the sim experience to franchise. The most important step to do that is to remove XP progression and introduce a realistic, but unpredictable system. I have detailed my system in another post, but it boils down to each player having a certain percentage chance of becoming an overall after the season (Not similar to the old progression system with predetermined potential). Functions built upon XP are a waste of time. XP simply does not cut it for realism’s sake and it must be removed to make the necessary strides.

Football appeals to a lot of people because of the strategy that goes into it, on gameday as well as every other day of the year. Yet, there feels like there is no complexity, meaning, or depth when building a team, preparing for a game, or improving your staff. This is what franchise is all about, yet we do not get to experience that. A franchise experience should be about being realistic and challenging. If absolutely necessary, keep the XP as an option for arcade or competitive franchises. But SIM players need an option too.

The pillars of franchise are gameplay, management, presentation, and immersion. They are still trying to improve gameplay, so I will not mention it for the most part. We have a lot of options in Madden to speed through the game, like play the moments, but what about the depth in the mode? The crucial aspects that need to be much better than they are in the present state of CFM are management and immersion.

Thank you to DFinch for making me many photos, as well DeuceDouglas for allowing me to use some of his photos. DeuceDouglas’s post was a big help, and his mock ups are wonderful, so a big thanks to him. Also, Toupal and SyncereBlackout have worked closely with me on this, so a big thank you to them as well. You will also see the influence NBA 2K and NFL Head Coach had in this post.


Revamping progression is a major step in the right direction. Unpredictability is needed, but must come in a realistic way. This makes things like getting rid of a vet for a rookie harder, or not giving a rookie a chance because he has slow dev. Even Bill Belichick hung onto Terrence Wheatley for a few years. This already brings a challenge to roster building, as you cannot count on a stud RB to be your only starter for 10 years. There are countless examples of players having ups and downs, peaking early, one year wonders etc. And no GM could predict with certainty how good they would be each year, yet we can with the current system. When you draft a rookie, you do not know if he is a bust as soon as he is drafted, they generally get a few years to see what they got; yet, if you draft a slow dev player, he is getting cut immediately. OK, enough about why it is necessary to revamp, and let’s look at features that could be implemented with a realistic and unpredictable progression system.

Team Building/Management

Player Potential Feedback: You will be able to see the current attributes of your players as normal, however you will have a new tab for progression/regression feedback from your scouts and/or coaches (This is all you will view for progression info. You would not see exact percentage unless you edited a player). Depending on a scout’s grade and threshold, you will get different feedback. A roster scout with an A in potential scouting will have the most accurate (although no one is 100%!) feedback. For example, if your 82 rated 3rd year player has a 30% chance to progress to a 90-99, the scout may say the player may be ready to make the jump to stardom. An example on the other end would be if you had a 32 year old RB who had a 65% chance of severely decreasing in overall, the scout would say that it doesn’t seem like the player will have much left in the tank after this season, start preparing for the future. Scouts with lower grades would obviously be inaccurate more of the time, or have no opinion on players. Coaches would provide feedback on their specialty (DB coach would give his opinion on DBs, etc.).

Progression Feedback: You will get feedback from your roster scouts as well as relevant coaches.
They may provide specific advice as well as give you information about how they feel about the player’s future growth.

Regression Feedback: The same concept applies to a player at any point in their career.
Moving on from a veteran is not so cut and dry now.

Opponent’s Players: The same would apply when viewing other teams’ players. This may lead to a difference in value between what your scouts think the player is worth/potential versus the other team’s scouts, therefore adding a layer of complexity to trades and free agency.

Player Morale: Morale will play a part in managing players. Player morale is affected by things such as performance, team performance, game time/snap count, role, and contract status. Morale affects performance on the field, as well as relations with the team off of it. This requires proper tuning, because in 2K it is too much of a headache. However, this is a simple one that prevents you from having a 90 OVR backup playing 2 snaps a game. Immersion is key in franchise. Unhappy players could hold out for a trade, demand a release, or take a ratings hit. This would also depend on player traits such as competitiveness. A 1/5 competitor may not care to sit on the bench, where a 5/5 would want a starting role.


Scouting rookies would be revamped. Prospect scouts would have four grades. Potential, Attributes, Speed, and Specialty (These will be detailed later). Throughout the year, your scouts would give the upcoming rookies grades for athleticism, and relevant attributes. The more time you spend scouting a prospect, the more accurate the scout report gets (to a certain threshold). Scouts also look for hindrances and developmental badges (both detailed in the progression overhaul), but are by no means guaranteed to detect them. A comment could be included when you scroll over the grade, such as “Quick burst!” “Poor hands” or “Amazing arm!” Storylines for prospects would still be included.

Scouting Report: An example of a more complex scouting report.

Pro Days: You can also go to certain prospects’ pro days and bring in a certain number of prospects for visits. Pro days would give you another letter grade category (separate from your initial scouting grades). There can be surprisingly poor pro days, and some realistic situations where a prospect runs on a strained foot or something like that, which may lead you to not trust the pro day grade in that circumstance.

Combine: Combine results are made available, and your medical staff will evaluate the upcoming prospects’ medical history and give physicals to get a detailed look at their bodies.

In house visits: You can bring in a certain number of prospects for private workouts. Players brought in would give you a numerical range of certain attributes that you can test, such as route running, and give your scouts a chance to look closer and perhaps get a better sense of potential. Balance would be important here, as it is in any aspect, but this would give you more information to look at during the draft as well as a better feeling of success.

Draft Profiles: Here’s an example from Toupal. There would be a revamped and more comprehensive draft profile for each rookie. Rookies would have green flags and red flags on their profile. Red flags include “throw hitch (affects progression),” work ethic/other concerns, and injury concerns. Rookie college stats. Player comparison, medical info. Brings more life to the draft.

Mock Drafts: Mock drafts start being released towards the end of the season or early in the offseason. Going by the mock drafts, you can get a sense of where certain prospects are expected to go, a more detailed projection than by round. You can also see if certain prospects shoot up mock draft boards after good combines, pro days, workouts, that may catch your eye and allow you to take a look before it is too late.

Rumor Mill: This is where tweets or news stories will come up linking a team to a player that they really like. For example, a tweet from Mayock- “The Jaguars have had several visits with Josh Allen, and it is believed they will take him over Darnold of USC.” Your assistant GM will also inform you of rumblings they have heard around the league, such as a team wanting to trade ahead of you for Trubisky, leading you to pull the trigger to move up that one spot.

The Draft

Hitting on a prospect is not as obvious as it is under the current system, but not impossible. We need features to make the draft more challenging, complex, and immersive.

Ratings: You cannot see the rookie ratings until the draft is done (at least)! It does not make sense to draft a QB with your first pick and then know if you need to take another right when you make that pick (RGIII and Kirk Cousins were taken in same draft).

Presentation: Have the audience boo or cheer for certain picks, can coincide with storylines too. Ideally, almost all if not all rookies would have prerecorded names that the game can say. Have the commissioner walk up to the podium and say welcome to the draft, and the more commentary during the draft, the better.

Asking Staff: During the draft, similar to 2K, you would be able to ask your scouts, GM, coaches, whoever,
who they think you should draft with the pick.

Post Draft Grades: Going along with presentation, have talking heads give their post draft grades for each team.
See what the perception is around the league of every teams’ draft!

UDFA: UDFA screen after the post draft recap. Teams will negotiate with UDFAs before going to the regular free agency pool. Only information available is still scouting reports just like during the draft.
Supplemental Draft: Rarely used but still used, doesn’t have to be too detailed.

Free Agency

Screen: Have a better screen for free agency, let us see their attributes. Let us look at player cards and see past stats. It doesn’t have to be too crazy, just let us see relevant information. Allow the free agents to be sorted by however you please, like a normal roster screen (sort by speed, catching, etc.).

Competing Offers: You cannot see the exact point value of what other teams are offering to the player. The player may reveal it to you if they want you to beat the deal or match it, but they do not have to.

Free Agent Interests

Motivating Factors: Players will have different motivating factors, such as ambition for team success, individual success, loyalty, money, and other features. Ranked out of 5 stars. A loyal player with low care for team success could remain with an unsuccessful team for his career like Joe Thomas (I’m sure he wants to win but you get my point). A player concerned with individual success would value a starting a role more than being on a successful team. A 4/5 loyal player may bring you a contract to allow you to match it, whereas a 5/5 may even take a little hometown discount. Ultimately, I think these things should not modify the negotiations a ton, but have moderate effects. No player will sign for minimum with the Pats if the Browns are offering 8 mil guaranteed. These factors will also change as time goes on. Perhaps that player concerned with individual success has already scored his big contract, and is now looking for a Super Bowl before retiring. It adds more nuance to the contract dynamic.

Customizable: Contracts can be structured however you please. The FA would take into account guarantees, AAV, and likely to be earned money (salary in beginning of contract, salaries on years with moderate to high guaranteed amount) to prevent taking advantage of the AI by offering $100 million non-guaranteed year 6. Eventually add incentives, roster bonuses, etc.

Roles: Player roles would affect contract negotiations and player morale when on a team. During negotiations, roles can affect contract value from the player’s perspective. A player may take a shorter deal with a starter role (Prove it type contract), rather than a longer deal with a backup role. An injury prone player or old vet may rather be part of an RBBC than the lead back. The roles also affect morale of players on a team. If you sign three players to be the lead back, someone will be unhappy. If you sign four linebackers promised starting roles but only play 4-2-5 nickel all game, some players will be unhappy. Conversely, if you can get a decently rated player to agree to be a backup qb, he will be content to be on the bench. Positions would also be preferred by certain players, such as Chris Long leaving the Pats to be a pass rusher (DE) instead of being used more in coverage.

Promises: Promises would be incorporated into roles also. These are tied to organizational roles as well, making them more dynamic (detailed later). These can be handled in a couple of different ways, but I imagine it as giving someone a lesser role, and promising that role will get better X seasons down the road. Signing young players with a future starter role or future contributor role would give you the option of 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years as a backup before they are expected to compete for a starting role. So if you had an 85 rated DT but he was 34 years old, you could try to sign an 82 to rotate for a season and promise him starter snaps after 1 year. Following through on these promises could get better reception from other players/agents. These are basically dynamic or modified roles, where at some point (offseason?) you could choose to promote the player to the promised role or not.

Restructure: Contracts can be restructured or extended at any point, as long as both parties agree.

Holdouts: Players in the last year of their contract who are youngish or in their prime will possibly holdout for a new deal if they are not being paid close to their value. Ex – Aaron Donald, Leveon. Can depend on or be affected by “leverage” which would be if there is a significant difference in overall between the holdout and next player in line. Holdouts can come back with or without a new deal, but can affect morale. If management caves to the holdout’s demands, other players on the roster gain +1 leverage? The very rare rookie holdout/refuse to sign is possible.


Value: Trade values are based on input from scouts and coaches, which would allow for more organic trades. One team thinks a player has a high potential while the other team doesn’t believe so? Maybe that team would try to acquire that player and get him for cheaper than they expected. Trading with rivals would also be more difficult, because teams do not want to trade to their direct competitor. Organizational roles also factor into value. Contract value is also taken into account when trading.

Negotiating: Teams would also respond to your trade offer, indicating what they want, or if the player is untradeable. A little more interaction than a simple yes or no. They could make a counteroffer, ask for something, or give an indication of what they want, even if you do not have what they want (We want to upgrade LB, none of your players are what we’re looking for). If the player is untradeable, they can indicate so as well.

Staff Building

Roster Scouts

Player Scouting: Roster scouts would be used to scout players already in the league. Potential percentages could be scouted as well as ratings if you choose to hide true ratings. These scouts also try to diagnose what developmental factors (sitting a year, gametime, practice focus) a player needs to get the best out of him.

Gameplan Scouting: They are also the scouts used to scout for your upcoming opponents, and help you make a gameplan. They provide information on opponents’ tendencies and most called plays, statistics and more. The better a roster scout is at gameplan scouting, the more detailed tendencies you will receive, and/or you will receive more tendencies than a poorer scout.

Prospect Scouts

Prospect scouts would have four grades as detailed earlier. Potential, Attributes, Speed, and Specialty.

Potential: This is how good they are at scouting potential

Attributes: This is how good they are at scouting attributes (such as… catching, tackling, etc.)

Speed: This is how fast they can scout a player/ go through their assignments. This allows you to look at more prospects in less time, or get a more thorough look at a specific prospect in less time.

Specialty: This would be their individual boost (QB specialist is extra accurate at scouting QBs, etc.).

Head Scout

Directive: You can also have a head scout that scouts as well as manages your other prospect scouts (can delegate scouting to him if you don’t want to manually do it). You can give him a directive (find WRs) so he can send the scouts on trips you want them to.

Scout Compilation: He would compile scouting reports from all your prospect scouts, as well as give his opinion on certain players.

Draft Board: He prepares a preliminary draft board as well.

Position Coaches

Positional coaches: They could have positive/negative attribute boosts, potential chance increase/decrease, and teaching specialties. That is not to say that every coach would have all of these effects, just that they could. For example, a coach known to get production out of running backs but burn through them quickly could have a +4% chance of 80-85 potential, but a -10% chance of 90-95, or it could be age dependent, where 20-24 year olds get a +5% for the tier above their current rating, whereas 25+ get a -5%. The system allows for this to be very specific and allow for all coaches to have different impacts and personalities. An old school LB coach can give a +1 for block shedding and tackling, and new school LB coach can give a +1 for zone coverage and finesse move (no physical attribute bonuses! Also, bonuses should be small, a coach should be coveted for a +2 or +3 impact). Possibilities here are endless.


Coordinators: Coordinators have impacts that effects their side of the ball. They also affect the gameplan. Coordinators with better ratings will put together better gameplans, but they use the information your scouts provide. If your roster scouts are poor and don’t prepare useful information, your gameplans will suffer. Head coaches can choose to take charge of any playcalling/gameplanning duties over a coordinator. Special teams coordinator included as well! It is more on gameplay to make special teams more important but franchise must be prepared for whenever this happens.

Assistant GM

Rumor Mill: Your Assistant GM would have relationships with teams and get rumors from around the league.

Trade Finder: He would function as the trade finder/trade block as well. Click on a player on your team and he will shop him around, bringing you offers from around the league, or telling you what a team would want in return for a specific package.

Negotiating: He can be sent to negotiate with free agents and let you offer or reject the best contract he can get the free agent to agree to (Or he may come with no offer).

Medical Staff: The medical staff would give you estimates on how long an injury would take to heal, when the player can be brought back early for action, and if players have concerning health issues. They evaluate medical issues and body durability of rookies as well.

Strength Coach: He would have some influence over injury and stamina ratings for your team. He also helps with injury rehab. Something else I’ve been thinking about is he can affect the ability for players to get in shape and help change players’ weights. A vet can gain weight to add strength, lose agility, or lose weight to gain speed, lose strength.

Staff Negotiations

These staff members can be hired by you, and there would be a staff budget to keep things balanced.
Again, staff negotiations can be a bit similar to 2K in this aspect, except coaches can be fired midseason.


Preparation: You would prepare your team for the upcoming game (If you choose not to delegate this). This includes a combination of scouting and practice. No retrying practice.

Gameplan: Have a gameplan whipped up each week by whatever coach is in charge of offense/defense (Head Coach or Coordinator delegation). Gameplans would weight different plays in the playbook differently than they are normally weighted. (If the upcoming opponent is particularly susceptible to deep passes, more deep pass plays will be suggested.)

Using the star system already in place, each coordinator would affect the star ratings of their side of the ball. A pass happy offensive coordinator will increase the passing plays by half a star. Star players would also affect play calling. For example, having a star RB #1 on the depth chart would put half a star towards running plays. The final piece would be the gameplan, which would weight plays differently as well, and could impact plays by up to a star. So, combining all these factors should allow teams to adapt their play as the teams evolve, as well as factor in gameplanning and team specific matchups. This allows teams to adapt to star players getting injured and breathe some life into playing franchise games with a relatively easy fix.

Practice: Provides small boosts or detracts if it is a good/bad week of practice. This will open up more commentary options – “Good week of practice!” Can get injured in practice. QB wears non contact jersey, as well as any player dealing with minor injuries. The practice squad is there as well.

Scouting: Gather information about your upcoming opponent. Opponents breakdown – blitz on 3rd, throw outside the numbers, long/short throw success, etc. conservative, aggressive playcall, personnel tendencies. Show opponents key players and biggest mismatches for and against. If a key player for the opponent is injured, have the scouts point that out as a point of emphasis. Deuce has this covered well, but the basic idea is to gain all relevant information and tendencies that will allow the coaches to make an effective gameplan.

Focus: You can focus on players in practice to attempt to improve them further. You can try to help work through a player’s stiff hips, hitch in throwing motion, or other negative badges. The key word is try, you are not guaranteed to fix a player’s issue and certainly are not assured it will be fixed in one week of practice. You can try to alter player’s traits (Get young QB to become “Ideal” for sense pressure) as well. I am trying to make this more of a risk/reward mechanic, because it seems a bit too simple to just focus on specific aspects, but struggling here. I am also debating if this should be strictly an offseason/training camp feature or not.

Playbook knowledge: It is important for players to have time to study the playbook and practice or they may mess up. Players can run wrong routes, or routes that are not at the designed distance, if knowledge is low. Defenders may mess up a zone, get confused during an audible.

Rustiness: Players coming back from injury, or having not played in a while, will have a rustiness factor. This can be reduced through practice and gametime. It reduces stats by some small multiplier, reducing further as the factor is higher. A player off a torn ACL coming back midseason will need to be eased back into action, they will not have their max overall right away.

TC focus: You choose drills for each player/positional group. This can influence individual attribute progression likelihood. (Throw balls through a tire, may influence accuracy percentage. Catching from a jug machine may increase catching percentage.) This is also the opportunity to work off player hindrances (detailed in progression post).


Stat Scaler: Add a slider(s) to scale user played games stats to allow them to be normalized. This allows the user to play whatever setting they are comfortable at and still have realistic stats. A simple scale may be a start, but ideally you could scale each individual aspect – pass yards, rush yards, tackles (This way you don’t end up with scaled stats of like 12 tackles but 600 pass yards). Could potentially also scale the snaps in a game, and then add the average statistic per snap, but that sounds difficult.

It's In The Game! We need PUP, RFA, 5th year options, full 90 man roster, the waiver wire, comp picks, 46 man active rosters, select team captains, etc. These are options in the real NFL, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be in franchise mode as well.

True Injury System

Body: The body is split into ten different sections, head, torso, left shoulder, right shoulder, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg, left foot, and right foot. They each have a durability rating. As the player gets hit more often, the body is less durable. The lower the durability, in combination with injury ratings, increases the chance of injury to that body part. A player rushed back from a shoulder injury will have lower shoulder durability until it is fully healed. A player who has had 2 ACL tears will have a permanent hit to durability on that leg, so it may cap out at 75 instead of 100, so you have to treat them more carefully throughout the season. Players naturally have different durability on their body parts, and this helps a wear and tear system.

Stamina: A season stamina where as a player gets more touches and the season goes on, it decreases. It can be a modifier to a player’s stamina rating or implemented independently. A player getting a ton of touches may burn out by week 8. Creates more a of a difference between TNF and MNF. You may give a lot of vets practices off, so they can recoup more stamina. It can also help create the “rookie wall” a lot of players face in their first year in the league around the last quarter of the season. Younger players recoup stamina faster. This system is what prevents 99/100 teams from having a RB get the rock 400 times, although there are rare cases like David Johnson. This requires careful tuning and preferably a slider to go along with it, just in case of errors, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Injury Depth: More types of injuries and more than a simple injured or not injured. Players can have multiple injuries as well, they can tear an ACL or tear their ACL, MCL, and PCL. Have an injured phase that is standard for a specific injury, and then rehab starts. Players rehab differently, can be based on a trait or the toughness rating.
Estimation: Your medical staff gives you a rough estimate on injury time, but it is not 100% accurate. Perhaps a player rehabs slower or faster than expected, your staff will re-evaluate and declare him fit enough to play or not.

Injury Effect: Players suffering injuries have a chance to have a permanent rating decrease to relevant physical attributes. Chance of maintaining their current physical is determined by age, and relevant ratings (toughness, traits, or both?). Only severe injuries have a chance of causing a ratings hit, no decreases for sprained fingers or muscle cramps.

Organizational Roles: This was formerly known as Player Roles in Madden ’07. This adds more depth to franchise mode. Players can earn or fill into these roles. These roles have certain effects, a couple are detailed below. The effects of these roles can be better balanced or tweaked (Team Mentor can increase other players’ potential at the position maybe), but it is a great feature brought to my attention by Lexicon. Also includes team captains!

Commentary: More commentary is always better, it makes it feel like the games are connected, the playoffs and SB need to feel more significant. We need more commentary that can be applied in franchise mode and less made for the first season. Everyone is sick of hearing about Jared Goff’s tough rookie season in 2029. Have more commentary that can be used by multiple players so that it feels fresh. For example, have “Player X was the leading receiver in yardage last season, he had a surprisingly terrific campaign.” Or “Player Y struggled to lead the offense his rookie season, but he has picked up his performance this year.” Reference passed games, both for teams and individual players. Give us updates on playoff races, scenarios, #1 pick race, etc.

News immersion
: Have tweets, and news stories acknowledge defending champs, playoff rematches, SB losers, top of the draft teams, rivalries, broken records or player on pace to break record, and more. Include things like power rankings that people see during the season.

Dynamic Crowds/Atmosphere

Crowds: An underrated feature! Make playoff games feel like playoff games. We need dynamic crowds. Games at different stadiums with different levels of competition should feel different.

Living sidelines: It is a bit jarring to see a random dude wearing number 12 on the New England sideline. Emotion at appropriate times from coaches and players makes the games feel more meaningful.

Rival teams: Again, 2K has this. This builds up the franchise and makes it feel more organic. Match up against the same team three times in a row in the playoffs? There is going to be a natural rivalry there, and the atmosphere of the game can get better. Divisional games should be more intense. Special commentary can be recorded for rivalry games, H2H stats can be shown, and much more. If a rival plucks one of your players in free agency, we can get a passing comment there (Maybe player is looking for revenge – Favre? Or team wants to show up the former player) This helps immerse yourself into the franchise instead of feeling like you are playing a string of loosely correlated games.

Background Info: Drives home immersion in a franchise. Let us see playoff and championship banners, ring ceremonies, jersey patches, hall of fame trackers, show former SB, AFC, and NFC winners.

Historical Stats: We need to see a player’s stats for each season of his career, this does not really need further explanation. Let us see when a player is an All-Pro, the 2021 MVP, a 2018 Pro Bowler, or the 2019 OROY on their player card as well.

More Stats: Stats like QB pressures, catches allowed, hurries, and other in depth stats need to be in the game. It gives a better idea of how players are doing, and provides some necessary context.

Presentation Improvements

Presentation: Better, more realistic presentation. You really can’t beat DeuceDouglas’s, so I’ll just point there for anything presentation related.

In game assets: The videos from real life during pregame are
incredibly jarring. They really break up immersion and ruin anything the pregame presentation may have going for it. Also, Toupal’s idea of using action shots for generated players instead of mug shots makes for a better look.

UI: Make it smoother and more functional. Have a functional news hub in a more accessible, better organized location. DeuceDouglas has some fantastic mock ups for these as well as the offseason screen that keeps everything important in at the forefront. There’s not much room for improvement over them so I’ll just put his mock ups here. 2K also has an offseason checklist but I prefer the look of the tiled menu.

Calendar: Add a calendar to the normal schedule. Makes it easier to get a sense of upcoming events.

Highlight reel of plays that happened throughout the week, season, and playoffs. Use logs from simulated games to then simulate a play with that outcome. Can use highlights from games played if that is possible. I know in FIFA they have a highlights section after the match, so if a few of those could be exported to the highlight reel, it would be a big success!

AI FA plan

Team Needs: There will be in depth team needs that allow for more nuance in free agency from AI controlled teams.

Positional Draft Depth: Would help AI determine if a position should be signed in FA or go after in draft

Team/GM traits: Teams or GMs can have traits that dictate a little more how the AI manages them. Ex. passive FA (Packers) aggressive (Broncos) intermediate (Pats)

Hot Seat: There will be a hot-seat for coaches and GMs. This allows the AI to make better decisions on when to fire a coach midseason. A contender that starts 0-8 will probably fire their head coach. Coaches can get more leeway if they are proven, and less if they are a new or unsuccessful coach. There can also be a morale effect during turbulent times that is affected by the proven/unproven factor.

Preseason Opponents: You should be able to pick your preseason opponents.

Joint Practices: You will have the ability to schedule joint-practices with preseason opponents, which will allow you to get a better look at those teams players, and build relationship with said team. It is usually more competitive, so you will most likely get more out of these practices. Can only schedule with a max of 2 out of 4 opponents. This is also a nice way to practice with other users in an online CFM.

Customizable Depth Chart/Snap Counts

Depth Charts: Let us have a few slots for different depth charts. A regular depth chart, a preseason depth chart, a blowout depth chart, whatever the user wants. Allow us to name the slots.

Snap Counts: A snap count or snap sharing mechanic. Let me really split up my RBBC or have my DEs rotate. If I have two 80 OVR DEs, and I want them to split snaps 50/50, let me do that.

Team Types: There will be different team types, such as rebuilding, contender, and SB favorite. These will have an influence over what types of free agents teams are interested in and what types of trades they will make. The types are dynamic and can change during the season, since there are so few games that a decent win streak can mean a team has a shot as a contender, even if they were expected to be in a rebuild.


There is so much to be said for AI, most of it is obvious, but just wanted to mention it. The AI needs to be improved. Assets must be valued much better and more accurately to how they are valued in real life. The 1st pick should be costly, and it should be nearly impossible to trade for a franchise QB. Free agent and draft logic must continue to improve. We need uniqueness from the AI too, each team should feel different. The teams should adapt to their new coaches and personnel as well, the 2017 Pats should play differently than the 2028 Pats. AI in and out of gameplay needs to be upgraded. The QB is the centerpiece of a football team, and as we have seen, the CPU QB AI needs to improve. Football is about strategy, so we need competent opponents. The sim engine needs to be tuned to be more accurate as well.


Create Team/Edit Team: 2K’s system is good. Allow for full customization, or allow players to download custom images or templates from the community.

Division Realignment: 2K has this, let players customize however they want. This can also allow players to insert created teams or classic teams.

Expansion: Add expansion options in the same vein that 2K (And now NHL) has added in their GM mode.

Uniform Changes: Let players change uniforms without moving, teams have rebranded many times without moving.

Stadium Upgrades: Allow players to upgrade their stadium when they please, rebrand the stadium, all the good stuff. In owner mode, the budget and constraints can take effect.

Create a Player: Allow a player to be created or edited at any point in franchise mode. This should not mess up any goals now, so it should be available.

Custom, Prerecorded Names: Have prerecorded names that players can give to a created character so that the announcers can pronounce his name. Simple and effective. It is a feature in FIFA and allows for more immersion, especially with rookies.

Custom Draft Classes: 2K has this too if you are not sensing a theme. Allow draft classes to be customized and allow the community to share it. This allows for more immersion, as well as making non-standard rosters viable in franchise mode. A problem with using rosters with radicalized ratings is that the draft classes come in and mess it up, this would allow any roster to be viable in franchise. Give users more options and there will be more workarounds and less complaining, period.

Fantasy Draft: Allow the order to be customizable, allow for users to trade picks in the fantasy draft.

Ease of Use: If it is a single player franchise, let the user go to the other side and change whatever is necessary for the CPU team. More options, not less! Allow for player lock so that we can have career mode as a separate mode. These do not need to be connected and would allow career mode to be properly fleshed out without screwing up franchise mode.

Co-Op: Let us have a second controller (couch co-op) or invite another player to play in our franchise, do not restrict it. Incorporate the MUT Squads 3v3 feature to the mode as well if possible.

Create a Fan: Let people have up to 10 custom fan slots. Makes crowds more immersive! A custom chant would be fun too, although I can imagine the issues from allowing people online to record audio haha.

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Old 10-04-2017, 11:53 PM   #2
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Link to the progression post which is referenced several times in this post
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:11 PM   #3
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Good stuff. I just wish this was posted by rex as his plans.

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Old 10-05-2017, 04:19 PM   #4
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Great write-up, triplechin!

As stated above, I wish this was a write-up from Rex, Clint, or John.

I hope they take notice to your work as well and it inspires them to get Madden to the level that we want it at.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:37 PM   #5
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Every time somebody writes one of these for CFM it is always light years better than what we got.


Great write up
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:24 PM   #6
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10/10 post man, great job. I would love if 1/3 of these things were even put into next year's game. I would even spend extra $ on some of it if it were DLC.
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:26 PM   #7
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Just give us the Madden 07 CFM in next years game as online CFM - we'd all be happy, there's no lying about that....
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for the encouraging words.

I don't see how to improve CFM without tearing it down and starting over, but until then they will just be building on a shoddy foundation. The key is getting rid of XP, as long as they build upon a poor progression system, the entire mode will be held back. But, how much of a priority is it... doesn't seem to be one at all. All we can do is vote with our wallets, there's enough good games for me to easily bypass Madden and I feel better not buying it than the previous year when I bought it. This write up was my little bit to explain what I personally am looking for in franchise and now that my thoughts are out, I wait and see what EA does.

Initially, I thought making a write up could really set it up for EA, but as I looked through old posts and writeups, it just became clear that CFM is not a focus. There were plenty of good ideas out there, and while I obviously prefer mine lol, EA had plenty of material to go by. I wish we could spam them with these write ups so they get the message, but I really don't have hope after my experience. Nonetheless, this was my bit to try and put my thoughts out there, since they control the license they control my only chance to manage an NFL team! So hoping for the best I suppose
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