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Game Design
Posted by John Holden on Thursday, Feb. 22nd, 2024 at 2:17 PM

I've alluded to this elsewhere - I think in TMVL - but I'm currently trying to design a PC game where you are a soccer manager. I know the concept isn't exactly new but I think there's a market out there for a light, easy, cheap game.

What I'd like to create is a game similar to MSWL United, but where you play against the computer. I think it needs to be more sophisticated than just area totals, but one of the things I really like about MSWL U is that there's a bit of a poker element to it - you only know what your opponent might do in any game.

As a result I want to make a game where it's simple and very clear what impact your actions have, but I'm having difficulty coming up with different tactical options.

My idea is to have five different primary tactics with a rock-paper-scissors like bonus structure, where each tactic has one other tactic it has a large positive bonus against and one other tactic that it has a large negative bonus against. But I'm struggling to come up with five good tactics, which is honestly a bit embarrassing.

- Long Ball
- Counterattack
- Possession
- ?

I'm pretty sure counterattack will get a bonus over possession, but I'm struggling to "complete the circle" as it were, and to figure out how to make computer managers pick which tactic to use. These are also general ways a team would play, attack/defend/no instruction will be separate instructions, so no "park the bus."

Any thoughts at all would be really helpful!

Readers Comments

Dear John,

The tactics aspect sounds just like what we used in The Manager league. I like your approach, and look forward to hearing other people's take on this.

Your truly,

Brian

Brian Beerman on Thursday, Feb. 22nd, 2024 at 2:29 PM
 

Not only the Manager but SESL, SFLSL and OASL where a lot of us play now. The tactics are Normal, Opportunistic (similar to normal but more defensive), Longball,(think Alon in United( Early Cross (uses Wingers usually 4-2-4). Press, Stall (park the bus), Counter Attack and Ball Control (sounds like your possession).

Steve Turner on Thursday, Feb. 22nd, 2024 at 3:13 PM
 

Not only the Manager but SESL, SFLSL and OASL where a lot of us play now. The tactics are Normal, Opportunistic (similar to normal but more defensive), Longball,(think Alon in United( Early Cross (uses Wingers usually 4-2-4). Press, Stall (park the bus), Counter Attack and Ball Control (sounds like your possession).

Steve Turner on Thursday, Feb. 22nd, 2024 at 3:13 PM
 

Definitely a market out there John - although some of us would have to wait for the Mac / IOS version 🙄

Are you aware of the 80s version of United that Alan Parr was involved with on the Spectrum?

https://worldofspectrum.net/item/0005516/  

Might be worth checking it out for ideas.  I remember playing it on an emulator many years ago and seem to recall it was good fun.

Roger Mendonça on Friday, Feb. 23rd, 2024 at 1:42 AM
 

Brian - why so formal?

Roger Mendonça on Friday, Feb. 23rd, 2024 at 1:42 AM
 

Thanks everyone! I might steal the early cross and opportunistic ideas, I like those.

Quick poll on two things - is "high line" - like Angeball, for Spurs - would this be a tactic worth thinking about?

And is pressing a complete tactic or just an instruction?

Also:

Dear Brian,

Thank you

Yours in salutation,
John

John Holden on Friday, Feb. 23rd, 2024 at 9:16 PM
 

Press is a tactic - the next part is simplified

When playing Normal a DF adds 100% of his SL to DEF and 25% to OFF, a MF adds 50% to DEF and 75% to OFF

Opportunistic and the MFs DEF and OFF are switched (so more defenesive)

Press and DF add 75% to DEF and 50% to OFF while MF adds 25% to DEF and 100% to OFF

Each minute there is a percentage chance of a shot based on OFF and DEF.

Some tactics pairing add bonuses to OFF. So for instance Counter-attack is basically weaker than Normal but if you play C against C or N then you get a 20% bonus to OFF (which puts in on par with N). However if playing C vs Early Cross or Longball then you can't really counter so you get 0% bonus. But if playing C against Press you get a 40% bonus

Steve Turner on Friday, Feb. 23rd, 2024 at 11:48 PM
 

I completely forgot Press was one of the options in that game for some reason. Thank you!

John Holden on Saturday, Feb. 24th, 2024 at 7:25 PM
 

Good ol Press and Stall. Siblings choosing different paths in life.

Phil McIntosh on Friday, Mar. 15th, 2024 at 4:04 PM
 
 
 
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