Thursday, September 13, 2007


Over the last few weeks I've started putting some real content into the game. With lots of the competition engine in place and working, the game can now support the leagues and cups that form the backbone of the entire football world, and it's actually quite exciting to see this take shape.

Wahey! Work in progress pyramids! Eat that, Pharoah!

Thus far, as I've decided to now indicate on the right hand side of the blog, the game contains the team data for three countries. Only England has competitions as yet, as the more I add at this point the slower the game gets to set up, but adding new ones can be done nice and quick these days. For England, I've got all the leagues down to Step 6 of the National League System, which is level 10 overall. 47 divisions in total, which took me bloody ages so people had better be grateful and start playing as Sport London e Benfica or something instead of Manchester United all the time.

Cup wise, it currently has the FA Cup, League Cup, League Trophy, FA Trophy, Conference Shield and FA Vase. The League Cup hasn't been fully modelled as the game still doesn't have the ability to reseed teams to keep everything neat, so the differing numbers of sides in European competition can't be done until then. In Scotland, I've got the teams for all senior and junior sides, so that's quite a few teams to choose from and was done purely to placate any Bankies fans. Wales is proving more difficult as club information is scarce. The Welsh Football League, which covers the south of the country below the Welsh Premiership, is pretty good on this front as their website gives me all the information I require, but the three leagues feeding the Cymru Alliance have only scattered information. I'm endeavouring to include them though, because last season Barry Town got relegated from the WFL Division One, and the ability to return them to their former glory would be nice.

For each league, I have a spreadsheet - we all love speadsheets. As well as the club name and some abbreviations, I have the year they were formed (adds a nice enyclopaedic feel, I think), their rough ability, their home kit, home town and stadium. When deciding whether or not a level will be included in the game, and assuming the level is strong enough to be worth while, I have a look to see what data I can collect. The absolute required info for every club is their name, strength and home town, and these are all fairly easy to come by. The strength is added so that when I generate fake players for the majority of clubs, the game will ensure that things feel right - no superstars plying their trade with Cefn United. The larger sides also get strengths but these will be altered later when more accurate player details are entered.

The real difficulty comes with finding kit details. When creating clubs, I'm only concerned with the home kits, and generally a great majority of accurate kits is required for any given level. Away kits are ignored mainly because they slow me down for detail that changes far too often anyway. Like players, I can go add accurate away kit data for the bigger clubs, and have the game generate suitable away colours for the other sides. It's really just a time issue.

So far there's over 1,250 teams in the game. Now if I can get them to play football, that would indeed be brilliant.


Anonymous said...

The thought of actually being able to manage my FM-beloved, newly-relegated , record-low-of-one-point-for-the-season, Lancaster City is a very appealing one to me.

Also, even at such an early stage, the code looks a lot cleaner than the CM bile.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with this, do you need any testing or anything?

Anonymous said...

Wow Fry, it's looking fantastic. As it should do, after all these years!

Anonymous said...

KUTGW! I'd probably pay a 10'er for this when it comes out.

Anonymous said...

Looking good. Noticed you've got the Liechtenstein cup in there now. At this rate, you'll have the Nepean First Grade competition in New South Wales in there. (About the 6th level of football in Australia, if that)