Friday, 31 December 2010


Oh no I have got the Minecraft bug I caught it by accident. What a truly stunning game the graphics are awful the gameplay open ended, hours fly by like they did when I started playing games as a kid.

Best £10 I have spent this year!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Other Stuff, Poker mostly

Still on my extended break from FML although I keep an eye on the forums, you ever seen a car crash about to happen? You do not really want to look but somehow you can not turn away.

In other recreational computer type stuff I have been dabbling still with Need For Speed World, very casually the odd go of Trackmania which remains a dam fine game, the odd blast of Bejeweled Blitz and losing mostly on Betfair at Texas Hold Em Poker.

Poker it seems to me is mostly about patience but in any session seems to be produce moments of high drama. Case in point was an evening I played last Friday.

Over a few hours I lost, then won back what I lost, and then decided to leave, this was after all a fairly productive evening by my standards :) So there I was waiting for the big blind so I could refuse it when what is this, I get dealt a couple of Queens.

Bugger, you have to play that, of the ten on the table 8 folded but one guy raised. The flop game with pretty low cards and he raised again, I was convinced he also had a high pair given his raising before the flop.

Another card and another raise, I have to go with it, but what pair did he have. The River card arrives and it is an ace he goes all in.

You have less than ten seconds to make the call, I think he is bluffing there is no way he has 3 aces as he would have gone more earlier but is his pair better than two Queens.

Sod it I do not think it is, so I call.

Pair of Jacks, get in!

I play for pennies really so a cheap form of fun.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Swan Song Part 3

Ok October the Council and News of the reset and a long epic post pretty much repeating what I had said for the last 18months. However a reset, they would finally get this game nailed. Basic issues like the churn rate would be solved and everything would be rosey right?

Lets not be all doom and gloom the injury and new team rep systems being trialled in beta were a step forward.

The economy is important this dawned on me during the reset that one of the greatest issues facing FML is inflation. SI's management of this is just appaling here is how it has gone down:

  1. Pre Reset - I said Stadiums will kill the GW economies, SI said no.
  2. Reset - Teams incomes need to match the player database to control inflation, at reset income levels are such that GW's will experience Hyper Inflation. SI said no.
  3. Season 2 After Reset - Do something about inflation now it will be less painful than doing it in season 6. SI said no.
  4. Season 6 After Reset - Your proposals to change Aq Fee to the high Sign On Fee will crucify some economies second guessing the economy is too dangerous do not implement this change. SI said no.
  5. Season 7 After Reset - After some of the economies went into meltdown do not attempt to tweak income as you will never get it right. SI said no.
Now these changes are not minor tweaks to a game these are raw basic changes that change the game on a massive scale. Getting something like this wrong once is unforgivable, but FIVE TIMES, they have been wrong five times now (well four as they haven't yet implemented their latest botch up). The were wrong compared to me, AN AMATEUR.

I am going to cut this short, the real issue with FML is the Gameworlds die. With a bit of imagination you can create a rags to riches type game. This would have mass appeal if you get the numbers playing then everything else can fall into place and FML can go from strength to strength.

One day it will happen it is sad to see the game yet again fail. maybe there is life in it yet after all if you can get the numbers up it can limp on. However if you read my Practical SEO Walkthrough this was posted over a month ago.

To recap, one the big search terms for football manager is Online Football Manager. Now this is a very commercial term and I would suggest that if SI changed the title tag of the FML Homepage to contain this text as a Page Rank 5 site they would rank highly for it overnight.

Look even despite the marketing and the spikes Football Manager Live still does not hit those highs.

Swan Song Part 2

Jeez I am only at March 2009 I think FML reached on of its high points here with the launch in beta of the new tactics system. WWFan and Millie were instrumental in getting it in and it was the sort of upgrade, to my mind at least,where you used it once and then thought how on earth did we manage without it.

By April I had started to Org in beta the NFA and changed it to a ladder league system which I still think would be the best way to do FA's but we did at least get a slightly watered down version which still lives on in terms of the EFA.I think I would accept the blame or the credit for that one.

During that time I said this:-
If success or failure is say being in the top 100, of a thousand managers only 100 can be successful. So 900 will fail, so how can you possibly design a game where all 1000 are in the top 100, you can move the goalposts around a bit or even create new ones, ultimately though there has to be losers for there to be winners.

I'd say you'd fanny about on and on, going around in circles trying to make it fairer for everyone so every manager has a chance to be successful. If they were not successful they'd move on or give up.

Ultimately, bottom line, you can't design that game.

You can design a game where as long as managers follow some simple guidelines they can become a big club and become successful, enjoy their time in the sun as it were. Eventually though as many clubs progress you'd have to have a system in place to allow managers to move. Otherwise you become top heavy again.

So back to the thread if the game is minnows to giants or rags to riches why give new managers a boost? Then it becomes 'not quite rags' or 'a fairly average club to giants'.

So to labour the point, "Ultimately, bottom line, you can't design that game" SI are still trying though!

By May 2009 I was starting to get a little despondent, I was pitching the same storey and first got seriously stuck into things like inflation and the other topic that has been common to this blog, rags to riches.

June 2009 and does this sound like deja vu
There is now a very strong undercurrent of unrest on the forums and in Gameworlds the managers left are smarting a bit. Pretty much you enter a gameworld with a long term plan only as it comes to fruition to see the gameworld dead or dying, at the very best limping along.

Yet SI have said there is a plan, only they can't say what it is they have to 'get permission'. Scratching my head what would you need to get permission for, reading between the lines it's an SI idea that needs to get approved by Sega.
Now I read that SI are paying close attention to the situation in GWs and cannot say what they plan to do but hey they are listening. Does anyone have confidence in them now?

Well have a look at just one month later they announced their big plan!

There are a lot of complaints about GW activity, SI managed to keep these quiet during May / June as they were announcing something 'soon'. The announcement came in the form of free trials, that kept the mob at bay for a few weeks. I think there is a slow realisation that in fact trials are not going to do much so the posts are getting angry again now.

Some are a bit over the top and fairness SI / Sega have said this is top priority and they have plenty of ideas just nothing concrete yet. Taking my fanboy hat off this has been an issue since beta for at least a year. With the best will in the world having a few good ideas but nothing concrete is that good enough?

Eighteen months later and we are back in the same position, was this caused by 1.65 and bonkers increases in sign on fees or was it the more sensible wage demands. Actually Turk was already dying it started at 800 active managers (signed in last 7 days) and just six months later was 500 odd.

So the dying of Turk GW situation was not caused any economic meltdown or opening too many GWs. Its cause is more fundamental, it simply does not have enough appeal.

I will not quote it in full here but FML Fail it seems incredible but I do recall pitching a full on rags to riches idea and getting told it was lower league manager. Distinction between the two was lacking I think.

Onto September can you believe the game a year old the old jump FA's for easy games exploit is still running, still it was sorted after the reset but that was two years from beta to doing something about it. To underline that issue Rage Like T Bag post. To recap I joined Lofthouse in Season 8/9 to find the Qualifiers going on, after a fairly dismal first season for the second season I found myself in the third tier and due to FA jumpers that third tier was stronger than the top tier. You could not make it up!

The game had been out a full year now and my patience was wearing thin, I can see the posts changing from being optimistic and thinking that SI knew what they were doing, to suspecting they actually did not know what they were doing, actually they were making it up as they went along.

Ok Part Three Soon.

NFSW and Stuff

The Police bug is still there in NFSW it has been a while now, still enjoying the game though just bought a Subaru Impreza for £160k very nice except the Mazda RX7 I still own is quicker top end. The Maxda is fully kitted out and the Scoobie needs to be, so need cash so continuing to grind.

Still keep an eye on FML I notice that in Beta that if things go through you will be able to grind in there. Basically get players increase their rep and cash in, I know this makes it easier for top teams but at least a form of grinding will exist.

That is suitably vague news about a new beta feature.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Stuff, Work, FML, Need For Speed World

Although the administration drama with the company I work for looks set to slip into next week it is almost certain that the job has gone.

So I started today canvassing for work and it is far from doom and gloom, at a push I can get a job, it is just a debate on if it is the right job. Still a day of looking and to get an offer on the table is not bad going!

Anyway this is my gaming blog so let us not blabber on about that.

Still playing Need For Speed World although the bug where the Police disappeared still exists although restarting the game makes it go for the first chase. It is a full on arcade game.

Noted Jordan's comments on my massive post on the history of FML and I have commented that I felt it was a bit self indulgent but I am also considering that maybe it still made an interesting read and I could do with something to take my mind of how to sell my Adwords madskillz :)

Might bring that back and do the follow up as well.

Enjoyed the FML Radio which I missed at broadcast time but downloaded later, direct link to download, right click save as.

They got some real community guys on there, the two Martin's and Nick Megs, all legendary FML blokes. I think the classic exchange was:-

'What are you wearing?'
'Errr my Swindon kit'