FM14 Video Blog – User Interface
Second video blog from Sports Interactive, following match engine footage, is about User Interface in Football Manager 2014.
Welcome to the first FM Friday feature blogs about Football Manager 2014. We're kicking off by looking at this year's user interface, which offers the most immersive and user friendly experience to date for Football Manager.
Firstly, we've made a number of changes to the way information on competitions is presented in the game, to include more of the sort of information and speculation that you now see in today's modern football coverage, and also changed a lot of the text so it's more in context for a game revolved around football.
One big addition in this area is the new 'Season Preview' screen.
This displays each team's odds of winning the league title, the yearly award winners and the latest transfer activity in that league.This screen is similar to the sort of previews that are now commonplace in the media in the lead-up to the start of each season.
One area we felt it was difficult to keep track of are the various managerial changes over the course of a season, particularly as they happen more frequently in today's game, and so we've added a dedicated screen called 'Manager Movements' to the competitions panel.
The screen tells you which managers have left and their reasons for leaving, and who joined.
There's also the option to view a 'Media Prediction' league table on the 'stages' screen. The league table is then sorted by the odds that each team have been given of winning the league which means that during the season you'll be able to see which teams are falling short of expectations as well as those that are overachieving.
You can also now compare more than two team's over the course of a season on the past positions graph.
Trophies make their debut in the series in FM14. We have different trophies for the various in-game competition types and these are viewable on the club history screen and manager history screens, including the new manager landmarks screen, so you'll have a permanent reminder of your competition wins and be able to look back fondly on your previous successes.
The processing panel now features a larger calendar view and displays more relevant information to you and your team.
You'll see transfer activity from your league and the major deals from across the world as well as the latest results from your competitions on matchdays.
The calendar bar itself is also improved and you can now make a series of actions directly from the action bar including cancelling and arranging friendlies and resting players.
While the 'key dates' news item that you receive at the start of the month is now presented in calendar form.
The confidence screen has also been revamped to give an immediate snapshot on how the board and fans think you are performing in the job, with more detailed information being available if you click the 'detail's' button.
The job status section has been given more prevalence as this gives you the best indication of how the people that matter rate your performance as boss.
Some minor, but important, additions have been made to the pre-match screens.
Referee stats have been added to the match preview screen and captains have been labelled on the pre-match analysis screen.
Other areas that we've focused a lot of attention on are the player and team screens within the game.
The player profile screen has seen a number of changes.
There is now an individual development sub-section on the player overview screen so you don't have to leave the player profile screen to see how your player is progressing in training.
The player condition bar on the 'physical' sub section also changes colour to give a more visual representation of your player's condition.
On the squad and team selection screens, it is now much easier to distinguish who is in the starting eleven, which players are on the bench and who's been left out of the matchday squad. This is due to colour coded buttons that we've added for each of these areas.
You can also get your assistant manager's opinion of the key attributes a player should have for each role on the pitch as well as being able to set a player's squad status on this screen.
On the squad screen you'll notice that we have introduced stacked player status icons so that all the key information can be displayed at once, rather than hidden behind a single status icon.
Clicking on the top of the stack will then show all of the status icons associated with that player.
In addition, we've added a new 'report' tab which not only contains a player's coach report, stats and form but also their individual analysis reports from recent matches.
This lets you gather all the detailed analysis you need on a specific player without having to leave their profile.
We've also made subs appear as a different colour on the analysis screen so you'll be able to distinguish them from those who started the match.
In the Scouting area, we've added a world map so you have an easy visual indicator of what areas of the world your scouts have a good level of knowledge about and which areas are lacking.
You now also have better control over your shortlist as we have added the option not to shortlist every player you scout in the staff responsibilities screen.
If you are managing both club and a nation then you'll be happy that it's now an easier process to move between the squad screen of each team. Previously, both the nation and the club were joined under one dropdown menu but in FM14, these are separated into a club badge and a nation flag. Clicking on the badge or flag takes you to that respective squad screen.
The user interface has also been improved when dealing with transfers and contracts.
The transfer clause screen has seen some important additions with both sell on fee percentage and sell on fee profit percentage clauses being added to that screen. If you receive a loan offer for a player you will now be able to see his transfer status as well as a loan status.
As well as this, if you 'quick-flick' to a player who is out on loan, you will now get to see a scout report to see if he's improving during his loan spell.
On Transfer Deadline Day, the news bar is now animated with news fading in and out every few seconds.
We've also added new shortcuts for checkboxes and added the undo button to more screens to make FM14 quicker to navigate around.
And we've improved the use of graphs in the game too.
On the player history screen we have now added a graph to show appearances and goals over previous seasons so you'll be able to see how a player's performances have changed over time and you can now view more than one piece of information at a time on the finance graphs.
For those managers after the ultimate challenge we've added an option to start a new game only being able to take control of clubs that are currently managerless.
And lastly for today we've improved the 'How To?' system in the game, making it easier to use.
So there's a little bit more detail on some of the changes we've made to user interface for Football Manager 2014.
We think you'll agree that they make the user experience simpler while making the gameworld more immersive than ever before.
Make sure to check out our upcoming tech blog for more information on changes that will have a big impact on the game's user interface.