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FIDAdmin1
#1 Posted : Monday, March 28, 2011 9:19:01 PM



Head Staff Medal: Medal rewarded for being part of the Head Staff at Footballidentity

Rank: Administration
Joined: 4/1/2009
Posts: 7,240
Points: 16,836
Location: Malmö
So its time to create a first blog post and officially open my very own blog thread in here. Hopefully you guys will appreciate these blogs from the admin team and that they will increase our presence here in the community. Please be aware though that even if we live and breath FID we will not only blog about things related to FID. We see it as our privilege also to blast you with anything that may be surfacing within our twisted minds, even though we at this specific point in time don't have time to do anything else but working on FID. Now, to my first blog post:

Season 8 opening - a dark week for the admin team

Its no surprise my first post will be surrounding the first week of Season 8. It truly became everything else than what we had hoped it to be. We had worked hard on finalizing the Success and Shot/pass quality indicators for the new season and was hoping to give the community some new energy with this new feature. Instead the new version was clearly lacking in quality and the result was more or less the opposite. In addition to this we also had issues with match starts (due to a bug that couldn't handle the amount of data created in relation to the new match schedule) as well as an Amazon server suddenly just closing down (we have made thorough investigations on why this happened but we have not been able to find the cause of this Amazon server meltdown. We have been running on Amazon for so long now and never experienced anything like this).

The new ME version

What you guys may not see is that pre-season contains a huge amount of work for the admin team behind the scenes. Its like we are hit by a tornado every third month when the old season is about to close and a new season is about to commence. Even with the amazing help from Mike and his GM team when it comes to playoffs there's a lot of things to be done during this period and it didn't give us all the time to test the new version that we would have hoped. We performed thorough testing and had it running on test center for several weeks but with more time we would have tested it even more thoroughly. Well, as you all know by now the new version contained quite some serious bugs which we have been working hard to get rid of from the time when the season started. It took us only a couple of days to get rid of some of the more serious bugs but a few serious ones still remain. One of the remaining bugs has been difficult to identify the whereabouts of (client or server side) but we now believe we have found it and will be working hard to solve it asap. A few others has already been solved as of today but we now also need to perform testing on those bugs as well as work on sorting out the others. But we do feel positive about this and strongly believe we will have a new, much more bug-free, version in place latest by the end of this week (and if testing and development goes extremely well we may even have it in time for Wednesday evening (UTC) but I would not bet money on this).

The ME Chat issues

The issues with ME chat turning off has started to reappear. At this point we have been forced to take the decision not to replay any matches due to this error. Of course people are referring to the Hendon vs FC Stockholm UFCL match that was replayed due to this issue but at that time it was the first time it had happened and we really didn't think it would happen again. Since then however it has happened several times and the reason why we will not make any replays for this kind of error anymore is simply because we will spend the time on solving that issue (and all other issues) instead. Currently there are so many things that need our attention and we must focus all our time on that for the good of everyone in here. Handling of replays (investigating, coordinating and executing) is simply not something that we can spend time on at the moment. We are of course sorry for the problems this issue has caused some of the members but we hope that the reasoning behind this is understood. We also want to send out a recommendation to any team that encounter this kind of issue before we have managed to solved it; if you find that your match chat isn't working, hurry up into your team's locker room and chat there. We know for sure that this is not at all the best solution but it is probably better than no chat at all.

With regards to solving this problem it has been extremely difficult to find a solution. The Match Chat is currently running on a separate server and we have not been able to find a way of making 100% sure that the match chat is not broken. Therefore the solution we will now implement is to have the ME chat run on the same server as the matches themselves and instead decrease the amount of matches running on each Amazon server in order for the server to be able to hold both match and chat. We believe that this will solve the problem of chats breaking down.

Wrong time on Amazon server after DST change

Just as I was writing this blog something new happened just to make this start of the season even better Sad Our system works in the way that it starts up new fresh Amazon servers every time it's about to be a set of matches (there are many advantages with that but mainly that this solution guarantees a fresh system that should perform at its best every time). However, just a few minutes ago it seems that one of the Amazon servers (who are located in Ireland) had not understood that it has been a change in DST (summer time) this weekend. This caused matches to be started on this amazon server but with an extremely long waiting time before match (1 hour). We were not able to restart them in time (our procedure is to never restart later than 30 minutes after regular kickoff) and therefore those matches running on that server will have to be played at the end of the season instead. Another thing to put on the investigation list...

Some new things around the corner

Now to end my first post on a more constructive note. Just reading the above makes you aware that we are focusing a lot on problems at the moment but we also have some new features in the pipeline (slightly delayed by this wave of issues):

- Character Guides

Before the season closure we had performed the main part of the development on a new system that we hope will help the newbies to get into the world of FID. We call them character guides that you will be able to find on your character page (for managers and footballers in first release). These guides will contain goals and when those goals are fulfilled the character and user will be rewarded with rating and some FID Credits for each goal. Most of the tasks are simple and the main aim is for new users to get guidance into the game but we hope that it could be a bit of fun also for the new users since no goals will be awarded when we deploy this feature (so even the most experienced user will be ranked "newbie" to begin with). In the future we plan to implement more difficult goals as well as higher ranks but to begin with we hope that this will increase the chances of a new user becoming active within FID.

Here's a sample of how the char guide will look (you will be able to minimize the guide so that only the first line is visible to you when you go to your character space):



- GM Messaging system

We are implementing new features within the main site to make it easier to contact the GM team and to make it easier for the GM team to communicate back on each case.

- Performance improvements

Some of you may have noticed that the site has been much faster in the early evenings (UTC). This is because of a performance fix related to match startup. However, with next deployment of the site we also hope to have optimized the match ending procedure (which is currently causing slow site later in the evenings).

Sorry for my first blog post becoming all about business and problems but I thought it was important for you to get some info about our current situation. Hopefully the next post will be a much more cheery one.
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FIDAdmin1
#2 Posted : Friday, April 01, 2011 9:29:40 PM



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One heck of a day

So, as those of you who has been with us for a longer period know we've been through some rough moments during this project. But I'm inclined to say that today was one of the toughest days to this date. By now I hope most of you know that the start of this season did not become at all what we would have hoped it to be. Instead of injecting energy into the community with our newly released features we instead introduced some serious bugs that caused the very opposite. This community and our members are extremely important to us and we do all we can to create the best possible experience for everyone in here. We're not a big company with unlimited resources and we do all we can and more with the resources we have. Several of our team members have been working around the clock for a long time now in order to fix bugs, improve the game/site and at the same time find ways of increasing the revenue that we make in order to be able to cover our cost.

The most disturbing bug released by the beginning of the season has been the bug called the "direct pass bug" where the user selects to interact with a ball that is passed or shot as a direct action, but instead of performing the action the user's footballer runs a different way (AI move). We have been working really hard to find and fix this bug together with a few bugs in the offside system and we were fighting to get it solved before this weekend. Today we thought that we had solved it and after a certain amount of testing we decided to go live with a new bug-fixed version. However, after having deployed the new version on production and only one hour left until matches starting, we encountered a really critical offside bug. We were of course devastated because this left us no other option but to revert to the previous version of the ME. However, we also realized that we could most likely stay live with the new version of the match interface (version 2011-03-31) which contains the fix for the "direct pass bug". We had to take some very fast and important decisions and as you may understand we did not have time to make any thorough investigations but had to take some very risky decisions. We hope that we did the right thing and that the result now is that we will run matches without the "Direct Pass Bug" (if you make sure to clean cache and get the new version of the ME) but with only a few less critical offside bugs. We now need to focus all our effort on sorting out the offside system as soon as possible.

When deploying this new version of the client we also had to make some changes to the parameters related to ball speed and footballer movement. During the process of changing these we took the opportunity to tweak those parameters a bit. You will now find that movement is slightly more limited in some situations (on low pass and shots for example). You will also find that we have decreased limitations after passing so that the ball possessor can move a bit further after passing or shooting.

It really feels very obvious that we have not had the time to do things in a structured and relaxed way this time around and these past few days has been more or less chaotic. We really hope that our decisions during these hectic times has been the best ones and that the teams playing this weekend will have a less buggy experience once more.

And... just so that you don't miss... make sure to clean your cache and check that you have the latest versions of the ME client (2011.03.31).
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FIDAdmin1
#3 Posted : Monday, April 04, 2011 4:28:34 PM



Head Staff Medal: Medal rewarded for being part of the Head Staff at Footballidentity

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FID Training and Tournament Center

While we are currently working on sorting out the remaining offside bugs in the Match Engine and are looking for areas in which to tweak the ME further we also have developers in our team that are working only on web development related to our main site (this is done in parallel and is not having an impact on ME development). As soon as we have finished the new Character Guide and GM Messaging system we need to find the next feature to implement. We have one idea that has been discussed within the team and that we ourselves believe in but given that this feature will be a big project we really want to get input on this idea from the community before taking a decision on whether to move forward or not. Therefore you will find a link to a poll here beneath and in this poll we hope that as many as possible will give input on this idea. Please do however read through the full description of the idea before giving your input in the poll because there are a lot of things to take into consideration.

Here is the description of the feature that we call the "FID Training and Tournament Center":

Feature Behavior:

The idea is that we would build a completely new web-area (different design etc.) which would become a tool for the community to initiate their own matches and tournaments. In these matches users would be able to attend with their own footballers from the "regular FID world". The basic idea is that the feature would support the following scenarios:

- Automatically scheduled matches (open to all footballers, ranked on age etc.)
- User initiated Training matches (footballers can join upon invitation, open to all or ranked)
- User initiated Friendly matches between teams (upon invitation)
- User initiated Training matches between A and B (reserves) team
- User or FIDA initiated Tournaments between FID Teams (upon invitation)
- User or FIDA initiated Tournaments between teams made up of footballers independent of FID team belonging (upon invitation)

So this would give the following basic benefits:

- New users could get to test playing matches with their character even before having signed a contract.
- Teams would be able to schedule friendlies or training matches between themselves and other teams (or between their A and B team).
- Users would be able to create their own tournaments
- International FIDA would have a tool that would make it possible for them to manage their own tournaments such as World Cup, Euro Cup, Champions League, National Cups etc.

This type of feature would give a very strong tool in the hands of the community but it would also have to be very advanced especially when it comes to underlying invitation structure and tournament setup. FIDA need to be created within FID as an entity of its own where specific users would get FIDA roles etc. and there need to be support for controlled invitations (for example International FIDA send invitation to National FIDA which can then invite Manager from own country and he in his turn can only select amongst players from that nationality etc.). The feature would also have to contain support for tournament identification (creating tournament page with info and history about tournament etc.).

This feature will take a lot of resources (cost) from the project and opening up for more matches to be played will also put requirements on new server hardware (further cost). Therefore, if this is going to be possible to manage for us with regards to cost, we need to incorporate a FID Credit cost to all matches (different depending on match type). This so that we are able to cover the development and hardware cost as well as generate additional revenue to cover the project cost that we currently have. The idea is that matches and tournaments can be financed on different levels and the amount of FID Credits per footballer participating will be only a small amount.

Here's an example of pricing structures (please note that this is only an indication of prices):

- Initiating a user initiated match: 50 FIDC (for scheduling and starting match)
- Joining an automatically scheduled or user initiated match with your footballer: 10 FIDC
- Initiating a friendly match between teams: 100 FIDC per team (taken from Team Account)
- Initiating a user initiated tournament between FID teams: 100 FIDC per match in tournament divided by amount of teams (taken from each accepting Team's Account). As an example: 60 matches x 100 FIDC / 24 teams = 250 FIDC per team (approx 20 FIDC per footballer in a team for the whole tournament)
- Initiating a user initiated tournament between non-FID teams: User creating the tournament would have to input 50 FIDC per match and then each footballer accepting invitation would pay 10 FIDC times the potential amount of matches they could get to play. As an example: If one footballer could get to play 6 matches (going all the way to the finals) he would pay 6 matches x 10 FIDC = 60 FIDC to attend tournament.
- Initiating a FIDA initiated tournament: Similar cost as above but instead FIDC would be taken from specific FIDA account. Teams would have to be able to transfer FIDC into their national FIDA account and national FIDA's would be able to transfer FIDC into the international FIDA account.

A bit complicated but I hope I was able to communicate the idea behind this. We are also thinking that maybe users can decide to create tournaments where the price for attending is double what is mentioned above and where the additional cost is put into the pot and is given to the winner (and maybe parts of it to runner up) of the tournament (FIDA if national team competition or specific team if club competition).

So this new feature would create a whole new financial system where FID Credits would be used. This would of course not make it completely free to play in this part of the system but given that the amount of FIDC required by each footballer is so extremely low (10-20 FIDC is equal to something like 10-20 cent) we actually believe that the use of FIDC here would also be a benefit for the competitions themselves. We all know about some of the problems we are having with UFCL where many teams are not interested in playing and where UFCL matches, in the early stages of the competition, often tend to contain a lot of bots. If teams need to input a small amount of FIDC to attend the chances of the teams being active during matches is much much higher.

Also, another huge benefit of this as we see it is that it would give the FIDAs a very strong tool for creating all of the different competitions that the community has been asking for (WC, Continental Cups, National Cups and even U21 competitions for example). This would give FIDAs a very strong purpose in the FID World and it would be a very good place for these organizations to start becoming highly involved in the action.

I hope you all managed to read through my wall of text here and that you want to give your honest opinion in this poll: http://forum.footballide...spx?g=posts&t=109997

Your input will be highly appreciated because we really need to know if we should go down this road or not.
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FIDAdmin1
#4 Posted : Friday, April 08, 2011 9:59:19 AM



Head Staff Medal: Medal rewarded for being part of the Head Staff at Footballidentity

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Joined: 4/1/2009
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Tweaking process on Twitter

Twitter is a very efficient tool for communicating small status updates and at the same time it is very easily accessible for most, both writer and reader (through mobile phones etc.). We have therefore decided to keep you updated about our progress within the recently initiated tweaking process, through our Twitter account "FIDAdm1".

The new success and shot/pass quality indicators has made it possible for us to easily gather data for tweaking and we have now started the tweaking process based on things found thanks to the new indicator system. The tweaking status messages communicated through Twitter will be very short and simply inform you about what match case we are currently working on (for example blocking) and what the status is (for example; "analyzing", "new formula decided" or "released").

We will of course still announce when we release a tweak here in the forum but by following us on Twitter you will be up to date on the ongoing status. So if you are interested in such information (as well as other updates) come follow us on Twitter here: http://www.twitter.com/FIDAdm1
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FIDAdmin1
#5 Posted : Wednesday, May 11, 2011 10:49:55 AM



Head Staff Medal: Medal rewarded for being part of the Head Staff at Footballidentity

Rank: Administration
Joined: 4/1/2009
Posts: 7,240
Points: 16,836
Location: Malmö
Status on Match Engine Development

So, it’s about time for another one of these blog posts don’t you think? In this post I will try to address some of the worries that are expressed by some of our older members. Some of you may think that we in the Admin team are somewhat disconnected from the community and don’t know what is going on or that we do not see any issues that may exist with regards to matches and game play. This is however, completely wrong. We are actually extremely well connected into the FID World and the game. We are making sure that we are continuously staying on top of what is happening and how the gameplay progress. So why haven't we done anything about some of the issues raised by the community? Well, you can look at the problem as having three parallel tracks:

- Bug fixes and performance improvements
- New features, changes, tweaks and development
- Revenue generating development (to be able to finance the project)

All three of these tracks has run in parallel and are all just as important for the continued existence of FID. The performance improvements has now started to show results but it has taken a lot of effort from us. Also the stability of matches and bugs in the Match Engine has improved thanks to hard work on those areas. With regards to enhancing the balance of the ME we are currently tweaking each and every area of the (blocking went fairly quickly but tackling/dribbling turned out to require fundamental redevelopment in order to reach the result we are looking for). But the most frustrating thing for us right now is all the little bugs that have appeared here and there. They are small but time consuming, and we simply cannot disregard some of them because of their severity (like for example the bug where the new version of IE made it impossible for users to login). This REALLY is not what we want to spend our time on but we simply have no choice. We believe we have gotten rid of most of the bugs now and can continue forward with development areas.

So what should we be working on now? Well, the ME works fine in many areas but there are some important things that need to be solved. The important issues that exist can be summarized as follows:

- A few offside bugs still exist
- Match Chat still breaks down in a few matches
- Match Incidents list should be limited to goals, cards and subs only
- ME still unbalanced in some incidents and require tweaking
- Success Indicators intervals need to be more detailed in some cases
- Unrealistically high offside traps
- Older players becoming maxed in several attributes
- Basic football rules are still not complete

Here’s a further description of the issues and how we intend to go about solving them:

1. Offside bugs, Match Chat stabilization and Match Incident list limitation

These are the easiest points to address because the offside bugs have been fixed (hopefully all of them), the match chat has been stabilized and the Match Incident list has been limited. All of these fixes will be deployed with the next version of the ME (we plan to first deploy the new version on test center today in order to get some stress test out of it).

2. Match Engine tweaking

We have found that the dribbling vs. tackling and fight for ball cases has some unwanted limitations when highly skilled footballers are involved. It works quite well on lower levels but when top footballers are contesting each other the logic is not good. Unfortunately the only way to solve this was to redevelop this part of the ME and we could not simply change this by simple parameter tweaking. This has delayed the tweaking process somewhat but the changes have now been finished and it will be included in the new version of the ME.

The next area that will be focused on with regards to tweaking is the precision of direct actions (passes and shots) which today is too high especially on longer distances (it is too easy to hit the target with for example a 50 meter direct pass. Such actions should only be possible to pull off by a really skilled passer as long as the situation does not make it very difficult for him by being under pressure etc.). When we go into this we will also have to look at passing/shooting precision in general since they are so tightly connected to direct actions. This specific tweak will however not be started until we have performed the work related on point 5 (maxed skills) beneath because we have given that work a higher priority at this point. Follow us on Twitter for direct status updates on the tweaking process.

3. Success Indicator Intervals

The first version of the Success Indicators has been found to be too imprecise when it comes to displaying the success of a tackle vs. dribble or fight for ball incident. The success indicators too often display 2 stars and the information given to you as the user is not relevant. We have changed this at the same time as we were tweaking these cases and this will be included in the next version of the ME.

4. Unrealistically high offside traps

In many FID matches today the teams are often pushing up their defensive line so that the offside trap ends up very close to the halfway line of the pitch. Often both teams are doing the same and all 20 footballers are compressed into a very small area around the halfway line. This is not “football-like” and the reasons for this happening can be summarized as follows:

- A footballer can move the same amount in any direction no matter what direction he was moving the previous turn. This means that a defensive line can move up during turn 1 and then move their full movement back to intercept a through ball during Turn 2.

The way to solve this is to implement the concept that some of you have called “momentum” or “inertia”. What this means is that footballers movement will be limited during one turn if he tries to move in the opposite direction of where he was moving the previous turn. At the same time, if continuing to move in the same direction he would be able to move further than the previous turn. So for example:

If you move 50% of your maximum movement in the East direction, during turn 1. You would not be able to move your full movement to the West during turn 2. If you continue moving East however you would be able to move even further during turn 2 than you could during turn 1 (if you were not moving at all before turn 1).

It is important to understand that this functionality is a fundamental change of the movement logic inside the Match Engine and it is not something that will be easily implemented. The Match Interface need to be able to handle what can be described as “ellipse movement” whereas it today only have to handle “circular movement” (the arrow can be extended the same distance in all directions). We will soon start to specifying and implementing this but we will have to aim for a simple solution and will not add any further complexity into the functionality. Things that will not be handled in this new momentum functionality are:

- System will not take into account that a footballer would have had to continue running a short distance in order to slow down, turn around and run the other way. The system will instead allow the footballer to simply move a shorter distance directly backwards and this could result in situations where the footballer is able to intercept a pass that is being played behind his back even though he should realistically not have been able to do so. Trying to solve this situation would increase complexity of the development immensely and it is more important to build and deploy a simple solution than trying to solve such advanced situations as this.

- The system will also not let the user decide if he wants to run fast in the beginning of the turn and then stops or the other way around (if the footballer for example uses 50% of his movement). If a footballer moves 50% during one turn that will be taken into account as a 50% speed (velocity) in a certain direction during the next turn.

It is important that we do not complicate things here and we strongly believe that the more simplified version of the momentum feature will solve the problem of high offside traps as well as enhance the experience of playing matches since users will now be able to use their momentum as a way of succeeding with actions on the pitch by planning their moves one or two steps in beforehand.

5. Older footballers becoming maxed in skills


The first version of the training functionality was based on our initial simulations and it was extremely difficult to predict how this would look when a footballer becomes for example 25 years of age. Given the difficulty of such simulation task we believe we have made a fairly good job smiling but since we now have footballers in the 25 years of age we also now have the answer as to how the development logic need to be. We see that all too many older footballers have been able to max their attributes and we need to change this in order to make the footballer roles of Footballidentity more distinct from eachother. We knew we would have to adjust this further down the road (either to increase development or decrease it) and the time is now.

The way we will go about this is to increase the difficulty of training attributes at higher attribute levels. So for example, training an attribute in which you have 90 will after this change generate a lower increase than it would have done before. We have not yet decided the new formula but it is safe to say that the lower attribute levels will not be effected by this (so training the lower attributes will still have the same increase).

When we change the development formula we will also decrease the attribute levels of current footballers according to the new formula. So for example, if you have 99 in an attribute but with the new formula would have had only 75, then you attribute will be decreased to that level through this update (numbers are only examples and have not been decided yet).

We understand that some of you would have liked to be able to decide which attributes that should be decreased and which attributes to leave but it is unfortunately not something we can put resources on fixing at this moment. We have so much other things to do as well and it will be difficult enough to create this formula and generate a decrease calculation that can update all attributes. So for some of you who would have wished for certain attributes to be your strongest after this update it may feel like you have lost a bit of your “identity” but we hope you understand that this is the only way to go about it for the good of the whole community and the game. After some time you will have “re-trained” those attributes that you find important and most likely those other attributes will have decreased slightly (if you are 25 years or older) and this will once more start to form your footballer into the role that you wish.

We will start with working out a new formula and calculations shortly and will come with more details as this progress.

6. Basic football rules are still not fully complete

There are still a few basic football rules that are not implemented. Like for example being able to pass to yourself on free-kick etc. We however hope you agree with us that those fixes would carry less value to the game than what the implementation of for example Momentum will give us and that this therefore should have a lower priority and be started once the momentum has been finalized.

Well, I hope this sheds a bit of light on the issues that we are currently working with and that you feel that our priorities are in the right place. As mentioned before our resources are limited and we cannot work on everything at once but we are doing our best to solve the most important things as soon as possible.
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FIDAdmin1
#6 Posted : Friday, May 27, 2011 3:46:23 PM



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Project: Saving the Elders!

Today we took a decision of such great importance that I thought it was well worthy of its own blog post smiling

As many of you know we are planning to make an attribute decrease as well as a major change of the footballer development curve (how footballers develop over time). This will then be followed by a major tweaking session where we will have to go through almost each of the situations on field and tweak them so that the attributes becomes more important (all attributes should get its own important). Together with our newly established Key User Group and the input from other members we have been able to find a concept for how the development curve should look. Shortly described the new development will be following a quite flat curve and be slower already at an early stage. We believe that this will cause a greater foundation for building your own identities within FID.

Now, the new flat development curve caused a big problem and it is the solution to this problem that I would like to highlight here. The problem is that no matter how we tweaked this curve we found that all older footballers would take a big hit and become very uniform with regards to their attributes. A 100 attribute would be decreased to something like 68 and since many older players have trained many different attributes (many of them not so relevant to the footballers preferences) up to a very high level this would result in many footballers having "wasted" a lot of training on (to them) irrelevant attributes.

The solution: We will very soon start building a new feature that we call the attribute adjustment feature. It will allow for all existing footballers to adjust their attributes (by decreasing some attributes and increasing other attributes) during a set time period following the one-time attribute decrease. We will also turn this Attribute Adjustment feature into a standard feature to be used by all newly created footballers to fine-tune their attributes after having decided upon their body type.

This new feature will unfortunately delay the whole process of attribute decrease and new footballer development formula (as well as other important development tasks) but we believe this to be for the good of all of FID. This will allow for all older footballers to (immediately after the attribute decrease) build their own identity instead of becoming an allround footballer with many attributes on the same level.

Here's an initial design mockup to give better understanding of what this will look like:



For those of you interested in reading more details about the attribute decrease and new footballer development formula we recommend this post.

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FIDAdmin1
#7 Posted : Friday, July 01, 2011 9:59:41 PM



Head Staff Medal: Medal rewarded for being part of the Head Staff at Footballidentity

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Oh boy oh boy...

So, it seems we are making a tradition out of having bad season starts. Last season we had the issue with the ME that was..... how should I put it..... TERRIBLE. That was clearly our fault having rushed through testing too fast in order to release it in time for the new season. NOT a good decision by us. This season its not the ME that is giving us troubles but the main site. Of course this is also our fault (everything is always our fault smiling ) but this time I must say the problem is a very difficult one, and one that I believe would have been very difficult to predict. Why do I believe that? Because it has been impossible for us to find the source even during the problems are appearing on the site. We already have a big amount of analysis and monitoring tools at our disposal but it is simply too hard to find the problem even while it occurs. This is why we have decided to delete a big amount of old data even though the "trial and error approach" is not something anyone want to take on (but we are feeling desperate at this point). Honestly the data that we have built up since the start of the project should not be more than our servers can handle but we see no other option but to delete some data and see if it helps. If it does then we know the issue lies somewhere in the amount of data. This however means that we now have deleted messages (character and user messages) older than 6 months. Don't worry though, we intend to put it all back once we have been able to test if this made any difference.

Now, what's up on the topic of Attribute Decrease, new training formula and ME Tweaking... wow, talk about a hot potato smiling Its by far the biggest change to hit FID since we started this adventure and it was bound to cause a stir (mildly speaking). It is clear that these changes has split the community in two. One set of users that seems to hate what we are doing and one that loves it. Well, in some cases it is impossible to please everyone and in this case it has been a very strong drive from the community to perform these changes and I must say that our feelings now after having made some initial "soft tweaks" is very positive. There is a looong way to go in order to tweak this into what we want it to be but it is clear that already now FID is changing into something much more intriguing and challenging. Instead of every footballer having maxed out in 10 attributes (and having to to play against other footballers that also has maxed out in 10 attributes) we are now seeing a lot more difference in the "footballer identities" that is being developed. Players must decide what they want to be good at and even decide to be very poor in some areas. We are very confident that we will see much more unique "footballer builds" from now on and teams will have to look much more carefully into how they compose their team. Footballers will have to complement each other and play specific roles much more than before (when you could nearly put any footballer in any role because of them all having just the same quality in the important skills).

Our first "soft tweaks" (I call them soft because they are not final ones and will most likely be extended further later on) has been related to Movement, Passing, Receiving ball and condition influence (you can follow the tweaking process and read more details over here). There has of course been some controversy surrounding these tweaks. All of a sudden passing isn't as easy as it was (if you are having bad passing skills that is) and the difference between a fast and a slow footballers has been decreased slightly. But what we can see is that for example the passing tweak is already changing the way teams need to play in order to be efficient. Hoofing the ball directly from defense (which has had to sacrifice their passing skills for other skills) to offense isn't as efficient as it used to be and instead the shorter pass to the midfield becomes a more useful option. Thanks to this alone the midfield (who usually have much better passing skills) starts playing a more important role as the main line of distribution, just as it should be.

We know that parts of our community is what can be seen as "action gamers" who prefer the game to be more simple and straightforward. They may want the ball to end up close to where they aim even if they are performing a long and difficult pass. But we strongly believe that the major part of the FID community are "simulation gamers" that want the game to be more realistic and more strategically challenging when it comes to the decisions you make on the field. FID was originally (and still is) intended to be more of a "simulation game" than an "action game" because let's face it, playing "dots on a football field" only gets interesting if there is a certain amount of depth with regards to the strategical aspects of the game. This is why we are going in the direction that we are currently going, making training slower, increasing importance of attributes etc. etc.

Some users within our community are worried that the tweaks are making it too difficult for young footballers or for footballers that do not have a high level in certain skills, to perform well. Well, in order to make it worth while to develop as a footballer it is important that there is a big difference between say an attribute level of 40 and 90, because otherwise, why would you ever have to train? So of course lower skills will put a footballer at a disadvantage but we are working really hard (when tweaking the system) to create what we call mechanics or tools that "low skilled footballers" should be able to use in order to counteract the disadvantage of having low skills. A couple of examples:

Passing mechanics:
If your passing skills are low you should try to decrease the difficulty of your pass in order to increase your accuracy. Select a shorter pass option instead of the longer one. A poor passer should NOT expect to end up close to the target if passing a max length high pass.

Receiving mechanics:
If you are a poor receiver at the receiving end of a high pass (without having to fight for the ball) you may want to go to the end of the ball path and select to receive the ball with feet instead of trying to chest the ball down. With our latest tweak we have increased the chances of receiving a high pass with feet so if you don't trust your receiving skills you may want to play safe and go to the end of the ball path smiling

THIS JUST IN!:

While writing this blog post I just got information from our developers that they have found a bug that could very much be the thing causing the site to become slow on match days! It seems our user activity system creates way too many records in the database from users surfing the site and it could be the reason behind the performance problems. We are of course not sure about this since we have just now identified this problem. What we have decided to do is turn off this part of the system during the weekend. This should not influence you in any way other than the fact that the last online date and time will not be updated during the weekend. So do not be surprised if you find people online that seems to have not been online for a while. Let's hope this is the key to the problems!

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FIDAdmin1
#8 Posted : Tuesday, August 02, 2011 12:02:16 AM



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So many things spinning around at the moment... everything from continued server optimizations, ME tweaking, deployment of the new Extended Locker Room feature (tomorrow Tuesday), discussions about how to stand with regards to continued footballer adjustments, a new FID Ambassador program (to help the FID community grow) and at the same time we really want to move forward within the FIDA area. So many things, so little time. And at the same time I really want to make an interview with our beloved Kwanzi... hopefully we'll be able to do that within a few days Woot

Well well, that's a brief look at some of the things in my head at the moment Flapper Hope to be able to bring you some more concrete things soon, at least I hope you all will like the Extended Locker room tomorrow Biggrin
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#9 Posted : Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:19:08 PM



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ROUND 2 OF TWEAKING COMMENCES! - TWEAK PLAN

So, we have now initiated “round 2” of our tweaking process you could say. We are now digging further down into the ME and looking at things that require programming in order to improve the way things works (as mentioned before we have up until now only made some simpler, but also less advanced, parameter tweaks).

These past days we have been deeply occupied with investigations and discussions regarding how to improve the different situations in the ME. We have based a lot of these investigations on input from the community and we want to thank many of those who have posted really well structured and constructive input for us to base our decisions on. We would even like to highlight the input from one of our members specifically. It is amt who has opened our eyes quite a lot with his posts about situational factors and even if we do not feel ready to take on a full scale remake of the ME in order to implement such factors we have found some easier fixes along these lines that we intend to implement as soon as possible.

In order for you to get a picture of what we intend to start working on these coming weeks I will list all those points here:

Please note that none of these tweaks has yet been performed. It is a plan for the upcoming weeks.

1. Passes, Crosses, Headers and Shots – dynamic faulty area


Problem:

The feelings from the community have been that “there are too many red stars”, I guess that input has been difficult to miss for anyone smiling Now, one of the solutions suggested from the community has been to use normalized randomization instead of evenly distributed randomization when it comes to passing, shooting etc. Unfortunately it is not as easy as that because a normalized randomization would not only decrease the interval in which results occur most frequently (which would of course be all good if you look at the highly skilled footballers) but it would also make the interval in which we are able to differentiate the results between a highly and a poorly skilled footballer smaller, hence making it much more difficult to create “identity” between different footballers.

Improvement:

Now, the solution to this problem (something that we have been wanting to do for a long time now) is that we will change the faulty area (the distance that a pass or shot can end up from the target) based on the chance the footballer has to succeed and the distance that the footballer tries to pass or shoot. Currently the faulty area is completely linear depending on the distance and does not at all take into account the skill/chance of the footballer (the faulty area is the same for all footballers but the risk of ending up in the outskirts of that area is of course much lower for a highly skilled footballer). So, for those of you interested in more details here are some further description on the changes we intend to make to the faulty area:

Dynamic faulty area based on chance to succeed (skill):

With this change we will actually decrease and increase the faulty area depending on the chance a footballer has to succeed with the pass or shot. This means that a highly skilled footballer will not even be able to end up as far away from his target as a poorly skilled footballer will, if they perform the exact same pass with regards to difficulty. Please note however that I say “based on chance to succeed”. With this I mean that if a highly skilled player performs a very difficult pass or shot (pressure and distance etc.) his chance will be lower and therefore his faulty area will be bigger than if he had tried to perform an easier pass.

Dynamic faulty area based on distance:

With this change we will actually let the faulty area increase differently depending on the distance of the pass or shot. Currently it is all linear so if you for example have a faulty area of 5 meters when performing a 10 meter pass and a 10 meter faulty area when you perform a 20 meter pass then you will have a 15 meter faulty area when you perform a 30 meter pass. Now we will break this down into different parts depending on how far you try to pass. So with above example you may see that you have 2 meter faulty area when trying to pass 10 meters, 6 meter faulty area when passing 20 meter and 15 meter faulty area when passing 30 meter (these are just example numbers and not real numbers!). With this change we believe that we will give less skilled footballers a stronger tool to use in order not to be hurt too badly by their lack of skills. If you are a less skilled footballer (or a skilled footballer finding himself in a pressured situation) you will (after this has been implemented) find that a shorter pass or shot (headers and crosses included of course) will increase your accuracy substantially.

So, to summarize these changes we believe that once we have managed to implement these you will still “see a lot of red stars” as the community puts it BUT the big difference will be that your skills will limit the negative effect that you see from such a red star much more than before since you will have a smaller faulty area than before. Also, these changes will have you see higher accuracy with shorter passes.

2. Fight for Ball and Dribbling vs. Tackling

Problem:

Some people in the community has been “voicing their concerns” that player vs. player situations, such as fight for ball and dribble vs. tackle, are unbalanced and contains too much “random”. We have gone through these cases very thoroughly and we believe them to be very well balanced already as it is. I can honestly say that I am quite surprised to see some of the people questioning “the randomness in FID” as far as almost wanting us to remove random completely. I would like to think that it should be very clear to everyone that if we didn’t have a random factor in this game the game would be completely unplayable. I ask you just to picture how the game would be if a dribbler with 20-30 points more than a tackler would have an extremely small risk of being tackled. These players would just run straight through whole teams and that is not how the game should be. There are some important aspects that need to be taken into account here:

- FID is a game where team work is one of the biggest features of the game
- Football is a game of passing more than anything else
- It is a bit easier to tackle than to dribble (the destructive action is a bit easier than the constructive action)

Now, DO NOT get me wrong here. I am NOT saying that those of you who have trained dribbling attributes have wasted all your skills on those attributes. No, you can easily see that dribbling is still “a weapon” to be reckoned with by looking at the stats and performances of the more skilled dribblers. The point I am trying to make is that you can’t expect dribbling to become overpowered to the degree that it is THE ONLY weapon necessary to win matches. It is already very strong as it is and I am 100% certain that many matches is currently being won much thanks to what good dribblers can accomplish on the field.

Now, with that said… we also see some users suffering badly by having extremely bad luck and we understand how that can be extremely frustrating. We have therefore been discussing how to minimize the occurrence of such strings of bad luck. One idea brought forward within our community was to increase a footballer’s chances to succeed if he was unlucky with his last action. Now, we have turned that suggestion inside out and simply can’t see it working in reality. Just a few examples of the problems with that solution would be:

- Maybe the footballer was unlucky in a situation where he really needed to perform and then gets his increased chances in a situation which is of very little importance. After this his “added luck” would have been consumed and he is back to “0” for the next important situation.
- What if a footballer has an increased chance of succeeding and he faces a footballer that also has an increased chance of succeeding based on being unlucky in his last action.
This solution would not create any real benefit to the game and would just create some unrealistic situations. Instead we will have to look elsewhere for ways of improving these situations.

Improvement:

This is where our member amt’s suggestions come into play. He has been talking about making chances to succeed less dependent upon randomness by including situational factors (things that make each situation more different from the other based on more factors from what’s being played out in the math). Now there’s a lot of things that can be done with regards to this but as I mentioned above we are not ready for a total remake of the match engine here, but we have however found some ideas on how to easily implement some things along these lines and at the same time make the game more interesting and strategically challenging.

The improvements that we are planning to make here are related to Fight for ball, Dribbling vs. Tackling and also Direct Actions. Here are some details:

Improvement 2.1 – Pressure factor during dribbling


If a footballer is trying to dribble in a crowded area or even trying to dribble two or more footballers at once should have a decreased chance of succeeding. Of course when we make this change we will also have to increase the basic chance of succeeding with a one-on-one dribble slightly.

Improvement 2.2 – Pass quality influence in FFB


Now that we have the pass and shot quality system in place it’s a good time to bring a higher influence from the quality of the passes. One thing that we intend to do is to let the pass quality influence the chances your team mate has of winning a fight. For example; if a player performs a 1 bar pass his team mate will get a decreased chance of winning that FFB. If a player performs a 5 bar pass his team mate will instead have an increased chance of winning the FFB. We believe that this will bring in a new interesting aspect to the game that puts further emphasis on the passing skills within FID while at the same time creating a decreased importance of randomness.

Improvement 2.3 – Pass quality influence in direct action accuracy

When discussing these things we also realized another interesting area to include influence from pass quality. We therefore intend to have pass quality influence the chances a footballer has to perform a direct action with accuracy. For example; a player performs a 1 bar pass to his team mate who will have a decreased chance of succeeding with a direct pass, direct shot or header (you could see this as the team mate getting the ball played to him at waist height or something similar, making his next action more difficult to perform). A player performing a 5 bar pass on the other hand will give his team mate an increased chance of succeeding with accuracy in his direct action (maybe for example a poor finisher gets the ball played to him perfectly at his head so that he just has to put his head to it in order for it to become accurate). We believe this may also increase the importance of good passing in FID and it will make decisions more interesting with regards to taking a direct action or to receive the ball first.

Improvement 2.4 – Foul and Card risk for tacklers

Thanks to input from you guys we have found a flaw in the ME with regards to tackling. A poor tackler more often causes a foul and in many situations this foul can be a benefit to the team that was performing the tackle. Of course this causes a bad situation since the system should not reward poorly skilled footballers more than highly skilled ones. The way we intend to change this is that we will make the risk of fouling more or less the same independent on the skill of the tackler (when he fails a tackle) but instead increase the risk of receiving yellow cards for the poorly skilled tackler.

3. Some further tweaks…

We will also look at making a few more tweaks with regards to the following:

3.1 Blocking – pass/shot quality influence

When we retweaked the blocking some months ago we really overdid it. The situation at that point was that there were way too many blocks. Now we have turned it into too few blocks instead. Even the more skilled blockers are not even able to block a 1 or 2 bar pass and we will retweak this so that the pass/shot quality plays a bigger part in the blocking case. So if you are a skilled blocker who manage to get “directly in front of” a poorly hit pass, there should really be a good chance of you blocking that ball.

3.2 Blocking – crowds should have a bigger impact

If you try to shoot or pass the ball through a crowd of opponents (such as a wall at free kicks for example) it should be a bigger risk of your ball being blocked. This is not a parameter tweak but require programming and will therefore take a bit longer to perform.

3.3. Players being pushed out of FFB

We believe that players are being pushed out from FFB’s a bit too often. We therefore intend to decrease the size of the players (not the interaction area itself but the player that lives in the center of it smiling ) slightly. By doing this we will see less situations where players are pushed out and can’t be involved in fights.

3.4 Increased ball velocity on controlled shots

We believe that controlled shots are currently going a bit too slow. We will increase the speed of those shots slightly. This is also a parameter tweak.

3.5 Goalkeeper tackle with hands

We will also look into goalkeeper tackle with hands once more (we did this not so long ago). We do not yet know if a slight tweak is necessary there but we will investigate it again and see if something is needed.

Please note: None of these tweaks has yet been performed and we will inform as soon as we have performed any of the tweaks. You should expect the few parameter tweaks to be made sometime next week but since most of these tweaks require programming we will not be able to deliver them yet in a few weeks time.

Final words on the tweaking: There are some frustrated users out there who have been affected by some runs of bad luck. We understand that it can be very frustrating but hope that you can still understand why randomness need to play its part in FID and also recognize that we are trying to decrease (and will continue to do so) the impact that randomness has on performance by including other factors.

4. Star System Clarification

I want to take the opportunity in this post to also describe more clearly what numbers are used to display stars in different cases:

4.1 Trajectory Cases (passes, crosses, headers and shots)

Here the star simply indicates the randomness that was received during a “trajectory case”. The stars are displayed as follows:
Red * = Player performed in the lower 0-5% interval
* = Player performed in the 5-35% interval
** = Player performed in the 35-65% interval
*** = Player performed in the 65-95% interval
Gold *** Player performed in the 95-100% interval

As there will be a big difference if a pass for example ends up on 6% or 34% (a 6% pass can be extremely bad whereas a 34% pass can be fairly ok depending on the skill and difficulty of the pass), we intend to change these intervals in the next version of the ME. The new values will be as follows:

Red * = Player performed in the lower 0-15% interval
* = Player performed in the 15-35% interval
** = Player performed in the 35-65% interval
*** = Player performed in the 65-85% interval
Gold *** Player performed in the 85-100% interval

Hopefully this will give a better picture (more information) about what happened in a shot or pass since the intervals will be better distributed. Of course this has nothing to do with the result itself (the result will be improved by the tweaks mentioned above) but we believe that the intervals will now make more sense and that stars will be interpreted more as red star = “A lot worse than could be expected”, silver stars (1,2 and 3) = Pretty much what could be expected and gold stars = “A lot better than could be expected”. This way good passers should no longer see their 1 silver passes go out of the stadium for example.

4.2 Player vs. Player Cases (Fight for ball and Dribble vs. Tackle)


These cases displays stars in a very different way than the trajectory cases. Here the stars are displayed as follows:
Red * = Player had 75% or higher chance of success but failed
* = Player had 50-75% chance of success but failed
** = Player had lower than 50% chance of success and failed OR Player had higher than 50% chance of success and succeeded.
*** = Player had 25-50% chance of success and succeeded
Gold *** Player had less than 25% chance of success and succeeded

5. Momentum

Just to avoid any misunderstandings here. Momentum is still being developed in parallel to these tweaks. Of course we could have built momentum first and then tweaks or vice versa in order to speed one of the deliveries up, but we have decided that the best way for our team is to develop them in parallel. The time plan is still that we believe to have momentum finalized within 3 months.
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#10 Posted : Monday, August 22, 2011 11:34:13 AM



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Learn to love Mr. Random

I am truly sick and tired of reading some people's flaming forum posts about randomness. Randomness is an extremely important part of the game and in my mind these flaming posts can be nothing else but a total failure to comprehend the bigger picture. The ones that are writing about randomness screwing them over are often users that have been playing FID for a long time. It seems when we made the adjustment of attributes (making bigger differences in skills) these users thought "Hey! I will be the best there is and I will win EVERYTHING from now on!"... eh no... that's not what is going to happen. You will win A LOT but you will still be beaten by the lesser skilled opponent once in a while, and you know what? You should love the game for that fact... because if there had been no (or extremely small) chance of a lesser opponent beating you THERE WOULD BE NO OPPONENTS TO BEAT. If there was no chance for a lesser opponent to win why would new users even try???

It should be very clear to everyone that the highly skilled players are indeed succeeding with their actions at a higher level. The stats are starting to show this in very clear numbers. BUT, the thing about randomness is that it can be a bitch (and it will be for some users in certain periods).

I think those users that are complaining about randomness must ask themselves the following question:

- Do I want to play a game where my skills make me win almost everything and then play against bots in almost every match... or do I want to play a game where my skills put me at an advantage and where I can play against other people (that at least stand a chance to win against me even if they are not as skilled as me)?

If you want the first, where you are almost unstoppable and where new users (who are not yet as skilled as you) do not stand a chance, then I suggest you find a different game to play. But, if you do find such a game, you better PRAY that you are one of the first to sign up to that game because if you are not you will get screwed over and over and over and over and over again by those that signed up before you.

I think it is obvious why the ones doing this kind of flaming are "old members". They have not learned to love randomness like a new user would. The old members thought that the attribute adjustment would make them king overnight (and it did but not as almighty as they thought it would) whereas the new users who are working their way up the rank have learned to cherish the randomness since it brings them hope and reason to try, in situations where they know they will still be at a disadvantage.

That said, those of you who has read the previous post in this thread know that we are trying to implement more and more "situational factors" that we hope will decrease the impact of randomness and where these factors will bring more tools to the users and teams themselves that they can use to influence the result, instead of having to put a lot of their faith into randomness. BUT this does not mean that the future system will not contain randomness! No, there will still be players finding themselves caught under extreme fury that only lady luck can render on a bad hair-day. Because without the impact of randomness this game would absolutely die and the only ones playing would be the well skilled players and the bots, and it should be fairly obvious to everyone that that's not what FID is about.

One must also understand that FID is a tactical game where strategy and team work are the most important factors. As a user you can't really make any detailed moves in order to get an advantage (like for example if you play FIFA where you can use your controller to make detailed dribbling etc.). Of course FID contains tools to enhance your situation such as good positioning, selecting hard or soft tackles, using special abilities wisely, double-teaming with a team mate on difficult opponents etc. but there is no skill moves a user can perform with for example a controller in order to enhance his or hers chances. Therefore there need to be a bigger level of randomness involved in a strategy game like this compared to other more "action typed" games.

I hope this post opens the eyes of one or two of you and gives a bigger understanding and acceptance to why there need to be a certain level of randomness in FID. It is really a factor that the FID world could not live without and its time we started loving it instead of hating it.
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#11 Posted : Monday, September 12, 2011 11:26:46 PM



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A status report from smelly admin offices

So I think a short update is in order... its that time that the admin team dreads so much again... its pre-season... 4 times a year its like someone rolls a huge fan and a truck load of horse manure into our offices and then just simply let's a massive amount of poopies hit the fan for a few weeks. We've got tons of things to do just preparing all the updates for the new season and at the same time we don't want to loose too much speed in the other areas that we are working on. And we got more and more to work on with every initiative we undertake. Now for example the Ambassador program has come up to great speed in no-time (we never expected to find our ambassadors quite so dedicated and they have whipped out some highly interesting potential partnerships in not time and we have many strings of communication open at the moment.

But enough about that... what everyone is wondering is of course... what's happening with regards to ME development?! Well, we are making progress in that area but we are not yet ready to release a new version. We have many changes coming up and we can't release a new version until each and every one of these changes and improvements have been finished. Here's a bit of a status update on the most important points:

1. Manager Control AI Supporter Pass feature:

As announced earlier we are building a Supporter Pass feature that will allow managers and assistant managers to control footballers that has been controlled by AI during the last three turns. We have a first "playable" version ready. There are still some small bugs to iron out but I can tell you that our initial feelings about this feature is that it will have a huge impact on FID. The limitations and vulnerability that we sometimes suffer from in FID will be more or less erased with this feature and the gameplay itself will be enhanced. Its a great feeling being able to switch between AI players in the role of a manager and its almost like playing a different game smiling

2. Tweaking

We are making progress in the tweak department. We estimate that approximately 50% of the tweaks announced here have been finished. These tweaks are much more complicated than the ones we've made earlier and they will require some very careful testing once they have been finished.

3. Basic footballer rules package (that's at least what we call it)

This package of improvements is finished and will go into initial testing very soon. Also these things are quite complicated and require careful testing. Here's a list of what's included in that package:

3.1 Goalkicks

3.1.1. No one should be able to position themselves inside the penalty area except the keeper who performs the goalkick. We could of course try to follow FIFA rules completely (where keeper should be able to retake the GK if ball did not exit the penalty area) but as you would understand that would only destroy gameplay. Therefore we decided the best thing to do is to at least limit also GK's team mates from entering their own penalty area on goal kick.

3.1.2. When the pass has been hit then the keeper should not be able to be the next ball possessor. This means that the footballer should not be able to interact with the ball until another player has interacted with it or the whistle has been blown (foul, new throw in, time out for the half, etc.).

3.2 Throw ins

The footballer performing the throw in should not be able to be the next ball possessor after the throw in. This means that the footballer should not be able to interact with the ball until another player has interacted with it or the whistle has been blown (foul, new throw in, time out for the half, etc.).

3.3 Freekick

The footballer performing the freekick should not be able to be the next ball possessor after the freekick has been taken. This means that the footballer should not be able to interact with the ball until another player has interacted with it or if the whistle has been blown (foul, new throw in, time out for the half, corner kicks etc.).

3.4 Corner kicks

The footballer performing the corner kick in should not be able to be the next ball possessor after the corner kick has been taken. This means that the footballer should not be able to interact with the ball until another player has interacted with it or if the whistle has been blown (foul, new throw in, time out for the half, etc.).

3.5. Goalkeeper kick

The goalkeeper should be able to hit the ball longer than they can do currently both on goal kicks and when having the ball in their hands and make punt kick/drop kick.

3.6. High Trow-in

A new pass trajectory will allow users to throw the ball in high from throw-ins.

Now, on the site development side we have had a few bugs related to the reopening of the adjustments and this has delayed development a bit. Also we had to make a quite stressed deployment of the site because of this (last Friday) and that carried a few minor bugs that also needs sorting out. But here's the focus within the site development:

4. Bug fixes

We are fixing bugs that appeared after our latest deployment. Bugs such as:

- Locker room not displaying footballers
- Bugs in character inbox
- Some bugs in our Game Master tool
- Adjustment related bugs
- A few other bugs here and there...

We hope to have the most urgent of these bugs fixed and deployed tomorrow.

5. Team Forums on main site

We are building team forum functionality on the main site that will be accessed through the locker room. We are building these forums as flexible as possible so that we can reuse them also in other areas on the site (such as league forums and for FIDA organizations and FIDA pages).

Building forum technology from scratch is complicated and it will take a few weeks before we have this functionality.

6. Change E-mail functionality

We have gotten a few requests from users that want to change their e-mail. This is not easily done by us manually and therefore we have decided to implement support for this in the User Account page.

7. FIDA Pages

We have started specifying advanced FIDA pages that we would like to have a basic version (not a full version) finished halfway through the new season. These FIDA pages will contain a lot of tools for the FIDA organizations to communicate with their members and to be able to handle their league competitions in a structured way. We will bring you more information about this as we have moved forward with our specification.

The web site development has been halted a bit now by bug-fixing and season closure activities but we hope we will be back and up to speed shortly.
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#12 Posted : Monday, November 14, 2011 2:09:12 PM



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Match Engine and decreasing importance of randomness

So, quite a lot of people have been complaining on the randomness being too strong, especially those who initially suffered from a longer string of "bad luck" since they understandably thought that something was broken in the random generator. Now, after some time has passed I think many of those guys have also seen their stats leveling out over time but in the end the game is still to heavily attached to randomness and the importance of randomness has to be decreased. The main suggestions from the community on how to improve this has been the following:

1. Decrease randomness (make attributes even more important)
2. Create some way of avoiding strings of "bad luck" (for example implementing some kind of luck history).

Now... in our humble opinions none of these suggestions are going to be good for the game as a whole. Let me explain why:

1. The way that the ME currently works the randomness is such a strong factor and decreasing its importance even further would put too much of the success and failure onto the attributes themselves. Basically the success rate of good (high attribute) players would be too high and there would hardly ever be any reason for a poor player to attempt a fight or tackle against a better player. Currently the level of randomness vs attributes is a very delicate balancing act because there are not enough other factors to play into the equation.

2. Creating some kind of luck history in the game so that a user that has had a few turns of bad luck will get an increased chance of success in his next upcoming turn (or similar) would only be an artificial way of trying to solve this problem instead of really solving it as we intend to do.

So, the third alternative is the one that we see as the only solution to this problem. It has been suggested by a few people and especially amt has been the user driving this idea forward by painting a very clear picture. So here's the solution:

3. Adding more "situational factors" to the game. This means adding more factors that play into each situation making it possible for users (and their teams) to make sure they put themselves in situations that are "beneficial" to them and their team mates, thereby limiting the effect of randomness. Randomness can then play just as big a part as it does today but in the total calculation there will be many more factors that plays in and that therefore decrease the importance of randomness.

Our very strong belief in the above is also why we will now (after deploying the next set of tweaks, scheduled for deployment on Testcenter on Wednesday) shift our ME development focus over completely to building momentum. Many of you have seen momentum as the solution to "high offside traps" and maybe it will be... but much more importantly the momentum functionality will give us an exceptional tool for adding new "situational factors" into the game. Let me give a few examples:

- Shooting and passing factors

With momentum it would be possible to add momentum as a factor for shooting and passing success. If you for example try to shoot in the direction in which you were running the previous turn, you would get an increased chance of hitting the target. If you try to shoot the ball in the opposite direction from what you were running then of course your chance would decrease. This way we could see situations where team play comes into play even much more than it does today. Say for example that a target player moves back to meet a ball that is played upfield. Let's say he's just outside the opponent's penalty area. Now... today we would often see this target player shooting from there because there often isn't really that strong a reason for him to pass the ball. But... if we add these shooting and passing factors based on momentum we could actually see him passing the ball to a central midfielder who is coming up in second wave and has his "face towards the goal" and thereby has a much greater chance of hitting the goal than the target player who has his "back to the goal". By performing such a play the team would be able to make one easy pass + a shot that has a much bigger chance of hitting the target. The shot could still fail due to randomness of course but the risk of randomness becoming the decisive factor will be much less than it is in the current ME.

- Fighting factors

Momentum could also play a big part in some of the ffb situations where footballers need to move in order to get into position. Running in the direction of the pass and just reaching the fight would be much more difficult than if coming towards the ball of course.

There are many more "situational factors" to be invented and implemented that will give footballers and teams a much bigger possibility to influence their own chances of success. This will create less effect from randomness and in the end it will also create a more interesting game where good team work and strategy will be rewarded and where these type of skills will be even more strongly tied together with success rate than it is today.

Now... I know everyone would like to have momentum yesterday but that is not going to happen. We are a small team and we are not ready just yet (and hope we will never be ready) to "sell out" to the big investors. We work our asses off trying to get these things implemented as soon as possible but unfortunately things are taking more time than we had hoped. So I guess those of you who do not have the patience with us doing things our way might be happier finding their way to a different game where the resources are much bigger. But for those of you that have the patience that is required I think you will be happy you sticked around because when ME tweaking, momentum, situational factors, FIDA, FIDA competitions (world cup etc.) have finally been implemented you may just be in for a big and wonderful treat.
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#13 Posted : Wednesday, February 01, 2012 11:19:00 PM



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Momentum - will it decrease the advantage of the defending team?

So, the thing on many people's minds is... how do we change FID into becoming a game where the "defensive team" (the team that get to move second) doesn't have such a big advantage over the "attacking team"? The problem basically is the fact that the defending team always knows where the opponent is going and can position themselves accordingly without any doubt as to where the movement of the opponent will be. This causes some unnecessary "tight and closed matches" in FID where the goals are few and the tools for creating your own success is lower than they should have to be.

Now how do we then improve this? How do we open up matches without turning it into a "guessing game" and killing the strong tactical aspects of the game? Well, we believe that this will be solved in our upcoming implementation of "momentum". The reason why we think so is the following:

- With the new momentum feature users will be able to decide if they want to decrease or increase their forward momentum for next turn, but their decision will not be visible to anyone else.

Here's a little more information about how we believe we will implement the momentum user decision:

As the very last decision (after having decided where to move but also after having decided how to interact with the ball if that occurs) the user gets to see an arrow close to his footballer on the field. By moving his mouse in front of (in the direction of movement) his footballer the arrow will become "longer" or "stronger" and by moving it behind his footballer the arrow will be "shorter" or "thinner". See this very early mockup:



For clarification, please note that the momentum decided will only be forward momentum (so you can't decide to add momentum into a different direction than where you were running this turn) but a more agile player will be able to use a high forward momentum to also "change direction" without loosing too much speed during next turn.

Now, how will this effect the overall game play?

- Will it give less advantage to the defending team, thereby leveling the playing ground a bit and opening up for a lot more dynamical matches?

- Will it turn FID too much into a guessing game instead of a tactical game?

Now, since this is our own suggestion you all know that we are strong believers in this solution. I also hope that some of my posts from the past clearly displays that it is one of my strongest beliefs that FID should be a tactical game and not a "guessing game". Without the tactical aspects there will be very little need for teamwork and preparations and that's what FID should be all about. Now, with this new momentum feature mentioned above its also my view that we will add more uncertainty into FID (which will to some point increase "guessing"). However, I strongly believe that it will not decrease the tactical aspect of FID, it will rather do the opposite. I think that with this feature users will have to be even more tactical in how they play. Momentum will become "a tool" for teams to use in their tactics but it will also become "a problem" that they will have to work with or "solve" when the other team is using it as a tool. Users will have to think about things such as "He will probably do this... but what if he does this... hm... I better take this action because it will most likely give me the best possible result independent of the momentum that my opponent chose". Also, this feature will not add further randomness, its still a user decision and a skilled tactical user should be able to plan his action according to most likely action from his opponent (especially if the user has performed thorough scouting of his opponent from previous matches).

Also I believe that this feature is "realistic". It is a matter of reaction time that you can see being used in real life football as well. Just to create one example:

Turn1:
An "attacker" moves up a bit (not full movement) in the direction of the opponent's goal during the first pass of a free kick. In the same turn, he decides to decrease his momentum as much as possible (his attributes and movement length this turn allows him to stop completely). A "defender" marking the attacker does not know if the attacker will start speeding up or stopping but in order not to be left behind if a through pass is hit he decides to place himself between his goal and the attacker and use somewhere around "medium forward momentum" (since both players are moving in the same direction).

Turn2:
Now, the ball possessor hits a low pass towards the attacker who has 0 forward momentum and can therefore move back and meet the ball without a fight (since the defender has forward momentum in the opposite direction). Possession has now been established higher up the field and god knows what momentum and moves the rest of the defenders and forwards/midfielders are having for next turn... compared to what we have today this can be seen as "complete chaos" but it opens up a huge deal of opportunities to the teams that can take that chaos and convert it into tactics.

Now... just to put this above example into a real life situation. I believe a "dash-and-turn" is very common in football as a way to "lose your marker". Its almost no way for a defender to follow your every single move and be in front of you if you are just agile and quick enough and perform your runs/turns in a smart way.

In our minds this will undoubtedly create less advantage for the defending team and create new tools for the attacking team. It will open up matches and create a lot more spaces (teams will have to play their defense much deeper and midfield space will be created). Now, hopefully the first testable version of momentum isn't too many weeks away and we will make sure to keep you guys as informed as possible of our progress.

Now, let's hear your views on this... I think we can continue the discussion in a similar thread created based around the problem with advantage for the defending team. I've just made a post in there that gives even a little bit more information about how we look at this here.

MAJOR SIDE-NOTE:

This is just an additional vision that I want to add upon the example that I created above. I just wanted to give you this information whilst we are on the topic smiling

So, now you may think... "well... the above example indicates that it will now be impossible to defend yourself because forwards will make this move and then shoot from where they are". Now... here's some points why I don't think so and why I believe that the game instead will be more challenging and compelling:

- "New ways of defending" (new to FID but not in real life footballer) will have to come into play. For example Defensive midfielders will have to come into play as a way of closing down space and passing lanes between the defense and midfield. Defenders will move much more often back towards their own goal and there will be more space that need to be controlled. As you all know these balancing roles are EXTREMELY important roles in real football but there's really no use for them in FID today because there's very little space.

- Another reason why the footballer will not just receive and shoot from the point where he received the ball is because he will have momentum away from opponents goal. This we intend to make it so that such a momentum will have a significant negative effect on shots and passes performed in the opposite direction of the footballer's momentum. Thereby he will most likely try to find a different solution, maybe even an easy pass to a CM that will be able to take the shot with momentum towards the goal (which would then significantly increase chances of hitting the target).

- And, there's of course also the option for the defender to move to a position between the attacker and the ball and instead have another defender move in behind him to "mark the space" between the attacker and the goal.
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#14 Posted : Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:23:24 AM



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Momentum - concept and vision put into (a few) pictures

As you know we are currently building momentum into the ME and since the feature is currently only visible as programming code, and we still have a some way to go before its going to be ready for initial testing, I thought I'd give you some pictures explaining more about what we believe momentum to bring to the party.

Momentum Selection


But first, here's an updated concept picture of how we believe that we will be able to implement momentum selection into the Match Interface. As you can see we have taken some of the input from the community and will try to make it possible to select momentum in two ways. Either by setting the default momentum through the slider at the bottom right corner (which can be done at any time during the turn) or by selecting momentum through the arrow (as the last thing you do after having selected your move and/or ball interaction). This means that if you feel you won't have time to set momentum through the arrow you may prepare yourself by setting the slider to a level which you would like to aim for with your momentum:



Also, of course the arrow selector should come out from the point where you have decided to move as you can see in this picture:



Momentum scenarios

I have drawn some very high level pictures explaining some of the scenarios that we feel that momentum movement in itself will create. These pictures are not using realistic distances etc. they've just been created to display the concept and vision with momentum.

High Offside Trap:

The unrealistically high offside traps is one of the most important things that many of you want momentum to "kill". This is how we believe it will kill the high offside traps in pictures.

Turn 1. Now let's look at this picture. As you can see Green Team has managed to get their defensive line high up the field. Now, Red Team has won the ball on their own half. Red7 performs a run with the ball and Red8, 9, 10 and 11 starts their own runs and deciding their different momentum for next turn. Please note that for example Red8 decreases his momentum to minimum whereas his marker (Green7) does not really know what to do since he doesn't know what Red8 choses with regards to momentum, so he decided medium momentum for himself. Here's the picture:



And... due to their movement, attributes and selected momentum their movement possibilities for next turn will look as follows (hope its not too cluttered):



This would then result in the following possibilities for the Red team (please disregard the color of the pass arrow):





CONCLUSION:
Unless the defensive team (the Green Team in this example) starts building up their momentum as well (backwards towards their own goal) they will be penalized badly. It will be very difficult to move your defensive line up high in the first place (if you move up and your team lose the ball during that turn you will not be able to sprint backwards on a through pass). Of course there will be tools and tactics also for the defensive team to use to try and use as much as possible of the offside trap but it will be a lot more difficult than before and many teams will play their offside trap a lot lower than before in order not to give away easy goals. And as soon as the defensive lines in FID starts becoming "lower" then the space in midfield will become much bigger, giving the ability also for central midfielders to do their thing and become more of an asset to their team (for example DCMs who work at cutting off low-passing lines to forwards etc.). Bigger space on midfield will also cause momentum to play a part also there since there will be space for teams who are playing well together, to "capitalize" by using their movement/positioning together with skilled passes.

Attacking SD:

Now, there are so many examples to bring forward with regards to effects from momentum but I have here chosen an example that might not be the most common one... but its one of my personal favorites since it creates a whole new role/identity in FID that we have not seen before and since it is quite a different effect that probably most people don't think of at first when considering momentum. The example is related to Attacking Side Defenders:

See next picture, in this example Red6 (SM) comes down to meet the ball. Green5 follows up to put pressure on him. BAD IDEA! since Red2 (SD) is performing a move up the field.



Now, in today's FID Red6 would probably turn around and dribble himself since Red2 wouldn't have much to contribute with in this case (since he is not a dribbler for example). However, in this case, where momentum plays a major part, the movement possibilities will look like this for next turn:



As you can see Green5 has completely gone and lost his side and Red2 can use his momentum and speed to run up the side and create a huge space for himself (maybe all the way to the goal).



As I said, the amount of movement etc. in these examples are taking out of the blue and there will be a lot of work involved in balancing momentum (and testing it together with you). These pictures are just put in place to show you the possibilities that momentum create already when it comes to the basic movement itself. Add onto this that we will also, in later versions of momentum, be able to use momentum parameters (direction and velocity) as factors that influence the success of different actions such as FFB, Tackle/Dribble, Passing, Shooting (anything really) and we have some interesting times ahead of us smiling

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#15 Posted : Friday, February 17, 2012 6:41:51 PM



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Additional Momentum Scenarios

As an addition to the scenarios I envisioned in previous post I decided to post a few more scenarios that may describe even further the possible results we will be getting once momentum/inertia has been implemented. I think these two scenarios will be especially important with regards to how this will be able to affect the level of randomness that exists in FID today.

PLEASE NOTE ONCE AGAIN: The details of these scenarios are taken out of the blue and are only conceptual. There's also no guarantee that these things will exist already in the first version of momentum, we will take such decisions (what to include when) later on in the process.

Fight for ball (or no fight for ball?)

In today's version of the ME there is very little user decisions that can be made to avoid ending up in a Fight for the ball. Its also very few decisions you can take to make sure that you are the first player to the ball (owning the position of the fight). This results in the fact that we need to have a higher level of randomness in FFB (and other similar cases) than what we would like. This in order not to make the game completely unplayable because of the stronger player winning every single FFB and weaker players losing every time.

When momentum comes we will have a whole new dimension in FID. Momentum will become a user decision that may very well make or break a situation such as FFB, that together with the level of teamwork in the team (team mates need to know how to play together since they can't see what momentum their team mates have). Let me try to describe a situation where momentum will change a FFB situation COMPLETELY:

Here's a normal situation. Red Team wins the ball down near own goal. Please note that Red8 moves backwards and puts maximum momentum:



Red4 passes the ball low upfield. He get's a poor hit on the ball and it travels much closer to Green7 than what he would have liked. But as you can see there's nothing to worry about in this situation since Red8 has put max momentum backwards and Green7 was moving upwards (and put min momentum) last turn.



Movement would look something like this:



CONCLUSION:

So this situation in current version of the ME would most likely result in a FFB and Green7 might even be the first person to the ball and have a big chance to win. With momentum included you can see that a user decision resulted in avoiding the fight completely. And even if this example may be an extreme situation (where the FFB is avoided completely) there will be many occasions where footballers would be able to win (or lose) position for the fight (be first to the ball) due to their momentum decision. This in the end results in the fact that we should be able to decrease randomness in these types of situations slightly and instead let these factors (as a result from user decisions) have a stronger impact. As you can imagine these kind of situations may happen a lot and everywhere on the field so its going to have a major impact.


Momentum having impact on action success (future versions)


Here's a scenario describing how we intend to use momentum as a parameter for succeeding with different actions. We believe we will be able to include momentum as a parameter for almost every type of action on the field but in this example I have chosen the shot action.

Here you see an action on the field with some highlighted movement by the red teams forwards and central midfielder (Red7). The team's target player (Red11) is moving back and creating backwards momentum.



Here's a pass upfield towards 11 who has backwards momentum and able to reach the ball cleanly without a fight:



Now here's the most interesting thing about this specific scenario. Here momentum will give us completely new possibilities for teams to take advantage (and also to end up at disadvantage if the opponents play their cards right). Even though Red11 is a good shooter he realizes he has got momentum away from the opponents goal (this would give him decreased shooting accuracy and quality). He's also crowded by his opponents and far away from goal. Red7 is not the best of shooters but in this case Red11 passes the ball to Red7 so that he will have momentum towards the opponents' goal, thereby giving Red7 a significant increase in shooting accuracy and quality.



CONCLUSION:

In today's ME a poor shooter is poor no matter what and a good shooter is good no matter what. With this we would also make it possible for users to increase (and decrease) their chances through the decisions they and their team mates take on the field.

Of course we fully realize that these things need a huge deal of careful balancing. We don't want these parameters to be too strong but at the same time we want them to be significant. We know we will have to spend a lot of time simulating and calculating these things but then we hope that you guys will take part in testing and giving feedback on these things so that we also know how they are working in "live" so to say. One thing is for sure though... momentum as a foundation, and all of the ways we can use it, will change FID matches and game play for ever...

IMPORTANT OBSERVATION: If we are able to decrease randomness in situations then attributes such as FFB attributes will have a higher impact on FFB outcome. This means that strong fighters will be more powerful in situations where there's often going to be a FFB (for example in the box when defenses will now have to play lower and closer to own goal than before (see previous blog post)). Therefore we do not believe that movement attributes such as Speed and Acceleration will become overpowered because of momentum. Instead it will create different aspects of the game and we believe that importance of attributes will be increased in all different areas (but of course differently depending on your role on the field) at the same time as it will give user decisions a higher importance in FID that what it has today.

I hope all of this made sense and that I managed to convey even more of our visions and ideas behind the momentum functionality... smiling
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#16 Posted : Friday, February 17, 2012 7:13:11 PM



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And... based on my two posts related to momentum I thought it'd be a good idea to create a place where you guys could vent your thoughts and ideas on the concept:

http://forum.footballide...spx?g=posts&t=160395
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#17 Posted : Friday, February 24, 2012 2:59:06 PM



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FIDA Pages - concept and vision

As most of you know by now we are currently focusing our time heavily in two areas; Momentum development (as you can see from above blog-posts) and FIDA Pages. I think its time I tell you a little bit more about the concept and vision of the FIDA Pages. So let me try to bring some further details about what we are trying to accomplish with this...

The following concepts and visions has already been discussed within the Key User Group and also within the Unofficial FIDA organizations.


First and foremost, these are the main goals with why we have such big expectations on FIDAs and why we are aiming towards making FIDA organizations a very big thing in FID:

- FIDAs will help FID grow

- FIDAs will increase activity level

- FIDAs will enhance the experience for the rest of the members


- FIDAs will generate revenue to keep the FID project going and to develop it further

So, why do we believe that FIDAs can do all this:

1. FIDAs will help FID Grow

Of course there will already be some fundamental and strong reasons for FIDAs to want to recruit more members from outside of FID in order for their region to grow. But we intend to also add some more reasons for FIDAs to recruite and help FID grow. For example; we intend to implement it so that each National FIDA get 5% of all FIDC generated by members in their nation. This way, by having a strong (and active) member base, a national FIDA can increase it's funds which they can then use to attend tournaments and to create their own tournaments with.

2. FIDAs will increase activity level

There are also some obvious basic reasons why a FIDA would want to keep their part of the community active but as mentioned above an active member base will increase the FIDA funds as well. But even more important when it comes to keep the community active is feeding it with information (which will be a big part of FIDA's job) and also managing the different leagues in their region (handling activity levels (closing inactive leagues and moving teams) and deciding upon best match times etc.).


3. FIDAs will enhance the experience for the rest of the members


By initiating and maintaining tournaments outside of the regular league competitions, FID will become an even more exciting place to be in. World Cup, Champions League, National Cups etc. will all be at the hands of the FIDAs once the tournament center has also been built (development of TC will be started after FIDA pages has been finished).

4. FIDAs will generate revenue to keep the FID project going and to develop it further

We need to be able to cover our costs and FIDA will play a big part in this we hope. There will be a membership system (where users will pay to get full memberships at a FIDA), they can donate to their FIDA to help out with funds etc. Another interesting thing we've added is that League Sponsorships will play a big part in how FIDAs can get funds to hold tournaments etc. For any league sponsorship that is sold in a country, that national FIDA will receive the cost of that sponsorship x10 in FID Credits. We've already decided that this will be already active from today so in case an UFIDA manage to get a league sponsor after today then we will reward that national FIDA with those FID Credits once the FIDAs have been put in place.

Now, here are mockups for all NFIDA pages (league maintenance and national teams excluded). CFIDA pages and IFIDA pages will be very similar but will have some differences in components.

Please note that these are only mockups. Our devs are still working on laying out the structure and planning and it may be that the end result is not exactly what you see in these mockups.

NFIDA Main pages (accessible by anyone and everyone):



NFIDA Member pages (accessible by any FIDA member):



NFIDA Internal pages (accessible by FIDA reps):



Now there's of course a lot more details in the spec but there's no need for me to post that brick of a document here. Instead I will try to bring up some things that could be good to know with regards on how we plan to implement this.

NFIDA organization and controlling tools

The FIDA presidents will probably be the most important roles in the new FIDA setup. But at the same time we will create a system where the presidents cannot perform their work without having a good FIDA organziation. A big amount of the actions that a FIDA (and thereby also its president) can perform is going to have to be validated by 2 other reps of that FIDA (or by reps from the parent FIDAs). In addtion to this some very sensitive actions will not only have to be validated by 2 other reps of that FIDA but also by someone from the parent FIDA (examples of this is changing of match times or poll creation where voting is only limited to paying members with the same nationality as the FIDA's nation (could be used for example to hold polls about national manager selection)). This means that a president will be the first and only position in a recently activated NFIDA but since he needs 2 FIDA reps to validate his actions he will not be able to perform many of the activities until he has got his organization in place. To begin with (being on his own) the president will even need the parent FIDAs to validate his appointments of other FIDA reps.

This can sound like a bit of a complicated process but it is definitely required in order not to risk the FIDAs turning into "one-man shows". It also very much minimizes the risk of for example someone sending out a "bad newsletter" with a lot of filth etc. since it will require 3 people to be involved in that action which means 3 people will be banned from FID after such an action.

FIDA Memberships

Memberships are on User level and there are two membership levels in NFIDA:

- Free membership
This membership is received automatically with the NFIDA of the User's nationality (users can not receive free memberships in any other way so only one free membership per user). This membership level entitles the user to receiving newsletters from that NFIDA and gives viewing access to the NFIDA member area (viewing polls and forums).

- Full membership
This membership is purchased for something like 150 FIDC for 3 months. A user can purchase this membership in any NFIDA (and in as many NFIDAs as he likes) and will give same benefits as the free membership but in addition the user will be able to participate in polls and post in the forums. This is an important factor with regards to quality of poll results. It will minimize the risk of multi-accounts created just to be able to vote more than once in a poll since the user will have to invest something into each membership (this is also the reason why users will not be able to use FIDC from their char goals to purchase these memberships). It is also a way to ensure that the NFIDA organization puts in as much effort as possible to improve its community and national competitions; if NFIDA doesn't do a good job they will not get any members and thereby will have a hard time raising the funds for the big tournaments.

Please note that as a result from some great suggestions and discussions in the Key User Group the following will also apply:

* Users who have Supporter Pass get full membership in own nation's FIDA
* Users who have an additional character slot get full membership in own nation's FIDA

I hope you understand the reasoning behind this system. It is very important that a user has purchased something (invested something into FID) before he gets the right to vote, this in order to decrease the risk of cheating severely. If a user has paid money for something the risk of him cheating (and thereby risking to lose what he has paid for) is a lot smaller. Therefore we shouldn't see too many multi-accounts being created in order to "rig polls".


The membership level "flows upwards". This means that a user that has a paid membership in a NFIDA will have the same benefits (poll and forum interaction) in the CFIDA that that NFIDA is connected to as well as in IFIDA. This means that it is enough to have one paid NFIDA membership in order to be able to attend polls held by IFIDA.

FIDA Funds

As you know we are planning to create a "financial system" around tournaments where FIDA's will play a big part. In order to attend big international tournaments (such as WC, CL etc.) or hold own national tournaments (such as a national cup) FIDA's need to have funds. This then results in the fact that FIDAs need to put in effort into growing their community as well as handling the national league in a good way. By doing so they will be able to increase the funds on their bank account. Now there are several ways for FIDAs to increase their funds and all of them need to be connected to them doing a good job:

- Paid NFIDA Memberships

- Donations (users can donate FIDC freely to any NFIDA)

- User activity in nation
NFIDA will receive 5% of any FIDC, that users from that NFIDA's nation generate through the credits providers. This way we ensure that NFIDAs are rewarded for marketing FID in their nation as well as making sure that as many of the users as possible become active (the more active users in a nation the more FIDC will be generated in that nation of course).

- League Sponsorships
If someone purchase a League Sponsorship in a league that a NFIDA controls that NFIDA will receive the price of the sponsorship (USD) x 10 in FIDC. So if someone purchase SWE1A for 400 USD the NFIDA will receive 4.000 FIDC. This is a great way of getting a lot of funds in a short time but it also requires that the NFIDA does their job well to improve their leagues since the price of a league sponsorship is based on the TTV of that league.

- Predictions (not yet decided if this will be done)
NFIDA's (as well as CFIDAs and IFIDAs) will be able to create FIDA specific predictions (selecting which 12 matches should be included in their ongoing prediction and maybe even add funds to the prediction in order to make it very interesting). It may be that FIDAs should receive parts of the total prediction pot so by marketing their prediction heavily they could make it possible that the prediction becomes a fund generator for them.

- Funding from tournaments (in the future)
We are planning to make the tournament center so that the creator of the tournament can decide how the total tournament fees should be divided. Parts of it can then be allocated to the winner, runner up etc. but parts can also be allocated to the entity arranging the tournament. This means that if a NFIDA plays their cards right and create an interesting tournament they can actually make sure they receive funding as part of their tournament.

Status

I won't say anything about when the FIDA pages can be deployed but as you can see we have some huge plans for it and we are focusing heavily on this now. Its a massive development task and we will deploy it piece by piece starting off with the most basic features making it possible for FIDAs to organize themselves. Then from that point onwards we will just keep deploying new parts of the FIDA until its all finished and we can start developing the Tournament Center.

In order for the first delivery to enable FIDA's to start organizing it need to contain the following as we see it:

- Overall Page structure and menu system
- FIDA organization tool (appointing FIDA reps and giving them access to FIDA tools (includes auto-messaging to users who are invited to join etc.))
- FIDA poll tool (in order to have official polls on for example who should be president)
- FIDA forum tool (in order to be able to discuss and work together internally within FIDAs but also to be able to "hear the voice of the community").
- FIDA communication tool (in order to communicate about polls etc. through newsletters, direct messages and press releases)
- FIDA main pages and member pages (this of course need to be in place since it is "the hub" of everything that is FIDA related).

Now, how far have we come:

- Overall Page structure and menu system finished
- We have finished the FIDA organization tool
- Underlying action history and action verification system has been finished
- We have now "standardized" the on-site forum functionality. This included rebuilding team forums a bit but we will now have a much easier and quicker task when adding forums to other areas such as FIDA member forums, FIDA internal forums, League Forums etc. We are also soon finished with some extensions to the forums (which will then be included in all types of forums). These extensions are; possibility for "moderator role" to create sub-forums and sticky topics.
- We have started development on Communication Tool

So, summarizing what is left before we can deploy first version is:

- FIDA Communication tool (started)
- FIDA Poll tool
- FIDA main pages and member pages (the pages that displays all that is created "in the background" as well as handles some of the user specific functions)

Most of the time up until now has been spent on developing a big part of the underlying data structures and control system (creating a flexible system that can allocate different verification rules (how many reps are required to verify an action) to different actions and different FIDAs. Also the organization maintenance tool has been time consuming since it required a lot of underlying flows such as sending an invitation to the user that is appointed (so that he can accept a FIDA role etc.) as well as a user access system that decides what tools the rep has access to.

Plan

So, the plan now looks as follows:

1. Develop the first basic version of the FIDA Pages including:

- Overall Page structure and menu system
- FIDA organization tool
- FIDA poll tool
- FIDA forum tool
- FIDA communication tool
- FIDA main pages and member pages

2. Now, this will allow us to start establishing FIDA organizations. We as FIDAdmins will take on the role as "intermediary IFIDA (International FIDA) organization". We will appoint some "intermediary helpers" (users that we know and trust) who can help out with the initiation process (these users will know that they will only be in this position temporarily and that real elections will be held later on). Now, the initiation process will only focus on getting the election of IFIDA president done in a correct way. Once the IFIDA president is in place and he/she has started appointing his organization then FIDAdmins will retire more into the background (still being a part of the organization of course).

3. When IFIDA has been established and up and running then NFIDA elections can also be started and the same procedure as on IFIDA level can be performed also on National level.

Now, this is a lot of information here but I hope you've enjoyed reading it and that you now want to give your opinion on this concept and vision in this topic that I've just created here.
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FIDAdmin1
#18 Posted : Friday, February 24, 2012 3:26:06 PM



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We have decided to make use of facebook's "self-marketing nature" and started a poll there in which we would like to hear the voice of the community when it comes to what we should focus our development on after having built the first version of FIDA pages (either we build the Tournament Center (leads to World Cup etc.) or we build the League Maintenance functionality (allows for FIDAs to maintain activity in league by moving teams, closing bot-leauges, deciding match times etc.)).

So, become a fan of Footballidentity on Facebook and cast your vote.
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FIDAdmin1
#19 Posted : Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:29:45 PM



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Difficult decisions...

Many of you have been waiting for information from us about when the 1st version of the FIDA pages will arrive. The reason why its taken extra long time to bring that information to you is because just as we were about to release the information we got entangled in a discussion that would affect the time plan. Basically the discussion was based around user retention (how to increase chances of new users becoming active) and the more we dug into it (investigating numbers and simulating new user behavior) the more evident it became that we should do something to improve this as soon as possible.

Our discussion led to us formalizing a simple goal for what should be established with regards to User Retention. The simple goal that emerged was:

- New users should be able to find a team during their very first login to FID

With this goal in mind we were able to put down two main ideas that would help fulfilling the goal but that would also be quite easy to implement. These two ideas were the following:

IDEA 1. TRIAL CONTRACTS:

Short description:
The general idea is that managers can create Trial Contract offers that contain a certain criteria. These offers then allow for unemployed footballers (that match the criteria) to “accept” a trial offer and thereby becoming part of that team immediately if the team has enough salary and not yet have 22 footballers in the team. Trial contract expiration period should be much shorter (period should be just a couple of weeks) than a regular contract and gives the team and footballer the possibility to “try eachother out” during a shorter period. If they want to continue together then the team (the manager) can offer the footballer “a real” contract before (or even after of course) the trial contract has expired.

Summary of development tasks:
The following need to be developed in order for this idea to work...
- A good and highly visible Trial Contract Offer list and contract acceptance feature
- Manager/Team Trial contract offer creation/maintenance functionality
- Chemistry should always be 100 for 18 year old footballers (this way new users can find their way into a solid team employment without risking to be affected negatively by team chemistry every time they change team during their first year)
- Trial contract expiration functionality

IDEA 2. MANAGER IMMEDIATE EMPLOYMENT:

Short description:
The general idea is that the system should behave the same way as it does now when a manager is fired or quits or when a new team is created. A deadline should be set and managers can apply for the job. However, the difference appears IF a job deadline is reached and no one has applied for the job. After this point the deadline should be set as “passed” and it should be possible for a manager to become immediately employed at that team (first manager to “apply” for the job after that point immediately gets it). There are several teams that does not have a manager at all and that just go through deadline after deadline. This increases chances that they get a manager that actually becomes active directly (since he could have received this job already during his first login to FID). There need to be a few limitations in place. For example; a manager should not be able to become “immediately employed” more than once in a 24 hour period in order to avoid users jumping around between many teams in a short amount of time.

IDEA3. Readjust footballer if 18 and have Supporter Pass

An additional feature that we intend to implement in order to give new users an opportunity to "change their mind" is to allow for 18 year old footballers to be readjusted as many times as the user wish as long as the footballer is 18 years old and as long as the user has an active Supporter Pass. This is similar to what has been suggested in the forums and by the KUG at several points in the past.

THE DECISION:

Now, hopefully you all agree that these are very important additions to FID that will see new users becoming active at a higher rate than before. This is now where our "difficult decision" appears... we believe that this is so important that we need to implement it as soon as possible. This means that we will put FIDA Pages development on hold and put all site development resources on building these features for 3-4 weeks.

So the result: This decision means that FIDA pages will be delayed with 3-4 weeks. Its not something we want to do but I hope most of you agree that this is the right decision to take.

Also... some good news is that we can now give you the estimated release date for first version of FIDA pages. Currently, with delays for the User Retention features included, we currently believe we will be able to release first version of FIDA pages at the end of May, this meaning that you will get to see the FIDA Pages during the upcoming season.

FIDA PAGES - Half way to version 1 Demo

Now, due to this delay we want to give those of you who are waiting eagerly for the FIDA Pages, something more than just words this time smiling So I've sat down and created a little demo movie for you too look at. It displays functionality from as far as we've come up to date. Please note that this is not a flashy movie and you will see some design and language errors in it but if you are able to disregard those bits (as well as the tired voice of your ol' admin) then you'll probably find this movie very interesting smiling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nooru7sj1CM

In addition to this we are planning to create separate "sticky topics" down in the Announced changes and improvements forum, one for each development area (for example FIDA Pages and Next deployment (user retention etc.)). In this area we intend to keep you more closely updated with progress and issues of each area so that you can follow development of these things. You will see more from us on this matter later.


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FIDAdmin1
#20 Posted : Sunday, May 27, 2012 9:17:16 PM



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Interesting times!

Been a while since I made one of these and we've been kinda quiet these past weeks. That's because there's truly a poopies-load of things going on here and we've are trying to move as fast as we can in all areas. It is some exciting stuff and we know that 2012 is going to be a year of many changes in FID.

So I think its a good time now to give you a bit of summary on what's going on:

Firstly, the closest thing that will happen is that we will make a new site release during the upcoming week. We were hoping to do it already on Monday (tomorrow) but last minute complications before the weekend puts some uncertainty on this but we strongly believe we will be able to release during the week at least.

The new site release will mainly contain two new exciting features called "Training Matches" and "Training Camps" (pre-season attribute adjustments). Please read more about it in my latest status update for the main site.

Secondly, we are really getting up to speed on momentum development now and believe that we will soon actually be able to show a "teaser" of this functionality even if it will be in a "very rough state" and not a final version. Read more about that in this momentum status update.

Thirdly, unfortunately the "Training match" feature (and some other tasks) took some more time to develop than what we had expected due to complications in creating the isolated match engine (which is an important aspect of the new training match feature). This has led to a bit of delay in the FIDA pages but we are now back working on FIDA with parts of our development team and we don't think the delay will be too long. We will update with further details once we have gotten next week's site release out of the way.

Forthly, there are some extremely interesting things happening with regards to marketing of FID. Some months ago we were approached by a big game portal that wants to launch Footballidentity. We have signed an agreement with them and are currently making some integration towards their portal. We hope to be able to launch the partnership within 1 to 2 weeks from now and even though we don't know fully the effects this will have we are expecting tens of thousands of new users registering from the following regions:

- Brazil
- Turkey
- Netherlands
- Argentina
- Venezuela
- Chile
- Mexico

We hope that you guys find these news as exciting as we do and that you want to start gathering your forces and prepare yourself for reception of these new users. We also want to urge anyone that has an interest in becoming a Game Master, Moderator or Translator (and especially within these regions) to contact us at:

Game Masters: fid.headGM@communisport.com
Moderators: fid.headmoderator@communisport.com
Translators: fid.headtranslator@communisport.com

Please put some time into telling us why you want to take on such a role (for example as a GM or Moderator) and why you believe you would be the right person for it.

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