FOOTBALL MANAGER - DEV. STUDIO TOUR (21/09/12)
Hi GAMERS! :D
Last year, I contributed to the "From Bedrooms To Billions" campaign on the 'Indiegogo.com'-Fundraising-Website': www.indiegogo.com/projects/78873.
One of the PERKS I received for my charitable-act was:
An Invitation-For-2 to take a 'sneak-peek' look behind-the-scenes at the multi-award-winning "Sports Interactive games" - Studio in Islington, London, on Friday 21st September, 2012. They are the game developers of the world-famous FOOTBALL MANAGER series.
So, let me share that story with YOU. And, please, please SHARE it with all your gamer friends. ;)
I went with my buddy, Farhan to engage in a Fun All-Day Studio Tour and Sneak-Peek Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Upcoming FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013 game in a series-Spanning 20 years.
I also said that, The Only Thing Missing was a TRAMPOLINE.
Moving along our 'Tour-of-the-Studio', I also talked with some of the 'younger-testers', working on the BUGS in the FM2013 Work-In-Progress... They said that the Bugs were Only Limited to the Match Engine..ie. All Graphical, Visual Bugs, No Text-issues. :)
Dave even told us that they play against teams-arranged by Companies in their Local Area. :)
It was cool watching them play....If a little-'BORING'-standing at the sidelines, lol. ;)
Afterwards, we went back to the game-studio, Myself-and-Farhan met Miles, Shook His Hand, and...
The 1st thing he said to me was... "Hi, Oh You're That-Guy Who Helped the FB2B Campaign Reach Its Goal"... :p
I mean, after reading on the website, about SI's Awards, and Miles' OBE in 2011, I came to London, with a feeling of 'Great Respect' and 'Awe' of them. BUT, The fact that I'd made a 'Good Impression' on him, Based on my 'recent-contributions' - was AWESOME! :)
I had brought my iPad2, shown Miles some of my Artistic doodles, and mentioned some of the 'other contributions' I made to that campaign, as well as the "Respective Perks".
And then, we went for Lunch...Joined by Dave, and 5 other people ( I forget their names.. "Sorry":/) ..Fellow "Coders" and Beta Tester veterans, who talked about their history of 'Testing Games' for Sports Interactive games.
Back-at-their-offices, with my iPad2-'in-hand', I showed-off 'Snapshots' of my 'Artistic Doodles' and Sketches.
I told Miles that I wanted to Start as a Tester, go into Art&Design, and maybe Production. Miles said:
These guys really Made Me Feel that I'd Made the Right Choice to Enter the Games Industry...I thought their Lives would be Different from a Normal Gamer, but I found a Great Many Similarities. That Reassured me that I Wanted to Work in this Career path. :)
The Q&A Session went something like this:
(I forget some of this stuff, but I now have Miles Jacobson's email address and David Kempshall's Contact Tel. no. Useful for future-contact, maybe. :)
Q - Do you guys have A LOT OF SPRITES, running around in the game?
Q - Ok. So, WHO does all the Image and Graphics stuff?
Q - How do you guys get your RESEARCH into the game? I assume that Your Researchers HAVE A BALL, Getting Season Tickets to Match-Day Events, Mingling with Commentators, and Talking to Football Experts and Managers. :D
Q - Okay. You allow HUMAN MANAGERS to engage in Their Own Role-Play Manager Career, with the NEWS FEED and PRESS CONFERENCE FEATURES. And Players seem to favour Teams They Like - More than those they don't. I GUESS YOU'D NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHEN SETTING A PLAYER'S STATS, RIGHT? Because Fans of Chelsea might have DIFFERENT OPINIONS about - say Ashley Cole's ability, compared to what a Fan of Man Utd might think.
Q - (Talking to the Ball Physics and Match Engine Lead Programmer) So, DO YOU WRITE THE CODE for the BALL-PHYSICS, the PLAYER SKILLS, MOVEMENTS, ANIMATIONS, the A.I RESPONSIVENESS, and things?
(These were simply some of the questions that I asked the Staff - before going out for Lunch, as I met them..But I learned a lot. These guys really LOVE-WHAT-THEY-DO. And they put a great deal of effort into each part of it. :) )
As soon as we sat down to have Lunch in the restaurant, Miles and I kicked off the Q&A. (*I should have got a Photo of All of Us-At the Table, :) ...Too late now.)
Q - Miles, Tell me about the LEGENDARY 'SEGA' OFFER.
Well, .... We got a phone-call from SEGA, saying that they wanted to Meet-Me, and that we should have Lunch. So, we did. We went out for a Curry, and the SEGA guys said: "We Want to Buy Your Company, and We Want Full Control Over EVERYTHING! This is What We're Prepared to Offer....So, We Strongly-Advise You to ACCEPT IT!"
....And then they Wrote Down a Number on a TISSUE, and SLID-IT-ACROSS-THE-TABLE..I looked at it, and it was AN 8-FIGURE-SUM!!! :0 ..But I just Told-Them: "Look, we'd LIKE to work with SEGA, but I have to ask Paul&Oliv (*the Colliyer Bros. - who own SI games), and I-Strongly Believe that They'd Say that ...'We are Prepared to ACCEPT ANY OFFER FROM SEGA, - BUT! - WE WANT TO PRESERVE FULL CREATIVE OWNERSHIP OF OUR GAMES. So, I'm sorry".
At this point, the SEGA guys said: "It's the Best Deal You're Going to Get from SEGA. Okay, Forget it. We won't be going into business with you."
Then THE-DAY-AFTER, Paul&Oliver Colliyer Called-Me into THEIR OFFICE, and told me to Go-And-Stand By-the Fax Machine. I stood there for 2mins., and after that...A message was FAXED-FROM-SEGA:
"We are Delighted to AGREE TO YOUR TERMS, AND WE HAVE ENCLOSED OUR FINAL TERMS AND TAKE-OVER BID. 'We will Allow-Sports Interactive games to KEEP CREATIVE CONTROL OVER THEIR GAMES'."
When I looked at the NUMBER, IT-WAS-DOUBLE-THE ORIGINAL-AMOUNT! Afterwards, I asked Paul&Oliv about it, and they said: "The SEGA President phoned us, and said that they'd ACCEPTED OUR OFFER."
(*I asked Miles, and it seems Clear, that after His-Rejection of their earlier offer, the SEGA PRESIDENT must have told his Negotiators to Double the Amount, and ACCEPT. :) A Really Cool Story!
He also then went on - about their Uniqueness as a Developer with COMPLETE FREEDOM, FLEXIBILTY, and How Their Passion Drives the Company - Forwards. Inspiring Stuff.
Miles told me that No Matter Where You Start, or What You Do, You Must Be Happy, and Passionate, because it's Not a 9-5 JOB, it's an 18-Hour JOB, and How you LIKE it affects-Not just your Gaming Life, but your Work Life, your Personal and Social Life-Too:p - A Lesson 'Well-Learned!)
*I agree, Whole-Heartedly with the advice given by Miles, and I'll take it 'on-the-chin'. BOTH- Farhan (My +1 Studio Tour Invitee Guest) and I, enjoyed the Entire-Day's events with the Sports Interactive games In retrospective-thought, my assumptions about THE FM GAME-FEATURES and BUILD METHODS (Based on what I learned in Chapter 3 of the T2G Intro. Module) were Right-On-The-Mark with What S.I's Staff ACTUALLY MIGHT TAKE-INTO-ACCOUNT in a "Realistic-Project".
But I was SURPRISED - about certain Realistic-Aspects of Football, that might accompany the game. Such as research that goes into it. If ONLY THE DEVS. "DID"-PAY THE LOWER STAFF RESEACHERS TO GO OUT, ENJOY THE FRILLS AND THE SAY: "Yes, we Got some Great Research...And Bought Some New Home-Kits", lol. :D
There are many other questions I asked Miles Jacobson (About Miles' OBE-given by The Queen (EiiR), His Beta Testing Past and Advice about That-Role and Others, FM-Online, Why Consoles are Not yet Ready for FOOTBALL MANAGER, The Relationship between SI games and SEGA, WHAT EACH - Sports Interactive and SEGA "DO-RESPECTIVELY", and I feel I learned a lot about the Games industry - 'in general'. :)
I shared my experience with fellow 'Q.A Games Tester Students&Admin.' on the T2G FORUMS.
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