Guide to setting up a Football Manager Challenge

Pompey_Dan

theboydonegood.net
Sep 26, 2009
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This thread is dedicated to helping understand how to create and participate in a Football Manager based challenge.


What is a Football Manager challenge?
A football manager challenge sets a specific target for participants to achieve and a set of rules that they must abide by in achieving that aim. Participants then load up their own game and play at their own pace whilst striving to complete the challenge.


Participating in a Football Manager challenge...
These challenges are ideal for players who are bored with their usual games and are looking for something different, they also provide fun and healthy competition. But if you’re considering entering a challenge then think about how long it will take, if you have a history littered with games that lasted only one season then some of the longer challenges are not going to be your thing. Don’t start a challenge unless you intend on finishing it.


Creating a Football Manager challenge...

The concept: first up think about your basic concept, for example is your challenge going to be based around a particular club or are the participants to work their way up the career ladder? Would you like it to be based in one nation, one continent or across the entire world? Are you using the existing database or have you created a new one using the editor?
Ensure that the concept is both original and interesting, many Football Manager players are looking for a fresh way to approach the game and if you can provide this with your challenge then they will take an interest.

Keep it simple: the challenge needs to be easy to understand and the rules easy to follow, the more complicated the rules the quicker participants will lose interest and you will be caught in the middle of many arguments. It is important to ensure that you play to your strengths... after all, there is no point setting your challenge around an edited database if you struggle to use FM editor.

Rules and scoring: think long and hard about how participants should set up their game, consider what database version they should use (for example 10.3.0), what size database should be loaded, which nations and leagues should be playable and what rules should be active?
Another important consideration, depending on the type of challenge you are setting, is what past experience your participants should have when adding themselves as managers. To ensure that participants are setting their games up correctly ask them to register by supplying screenshots of their GAME STATUS and MANAGER PROFILE.

Once you have worked out how participants should set up their game think about the individual rules that set out how the game should be played. A lot will depend on the challenge you have set, but think about things such as...
· What tactics entrants can use? (Some tactics are considered to exploit the game)
· Are you going to ban the exploitation of existing bugs (such as the corner scoring bug)?
· Are managers allowed to move clubs, if so when and is this restricted?
· What screenshots should entrants supply to prove their progress?

Probably the most important rule of all, however, is that your decision is final. Any thread that encourages healthy competition will also create lively “debate” and accusations of cheating. Set out that you have the right to ask for any additional information/screenshots that you require and the right to disqualify, although you should do so discretely and away from the main thread.

If your challenge is based on participants achieving certain aims to win points think about how these points are to be scored and remember to keep it simple! If you can’t remember off the top of your head how most of the points are to be scored then the chances are you have created something far too complicated! Furthermore, as the owner of the challenge you will have to keep score so make sure that you are able to do so easily.

When will it ever end? Be clear on when your challenge is complete, this may be after a certain number of seasons (preferred in points scoring scenarios) or when a particular aim is achieved (for example winning the Champions League). It is a nice idea to keep a leader board going on your thread, so will this be ordered by game time to complete the challenge or by accumulation of points or trophies?

Test it out: once you have your basic concept and rules set out you should play the game for a season or two to ensure that the challenge works and that you have not missed anything from rules. This is especially important if your challenge is based around a database you have edited.
If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail!
Check out some of the ideas at the end of this post for inspiration.


The thread...
Once you are clear on the challenge that wish to pose, and you have tested it adequately then you are ready to introduce it to the world. You will need to set up a thread and the opening post is all important. Introduce your challenge in a way that sparks interest but ensure that you clearly define the rules in plain English.

Remember that a challenge isn’t a joint story and as such you should discourage participants from posting updates on their progress every other game, this will only hinder you from identifying the important posts that you need to keep a track of.

The thread should be the place that you post updated leader boards so that participants can gauge their progress against each other. Think about how, and how often, you are going to do this.


Stopping cheating...
Once the challenge has started you may well come across participants trying to cheat. If you think that this is the case then discretely ask for additional screenshots or even ask them to upload their game save.

Some of the more useful screenshots include:

MANAGER PROFILE

MANAGER HISTORY

GAME STATUS

In addition, ask for screenshots of news items if they are suddenly richer than they should be or transfer information if you are suspicious of their buying/selling activity.


Some ideas...
Still stuck for ideas, well that might be the first clue that you are not ready to start a challenge... the best challenges (the ones people enter) come from the purest, yet most ingenious ideas. If you have to force it out then, to be frank, don’t bother!

Big journeyman challenge: Win every league in a continent, or part of a continent (such as south America)

Sleeping giant: take a team with a big history who have fallen on hard times back to the top

That’s my boys: win the league with as many players as possible who started at the club.

These are quite basic but you get the idea... be creative.

Or you could create a challenge with a more in depth background using an edited database that participants must download, e.g....

What did the Roman ever do for us? (Abramovich pulls out of the Chelsea project and most of their top stars are sold to clear debts), can they lift Europe’s biggest trophy?


GL everyone,

Pompey_Dan
 
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Alcaraz

Member
Jun 15, 2010
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Great Guide mate.....sure to help alot of people out there,good contribution to the site
 

Dan

I'm back!!!!!
Mar 14, 2009
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Great guide here mate :) and great idea with the challenges forum :D
 

Pompey_Dan

theboydonegood.net
Sep 26, 2009
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Hope the guide helps people be more imaginative about challenges, and the new forum doesn't become too cluttered with poorly thought out ideas! ;)
 
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Pompey_Dan

theboydonegood.net
Sep 26, 2009
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If anyone wants help or advice setting up a challenge then post on this thread or PM me. :)
 

Pompey_Dan

theboydonegood.net
Sep 26, 2009
763
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Test it out: once you have your basic concept and rules set out you should play the game for a season or two to ensure that the challenge works and that you have not missed anything from rules. This is especially important if your challenge is based around a database you have edited.
If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail!
There appear to be a few challenges appearing in the forum that are causing some debate around the setup and rules. I can't help feeling this is because the person setting the challenge hasn't done their homework!

Hopefully, this friendly advice will help.


Remember if you are going to set a challenge, then you really should spend at least a season testing it out. Get a feel for what rules work and, more importantly, which ones don't! By waiting until the entrants point out flaws you will only spoil the enjoyment of your challenge and put potential participants off the idea.

Whilst, it is inevitable that some questions will get asked most are entirely avoidable.

Also, carefully consider whether your challenge really needs a minimum/maximum number of entrants. This is essential for "knockout" style challenges but is pretty pointless otherwise. Think: does it really matter if two entrants choose the same team, they'll be seperated by their results anyway.

Chances are you will struggle to get twenty or more competitors, or at least twenty entrants who will actually finish the challenge! For example Challenge of the Month doesn't get more then 10 completed entries, but it doesn't have any restrictions or high expectations either.

Hope this helps, and GL.
 
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