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From Luis de Barros, the programmer of Footy (9/02/2003):

I've been able to take a full week off work and was able to concentrate on working on Football Fanatic. It's now late Sunday afternoon, and I've accomplished a few things but not nearly as much as I had intended (isn't that the truth with all projects?).

The biggest thing is that I have the Bosman-rule finally working in Footy. Now as a manager you have to keep and eye on your player's contracts and renew them well ahead before they expire. I've added something in that I call the "Bowyer" factor (after a certain Leeds player); if for some reason a player doesn't wish to renew their contract and you transfer-list him, you will suffer. The cpu teams know that his contract is up soon and that you're desperate to sell. They will offer you a fraction of what he's worth.

I also wrote a new "Parma" routine. A cpu team will poach top players from other teams to create a new amazing squad. Also teams who are at the brink of relegation will try to to muster survival by making a few top-name signings. These work well, they definately have an impact in the balance of power in the top division. I find the "Parma" routine creates a new dynasty in the Hall of Fame.

Since most of the transfer market code has been scrapped, I was able to do a few more creative things with the cpu transfers:
- can now directly sign players from other teams (in the past 99% of the transfers were from the transfer list)
- will be a lot smarter in not permitting too many Bosman transfers
- will grant older players a free transfer
- will cling to potential young players for their dear life
- will see some young gems develop from their transfer system

I've worked on contract negotiations so that contracts can be extended for several years. In the past one was limited to five seasons, now the max is 7 or 8. Players will also take advantage if they are a free transfer and ask for more cash.

Players have become a bit choosier where they play and how much they want. They've also started to recognize their own worth and demand compensation accordingly.

My next step is to try work on player loans. I want the user to be able to take players on loan before purchasing them or simply obtain a loan from a team with a good (and bored) player.

Then the following:

  • I also want to overhaul the stadium attendance system and improvements.
  • Then add some more surnames to the database
  • release the new 1.9 version
  • Create the 2002/2003 data file
  • Work on the data file editor

If you want to see how it works so far, then download the preview copy (931k). Be warned that it feels like a very different game. I also need to tinker with the player balance a bit. Zidane, del Piero and Jardel can be bought (too) cheaply.

Version 1.87beta
Fixed a few smaller bugs and one major one which caused the game to freeze. You can continue your saved games from v1.86.

Version 1.86beta
Nothing new here except I've been working for the last few days on a bug that causes the game to hang at the "Please Wait" screen. Many kind players have been sending me their reports (and subsequently their saved games) and I was able to fix the problem for 10 of the 11 saved games submitted.

Version 1.85beta

  • cpu teams increased to 26 teams
  • cpu teams will load reserve squad players from data file if present
  • reserve squad players will be loaded from data file if present
  • cpu team scouting logic improved (get minimum of three goalkeepers, look for young players, etc)
  • jersey numbers now display in reserve squad screen, can be changed by pressing ALT+S like in the main screen
  • player ratings have been toned down a bit when loading from data, still working on it
  • youth scout won't find 12- or 13-year old superstars so easily anymore
  • overall skill level brought down to earth a bit
  • transfer list reduced from 120 players to 90
  • off-season transfer list won't have as many amazing players anymore as before
  • bug fixed that prohibited transferring youths to reserve squad
  • bug fixed that gave assistant's advice even though no assistant was present
  • bug fixed in complete game results where squad selections or substitutions would show corrupted data
  • autosave feature introduced, can be disabled in configuration menu
  • bug fixed when super-bonus from sponsor would be given twice
  • some additional countries added to the scout's range
  • bug fixed with tactical assignments being reset or corrupted
  • bug fixed with player's user notes being corrupted

Version 1.84beta:

  • additional work to improve stability of game
  • additional work on the salary system
  • additional work on changing teams during career
  • cpu teams have now 24 players
Version 1.83beta:
  • accurate jersey numbers loaded from the data file
  • accurate jersey numbers loaded from the data file
  • salary limit has been increased
  • salary negotiations have been enhanced
  • new 2001/2002 data file - now even more competitive!
  • injuries are bit more realistic in terms of length and recuperation
  • dozens of minor bugs fixed and numerous small enhancements
  • no more destroying the opposition with exotic formations such as 1-1-8, 2-4-4, etc.

These are things that I'm tackling next:
  • Bosman transfers
  • stadium attendance
  • new superstar player to join instead of van Basten
  • extending rosters for cpu teams
  • including reserve players in data file
  • game result engine improvements

Thanks for downloading the game and let me know if you come across any problems.