Friday, 14 June 2013

Formations, Positions, Match Engine

Hello everyone!

Today we are looking at the heart and soul of goalunited: the match engine; and to be more precise, the formations.
The goalunited match engine considers many big and small details about your clubs, players and the set line-ups. Everything has an effect, and with luck, can lead to the deciding chance. It is our clear intention that it is not always the stronger team that wins a match, with the right tactic and a little luck the weaker team always has a chance even against a clear favourite. As a result of the high complexity of the match engine every change that is implemented can have an effect on many other areas of the game, and are never trivial.
We will use the GU next update to perform a few long planned changes to the line-up and formation system and the match engine. Here we will also take into consideration many suggestions from the community, like the request to make wing players more important, as well as to allow them to play on the complete sides on the field, including the defence.
Next to the upvaluing of the wing players we put great emphasis to allow more realistic formations and to remove oddities of the match engine.


In the current system each possible position on the field has an individual weighing of the player skills. This varies slightly from position to position. The disadvantage of this system is that there are many positions on which most of the players with “normal-weighted” skills cannot perform up to their full potential. Many realistic standard formations are therefore not easily manned.
Another reason for us to rethink the current system is to make it more “newbie-friendly”: Many new managers are overwhelmed by the vast number of variations in the positioning, especially since the advantages and disadvantages are hard to grasp for a beginner.
In short: in the future it will not be possible anymore to simply position your players on the field any way you want. Instead we will offer you 20+ fixed formations that are unlocked through the manager career system. These will include standard formations like 4-4-2 and 3-4-3, but also more complex and challenging formations. In the standard formations all players with “normal-weighted” skills can play up to their full potential, in the more challenging formations players with specialized training and repositioning will stand out.
The strategic possibilities that result from the perfect combinations of players, formation, tactic and marking will stay unaffected. You will be able to find at least one formation for every situation and even more important, you will be able to place your players more efficiently.

Ill.: Selection of the formation in the line-up screen (work in progress!)

When a formation is selected the best 11 players will automatically be placed on the field, alternatively the players you had placed on the field are repositioned as possible.

Position strength

The coloured bar indicating the position suitability will be replaced by the position strength. With this you will be able to see the true strength of the players on their current positions. The player strength shown in the player file and squad overview will, as always, show the ideal strength for the assigned (standard) position.
Every position in each available formation will have an individual skill weighing and be therefore suitable for a specific player type. In some formations there will also be positions that can be played on by one of two player types without penalty (like wing player and defender).

Wing players

Wing players, which until now seemed to be disadvantaged, will be more diversely usable with the new formations. Until now it seemed as if wing players trained slower; that was not the case though and only appeared that way because wing players train a wider range of skills. That however, is currently not taken into consideration appropriately for the player strength calculation. This will also be adjusted so that the values become comparable.
These changes might seem radical and give the impression that we are removing an important feature, but don’t panic!
  • You will have thousands of line-up combinations with formations, tactics, players and   marking.
  • There will be no more unrealistic and weird formations.
  • Your players will be able to use their skills more efficiently.
  • Setting line-ups will be more comfortable and more transparent.
  • The match engine will be optimized in many aspects
And last but not least an important pointer: If you do not have any good wing players in your team yet, now might be a good time to start looking for good talents and to start promoting them.

Best regards,

Renke (Game Designer)

Coming up next: project timeline and team introduction