It has been in the 90s when textbased managing sims appeared on the screens of enthusiastic sports fans worldwide, where everyone was able to jump into a role of a general manager of their most favourite sports.
Games like Front Office Football and others where made by evenly enthusiastic developers, diving deep into statistics to shape their games as close to reality as possible. No other sports than American Football allows such a deep simulation with numbers alone.
But today, it seems the genre especially for American Football has been stuck in the past. Although I appreciate the improvements in terms of depth, I think it is about time to see improvements on other aspects of these kind of games. After almost 20 years being with textbased games, my eyes start to bleed. For a new player into this genre, the games must feel like a clusterfuck of ugly user interfaces.
It is the year 2016 and there are no more excuses to not pay attention to this. The only game that looked okay to my eyes was Bowl Bound College Football. But it wasn't really adding something towards the feeling of being the head coach of a college team.
Another point that makes me go crazy is the lack of passion of the developers to actually show the matches in any form of animation. While rugby and soccer games nowadays are displayed with some rough 3d animations it is a real rarity to even find an offline sim that displays the game in some sort of moving dots or triangles or whatever. Although there is DDS Football 2016 trying to do that, it breaks the immersion more than it adds something to it, since kickoffs/punts and drops aren't even shown. But there is some hope. A game called "Pigskin Empire" (a relatively old game) did this very well (they didn't do much well, though). You create your own plays and the engine simulates the whole game with life playcalling if you wish.
So please, dear developers, it is 2016, you can do that too. You have proven to create games with alot of details in terms of numbers. Now it is time to improve the immersions the players can experience. And I'm looking especially to those, who will release another football game within the next 12 months. It's your turn to move this genre a step forwards.
My perfect American Football Sim ... This is how it would look like for me:
- The depth of Front Office Football 7
- Graphics like the Draft Stage of DDS:Pro Football 16
- Post Game/Draft/whatever interviews that may influence your reputation and influence sales of tickets and stuff
- Create your own plays
- Practice plays
- Animated games on gamedays making you feel the weaknesses and strenghts of your players and team
- Of course the beloved features that allow us to play online