Alternative Football Manager

Nov 16, 2015 in Games

Jack Arnott writes for Eurogamer in the Football Manager 2016 review:

Anything beyond that, though, and, once again, I’m stumped. It won’t tell you whether you’ve lost because you were closing down too much, or too little. Or because your defensive line was too high, or too low. Would Prozone analysis have helped me tame those pesky Shrews? Not without a hireable in-game performance analyst. This is no panacea for those, like me, who crave some FM feedback.


Despite a couple of neat additions, Football Manager 2016 is an iterative release that’s sadly short on big new ideas.

None of this directly applies to this review or the quality of the game but is a bit more generalist rambling on my part — I feel SI is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
It’s difficult to make a game that is seen as holding realism above all other values and then see it being criticsed for lack of feedback.

The hypothetical version that sorts this out would be surely used by all real world managers as this gives them the winning formula for winning their own leagues! The marketing of FM being used by real world managers only strangthens this conflicted ideal in my mind.

With all features already in the game the developer might be making enourmous investments now to advance the simulation just that little bit, unable to make great leaps as there is no great leap to make.

I used to think that making Football Manager light was the solution to create a more playable game but as people expect “all of the realism with less options” I don’t think that is ever going to work either.

As long as it keeps selling though they would be silly to overhaul it, as it would alienate the existing fanbase.

I’m hoping there will sometime be an approximation of the FM lineage but with fun and passion as the core values under a different name, perhaps with fantasy clubs and players, silly things happening, no numbers and passion for the athmosphere of football.

Removing index.php from SilverStripe sites

Oct 1, 2015 in SilverStripe

If your website has mod_rewrite enabled but the URL’s generated by SilverStripe still contain ‘index.php’ then SilverStripe is unable to detect mod_rewrite. Adding the following line to /mysite/_config.php will address the issue (Thanks DsX):

Director::setBaseURL('/'); // fixed index.php in the URL's

Sep 22, 2015 in Snippets

PDO / Sybase wouldn’t let me connect to SQL Server until the password was under 30 characters long. That’s a new one.

Aug 10, 2015 in Snippets

The ad policy is what is costing publishers millions of dollars – the ad blockers are what keep the readership from leaving the site!

Automatic crash reporting using FogBugz for PowerShell

Aug 3, 2015 in PowerShell

This morning I integrated our PowerShell processes into FogBugz by writing a small module that submits occurrences of all errors to BugzScout. You might want to do something similar so I did this write-up.

Broadly it works similar to BugzScoutLogWriter that I developed previously for integration with SilverStripe CMS. In this case however, we need to do the following things:

  1. Set the script to stop on all errors so they can be trapped instead of ending the execution of the script.
  2. Capture the error details and submit them to FogBugz
  3. Have an error occur. 😉

I’ve published the code in a Gist for you a have a look. I include the function in every script I use.

Jul 24, 2015 in Snippets

If your blog is more of a reference than a diary, why do you organise your posts in a timeline? Instead group them by category.

Jul 23, 2015 in Snippets

Let’s all turn off on-site commenting, and allow replies via moderated trackback. Anyone can start a blog and participate with increased civility and ownership. DONE.

Enum label lookup

Jul 23, 2015 in SilverStripe

In your datamodel you might have a Enum field such as this date-based dropdown:

public static $db = array(
    "Year"        => "Enum('2013, 2014, 2015')"

Internally, SilverStripe stores the index, so that when you retrieve the value in methods such as onBeforeWrite, instead of 2013 you will receive 1. Use the function below to retrieve the label of the Enum:

public function EnumLabel($field_name) {
    $enumValues = $this->dbObject($field_name)->enumValues();
    $label    = $enumValues[$this->$field_name];
    return $label;

// $year = $this->EnumLabel('Year');

LessThanOrEqual in SilverStripe 3.0

Jul 23, 2015 in SilverStripe

When adding a filter on a DataList sometimes you need to do a <= rather than a <. Unfortunately the LessThanOrEqual and GreatherThanOrEqual search filters do not exist in SilverStripe 3.0.x, they were added in 3.1.

Therefore we have to write our own where clause like the following example:

// Return all the sessions on or before the $date
$sessions = new DataList('AcademicSession');
$sessions = $sessions->where('"SessionStartDate" <= \'' . $date . '\'');

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