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Football Manager 2012: 'Our competition is ourselves'

SI boss Miles Jacobson talks revolutionary new features and Football Manager in the future...

Outsiders don't really get Football Manager. To them it's nothing but a load of spreadsheets given a lick of colour and a slide bar here and there.

For football fans bitten by the bug, though, Football Manager is a way of life. It has to be, because Sports Interactive has come up with a management sim formula that's as addictive as it is in-depth.

Following the announcement of Football Manager 2012 earlier today, the cycle begins again with footie fans preparing to put their jobs, education, relationships and general hygiene in jeopardy as they submerge themselves in some brand new features.

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We spoke to Sports Interactive director Miles Jacobson about what the new Football Manager season has in store, where we'll see Football Manager in the future and why he won't let us live a wholesome life free of addiction.

We've been told to expect evolution with a bit of revolution this year and we've been given an initial set of features. Tell us which bits you consider to be revolutionary for Football Manager and why.

There are a few different bits of revolution. The main revolution is 'Manage Anywhere, Anytime' which is, if someone's been playing a game for five seasons and maybe they're a little bit bored of the transfer market in England or what's going on in the English league, they can add the Spanish league or the Italian league or the Chilean league or whichever they want to add and try and get a job in another country in the next season.

I think this has been one of the most requested features we've ever had particularly as people will often start a game the day they get Football Manager and they'll start it as a game to just muck about with and then really get into it and go, "But I don't want to lose my whole game, it's in 2020."

So it gives those guys a chance to add leagues. It also gives you a chance to turn off leagues so if you've started a game with a dozen leagues and you're maybe finding that the game runs a little bit slowly, you can just turn the leagues off and it'll speed up.

So that's certainly revolutionary on the one side. On the other side we've got the Adaptive Layout System, which is a tech innovation that means that if you are in a higher resolution you get more information on the screen.

If we'd done without doing it in a tech way then we would have had to do it in multiple different skins, but the way that we have done it, it means that if you're playing in a window you just stretch the window to the size you want it to be and it will just work out exactly how much information it can fit on there.

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Then another revolution for people who haven't played the game before is the new Tutorial Mode because it's actually a standalone mode to teach you how to play the game. A lot of people, when it comes to Football Manager, find the game a little bit overwhelming because there's so much information and we really want to be able to appeal to every football fan out there. So by actually teaching them how to play the game and show them that it isn't overwhelming, that's a pretty good thing to be in there.

Plus the tone system as well. While it's an evolution of another system, I can't think of another game that allows you to say things in six different tones. The possibilities, while not endless, are to a multiple of six compared to what they were before. You can use them in team talks, in the conversations that you have with players and a number of other ways that we might not have announced yet.

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