Season one of my PC modded Crystal Palace Career Mode has come to an end, it has been a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable season, largely thanks to the PC platform and customization options it affords the player.
FIFA 18 and 19 were both very good, enjoyable games with 19 specifically aimed much more towards the simulation crowd, and although EA’s updates over the course of last year tweaked the game to a more online-friendly audience (don’t they always) they still stayed fairly true to their simulation philosophy.
FIFA 20 has built upon this, with a slower, heavier feel to players, the game has taken on new levels of realism, and coupled with the OS Sports slider settings, and the various PC Mods, most notably the FIFER realism mod and game play patch, the game feels harder, more realistic, and better than ever.
If you recall, my board objectives were fairly achievable, finish mid-table, reach last 16 of the FA Cup and grow a youth player, I achieved all of these with a 10th placed finish in the league, reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals and am on track for developing several youth players.
The final league table is shown below, just out of sight Spurs finished top and won the league by GD over Liverpool, only one goal in it, so I was pleased to pick up a superb result on the final day of the season.
I have now setup a productive youth infrastructure, I have two 3 star level youth scouts scouting in England and France, and my youth academy is currently full with 15 players, there are a few with very high potential who I have aligned to two saved training plans, and I alternate between these throughout the season, to maximize their growth.
One young player I have a keen eye on is David Boateng, a CDM, who has grown several OVR points, only rated 64 still but after having played him in a few cup matches and the pre-season Audi Cup tournament, he stood out, and I see him as a potential long-term replacement for Kouyaté.
I mentioned in comments here and over on PES Chronicles Blog that I recently had one of the most intense and enjoyable matches I’ve ever experienced on a footy video game, the match in question was away to Liverpool, at Anfield.
One MASSIVE thing the realism mod does well is makes the differentiation between teams much more apparent, I can pick off a Norwich, or Brighton, but playing against a Man City, Liverpool or Spurs is a whole different ball game, their star players stand out, dictate play and cause constant threat, as was the case against Liverpool, Van Dijk was an immovable force, and Salah and Mané ripped me apart down the wings, I had to concentrate 100% for the full 93 mins and felt physically tired after the match, this is still only on professional level remember.
Its a wonder how i even managed to score in that game, which was so one sided it was untrue, but amazingly we snatched a 2-1 win, very rewarding, here are the goals:
My end of season prize money was £24 mil for finishing 10th, which is pretty spot-on to what real life clubs get for finishing 10th, I was allocated £16 mil of that to my transfer funds, plus the FA Cup prize money, a fee received for selling McArthur, a surplus CM and Prize money from winning the aforementioned Audi Cup tournament, meant I have around £35 mil to spend to boost the squad for next season.
The realism mod also tweaks transfer fees to reflect real life, so £35 mil barely buys you one decent player, and I’d like to bring in a CF, a CB and a GK, some wheelin’ and dealin’ to be done.
I did manage to sign a decent 80 rated RB from Benfica, Almeída, in a player plus £18 mil cash deal.
The board were happy with my progress and have extended my contract another year and set me the task of achieving a Europa Cup qualification place, so top 6, maybe a bit over expectant?
Before I start season two I wanted some new kits, Yes, custom kits are a thing in the PC version of FIFA, thanks to the amazing Frosty Editing Toolsuite, but are complex in their creation, kits are split into Jersey / Shorts / Socks files and each one must have 3 separate files, a kit design, a coeff file (embroidery pattern for the fabric) and a 3D normal file (a bump map to give the textures height and an embossed look), so 9 files for each kit, and with a Home, GK, and away kit, that’s 27 files, not counting the separate file needed for the Mini-Kits which is shown on the kit selection screen.
But alas, all done and here are my first attempts at custom kits within FIFA 20, and the clobber we will wear for next season. I have changed the kit make from Puma to Nike, so my next task is figuring out how to change the animated adboards at Selhurst park, so I can replace Puma with Nike.
Season two now starts in earnest, with an opening day fixture at home to Sheffield Utd, then Norwich away, I would be looking to get at least 4 points from these opening two games to get off to a good start.
Lastly, some highlights from the back end of our first season:
17 thoughts on “Halfway House”
Paul – so much to chew on when it comes to the FIFA20 PC thing – a big change of direction for me and one I still can’t quite believe has taken root. Every time I switch it on I wonder what’s going on, but then end up playing 2 or 3 times as many matches as intended, and can’t wait to get back to it.
Spotted a headed goal from a corner in your highlights, and have one to show myself tomorrow – a gorgeous headed goal that reminded me of FIFA15, I think it was, the last FIFA I played for more than a season. That game featured lovely headed goals from corners (and crosses) too.
I played a Carabao cup QF against Man Utd on World Class, to see what it felt like, and it felt like a genuine step up. No space in the CAM zone for long-rangers for one thing. And in FIFA20, when the opposition gets in behind your full-backs, you’re in real trouble. In PES you can still easily sbuff out the danger thanks to the ‘catchup’ feature that levels things off between fast and slower players, but FIFA respects that it’s a huge bionus for the game as you have to show defensive discipline in the FB areas.
I’ve got FIFA19 as part of my Origin PC package – the best 80 quid I’ve spent this year I think (I’ll have early access to FIFA21!) – and might get FIFA19 next time I have a few days off (March) so I can load up the mods for that see what was changed and where in Frosty etc. All part of the background research.
Did you ever get the replay capture script working or did you just go for the native overlay?
NG – Yes, the headed goal came in that Liverpool match, it really was sacrilege how I beat them 2-1, they had 21 shots to my 4, thats footy for ya!
The speed and player stats really do show through in FIFA 20, as mentioned, Mané was lightning, couldn’t get near him, every time Liverpool broke they were getting behind my fullbacks with ease, I switched to a wide formation and 5 at the back and it nullified it to an extent, but then Mané and Salah started using skill moves and dribbling past my players, they adapted, it was incredible.
Easily the best footy game I’ve ever played this one, with the various mod add-ons.
Good luck with the Frosty tinkering, im keen and excited to see what you dig up.
I now have my custom kits and mini kits for the selection screen all loaded in and work perfectly, adboard tinkering up next !!!
Id suggest getting on the FIFER realism mod and Frosty editing discord servers, good community and some knowledgeable people there, already had a few good pointers on changing animated adboards.
Haven’t had chance to mess with the reply script yet, time I’ve had on the PC has been spent editing up video and stuff for the blog, only managed 2 matches at 1am this morning after i’d done everything else and I was shattered.
Paul – re. time playing, that’s the thing, I have modding ambitions too – crazy modding ambitions where I want to tweak fouls, probably impossible, but we’ll see – but even so, currently when I load up FIFA20 I find that I just want to play the game as it is right now… Remember there’s 7 months (SEVEN MONTHS) of the footy game year remaining! Even if you stop a month short of the next release(s), it’s still 6 months to go. Ample time to have your cake and eat it, I.e. enjoy the best of both worlds, playing and tinkering. I appreciate there’s immense curiosity about the rewards on offer from modding though.
When I went up to World Class for the Carabao QF vs Man U, they easily out-shot me and out-possessed me. I had one shot on target in the first half. I recorded the whole game and might upload it for perusal. The AI is fantastic.
NG – I started a test CM using the mods on World Class, as that’s what I was playing on last year, but all the mods and changes really ramp up the difficulty, Professional is more than a challenge right now, as my 10th placed finish showed, so plenty of longevity in the game.
Did you check out the RDBM tool I mentioned ? allows you to hook into the Live game so you can change values on the fly, if you wanted you get set Hernandez’s retirement age back to 40 to get a few more seasons out of him
when the time comes let me know if you want new custom leeds kits as it will take me a good day or 2 of editing to create all the files, edit frosty and produce the mod, 30 files all in actually.
Paul – has no one in the (realtively small) FIFA modding community come up with something to automate that process yet? A set of scripts would do the job if nothing else.
Not yet grabbed the Live Editor for the reasons mentioned above – I just want to play! It is so compelling as-is, and I started my Leeds CM as a test CM that has taken root and will probably now be seen through a few more seasons. Currently heading into April at the end of my first season.
Professional is unrpedictable for me. I’ll get a match that I coast, then another where I really struggle.
I’m not using the OS sliders – what’s the major difference, if you have enough experience of vanilla to compare?
I’m not sure how it could be automated easily to be honest, the kit files are quite complex, you have 3 main files, the Color file which is the actual kit design, which is where I start, adding designs to a template file so it matches the FIFA kit mesh, then you need a coeff file which is the embroidery and shading file, it tells the game what part of the kits should seen as ‘screen printed’ such as logos, sponsors etc, and which parts should contain fabric such as embroidery, then you have a normal file which is a 3D displacement map, which adds height and perspective to the kit, so things like badges, sponsor logos etc are all slightly raised off the kit to give the look of actual elements rather than one flat file.
you need this structure for Shirt, Shorts, Socks all individually, and requires advanced use of photoshop, using cloning brushes, MITMAPS, etc.
No idea how this could all be scripted to automate, think its too advanced.
The idea of a PESMASTER style kit designer is glorious but PES kits are one simple flat file, nothing else, all PESMASTER does is lets you pick pre-set design elements and it then places it accordingly on a pre-defined template which is then exported out and loaded into the game, you don’t have the coeff, or displacement files to worry about.
OS sliders are a must, the game is even more glorious with them, it adjusts all the values so first touch error is more common, shooting accuracy is tweaked, adjusts all the line shapes for defence so defenders keep shape better and fullbacks dont get caught unrealistically out of position, plus much more.
it makes for a much tighter midfield battle, more realistic team shapes and play styles and makes the game harder.
good post Paul, sounds like a decent start to your FIFA20 career mode. I recall last year for several season you had a run of 7-8 games after Christmas which seemed literally unwinnable? I’ve just had the same on FIFA19; was in the thick of the Championship playoff zone with 6 to play, still an outside chance of auto, but then failed to score any goals at all in those 6 matches and finished with a whimper in 8th. It was hard to work out exactly what was going wrong – the games seemed to play out in the usual sort of way, it’s not that my players were obviously nerfed or the opposition turned into supermen. Just in the final third nothing at all came off, the players were not quite in the right position and most shots narrowly missed. Didn’t feel as blatant as PES scripting but equally effective and quite annoying. Anything similar in 20 yet?
Anyway, onwards with season 7!
Paul – Now that Death Stranding has finished I am back on Fifa now with my oven ready Career Mode, having started with Portsmouth. The reason I chose them is that they have thier own stadium as well as Sunderland in league one. The camera angle is similar to the one you like with Bournemouth (Broadcast). As for OS sliders I used them at the beginning on Top Player but wasn’t overly impressed with the game. I then went to Professional/Vanilla sliders and fell back in love. I could try the OS sliders with Proffesional difficulty. As for my season I am currently top coming up to November in my first season.
Abbeyhill – Yes the ‘Xmas Period’ was a definite thing in FIFA 19, a run of games just after xmas into January where your own players seemed nerfed and the opposition boosted I haven’t seen this my first season on FIFA 20 but I am playing a modded PC version with values tweaked and a game play mod, so could be the reason.
Darryl – Always nice to play in real stadiums, that’s why I went for a typical Premier League CM again, the real stadiums.
I’m still on Professional but am top after 10 games, so a move to World Class is imminent.
Paul – Portsmouth is a strange one as it is the only team that hasn’t been in the top flight since they introduced real stadiums for the Premier League. It was 2016 when Portsmouth was included. It is also one of the most authentic in terms of atmosphere. As for difficulty I will go up to Top Player if promotion is secured. Saying that I am just experiencing a wobble as lost two on the trot last night.
Darryl – Love the Bournemouth style lower dam and closer up broadcast cam view, but makes it more difficult to play as you cant see the space between lines as well.
Thankfully, with the PC ver I can mod the camera in every stadium to look however I want, as a default I mod the Bournemouth style camera but with a bit of extra zoom-out and a tad higher, nice balance between the realistic look and being able to see space.
93rd Minute, equaliser vs League leaders and reigning Champions, Spurs, notice the behind goal pyro’s going off when we score, that was enabled in RDBM, nifty!!
Paul – very nice indeed, and have you changed your Reshader settings? Looks richer than your other vids, somehow, but that might be just a night match thing – which reminds me. I need more night matches in FIFA. Is the setting in RDBM?!
NG – no havent changed the shader settings, they are adaptive though so some grounds look different than others during night and day games.
I believe there is a weather option in RDBM, also of course it’s easy enough to change the time of day in game before a match.
Paul – doh! Pre-game settings of course 🙂
Yep – where you change the ball, etc you can change time of day, pitch wear, weather conditions etc.
You can also edit the locale.ini file to force weather conditions if you wanted to play every match in winter, in snow, you could.