PC Interview

Championship Manager 01 / 02

We chat to Paul Collyer, big-daddy over at Sports Interactive.

Luke Guttridge chats to Sports Interactive co-founder Paul Collyer on his successes and the soon to be released Championship Manager update...

1. Hi Paul, firstly let me thank you for taking the time out to answer this interview. Secondly, tell us about Everton's progress this season. I gather you're a fan...

[Paul Collyer] Well we have started better than I feared, but I still think we'll struggle when the injuries kick in again. Walter has done a good job in overhauling the squad under dire financial conditions, but there seems to be something badly wrong on the training pitch.

2. Secondly, Champ Man. It's a phenomenon, isn't it? The progress the game has made over the past five or so years has been staggering, to what do you attribute the success of the series?

[Paul Collyer] I think the biggest factor in CM's success is it's ability to immerse the user in a world that is both believeable and that they can influence through their decision.

3. The latest instalment is sure to be the most advanced as any CM fan knows. How much more detailed a management simulation is the latest version; and how does it improve upon previous editions?

[Paul Collyer] Well we have added some nice new features, such as the need to scout obscure players to get their full info, the ability to compare players and board ultimatums. But most importantly an updated database with all the latest transfers from the close season.

4. What leagues will feature within the game, and are any other versions planned? How up-to-date with regard to transfers, etc. will CM be? Can this be updated as the season progresses?

[Paul Collyer] We have 26 leagues which can be run concurrently, and the game's database will be up to date to the day it went to Gold master.

5. Many games rely on graphics far more heavily than CM, which is entirely text-based instead relying on it's accuracy as a simulation. Will CM ever include 3D-incarnations of matches, or something similar?

[Paul Collyer] We have no plans at present to include 3d graphics, but we are considering a top down approximation of matches for CM4. A moving tactics screen if you like.

6. With the latest instalment of CM, how have you kept the balance between accuracy and fun correct. I imagine this dilemma must have caused a few headaches.

[Paul Collyer] Well accuracy is always our first objective. To us the fun comes as a result of that.

7. Tell us a little about the news system present for keeping the manager up to date, how does this enhance the simulation?

[Paul Collyer] Well in a virtual football world it is imperative that the manager sees things happening in that world. The news element of CM simply gives him or her that information which helps to immerse themselves in the world.

8. Transfers next: will they be as ridiculous in CM as they are in the real world? Or have you kept prices reasonable to allow for a few decent purchases?

[Paul Collyer] We always try to represent the real world 100%. There is no intention to make anything "easier" for the user.

9. Along the same lines, how do you calculate a club's budget for new players, etc. How accurate are these figures?

[Paul Collyer] Well its simply a set of algorithms that are tuned and tweaked until the results look realistic enough. We are very fussy, *wink*.

10. What do you think is the main strength of CM that has elevated it time and time again above the competition.

[Paul Collyer] As in Q2 above.

11. Multiplayer options. What have you in-store for us on this front?

[Paul Collyer] We intend to go online with the CM4 engine in 2002 or 3. There are other online management games coming out before us, but we know we have the ingredients to maintain our status "at the top of the pile"

12. Finally, where does CM go from here? Any dramatic plans you fancy revealing for the future?

[Paul Collyer] We are working hard on CM4 for release next year. There is also a CM Quiz game coming out very soon, which we have high hopes for.

Thanks for your time, Paul. Best of luck with the launch!