Monthly Archives: July 2013

Project: Online Football Manager Game

Background

When I was a kid I was used to play fantasy football (soccer) type games with my mates. This usually involved picking a team to “manage” (really there was no managing involved :) ), setting up the fixtures and rolling dice decide the scores.

Years ago, when I first started getting interested in programming and discovered QBasic, the first thing I did was begin to write a football match simulation, which evolved into various tools which I used to run an online fantasy football management game, where “managers” (real people who signed up and took over a team) could set their own lineups, tactics, buy and sell players and renew player contracts. That was pretty much the extent of it then, but I really enjoyed creating all of this.

Eventually my programming noobness got the better of me. If I remember rightly, I ran into an issue in QBasic where I had reached the limit allowed for one file (or something like that). I had put all my functions into one file, and I assume I should have been grouping functions together in their own sub files. Anyway, it seemed like a big job to me at the time to fix all of this and I put the project aside.

I’m a little less of a noob now (although still very much an amateur), and there’s certainly more info on the web that’s much more easily obtainable than it was then. I’ve thought many times over the years about resurrecting this project, but with a lot more to it. I’d like to write something similar from scratch and to be run solely from the web, using PHP and MySQL.

At the same time I am trying to better my programming skills, and one thing I’d like to do is move toward OOP. I’ve read a bit about using a PHP framework, and that it should make things easier and faster to code. With this in mind I’ve decided to build this project on CodeIgniter. Finally I’ll be delving into using jQuery for some snazzy widgets and effects.

The Idea

The basic idea of the site is that site users would manage their own football club.

  • They will be in charge of their team selection, tactics and training
  • Buying and selling players, as well as renewing contracts
  • Participate in a league and various tournaments
  • Manage staff
  • Build and maintain their stadium

Each week there would be a couple of league matches, and any cup matches they are involved in. These matches will be able to be “watched” live. That is, the match simulation will generate commentary and events which will be show on a match screen to give the feel that the game is happening live.

At the moment these are the basics I’d like to get into a working state.

The game will be similar to other such sites already up and running, and that seem quite popular (ie. Hattrick and goalunited).

I’ll likely be posting progress as I develop this.