The emails have been really flowing in these past few days, and although we do read each and every one of them, there are unfortunately not enough hours in the day to reply to them all. So we put together a further list of Q & A’s, which we hope will respond to your current queries.
Q. Could you give me an insight into how the News (i.e. Inbox) Section works?
A. All the News stories have a knock-on effect, which affect the fans’, sponsors’ and team’s satisfaction/confidence levels in different ways. If any one of these stakeholder groups is neglected by the game-player and their approval rating drops below a certain point, the County Board will act upon their unhappiness and sack you from your managerial role.
Each News or ‘inbox’ story is very specifically written and the more intuitive game-player will be able to calculate the knock-on effects more accurately than the less talented player will.
Some inbox stories will be dealt with there and then by the player while other inbox stories will permeate their way through to the Media section.
Certain inbox stories will also instigate a knock-on effect, which bring related inbox stories into being. What’s more, some inbox stories are inter-related on different levels. Therefore, it is up to the gamer to analyse the overall situation as best he/she can and make the decision that suits his/her season best.
With these inbox stories, we really wanted each decision’s knock-on effects to be subtle, as this would best stimulate the game-player’s imagination.
In classic adventure/strategy game style, we wanted the player to have to search for ‘significant’ information. The typical game-player will imagine/strategise potential outcomes until he/she has deduced the situation faced.
We also didn’t want to curb the player’s imagination and answer/follow-up each story the following ‘week’ with another story that spelled out exactly what had previously happened. We wanted it to be like real life where you cannot always be fully sure what is going on in other peoples’ minds; we just felt that if we were to have done it any other way, the News Section would have become too predictable, not to mention slightly unrealistic.
Q. Is the match analysis statistics package in Pitch View Statistics a converted Opta Stats package?
A. No, it doesn’t actually touch on Opta but elements of Pro-Zone were taken into account when we designed it. However, the package’s greatest contribution would have come from hurling experts. One or two real-life managers have actually asked us if it would be possible to produce a version of this package, which would allow them to analyse their real-life teams’ performances. I suppose it’s the way Hurling has gone with inches now deciding the outcome of championship games.
Q. How do the half-time speeches work?
A. Based upon an intricate Group Dynamics framework model, these speeches work the exact same way as they do in real life. As summoning the best out of your players should be your target, you are highly likely to focus on emotions that they are likely to respond to. As a rule of thumb, you should factor in how the match is going and who you are playing against. Furthermore, you should note that certain players with certain personalities/morale levels are likely to respond more acutely to certain words than they will to others.
Q. Who would you recommend as a selector?
A. All of the selectors/coaches bring different attributes to the table but I feel as a rule of thumb that it is best to pick a selector/coach that complements your own abilities. For example, if you feel you are weak in a certain area, a selector/coach who is strong in this same area will help the panellists to improve, as his qualities will “kick in” in the game’s background once you have appointed him.
Q. Is there a rule in the real world that states an inter-county manager is only allowed to have a panel of 24 players?
A. The ruling on panel sizes did change back and forth whilst we were designing the game but for playability’s sake, we decided that each county should have a panel of 30 players, basing this judgement upon Jose Mourinho’s logic of having 2 champions competing for each position!!
Q. Will Underage/Club players be included in future versions?
A. Due to the grey area that currently surrounds image rights in Irish case law, we were unfortunately not in a position where we could include up-and-coming stars/club players in Bainisteoir – Hurling©. However, we are confident that these issues can be overcome and that future games will include such players.
Q. I found changing a training session’s content to be a little tricky, any advice?
A. When one alters the time of a training session etc, the outcome may seem a little complex at first but upon reflection, I think you will see the logic of the situation shining through. However, for the first time user, the best idea is probably to cancel all of the default training session routines and to plan your training session from scratch.
Q. Ross O’Carroll played for Dublin against Wexford recently but he isn’t on the Dublin panel in the game. Why is this?
A. Unlike in professional sports, GAA players are not under contract, which means that they are never guaranteed a spot on their County panel for a set period of time. Although the vast majority of today’s inter-county managers maintain rigid squads, it is always possible that one hurler will be dropped from a panel with someone else coming in to replace him. To have Bainisteoir – Hurling© available for sale in late June, the master copy had to be handed to our replication experts in early May. Throughout the 2007 NHL campaign, we continuously updated each squad to ensure Bainisteoir – Hurling’s database was wholly accurate. However, it was almost inevitable that certain players would be added to, and dropped from, their respective panels during this ‘closed window’. It was during this window that Ross O’Carroll was added to the Dublin Senior Hurling panel. However, if certain legal matters can be overcome, we hope to make available for download an updated database of all new panels (Dublin’s would obviously include Ross) once this year’s Championship concludes.
Q. Did you ever consider putting in a fictitious player generator like the one’s used in other games?
A. This was something that we seriously contemplated but after a lot of discussion, it was felt that having fictitious players would cause too much damage to the game’s realism. Furthermore, we really wanted to produce a game where the manager had to concentrate upon “coaching” the players at his/her disposal to improve, as is the case in real life hurling where the majority of squads are rigid.
However, we have an open mind on this issue and will take the opinions of fans upon this when it comes to including this feature in future games.
Q. Did you ever consider putting a “transfer market” into the game?
A. In Bainisteoir’s Research and Design Phase, we actually did contemplate it for a while, as it would obviously add a certain intrigue to the game but there could be no doubt that such a feature would kill its overall realism. Our overall aim was to replicate the inter-county scene as accurately as possible and introducing a transfer system would simply contradict the game’s goal. However, as every conceivable aspect of modern day Hurling is incorporated within, we feel that the game-player will definitely experience more than enough drama throughout the game’s course!