National teams in Football, Tactics & Glory: World
The news concerns the recently announced Football, Tactics & Glory: World (FTGW).
One of the features of the new game will be national teams. In this article, I would like to explain how competitions between national teams will be organized.
I want to make it clear from the outset that I will not be describing how you can become the coach of a national team here. That’s quite a large topic, which I will cover in another article. Here, I will describe how tournaments with national teams will work in our game.
From now on, footballers will have their nationality displayed. Young footballers will have the nationality of the country where their youth academy is located.
At the beginning of the campaign in Premier League clubs, a certain percentage of footballers from other nationalities will be generated (percentages taken from real statistics). However, if you see a Brazilian footballer in a European club later on, it means the footballer was born in Brazil and was bought by a European club.
For example, here is the footballing journey of a talented footballer from India, who was noticed in Europe, where he spent most of his career. However, he chose to finish his football journey in Colombia. That is, he was able to play on three continents.
Nationalities work as the basis for creating national teams. They also will be linked to football cultures, which I will discuss in another article.
For now, we do not plan to impose restrictions on foreign players. We want to see first whether this complication is really necessary for the game.
Universal tournament generation algorithms
When we were developing continental tournaments like the European Cup and EFA Cup, we encountered the challenge that players can have a vastly different number of countries. Therefore, we had to develop universal tournament generation algorithms that take into account all situations while allowing the tournaments to look realistic.
These algorithms turned out to be a solid foundation for developing tournaments for national teams. Players can freely change the number of simulated countries on each continent. For example, someone might play with a large number of countries in Europe but a smaller number on other continents. And someone else might simulate up to 8 countries on each continent.
We had to develop a new and rather complex system for generating national tournaments that adapt to the number of generated countries and at the same time strive to maintain the realism of the tournaments.
Additionally, new rules for determining which teams can advance from a group have been introduced into the game. A team that finishes third in a group may be able to advance depending on their performance compared to other teams that finish in the same position in other groups. For instance, if the rules specify that the top two teams automatically advance from the group, while the third-place team can advance based on their results (goals scored/conceded, victories, etc.), we will show the player what affects these results and continuously display which of the third-place teams will advance from the group:
Overall, considering that we do not know in advance the configuration of countries each player will have, we are confident that our algorithms can handle any situation. And yet, national team tournaments will be as close to reality as possible within the framework of our game’s conventions.
World Cup (WC)
Every 4 years, the World Cup will take place. The tournament will be held in the same years as the corresponding real-world tournament.
The World Cup consists of two parts:
- Qualification Stage
- Final Stage
If a player starts the game during the year of the final stage, we will simulate the qualification stage that occurred before the start of the game. So, some of the matches will already have been played.
Two years before the start of the final stage, the game generates a qualification stage calendar.
To generate the qualification stage, the system needs to know how many teams from each continent will play in the final stage. For this, we primarily consider the strength of the continents (remember that you can change the strength of continents before starting your campaign in Manager’s Journey).
However, it might be the case that a continent is strong, but the player simulates a small number of countries there. For example, a player might be playing in America but simulating only 4 countries in Europe. In that case, the generation system will need to primarily consider the number of countries being simulated on different continents.
Ultimately, once the number of teams is determined, the system calculates how to structure the qualification stage, taking into account the number of national teams on that continent, the number of teams that should qualify for the final tournament, country rankings, and realistic group distribution.
Therefore, the qualification stage can look entirely different on each continent. For example, here’s how the qualification stages in Europe (groups of 5 teams) and America (league of 10 teams) look:
National team camp
Three days before national team matches, footballers are invited to their national team camps. At the same time, the club cannot have less than a certain number of footballers so that it can continue to play in club tournaments.
The calendar will mark the dates when footballers are invited to the national team camps. So, if you have such footballers in your team, you can prepare for this moment.
Of course, top clubs may find it challenging to cope without their best performers. Additionally, national team footballers may return fatigued or injured.
On the other hand, they gain more experience, and your club will earn Glory for your footballers’ participation in national team matches.
You will be able to go to the screen of any national team and see from which clubs its footballers came. If there is no one in the camp of the national team, then you will see the team from the previous call up. For example, here’s the England national team:
The best national teams from all continents gather for the final stage of the tournament to determine the world champion.
Depending on the number of countries in the game world, the final stage can consist of 32, 16, or 8 teams.
The teams are then divided into groups of 4 teams each. Just like in the real world, the system will strive to place teams from different continents in the same group.
Continent Championship (CC)
Every 4 years, each continent will hold its own Continent Championship: the European Championship, the American Championship, the Asian and Oceanian Championship, and the African Championship.
Each continent will have its unique way of organizing this tournament. Additionally, we’ve created unique cups to emphasize the distinctiveness of these tournaments.
Similar to the WC, the CC consists of both a qualification stage and a final stage.
If fewer than 13 countries are being simulated on a continent, there won’t be a qualification stage. All simulated countries on that continent will directly enter the final stage.
However, if there are 13 or more countries, the teams will be divided into groups of 4, 5, or 6 teams, depending on their number. The distribution in groups is based on the country ranking, meaning each group will have very strong, average, and very weak national teams.
We use the overall country ranking rather than the national team ranking because, at present, we don’t see a need to introduce an additional ranking.
The qualification stage begins after the conclusion of the World Cup, two years before the CC final.
Since the game is built around the Autumn-Spring calendar and European tournaments, the CC will have a calendar more similar to the European Championship. However, if we can introduce uniqueness and realism to the CC for other continents, we strive to do so.
The structure of the CC final stage depends on the number of participating teams. If there are fewer than 13 countries on a continent, they will all be distributed into groups of 3, 4, or 5 teams.
If there are more countries, the final stage can have 8, 16, or 24 teams.
Storing and displaying statistics has been quite a challenge for us. The important time unit for tracking statistics is the season. However, for national teams, one game cycle consists of one and a half years of qualification and a one-month final stage. We had to carefully consider how to align our statistical display format with the formats of national tournaments.
Here’s an example of one of the screens:
In the qualification stages of the European Championship, the England national team finished second both times. This allowed them to advance to the final stage. There, in the first case, they finished third, and four years later, they reached the quarter-finals (QF).
On the other hand, during the World Cup qualification stages, the team secured the first position. However, in the first final stage, the national team only finished third in the group. But four years later, they made it to the semi-finals (and lost in the match for third place).
And here’s another chart, this time for the Brazil national team:
In the America Cup, there were no qualification stages (because there are less than 13 countries). In the final stage, the national team finished third and second respectively. In the World Cup, the team made it to the final stage both times but was stopped in the quarter-finals in both cases.
Watching national team matches
Some players expressed a desire to watch national team matches. Within our team, we are also interested in implementing this feature. Therefore, we plan to implement this mechanic.
In the calendar, you will be able to select which match you want to watch, and when the time comes for that match, you can start watching it in viewing mode.
In the future, if enough players show interest, we will consider allowing you to watch matches from continental tournaments or any matches happening in the game world.
Our game is built on the premise that just by looking at a footballer, you understand their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, friendly matches don’t make sense in the game. Because of this, there won’t be friendly matches for national teams either.
Overall, national teams are more like end-game content. In lower leagues, the only way to interact with national teams will be the ability to watch your favourite team’s match and track statistics.
But when you manage a successful Premier League club, national teams will be part of your football life. You will periodically lose your best footballers for a week or two. In return, you will gain Glory and a sense of pride for your club, which produced such outstanding footballers.
At the same time, you will know that the entire system of national tournaments works quite realistically (at least in Europe).
I’ve described the general mechanics of how national tournaments work. But we will also allow you to become a national team coach. More details about this will be covered in one of the future articles.
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