Last year, Football Manager’s match changes concentrated mainly on new animations. For Football Manager 2013 we’ve actually made massive changes, many of which are the culmination of two years’ hard work for the match engine team. One of the major improvements, and the one that you’ll probably notice first, is the brand new physics engine. This means that the ball now moves more realistically and performs differently on different playing surfaces. The ball also curves better when it’s passed and crossed and the players react to its movement in a more natural way. You’ll also notice that the ball reacts more realistically to external influences such as air resistance, wind and other weather conditions. Bearing this in mind, managers can alter their tactics to take advantage of – or to counter – the match day climate. For example, it might be better to avoid playing a long ball when kicking into a strong wind. The main focus of each match is, of course, the players and this year we’ve made them more lifelike than ever. The body scaling is more realistic so tall, cumbersome centre-halves will visibly tower over small, pacy strikers. The head tracking’s improved too so that players now actively look around to find their closest counterparts. As well as graphical improvements Paul Collyer and his team have rewritten huge amounts of the match engine’s AI to make it even more realistic. It was already the best simulation of football in the games sphere and the bar has now been raised way, way higher. Another development of the game engine is the improvement of the match day cameras. We’ve added a user-controlled railcam which allows managers to get the best view of the action during a game. Also, you can now zoom in and out on pretty much every camera getting closer to the action than ever before. The ‘Director Cam’ option has also been improved and now includes dynamic camera changes, not only during the action but also in highlights and replays. FM13 will also feature special pre- and post-match camera tracking. With all these improvements and hundreds of new and re-worked animations and a brand new look for the match screen Football Manager’s match day experience is the best we’ve had in the series to date. There are plenty of smaller updates that you’ll notice. For instance, as well as the overall increased detail on every category of stadium, if you’re a lower-league club who’s in desperate need of a new ground, you’ll notice the stands looking a bit run-down and in need of a lick of paint. On the flip side, if your club has just moved in to a new stadium all the fixtures and fittings will be shiny and new. And for those of you who still use the 2D match engine… don’t worry, we’ve made improvements to the pitch there too. So that’s just a few of the changes we’ve made to the match engine on FM13. With these changes, the match day experience of Football Manager is the best it’s ever been and we’re sure you’ll agree. Here’s some early footage of what you can expect to see in the Football Manager 2013 match engine. We’ll also provide some more videos of this in the coming weeks as we get closer to the game’s release.