Du Malone writes: In recent weeks I’ve been reviewing my collation of FM content, asking myself which pieces have had the greatest effect on the way that I play.

Here I focus on a pair of posts by FMStag on Dictate the Game, in which he shows how to make playing FM less arduous by developing custom views.

Part I is here https://dictatethegame.com/2020/05/27/custom-views-in-fm20-why-you-should-use-them-part-1/ and Part II here https://dictatethegame.com/2020/06/05/custom-views-in-fm20-why-you-should-use-them-part-2/.

I used to make extensive use of custom views, but over recent seasons I’ve grown a little lazy. FM Stag’s posts nudged me into resuming.

I haven’t adopted his precise suggestions, mainly because they apply to FM20 and I’ve gone back to playing FM14. But the encouragement to customise views has proved helpful.

Benefits

In two ways: first, as FM Stag says, customisation makes the game less arduous. I tend to work through the game slowly anyway, in part because I don’t delegate much. With the need to flip between screens, progress sometimes slows to a crawl. Customisation has definitely accelerated my progression.

It’s also helped me to make better decisions. A consequence of the arduousness that FM Stag speaks of is that I find I sometimes grow lazy, being too weary to switch screens to check details.

Decisions

I use customisation in two ways. First, to provide more depth to decision making.  For example, when appointing a captain, I like not only to look at the leadership and determination attributes already highlighted on FM14’s captaincy page, but also teamwork and personality.

Similarly with set pieces. When choosing corner takers, customisation enables me to add the crossing attribute; with free-kick takers, I add the long shots and finishing attributes. With penalties, I add players’ goal bonuses.

Stakeholders

The second way I use customisation is to improve stakeholder management. On this blog I’ve published a series of posts on this topic, considering such components as referees, the environment (weather and pitch conditions), and agents.

Customisation helps to remind me of these factors. For example, on the fixtures and results page I add a column for the ref and a column for the weather. The latter reveals that the weather towards the eastern end of Turkey’s  Black Sea coast is always challenging for football — at best, breezy and frequently gusty and wet: the way Tony Pulis arranged the weather at Stoke.

I’m grateful to FM Stag for nudging me to resume using a really very simple way to make FM smoother and more enjoyable.

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