BygFoot — Free Football Manager

[ Thursday, 17 May 2007, axio ]


A warm welcome to all fans of football manager games. I’d like to present you BygFoot — an open-source alternative for the well-known Championship Manager.

Author: Karol Kozioł “axio”

BygFoot (not Bigfoot :) ) is an open-source program. You won’t find famous football players’ names known from TV, newspapers or other media. But BygFoot has a lot of other advantages. Let’s start from… the beginning.

bygfoot main menu
Pic.1 BygFoot main menu

Starting the game!

First thing you see after the program starts up is the main menu where you can choose between starting a new game and loading an existing one. There is also an option to quick-load a recently saved game which can be very useful when you have many different saves but only one that you play hard. It’s also handy when you choose to load auto saves for instance in case you forgot to save the previous game.

OK, now let’s assume you decided to play a New Game. You can choose between 20 leagues, mostly these are European leagues, but you can also play in Brazilian, American or even Australian, too. There are also specially prepared scenarios of World Cup 2006 and Euro 2008 which I don’t like much so I omitted them in the article (try them yourself if you are interested). Next you have to choose your team (usually there are teams from 1st, 2nd, 3rd league and even regional ones) and start to build your team’s strengths.

bygfoot chooing a team
Pic.2 Choosing a team

The in game view is split into two separate parts. On the left there is a list of players. Here you set your team and manage contracts. The right part is for other data such as information about your next opponent (you can peep at his team and adjust your tactics according to what you see), the transfer list or economics.

Generally the user interface of the program is nice and well thought out. I had no difficulties with finding any particular option. It isn’t overloaded with unnecessary shiny graphics like in some other games, which is a big advantage to me.

bygfoot next game
Pic.3 Information about next opponent

Game options

And now something about the options. There is probably everything that I would expect to see in this kind of program:

  • There is a junior club from where you can enlist promising talents to the main team.
  • You have an opportunity to financially motivate your players (this is very useful, motivated players play much better and you can theoretically win against better teams).
  • You have an option of searching for the right sponsor (if your team plays well, after some time you will be offered a raise).
  • At some point it may be important to think about stadium enlargement and taking care of its security.
  • Also junior school and its coach and the team’s doctor (the better he is, the faster players recover from injuries) need some special care from your side which requires cash.
  • Talent spotters require financing to so that the best young players join your team.

Very interesting is the fact that you have to take care of economics because if you generate debts, you will likely get the sack. And then you have to look for the another team!

bygfoot game commentary
Pic.4 Game screen — commentary

The game

When you set everything you can finally play! In the league, in the national championships, in the Champions League or in UEFA Championship (if only you get the opportunity to enter it). If your team players and tactics are good enough, you win, otherwise you lose. Of course it’s not that simple :) . Sometimes you will see some randomizing factors; for example despite your efforts and endless score attempts, competitors just have one action, score once and win. Occasionally this is in extra time! The agony… It’s just life :-)

Technically, the matches are displayed in text mode, but in spite of this, emotions run high. I have some reservations about the realism of scores. When you play your beloved team for many years, and you build it up to the heights so that others fear your team, it can happen that the scores are very one-sided: 13:0 in the league game or 8:0 in the Champions League. We haven’t seen such scores often in recent times. Well, maybe the Manchester-Roma game would be the exception :) . Say who!? And this is the disadvantage of BygFoot. After a few years of coaching the same team and bringing it to peak of its might, when cash is counted in the hundreds of millions, and all the best players have been in your team for a long time, walkovers stop delighting you. Showing off a little, I will tell you that once I finished the season off (tens of matches) with all wins.

bygfoot transfers
Pic.5 Performing transfers

So, what is nice and what is not so nice about BygFoot?

As I come to mentioning disadvantages, there is one particular thing that I would change about this game. I can understand the lack of true players’ names, but it would be great to keep an approximated teams’ strength. When you choose from Polish League, Wisła or Legia, you don’t get teams fighting for championship, but intermediate teams or even “losers”. Moreover the championship can sometimes go to teams that are not really current leaders, like Cracovia or Arka. It should be fixed, because choosing a team is like picking a pig out of a poke. But after a few years (virtual of course!) you will eventually be the victor in all the matches so it isn’t that troublesome :)

bygfoot stadium improvements
Pic.6 Stadium improvements

But… let’s return to advantages. The game doesn’t contain any obstructive errors. There are a lot of different stats: for players, scores in the season or the amount of trophies you won in the last few years. The thing I liked is that when playing really hard you can win the International Championship leading a 3rd league team. There are no corruption allegations, nobody will throw you out of the the team just because you didn’t win the championship in a year. Sometimes bad situations happen such as top players’ minor injuries, but generally your good attitude will be rewarded. And that’s how it should be!

OK, this is the end of reflections I’m going to count my cups.

bygfoot stats bygfoot stats bygfoot stats
Pic.7-9 More different statistics

Summary

Generally, I liked this game very much. Well, it was the main reason I didn’t get much sleep for a few weeks while playing it. I recommend it to all football manager enthusiasts, and to all that want to try a new decent Linux game. The homepage of BygFoot is http://www.bygfoot.com.

From the football stadium http://127.0.0.1 reported for you Axio. Thank you for your attention.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

This article has been first published in Dragonia Magazine, a Polish online magazine about Free and Open-Source Software. You can download the latest Dragonia issue (first one in English from our mirror). The article has been slightly modified compared with the original version by the PolishLinux team and proof-read by chaddy.

About the Author

Karol Kozioł

Born in 1984. Studies chemistry on Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland. Major in X-ray atomic spectroscopy. Non-academic interests include... chemistry (strange, isn't it? :P), GNU/Linux (more...)

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