Welcome back to the number one interview series folks, and thanks for all the positive feedback! I am absolutely delighted to bring you the next name in the series, RealTimeFM. I love his blog, it inspired me to copy him with the love of my life Real Oviedo. That project has been shelved now as once I started doing it I knew how time consuming playing Real Time is! So the level that RealTimeFM does it at, trust me guys, it takes some doing. Over to the man himself.
RealTimeFM, thanks for giving up some time to speak to me today. Straight up mate, tell my followers who you are….
Thanks for the opportunity to speak openly about my blog, I’ve been enjoying the series of interviews with people in the FM community whom I respect highly. Let’s cut to the chase, eh? [Calmly] Just play your usual game, the result will come.
My name is Gray, and I run a 1000 plus-post Football Manager blog called ‘Real-Time Football Manager’. I currently live in southern England, and support RSC Anderlecht (which may explain half of my transfer policy).
With your blog www.realtimefm.wordpress.com being the original and best RealTimeFM out there you definitely qualify as a legend for the amount of time you put in, but tell us when you started playing the game?
Flattery gets you everywhere! Thank you. My earliest memories of the series would have been back with Championship Manager circa 1996. An older friend who lived on the same road introduced me to Subbuteo and I’m sure he was managing a side on a CM game too. I first bought Premier Manager on the Sega Genesis and managed Wigan Athletic about the age of 12 or 13. It was a toss-up between them or Bury, and Wigan won out having just signed the three Spaniards Diaz, Seba, and some fella called Martínez.
I took to the side a lot, and happily went to watch them all over the country with my mum when I could. While interest has waned in the side of late, deep down I still hold them very close to my heart. We’ve been through a lot together.
Anyway, I moved on to FM05 when I had a works laptop for the first time and began a Liverpool save. FM07 followed and I took the reins at Toronto. Those were my first long-term saves until everything finally came together with FM13 and I had opportunity to start the real-time save.
What made you want to start writing about it in the Real Time format?
The idea had hit me for FM11 (I typically bought it, ditto FIFA) every other year, but I was working out of the country and awful lot. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever tried it, not that I searched, but it became important to me to document the save as if it was canonical fact. For FM13 the time was right, and I originally approached two friends about a three-way RTFM save all playing separately, but it quickly became a logistical problem and illogical venture.
The game came out mid-November, and I gave myself a fortnight or so to bring the fate in-game up to 01 December 2012 and then start RTFM as we know it now on that date. Three seasons in, I’m still playing.
Where did you develop all your knowledge?
I’m not sure I have any specific knowledge, I’m often reading FM blogs, articles and tactical think pieces and find a lot I didn’t know was available or possible. I’ll admit I still find a chunk of the game overwhelming, but you get out what you put in. I’m not overly interested in fully developing a tactical system down to the finest minutiae but if the squad do vaguely what I want and it’s entertaining, win or lose, I’m having fun.
What has your greatest save been to date?
I’m very fond of my Liverpool save from FM05, but the current RTFM save is my far my greatest. One continuous save, with nearly everything relevant documented for all to read. There’s no hiding from a crushing defeat.
What has been your biggest FM failure so far?
Not something I’d perhaps label a failure, but I find it absolutely impossible to get the slightest motivation to do anything else in either FM13 or in the later versions. I played about an hour of the FM14 beta, but without facepacks, real German club names, and any other custom ad boards, kits, etc. that I’ve added to FM13 it looked very sterile.
I tried an Eastleigh save in FMC on FM13 and took them to FA Trophy glory over the space of a month, but there wasn’t any emotional attachment to the save. My club is Borussia Dortmund, and the squad I’ve built in the RTFM save means a lot to me.
If you were in charge of SI for a day, what would you change and why?
Go mad with power! I like Miles, we both have history in music management and I enjoyed chatting with him over a couple of drinks about mid-90s Blur, britpop and the indie scene at the turn of the millennium. I’d arrange some sort of FM community meet-up day, some sports cafe with a handful of laptops and get everyone together for some FM. I reckon those of us based within an hour of London should try and make this a semi-regular event.
RealTimeFM, again, thanks for your time today. As I said at the start, I think it’s a great concept (and it inspired my now aborted Real (Time) Oviedo project) so everyone should go and check out your website!
Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words. More words I write are at www.realtimefm.net or on twitter @realtimefm. The site is solely a daily representation of the save, no promotions, no advertising, no commission, while my Twitter is often a ramble about RTFM and RSCA in equal measure. Was glad to see you’d tried a RTFM-style save too, I’ve seen a few come and go. Getting over the first hump of starting in the summer is the toughest part, once the games start coming thick and fast it’s a whole world of fun that only belongs to you.