Light and Shader

FIFA20(PC) is still happening.

The modding-and-testing phase is pretty much over. The playing-properly phase has begun.

Career Mode, Professional difficulty, Leeds United.

Incredibly there are still over 7 months of our September-to-August football gaming year remaining. We won’t be halfway through until early March.

A long way to go, and a long time in which to have a proper Career Mode/FIFA experience – for the first time in 5 years. Many readers will be amused and sceptical and just waiting for the ta-da! of a return to PES in some form.

My several seasons of FIFA15 were a long time ago – and even they only happened because PES2015 was delayed to November that year.

I think this time is different. The main reason being the capability on PC to modify the game more to my liking. FIFA20, like all its recent iterations, is already a good game out of the box, but traditionally one that eventually palls for me. With mods, all of that changes.

I completed enough of a modding setup to get going. A Realism mod, a gameplay mod, a graphics mod. All I have to add are a couple of scoreboard mods. There aren’t many mods – FIFA modding is much more centralised and straightforward than PES modding, because it’s so curiously unknown.

Back at the actual game – the main reason for everything – Leeds United are a decent enough Championship outfit for me to have the possibility to progress. Or get sacked after 1 season, which is probably more likely.My avatar in this game. The beard is the colour my beard used to be, 20 years ago. If I grew my beard out today it’d be silver-grey with gingery tufts here and there.

Post-match interviews with visible effects on Team Morale are a thing. My recent Football Manager adventures (still going strong, by the way) have prepared me for this sort of  thing, and if anything the options in FIFA20 are a touch more elaborate.

The game moves and plays brilliantly. Here is a full match from last night. One of my early league matches at home vs Nottingham Forest.

This match had something of everything. Goals, a penalty (for me), a sending off, the lot. Best viewed in 1440p, although this will make playback stutter on some browsers/connections.

Is that green too green? It’s like when Charlie Bucket transitioned from his drab grey reality into the glorious Technicolor of Willy Wonka’s factory. In the Gene Wilder original, of course.

I like the colours for now, but if my eyes start complaining about things (as they do a lot these days) I can adjust things down a notch or two if I want, via an in-game overlay that can be summoned with a keypress.

For comparison, here is a little clip I made before I applied the Reshader mod:

Derek Rae and Lee Dixon are fantastic commentators, it should be said.

I’ll want to see the tactical settings having palpable effects on play and how I run the club. Having picked Leeds United, they have a Board Expectation of winning the Championship this season. I already know that is going to be very difficult to do. I accept in advance the conditions of the game I choose to play.By Friday I should have three or four huge sessions under my belt, and we will know if this really is it – a FIFA Career Mode, from nowhere! – or not.

My PS4 is a Death Stranding machine right now. I’ve also got The Witcher 3 on there and intend finally getting around to that this summer. I’m happy with the PS4 because I already have games for it that I plan to attend to, but I wonder if I will ever buy a console game again. I also wonder if I will be at the front of the queue for the PS5 next winter. Waiting to see the rumoured specs in action.

Updated: 28th January 2020 — 11:47

44 Comments

  1. The reshaded Green looks sooooooooooooooooo much better, and more realistic, modern day turfs are much more lush and vibrant and green, both EA and Konami fail to get their ‘vanilla’ turfs looking right, they always look washed out and bleached.

    See, no washed out-ness in real stadiums.

    I will get around to packaging up those tv overlay mods for you later, for the championship, there was a PES chronicles one, ITV HD, BBC Sports, Bein Sports …. but if you’d like a custom one just let me know.

    Ive posted some bits over in the PC Modding section on FIFAFX too.

  2. Paul — another long session just now — 6 matches — and I agree with you about the pitches. My eyes have adjusted to the richness, and I now see black and white when I look at previous shades. The match vid above was 7GB in length, almost double a full match on PES.

    My session this evening is on Sleep mode while I grab dinner, but just before dinner, this happened:

    I can feel this game working on me, rewriting me, reshaping me.

  3. And he got another one later in the same session. Boom.

  4. NG – Good to see you giving FIFA a proper crack. The seasons are a long one on FIFA these days with the Career Mode as it is. I would not have played as much as I did of 19 had it not been something special. So far I see that 20 is carrying on the same. Like Liverpool this season they have made small tweaks to a winning formula.

    As for the console I really don’t think I will buy the PS5 as I have a whole host of games I would like to play on the PS4 and never would if I bought the new edition. Life has too many distractions.

  5. Ng – What a Crack!!! and what a crack again!!! gorgeous goals, and must be music to your ears to be able to bang in some long rangers again!!

    I noticed you’ve changed your cam to a more zoomed in broadcast?!

    Didn’t play at all last night, tuesday night is my allotted early night, catch up on tv, read in bed etc.

    Did buy a brand new electric metallic blue coloured XBOX Controller though to use on the PC as the one I have just doesnt feel natural or comfortable in my hand. Will give that a bash tonight.

    Darryl – Strong sources all claiming the PS5 will have FULL backwards compatibility, PS1 to PS4.

  6. Darryl – I remember when FIFA20 came out there was a huge uproar over the state of Career Mode, but it is absolutely fine now, better than fine… it’s what Master League needs to be if it is to survive, I’m afraid. As for the length of seasons, if it starts to feel too grindy there’s always the option to simulate the odd match or two – against my instincts, though, that sort of thing, so it’d probably never happen.

    Paul – if the PS5 is fully back-compatible in that way it’d make it a day 1 purchase for me. I’m sceptical though as I remember how Sony undid the PS3’s back-compatibility with the PS2 as they didn’t like the way people were actually playing the old games instead of buying new ones.

    Re. the Broadcast cam in FIFA, it doesn’t seem to remember settings between stadia so it’s a manually tweaked view for each one! I know this isn’t how it’s supposed to work, any ideas?

    Hernandez’s stats are fully reflected in his long-shot capability. He has a 73 for Shooting in the ‘front panel’ general stats, more than any other player in the team, including Bamford who only gets a 68. As you know I love a good distance shooter from that sort of position. Shame that Hernandez is 34 so the search is already on for successors.

  7. NG – True, re the PS5 Back-Compatibility, but Sony got a bit burned with the backlash after that decision, so rumours are its in for the PS5, which would be epic.

    As for the broadcast cam, You’re doing nothing wrong, the custom mod doesn’t forget settings between stadiums, if you set it to say 10 height and 6 zoom, it will stay that way for each stadium but the actual camera view will vary, this is because every stadium has different ‘hotspots’ and anchor points, and the camera angle, zoom, height, offsets etc are all based on these, so what looks one way at say Stamford Bridge, will look different at Old Trafford.

    Currently the Stadium 3D mesh textures are not editable inside Frosty, so there’s no way to ‘fix’ the camera to look the same in every stadium, you have to tweak it at the start of every match, which I don’t mind as it makes every game feel unique.

    I’m compiling a list of Premier League stadiums and their optimal broadcast cam settings using the GFX Camera Mod, so when I play at a stadium, I just look it up on my list on my phone and adjust the camera settings before the game starts, then the game plays with a perfectly optimised angle.

  8. Paul – it’s no bother at all setting the camera every couple of matches. I could just leave it alone and it wouldn’t bother me either. If anything the different versions of Broadcast at different stadia introduces variety to the experience. E.g. at my home ground it’s more zoomed-in, at most away grounds more distant etc. I have remarked before that we footy gamers really play a reproduction of the TV experience of football, and on the telly in most stadia you instantly know where you are according to the camera position and angle to the ground, e.g. you always instantly knew it was the old White Hart Lane because of the sharp tilt down when the action was on the near touchline.

    What are the prospects for custom stadia in Frosty? I loaded the game into the Editor last night but didn’t have time for more than a look around. I’ve written down all the values changed by FIFER’s gameplay mod and will be playing around with a few of them today. The Profiles feature in the mod manager means I won’t diusrupt my existing setup – which is currently feeling like one of the best footy games I’ve ever played.

  9. NG – I believe people have converted stadiums from Previous FIFA’s into FIFA 20 using frosty, but haven’t heard of any blender or home made stadia being used, its all down to the complex hotspots, mesh’s and objects linked to the stadia, some of which are not editable in Frosty.

    I think you’ll so find you draw a blank when looking up a lot of the values the FIFER Mod changes, as I did, because they are often not individual values that you can just change, they are part of compiled files such as .BIG, or chunk or DTS files, all of which consist of xml, images, values etc and would need to be decompiled, edited, recompiled then reoaded into Frosty.

    If you go look at the Player Indicator XML File I posted in the forum on FIFAFX, you will see some very tantalising labels in there, Fade Opacity, duration etc, likely to point to how quickly the player name label above the players head fades out – but there are no values, so the xml must link or refer to some other values or files somewhere.

    As you say, the great thing about FIFA Modding and the way Frosty is built is that you are never changing the core master game files, but side-loading the mods in, so in Frosty you can have multiple profiles, I have a few setup purely for testing purposes.

    Select ‘Game’ profile and it loads all my Career Mods, and Tv overlays etc, select ‘Fouls Test’ and it loads my mods where I’ve tinkered with foul intensity etc, its a great tool.

  10. Great strikes not-Greg! Long distance shooting does seem to work better on FIFA (19) than I had originally thought, it’s all about developing a feel for it. Still suspect that truly extravagant goals (30-40 yards) are also possible

    Paul – I’ve just bought a new Xbox controller for PC gaming too. Works really well, good ergonomic feel in the hand, Bluetooth connects instantly, doesn’t drop out. Far better than the PS4 controller I was previously using

  11. Abbeyhill – I was using a controller bought off Amazon, ‘IFYOO’ brand, decent but feels a bit flimsy, and the thumbstick placements just unnatural to me.

    The XBOX Controller I just bought is wired, which is fine for me, and I CANNOT get the PS4 dualshock to work with windows no matter what I do.
    Have the latest up to date version of the DS4 util, can eventually get it to connect via bluetooth, but then drops out seconds later, connecting with USB, all the buttons are mapped wrongly, with no way to change them, I gave up!

  12. I had been using my wired original Xbox For Windows controller that I bought all the way back in 2010. Xbox controllers give me pins and needles after a while but for short spells it was fine. Now that I’m PC based for footy gaming I looked for a more comfortable solution and this week took delivery of a cheap-and-cheerful PlayStation-style controller – this one – which I have been using for a few days and am very pleased with. The only drawback is that the trigger buttons are extremely sensitive. The slightest and lightest brush against them activates the button-press, which is awkward in menus, but my fingers are already adapting and it doesn’t seem to be a problem now. I looked at the XB1 controller and I was tempted – ‘best controller ever’ seems to be the user consensus – but I felt like economising on this purchase so I did. And so far so good.

    I’ve never had the PS4 controller hooked up to my PC because one of my noob errors 2 years ago was failing to include native bluetooth. I could get a dongle I suppose, but my own experience of bluetooth controllers on PC is a patchy one as well.

    abbeyhill – my love for long-rangers is rekindled. Although as can be seen on my second clip above, with the chance that Hernandez rattled off the bar, FIFA does the woodwork thing too. (The woodwork thing being where long-range strikes have a suspicously higher % chance of striking the post or bar than would reasonably be expected. Scoreline management of course.)

  13. NG – that’s the exact brand of controller I’ve been using, this is my one:
    IFYOO Gamepad

    Wish I’d seen the one you got, as it has the lower placed parallel thumbsticks which I like.

    Will see how I get on with this XBOX one, Here if no good I’ll grab one of yours.

  14. Paul – yes I navigated from the link you posted a week or two ago, to their PS3-like one, and I have to say it’s pretty good. Doesn’t feel flimsy at all, about 5% bigger than an actual PS3 controller, very comfortable. Some of the reviews mentioned a lack of longevity to the buttons so I’ll report back in a few months. I’ve got used to the trigger senstitivy (was yours like that?). For now I’m not looking at anything else.

    My only real gripe is that when I put the PC into Sleep and wake it up, this new controller has to be removed and plugged back in to be seen. Windows would see the old Xbox controller automatically upon waking, but not this one.

  15. Yea those IFYOO controllers get mixed reviews, all in all for the 15 quid, the one I have is decent but does feel about a 3 out of 5 stars on the build quality scale to me, a little light feeling and plasticy.

    Haven’t noticed any over-sensitivity on the triggers, but when I first used it, I did have to go into Control Panel > devices and calibrate the controller a few times as when loading FIFA 20 up the menu selector would move around erratically themselves, but having read up it seems this is more a FIFA bug than windows or controller.

    Also I’ve found a new lighting tweak for FIFA 20, a way to remove the sepia like shading from night matches, makes it look more natural, this is somewhat resolved by the Shader settings I use and supplied you (have you tried my FIFAFX shader yet?) but still makes it looks a bit nicer.

  16. Well, I’ve taken the plunge and bought myself a new laptop. I’m aiming for a bit of longevity so that when the PS4 inevitably goes into my lad’s room, I can play FIFA (and maybe a few other games) on it. Short term though it’ll do very nicely as a development machine.

  17. Chris99 — which laptop did you get, specs?

    Today’s goal of the day. Scene: I’m 2-1 down away to Millwall with the last few minutes ticking away. It’s not the equaliser…

  18. Can he do it from miles out? Oh he can indeed!!! Love everything about this footage, notably that strike, the camera angle and the headed through ball for the first goal

    Chris99 – ooh yes, let’s hear more about the laptop…

  19. Corker after corker NG!!! You must be revelling ion this right now!!!

  20. Got it from PC Specialist in the end. They very kindly have a function to format the specs for posting on their forums, so

    Chassis & Display
    Optimus Series: 15.6″ Matte Full HD 120Hz 45% NTSC LED Widescreen (1920×1080)
    Processor (CPU)
    Intel® Core™ i7 Six Core Processor 9750H (2.6GHz, 4.5GHz Turbo)
    Memory (RAM)
    16GB Corsair 2666MHz SODIMM DDR4 (1 x 16GB)
    Graphics Card
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660 Ti – 6.0GB GDDR6 Video RAM – DirectX® 12.1
    1st M.2 SSD Drive
    1TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)

  21. good choice Chris99, PC Specialist have a strong reputation, sourcing from Taiwanese manufacturer Clevo I believe. Specs look pretty much perfect for years of PC gaming, I particularly like the look of that Samsung SSD

  22. Chris99 – welcome to 1660ti club… as you can see above here and in general, it’s pretty much the best tradeoff between cost and performance. The next level up for me would be the eye-wateringly expensive cards, which I might ascend to in a year or two, but for now I’m more than happy with the 1660ti.

    Paul/abbeyhill – I’m getting one proper long-ranger per session, which is exactly the ratio I need to feel happy, and I do feel very happy. A few other mid-distance strikes too. The variety of goals in general is very satisfying. Also, the different feel to all the teams. West Brom and Derby are promotion rivals and were tough. Millwall are down the bottom and seemed pushovers, until they stepped it up in the second half and scored twice. I recorded all of this match (then recorded the above clip from within VLC, hence the message at the start) and might post it in Friday’s post.

  23. Nice Purchase Chris – you should be able to Play FIFA in 1440 on Ultra settings no probs with that, get on the modding bus!!!

    New Post coming up on FIFAFX around 10am.

  24. Paul – dragged myself away from FIFA last night long enough to touch base with my FM2019 save – which has definitely had a role in this new FIFA spell. That heightened complexity on both fronts now makes the memory of PES seem just that.

  25. NG – I would love to play some FM20, but I just couldn’t fit it in, any time spent on FM would have to be subtracted from my FIFA time, which is sparse as it is.

    I grew up on footy manager games, 1st division manager on the speccy, tracksuit manager on the C64, The Manager on the Amiga, Champ Man on the PC, but they are very time consuming and unfortunately as an adult, kind of, there just isn’t that free time available.

    It does make you realise just show pathetic Master League is these days though. Even the youth section, in PES you get given a pre-determined list of players, you sign one, play him, job done.

    In FIFA you have to employ a youth scout, of differing ability, assign him to set up a network in a region, wait for scout reports to come back, choose which youths you want to send to your academy, then from there, develop and train these players with a view to promoting to the first team or selling or loaning out, theres so much to it, and thats just once facet of the game.

  26. Haven’t dipped into FIFA yet this year. in fact, PES also left behind a bit. Again the problem of real football putting me off it. No such problems for you Paul. Pool are imperious

  27. If all the whiny little rival supporters all over social media are to be believed PRS, Liverpool are only top because everyone else has been so poor.

    Roughly translated to ‘Liverpool are the only team playing well enough to beat everybody’…… and long may it continue!

  28. prsgame – your lot are having an interesting season at least, and I think have got a couple of players good enough to stay up. Their problem is what I call Walcott Syndrome in relation to strikers. Once every 6 matches or so they have a good day when everyone hails them – followed by nothing.

    Paul – thought you were going to go for the so-called VAR conspiracy then. It was already known that the most attacking teams would feature in the most VAR events and thus seem to get proportinally more calls for them (and against them). And if anything VAR has resulted in fewer penalties awarded, because refs simply pass responsibility for making ‘big decisions’ to a system that doesn’t want to make the decision either.

  29. Zzzz….

    Can anyone top this for glamorous football occasions….yesterday I was inspecting a drainage trench behind the goal line at a windswept Bishop Auckland FC. I couldn’t feel my f’kin feet after ten mins, I was there 4 hours. Guy I was with had to nip behind the stand for a leak as all the toilets were locked up.

  30. NG – Could have gone for VAR, or the fact that the league supposedly want Liverpool to win the title, or any of the other conspiracy theories dreamt up by whiny little bitch fans of other teams purely because they cant handle the fact that Liverpool have been miles better than any team on the planet for the last year and a half.

    fewest VAR decisions awarded for us
    Hardest Cup ties
    More congested fixtures over the xmas period than any other team

    And they are all whining that Klopp is going to adhere to an enforced winter break and only play the U23’s against Shrewsbury, forgetting the fact that Fergie pulled utd out of the FA Cup entirely so that they could play in the WCC.

    They can say what they say, truth is, 23 wins and 1 draw from 24 matches is the reason we are top.

    Turf – you lead a glamorous life my friend!

  31. Paul – I’m not a Liverpool fan, and for many years was happy with their league mediocrity, as I grew up in an era where they were extremely dominant. However I will be the first to doff my cap to them, as Klopp has got a team playing magnificent football without having to resort to buying galacticos. They can also do what Fergie’s United could, which is play below par and still get a win.

    I feel going down the FIFA modding rabbit hole should be avoided as I currently just don’t have the time. I’ll wait until you and nG have cracked it, and then try your mods 😉

  32. Chris99 – Just played possibly the best, most realistic, awe-inspiring game of video game footy ever, all thanks to the FIFA PC Mods, which took me about 10 seconds to load into the Mod tool and click launch game.

    Theres of course a ton of tinkering you could do under the hood to various game values but the mods that exist already, you can just download and apply, really ratchet the game up to amazing levels.

    The game I just played was against Liverpool, at Anfield, still smiling from it.

  33. Uncle Turf – how’s your FM2020 career coming along? Let me guess… you set it all up and played until the second or third match of the season, and you probably won’t go back to it now. That was the story with me and every CM/FM game, bar a couple of them, until this year. I think it was watching a YouTube series that got me into it this time. Currently waiting to hear back from Sligo Rovers in the Irish Premier. It would be a step up for me from my current semi-pro club (near the top of the table in the Danish 2nd tier) and it feels like a big deal.

    Chris99 – I second Paul’s remarks. It’s too early to start making silly calls but this could be right up there with the very best football gaming I’ve ever known.

    Paul – I cracked the gamepad mapping to keyboard input thing… sort of. I got Select working as the capture button in the Instant Replay feature. And I sent you the script (also the compiled version as an .exe in case you don’t want to install AutoHotkey). Problem is it turns out that FIFA20 uses Select during matchplay and it conflicts with the script (it still works and captures the last X seconds of the match, but it also triggers a weird CPU Auto mode where the game takes over for you, which then has to be disabled by pressing Select again…).

    I’ll redo the script, ensure it only uses buttons/combos that don’t conflict, make it better and more featured (i.e. using all of GeForce Experience), and have it ready for the weekend. Loving this new platform and new game.

  34. Many Thanks for your time and effort on that NG, having PS4 like auto-capture of game play assigned to the controller would be so much better than having to take hands off the controller and hit ALt-R on the keyboard.

    Thats exactly what I did with FM2019, set it all up, spent 6 hours playing and hadn’t even played a single match, got about 3 games under my belt and haven’t been back since as just don’t have the time to invest in it.

  35. Paul – yes I was up late last night testing that there are no in-game conflicts with the joypad shortcuts I settled on, and it works perfectly. Clip capture and free record are up and running. I’ve just got to add screenshot capability this afternoon (actually a bit tricky finding a 3rd button combo that doesn’t conflict with the game!), and will wing the script your way before evening.

  36. Great work, how about L3 & R3 ? is that used in game for anything?

  37. Paul – it is L3 and R3 I’m working with, and they’re both used for something – L3 for ‘opening the body to shoot’, R3 for flicking the ball up tricks-style. Because we so often want to save a clip while the game is in full flow, very important not to accidentally trigger one or the other, and I think I have cracked it. Using L1 as a modifier seems to prevent it while executing the GeForce commands. The screenshot will probably be simply R1+L3. In the script I send over you’ll be able to modify it to your preference regardless.

    Just to confirm, what is it you use Alt-Z for?

  38. L3 for ‘open body up to shoot’ in FIFA? Really?? never even knew this command existed.

    I think Alt-Z just brings up the geoforce overlay HUD, Alt-R is record last 30 secs, Alt-S is screenshot, I cant remember what manual record is mapped to, can check later.

  39. Never knew that either about L3 on FIFA, learn something new every day!

  40. Paul – ah, you said Alt-Z was your free record toggle switch, thought it an odd choice as that is indeed the GeForce overlay shortcut. Let me know your exact shortcuts so I can configure the script for you.

    abbeyhill – I was Googling to make sure and came across that on a forum at 2am last night, and nobody there could quite believe it either.

  41. Cant find a single video on youtube showing this L3 Open Body up control!

  42. Have a Google, something like ‘FIFA20 use of L3 joypad button’ and it’s there e.g this

    https://fifaforums.easports.com/en/discussion/468532/pro-player-press-l3-in-game-why

    But they might have been toying with the young questioner there

  43. its not shown on the in-game controls anywhere, i think this is a myth!

  44. There are many such in football gaming. Remember Uncle Turf’s insistence that pressing Triangle for your goalkeeper when a CPU player is about to shoot ‘does something’

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