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Still reading these? Excellent. Although I suppose with the demo out on Sunday, it's next weeks blogs that will get missed.

Oh well - I'll worry about that then. Today's blog is about some of the changes to the news system inside Football Manager 2008.

Now, this is quite a strange blog to write, as there is so much crossover into other areas. So some of this might get repeated over the next few weeks in other blogs, but I'll do my best not to.

Every year we add more news items to the game and more variation too, to try and immerse the player, you, in the virtual world of football management. Sorry to shatter the illusions like that, but whilst FM is a way of life, it's not actually real. The news system is therefore imperitive for ensuring that you know what is going on not just at your own team, but throughout the football universe.

A few years ago we stopped the "one line" news items to go for more descriptive news items to get them to act more like short, informational, newspaper articles, and we've taken that a few steps further this year with the work of our "media corner".

This expansion includes non-player bio's, which provide a load of information about non-players for news items, referee bio's for, wait for it, yes, you've guessed it, a load of information about referee's for news items.

There's season ticket news, telling you how many season tickets have been sold so far, and how many are expected to be sold throughout the season, improved news items specific to records which your club or players might break, reworked media manager functions, effectively a tidying up of the triggers inside the game for news and lots more, even going as far as analysis of cup rounds, including news about shocks and progress for that round.

Then I could also talk about the new media items, such as when an ex-player returns to his old club, or the new transfer offer news items. But that would be giving too much away, and I'd rather you found some of those for yourselves when playing if that's OK. And if it's not, well, my lips are sealed, so it'll have to be.

If I was feeling really daring, I'd start talking about the increased inter-continental club competition media expansion, with things like pre-match odds and postmatch questions for those competitions. Or maybe I'd start going on about the past meetings button in pre-match news that makes it easy for you to see lots of information about past meetings, and even more info than you get in the "match flow" feature that will be blogged about much closer to release.

Maybe if you'd bought me a couple of drinks, I'd talk about the changes to the tickerbar and informational display, which shows competition news for the current manager and some competition statistics, but there'll be more about that in the next few days when I start talking about the interface changes. Or I might go on about the updated news system which means a highly likelihood of personal news that is more relevant to you in your inbox. Or even

But no. What I want to talk about here are 2 things.

One is more statiscal based news, such as "Marlon King breaks the 20 goal mark for Watford in their 7-1 demolition of (insert your own least favourite Coca Cola Championship team here)." which adds loads more personality to the news items.

The second. Well, the second is a whole new way of looking at news. Not only do you now get your own club news, you also get a special news section for the competition you are playing in, which shows and keeps all the major news that is going around in your division or competition, which can be invaluable in keeping you informed with what's going on at other clubs around you.

There's so much more I could talk about here, but I don't want to ruin the game for you by saying too much. So I'm going to shut up for now, and return tomorrow to start going through some of the new interface and usability changes inside the game, which is going to end up being a multi-day blog.BLOG

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