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here a few infos about incoming TE4 for everybody wondering about it.
Do not use this topic to suggest new features. You can discuss about anything exposed below, though. New feature requests go here : https://www.managames.com/Forum/topic15-15146.php .
When : hopefully a pre-Alpha near January 2019, a decent Alpha version around June 2019, and the v1.0 around June 2020, but nothing is sure for the moment
Pricing : undecided at the moment, but TE2013 owners will get a small discount for TE4
Platforms : Windows, closely followed by Mac OSX & Linux ; and within 1 year of Windows release, hopefully the PS4 & Xbox One versions
New Features :
- Mainly, TE4 will be built with a new 3D Engine with new 3D players & 3D courts, and the menus will be reskinned (and partly redesigned), so everything will look much better
- The gameplay will also be deeply retouched to produce an even more realistic experience
- Junior Tour will be added to the World Tour
Why 4 ?
- TE 1 is the original TE released in end of 1996, including the enhanced Windows port named TE2004
- TE'98 is based on TE1 but with different menus, so it still counts as TE1
- TE2 is TE2005/2006 : its gameplay is slightly different from TE1, and it's technically better (ie: multi resolution support), and features a network/online mode, and a greatly improved World Tour
- TE3 is TE2009/2011/2013 : its gameplay is significantly different from TE2, technically it's much better with 3D support, and the World Tour is much more complete
- I'm planning to have the next edition to live through many years, so it won't be named TE2018, but TE4 instead
Production Planning :
Development of TE4 will actually start through the development of Tennis Elbow Manager 2, which will focus on 3 things related to TE (and also other things related only to the managing side ) :
- a more complete World Tour, with Junior Tour and starting back in the 80's (or even maybe in the 70's) (and no, still no mixing between men & women, so still no mixed doubles )
- the menus new skin (and partly new design)
- the most possible realistic CPU vs CPU matches
The advantage of this last point is to aim only for realism, without having to worry about the gameplay, as even though I might allow the users to optionally take control of their player and manually play matches, it's not the main point of a manager game.
So once TEM2 will be finished, I'll be able to focus back on gameplay and do a synthesis between the improvements done on TEM2 and the need to have smooth & accessible controls, matching the TE spirit built over the years.
TEM2 development should start once I will have finished to work on my current project (ie: RPG Dungeon Crawler), so hopefully it should be around November 2015 and TEM2 could be released for January 2017.
EDIT: TEM2 is Delayed to January 2018 ; you can follow its erratic development here => https://www.managames.com/Forum/topic11-27585.php
Even More New Features ?
The following features may or may not make it into TE4, but are strongly considered at the moment :
- Talent System (from TEM2, improved from TEM1)
- A couple of new player styles (or maybe even more), to match more closely the global strategy of what I'd call aggressive defensive players (ie: players who base their game mostly on defense, but also can feel pretty aggressive) ; that should help to paint a better picture of modern tennis
- Single tournament mode
- Challenge System (but with a twist )
- Programmable ball thrower
- Service training
- Realtime scoreboard & realtime spectator mode for online matches
More realism, you said ?
TE3 is based on the principle that basic random errors are annoying. This means that in some situations, the ball must pass the net no matter what.
This is why some accelerations can actually end looking like a dropshot. And if you're into realism, it is actually very shocking.
It's also why so few balls end in the net compared to real life tennis.
TE4 will at least partly drop this base, starting by the acceleration (so no more acceleration-dropshot ), and for extreme (and not so extreme) cases for other shots. It means if you play a difficult ball, it'll often have a chance to end in the net, and/or to end out.
So the rules for imprecision, loss of ball control & faults will be completely re-hauled and this will lead to more realistic variations of the ball trajectories.
Depending of the result, I'll add some optional helpers and/or simplified control systems so it will still be easy to get into the game, and you'll raise the difficulty and/or remove helpers as long as you'll improve, like it is now with TE3.
So if you want an early taste of TE4, follow development of TEM2 next year, especially during the beta tests where I'll be asking for your opinion about the improved realism.