Where is my skin?

15 01 2007

Please correct me if I am wrong, but looking around the ‘skinning’ community is somewhat like looking for a pair of size 15’s in a shoe shop – there’s not that many available!

Football Manager 2007 – like it’s more recent predecessors – allows the gamer more control than ever over how the software runs and looks for them. The ability to transform how the game looks is nothing new – the Championship Manager series allowed customisation of menubars, leading to thousands upon thousands of various images available to download on the various scene sites. Now you can change the whole colour of the screen, move menu’s about and change various graphics. Unfortunately, I can’t find that many instances of this available.

Like, I presume, a number of people, I find the skinning options in Football Manager a great addition. Granted, I actually rarely change the skin I use, but it is nice to know that should I get bored at looking at the blue and green world of Football Manager, I can try something new.

But upon visiting a few of the websites that dedicated large parts of their space to skins, I’ve left feeling rather dispondant. Sortitoutsi, a site I have always imagined would be abundant with user content, has more empty shelves than M&S on pension day. Looking on the skins for Football Manager 2007 brought up only a handful of files, and many of those were, to put it as nicely as possible, crap. Fair play to the people who have designed these, but at the end of the day, I can’t use a skin where:-

a) my eyes start to hurt after two minutes of looking at those colours, and

b) I can’t actually read the names of the players in the 2d pitch!

I decided to give the rest of the skinning community a chance, so after walking out of Susie with my shopping bags still empty, I paid a visit to Goal-kick.com. Here I could download a total of three skins – two of which were the same, just a newer version, of which I could have downloaded at Susie. Not a good second start…

The third site to visit on my travels was the FM Underground – and I was somewhat pleased to see the sign sticking out of the window proclaiming ‘Files and Graphics’!. Ahh, bingo! However, my enthusiasm was somewhat cut short upon finding they too had just three skins, and two of these I’m pretty certain I saw again on Susie.

A search on google for ‘Football Manager skins’ also brings up fruitless efforts. I couldn’t find a wide range of skins as I expected, and while I don’t often go in search of these customisables, I can recall a time when new skins were quite readily found, with various websites offering different skins to the rival resource sites.

But is this actually my fault? Am I not looking in the right places? I even took a look on the SIGames forums, but found more posts about pictures and in-game graphics, as opposed to actual skins.  I have admitted before that my browsing of the scene tends to limit itself to the blog-style and article-based websites, and I very rarely looked upon the content homes unless I am looking for player pictures and the like.

The community has often produced some fine works of art – graphics and files that would sit proudly upon any professional designers laptop. Yet this year has been rather disappointing to me. FM07 has been available for a few months now, and now that Christmas has come and past even the young and vibrant go getters have yet to surface with their offerings.

But can you prove me wrong? Have I just been looking in the wrong places and not paying enough attention to which sites are the big resource holders today? Please – please – let me know by posting below!

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17 01 2007
The Football Manager Community » FM Community Digest 16/01/2007

[…] don’t just listen to me, go here to find out Blog FM’s views on the Football Manager Skinning Community as […]

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