So what was it that made the original Football Manager catch on so well, and what can I do now? Well since I wrote it, I know a lot about what made the original tick. I know I made it very playable, very enjoyable, and it had a pace that kept people playing it. I know this because it was all deliberate. I was not new to programming, it was my profession, I was not new to games design- I had been inventing games, both board games, and ball games for years. So there was no random chance about what I put together.
When you are a programmer AND a games designer, you are in the best position to tune and design the game for sheer playability. There are no communication issues in the way. But, there is only you.
So now, I am completing my new Football Manager type game for the iPhone (name suggestions always welcome!). On the iPhone, once more I am free, just like 30 years ago to program and design the entire game myself. So, if I have my way, it will have my strengths in design- simple to learn, fun, very playable. And of course my weaknesses- not flash on presentation lol!
I am close now, I am having fun, creating fun, and that is the way it should be. I will be very happy when the game is (soon) ready for release and I can talk about it and discuss what I have created.