Developer Chat

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Friday, August 05, 2005

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST


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Friday, August 05, 2005 at 3:00 PM EST.

Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!

Could you explain a little more about the way SF scoring works? It seems that players who are in the mid-50s or 60s in both PE and LP would be very effective inside/outside threats, but in the game they often have terrible shooting percentages, even though they have great composite scoring ratings. (dmang0 - Hall of Famer - 10:48 PM)

Each position is takes into account various attributes of the player when determining how effective of a scorer that particular player will be. I've personally had great success with SF because of the inside/outside threats they pose. But you can't just look at PE/LP, you also have to look at his athleticism, speed, ball handling and IQ.

Will there be additional penalties for putting a player 1 spot out of position? (dmurphy104 - Hall of Famer - 10:51 PM)

No, we did not add any types of additional penalties for playing players out of position - their ratings will dictate their success. For example, if you have a PF that score inside/outside, handle the ball and pass, you could play him at the PG (hello Magic Johnson). Obviously though, he won't be able to rebound as a PF because he won't be playing as close to the basket or defending players which are close to the basket so you'll see out of position effects in that manner.

I am sure someone esle has asked this, but what type of out of position penalty will there be, especially between 2 positions that are as simalar as C and PF? (thethrill10 - Hall of Famer - 10:58 PM)

None, you can play those two positions interchangeably. Now if I was playing a Center at the point, then you're more than likely (assuming a normal center) going to see him with more turnovers, causing less turnovers for the opposition, getting less rebounds since he's further away from the basket and probably allowing his man to score more easily.

Is there any way for WIS to stagger implementation from World to World so that updates don't kick in until after a particular World's season is over? (ddrewd1 - Rookie - 11:02 PM)

We've thought about it and although it's technically possible, I don't think it's something we'd want to do for a couple of reasons. First, I think the more complex the system becomes, the longer changes are going to take to put out. Second, as you introduce more complexity, you also increase the odds of problems with each release. Finally, and most importantly, it gives an advantage to coaches with teams in multiple worlds as they can preview/experience the upcoming changes before coaches who only have one team.

When will we see some improvements for an ability that has score of 01? No matter how you view it, even I can probably attain ratings of 05 with some training, although I might never be able to go beyond 20. (maglor - Hall of Famer - 2:33 PM)

That's something which we'll probably be addressing as soon as dilemmas are added, that is the ability for players to reach their potential so yes, some kids will be able to improve from a 01 to a 20 while some won't be able to get past a 05.

How do you apply HCA? Is it a percent bonus on every aspect of play, on each possession, or just on the final score? (jakurus - Hall of Famer - 2:34 PM)

Actually neither, it's a bonus applied to certain aspects of play which we've been able to find statistically correlated with playing at home (shooting, rebounding, blocked shots, fouls, etc.)

Please elaborate on "revised/enhanced out of position logic". What is the intent? How will we be aware of the negative impact? (infinitebob - Hall of Famer - 2:51 PM)

Since we have the luxury of seeing player ratings, the out of position logic changes are only addressing the impact of players being positioned at different spots on the floor. For example, if I have my center at the point, he's going to be handling the ball much more than a normal center would so his ball handling and passing would be adjusted since he's now bringing the ball up the court and passing into the post instead of passing out of the post. In addition his rebounding would be adjusted because he's playing much farther away from the basket both on offense and defense.

Have there been any changes to the SIM Engine recently with regards to the connection between 3pt frequency settings and shot selection? (infinitebob - Hall of Famer - 2:51 PM)

No. Frequency has not changed.

It seems that injuries have increased in frequency and severity since the advent of the Medical Hardship Waivers. Have injuries increased in resent SIM engine releases? (infinitebob - Hall of Famer - 2:54 PM)

Actually medical hardship has nothing to do with injury frequency. The rate of injuries was lowered when we first implemented a player's health rating so coaches would have time to adjust. The injury rate was brought back up to normal a few weeks afterwards and hasn't been adjusted since. Severity has been relatively constant.

you've alluded to the possibility in the past we will someday be able to influence at least part of our non conference schedules. (at least i think you have.) is that likely to happen anytime soon? and is there any logic to how non conference schedules are generated now, or is it random? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 2:57 PM)

Currently the non-conference schedule is generated randomly. We do plan on allowing you to influence your non-conference scheduling in the future although the exact mechanism hasn't been decided. It could be providing each coach with a choice (hardest, hard, medium, etc.) or allowing each coach to schedule X number of their games (similar to scheduling exhibition games) and filling in any open dates randomly.

Will SIM AI's ever set up in a particuluar offense/defense due to their opponents strengths and weaknesses. (aircartman - Veteran - 2:59 PM)

We do plan on improving Sim AI's game planning but there are other, higher priority changes which will come first.

are we going to start betting the vegas lines any time soon? will there be prizes for that element of the game? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 3:01 PM)

Yes, we're testing the WhatIf-SportsBook now. It's primarily designed as a way to keep coaches who are rebuilding (not having a good season) engaged with HD. It will also be used in GD.

Since the sim engine change last month, the number of shots launched by my best outside shooters seems wildly erratic. I've literally had one guy (D2) score 40+ points in one game (17 3-pt attempts), and then average only 2 3-pt attempts per game for the next 5 games or so, with no change at all to the offensive settings. I know the defense matters too, but these wild swings seem unrealistic. Was this intentional, and if not, are there any plans to adjust it to make it a bit less erratic? (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 3:06 PM)

The simengine release last month had nothing to do with frequency of 3pt shot attempts. The number of shots a player takes is going to vary based on not only the type of defense, but their positioning, if they are double-teaming anyone (and leaving your guy open or vice versa) and tempo. If you have specific questions about a game, you should use the 'email boxscore' link to have it reviewed.

Hi Admin. Regarding the "enhanced out-of-position" logic - could you speak to how (if at all) that will affect each of the most common decisions that coaches make to play someone in a spot that isn't his "official" position? I think there are 3: (a) switching PG/SG, (b) switching PF/C, (c) playing a PG, SG, PF, or C at SF. Thanks! (bluespruce - Hall of Famer - 3:07 PM)

(a) and (b) will be unaffected. (c) may have effects based on who's moving where. A C to SF for example would have some affects on the C's BH, P, and REB.

did last night's STL/TO bug (every turnover was recorded as a steal) actually influence the number of TOs any team had? will this be fixed for tonight's games? (kcsundevil - Hall of Famer - 3:09 PM)

No, the outcome of the possession (turnover) is determined before we determine that it was actually stolen and by whom. So the number of turnovers would not have changed in last night's games. The bug has been fixed.

Has there been any change to substitution patterns? Lately, it seems that players listed second on the depth chart are getting more minutes than the starters. The minutes are set to say, 19-23 for the starter and 14-18 for the sub. The sub ends up with like 25 minutes and the starter 15, without getting into foul trouble. (calvinhydro - Hall of Famer - 3:11 PM)

No, what you're seeing is that if the 'play backups when winning/losing' option is checked, in blowouts you'll see your starters get less time and their backups more time.

When you make adjustments to the engine, do you initially compare normal speed offenses vs. balanced defenses? Or do you compare against averages for entire worlds regardless of the speeds of the offenses and the defensive positioning? It seems to me that having an abundance of slow offenses at the moment, for example, could cause your balancing attempts to skew gameplay rather dramatically in under-utilized sets. (bspisak - Hall of Famer - 3:16 PM)

We do both. Every engine change is tested against a real environment and the output is then reviewed (e.g. we'll play all of the 8/3/05 games in all worlds by division to see how the new engine reacts versus the old engine). We also run the engine against static test teams (e.g. 100 games of the same teams except one team is playing up-tempo, the other is playing slow down). Obviously there are hundreds of possible combinations so it's not feasible to test every permutation, but when we release an engine, we have a very good idea of what we're going to see in production.

How different are the new standardized shooting percentages than what we saw before this change? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 3:19 PM)

Before the change prior simengine release, all 3 divisions field goal percentages were very high which led to high scoring games and especially high 3pt FG%. Prior to the most recent release, HD DI scoring and percentages were inline with actual averages, but DII and DIII were slightly low. Now, all 3 divisions are very close to the NCAA averages (44% FG, 34% 3pt FG).

What triggers a need for SIM Engine changes? (WIS members playing the game, an unconventional team exploiting the system, customer support tickts, periodic stat analysis, or all of the above?) (infinitebob - Hall of Famer - 3:24 PM)

It's all 3. As an WIS employee/HD coach, you see things which may not pass the 'sniff' test for realism which leads you to analyze data and which may lead to a change. Emails are also a big source of changes - most are in regards to actual gameplay (e.g. how did he get the ball downcourt and score in X seconds...). In addition, we check the stats of every world, by division, every day to make sure nothing is getting out of line.

Can you elaborate on game pace? Do the players actually go faster or slower or is it simply how frequently they shoot? Isn't the tiring out of the opponent due to the number of trips up and down the court and not speed? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 3:28 PM)

Sure, tempo controls how quickly/slowly an offense will look to get a shot up. Yes, the more shots you put up, the more transition is created which can lead to more fatigue (for both teams). Playing uptempo can be an effective strategy if you are a. deeper than the other team and at least as talented and b. much more talented than the other team. I play slowdown when I don't have a deep team and/or I'm playing a team that is much more talented than we are (think Princeton v. Georgetown).

There have been odd substitutions (PG playing Center) under extreme conditions (fouls/injuries). Have these issues been fixed in recent SIM Engine releases? (mrsibob - All-Star - 3:31 PM)

The current sub logic works pretty well (IMO) under normal circumstances in terms of getting players their minutes and playing them at the right positions. We're working on new substitution logic which will go a step further and play the most optimal lineup at each deadball using the parameters you've given the sim (depth charts, target minutes) plus foul situations, injuries, ejections etc. which should do a much better job of shifting players over when appropriate.

So with all of the changes being talked about, I.E. player dilemnas, hiring/firing asst. coaches, player transfers, etc., what is the time table that is being planned for their implementation? (KSBeachBums - Hall of Famer - 3:34 PM)

Roughly, I think you'll see dilemmas incorporated this month and probably WhatIfSportsBook as well. Transfers from school to school (we already have players who quit) and players leaving early for the NBA will most likely be in September. Look for an option to hire a scouting service to help with recruiting by the end of the year and hiring/firing assistants not far after that.

Could elaborate on the guard penetration changes? (wmqueen - Hall of Famer - 3:39 PM)

Yes, with this release, a guard's ATH, SPD and BH are given more credit in his ability to score, i.e. beat is man off the dribble. So while of course PE is still important in determining scoring ability, quick, ball wizards will be given their proper credit (think Muggsy Bogues).

Have you guys fixed what i consider the glitch of d3 owners swiping JUCO 2's from D1 towards the end of recruiting? (nyisles2004 - Pro - 3:41 PM)

It was no "glitch" - as more coaches are aware of the desperation of JUCO2 players, there have been very few that continue to slip. Once they receive attention from a school then they raise their expectations as to where they'll play.

I know of a team that had some success running the press without practicing it. Do some defenses work better at lower IQs than others? Offenses? Also, are some Os and Ds easier for a player to learn? (tisi29 - Hall of Famer - 3:43 PM)

No, both offense IQ and defense IQ are important to success. Each O/D is learned at the same rate although player's themselves may not all learn at the same pace.

Can you elaborate on why it seems that guards take much longer to be productive than bigmen in regards to scoring. It seems to me that my freshman guards don't contribute much where as a freshman PF or C may come in and contribute significantly. This seems to be backward from what I see in college? (camrun - Hall of Famer - 3:46 PM)

I personally wouldn't want a freshman PG playing significant minutes on my teams. IQ is more important for a PG than any other position, but that's the only major difference. With regards to scoring, there's nothing different about a guard v. a big man.

I had always assumed LP had some part in a guard's short-range game. How much of an impact does this have on a guard's ability to drive to the basket? Or is penetration something entirely different from being able to score? (r0b0t - Hall of Famer - 3:48 PM)

LP really refers to playing with their back to the basket. Obviously some guards could really do this well (MJ for example), but a guards ability to get to the basket is based on his SPD, ATH, and BH. Mid-range and longer shots place more weight on PE.

If you set a double-team to "If Leading Scorer", does that mean the player gets doubled immediately if he gets the first bucket of the game? At what point does the double-team kick in? (r0b0t - Hall of Famer - 3:49 PM)

No, otherwise the double-team could change every other time down the court. I believe it doesn't start looking for the leading scorer until the 15 or 10 minute mark of the first half.

How much practice time is needed for an incoming freshman to move from F to A in either offense or defense? I seem to be able to get them to the C/B level in almost one season, but then they don't seem to ever show much more improvement and move up to the A level. (KSBeachBums - Hall of Famer - 3:51 PM)

That's by design. You'll see the most improvement almost immediately but it takes continued play/practice to get to the elite levels (A, B+).

Who is the person in the DEV_CHAT:/ image? The one with the banner over his eyes? (paranoid0 - Hall of Famer - 3:51 PM)

You sound paranoid.

Recent evaluation responses seem to indicate whether a recruit will accept bribes. What does "riding the bus to school" mean? (tisi29 - Hall of Famer - 3:52 PM)

I don't know what it means - I can't keep with all the crazy kid lingo anymore. When I watched MTV, they actually had music on TV.

Furthering the Double Team Q, If you have two players set to "If Leading Scorer", and they're tied for the lead, does the game double both, or neither? (kbjone - Hall of Famer - 3:53 PM)

I would have to double-check, but I think it's neither in that situation.

Does the zone defense treat the DEF rating for different positions....differently? that is, all things being equal, will my zone be "better" with PG/SG that are fast/athletic and have good DEF as opposed my PF/C? that is, can i "hide" a poor defender more easily inside and does the engine take that into account? (squidvicious - Hall of Famer - 3:56 PM)

It depends, if, for example, I'm playing a 2-3 defense, it's very hard to hide a weak PG or SG, especially if they're taking lots of 3s. In that situation, I'd play a 3-2 which makes it easier to hide a weak guard or SF.

with the description of double teaming out of a zone to be a box and one, does man to man IQ have any bearing on how productive the double team will be or is it all based on zone IQ? (thethrill10 - Hall of Famer - 3:57 PM)

It's all still based on zone - the "one" in the box and one has only one responsibility and that's to follow that player wherever he goes.

So if I have a guy with 80+ in ATH, SPD, and BH, but with LP and PE ratings low enough that if they were a girl's age, you'd go to jail for even talking to her... That guy could actually be the next Allen Iverson? Some guy who really can't shoot all that well, but still puts up points? (r0b0t - Hall of Famer - 3:58 PM)

I wouldn't say that - AI can shoot, but yes, he could be a decent scorer for you.

How does it feel choking to dowdy in the Conf Semifinals? (nyisles2004 - Pro - 3:59 PM)

Not good, but still a lot better than not getting a bid...

TK, Could you comment on fatigue monitors? What is the difference in a player's gameplay when they are a red bar vs an orange bar vs a yellow bar etc. Is there any change at all? Thanks (beattle - Hall of Famer - 4:02 PM)

Sure Will. Yes, there are differences. Fatigue is calculated based on a player's stamina, his minutes played that game, the pace of play and the style of play. The more fatigue a player shows, the more it will affect his game overall (bad shots, turnovers, getting beat by his man off the dribble). This all relative! You can expect to see increased odds of those types of events IF he's still playing against a man/defense that is fresh. If his defender is also tired, then it's a wash. The closer he gets to red, the more likely you'll see worse than normal play.

The 07/13 SIM Engine release addressed "changes to reduce game to game variability", can provide some examples of what you tried to correct? (infinitebob - Hall of Famer - 4:06 PM)

Those changes targeted shooting percentages. Even though the averages were ok, we wanted the range (standard deviations) to be tighter.

What attributes make up a good 3-point shooter? Obviously PE is not a good indicator. (Weena - Hall of Famer - 4:08 PM)

PE is a great indicator, but you also have to look at IQ, SPD, BH and to a lesser extent ATH.

Earlier you listed the most important attributes by position. I found it curious that passing was not one of them for PG's. Was this in error or do I need to adjust my recruiting strategy? (jobafett - Veteran - 4:09 PM)

Doh, oversight on my part. Passing is important and especially at the PG spot. I think I mentioned this in another answer.

Will we be warned if a player wants to transfer or may leave early for the NBA? Will players only leave d1 for the NBA? What criteria will lead to a player wanting to transfer? (vandydave - Hall of Famer - 4:12 PM)

Normally yes, you'll get some indication that a player wants to transfer although there will be some players which just get homesick and take off during the offseason. With regards to players leaving early for the NBA, you probably won't get much of a choice there - maybe a dear vandydave note. Or maybe you'll see his agent on ESPM or Foxx.

what are the important attributes for players at each position. I'm sure BH & P are important for a PG, but what else is important for each position. (uscalvin - Hall of Famer - 12:53 PM)

Obviously each player uses every attribute to some extent, but here are the most important attributes by position -
PG: PE, ATH, BH, SPD, IQ, DEF
SG: PE, ATH, BH, SPD, IQ, DEF
SF: PE, LP, ATH, BH, SPD, IQ, DEF, REB
PF: ATH, LP, SPD, IQ, DEF, BLK, REB
C: ATH, LP, IQ, DEF, BLK, REB

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