Developer Chat

SimLeague Football

norbert

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST


The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at 7:00 PM EST.

Welcome to the first SimLeague Football Developer Chat. The scheduled update for August 29th will feature some new settings, improved player performance, and new salary structure. If you have any questions about the update, or about future enhancements, let me know. Questions and comments about SimLeague Football in general are welcome, too.

Everything seems to have increased cost wise. How will this affect coaching input and impact? (freelee - Hall of Famer - 7:06 PM)

The balance for building a team was not quite as intended for the first 2.0 release. You should be able to build a balanced team in a 60 million cap. Then you can look at adding to one aspect of the game as taking away from another aspect with regard to fitting it under the cap, so building an above average passing offense may mean taking a below average defense. The salaries were re-evaluated taking the engine updates in mind and, in most cases, were raised. This should promote more variety and balance in the teams you see drafted.

How does increasing the cost for top Defenses improve the game? (freelee - Hall of Famer - 7:10 PM)

We found the defenses were too cheap with regard to balancing them with the offenses you could build. A top defense almost always played better than a top offense you could build - let me rephrase that - You could build a pretty decent offense with a top defense which would compete better than a top offense with a weak defense. The defensive salary increase, along with the increase in some of the offensive salaries, will force you to give up more in the other aspects of your team if you want to use a top defense. From what we have seen in testing, the teams should be more balanced now.

It seems that with the new RB cost that fielding two stud RB's will be a thing of the past. How does this improve the game? (freelee - Hall of Famer - 7:13 PM)

This is another balancing decision. You *can* build a team with two stud backs, but you will have to give up something in other aspects of your team. The rushing cost factors were also increased to balance them with the passing game. They should be more inline with what each bring to the sim game, so the balance between passing and rushing offense was also at stake. Previously, it seemed like you could draft a much better running team than passing team.

Will OJ dominate in the new update? If not, why won't he dominate? Thanks. (michfan2123 - Hall of Famer - 7:15 PM)

He will not dominate as he had in the previous release, but he will still be one of the top backs in your league. He had 2000 yards in 14 games. If he isn't one of the top backs in the sim, then something is wrong. However, you should see less 200+ yard games and you should notice a difference when playing OJ against strong defenses versus weak defenses.

Will the great running backs (i.e. 1963 Jim Brown or 1997 Barry Sanders) still be awesome like they are now? My fear is that the OJ complainers have been talking too much, and those of us who like to see the greats perform like greats are less well represented. (otto2k3 - All-Star - 7:22 PM)

We did a lot of analysis of how running backs distribute their yardage and should have a better model with the new engine. The top backs should still perform the best in the leagues, but they are stoppable. You will have a better chance of making a big play against the top defenses with one of the top backs, and conversely you will have a better chance of containing one of these backs with a top defense. If you have a weak defense facing one of these guys, then you better hope your offense matches up the same against their defense. Regardless, you should see Jim Brown and Barry Sanders in the league leaders.

Will the low stamina running backs with high yards per average perform better along with the running QBs that have high yards per carry rushing. (whatifle - All-Star - 7:27 PM)

Well, considering they are averaging about 2 yards per carry now, I would say they will do better. Testing shows these guys performing closer to their actual stats with the new engine. QBs should run more inline with how much they ran in real life. Meeting the actual averages of the low carry players is a little trickier. Since the yardage is random and they do not run all that often, the distribution of the yardage for their carries may place them above or below their actual average. We do not adjust the yardage to try to make them hit their averages exactly. But, all in all, you should see these guys start carrying their share of the load.

It seems as though the really good running QBs should have a higher salary if they are going to perfrom better when they run like the Vicks, Cunninghams and Youngs. (whatifle - All-Star - 7:32 PM)

The running QBs were performing above their actual levels because of the way scrambles were being factored into the engine. Basically, it allowed them to scramble their way out of incomplete passes, which is what you see in real life. However, the scrambles are already factored into the QBs completion percentage, so it was effectively double accounting. You should see the running QBs come back down to the ground. The QBs rushes and rush yardage is figured into the salaries, so comparing two identical QBs with one having better rush stats, you will see the one priced higher than the other. Is it enough, we will keep an eye on it and if the running QBs are having much greater success than the Drew Bledsoe's, then we will re-evaluate their salaries.

The whole kicking and special teams game seems to force coaches into give and take which I believe is realistic to what we see with real life teams. Would you consider this process key in choosing your D's and the makeup of your offenses. In other words would you advise a coach not to go too hvy with special teams and punters if their D suffers or they short themselves on Offense? (freelee - Hall of Famer - 7:41 PM)

I think special teams is an area that gets slighted when building a team. Perhaps this is because we do not show enough data for the games with respect to how special teams has affected the outcome of the game. With a better balance between offense and defense, you should see more field position battles. I hope to add more stats in the future for each game and for the season, and I'm sure some more stats for special teams will be included. Special Teams will be an area that will get some much needed attention sometime in the future.

The fourth down feature should show a choice for the distance to go for a first down. Fourth and 1 or 2 yards would be a no brainer. Fourth and 15 is a different matter anywhere on the field. (whatifle - All-Star - 7:44 PM)

The chances for you going are based on yards needed for a first down. Fourth and 1 or 2 are the base requirements for going for it. This is slightly altered based on your 4th Down Aggressiveness and the "zone" you are in, but you should never see your team go for it on 4th and 10 unless in emergency situations (i.e. you are getting creamed). These 4th Down settings are new, and I hope to get feedback on them as you use them in the game.

I also play Hoops Dynasty. The concept of keeping a team in a league and recruiting to improve your lot in hoops has appeal. Is there any down the road plans to develope Football Franchise leagues where we can draft rookies to go along with our drafted real life players and develpe them to build a dynasty of our own? (freelee - Hall of Famer - 7:50 PM)

There is no plans for a professional football version of our Dynasty games. Check out Gridiron Dynasty for the football counterpart to Hoops Dynasty. We were working on plans to add rookies (i.e. created players) to SimLeagues Football, and possibly keeper type leagues like we have in SimLeague Hockey where you would draft players between seasons. However, unlike the other sports we have where we utilize "made up" players, the rookie players in Football would need to be good enough to make your roster, which means they would need stats similar to real life players. We were afraid that over several seasons the leagues would become filled with the created players and go against the SimLeague spirit.

Will punt/kick return stats be added? (teemaster - All-Star - 7:52 PM)

Not in this release, but there are some underlying stats that are now being tracked which will hopefully someday make them out into the stats pages. I would also like to see us improve the kick/punt logic and play-by-play to add more variety and place more emphasis on the quality (or lack thereof) of your special teams.

If I have a defense that is good vs. the pass and my opponent passes a lot can I play a balanced D or even lean run without really worrying about his passing game? (freelee - Hall of Famer - 7:56 PM)

If you have a good pass defense and lean Run for your Defense Focus, then you are essentially giving up some of that pass defense. You might still be good against the pass, but definitely not as good as you were. In most cases, I would recommend going with a Balanced Focus. Only when facing a team that is lopsided would I change the focus. Remember that the Defensive Focus was designed to shift your defense slightly. You can not make a weak defense a strong one, and it would be tough to make a strong defense weak. It is really more about how your defense matches up with their offense.

The big question on the minds of the veteran gamers is will they notice the strength of their game plans more readily with this release? (freelee - Hall of Famer - 8:03 PM)

Part of the philosophy behind 2.0 was to tear down the game and rebuild it, but we have to start with a solid base. The solid base is player performance within the sim. Once we get that to a good level, we can do much more with the settings. I have run several tests that show setting your coaching settings and playbooks to take advantage of your team's strength and hide their weaknesses will increase your odds of winning. It is not near the level of "guess the settings and win" in the prior sim, nor will it ever be. Veteran players will learn when and where they have to adjust their teams and playbooks, but there are not really any veteran players since much of the engine is new. This next release is just a stepping stone in making this game as robust as it can be.

Thank you. That's all of the time I have right now. Hope to see you in SimLeagues.

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