I wanted to break down how plays are simulated so that everyone has a better understanding of how to analyze the plays in testing. As always, feedback and questions are welcome. I will lock this thread, but feel free to create a new one if you have anything concerning this topic.
A few terms I will be throwing around:
- MATCH UP - this is where we take one or more players from both sides and compare their ratings for a particular action. For instance, comparing the players blocking at the inside of the line will look at their average inside block rating (a mix of GD ratings) and categorize the offensive advantage/disadvantage. The range of these will be Great Advantage, Advantage, Slight Advantage, Equal, Slight Disadvantage, Disadvantage, and Great Disadvantage. The match up also includes the relative degree of where the rating comparison falls within the category, so we can treat someone that barely falls within the Disadvantage range different than one that falls deep within it.
- INFLUENCE - for each match up the players may not be fully invested in the location or action and this can be represented by a percentage. This would mean a player with less influence in a match up would not contribute his ratings to the mix as much.
- MOMENTUM HITS - this is a numeric value that represents a ball carrier's momentum which in turn is used in several checks where we want to check how much activity the ball carrier has had throughout the rest of the play. For instance, if the player is breaking tackles, then he is slowing down and will be less likely to make moves to avoid tackles. A player can also gain momentum throughout the play if he is not breaking tackles or easily avoiding tackles, but the Momentum Hits will never go less than 0 as that represent a player at full momentum.
- PLAY REACTION RATING - this is a rating combining GI and Formation IQ that represents how well a player reacts to certain actions within a play and makes decisions based on those actions.
The engine plays through the plays moving the ball from location to location, as well as looking at various locations for actions like determining a target for a pass. They are mostly broken down to represent certain concentrations of defensive players. Here are how the locations break down:
- Very Short: this is the area including the line of scrimmage and behind it. Broken down to inside and outside.
- Short: 1 - 6 yard area. Broken down to inside and outside.
- Medium: 7-12 yard area
- Long: 13-20 yard area
- Deep: 21+ yard area
Each play from scrimmage will go through the following steps:
- select an offensive play from the offensive team's active playbook for the current down and distance
- select offensive players for each slot
- select the defensive play from the defensive team's active playbook based on the current conditions
- select defensive players for each slot
- determine the offensive play call - rush or pass
- determine the defensive play call - rush or pass defense as well as if there is a blitz
- determine offensive players involved in the play - set ball carrier if a rushing play
- if blitzing, determine which player blitzes
- play through a series of steps (1, 2, 3, ...) moving the ball as the play progresses until the play is called dead.
- update stats for the play and update the current game state to move to the next play
i will expand on the play steps in the following posts, looking at both rushing and passing, as that is where the meat of the play resides.