Developer Chat

Gridiron Dynasty


Thursday, May 1, 2014

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 1:00 PM EST.

Discussion will be focused around the latest changes of the new coaching user interface and what to expect in the upcoming release.

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Dev chat. I still have a bunch of things to finish up to get ready for the big release next week, but I wanted to take a minute to discuss the user interface and what you can expect from the coming release. First let me say that the new interface is pretty great, and we have put some wonderful concepts to work. I hope that you enjoy all of the updates as they will be useful for new users and veterans alike. Any interface questions will take priority in this discussion, but I'll get to as many as I can in the couple of hours that I have with you. ( Moderator - 1:03 PM)

What is the rationale for making D3 "beginner mode only" ? If the claim is to "level the playing field" for newcomers, why still keep concepts like "vision" and "prestige"? (bhazlewood - Hall of Famer - 1:05 PM)

Great Question, let's come out of the gates here with the main reason for this. The rationale is really just about simplification with control. First and foremost, we are not trying the change the game. We are looking at creating great control while creating simple interfaces. We are doing this a few ways. Playbooks in particular is a very tricky process when introduced in 3.0. By creating defaults that the user can see when they adjust it gives them an easier way to control their team while also understanding what are the relative ranges of the values. Another way we simplified things in DIII was to restrict what you can do in playbooks. This restriction is meant to allow new coaches to be able to understand the possibilities and tactics that veteran coaches might use and be able to quickly and accurately adjust the game plan to fit the situation. Bottom line is that the team with the better players is still more likely to win. Also, the startup cost of coaching has been reduced. You mentioned "vision and prestige", I completely agree that there are other extended concepts that can be changed to help simplify the process. As the game progresses and we get feedback on pain points hopefully after a bunch of seasons we'll be able revisit those as well and make the process that much better for veterans and new users. For now, we stuck with the big ticket controls that are available in Coaching.

what about D-III teams that are just starting or about to start... that use advanced settings ? (jt73walsh - Hall of Famer - 1:08 PM)

Advanced playbooks will be saved, and any user that had modified those settings for playbooks will be able to see those playbooks in any world that DII or beyond. As for position roles, depth charts, and formations the availability for DIII will be similar to the current basic model. One depth chart per position. No selection of the depth chart in formation, and only one position role for each position.

You all should make it where you get a visual of your team. Like a team picture and click on players maybe a highlight or two. Also make it where you can customize uniforms. That's a incentive for kids maybe show the team facilities and allow improvement as the program gets better. Make it where you can hire or fire assistant coaches. (raider45638 - Hall of Famer - 1:12 PM)

1. The customization of characters, including uniforms and players is a fantastic idea. We were actually toying with something like that in this release but that was pretty time intensive. I'm hoping that we get enough support on this product after the update that I'll be able to get enough time to work on the cool add on features like this. 2. I really like the idea of hiring and firing assistants. I'm actually imagining it as if you hire your friends to help you with your team and grant them access to certain elements. It would definitely make this game social and provide a cool tie in to learning the system. Thanks for the suggestions. I really enjoy the creativeness that this community has.

Is it possible (and if not why not) for each coach to be able to design a playbook and save the percentages for vs, s, m, l and d and then for important match ups or any other occasion they choose to be able to change the percentages but then hit a reset button which returns to the master playbook? I may change upwards of 50 percentages for one game and then unless they are manually written down it takes another 50 changes (rather than ONE) to return to the master. (polarsi - Hall of Famer - 1:16 PM)

Thanks for the question. I get that workflow, I've done the same thing quite a few times. In the new system you'll be able to easily copy and paste and even now delete any existing playbooks. So if you create a master playbook, you could copy that playbook to a new one, change the values as you see fit and either save that playbook for later use, or delete it and copy a new one from one of the existing base playbooks that you have.

I see there will now be sliders on the playbooks. It looks like the ends of the sliders are 80/20. Will you still be able to go 100% pass or run on any given down and distance? (coachjamest - Hall of Famer - 1:20 PM)

Good question James. In DII and above you will have full control over the playbooks. For the sliders, we felt that it was more important to give control between 80 percent and 20 percent of either call. This control will still give you plenty of freedom to call the distribution that you'd like. We feel that to be very agressive is to pass the ball 80% of the time. These controls have undergone various iterations and are still being tested, but for the engine, the real differences happen within the ranges that are specified by the sliders without hitting the extremes.

Is there any talk about raising the reward points. As hard as it is to win a NC, I think you should get more than a free season. (partyrock - Hall of Famer - 1:23 PM)

The reward points are always a consideration. You are right winning a NC is very hard, and if we see an influx of new users the rewards will certainly be changed to reflect the level of difficulty. With this update the reward system has no changes. Though we will reevaluate as the seasons progress.

Will Sims run the same Offense/Defense as they now run in 3.0? (moreron - Hall of Famer - 1:27 PM)

Yes, the sims will be running the same offense/defense.

Did you ever look into why weaker SIMS sometimes dominated stronger opponents. (partyrock - Hall of Famer - 1:27 PM)

Yes, the SIMS looked to be winning at a similar rate to equally matched opponents. Given that there was no code in the engine that singles out if a player was a sim or not, this is a pretty reasonable result. I have tinkered with the SIMS in the latest release, and I have reduced their average ratings by a few points. Now if teams are equally matched, you'll see the SIMS have a slightly worse chance of winning.

With fatigue being fully implemented, does that also mean we will be seeing a return of injuries? Also, some mention has been made before of eliminating/changing Promised Starts or Time in recruiting. Any changes to this part of the game with the Update? (dessasdad05 - Hall of Famer - 1:34 PM)

Ok, lots of questions about fatique. Fatigue/Injuries - With the fatigue being implemented fully for the first time this has potential to change what coaches are doing in gameplans. Seeing as how this could seriously affect some of the best players on certain teams, injuries will be used sparingly initially and ramp up as more seasons get underway. So for now, multiple game injuries will not be hit much, and even injuries will start out slowly. As of now, fatigue will play a critical role in certain parts of the game, so coaches will have to adjust game plans to fit the new model. This is the chance to adjust to that before players start getting injured. As for eliminating promised starts and replacing it with promised time, this change might not occur before the first worlds roll over, but we are implementing it as soon as we can. Promised playing time will be the value that is used for recruiting.

Which issues were resolved in the engine update? How were they resolved? Which items are still on the agenda for future updates? (slid64er - Hall of Famer - 1:38 PM)

First and foremost, fatique. In addition, substitution was modified, Play by play was adjusted in a bunch of different ways, fourth quarter time out logic and play decision was rewritten, punting was made more consistent. The rest were one off bugs that made it in. The fatigue should take care of some of the exploits that have been going around (using a WR to run). But for future releases we'll be looking into other such exploits that are idiosyncrasies of the game and not sound strategies of the user. Other things on the coming agenda include time management at the end of the second half. Pass distribution and location verification (we will be stepping through the process of a pass to make sure the numbers line up with what is expected.)

How many game plans will you be able to create? Same question for playbooks and formations? (dusty1one1 - Hall of Famer - 1:41 PM)

DIII - no optional game plans, 3 playbooks, 10 formations per base formation DII and above - Basic - 2 optional game plans, 12 playbooks, 10 formations per base formation DII and above - Advanced - 4 optional game plans, 12 playbooks, 10 formations per base formation

Will this update be applied to all worlds in progress or only worlds starting after may 6th? (dusty1one1 - Hall of Famer - 1:44 PM)

For the User Interface, this update will roll out gradually. On rollover you will be updated to 3.1, but all other leagues will operate as is. For the Engine, this update will happen immediately as the release is pushed. We are shooting for may 8th on the engine specific updates. So all fatigue will become immediately relevant on the day of the push. There will be notifications on the message board as well as other places as this goes out.

Do we understand correctly that DIII will be limited to default practice plans in addition to the game plan limitations? (helgi - Hall of Famer - 1:45 PM)

This is correct. Practice plans will use defaults only in DIII. Game Plans limitations are that there are no optional game plans in DIII

With implementation of the new fatigue system, did you work out the appropriate substitution issues you currently have? I have 8 OL all set at 95%, and during the 1st half of my game last night 2 of them are in the 50's fatigue. Doesn't seem possible. (bmbigdog44 - Hall of Famer - 1:47 PM)

There was an issue with the substitution. We have created a new substitution pattern that will fix this issue.

Why not create 1 or 2 new worlds with the new basic rules? New users could then choose the basic or more advanced options. They could also move to higher divisions and still retain the basic format. Existing users could make lateral changes at every level if they wished. It seems this would provide more choices for both new and existing users and allow existing DIII players to stay where they are. (taxman2 - Hall of Famer - 1:53 PM)

Great question, and actually was part of the plan when it first started. Unfortunately when we looked at it in practice it created more confusion. Selecting a particular DIII world that has the new changes is more confusing that moving all DIII worlds to the new system. Also, the concept of not giving the choice of basic or advanced is how the new mode creates a more level playing field. By restricting the users at that level we have created a world where learning the nooks and crannies of the system is not as beneficial.

Can you please be more specific regarding the limitations in DIII relatively to the other levels? (helgi - Hall of Famer - 2:00 PM)

As the worlds roll over, the coaching 101 section and the new coaching 201 section will have a list of all of the differences between the three modes. I have discussed them in prior messages, but it works like this. Practice Plan - only defaults, full control Formations - No depth chart selector, ability to choose depth chart Game Plans - No optional plans, 2 optional plans, 4 optional plans DepthCharts - One depth chart per position, same for basic, multiple per position for advance Position roles - one per position, same, multiple PLAYBOOKS - this is the big one. BEGINNER - Restricted to 3 additional playbooks, restricted to only sliders, no choice between situations or inside own/opp INTERMEDIATE - 12 playbooks, optional sliders, no choice on inside own/opp Advanced - 12 playbooks, optional sliders

It seems there's alot of negative feedback about the decision to take away advanced settings from DIII. How will you compensate users that have spent multiple years building a team and turning around a team and take pride in the team. Time is valuable and now most of us need to start all over (spthibodeau - Hall of Famer - 2:05 PM)

We are going to loosen the requirements to get a DII team. This will allow you to move up and keep the same playbooks that you currently have. I know that some people will be upset and we will handle other concerns or ideas on an individual basis. However, I urge those of you who have spent time playing at the DIII level to keep your team together there. The team you have created is mostly by recruiting the players that you have, and the few restrictions we have added in no way change the ability of your team to succeed. In fact, in some ways it might increase the chances of success at that level.

This fatigue change is news to me (although obviously it's pretty broken right now) can you give some examples of what we will expect to see differently once it goes live? What other significant gameplay changes will we see at the D1 level? (jasonfreeman - Hall of Famer - 2:11 PM)

Really the problem with fatigue right now isn't that the players get fatigue, it's that the effect of the fatigue on the play results is negligible. In the latest update I have created a more reasonable fatigue and recovery curve first off, but in addition, as your player fatigues, it will directly impact their attributes. For instance, if the QB is playing a 70%, his attributes (conditioning, passing, agility, etc) will be at 70% of their original values. This is the only significant gameplay change. Everything else revolves more around fixing issues that have popped up over the last few months.

What about some kind of option to let coaches skip DIII if they sign up for a world they haven't played before? Let them choose a team at any level at which they have competed in another world. (bhazlewood - Hall of Famer - 2:16 PM)

Yes! This is what we are currently working to implement. We are creating a flow that will allow coaches with an existing team in another league to select a DII team directly. The second part is interesting as well. Letting them select a team at any level that they have currently competed in. (Probably not the elite teams in DI though) I'll see how much of this I can add to this release. I will bump this up the priority list, I think it is important.

Given the 80/20 restriction, does that mean a team would not be able to pass 100% of the time on 3rd & long, for example? Or run the ball to kill the clock? (helgi - Hall of Famer - 2:21 PM)

Not really. The 80/20 is in relation to the playbook formation, and the chance that a pass or run is called. On game plan you still have the clock management option and the fourth down approach to handle some of these. The third and long situation is a bit different. You can control what happens on third down, but now what happens in the long situation. We altered the system to give the user the best control with the sliders, but the situational adjustments are not included in DIII.

You said earlier that "PBP was adjusted in a bunch of different ways." Can you expand on that? Will we be able to gather information from the PBP as to WHT a play was successful or not? (bhazlewood - Hall of Famer - 2:24 PM)

PBP was modified so that more information could be ascertained from the text. Now in the progression of the play you get a better feel for how the Offensive line is doing, and if the defense breaking through is because the defense is good or just the progression of the play. In addition, receiver and DB coverage was altered to be more representative, less triple coverage, and more based on the level of influence the coverage has on the intended receiver.

If my conference mates and I wish to move up to DII together is there a way to reserve or have a conference held to ensure that we all get to stay together? (coachjamest - Hall of Famer - 2:37 PM)

Currently there is not a way in the system, but please send in a support ticket with your information and we will be sure to make that happen.

Can we get the Practice function like in Beta? (tigerpark135 - Hall of Famer - 2:38 PM)

For practice functions, you are talking about the test game scenarios, right? Those will not be in this release, but I hope to have the test game in one of the upcoming releases.

Can we have the ability to put RB's into the WR position in Shotgun Formation? (tigerpark135 - Hall of Famer - 2:41 PM)

Excellent request. I'll investigate this. I think right now the system is a bit restrictive in the positions available list, but I'll see if there is a way that I can make this possible. One thing that is certainly on the upcoming release list is reduction of the penalty for changing positions. Hopefully this will at least create a way to move a RB to WR permanently. This is obviously not what you are asking, but it is another scenario that I have heard about as well.

Has anything changed in the engine in terms of the anatomy of the plays? eg..Player attribute checkdowns and match ups IE..what creates positive yards vs negative yards.. If so can you give us a new, "anatomy of a running play" and "anatomy of a passing play"? (tigerpark135 - Hall of Famer - 2:50 PM)

The engine has remained mostly the same from 3.0. The fatigue is the big change, but the checkdown and matchups remain the same.

How come some QBS never throw interceptions despite facing excellent secondaries? What factors lead to an interception from an offensive player standpoint as well as a defensive one? Shouldn't the int rate be increased? (samson75 - Hall of Famer - 2:53 PM)

The interceptions are calculated as a combination of the passers passing attributes and the receiver receiving attributes against the coverages attributes on a play that is well defended. The interception rates have increased a bit in the latest update to make them slightly more realistic, but I'll revisit that again after a few weeks to see if the current levels play out like I think they will.

Will there be any changes to formation or formation IQ, meaning practicing formations will be more/less important than it currently is? (muckraker - Hall of Famer - 2:54 PM)

Formation/formation IQ has not changed, it will have the same level of importance as currently exists.

Thanks everyone for your time. I hope this has been as constructive for you as it has been for me. I'll go back to the drawing board on a few of the things before the release next week and get some of the little things in as well. I am confident that these changes will help all users, and I know that some of you are frustrated with the changes, but I hope that everyone can go in with an open mind and consider that the more users that participate in GD the better the experience for everyone. Good luck, and please feel free to give feedback along the way. Also, I opened up the May 27th developer chat already, so as you accumulate questions over the next few weeks feel free to add them in the chat. ( Moderator - 3:06 PM)

Good luck and enjoy the update

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