Developer Chat

Hoops Dynasty


Thursday, July 2, 2009

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 1:00 PM EST.

Welcome to the Hoops Dynasty chat as part of chat week. Feel free to ask any questions about the current state of HD.

What is the next major update you have planned? (tmacfan12 - Hall of Famer - 1:05 PM)

The update we're working on now will most likely address the game engine, recruit creation, injuries, rankings (possibly), and tournament seeding. It's an ambitious plan, but right now we're planning on hitting all of those areas for a release in the next few months. I know it's been a while since you've seen significant changes, but this should be worth the wait. I also want to mention that the plan is to tie injuries, both chance of injury and recovery, directly to durability rating. So that's something to keep in mind for future recruiting sessions. We're not planning on drastically changing frequency, just making it a more direct correlation to durability.

At this point, after taking much criticism via forums and support tickets, do you see any changes for potential in the near future? (redsoxrootr1 - All-Star - 1:09 PM)

There will be more adjustments made to rate of improvement. Ultimately, we don't want players to completely stop improving unless they had very little potential to begin with or don't have the work ethic to improve much. Also, the way we determine potential for each rating will be changing some from the current method.

historically changes to HD have generally been viewed unfavorably. do you hold out any hope that subsequent changes will be more widely accepted? were it me, I'd develop a strategy to try to up my odds of making acceptable changes, does such a 'new' strategy exist - as it seems like past practice in terms of change has been less than successful? (oldresorter - Hall of Famer - 1:12 PM)

Nearly every significant game change will be met with resistance from some people. All we can do is continue to improve the game based on our observations and the feedback we get from you guys. We've come to accept that you can't please everyone, but as long as we please most people then we're happy.

When will you make it easier to see the potential of your existing players? It ought to be easily available from the practice plan page. (_hannibal_ - Veteran - 1:15 PM)

I have some ideas on how to make potential less frustrating. Whether those are a part of this release, I'm not sure yet. Our focus will mainly be on stuff behind the scenes, but the release after this one will likely focus more on improvements to user experience.

Will any changes be made to the sim engine in the upcoming months? (tmacfan12 - Hall of Famer - 1:17 PM)

We're going to review all of the logic in the SimEngine for the next release and there will be some changes. I'm not sure yet how drastic those changes will be. Our focus will be on enhancing the individual matchup aspect of the game. For example, if you have a dominant player matched up with a average or poor player, he should perform very well.

is there any idea on the table about when you guys may open up a new world? will it be one or two a day? (mattstarks - Hall of Famer - 1:18 PM)

We have no current plans to open any new worlds. There are many openings in the current worlds, so until those begin to fill up again, we won't open any new ones.

Any update on whether the Fastbreak offense will be replaced or eliminated? I read a few forum posts about this topic and was wondering. (jaisonline - Hall of Famer - 1:20 PM)

I think it makes sense to change how fastbreak works. It's really more of a strategy or style than an offense. It probably won't change for this next release, but eventually it will likely be phased out as an offense and become more of a strategy setting.

Why does the double teaming feature seem to not work? How often can a player drain shots over a double team? (jfinn19 - Hall of Famer - 1:22 PM)

The double-teaming does work, but sometimes it's hard to relate what's happening in play-by-play. Sometimes a double-team may happen, but it may not be enough to stop the shot attempt. It will be reviewed though as we work through the SimEngine.

any plans for enhancing the recruiting proces? (jang_a_lang - Hall of Famer - 1:23 PM)

This release will not include any changes that impact recruiting other than a change in recruit creation. Probably the next big release will deal with the recruiting process.

please let coaches input first round moves before the first cycle of recruiting. That narrow 2 hour window is a pain for folks with commitments of any sort. Enter the moves in advance (say the prior 12 hours...6 hours), they dont take effect until the same time as now 6-8 pm ET - but let them be loaded into the system and sort of held until that normal window to be processed...I know the SIMs dont make their moves till about 5 pm ET, folks who enter the moves early take their risk on that - (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 1:24 PM)

We may be able to do this. It would most likely be a part of the recruiting release I just mentioned.

what changes in early draft entry are y'all thinking about? (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 1:25 PM)

Nothing planned for this release, but possibly down the road.

For recruits, do the FG%, 3FG%, and APG, RPG, SPG stats mean anything, or are the only meaningful numbers the ratings? If only ratings are meaningful, why have a sort function for the other stats? (emenator - Hall of Famer - 1:28 PM)

They are based on the player's ratings and how those ratings are used in the SimEngine, so they are useful.

please consider making childhood favorite carry more weight - it hardly seems to matter - and even better please consider creating other dimensions of preference to add texture to recruiting - wants a warm climate, wants a cold climate, wants a good education, (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 1:30 PM)

The whole recruiting process has a lot of potential for improvement. It's always a fine line between making it more realistic and making it too complex and time-consuming. But I like those ideas and I'd be up adding some realism there.

As one of the most pro-potential and pro-HD coaches among the top coaches, the big thing I cannot defend is hard caps. I don't think you guys realize how much bad will you have generated, and continue to generate, with hard caps. People feel it ruined practicing planning, one of the most important and enjoyable parts of the old game. Please reconsider a soft cap, with 2pts improvement for 20 minutes practice after the cap. Hard caps are no fun! (gillispie - Hall of Famer - 1:33 PM)

I completely understand the dislike of that aspect of potential. But we've always had hard caps, they just used to be 100 instead of something lower. I think the key is that players shouldn't always reach those caps and the rate of improvement should slow as you approach your cap. It's something we'll be adjusting again for the next release.

Thanks for doing the chat Seble. Is there any plan to tweak the promotion logic. It seems too tough to me to get even a C D1 job. Wouldn't the AD want a decent human coach instead of a SIM running the program into the ground? Thanks (andyhager - Hall of Famer - 1:34 PM)

The job promotion system is another area that could be improved with some fairly small tweaks. It will be addressed in an upcoming release after this next one.

Any thoughts to tweaks as far as number of free throws attempted? I would think that setting 3 pointers to "0" and distribution to "10" would result in more "drives" to the basket but this is not the case. (cybed - Hall of Famer - 1:36 PM)

Those settings don't necessarily mean more drives to the basket. It may lead to more midrange jumpers instead. The odds of driving to the basket depend on a lot of factors including the offensive player's skills, the defender, and the type of defense being played.

Concerning emenator's question: We've been told for years that the only things that matter for HS recruits are FT% and GPA and that the stats are cosmetic. Is this incorrect and has it always been so? (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 1:43 PM)

Well, the stats are technically cosmetic. They have no impact on performance, but they may give some insight on how the various ratings combined to impact performance in high school, which should be an indicator for college.

All of the 'we may,' 'maybes,' and 'probablies,' leave us users to think that not much is happening. Can you give us a direct answer as to the things that will be changing and how? (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 1:45 PM)

I can't give much in the way of details because we haven't gotten far enough along yet. I'll continue to have chats during the process to keep everyone up to date.

Another realism question. When a highly rated player that has picked a high major school to attend plays low minutes any chance that he becomes unhappy and contacts the schools that were on him the most during his recruitment about transferring or give them a edge in the re-recruitment? (jes2176 - All-Star - 1:47 PM)

Any time a player transfers, he has some remaining interest in any school that previously recruited him.

What sorts of changes are you planning with regards to tournament seeding? What do you see as the problems with the current system, and how do you plan to correct them? (professor17 - Hall of Famer - 1:50 PM)

Currently seedings are closely tied to RPI with many adjustments based on recent record, conference record, etc. We're planning on bringing rank into the mix as a stronger component. There's also a bit too much of a boost for winning your conference tournament. We've just begun researching some real life seedings to determine the correlation between rank and RPI to the seeds.

Any reason for the "senior slumps" so many of us have experienced? Seems so odd that a stud junior would get so much worse as a senior. (davisdynasty - Hall of Famer - 1:52 PM)

There could be many reasons that a senior's performance drops. If he is just moving into the starting lineup then he'll be facing tougher competition. Or it could just be a difference in schedule strength or matchups from one season to the next. But there is nothing built into the game that would cause that.

I asked a question last time you had a chat about international scouting and I was wondering if there was a way to do it better. The frustrating part is that multiple scouting trips sometimes reveal potential on the same attributes. Is there a way to fix it so that you are scouting certain attributes or make something available along the lines of FSS. I mean if I send my coach on international trips in real life, I'm going to be sure to tell him what it is that I want him to scout and look for (firemanrob - Hall of Famer - 1:53 PM)

That's a valid point and good suggestion. We'll take a look at that when we work on the changes the recruiting later on.

Does your comment about stats not technically being involved mean they're not used in the sim, but reflect a sim? (emenator - Hall of Famer - 1:55 PM)

Yes. They are not used anywhere, but can give you some kind of expectation of performance. Although keep in mind that there is some randomness involved since there could have theoretically been something in high school that led to a kid over-performing or under-performing.

What about the idea of two seperate prestige scales. One would be like the way prestige is currently set up...meaning for recruiting and based on recent success...The other would be some baseline prestige which we couldn't see and would only be used for the job hiring process...All to often Coach A will build a program in a conference like the Big West, have success and leave,but no coach can then qualify for the now open job which then leaves the school to be ruined by the Sim. (mmt0315 - Hall of Famer - 1:57 PM)

I think it makes sense to loosen the requirements in certain situations like what you mention.

it seems like the slowdown offence has been dominating lately(at least against me) and the -5 defence also still worksany plans on making these "glitch" off-def less effective? (bigdino21 - Hall of Famer - 1:58 PM)

We'll be reviewing both as part of our SimEngine work. The effect of positioning will likely be tweaked some, but I can't say yet to what degree.

Any changes in defenses as far as doubtleams? (cybed - Hall of Famer - 1:59 PM)

There may be some changes to how double-teams work in the SimEngine, but there won't be any changes to the actual settings at this time.

why not add players to rosters as they sign? let us set their practice, arrange depth charts etc - would let us make use of the mostly quiet period the last couple days of recruiting and avoid the need to rush when recruiting ends and exhibitions loom (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 1:59 PM)

That's a good idea, but would require more work than it seems. We'll take a look at that when we review recruiting.

as applies to international real life even a foreign player would likely accept a full scholly from a DIII school just for the chance to come to America and get an education. too many international recruits go un-signed at every level. Are there any plans to improve international recruiting to make it more realistic as far as players accepting schollies even if they aren't from top DI schools? (deaconsport3 - Hall of Famer - 2:01 PM)

Some international players might want to come to the U.S. But I think many would rather play in their own country and potentially get paid than come over to play against inferior competition at a small college.

Is it possible to include attribute ratings at the time of graduation to players profiles when you click on them from the "Records" tab. Currently, it only shows their college stats. I'd just like to be able to see what their attributes were as well if possible. But maybe you delete their ratings from the system upon graduation... (firemanrob - Hall of Famer - 2:02 PM)

Currently we don't save ratings once the player has graduated or left school. That is something I'd like to start doing though, possibly even saving a season by season record of their stats and ratings.

Can you explain the firing logic? In particular, why a coach would not be fired from an elite program with 7 seasons without a NT appearance (once NIT appearance, see kentucky, tarkanian)? If that is too much, can you simply state if there is a major problem with this example or not? And if not, under which hat - realism, or a better game, and why? (gillispie - Hall of Famer - 2:07 PM)

Firing is a tough issue. We're generally more forgiving in this game than some real life schools would be, but because it takes a lot of time and effort to get a good DI job, we don't want to be too harsh. We'll probably look into it when we review the job promotion process.

Can we see a player/team STAMINA come into play and have more impact in games ?If all 5 starters play 35+ mins each while mostly "very tired" for long stretches(especially late)and are still hustling back on D,blocking shots,rebounding on both ends,making shot's etc...with no decline in their ability is unrealistic. (tnto - Hall of Famer - 2:08 PM)

Fatigue does have an impact, but we may need to increase that impact. We'll be looking at that.

What is your current opinion of home court advantage? Is it to easy to get an A+? Is it too effective? I see amazing teams taking strange losses on the road, way more frequently than RL. (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 2:10 PM)

We won't be changing how home court is determined at this point, but we'll take a look at what impact it has on performance in the SimEngine.

have any changes been made to the game since the last announced changes- I am seeing far fewer irrational box score results in my own games & much less posting of such on forums - if not, do you have an opinion of why results have settled down? (oldresorter - Hall of Famer - 2:13 PM)

There haven't been any changes that would affect game results in a long time. There will always be the occasional odd game because we're simulating a ton of games here. So it seems like more weirdness here than in real life, but you have to consider that we've run over 300 seasons across all worlds so that's a lot more games than all time in real life.

I like metsmax. He and I have had some great competitions. But this chat is turning into the metsmax chat!!! :) (kendrik2 - Hall of Famer - 2:14 PM)

Sorry, I don't look at who submitted the question. I just grab one that looks good.

Please explain how conference prestige works and how the individual schools prestige is tied to the conference...It seems that the idea of floating prestige is to allow smaller conference with the opportunity to compete with the big boys over time, yet in our DI Naismith conference despite continued success we dont seem to see the impact. (mmt0315 - Hall of Famer - 2:19 PM)

The success of the other teams in your conference has an impact on your prestige, along with your own success and the traditional prestige of your school. Prestige is much less restrictive than it used to be, but it will still be difficult for a smaller conference to move up to the elite level.

I would like to see record vs. Top 25 be changed so it's dynamic, reflecting the record vs. the current Top 25, instead of being based on team rankings at the time the game was played. Early season rankings can be very deceptive. Also, in real life, record vs. Top 25 ranked teams is not a factor in NT selection or seeding. Record against RPI Top 50, etc. are used, though. Maybe it would be better to have record vs. RPI Top 25 instead of vs. Top 25 rankings? Thoughts? (professor17 - Hall of Famer - 2:21 PM)

Ranking vs. Top 25 is not used in tournament decisions. We only consider record vs. top RPI teams there.

Will freshmen be improving by 60 pointsin athleticism and speed and defense like 4 seasons ago? I recruiteda pleyer at 18 athleticism and he ended up at 90 by his senior year, there were a lot of these players, that i called super freaks. Willthat happen again, and why did that happen? (jayhawks2130 - All-Star - 2:22 PM)

I don't think you'll see anything like that under the new system. But you may still see significant improvement in athleticism.

School prestige seems to work a little funny sometimes because I have had teams recently that will get 15-20 wins and not move up in prestige whereas other teams will have 10 or fewer wins and stay at their current prestige. Is prestige on a numerical scale where you lose or gain a few points based on your season but do not change prestige until you reach a certain point? (firemanrob - Hall of Famer - 2:24 PM)

Yes, that's exactly what happens. The letter grades represent a number range behind the scenes so it's possible to gain or lose a number of points without changing the letter grade. And on the other side, you can change grades with only a slight change in actual points if you're right on the borderline.

I was talking to a coach who was upset at the fact that he beat a team by 31 at their place then lost by 28 at home, they were both ranked d1 teams, that just does not happen, any thought on how to make it be more believable? those should have been less than four point games either way (mattstarks - Hall of Famer - 2:26 PM)

Every matchup is different, but there can be huge swings between the same teams. Home court alone is a big factor in college basketball.

Awhile back, it sounded like adding early season tournaments (similar to the Great Alaska Shootout, Pre-Season NIT, etc.) were going to be incorporated into the game with the next major update. Is this idea still on the table? Will it be part of the next update? (professor17 - Hall of Famer - 2:27 PM)

It's on the back burner at this point. I want to focus on the core components of the game right now. I'd still like to do it at some point though.

The job process is ludicrous. A coach can be one of the best coaches in a world - any level - have 2 bad seasons and can't find a job. I know this is "what if..." but aren't we somewhat trying to mirror real life. Any changes to this coming soon? (kendrik2 - Hall of Famer - 2:29 PM)

Job promotions can be frustrating. I think we need to look at how we're determining success and maybe expand that window from the past 4 seasons to include something for the entire body of work. Loyalty is also a problem in some situations where it's preventing movement more than we'd like.

Concerning firings, I understand that you are more lenient with the firings, as people work very hard to get those positions. But aren't you being just as harsh on the guys that are trying to fight and claw to get there? With only 10 worlds and the fact that it takes 8-10 excellent seasons to get there, that's a very small chance of ever getting your dream job. Let alone being blocked by an underperforming coach. (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 2:30 PM)

Yeah, that's the other side of the coin. It's not an easy situation because someone will end up frustrated.

We're you deeply involved in HD, pre-potential? If so, do you understand how important it used to be to set your practice plans properly, vs. having a player potential dictate the practice plan. This really brought the "WhatIf" to the game, instead of the current "ThisIs." (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 2:33 PM)

I've been involved in HD off and on since it's creation. I understand the fun of practice planning. We're planning on getting back to that being a strategic decision, but potential will be a part of it.

What is being done to make the game easier to understand for new players? There are so many things that a new player could stumble on: the fact that LP, PER, FT practice minutes work differently from the rest; the now-meaningless recruiting options that were put in for dilemmas; the fact that LP does not matter for guards. Not to mention that recruiting is the most important part of the game and that is the first thing new players do. (_hannibal_ - Veteran - 2:35 PM)

That's a very good point. We've added the player guide to help introduce people to the strategy of the game, but there are some little things we could do throughout the game to provide better help.

Why does IQ not have a larger impact in the SIM? In real life IQ is probably the second most important factor behind core skills. Especially for offensive sets and Zone or Press defenses. (deaconsport3 - Hall of Famer - 2:36 PM)

It does have a significant impact, but when there are so many factors coming into play it can be hard to see the effects on just one of those factors.

Thanks for the continued extensions on the chat. (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 2:37 PM)

No problem. It's good to have this type of communication. Sometimes I forget that you guys don't know everything that's in my head.

If the engine first decideds the player that has the ball, then decides whether that player takes a shot, gets fouled, commits a turnover, why is it common for good players to have bad games against bad defenders and good games against excellant defenders? (aporter - Hall of Famer - 2:41 PM)

This is one of the areas we'll be focused on during our SimEngine review. Individual matchups are an important part of basketball so they should be exploitable in the game.

will beta testing be used b4 the next engine release. (oldresorter - Hall of Famer - 2:44 PM)


I've always had a question about I.Q., its hard for me to believe that in someones jr, and sr. year they arent A+ some even smart enough to get the whole playbook down in their sophomore year, any change to that in the future? (mattstarks - Hall of Famer - 2:46 PM)

Possibly, but not in this release. Some players never fully grasp an offense or defense no matter how long they play in it.

Can you explain why only 25 % of the recruiting budget roles over to the next year? Why wouldnt the program get to keep all the money? (jayhawks2130 - All-Star - 2:48 PM)

We don't want teams to have incentive to save up money and then use it all in one season to go after stud players.

Will we ever be able to hire and fire assistant coaches? (Weena - Hall of Famer - 2:49 PM)

That was in our plans at one time. As of right now that would be a ways off, but it is a cool concept.

has recruit generation been softened, I see far fewer potential maxed out guys in d1 than I did a few months ago (oldresorter - Hall of Famer - 2:51 PM)

Nothing has changed there yet.

Does the success of using booster gifts vary based on the type of booster gift that is used and amount given? Uhh... not that I would use them. :-) (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 2:51 PM)

The bigger the gift, the more benefit if the recruit accepts, but also the higher chances you'll get caught.

Have you discussed the idea or are you open to bringing back full value for reward points at D2/D3. I, as with many other HoFers have cut back during the last year or so. Many of us believe we may be more open to rejoining the D2/D3 ranks if there was an incentive. We understand this may block new users from winning early. But it would allow those vets to mingle with the new coaches and help them really understand the game. With more knowledge, the new guys will keep playing longer. (mlatsko1 - Hall of Famer - 2:54 PM)

We periodically do a company wide evaluation of rewards/credits for each game to determine what really makes sense. For HD and GD we reduced rewards at DIII to encourage people to move up for various reasons. We had some people dominating DIII to the point where they could support multiple teams and play entirely for free. All the while, new users were having a tough time competing.

Much of recruting success is based on how many sims and other lower teams are in the neighborhood. Any plans to change that? Should ease of recruiting at UCLA or USC be dependent on how many of the 9 nonBCS schools in the Los Angeles area are sims or of lower prestige? The current setup was designed with 100% human coaches in mind. It hampers schools who compete in a BCS conference but who are on a (literal and figurative) island. FSS compounds the issue because its mostly a local activity. Thoughts. (Rails - Hall of Famer - 2:57 PM)

Recruit distribution is something we'll be looking into for this release.

Will a player who comes off the bench as a Freshman, 15 minutes a game, develop his IQ rating at the same pace as a Freshman player who plays 15 minutes a game but is a starter? (bigteniowa - Hall of Famer - 2:57 PM)

For IQ, only minutes played matter, not whether a player started or not.

Any chance we could someday have stats for conference games only as one of the options in the stats dropdowns - it would be cool - it would be like real life - AND it would actual be of some analytic interest since the wide variation in OOC schedules makes it hard to compare stats - while conference stats are somewhat comparable...? (metsmax - Hall of Famer - 2:58 PM)

That's an idea we've planned on adding for a while so look for it in the release after this one.

I'm going to have to stop now. Thanks for all the great questions and apologies to anyone that didn't get an answer. We'll have more chats coming up.

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