Developer Chat

Gridiron Dynasty


Thursday, December 9, 2010

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

The LIVE portion of this chat will begin on

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 1:00 PM EST.

It has been a few weeks since releasing a major update to Gridiron Dynasty in November. This is the place to get your questions answered concerning the changes made and what changes are in the works.

In the adjustment that you do to get players to 1-100 level (normalization as it were), do you make any adjustments to the Div-1A players, or are you only correcting the Div-1AA, Div-II and Div-III guys to their equivalent Div-1A level to be able to have a single "lookup" mechanism for all levels? (hughesjr - Hall of Famer - 12:54 PM)

I think this is something that many people are having a hard time with. We adjust all player ratings relative to the average rating for that position at that level. Basically, it expands the compressed range of ratings that exist within each division to the broader 1-100 scale. For example, say the average DIA QB has a 60 athleticism rating with the top rating in the division at 90 and the bottom rating at 30. When a quaterback is loaded into a game to play, his athleticism gets adjusted based on these numbers. If he has a 60 athleticism, then it gets loaded as 50. If he has a 90 athleticism, then it gets loaded as 100. If he has a 30 rating, then it gets loaded as 1. The 30-90 scale that existed is therefore expanded to a 1-100 scale. This is done at all levels which then allows the same game engine to produce comparable results at all levels.

What ratings(most important/secondary) are important for a Kick Returner or Punt Returner? (plague - Hall of Famer - 12:56 PM)

In terms of deciding to field the ball or not, game instinct is the main rating along with team special teams rating. In terms of return performance, speed and elusiveness are definitely the most important with seconary ratings being strength and athleticism.

Should aggressive defense calls (blitzing) only be used if the players on the field have the speed and technique and formation IQ to do so effectively? (pttsbrghkid - Hall of Famer - 1:00 PM)

I would say that if you use an aggressive defense and you are not getting a lot of pressure on the QB (sacks, scrambles, and throw aways), then you may want to dial it back some. When you blitz (and aggressive defense does not mean 100% blitz), you leave holes in your defense. For example, if you blitz a linebacker, his spot in the defense is left vulnerable. These holes in your defense can result in big plays for the offense. I would also experiment some if you are getting the pressure with a more conservative defense to see if you can still get pressure without creating the soft spot. If you can do that, you are definitely better off.

Can you explain in more detail how GPA factors into a recruits attributes? Thanks (uscscott - Hall of Famer - 1:03 PM)

The GPA for a recruit is used to determine how quickly he can pickup the offense/defense. A high GPA player is more intelligent and will therefore improve his formation IQ more quickly. For example, the recruit with a 3.5+ GPA is more like the ND recruit who will learn quickly while the 2.0 GPA player is more like the BC recruit who is a slow learner.

Do you think that there are currently too many upsets happening? (louiescards - Hall of Famer - 1:06 PM)

Yes. The performance of players is a little inconsistent at the moment and not necessarily reflective of their ratings. I think the distribution for passing plays is currently off with the passing game being overpowered, especially for weaker teams. This is resulting in a lot of upsets that should not happen. This is our #1 priority fix right now and it is close to being released. We are also working on stamina changes that will bring depth more into play, which will also reduce upsets slightly. The stamina change will go out with the passing update along with updates to the end of half/game logic.

I have noticed that a lot of my SO players lost WE this last season. I was told that is was because of lack of playing time. I understand this but how can they get playing time if we can'nt sub them in and out eficiantly. This has never hapend in the 40 seasons that I have played and took me aback. Can you tweek the game so as the WE will not drope or tweek the rotation? I used the tools prvided but rotation is almost non funtional. (fermor332002 - Hall of Famer - 1:10 PM)

The control you have over subs at the present time is not where I would like it to be. The game engine was originally calibrated without the sub settings that have since been added. This has resulted in those settings not being very effective. As a result, we are working on modifying the fatigue and stamina impacts on players. Our target is for an average stamina player, 50 rating, to be able to play most of the game under normal circumstances using the default setting. As you move up the setting options towards fresh, the players will sub out more quickly and as you move down, more slowly. The same effect should be seen for changes in the stamina rating. The higher the rating, the longer they can play without rest. I think once this update is in place, you will not have trouble getting playing time for players and modifying your substitution patterns.

One of my concerns is the running game. I understand it was too high powered in the previous engine. I can also understand striving to have the average be around 4 ypc. It seems that this 4ypc is being accomplished with a high number of runs under 2 yards and a few very long runs. To me this doesn't make running worthwhile. Are there plans to change the big plays and have more 4-7 yard runs? (jason5 - Hall of Famer - 1:13 PM)

Yes -- we are currently looking at the distribution of running plays. In looking at the data, we have about 10% runs that are either for no gain or a loss and about 10% runs that are for 20+ yards. This is about right, but the distribution of runs in the 1-5 range is skewed to far in the 1-2 yard gain area and the 20+ yard run range is skewed in favor or too many really long runs. We are working to address this and think that this will also help the more talented teams take control of games at a more reasonable rate.

Will there be any kind of development of end of season player movement due to broken promises and lack of playing time. Adding a chance of a pool of players available to move to teams that don't have a lot of talent to balance things and cut back on player stockpiling. Players that decrease in WE over the season would be the ones capable of transferring much like the players leaving early for the pros in DIA. (lucidtiger - Hall of Famer - 1:15 PM)

There are currently no plans for this, but definitely something worth considering.

Are you going to provide a tool for coaches to gauge the effectiveness of formation practice? (willgibson - Hall of Famer - 1:16 PM)

Yes -- we will be implementing some sort of sytem for coaches to understand where their players are at in terms of formation IQ. As yet, the system is not determined.

Are PD (Passes Defended) working as intended? It used to be that the top DBs at the D-II level (for instance) would have 30+ in a season. Now, my best DB - who was named WIS's D-II First-Team All-American DB - has 3 on the entire regular season. That seems like a very, very large decrease. (I don't mean the stat-keeping aspect, necessarily. Though that could perhaps explain it. I'm more asking, are DBs getting PDs at a rate that they "should be" within the game execution?) (gt_deuce - Hall of Famer - 1:18 PM)

No, they are currently not happening with enough frequency and will be adjusted with the forthcoming update to the passing game.

Are fumbles generated based on tackler rating vs. ball carrier ratings, or is there a random component independent of player ratings? In other words, would you expect, on average, a team with higher core ratings for their offensive skill players on offense and across their defense to have fewer fumbles than a lower rated team? (treyomo - Hall of Famer - 1:19 PM)

The basic determination for a fumble is the matchup between the ball carrier and the tackler. With this being the case, I would expect a more highly rated team to have fewer fumbles than a lower rated team. However, fumbles definitely also entail an element of luck.

Is it possible that we could get a change to the offensive depth charts where - per bhazlewood's suggestion in the forums a while back - we have a single depth chart for the OL and (perhaps) QB, but a separate depth chart for every formation for the skill positions (RB, WR, TE)?? I think this has the advantage of preventing the rotation of OL (and perhaps QB) every-other play, but allows for the use of different "packages" in different formations. (gt_deuce - Hall of Famer - 1:21 PM)

We aren't going to go back to a depth chart per formation. As we start adding more and more formations (and that is the plan), having a depth chart per formation becomes unworkable. We may be adding more situational type sub settings, but not a depth chart for each formation again.

Are the planned stamina changes going to be position specific so that a QB doesn't get tired from throwing the ball like in the old engine or an OL get tired from a ten play drive? Running the ball for 80 yards will get a RB winded, but a QB throwing five straight passes getting winded isn't realistic. (jrosebrough - All-Star - 1:23 PM)

Yes, we are making them position specific so that the rate of fatigue for each position is realistic.

Does formation IQ carryover from year to year or does it reset to some predetermined level? Same question for experience? Also, how much playing time or starts are needed to gain experience? (mjmage - Hall of Famer - 1:26 PM)

Both formation IQ and experience are cummulative and never reset. Players gain formation IQ through formation practice and gain experience through playing time. The amount of practice time to maintain IQ is roughly 7-8. Practicing more drives the improvement....less the decline. For experience, every play of playing time adds to the player's experience. The more a player plays, the more experience he gains. Players do not lose experience.

Are there any plans to "smarten up" the Assistant Coach, to provide more information to the player, or more help to new players? (bhazlewood - Hall of Famer - 1:28 PM)

I would like to add in reports by the AC that would try to track your team performance and either give the information for the coach to analyze and/or offer suggestions.

How is formation IQ currently working, and how will it work in the future? I believe I saw a post stating it was changed after the update to lessen it's effect, but it would be more important again soon. (grsshppr1964 - Hall of Famer - 1:29 PM)

The current effect of IQ and experience in the game is quite small. Since there is currently no system in place for knowing IQ and experience levels for players, this aspect was minimzed for the time being. Once we have the system in place, it will be dialed back up. I'm unsure as to where the ending level will fall at the present time.

In the interview you did with me, the importance of each attribute was broken down into categories, (i.e. Primary, Very Important, etc). Can you give a rough breakdown on how often the attributes in each category are expected to come up? For example, Primary might be every (or nearly every) play, Very important 75% of the plays, Moderately Important 50%, Somewhat Important 25%, Not very important, rarely. (bhazlewood - Hall of Famer - 1:34 PM)

To accurately answer this question I'd have to really go through all the game code, but I can give a rough idea. A very important attribute is central to the position and comes into play the majority of the time for that position player. A moderately important attributes I'd say comes into play slightly less than the very important ones, but more than half the time. The rest, I'd say come into play in only select situations with the bottom level almost never being used. Not sure how much this helps.

A follow-up to experience...Is it based upon percentage of plays available or total number on plays involved? (mjmage - Hall of Famer - 1:36 PM)

It is based on the percentage of plays available. I don't want to penalize the players on one team's defense, for example, if they are getting less plays than the players on another team's defense if there are less plays available to be played because of differences in how long the defenses are on the field.

Is there going to be some "clean up" of the engine with regard to DL making tackles 15+ yards down the field? I understand that it does happen IRL, but I think that the rate that we're seeing is really exaggerated. It seems to be happening on plays where the pass is short, but broken for longer gains. In this case, if the DL is covering on the short pass, it seems they stick as the only pursuer. Perhaps this merits a closer look? (gt_deuce - Hall of Famer - 1:37 PM)

This is something that I have been looking at and agree that the DL seem to be in on too many plays. This will be getting an adjustment.

Will you modify the out-of-position penalty for K/P doing both duties so its not as harsh? There are mayn players in college football who take care of both duties. I saw a 13-15 yd drop in punting average from my Kicker after the most recent update. I think that is too harsh. I can understand a 5 yd drop, i think that would be more reasonable. My Florida Kicker was averaging 45 yds per punt before the update, so i think dropping it down to 40 yds per punt is reasonable. (jas_illini - Hall of Famer - 1:40 PM)

The out of position penalty for a kicker playing punter or punter playing kicker I think is at a reasonable level. The approximate penalty for a kicker playing punter is about 10 yards on average of punting distance. The penalty for a punter playing kicker I think is about 15% off of FG/XP conversion rates. There are players in college who perform both duties, but usually they are not great at both (the guy at Nebraska, Henry I think, is the exception). I'll revisit this later, but at the present time I think it is at a good level.

You have stated that we should be able to get some idea of player IQ from the PBP. The new PBP is an improvement over the old, but still doesn't have the kind of detail that allows us to (a) understand what kind of tendencies/aggressiveness a team is using, or (b) understand what's going on with certain aspects of a play (such as missed blocks, broken tackles, etc.). Are there plans to further exapand the descriptiveness of the PBP ? (bhazlewood - Hall of Famer - 1:42 PM)

I definitely want to get more details into the play-by-play. There is A LOT going on with each play and exposing some of this in the play-by-play is the direction I want to take. It will take some time to get it in there, but absolutely want to make it happen.

From what ive seen thus far, it seems as though young players (FR and SO) arent very effective under the new engine. Im assuming this is bc of formation IQ and experience. But i think the effect is a bit too large currently, bc i have numerous good, young players who are underperforming badly. In reality, there are plenty of young players in CFB who step in their first two seasons and make a difference. Is there any chance this will get looked at and possibly changed? (jas_illini - Hall of Famer - 1:43 PM)

I don't think the poor performance that you have seen is because of IQ and experience effects because these effects are really very small at the present time.

Are there any plans to change recruiting to something similar to hoops dynasty with a larger range of recruiting options? (donald3030 - Hall of Famer - 1:47 PM)

I'm not sure which direction recruiting is going to go, but we are going to be reviewing how recruiting is done in both GD and HD. Right now, the only limiting factor is money. You can perform actions as long as you have the money to pay for them. I would like to add in time factors or other limits to create more strategy. For example, maybe you can only go visit 3-4 recruits per recruiting cycle or can only have 3-4 recruits on campus for a visit per recruiting cycle....just some things off the top of my head. It would also be nice to add in game planning factors where a team that runs a lot may have an easier time getting a running back, but a harder time signing quarterbacks and receivers. I think more of these types of things will bring strategy back into recruiting and make it more fun.

Are there any plans for us to be able to sub our TE's based on wanting to run or pass? (donald3030 - Hall of Famer - 1:48 PM)

I have tossed the idea of a blocking TE situational sub around. I'm undecided at this point.

Is normalization present in every specific positions FB, DE, DT etc... or in the broader RB, DL, LB? For example, could a DT with 35 speed be faster then a DE with 45 speed? I'm not asking about speed between DL and LB. thanks. (mjmage - Hall of Famer - 1:49 PM)

It is used at the broader level positions: QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, K, P. So the DT and DE would both have their ratings adjusted according to the DL numbers.

Given that the formation IQ effect in the game is quite small, is it worth practicing formations now? Specifically, if I build up my teams formation IQ via practice, will that experience remain intact after the formation IQ update - or will that be reset? (ssandy33 - Hall of Famer - 1:50 PM)

Absolutely. You'll want to have been practicing those formations for when the effect is turned up. If you don't practice now, I think you'll be sorry later. There will NOT be a reset.

Any thoughts about inseason recruiting or changing the signing date to not eliminate so many of the presigning cycles with the move to the 24 hour first cycle? (tkechub - Hall of Famer - 1:52 PM)

I don't think in season recruiting is the way to go because it puts new coaches at an even larger disadvantage since they will miss out on anything done during the previous season. I currently think that the move to a 24-hour first cycle is a good one that makes recruiting more inclusive. I understand the concerns that some people have about this chanage, but I think it will make recruiting more competitive and fun. We'll see. I'm reserving judgement until I can see how it plays for a while.

Without giving too much away. If I am playing a team that is only throwing short passes is there a way to defend this? It seems to me if I bring the line up I am in a run D and will get burned. If I try to play aggressive I blitz and will get burned. Is there any thought about adding a setting to defense to say what distance pass you anticipate the other team throwing? (mayottek - Hall of Famer - 1:55 PM)

I really think this depends upon your players and the players on the other team. I would probably go balanced on defense, both tendency and style. I may try some aggressive style plays to see if I can get quick pressure on the QB, but like you said, if I don't get there my defense is vulnerable.

Since GPA is now an important stat for recruit development, can we get it listed on the Ratings View of the recruit search page. And it was previously considered a "fluff" piece on about the recruit like height and weight. Are Height & Weight now (or soon to be) a factor in player performance? (bhazlewood - Hall of Famer - 1:56 PM)

Height and weight are just for show with the ratings covering the performance for the player. I don't currently have plans to change this, but that doesn't mean that will never change. As for the GPA, I may be able to find a place to squeeze it in.

Is there a Max and Min on formation IQ and experience? Is this also normalized? (mjmage - Hall of Famer - 1:58 PM)

These ratings are on a 1-100 scale like the others. No adjustments are not needed here because they are the same for each division and already on the proper 1-100 scale.

Are there plans to have teams players gain more formation IQ if the coach has been running it a long time. If I just started using trips as a coach I wouldn't be able to teach it as well as other formations I had been running for years. (groundnpound - Hall of Famer - 1:59 PM)

No. It is currently assumed that all coaches can teach each formation equally. I see where you are coming from here, but a coach new to the game would be at a disadvantage developing his players if gains were based on coach experience.

Is it true that the cheat code USCSUX will set the attributes of all our players to 99? :) (bhazlewood - Hall of Famer - 2:01 PM)

Absolutely....and make you go undefeated. (There are no cheat codes in GD. While typing in USCSUX is fun, it will not give you any advantage in the game.)

Thanks for joining the chat today and taking time out to ask questions.

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