Development Blog Topic

I want to restart the blog idea that I used during development of the May release.  It's a good way for me to let you guys know what I'm working on relative to HD.  I've been lacking in the communication area the last few weeks for several reasons, but it's time to get back on track.  As before, this thread will be locked to keep it clean, but feel free to start new ones to discuss things that are posted here.

Right now I have a couple of things in progress:

- I'm putting together a survey for all current HD coaches to get a more comprehensive view of some important issues in the game.  That should be available soon. 

- I'm working on some changes to allow recruiting responses to run at the top of the hour for each cycle.  Then the new controller would run games, and finally the old controller would run everything else besides recruiting responses. 

- I'm working on some changes to the top 25 rankings to factor in postseason results.

Thank you for your continued patience as I work to improve the game.
7/12/2010 9:04 AM
The rankings change mentioned above is nearly complete, just doing some final testing.  The perfect test case was the unexpected championship run for Rhode Island in Iba.  They ended the season unranked, even after winning it all.  After this change, they will finish ranked #1.  This will filter down to teams that advance in each round of the tournament, so for example a 12 seed that makes a run to the Sweet 16 or Elite 8 would see a nice bump to their ranking.  I will likely release this change tomorrow.

I was hoping to get a clearer picture of the areas that need attention next from the survey, but the vote seems pretty split.  There's a pretty even number wanting me to improve the job process, prestige, postseason seeding, and user interface.  I'm not sure what order those items will be targeted, but those were the areas I planned to address anyway.  I'm leaning toward postseason seeding first since that was supposed to be part of the May release anyway.

Before I start any of those I'm going to take a look at several of the concerns with the engine, including rebounding and fouls.

7/14/2010 1:13 PM (edited)
Quick update: I'm working on some changes that will reduce the game-to-game variance in certain areas of the game.  I've started with rebounding and it seems to work pretty well.  I'll look at fouls next and then maybe shooting percentage.  This change won't affect the numbers much at all over the course of a season, but will bring individual game results closer to the average.
7/21/2010 1:34 PM
Just wanted to post something here to let you guys know I'm still alive.  Been super busy lately, but still working on some engine tweaks that should address some of the inconsistency in game-to-game results.
8/9/2010 10:34 AM
I've made some good progress this week on the engine tweaks.  Below is a list of the changes that are included.  This will probably be released next week at some point.
  • Reduced game-to-game variance in rebounding
  • Reduced game-to-game variance in shooting
  • Reduced game-to-game variance in fouls
  • Reduced game-to-game variance in turnovers
  • Reduced game-to-game variance on FT shooting
  • Changed the performance decrease from fatigue so that there will be less of a decrease in general due to fatigue, but a greater decrease than before when a player gets into the range of Tired/Very Tired
  • Reduced offensive rebound odds on free throw misses
  • Various minor logic improvements
The net result of these changes will be a reduction in upsets and more consistent results game to game.  You should also see fewer of the really extreme results.  Upsets will still happen though, as they should, so don't expect to not see them at all after the release.

8/12/2010 2:51 PM
Quick update on release: it looks like there are a bunch of worlds in the postseason or close, so I will wait until there is a better window where preferably no worlds are in the postseason.  Shouldn't be too long.
8/18/2010 11:00 AM
Good news to report today.  I finally found the issue that was periodically causing game simulation cycles to be delayed.  It took a lot more time and effort than I expected, but I'm very happy to finally know what was going on.  I'll have a fix for it in the next day or two.  Other than the night owls who stay up to see the results from 2-3 AM, you guys won't see much difference, but now I'll be able to move on to more important things.

I have a few minor engine things I want to look into next, but after that I'll be focusing on two things for the near future.  One is taking a look at all the engine numbers and making sure those are reasonably in line with real life. 

The second item is making some improvements to the job process.  My initial thinking is to 1) lessen the penalty on loyalty for changing jobs, 2) incorporate more of a coach's history into "success" and making it less dependent on the past couple of seasons, and 3) possibly tweaking some of the school minimums.  Feel free to discuss what you'd like to see in this area and I'll try to read as much as I can before any decisions are made.
11/8/2010 2:19 PM
Just a quick update.  While I'm gathering feedback about potential changes to the jobs process, I'm working on a couple of minor improvements. 

First off, I'll be adding the ability for a coach to immediately return to his team during the job period after failing to renew as long as no other coach has applied to that job and of course you weren't fired from the job.  This is something we've done for a while through support, but we're moving that responsibility to the coach.  It's still wise to renew before the deadline to make sure you don't lose the job. 

Second, I'm working on adding conference player stats.  In other words, you'll be able to view player stats for only conference games.  At some point these would likely also be used in the conference awards process.

I may have these ready this week, but most likely it will be next week given the Thanksgiving holiday.

After that I'll begin working on the changes to the job process.
11/22/2010 2:44 PM
It's been a while, but yes I'm still alive.  Still tinkering with some changes to the job process and looking at some improvements for situational logic.  Should have some minor releases coming soon.

One idea I'd like to throw out for feedback.  I'm thinking of adding a function for a coach to set a custom formula for calculating overall rating.  This could potentially be set by position.  So basically you'd put a weight on each rating and then the formula would calculate an overall rating from 0 to 100.  If you generally run a fast break or press, you might value stamina more than another coach.  If you're more defensive minded you might put more weight on Defense and Athleticism. 

Then, anywhere you view a player's ratings (profile, recruiting search, etc.), the overall rating you see would be based on your custom formula.  This could make player evaluation much easier and more straightforward.

1/26/2011 3:17 PM
While the argument rages about my previous post, I'll let you know that I've been working on some minor engine fixes/improvements recently and will have a new version ready soon, probably early next week.  Before that release I want to finish my analysis of the numbers produced by the engine vs. what's desired.  I know there's been a lot of talk about shooting percentages, so that's the main focus. 
1/27/2011 11:50 AM
I'm working now on a minor followup release to the one from last week.  There will be a few more engine tweaks and possibly a few more recruit tweaks.  Expect this release to be live next week.
2/9/2011 12:20 PM
I put out a smaller follow-up release to the one on 2/3.  The details can be found at  I'll monitor the forums this afternoon to discuss any of the changes.
2/16/2011 12:44 PM
First off, let me say that I sincerely appreciate the patience you've had with the lack of updates in recent months.  I know it's been frustrating, and it has been for me too.

Over the next month or two we'll be working on an update including some of the lingering issues that seem to the most pressing.  I wanted to give you guys some more details on what's coming.  I'm not sure if these updates will come all at once, or spread out over that time period.  There's also no guarantee that all of these items will be included in this release, but I believe most, if not all, will be.  I already have quite a bit of feedback on most of these issues, but feel free to discuss in the forums.  I will do my best to monitor and interact some in those conversations over the next few weeks.
  1. Improve the logic to determine a coach's success in the job process, specifically to incorporate more history
  2. Determine a better method of showing a player's ratings potential beyond the current "Player Thoughts" inbox message.
  3. Improve the calculation for loyalty adjustment when changing jobs
  4. Look into the draft early entry process to make it more fair and more predictable
  5. Improve the logic for tournament selection/seeding
  6. Adjust GPA logic to place more weight on study hall minutes and reduce randomness
  7. Create a page to track postseason resumes during the season
  8. Improve the logic for coach and player awards
  9. Improve the logic for players complaining about playing time
  10. A number of minor bug fixes and UI enhancements
10/17/2011 4:40 PM
I'm working now on improving the calculation of success in a coach's resume and wanted to provide some more detail on the direction I'm heading.  Basically, the old system looked at only the past 4 seasons, with about half of the total weight placed on the most recent season. 

What I'm working on now is a system that will incorporate the coach's entire history in that world.  There will still be more weight placed on recent seasons, but it will be much more evenly distributed across the entire resume.  This should be a fairer system and will require more long-term success instead of just stringing together a few good seasons. 

I may need to tweak the school minimum requirements to go along with this change, but I'm not sure of that yet.
10/19/2011 10:00 AM
Ok guys, I'm digging into a new list of updates.  I just wanted to give a heads up on what is coming.
  1. I'll be looking into the logic that updates prestige between seasons for DI teams.  Specifically I'm focusing on reducing the impact of baseline prestige to tie things more to recent success instead.
  2. I'll be reviewing the logic that ranks players for the NBA draft.  It's been pointed out that big guys are generally ranked higher than guards, so I'll balance things out more.
  3. I'll review the logic that determines whether a given underclassman will enter the draft.  I'll likely end up reducing the odds that a highly projected player will come back to school.
  4. I'm going to add "player roles" to the game.  This feature may be hard to understand without seeing it in action, but the plan is to have a custom overall rating formula for each position.  So each coach could assign weights to each player rating to come up with their own overall rating.  There would be a PG, SG, SF, PF, and C formula, but the idea would be to also add more specialized ones, such as "Perimeter Big Man" or "Scoring Point Guard".  There are a lot of potential uses for something like this, but to start with the plan is to add features to recruit searching to make that process easier and less time-consuming.  I'll have more details about this later on once it's fleshed out more.
  5. I'd like to make some improvements to how AI teams are set up with game plan, practice plan, etc.  They wouldn't be actively changing from game to game, but there is room for improvement in that initial setup.
There are a number of other small fixes and improvements as well.  In addition, I may be taking on some more items once these are complete, depending on how much time I have.
5/16/2012 9:30 AM
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