Monday, March 18, 2013

Gridiron Solitaire #47: Improving Subsystems

After thinking about simulation for another day or so last week, I came up with what I think is a reasonable system that's far more accurate than what I was using previously. It goes like this:
--decide which team wins (based on pointspread win chances generated by ratings comparison)
--generate a winning score (random initially, but influenced by offense/defense net rating)
--generate a winning margin (this is a random number, then looked up in a table of the historical distribution of winning margin in NFL games for the last 3 years)
--subtract winning margin from winning score to get a losing score (with an additional sanity check to weed out odd scores that are historically rare)

With the new system, simmed games now have scores that are more representative of historical NFL scores.   The scores are not as reflective of team ratings as they could be, but the process used to determine which team wins is much more accurate now, which is the most important element. And the scores look realistic, with oddball scores appearing no more often than they have historically.

I also rewrote the stat generation engine, which is now more accurate as well.

There's a long list of tasks from last week that were checked off, but they were all small (even if they took quite a while to do).Plus a little new flavor (nice surprises on the Team Hub screen for Thanksgiving and holiday weeks). Plus the help screens and the dynamic help for new players has been revised to reflect the gameplay changes of the last few months.

I simmed several 30-season franchises last week, and the new AI is helping teams develop specific personalities over time. It's helping me understand how important it is for each time to have their own personality, which isn't really true when new leagues start now. So I'm going to adjust the initial ratings for each team, and each team is going to have a distinct element. For instance, here are the possible team profiles:
--strong offense
--strong run
--strong pass
--strong defense
--strong run def
--strong pass def
--mixed strong
--strong overall
--weak overall

With 16 teams and 9 profiles, there will be a wide range of team styles when a new league starts now. Almost every team will have at least one rating of 8 or higher, and most teams will have at least one rating of 4 or less.

This week, I should finally have the reward in place for someone who completes a full 30 seasons. Newspaper headlines when a new league starts of concludes, plus a nice reward screen of the coach in retirement. It's not much right now, but it ties everything in the game together for the first time.

Other than that, the start date for the second beta is approaching rapidly. If everything goes well this week, it may begin as soon as Friday.

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