The new football drive charts made me think more about how ugly the live sim experience is in all of my games. One problem is that the play-by-play is pretty bad. Basically just plan text. Can I do better? I think so!
Here is my attempt at redesigning the play-by-play log for all of the sports:
Big news for Football GM today - live game sim now shows a drive chart! By "drive chart" I mean a list of all the plays that have happened in this drive, drawn on top of a football field. Like this:
This makes it much easier to see what is happening while you watch a live game. It's so much better that it kind of feels dumb that it took me so long to add. But, well, it wasn't the easiest thing to do! So please let me know if you notice any bugs.
Groundhog Day is a cool feature that lets you replay the same season over and over again. At the end of the playoffs, rather than proceeding to the draft and free agency, it just takes you directly to the next preseason. All player ratings, ages, injuries, and teams are reset to the same as they were the previous season. And you can just keep going as long as you want.
This is nice if you want to see what happens when a season is simulated multiple times. Like you can auto play 100 seasons and then see what the probability of each team winning a championship in that season is. You can also use it to replay the same season, like a challenge - what's the best I can do, given the same starting position?
The finances revamp from a couple months ago went pretty smoothly. Old leagues got upgraded to the new system, the new system generally worked as intended, and people seemed to like it.
But after a little while, I got a bug report from someone claiming that progs are too large now, that something about the effect of coaching spending must be different.
My initial reaction was to not believe it. I mean, I wrote the code, I know how it works, I know it's supposed to not be literally exactly the same as before, but any difference should be so small you can't notice it. So I figured it was just some psychological trick, like you get particularly lucky/unlucky due to random chance, and then you assume it happened because of this other thing that you know happened. Perfectly normal. People do that all the time.
But I kept getting reports like this, maybe once per week. I became at least slightly concerned that this was a real bug.
Then I saw a comment by legendary BBGM user (and sometimes BBGM dev) nicidob saying he thinks something is wrong too.
TLDR: nicidob was actually wrong, the thing he noticed was just random variation. But everyone else was correct. There was indeed a bug that made coaching and health spending more powerful than they were previously. That is now fixed. Read on if you want the details.
Thank you to everyone on Reddit and Discord for suggesting names for new teams in some international cities. I got the usual logo designer (Elliott Strauss) to make the logos, and he just finished this week.
There was also some good timing. Right about when these logos were getting finished, a user (utmothgirl on Discord) sent me a fun logo for a team from Kentucky. That is included in this update too.
And as the title mentions, there was also a relocation in this update. Right after I released the last batch of logos, some Australian users informed me that the Melbourne Convicts was a bad name because Melbourne was actually settled by free people, not convicts. So in this batch, I moved the Convicts to Sydney (which was actually settled by convicts) and added a new team in Melbourne.
Here are all the new teams:
When you make a real players league in BBGM, it does try to use real contract data. But for several reasons, the contracts in BBGM cannot be exactly like real contracts. BBGM contracts are simpler than real contracts: no player/team options, no extensions, no non-guaranteed contracts, etc. And the real contract data I have only goes back to like the 1980s, so any time before then we are flying blind.
Anyway, there are a bunch of problems, and I'm only here to solve one of them right now. The main part of this problem is that the real contract data I am using doesn't have the start/stop dates of contracts, it's just the dollar value each year. From that, I need to kind of guess where a player actually signed a new contract. Mostly I do this by looking for big increases/decreases in contract value. That identifies a lot of them, but not all.
This is not actually a new feature, just an easier UI for an existing feature! The original feature is from last year, but you need to hunt through like 5 different menus to find it. Now you can just go here and instantly create a league:
Simulated sports can never be exactly the same as real sports, but the closer it gets, the better. So when you notice something weird in the stats or in the play-by-play log, please let me know. That's how I found out about all these little issues in Football GM that I just fixed in version 2023.06.21.1277:
There are plenty of bugs in my game. Usually it's something like "when I click on X it shows an error message" or "when I change two settings at the same time, it breaks" or "the simulation is doing really stupid stuff". Usually bugs are not very fun, they're just annoying. Maybe the funniest bug previously was when the effect of OL was reversed in Football GM, so playing a bunch of kickers at OL made your team dominate. The problem was that, in addition to being funny, it was also a game-breaking bug. Too serious to truly be funny.
Now I think I have seen (and fixed!) a funnier bug. This is a bug in ZenGM Hockey that only rarely happens. It's so rare that in the 2+ years ZenGM Hockey has existed, nobody ever noticed it. But recently it was noticed for the first time... when it happened with 8 seconds left in game 7 of the conference finals in a multiplayer league!
The finances system in Basketball GM (and the other games) has been basically unchanged for a long time. I think there are various parts of it that don't really make much sense, or aren't very fun, or are exploitable, or are confusing due to poor UI. So I set out to fix all of those problems at once. The end result is not actually that different in terms of gameplay, but I think it does make things better in all of the aforementioned areas.
First, let me go over how the current finance system works and what I think its main problems are.