One frustrating thing about Football GM, both for me and for users of the game, is all the game simluation bugs. There are fewer than there used to be. I try to track them down and fix them when people report them to me. But sometimes, that doesn't work very well.
Like I got a bug report that sometimes the ball carrier would cross the first down line, fumble, the offense recovers the fumble behind the first down line, and yet it still counted as a first down.
I investigated it, found the part of the code that was doing the wrong thing, and... I couldn't fix it. The bug was ultimately caused not by a little typo or mistake, but a fundamental problem in how game simulation worked. Specifically, the problem was that there was no sense of history. All of the "state" of the game (possession, down, distance, score, etc.) was stored just once. As the game progressed, state was updated. But what if you need to go backwards? Like the aforementioned first down line example. Or, even more troubling, penalties. With penalties, there is always the possibility that anything that happens in the game could be reversed. I had some hacky code to handle some of that, but it was limited, mostly by the fundamental problem mentioned above.
Do you like text-based basketball simulation? Then you'll love the new text-based slam dunk contest in Basketball GM!
The All-Star Game has been in BBGM for a while. Now, before the All-Star Game is played, you can also simulate the slam dunk contest.
The slam dunk contest has no impact on any other part of your league. It's just a fun little mini-game. But honestly, it's pretty fun. I probably spent way too much time working on it, but the end result is that it has a ton of nice little features that I hope you enjoy!
But first, here's what it looks like:
Version 2021.09.01.0705 of Basketball GM finally supports the play-in tournament. The play-in tournament is the weird pre-playoffs thing the NBA recently added, where the last two seeds in each conference are determined by a tournament involving the 7th through 10th best teams in the conference. First, the 7/8 and 9/10 teams play. The winner of the 7/8 game becomes the 7 seed in the real playoffs. Then the loser of the 7/8 game plays the winner of the 9/10 game for the final playoff spot.
It works the same way in BBGM, just generalized to all league types. So if you have only 4 teams per conference making the playoffs, then the play-in tournament will be between the 3-6 seeds. And if you set the playoffs to not be determined by conference, there will just be one play-in bracket to determine the bottom 2 overall playoff teams.
What does it look like in the game?
I just added three new playoff settings in version 2021.08.14.1172. The first two in this screenshot have been there for a while, but the last three are new.
How exactly do they work?
You may have noticed a funny thing about the number of three pointers that certain players take. There was a hard cutoff at about 35 in the 3 point rating. Slightly above that cutoff and players would take a few three pointers per game. Slightly below and players would take none. This has never made any sense.
It was particularly annoying for players barely above the cutoff, since they are bad three point shooters, so you don't actually want them taking a bunch of threes. That puts you in a situation where you may be hoping a player's three point rating does not improve, so they can stay below the cutoff rather than chucking up a bunch of inefficient shots.
Now, finally, that hard cutoff is gone. The number of three point shots is now continuous. Players with ratings from 35-45 will shoot fewer three pointers (most noticeable towards the lower end of that range), and players with ratings below 35 will shoot more. Not a lot, but more than the 0 they shot previously.
Some people may think a better solution would be a more fundamental change in how shot selection works, and they might be right. The advantage of what I did here is that it's a quick little fix that mostly leaves the game alone, except to address this one annoying issue.
The new player mood system introduced last year is working pretty well overall, but there are some small issues with it. One is related to a mood bonus given to players on rookie contracts, where it says "Eager to sign first non-rookie contract" and gives a big +8 bonus. This gives BBGM something like the NBA's restricted free agency, because it results in your drafted players being less likely to refuse to re-sign. (For FBGM and ZGMH, it only applies if you diasble the hard cap setting.)
Some people have noticed that the bonus was not correctly applied for some real players in historical leagues. Why? Because it was kind of hacky code. It identified "rookie contract" by comparing a player's draft year, the expiration year of their contract, and the length of a default rookie contract for their draft round.
This works fine for random players, since their rookie contracts all are generated by the game and all follow that same formula for length. But it's a bit tricky for real players leagues, or for custom league files, because they may have different length rookie contracts.
Today I have changed how rookie contracts are stored in the game. There is now an explicit
rookie flag in the contract, so a player contract looks like this internally if it is a rookie contract:
There are now 50 different built-in teams. But when starting a new random players league, you always get the same 30, unless you manually select some other teams.
Now in version 2021.07.11.0740, there is an easy way to randomize the teams in your league, and it's pretty cool how it works. Thank you nicidob for the idea!
Access it by clicking "Customize" next to the list of teams when creating a new random players league:
New feature in version 2021.05.31.0967 - players can now play through minor injuries.
You can control what your team does with these new sliders on the roster page:
Over at zengm.com it says:
Simulation games need depth, but they need the right amount of depth with a UI to help you make sense of it. We seek to avoid mandatory micromanagement as much as possible. Video games should be fun, not tedious.
One area where my games have failed in that regard is finances. Finances can be optimized through micromanagement, and that sucks. Today one area of finance micromanagement has been removed: ticket prices.
There's a few new things related to the built-in teams:
8 new teams. Some are now in default leagues, others are available as expansion teams or when customizing a league.
3 old teams moved to new cities, to better fit their team names and make way for some of the new teams.
3 old teams got new logos.
Most teams now have a more compact secondary/small logo that is used in places where there is not much space. For some teams, their old logo is now their small logo.