Rescaled real player development determinism

The "real player development determinism" (RPDD) setting has existed for a little while now, but it behaves somewhat unintuitively. You may have noticed that if you set it to anything above about 30%, the results feel about the same. That's weird. 30% should not be almost exactly the same as 100%.

Why does it work that way? Because of the stupid way I implemented it. The initial implementation worked like this, to find the new ratings for every player in a new season:

  1. Run the normal player development algorithm
  2. Combine that with the player's real ratings for the new season - RPDD% comes from the real ratings, and (1-RPDD)% comes from normal player development.

That may sound okay at first glance, but the problem is that every single year you're averaging a player's real ratings into the random ratings, and their real ratings tend to be correlated pretty well across years, so the real ratings will come to dominate the random ratings.

That's no fun.

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Customizable tiebreakers

February 15, 2021-

New feature: customizable tiebreakers for where teams rank in the standings!

Previously tiebreakers were random. It's always a little frustrating to find yourself on the losing end of something and have the answer be "oh well it's just random". Makes you feel powerless. Especially in FBGM, where the last playoff team has a legitimate shot of winning a title.

In version 2021.02.15.1049 all leagues will be upgraded to the new default tiebreakers, which are:

BBGM tiebreakers
  1. Head-to-head record
  2. Division winner
  3. Division record (same div)
  4. Conference record (same conf)
  5. Margin of victory
  6. Coin flip
FBGM tiebreakers
  1. Head-to-head record
  2. Division record (same div)
  3. Common opponents record
  4. Conference record (same conf)
  5. Strength of victory
  6. Strength of schedule
  7. Margin of victory
  8. Coin flip

Additionally, when you view the standings, there is now a "Tiebreaker" column showing how ties were resolved. (Continue reading for more detail on this.)

And at Tools > League Settings, you can edit the "Tiebreakers" setting to apply any ordered combination of those tiebreakers in your league.

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Head-to-head team results

February 9, 2021-

It's common to want to know the history between two teams. What's their all time record? What about playoff matchups, or when they met in the finals? Previously in Basketball GM there was no way to know this without looking through old box scores and playoff brackets.

But now that has changed! Head-to-head results between teams are now tracked (albeit only for games from now on), and the data is viewable on two new pages.

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Basketball GM is now my full time job

January 29, 2021-

I started working on Basketball GM back when I was in college, in 2008. It was an on-again off-again hobby until 2012, when I got this crazy idea to make the whole game run in a web browser. In 2013 it got its first bit of publicity. That felt incredible at the time. I went from basically no users for years, to thousands of people trying my game in a single day! Sure, within a few days almost all of that traffic disappeared, but still! Thousands!

Social media buzz is a crazy thing. Even crazier is that in 2021, every single day BBGM gets more traffic than it did on its first "big" day in 2013.

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New option controlling how draft prospect ratings are generated in Real Players leagues

January 9, 2021-

In Real Players leagues, player ratings are based on player stats. It's not perfect, but it works fairly well.

Setting ratings for draft prospects is a more controversial topic, because there's no perfect way to do it. With hindsight, we know some top picks were busts and some late picks were stars. How should those players be rated as draft prospects? Should the future star be rated high like we know he eventually became, or low like he was percieved at the draft?

Previously, BBGM did real draft prospect ratings based on rookie season stats, which in practice usually turns out to be a compromise between those two extremes. Overall I'm pretty happy with that as the default, but I recognize that there is no one true way to set draft prospect ratings, it really comes down to personal preference.

That's why today I added an option for this when creating a new Real Players league. From the league creation screen you can find it under "More options".

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2020 was horrible, but not for Basketball GM

January 1, 2021-

Happy New Year!

I know, everybody's talking about how 2020 sucked and how they hope 2021 will be better. But it's also true that 2020 had at least one redeeming quality - it was a great year for Basketball GM! COVID lockdowns left me with more time to work on development, and it left many of you with more time to play. The end result has been a ton of new features that I won't even try to summarize here, and new records in all usage stats:

That's a lot of Basketball GM in 2020! Football GM of course did a lot better in 2020 than in 2019 because it didn't even exist at the beginning of 2019.

I hope Basketball GM and Football GM brought you all some fun and distraction, I know they did for me. And I promise you, I have even bigger things planned for 2021 :)

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Trade frivolities: biggest trades and most lopsided trades

Following up to the recent updates that added a lot of detail to historical trades, today I added two new frivolities, in a brand new Trades section:

Biggest Trades: Trades involving the best players and prospects.

Most Lopsided Trades: Trades where one team's assets produced a lot more value than the other.

You can find them within a league at Tools > Frivolities.

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Improved trade details and a new Trade Summary page

When you make a trade in Basketball GM or Football GM, a summary of that trade is logged and shows up in the transactions list and the news feed. A mildly annoying thing about that is how it handles draft picks. Sure it'll say the trade included a 2021 2nd round pick, but if you check back after the 2021 draft, there's no new information. It doesn't say which player was selected with the pick, which makes it difficult to evaluate trades.

I've gotten many requests to do something about that, and I'm happy to announce that I have finally done something!

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Redesigned league settings page

I just deployed an update including a completely re-designed league settings page. Try it at Tools > League Settings.

Mostly this is just a cosmetic change, but it does have one functional improvement: several of the settings that were previously available only in God Mode are now available any time. Things that don't affect your ability to succeed in the game or win achievements, such as enabling the Elam Ending. Sure it changes game simulation, but it doesn't make it any easier to accomplish anything, so no advantage can be gained by toggling that option.

The cosmetic changes are:

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Player mood improvements for AI team re-signings

October 25, 2020-

Today I released two improvements based on last month's player mood update related to how the AI re-signs its players, in both Basketball GM and Football GM.

First, let me explain how AI re-signings used to work. It's always been a dirty little secret that the AI did not obey the player mood system. That was true of both the old and new player mood systems. Instead, there was a single formula to give "the probability a player re-signs with a team", meant to capture both if the team wants to re-sign the player and if the player is willing to re-sign. The end result of this formula was that high value players often became free agents, but there was no way to reliably predict which players would end up in the free agent market.

To improve on that situation, today's two changes are:

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