Posts tagged "Finances"
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.
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.
Previously you could choose between a soft cap and a hard cap. Now you have an additional options: no salary cap.
Previously rookie contracts were based on whether you used a soft or hard cap. For a soft cap, there was a predefined rookie scale. For a hard cap, there was no predefined salary, drafted players got signed like any other players (except in ZenGM Hockey where there was a predefined rookie scale here too). Now you get some options to control this. You can set if you want a predefined rookie salary scale or not, and you get some control over what exactly that scale is.
That's the big picture summary. More details follow. First, about the salary cap:
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.
Generating player contracts is tricky.
In the past, contracts were generated from a simple formula based on factors such as age and player ratings. That works pretty well, at first glance. Good young player? Big contract. Bad old player? Small contract.
The problem is, that's simply not how contracts are set in reality, and for good reason. It lacks a global perspective. Like if no team has max cap space, or if there are better free agents they'd rather spend it on, then it doesn't matter if a player thinks he "deserves" a big contract. This resulted in situations where sometimes good players would go unsigned in free agency, because no team had enough money to meet their demands.
Today, there is a new contract generation system in BBGM that solves this problem by incorporating a global perspective. Contracts are generated with knowledge of how much cap space teams have and what other players are on the market. So if, due to some random fluke, you find yourself with a very good free agent class in a league without much cap space, players will ask for less money. Or if you find the opposite, a poor free agent class in a league where teams have tons of money, players will ask for more money.
Give it a try and let me know what you think. Or read on for more details about how it works, which is pretty cool.
I just deployed a new version of Basketball GM with three changes:
The ability to change from a soft cap (default) to a hard cap.
An option to give playoff teams first round byes.
An option to set the number of playoff rounds and the number of games per round.
Okay, #3 was already there, but now you can easily change it in the God Mode options, along with the two brand new features.
This applies to new leagues only. If you want to change it in existing leagues, enable God Mode (in the Tools menu).
Additionally, all of the financial parts of the game (like TV revenue, merchandising, etc) have been scaled up too, and they will automatically adjust as you change the salary cap. Previously they didn't change at all, so it was very difficult to run a profitable team in a league with a high salary cap, and too easy with a low salary cap.
Let me know if you think this has introduced any balance issues. It is supposed to just be a cosmetic change, with every dollar amount 50% higher.