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Subject: Thoughts and Ideas rss

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Donald Campbell
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Fort Payne
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I've had this game for a couple of years now, and I really do enjoy it. However, I feel like it could use an upgrade or two, in a sense. As such, I kinda wanted to put this post out there, see what the rest of the community thought.

1. I know user bull495 posted a file on how to play solitaire against an AI, and I'm not going to criticize him for his work, it's really well done. But, the thing is, I feel like the AI becomes a little bit predictable, since there's not a huge variation of the plays called. How easy do you think it would be to sort through all the plays available and create different playbooks for the AI to use? For example, the base playcalling system he created, I'm calling the "Balanced Offense" playbook, but also have ones that are more (example titles here) "West Coast," "Run and Gun," "Run Heavy," etc.?

2. A question that would probably be harder to answer, how hard would it be to develop our own cards with modern plays? I mean, I can easily go back to some of my video games and pull plays from them, and in fact, I actually did go so far as to create an Excel spreadsheet of plays from each of the 6 generic playbooks from NCAA Football 2005 (don't ask me why I picked that one, I just did), broken down by formation. Granted, I don't think the actual drawing up of the plays onto the cards would be the difficult part, but (offensively) figuring out the probability of each play reaching a certain amount of yardage and placing the correct results in the right spot to line up with each defensive formation card, or (defensively) placing the windows to the offensive cards in the most effective/correct location has me stumped beyond stumped.

I had some other thoughts about this, but they're not coming to me right now. Any thoughts/ideas/input any of you have would be awesome.
 
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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The easiest way to get something like what you're asking for would be to go for an entirely different football game that differentiates between teams out of the box. Paydirt would be my first recommendation, though if you're looking for a lot more detail (and therefore playtime), you can also look into Second Season Pro Football Game or Statis Pro Football. Perhaps you've already thought of this and discarded the idea, but I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention it.

That said, sometimes you've got your heart set on one game.

As far as creating offensive playbooks, I think I would not only adjust the ratio of plays called, but also adjust the yardage on some of the plays. After all, it isn't just that a West Coast offense calls a lot more slants, it's that they also execute them better. They're also usually not as good at, say, power runs as a result. So in that case, I'd give them maybe a 20% yardage bonus on short passes, and a 20% drop on inside runs. Those numbers may have to be tweaked, especially since passes tend to gain a lot more yards than runs, and you may unintentionally create imbalanced teams.

I would think that creating your own plays would probably best be done from scratch, with completely new plays on both sides of the ball. I think the default way to do it is to find game play logs, separate out the plays into types, and do some number crunching to find probabilities, then map those probabilities onto play results. That's incredibly time-consuming, and it often can be difficult to track down the logs in the first place. And that still doesn't solve the mapping of results onto the windows on the cards! I have to think there's some pattern to the windows -- I haven't looked closely enough to give you any insight, though.

Good luck!
 
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