Monday 12 April 2010

New game engine details

I could post this on the official site as a news article but I figure it will probably end up being quite a lot of waffle and only fully understood by a few so I'll keep the official stuff to more factual information rather than the inner workings.

I thought I would share some information as to how the new game engine is going to be better than the current one so it may give some idea as to why I've been desperate to change it and hopefully make the doubters see the light, as it were.

I obviously won't be going into the finer details and giving tips away but I will try and list all the improvements (if I can remember them).

Firstly, the current system and how bad it is (and has been). It works on a kind of points system where your team selection gets you a certain number of points depending on varying factors (ratings, form, home advantage, tactics, captain etc). These points are then compared against the points the other team got and a result is generated. Red & Yellow cards and scorers have a lot of randomness about them (with some factors) and the red cards don't actually mean anything but a suspension - it doesn't consider playing with less than 11 men for part of the match. Following on from this, injuries are also based on random values and that's is why you get situations of players being injured the same week they are fit again! Now I know this is a brief explanation but there's not much else to say about it. Far too simplistic and far too rubbish to keep leagues interesting as the better teams will rarely have 'off days' or 'bogey teams'.

Now I wrote that in 1996/97 ish so it was the best I knew at the time. However I have spent a few years writing this new engine and it works completely differently. It will also probably be tweaked as the game grows as the calculations are far more complex.

For a start, injures will occur in games or in training separately now. Training injuries are more likely if they are training intensely and game injuries do depend a lot more on the opposition aggression, although not fully so don't expect to play 10 aggression and injure the other team too much as you are more likely to get red cards!

Red cards and injuries will also now take effect in the match when they happen so if you have a player sent off in the first 10 minutes you will be playing 80+ minutes with 10 men. Likewise, a player being injured will mean a substitute comes on and that is then the team for the rest of the game. Just by changing this aspect, you will hopefully find it improved!

The match engine will also now base it's calculations not only on your team and tactics, but to the oppositions team and tactics in comparison to yours. This means that just because you are on a winning streak, don't expect the next game to be any more difficult - they may just have the formation and tactics to beat you.

In terms of tactics, the full range of tactics listed on the site will now be in play rather than converted to the more basic tactics that Mystify to use. There will also be a whole range of positions coming into the game and players can play in positions other than their specialised one which will help in terms of cover.

There is also the individual skill element now that comes into play on your tactics and compared to the opposition players. Rather than a simple rating, there are more factors to compare a full back to a winger against. I can't really say too much on this but needless to say, it is a much better comparison than just comparing points against points.

All this will establish how much possession a team has and how many shots they have then going forward who has the shots and who scores. It's just more thought through than the simplistic points factor of the current engine.

To add to this there will also be own goals and penalties in games (which will be shown on the match report).

From the matches themselves, there will also be extra financial details with different ticket prices per divisions and catering income against the policing costs. when I set up local rivalries the policing costs will be tweaked even more but it will be quite basic to start with.

There are future improvements I can also now make in terms of you specifying when subs should be made and who the penalty taker is but I am trying not to implement too much art once - it's a big enough change as it is! There's also a scope for loads more stats and even more skills to be added, but I want to still keep it relatively simple to play.

Hopefully this hasn't given too much away but also shows why the upgrade is required. Feel free to comment below or mail me through the site.