How Much Control is Too Much Control?
Easily, the biggest frustration I hear from customers is the presentation of game planning options in the Front Office Football games.
Many people want more control over how their teams perform on the field. And many people feel overwhelmed by the number of options they have.
Addressing the former, as I've tried with the last releases, has greatly improved some aspects of the game. But with more options, there's more complexity. And there's still more I can and should provide, particularly with respect to late-half situations.
One direction Front Office Football must take in the future is providing a clearer picture of what's taking place on the field. It's not enough just to know passes defensed, interceptions and passes caught against a defensive back. Tomorrow's game must break down how often a defender successfully defended his assignment.
It's not enough just to know how often a lineman provides a key block or allows a sack. Tomorrow's game must show how often he successfully completes run and pass blocking assignments.
That much is obvious.
But those numbers still won't provide a complete picture. Even slight option changes can have significant impact on the team aspect of the game. If a defensive back is only responsible for one underneath zone, he won't be burned deep.
Not only will his pass defense assignment numbers grade out very well, but he'll be contributing more tackles on running plays. Numbers can be very misleading in football, in a way you'd never experience in baseball.
A football player, particularly one who plays defense, is only as effective as his team's scheme allows.
Therefore, detailed feedback will always be somewhat misleading in a football simulation. That's why there's much more reliance on scouting in football even after the initial acquisition. You play a baseball game by the stats the player accumulates. You play a football game based on the scouting report and hope the stats follow.
Going back to the question here, how much control is too much? Without more detailed feedback, I'm already passing that point. Every option has some impact on the field, but it's not always clear what impact it has.
But football is far more than a very advanced game of rock, scissors, paper, which is the direction simulations seem to be headed these days.
I have my own ideas of how to solve this problem, and they amount to a significant reassessment of these fundamental questions. I'm interested in what people think about this issue.