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Old 04-24-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
Solecismic
Solecismic Software
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Brighton, MI
Another Option for Multiplayer Drafting

In many ways, the amateur draft is the biggest single event in multiplayer leagues (some would argue it's the league championship game, and I'd go along with that argument, too).

Utilities have been developed to make player selection easier, even craft ways to work around owners being absent for large chunks of time.

Recently, I was trying to think of ways to make drafting easier on commissioners and owners. The preference system I put in years ago isn't used much because it doesn't give owners much control over individuals drafted.

The outline I have for drafting works as follows:

- Each round would be treated as a stage

- Owners would have the ability to construct a list of up to 32 players.

- "Best available at XX position" would be one of the options.

- Given that owners may have more than one pick in a round, a check box would be available for each player in the list indicating that the choice should be ignored if the owner has already picked a player at that position during the round.

- The commissioner would have a button available before the first pick of any round allowing him to import the preference files from owners and run the round quickly.

- No existing function would be removed from the draft class (though I am considering reworking how interviews work). Commissioners would be free to run this only in later rounds, or not at all, so that the ability to run a draft clock outside the game and encourage trading would be intact.

Thoughts?

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Old 04-24-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
Dutch
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One of the biggest challenges in a league of 32 individuals is to agree on any system for drafting.

The "have-nots" in this arena (those who have to work behind firewalls for a living) are going to appreciate the hell out of your thoughts here.

I have probably used gstelmack's draft utility as religiously as anybody in FOF MP and the amount of control he's provided for guys like me is nothing short of phenomenal. I feel more in control than I ever did hovering over FOF wondering who to manually pick next.

But what gstelmack has done is not only provide me an easy way to make a list, but given me control to weight my list fairly well. So if you want us to make lists inside the game, you may want to invest in a fairly customizable method for me to weight players against each other to easily generate those lists.

For instance, in greg's utilities, we weight the QB's SOL score higher than his LONG SNAPPING score and we also weight a QB's total score higher than a FB's total score. It's up to us how much we weight the different combines and positions. Give us that ability and I think you are on to something.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
Disturbed
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This would work for me as I don't use any outside the game utilities.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:20 PM   #4
Ben E Lou
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My first reaction is that I don't think you could get leagues to agree to use a system that would remove the ability to make a pick manually, right there on the spot. I'm a big list user, but there are a fair number of people who pretty much refuse to use lists as things stand now. A system that requires people to use lists--even for the later rounds--is probably going to be viewed as unacceptable by a significant number of owners.

My suggestion would be similar to the discussion on tracking ratings changes: make every bit of information that we are given about draftees able to be exported easily for usage in a third-party drafting utility. The current process for setting up drafting utilities is more cumbersome than it needs to be. And please allow an import of a draft list so that commishes don't have to manually enter 224 picks or rely on a third-party mouse-moving utility to do it. Just provide the format, and we'll take care of providing the import file from outside the game. Something like this, which is used for the aforementioned mouse-moving utility, would work fine for an import file format.

1. - Kellogg, Brett, WR, Iowa
2. - Mayes, Steve, QB, Southern California
3. - Toews, Clyde, ILB, Arkansas
4. - West, Quentin, RB, Georgia Tech
5. - Haass, Ethan, DT, Alabama
6. - Blair, Alan, T, California
7. - Suggs, Horace, RB, South Carolina
8. - Riley, Ken, QB, Southern California
9. - Greenham, Xavier, RB, Syracuse
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
digamma
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Yes, I think one of the biggest enhancements to the MP experience is the various draft utilities. I can continue with the draft, without skipping a beat from home, work, phone and no, I won't say car.

I am not a big list user, though I will input a handful of names as my pick approaches. Having to list 32 per round seems like an incredible chore, even with a BPA option.

I think the other thing that can make a draft fun is the interaction. Trades negotiated in round are a big part of things.

So, I appreciate the thought given to this--drafting is a big part of the MP experience, but I'd rather see new or improved features elsewhere than functionality that I wouldn't want to use very much.

Finally, I can't echo Ben's point enough on making the import of a draft list. That would be a huge functional improvement.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:43 PM   #6
Morgado
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I'm agree with digamma as usual, that effort is probably best directed to other improvements that simply cannot be addressed by others through third party applications that already work fairly well. Also agree that Ben's request for the draft list import would be a massive improvement for online leagues.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
aston217
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That'd be a darn cool mechanism to have and maybe open a market for certain leagues to do that.

It'd be a lot less work. Drafting takes time and that's why I don't take on more than 2 leagues.

But in the leagues I am in, I do insist on making a manual pick when I can.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:16 PM   #8
TRO
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I think this would be useful for certain league formats but not others. It would definitely end mid draft trades which would not be how most leagues would want to operate.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:32 PM   #9
Firefly
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The utilities not only make drafting easier, they make it fun. The community gathers in the draft chat and lots of info is shared and trades are made. You get a chance to hang out with guys you may not know too well. For many it's the thing they enjoy most about FOF.

Drafting rounds by stage would be a real killjoy.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:04 PM   #10
Pyser
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this destroys trading, so i don't like it
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:30 PM   #11
Pyser
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that said, i'd love something like the draft analyzer to be incorporated into the game. the ability to sort in game each position by attributes you like, and positions of need, and sort all that IN GAME would be a huge addition.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
MIJB#19
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Originally Posted by Pyser View Post
this destroys trading, so i don't like it
That would be my thinking too. I love getting overenthusiastic about a particular player late in the draft and then wheel and deal myself into position to grab that player. It was part of my SP strategy back in the day I still played that and it is a fun factor and building strategy for me in MP now as well.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:46 PM   #13
scorp
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Draft custom player rating, trading, chat are a big plus for me.

A draft tool that can be used on a phone/tablet etc is really a must for many. so 3rd party looks to be the best option there.

something akin to the draft analyzer built into the game would be huge you can rerank your players in game, and could do this in single layer also.

if players combines/and bars could be individually ranked/rated/valued/weighted for each position would be ideal.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #14
WheelsVT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
The utilities not only make drafting easier, they make it fun. The community gathers in the draft chat and lots of info is shared and trades are made. You get a chance to hang out with guys you may not know too well. For many it's the thing they enjoy most about FOF.

Drafting rounds by stage would be a real killjoy.


+1 Also, the utilities allow a draft to proceed without requiring guys to have game access. They can draft from their phones.

If you wanted to have a solution for MP drafts tied to the game to eliminate the need for 3rd party import/export I'd think it'd have to involve an API between a hosted draft tool and the commissioner's game. The game would have to be network accessible to the draft tool perhaps through an encrypted session.
I would guess it would be coded as mini-stages. The game sends the list of available prospects at the start of the draft then the tool sends in stages - 1 pick and any trades made since the last pick. Then the game sends back a confirmation. There's just no way the commissioner would want to do an import/export for every pick stage. This sort of API would allow the draft to run real-time. At that point the setup is making the connection between the game and the tool and you're done if the API is robust enough.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:24 AM   #15
Dutch
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Just allow for import/export as Ben eluded to and build external tools so we can break away from FOF.exe in order to draft. It's a 3-5 day, 24-7 event as it is and we need it to be accessible on the web...not on the legally licensed computer that we are at less and less these days.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:32 AM   #16
Ben E Lou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digamma View Post
I can continue with the draft, without skipping a beat from home, work, phone and no, I won't say car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorp View Post
A draft tool that can be used on a phone/tablet etc is really a must for many. so 3rd party looks to be the best option there
Quote:
Originally Posted by WheelsVT View Post
+1 Also, the utilities allow a draft to proceed without requiring guys to have game access. They can draft from their phones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
Just allow for import/export as Ben eluded to and build external tools so we can break away from FOF.exe in order to draft. It's a 3-5 day, 24-7 event as it is and we need it to be accessible on the web...not on the legally licensed computer that we are at less and less these days.
Highlighting this common thread for Jim, as he has recently commented at FOFC that he doesn't use a smart phone, so he may not be fully aware of how frequently we draft from our phones now.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:16 PM   #17
sjshaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben E Lou View Post
Highlighting this common thread for Jim, as he has recently commented at FOFC that he doesn't use a smart phone, so he may not be fully aware of how frequently we draft from our phones now.

I never open FOF during the draft except to run Extractor.

Don't take this the wrong way, Jim, but I want to open FOF as little as humanly possible, especially during the offseason. It's the same way with OOTP.

Our MP leagues' websites (accessible 24/7 via smartphone/tablet) give us all the information we need to track our teams' progress; indeed, more information than is available in-game. This doesn't diminish our interest in FOF; rather, it enhances it, because I can "play" FOF anywhere, anytime.

Any design decision you make that makes it harder for us to have this kind of access to our leagues' data will push people away.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:08 PM   #18
Solecismic
Solecismic Software
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben E Lou View Post
Highlighting this common thread for Jim, as he has recently commented at FOFC that he doesn't use a smart phone, so he may not be fully aware of how frequently we draft from our phones now.

It's moments like this when I worry that I'm just too old to be doing this. I have no interest in smart phones, so anything I try and do for them would be a wasted effort.

Bad day. I've lost my development computer, which means a lot of lost time. And all my thoughts that I was hoping would lead to a better MP experience are apparently hopelessly out of date.

Easier export of stats from FOF, though? Definitely on the list.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #19
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
It's moments like this when I worry that I'm just too old to be doing this. I have no interest in smart phones, so anything I try and do for them would be a wasted effort.
I don't think anyone is asking or expects you to try to do anything directly for smart phones for the draft. Every league is on its own server and has its own message board, so there's no way you could set that up anyway. Just giving us all the outputs we need from FOF (i.e. every single bit of data that we can see in the game) in a MySQL and/or csv dump would be HUGE. I'm 100% confident that myself and others would run with it from there.

Quote:
Bad day. I've lost my development computer, which means a lot of lost time. And all my thoughts that I was hoping would lead to a better MP experience are apparently hopelessly out of date.
I'm terribly sorry to hear that about your computer. Here's hoping there can be some recovery of it.

As far as being out of date, I'd say "keep doing what you do best" with FOF. There's a reason that we're still playing a six-year-old game.

Quote:
Easier export of stats from FOF, though? Definitely on the list.
The more, the merrier. I'd say the same thing about stats that I'd say about drafting info: if we can view a stat in the game, please give us the ability to export it easily.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:25 PM   #20
sjshaw
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Originally Posted by Ben E Lou View Post
I don't think anyone is asking or expects you to try to do anything directly for smart phones for the draft. Every league is on its own server and has its own message board, so there's no way you could set that up anyway. Just giving us all the outputs we need from FOF (i.e. every single bit of data that we can see in the game) in a MySQL and/or csv dump would be HUGE. I'm 100% confident that myself and others would run with it from there.

Exactly, Jim. Your having no desire to do anything for mobile devices is fine. Unless you're familiar with the inherent UI advantages/disadvantages of touch devices, you really can't give us what we need from an interface perspective.

But give us all the DATA, and we'll make it available for mobile devices.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:08 AM   #21
aston217
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The reason why we draft from our phones is because drafting manually requires so much on demand time and few of us get that from a computer. The smart phone here is nothing more than an internet device that people have with them all the time.

Actually, I love Jim's original idea here and I don't think it's out of date. Utilities wouldn't be excluded this way and as long as FOF provides an easy way for utilities to get the information they need, the FOF MP experience will be extended in all sorts of great ways he never imagined. That's not a bad thing -- any game that is mod/utility-friendly offers this and it strengthens the game as well as the community.

I think Jim's idea will extend the FOF MP experience outside the super-dedicated community that exists and likes drafting manually. I think it will increase the MP userbase and that's only a good thing. There'll still be manual draft leagues but there can be more hands off leagues, too.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:38 AM   #22
Yoda
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Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
It's moments like this when I worry that I'm just too old to be doing this. I have no interest in smart phones, so anything I try and do for them would be a wasted effort.

Bad day. I've lost my development computer, which means a lot of lost time. And all my thoughts that I was hoping would lead to a better MP experience are apparently hopelessly out of date.

Easier export of stats from FOF, though? Definitely on the list.

FoF doesn't need to be implemented for use on smart phones. It's the websites/draft/utilities that need to be. Unless you are looking to make an all in one package.

Sorry to hear about your development computer.

I don't think your ideas are out of date. Conversation and communication are a good thing.
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