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Old 03-30-2017, 07:33 PM   #1
Binary_Digit
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Roster/Draft Class CSV Utility

EDIT: This utility is now available here:

https://github.com/BinaryDigit09/FOFDraftRosterUtil

Click the green "Clone or Download" button and choose "Download ZIP." The downloaded zip file will contain a "FOFDraftRosterUtil-master" folder, and inside there should be a FOFDraftRosterUtil folder. That's the folder you need. Put it anywhere you want. Refer to the README.TXT and /help/FOFDRUtilHelp.docx files for more instructions. I'll keep an eye on this thread periodically, so if you encounter any issues then post them here and I'll try to help. I hope you like it!

Hi,

I'm a programmer, and I love Front Office Football. So naturally when I learned about the Excel-hell that's involved when trying to create a custom roster or draft class, I thought it'd be fun to make a utility program that does all the hard work. So instead of dealing with a ton of raw numbers in a spreadsheet (many of which are tricky and tedious to convert), you could simply select teams, cities, colleges, etc. from dropdown menus.

I have the roster stuff totally working, and the draft side is going to be very similar, so it's a good time to ask what features would be helpful in a tool like this? Here's what it can do so far:

- Create a roster with a specified number of players. The players are randomly assigned reasonable defaults for all attributes (skills as well as birthday, home town, contract, etc.). You can drag sliders to specify the percentages of rare superstars, elite starters, roster filler, etc. that will be created. Teams do a round-robin draft to pick the best available player of need, and are randomly assigned to be 3-4 or 4-3 defense so they draft DLs and DBs accordingly. When the Position Distribution minimums are met for all teams, all the remaining players become free agents.

- Add, edit, or delete any player in the roster. The Add and Edit screens give total control over every possible field and attribute. You can change the player's name, team, position, draft round/pick selected, skills, contract details, all 87 fields the game supports. You could give a QB excellent long snapping skills if you wanted to.

- Save the roster in CSV format and automatically launch the game's PlayerFile.exe tool to convert the CSV into the game's FDT format.

- Load a previously-saved roster from a CSV file.

- Works with both FOF7 and FOF8.

Some possibly cool things that can be done with this:

- Load the game's default players.csv roster file, create and add yourself as an elite superstar QB on your favorite team, and watch yourself single-handedly turn the franchise around. Or not?

- Maintain your own up-to-date NFL roster and share it with others.

- Create a roster or draft with specific skill levels for all players to experiment with the game's simulation engine or combine numbers generator.

Here's what I cannot make it do (or haven't figured out how):

- I cannot load, edit, or save an existing in-game roster. The utility can create a draft file that can be imported to an existing roster (during Pre-Free Agency), but it can only create rosters that are imported as alternative player files when creating a new game.

- I cannot set the player skills to an exact value, but it gets pretty close. The game expects values from 0-9 in the CSV and it makes random adjustments up/down to arrive at the final skill level. The only exception seems to be an "Overall" rating that's never shown in-game but appears to be heavily used for current and future skill levels in-game.

- I cannot seem to keep the game from adding its own random roster-filler free agents, and signing/cutting players to/from the teams they had been assigned to in the CSV. Even when the CSV has the maximum 2500 players. Even when the CSV players that were cut are better than the FAs the game created and replaced them with. Fortunately it doesn't seem to touch the human player's team, only the AI-controlled teams. And it's only like 5 or 6 guys per team.

So anyway, I looked around and didn't see any other utilities that do this. Is there any sort of demand for it? If so, what would you like it to be able to do? Specifically things like being able to tweak the stats on 1700+ players without having to do them one-by-one. Need to stay within reason of course, extra-fancy things like automatically pulling updated rosters from the NFL's website wouldn't be feasible. I attached a few screenshots for reference.
Attached Images
File Type: png ss1.png (30.7 KB, 112 views)
File Type: png ss2.png (24.3 KB, 71 views)
File Type: png ss3.png (64.4 KB, 67 views)
File Type: png ss4.png (65.6 KB, 62 views)
File Type: png ss5.png (28.7 KB, 68 views)


Last edited by Binary_Digit : 04-15-2017 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 03-31-2017, 05:53 AM   #2
Squirrel
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This looks great. I'd certainly be interested in it please.

It's a side to the game I haven't got into yet, so I can't really give useful feedback, other than to say this looks like it will be a nice catalyst for me to look at this stuff and I'd be eager to try it out.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:26 AM   #3
Sharkn20
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Would be awesome to have this for creating Draft Pools
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:22 AM   #4
ezlee2
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Seems like an awesome project! I'm looking forward to see where this thing goes.
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:07 PM   #5
Binary_Digit
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Thanks for the interest!

The hard stuff in the draft area is done & working. I learned a few things while I was in there:

- There are no fields in the CSV for the following skills, even though the game shows blue bars for them on the player's info screen.

Sense Rush
Read Defense
Two-Minute Offense
Kick Holding
Speed to Outside
Blitz Pickup
Blocking Strength
Adjust to Ball
Bump-and-Run
Pass Rush Strength
Punishing Hitter
Play Diagnosis

I think it calculates some or all of them based on the other attributes we can control. Several blue bars dipped dramatically when I changed a rare superstar QB's intelligence from max to min and nothing else. Also got an obvious "matched pair" with what I believe were Medium and Long Passes when I did that.

- But there is an "Avoid Fumbles" skill which doesn't appear anywhere in the game that I'm aware of. And it's not available in the roster CSV, only in a draft class. I haven't experimented with it yet so I don't know what effect it has if any.

- Defensive linemen were given Man-to-Man, Zone, Bump-and-Run, and Special Teams skills in FOF 8. They say it's a passing league now, so I guess these guys needed to evolve.

- There is no single Overall rating for draft class players, only individual skill levels. I guess the game decides his Overall based on his skills when he's drafted.

- The DraftFile.exe converter tool that was released with FOF 8 is the exact same as the FOF 7's tool. This means it doesn't support the new "Colo. St. - Pueblo" college (ID 732) that was added in FOF 8; it throws an error saying the range must be 1 - 731. So this utility removes the last college in the list if it's in FOF 8 mode, with an option to disable that behavior should Solecismic release an updated version at some point.

Anyway, like I said all the hard stuff is done. I have some more testing, double-checking, and polish to do, and I want to put together some sort of help file, but it looks like it should be ready for "the wild" in another week or so.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:47 PM   #6
Sharkn20
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Binary_Digit View Post
Thanks for the interest!

The hard stuff in the draft area is done & working. I learned a few things while I was in there:

- There are no fields in the CSV for the following skills, even though the game shows blue bars for them on the player's info screen.

Sense Rush
Read Defense
Two-Minute Offense
Kick Holding
Speed to Outside
Blitz Pickup
Blocking Strength
Adjust to Ball
Bump-and-Run
Pass Rush Strength
Punishing Hitter
Play Diagnosis

I think it calculates some or all of them based on the other attributes we can control. Several blue bars dipped dramatically when I changed a rare superstar QB's intelligence from max to min and nothing else. Also got an obvious "matched pair" with what I believe were Medium and Long Passes when I did that.

- But there is an "Avoid Fumbles" skill which doesn't appear anywhere in the game that I'm aware of. And it's not available in the roster CSV, only in a draft class. I haven't experimented with it yet so I don't know what effect it has if any.

- Defensive linemen were given Man-to-Man, Zone, Bump-and-Run, and Special Teams skills in FOF 8. They say it's a passing league now, so I guess these guys needed to evolve.

- There is no single Overall rating for draft class players, only individual skill levels. I guess the game decides his Overall based on his skills when he's drafted.

- The DraftFile.exe converter tool that was released with FOF 8 is the exact same as the FOF 7's tool. This means it doesn't support the new "Colo. St. - Pueblo" college (ID 732) that was added in FOF 8; it throws an error saying the range must be 1 - 731. So this utility removes the last college in the list if it's in FOF 8 mode, with an option to disable that behavior should Solecismic release an updated version at some point.

Anyway, like I said all the hard stuff is done. I have some more testing, double-checking, and polish to do, and I want to put together some sort of help file, but it looks like it should be ready for "the wild" in another week or so.

This is incredible Stuff. Can't wait to start using it to develop my own Draft classes

Where can we download this tool and learn how to use it?
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:47 AM   #7
Binary_Digit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkn20 View Post
This is incredible Stuff. Can't wait to start using it to develop my own Draft classes

Where can we download this tool and learn how to use it?
It's almost done! I've been working on a help document. Following my own instructions, I found a few little things that I overlooked and/or forgot to do. Also learned that FOF 8 hangs and needs to be killed when loading a roster containing free agents (team ID 99, FOF 7 is fine with this). So I had to adjust the draft logic and add/edit player screens to make sure FAs are not allowed in FOF 8 mode. While I was in there I changed the draft over from round robin to snake.

Most likely it will be available to download on GitHub before the weekend is out. I'll either edit my OP (if I can) or add new post under this thread with the URL.

Last edited by Binary_Digit : 04-14-2017 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:55 AM   #8
Squirrel
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Wow, sounds great
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:10 AM   #9
Sharkn20
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Awesome!! Will finf time this weekend to try it out!
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:22 AM   #10
Binary_Digit
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Well, there it is! I edited the OP with a download link.

It's always scary releasing software out into the world. I feel like a parent who worked long and hard raising their child, and now the child is all grown up and leaving home to be out on their own. I hope I taught it well how to behave, hehe!

By the way, I was mistaken about the game freeze being caused by Free Agents in the roster. Turns out my random birthdays were sometimes falling on leap days (Feb. 29th), and after that I was changing the birth year but not the day or month. And understandably the game doesn't appreciate garbage dates such as Feb. 29th in a year that's not a leap year. It took some doing to track that one down.

Anyway, let me know how it goes!
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:47 AM   #11
Sharkn20
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Man, this is awesome, finally we can create our own Draft classes, thank you very much for this... Will post some players as soon as the league where I am thinking to use it first has the player pool in there...

Again, this is awesome. Thank you very much.

I will let you know if anything is not working as you expect to, as a feedback.

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Old 04-15-2017, 05:34 PM   #12
Sharkn20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binary_Digit View Post
Well, there it is! I edited the OP with a download link.

It's always scary releasing software out into the world. I feel like a parent who worked long and hard raising their child, and now the child is all grown up and leaving home to be out on their own. I hope I taught it well how to behave, hehe!

By the way, I was mistaken about the game freeze being caused by Free Agents in the roster. Turns out my random birthdays were sometimes falling on leap days (Feb. 29th), and after that I was changing the birth year but not the day or month. And understandably the game doesn't appreciate garbage dates such as Feb. 29th in a year that's not a leap year. It took some doing to track that one down.

Anyway, let me know how it goes!

It does work perfectly, I created the first class and it worked perfectly when I imported it.

Do you know if the X-Factor (20% of variance) applies to the class entered? Or is Volatility affecting the final product?

I created Dak Prescott as a Near Superstar and he went from 14/34 to 17/39 after his first TC and Pre-Season 2. For me that figure is quite far from Near Superstar , I just made a quick check, so I haven´t see him fully developed yet, I guess he will have a massive jump eventually, or maybe Volatility (43) played a factor?

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Old 04-15-2017, 07:25 PM   #13
Binary_Digit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkn20 View Post
It does work perfectly, I created the first class and it worked perfectly when I imported it.

Do you know if the X-Factor (20% of variance) applies to the class entered? Or is Volatility affecting the final product?

I created Dak Prescott as a Near Superstar and he went from 14/34 to 17/39 after his first TC and Pre-Season 2. For me that figure is quite far from Near Superstar , I just made a quick check, so I haven´t see him fully developed yet, I guess he will have a massive jump eventually, or maybe Volatility (43) played a factor?

Excellent, that's great to hear!

Regarding your questions, most of what I know along those lines came from the /datafile/csv.txt and /datafile/dcsv.txt files. That /datafile/ folder is where the game's .exe is, and I would encourage looking through them for the notes. Here are some applicable ones:

Quote:
Originally Posted by csv.txt (Roster)
Ratings in each category are on a 1-9 basis. These ratings are not exact. When a new career begins, Front Office Football uses the ratings in the player file only as a general guideline. Internal ratings are on a 0-1000 scale, and are partially determined by random chance. This adds to the replay value of the game, as you can not count on a player being a superstar or a dud in each new career.

There is an option, when starting a new game of Front Office Football, to be more exact when importing ratings. What this does is greatly lessen the variability of the ratings selected for individual categories. A "7" in a rating will always be better than a "6". Without that option selected, the "6" could be better than the "7" in some random instances.

Column V: The Overall Player Rating is the most important rating used. Because of the way Front Office Football begins new game, the player file shipped with the game actually rates players in very few categories, letting the Overall ratings carry over. You should be very careful when assigning overall ratings, as too much talent in the league can greatly alter how the game plays on the field, and how salaries are assigned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcsv.txt (Draft Class)
Ratings in each category are on a 375-625 basis. These ratings are not exact. When a new career begins, Front Office Football uses the ratings in the draft file only as a general guideline. Internal ratings are on a 0-1000 scale, and are partially determined by random chance. This adds to the replay value of the game, as you can not count on a player being a superstar or a dud in each new career.

There is an option, when starting a new game of Front Office Football, to be more exact when importing ratings. What this does is greatly lessen the variability of the ratings selected for individual categories. A "550" in a rating will always be better than a "500". Without that option selected, the "500" could be better than the "550" in some random instances.
I'm pretty sure this "option when starting a new game" is the X-Factor, and since it's mentioned in both files I would say yes, X-Factor does apply to imported draft classes as well as rosters.

Here's the description of Volatility:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcsv.txt (Draft Class)
Volatility Rating. From 0-100. This determines the likelihood that a player will suddenly get a lot better, or a lot worse. Players with a high volatility rating are much more likely to have sudden and drastic changes in ability.
So I suppose 43 volatility could explain what happened to your Dak. I think low intelligence can bring a QB's overall ratings down pretty hard too. I haven't done a whole lot of experimenting/testing yet to learn about the game, but those are my best guesses right now.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:23 AM   #14
Sharkn20
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It seems that there is a problem with Height as well, lots of players listed at 5´3, 5´4, 5´5, 5´6 and so on... It might be a "normal" height for the normal human, but we expect Super Athlete players attending to the Draft to be more Football Height orientated... Just my 2 cents

Otherwise, this app is amazing.
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Old 05-09-2017, 08:09 PM   #15
DavronM
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This is the tool I've dreamed of having since I started playing this game two years ago. You're a true champion to me. Best utility ever made for this game. It works so well and is designed beautifully. I hope you achieve all the success in the world with your programming talents.
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:39 PM   #16
mau92
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Props, man. A great utility. I bet many people will love it. I would like to add my two cents as well in case you think of improving it:

* As Sharkn20 noted above, the height needs to be improved. Right now, it seems to me to be randomly chosen between 5'0'' and 7'0''. I generated a draft class and found a good OT that was 5'0''. I understand there should be some undersized prospects, but 5'0'' for an OT seems a bit odd to me.

* The weight part could use some work as well. It should reflect height and position. Some players are pretty consistent, but some are not. I found a 6'6'' QB whose weight was 197 lbs. Again, excessively off the curve. He should be at least 220 lbs. (He would still be too skinny, but it would be plausible.)

* I have noticed that attributes are evenly distributed. Let me give you an example: if a player is 40 overall, all his attributes will be around 40. If he is a 60 overall, all his attributes will be around 60. I could not find a RB with 90 Hole Recognition, but low attributes elsewhere, for example. (The game usually generates players like this. It is hard to find attributes evenly distributed.)

* Probably as a result of the last topic, I have noticed far fewer sleepers and busts when I generate a draft class using the utility. All great players usually come off the board in the first round. I understand most of them really should go off the board early, but some of them should slip to late rounds or even undrafted.

* Still because of that issue, role players cease to exist. Do you know that RB that has great receiving skills, but poor running skills? Those you draft thinking about converting them to WR or using them as a RB in passing situations? They simply do not exist. What about that below average WR with great returning abilities? You may draft him to be your returning specialist - and he could fill in as 5th WR as well. I could not find any of these either. Role players are important.

* Also, some positions should include more talent than others. Good QBs are pretty hard to find in real life. I generated a draft class where 16 (yes, sixteen) QBs were considered at least good starters. Half the league could find a starter in one draft? This seems unlikely to me. It is hard to see more than three good QBs in each draft class in the NFL. Some other positions seem the opposite to me. They should have more talent than they do. Talent is easier to find in some positions than in others.

I love your work, and you seem to be a great developer. The utility looks great and is really intuitive. I just threw in some feedback in case you thnk about improving it. Keep up the good work!
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:24 AM   #17
zsteelers
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This is a great tool, and many thanks Binary_Digit. absolutely fantastic.

In fairness to what he proposed to do in his first release (please correct me if I'm wrong), the idea was to provide a tool to create your own draft class. I didn't interpret that the goal was to automatically generate a draft class as some people above tried to do. Rather, I thought that the idea was to have a tool that allow the *user* to thinker with a class to create a variety of draft players.
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:56 PM   #18
Binary_Digit
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Thanks!

Thanks for the kind words guys! It means a lot to know people like this thing.

And I appreciate the feedback on what could be better. All are good points and I will revisit that stuff to see about making some improvements.
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Old 05-27-2017, 03:21 PM   #19
Kuroth
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This looks great.. Thank you for sharing it..
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:21 AM   #20
Binary_Digit
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Hi, just checking in with an update on progress.

- The height/weight inconsistencies are fixed (both Roster and Draft). I found a height/weight scatter chart by position on ESPN or NFL and used that to constrain the RNG. It picks a random height based on the player's position, then decides how many pounds per inch the player should weigh, also by position. Seems much more realistic now.

- Attributes for Draft players are a bit more random now. Before, after choosing an "overall" rating for the player, it would generate random attributes between the min and max for that overall rating. Now it still does that, but with a 25% chance for the min to be absolute min, and a 25% chance for the max to be absolute max. So I'm seeing more superstars with one or two attributes kind-of low, and more roster fillers with one or two attributes kind-of high. This hopefully means we'll see more sleepers, busts, and role players in the draft.

- The talent pool distribution issue is the biggest one to tackle. On the Create Draft screen, I'm replacing the Overall Distribution sliders with Position Distribution sliders instead. So you can adjust the percentage of QBs, WRs, CBs, etc. that will be created. This way you can make a draft that's relatively heavy on DBs if you want, like this last real NFL draft was. Additionally, you can adjust the Overall distributions for each position group individually using the same sliders as before. So your draft can consist of 4.5% QBs, and among those QBs, 53% can be Roster Filler, 12% can be Decent Backups, and 1% can be Rare Superstars, or however you want to set it up. One problem with this is, depending on the specific percentages, it might determine that it needs to create 0.148 Rare Superstar QBs. Obviously there's no such thing as 14% of one player, so in those cases I'm forcing it to create at least one player. But that has the side effect of possibly creating more than 1000 players. So I think I'll just continue letting it do this, then have it remove random excess players afterwards until there's only 1000 left (or however many you told it to create).

Planning to release the next version having these fixes in the next week or so.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:43 PM   #21
Trence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binary_Digit View Post
Hi, just checking in with an update on progress.

- The height/weight inconsistencies are fixed (both Roster and Draft). I found a height/weight scatter chart by position on ESPN or NFL and used that to constrain the RNG. It picks a random height based on the player's position, then decides how many pounds per inch the player should weigh, also by position. Seems much more realistic now.

- Attributes for Draft players are a bit more random now. Before, after choosing an "overall" rating for the player, it would generate random attributes between the min and max for that overall rating. Now it still does that, but with a 25% chance for the min to be absolute min, and a 25% chance for the max to be absolute max. So I'm seeing more superstars with one or two attributes kind-of low, and more roster fillers with one or two attributes kind-of high. This hopefully means we'll see more sleepers, busts, and role players in the draft.

- The talent pool distribution issue is the biggest one to tackle. On the Create Draft screen, I'm replacing the Overall Distribution sliders with Position Distribution sliders instead. So you can adjust the percentage of QBs, WRs, CBs, etc. that will be created. This way you can make a draft that's relatively heavy on DBs if you want, like this last real NFL draft was. Additionally, you can adjust the Overall distributions for each position group individually using the same sliders as before. So your draft can consist of 4.5% QBs, and among those QBs, 53% can be Roster Filler, 12% can be Decent Backups, and 1% can be Rare Superstars, or however you want to set it up. One problem with this is, depending on the specific percentages, it might determine that it needs to create 0.148 Rare Superstar QBs. Obviously there's no such thing as 14% of one player, so in those cases I'm forcing it to create at least one player. But that has the side effect of possibly creating more than 1000 players. So I think I'll just continue letting it do this, then have it remove random excess players afterwards until there's only 1000 left (or however many you told it to create).

Planning to release the next version having these fixes in the next week or so.

Hey did you ever release this version of the draft tool? Sorry to bring up a dormant thread, just happened to get FOF8 going again and I would love a draft tool with those height fixes.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:58 PM   #22
silverbullet
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My game is on Steam. How do I download this and get it to work on Steam?
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