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Old 03-03-2009, 06:02 PM   #1
Solecismic Software
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Canton, OH
Pushing and Pulling

There's been considerable discussion recently about the role of "pushing" information in text-based computer games.

Pushing is when the game uses some mechanism to deliver interesting information. Pulling is when you have to use the game's normal interface to find interesting information on your own.

An example would be when a running back reaches 10,000 yards rushing in his career. With a push mechanism, you'd see that right away with an email or an important news highlight box. With a pull mechanism, you'd have to watch for events like that on your own.

I like the idea of adding more push to Front Office Football games. But how much is the right amount? A note when Fred Taylor hits 10,000 sounds great to me. Notes when every running back hits 5,000? Getting annoying.

There's a balance here. A little bit of push sounds, to me, like a great thing. Too much could ruin the game. Configurable push may be worth the extra effort, if the balance is similar for most.

For me, the beauty of this type of game is in the imagination. I've always liked taking the time to pull information from a game, deciding what's important on my own, depending on my mood at the moment. I don't play games to sit back and be entertained, like Sportscenter. Others may feel differently.

One feature needs to happen in future versions, however. No player can get away with dissing Elisha Cuthbert. And for those lifetime suspensions, I'll need to introduce a new form of push.

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Old 03-05-2009, 11:20 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2000
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I think if you take a look at all of the amazing work that folks like cuervo and skydog and jdavidbaker (and indirectly, stelmack) have done with FOF MP HTML reporting, it's obvious that folks want the presentation. Give them everything and they can make a decision on whether or not to look at something.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:35 AM   #3
Ben E Lou
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Greensboro, NC
I think customization is the key, particularly when it comes to record reporting. Some people want to receive an email every time a team record gets broken, some only want to know if a player on *their* team breaks an all-time league record, and there's everything in between.

Personally, I'm interested in the league-wide single-season and career records, and the bigger milestones. For example, this report:


is based on a table with this information:

name milestone close
passyards 40000 1000
passyards 50000 1000
passyards 60000 1000
tdpasses 300 12
tdpasses 400 12
tdpasses 500 12
rushingyards 10000 500
rushingyards 15000 500
rushtd 100 10
receivingyards 10000 500
receivingyards 15000 500
receivingtds 100 10
tackles 1000 50
tackles 1500 50
sacks 100 10
sacks 150 10
sacks 200 10
ints 50 5
points 1000 50
points 1500 50
points 2000 50

These are all numbers that aren't reached by many players, and some that will likely never be reached, but would be worth noting if they were. You're right in that too much would become ignored. One thing that would be important would be to have an on/off toggle. I don't *ever* want to hear about new single-season records in the first 5ish seasons of career play, but by year 15 or so, every single-season record is meaningful to me.

Similarly, after around 15 seasons, I would want the ability to turn on emails for when career records are broken. By year 20, I would want the ability to turn on emails for when career records are even *extended,* and I'd want an email like this for "marquee" records:

QB John Thomas of Atlanta finally retired this year. He was the all-time league leader in passing TDs, with 472. He also holds the record for passing yards in a career, with 56,245.
The media don't understand the kinds of problems and pressures 54 million come wit'!

Last edited by Ben E Lou : 03-05-2009 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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Location: Cary, NC
There are two parts to a "push" model. The first is stat information as you mentioned, and I agree there is a balance. You at the least want to give some priority to guys on my team. For example, I may not want to see when every RB reaches 5,000 yards, but I do probably want to see when a guy on my roster does it. I don't want to see when someone else breaks their team's record for rushing yards in a game, but I do want to see it when someone does it for my team. And I want to know whenever any league-wide record is broken. I should also be told when someone clinches a playoff spot (or have a "playoff race" window shown to me after each sim as we near the end of the season) or other key season milestone.

And yes, configurable is probably good, as you don't want this stuff interrupting your 20-season quick-sim run to build history.

The other place where "push" is important is in the actions you as a GM have to do. I should not need to wait until I click "export" to find out that there's someone "Out" on my team who needs replacing in the depth chart. When it's time for me to do something, I want two things in front of me: notifications of all the big events that just happen (the stats stuff mentioned above), and a list of all the things I really should take care of before advancing (guys injured/suspended, guys healthy, guys who need resigning, etc). It should be HARD for me to miss something I need to do, not easy to overlook it.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:34 PM   #5
High School Varsity
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oklahoma
One solution for the informational pushing would be to follow the Madden example and have a local and national newspaper with stories that are generated each week, keeping the archives around. Then you could have stories in the local paper that would be of interest to your team - records, recent game recaps, attendance information, fan disgruntledness, etc - written in the style that a news reporter would write. The national paper would cover the better teams, notable free agent signings/holdouts, high-scoring/close games, etc. The paper should be archived and readable at least for the entire current season.

I love the milestone watch and now that Ben's published the table I might add it to my database as well, but that would be a pretty cool in-game click.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Tampa, FL
I don't want "pushed" information interrupting my SP playing experience.

But I don't see where having additional information would intereupt it if it's presented properly. If it's e-mail traffic and additional windows, it should be a win-win for everybody.

Having (customizable) information that is league-based and/or team-based pop up in the e-mail system that FOF employs would work great. It's there if you want it and equally transparent if you don't care about it.

There are some additional windows that would prove worthy of push information as well. A page for milestones, career leaderboard for key stats, and seasonal leaderboard for key stats would also tie nicely to the e-mail system. The e-mail system could alert you to new events and then you could check the new "pushed stats" windows to see how it affects your league.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Jacksonville, FL
one thing to look out for (and Im not a developer but an idiot fan so take it FWIW) is redundancy. Nothing turns me off of a game faster than supposedly 'timely' info or commentary becoming repeated incessantly. IE., Madden commentary. How this could become a problem with Push is if the info being Push becomes encapsulated in a very redundant envelope. I can see the info being pushed becoming more annoying than inviting should it be done wrong.

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:33 PM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Kansas City, MO
The WOOF milestone (very cool by the way) is "pulling" to me because it's something I have to go get, it's not just given to me. It only differs slightly in presentation from the almanac-style report in FOF now.

I would like to have milestone information pushed to me but agree that too much of a good thing is bad but customization is good. Personally, I would like to know to when a player crosses a major threshold (such as 10,000 yards rushing) and when a player passes someone on a milestone list (for example, an e-mail telling me that my RB just became third all-time in sacks). For individual games, I'd like notification if someone say passes has the third-most yards passing in a game -- not just the record breakers, but the really impressive games.

The drawback is that in an FOF when every player starts a career at zero that this could become a bothersome chore. Perhaps Ben's minimum standards could be applied. Tell me changes in the top 10 rushing leaders but only when the total is above 10,000 yards, for example. Ben's customization of being to toggle on/off may also be a solution.

However, my real annoyance with milestone features is that I generally don't know something major has happened until after it has happened. I would like to know before things happen -- if my RB is closing in on the all-time rushing record, I'd like to know before his next game, not after he breaks the record. Perhaps a one-time notice when a player is within a specific distance of a record.

Gstelmack brings up an essential point in making a distinction between pushing/pulling information versus game actions. Having experienced some of the push models in sports sims, I like the concept but have yet to see a model I truly love. I definitely like it when the game prompts/reminds me of an action I need to take or takes me directly to the action item.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:29 AM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Massachusetts
what about other types of pushing beyond stats and milestones?

notable free agents, or notable cuts by other teams ("The Cowboys cut T.O.!!") or things like that? It's when you get to that type of thing that I think the universe really starts to come alive.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:13 AM   #10
Raiders Army
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: The Black Hole
I disagree on the email system. As part of an immersive experience, I doubt a GM/Coach is going to receive an email when Peyton Manning breaks Favre's records. He's going to read about it in a newspaper.

Just a thought, but could popularity have an influence on what gets reported? For instance if a player has 90 popularity and becomes a free agent and then subsequently signs with someone, maybe that would be reported as opposed to a player with 10 popularity. In order to make this happen, I'd think the popularity system would need overhauled with players gaining popularity by starting, POG, end-of-season awards, etc.

I also agree that some type of customization would be needed to allow players to see what articles (or emails) would interest them.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:11 AM   #11
Join Date: Nov 2006
[quote=Raiders Army;1963573]I disagree on the email system. As part of an immersive experience, I doubt a GM/Coach is going to receive an email when Peyton Manning breaks Favre's records. He's going to read about it in a newspaper.[quote]

I think he'd probably see it on TV actually. I'd hate the idea of getting this information in emails, especially if it were individual emails for each event.

I know this is not necessarily FOFs style, but I'd love to see some kind of ticker at the bottom of the screen which scrolls through, near milestones, reached milestones, key results and situations, season leaders, as well as points other have mentioned such as key signings and releases. I think this really adds to the experience as you can get caught in the universe without having to open any new windows. Obvioulsy this would have to be customizable as well as hideable, but then you could interact with this to just click on the relavent piece of news to bring up a player card on the relevant page it just makes things really easier to play, and more immersive.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:54 PM   #12
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Originally Posted by Raiders Army View Post
Just a thought, but could popularity have an influence on what gets reported? For instance if a player has 90 popularity and becomes a free agent and then subsequently signs with someone, maybe that would be reported as opposed to a player with 10 popularity. In order to make this happen, I'd think the popularity system would need overhauled with players gaining popularity by starting, POG, end-of-season awards, etc.
For sure, when a WR posts his fourth straight 1,000-yard season, you'd think he would be recognized by the fans.

You could even go into extreme and have fans dislike players because they don't win games (think about 1/3rd of the quarterbacks in the NFL) or have a red flag reputation (think Terrell Owens).
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