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Old 08-08-2011, 02:01 PM  
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Your Chance To Participate In A New Football Phenomenon (Sandbox Simulations)

I apologize if the mods think this is soliciting, and I guess it is, but at the same time it's beta testing a new product developed by long-time planeteers, and it's free.

cdcox and I have been developing a new football game for the thoughtful fan, where players build franchises and compete against each other. A description is below.

If you're interested, we're offering the game for free in Year 1 to Chiefsplanet members, with the goal of both giving the system a dry run and also hooking you like Phillip Morris. You can go to www.sandboxsimulations.com to sign up, and use the access code 6Lanier3.

Here's the overview:

Build and manage a full 53-player roster over multiple seasons, as an offseason activity to give you year-round football

Select your personnel to match your offensive and defensive scheme. Every position matters – even your blocking tight end.

Realistic and accurate simulations of league games based on head-to-head matchups against other teams in your league.


This is essentially a new concept in fantasy football that attempts to simulate as closely as possible the management of a real NFL franchise over a multi-year period. Unlike regular fantasy football, every position on the offense and defense contributes to your success or failure. On special teams, the punter, kicker, and kick returners matter.

In Sandbox Football you will build a team – an entire 53-man football team – via an initial draft, and will maintain it year after year in annual rookie drafts, trading periods, and free agency. You compete against teams in your league. In the first year of the game, before the start of the NFL season, you will build your roster by drafting veterans and rookies through separate drafts, and through trades with other teams in the league. Your roster is frozen at the beginning of the NFL season. During the real regular NFL season, you can focus on your traditional fantasy games and perhaps keep on eye on your Sandbox roster as our statistical models build the data on player performances. At the end of the regular NFL season, the Sandbox season begins. There will be 16 games in the season. In real time, the season will run about 8 weeks (2 alternate reality games per week).

Game outcomes will be simulated based on the performance of individual players during the just-completed NFL regular season. The simulations, developed by a PhD statistical expert, estimate how individual players will perform in the context of your alternate reality team competing head-to-head against other teams in the league and with the specific team that you have built. The simulations will consider the offensive and defensive schemes that you select. So you can build your roster to support a power running game or a high-flying passing attack. You can run a 3-4 or 4-3 base defense. You can run nickel formations or four-wide receiver sets. You can rotate your DL to keep them fresh.

The game is more about building a team than playing video games. So this isn't Madden, but you will have the ability to tweak your game plan to take the best advantage of your roster and the weaknesses of your opponent. Injuries are a factor in the game. If a player is unavailable during weeks 3 through 6 in the NFL, he is also unavailable during the same weeks in the alternate reality season. So roster depth matters. The game simulations are based on the most advanced statistics and the latest research regarding what matters in winning an NFL game. But, the outcomes of the games have a random component, just like real NFL games.

The calendar for the alternate reality league year will look something like this:
• Jan to Mid March: Alternate Reality regular season and playoffs.
• Mid-March to the beginning of NFL season: Roster building through trades, veteran draft (first year), free agent drafts (2nd year and beyond), and rookie draft.
• Beginning of NFL season to end of regular NFL season: Alternate reality league is dormant, but the NFL players are generating their performance stats for the up-coming AR league.
• Rinse and repeat.

Copyright Sandbox Simulations, all rights reserved.

We're still finalizing the cost structure, but this won't be an expensive game to play at all. It might range from a few bucks a year to $50 per year, depending on a few factors.

Year 1 will require a couple of days of drafting with rather high intensity, but we've got it set up where you can put your draft list together and do customized and automated drafting if you like.

So...go! Now! Time to get ready for the draft!




Note that we are still in beta testing, so things could change if we find problems in the system.


How Free Agency Works:

Free Agency will begin before the 2012 season after the rookie draft.

Our process is as follows for the 2012 season. In 2013 and beyond there will be minor changes as noted later.

1. We will unveil the list of available free agents so you can check out the talent pool.

2. If you look in "Standings", you will see that you have a salary account value of $1,300. You will use this to sign your veterans to contracts, sign your rookies to contracts, and (in a competitive bidding process) sign free agents to contracts.

The cost of a contract is as follows for players already on your roster (both veterans and rookies).

$0 - 1 season contract
$10 - 2 season contract
$22 - 3 season contract
$37 - 4 season contract
$55 - 5 season contract
$76 - 6 season contract
$100 - 7 season contract

You will sign your existing players to contracts using an interface that we will unveil shortly. If your 53-man roster is set you can spend your $1,300 on your current roster. However, it may be worthwhile to hold some money back so you can compete for free agents.

3. The free agency period begins.

Bidding for free agents will be open and competitive. As players come available, teams will be allowed to sign them if they are the high bidder. The contract length is automatically calculated by rounding down the bid to the chart below.

Contract Length (Seasons) Salary Points Bid
1 0 to 9
2 10 to 21
3 22 to 36
4 37 to 54
5 55 to 75
6 76 to 99
7 100 or more

For example, if you submit the winning bid for a player at a price of 25 salary points, that player becomes yours under a 3-year contract. If you submit a bid for 35 points and win, it’s also a 3-year contract. If you submit a bid for 38 points, it’s a 4-year contract. If you submit a bid for 120 points, it’s a 7-year contract.

For the 2012 free agency period, we will enforce the 53-man rule. You will need to cut down to 53 players before the free agency period starts, and if you sign a player to go above 53, you will need to cut a player to stay within the roster limit. NOTE: DON'T CUT YET UNLESS YOU WANT TO. WE'RE STILL FINALIZING THE SYSTEM AND WANT TO BE SURE THAT THIS RULE WORKS IN 2012.

4. Ending Bidding and Ending Free Agency.

Bids on an individual player will begin once the first player places a bid. For the 2012 season that bid must be $1 or more. Bidding ends when the existing high bid had not been raised for 72 hours. At that point, the high-bid team is awarded the player under the contract terms described in Step 3.

The free agency period in 2012 will end once there have been no bids on any players for 72 hours.

5. Unused Salary Points

If you do not use all of your salary points in a given year, they will roll over from year to year. This is experimental and we'll have to see how it works. If it doesn't work, they'll expire each year, or maybe a portion of the points can roll over. Right now, assume they all roll over.

6. Salary Points and Roster Management

In the Sandbox system, salary points and the salary cap are used only for acquiring players. You will never have to track the number of salary points “on your roster” and you will never have to cut a player for salary cap reasons.

Additionally, you are not obligated to keep a player for the full length of his contract. You can cut him or trade him at any time. However, recognize that it’s a waste of salary points to cut or trade a player before the end of his contract. But it doesn't hamstring you going forward - it's just past money that you wasted.

7. Free Agency and Contract Length - Retaining Your Current Players

When a player reaches the end of their contract, they go back into the free agency pool and teams will bid for their services. You are eligible to bid on them to get them back, just like you can bid on any free agents.

There is one exception to the rule of free agents going into the free agency pool, as follows:

• At the end of the bidding process, you have the opportunity to re-sign your own players by outbidding the high bidder. Your bid must be the minimum points to increase their contract period by a year over the high bid. (Example: your player goes to free agency, and another team bids 50 points for him, which equates to a 4-year contract. You can keep the player by paying 55 points for him, which is the minimum amount for a 5-year contract.) If the high bidder offered a contract of 100 points or more (7-years), you can keep the player by bidding 10% more points than the high bid.

8. Free Agency and Trades

If you trade for a player, their contract length is a consideration. Trading for a player with 6 years left on his contract will give you his services for that amount of time (unless you cut him or trade him, or he retires). Trading for a player with 1 year left on his contract means that he’ll go back into the free agency pool at the end of the season. (Of course, you can still retain him via Step 7.)

9. Future Years

In future years, the process will be identical to that shown above, with the following exceptions.

a. Because you will have a lot of veteran players under contract, you won't need $1,300. You'll get a new annual allotment of signing dollars. We're still working on the exact amount, but it looks like it'll be between $500 and $600.

b. In the 2012 season, we will introduce all free agents at once to catch up. In the 2013 season and beyond, the free agency period will occur during the actual NFL season. We will sprinkle the free agents in one division at a time over the course of the season. (The divisions may be randomly selected or we may release a calendar. It doesn't matter that much.) This system should be interesting because some free agents will come available early in the season when you don't know their performance for the year - greater risk, greater reward - while other free agents will come available later in the season when you know what their performance will be, but so does everyone else.

c. In the 2013 season and beyond, you will be able to retain more than 53 players through the rookie draft and the main free agency period. You will then have a cutdown period to get to 53 and we will have a final free agency period where you can sign any players who have been cut. In that final period you will have to enforce a 53-man roster, so if you sign a player you have to cut one.

10. When you think about the schedule in 2013 and beyond, it will go like this:

a. Sandbox season goes from February through April.
b. Rookie draft in May. No 53-man limit.
c. Free agency from (likely) September through December, with free agents sprinkled in throughout that period.
d. January. Roster cuts to 53.
e. Late January. Final free agency period to flesh out rosters and sign players cut in Step d.
f. New Sandbox season begins.


Last edited by Rain Man; 05-27-2013 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:00 PM   #2581
DJ's left nut DJ's left nut is offline
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Fourth down, your team down by 4, ball your opponent's 20 and you have all of your timeouts.

Do you kick a FG or go for it in the following situations:

to go = 5, time = 10 min -- KICK
to go = 3, time = 10 min -- KICK
to go = 10, time = 5 min -- PROBABLY KICK (defense dependant)
to go = 5, time = 5 min -- Go for it
to go = 3, time = 5 min -- Go for it
to go = 15, time = 3 min -- Ugh...Honestly, I think I'd kick
to go = 10, time = 3 min -- Go for it
to go = 5, time = 3 min -- Go for it
My answers.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:38 PM   #2582
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While we might be willing to pay more because we've done it and liked it, I think to attract new users, you'd have to charge a low price, like around $10.
This is probably true.

Might be a good idea to let people try it for free, then they gotta pay to play.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:59 PM   #2583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
Fourth down, your team down by 4, ball your opponent's 20 and you have all of your timeouts.

Do you kick a FG or go for it in the following situations:

to go = 5, time = 10 min - kick
to go = 3, time = 10 min - kick (even if it's 4th and 1)
to go = 10, time = 5 min - tough one. I guess I kick
to go = 5, time = 5 min - go for it
to go = 3, time = 5 min - go for it
to go = 15, time = 3 min - go for it
to go = 10, time = 3 min - go for it
to go = 5, time = 3 min - go for it
My answers above.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:06 PM   #2584
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I realize that you all have the advantage of seeing the product, so your views are a little skewed in that respect, but it's helpful.

Our initial thought was a price of around $15, but seeing cdcox's great game engine, I've been lobbying to go up to the $18 or $19 range. I've also enjoyed having multiple teams, so we would do a significant discount for a second or third team, and I think that would keep player interest higher, too, since the odds are that one of the teams will be doing well at any given time.

Per dj's comment, I think our biggest challenge is going to be people dropping out if their team is weak. In midseason, cdcox will have bots to run the teams, and our current thought is to have some tiered pricing. If a new player looks at the site, they can start a new team from scratch for a relatively high dollar amount (e.g., $30 the first year, than $18 or $19 thereafter), or they can adopt an existing team. Existing strong teams would go for the $18 or $19 base every year, and a .500 team might be more like $9 the first year and then ramp up, and a weak team might be free the first year, ramp up to $9 the second year, and then full price after that. I'm working from memory right now, but that's the general system we're pondering.

I think the outcome of that would be two good things: new people would take over weak teams and bring enthusiasm to them, and then as they rebuild the weak teams they then might get interested and want to build a new team from scratch, hence more revenue for us.

We're working on the free agent system, but I think it's going to be pretty nifty. We're toying with a concept that is simple but effective, and will produce turnover of key players, but with some owner control over the timing. We'll unveil that once we get through the season and start on the offseason work.
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Last edited by Rain Man; 08-02-2012 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:41 AM   #2585
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Anything over $10 will kill your product on release IMO. People don't like to pay that much for online game outside of wow - which just became free up to a certain level. I would structure it as very inexpensive to get in, like $7.99 for the first season and $4.99 per yer after that. Enough to not have abandoned teams from free loaders and cheap enough to attract casual action. I would also offer drastic incentives on players taking over abandoned teams, like $1.99 for first year, then $4.99 per year after. This keeps orphan teams to a min as its cheap to get in the door that way.

Remember, people who like this product will easily go up to two or three teams and you an still get your Discretionary $20 per season out of them. But it has to be priced attractively to get them in the door the first time.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:24 AM   #2586
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Do you kick a FG or go for it in the following situations:

to go = 5, time = 10 min KICK 99/1
to go = 3, time = 10 min KICK 80/20
to go = 10, time = 5 min KICK 95/5
to go = 5, time = 5 min KICK 70/30
to go = 3, time = 5 min KICK 65/35
to go = 15, time = 3 min KICK 60/40
to go = 10, time = 3 min KICK 55/45
to go = 5, time = 3 min KICK 50/50
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:26 AM   #2587
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whatifsports.com has tremendous simulations similar to this. That should be your benchmark.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #2588
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I'm trying to flesh out the idea, but what about different tiers for leagues? It would give the game a greater goal(trying to maintain your dynasty in a "higher league").
Teams that have been abandoned could stay in the lowest league, where the entry fee and salary cap are lower.
My general idea has a tiered salary cap to separate the league levels.
A buy in of $9.99 gets you 100 million Sandbux and a team name. Make more Sandbux available for more money.
Use the Sandbux to retain and sign veterans in a bidding type system.
You want Megatron and he's a free agent? Either cut players until you can afford to bid the moon for him, or recharge your bux for $4.99 and get an extra 20 million to spend, as long as it doesn't go above your league's cap limit.
There is a market out there that will throw $50-100 down per year to be in a 250 million salary cap league with 12 probowl rosters.
It's going to take some more thinking, but that's the basic idea.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:43 AM   #2589
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On another note, I'm trying to get an idea for the amount of time that will eventually be involved. Having one team in league 2 has made it difficult to gauge the pace of the game and season in general. The site says sims happen from Jan-Mid March. That's more than one game a week.
I'm hooked, but don't know how much of that is from feeling cool about being a beta tester. Free agency and team trades are one of the big points I'm wondering about. Will there be a moratorium on movement until the next season is declared open? What's to keep someone who is dumping their team from parting it out after the season, or before the next season? Off season trades will need to be monitored pretty closely, especially if you can manage more than one team.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:25 PM   #2590
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Originally Posted by brorth View Post
I'm trying to flesh out the idea, but what about different tiers for leagues? It would give the game a greater goal(trying to maintain your dynasty in a "higher league").
Teams that have been abandoned could stay in the lowest league, where the entry fee and salary cap are lower.
My general idea has a tiered salary cap to separate the league levels.
A buy in of $9.99 gets you 100 million Sandbux and a team name. Make more Sandbux available for more money.
Use the Sandbux to retain and sign veterans in a bidding type system.
You want Megatron and he's a free agent? Either cut players until you can afford to bid the moon for him, or recharge your bux for $4.99 and get an extra 20 million to spend, as long as it doesn't go above your league's cap limit.
There is a market out there that will throw $50-100 down per year to be in a 250 million salary cap league with 12 probowl rosters.
It's going to take some more thinking, but that's the basic idea.
I think a tremendous amount of people will get frustrated If they are at a competitive disadvantage because they can't financially keep up with some idle wall street banker. I know of games structured this way and they use free to get in then $$$$ to be competitive as a route to making money. Personally, I would prefer an annual one-time fee.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:31 PM   #2591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostcause View Post
I think a tremendous amount of people will get frustrated If they are at a competitive disadvantage because they can't financially keep up with some idle wall street banker. I know of games structured this way and they use free to get in then $$$$ to be competitive as a route to making money. Personally, I would prefer an annual one-time fee.
If we have Daniel Snyder type leagues, they will be completely separate from the mainstream leagues that will be a single fee per year.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:51 PM   #2592
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostcause View Post
I think a tremendous amount of people will get frustrated If they are at a competitive disadvantage because they can't financially keep up with some idle wall street banker. I know of games structured this way and they use free to get in then $$$$ to be competitive as a route to making money. Personally, I would prefer an annual one-time fee.
I hear ya, and I would be one that managed it as tightly as I could. However, as an NFL owner, if you can't buy your way out of trouble with US Dollars in America, what good are they?
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:08 PM   #2593
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I think I have figured out how to do injuries for the playoffs.

The short version is that players placed on injured reserve during the regular season are out. Players who played in week 16 are in. Players who missed week 16 without being placed on IR have a chance of coming back in the playoffs.

I thought about whether to introduce new injuries randomly during the playoffs. I'm leaning against it, since it could have a huge effect and would represent a clear departure from the history of the actual NFL, if for example, Tom Brady received a severe injury during the first round of the playoffs. Does anyone really want random injuries to pop up during the playoffs?

The details of how I will accurately estimate the odds that a player can comeback from a week 16 injury are a little mathy. I think I'll keep that a Sandbox Corporate secret. I'll vet it with Rain Man, but I'm pretty happy with this idea.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:24 PM   #2594
cdcox cdcox is offline
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We're on standby for the sims. I need to edit the database and the control panel to the host seems to be down.
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cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.cdcox has parlayed a career as a truck driver into debt free trailer and jon boat ownership.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:11 PM   #2595
topher79 topher79 is offline
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Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
I think I have figured out how to do injuries for the playoffs.

The short version is that players placed on injured reserve during the regular season are out. Players who played in week 16 are in. Players who missed week 16 without being placed on IR have a chance of coming back in the playoffs.

I thought about whether to introduce new injuries randomly during the playoffs. I'm leaning against it, since it could have a huge effect and would represent a clear departure from the history of the actual NFL, if for example, Tom Brady received a severe injury during the first round of the playoffs. Does anyone really want random injuries to pop up during the playoffs?

The details of how I will accurately estimate the odds that a player can comeback from a week 16 injury are a little mathy. I think I'll keep that a Sandbox Corporate secret. I'll vet it with Rain Man, but I'm pretty happy with this idea.
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