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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 08-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #2791
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Jim: Welcome to the first ever League 1 Sandbox Bowl. Tonight's match up is between the Clearwater Donkeys and the Independence Vision. And Stan, I've got so say that this game looks like it could be an anticlimactic end to the season.

Stan: That's right, Jim. The Vision, led by rookie QB Baine Gabbert, are the improbable champions of the Solar conference. They started out the season 10-1 under the leadership of Matt Schaub. But then things went south when Schaub went down in week 11, and they dropped 3 straight.

Jim: And that was not the end of their problems on the injury front, eh Stan?

Stan: That's correct Jimbo. Two weeks earlier Fred Jackson went down in the middle of what was on track to be the best season of his career. And yet somehow this team has limped into the championship game.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:02 PM   #2792
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Jim: Of course the Vision defense probably had something to do with that. They've lead the league with a pass rush that has yielded a staggering 66 sacks during the regular season. In the Solar Conference championship game against Fort Wayne they added five more sacks to that total including two during Fort Wayne's final drive.

Stan: But even then they needed a goat.

Jim: And Dwayne Bowe butted in to fill that role with two crucial fumbles.

Stan: So Jim is it safe to say that Independence is lucky to be here.

Jim: Indeed. And the betting line reflects that where the Vision enters the game as 9 point underdog to Clearwater.

Stan: Jim, I've just got word that late Clearwater money has expanded that line to 10-1/2 points.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:10 PM   #2793
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Jim: Oh my. So what about Clearwater? They aren't exactly the glamour team of the Lunar conference are they?

Stan: That's right, Jim. While all eyes were on the battle between ace quarterbacks Tom Brady and Alex B. Smith in the Lunar North, Clearwater was putting together a very solid season with a record of 12-4.

Jim: Speaking of the Lunar North, did you forget to mention that feisty Duluth team?

Stan: No, Jim. Back to Clearwater, this is a team with no glaring weaknesses and yet they also don't have any aspect of the team that is outstanding.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:13 PM   #2794
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Jim: An accurate observation, Stan. Yet, Clearwater is the clear favorite here today.

Stan: (chuckles) That's an understatement. Just from the quarterback comparison alone where Blaine Gabbert is matched against Aaron Rogers.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:17 PM   #2795
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Jim: And who is Independence starting at halfback? Isn't Marcell Reese a fullback?

Stan: Up until week 10, he sure was... Wow, the line is now 11 points. The late money is clearly flowing toward Clearwater.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #2796
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Jim: Well, it's time to let these two unlikely combatants settle this on the field. We'll be back with the kickoff after a brief message from our sponsor.

(Off to run the sim).
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #2797
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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 08-20-2012, 07:45 PM   #2798
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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 08-20-2012, 09:01 PM   #2799
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Now if anyone has an O-Lineman, 3rd WR, CB or RB they'd be willing to part with, I'm all ears.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:37 PM   #2800
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:57 AM   #2801
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Congrats to the champs of the Senior and Junior circuits.

When's the draft? lol...jk....no really..when's the draft?
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:50 AM   #2802
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CD,

It's probably company property and all, but how does the simulator even factor in the effectiveness of O-Lineman? Is it a PFF style thing where better run-blockers yield a better running team? Do WRs have blocking grades? TEs? Ultimately the whole system seems like it would be hardest to figure out with O-lineman. Conversely, a guy like Jackson that had a nice year in the 'clogging' department on the D-Line; is there any way for the simulator to account for that?

I just wonder how much of the true nuance of the game can really be factored in.

Another question I had as I was reading the rules was the line that noted that a RB that gets over 300 carries would be less effective the following year. In other words, Sandbox is willing to move away from the 'real world' results a little bit. If that's the case, does it work in the opposite direction as well? If I give a 3rd round guard a bunch of snaps this season when his real team doesn't, is he going to improve at all for me the following season? Does the simulator plug in a Street Free Agent value for a rookie guard with a high pedigree (say a 2nd rounder) that doesn't get playing time in the real world but might've succeeded had he done so? Or does it give credit to that pedigree? Are there random 'breakout' players distributed throughout the game; guys that didn't excel in real life (or even play), but have completely unexpected strong seasons when put in a position to play?

Say as much or as little as you'd like, obviously - it's your baby and we don't have to know all the details, but this would be fairly interesting to know going forward.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:21 AM   #2803
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Congrats to the two winning teams, and to all of the team owners this year who invested their time to build teams from scratch. I thought it was a fun process.

In response to DJ's question, one of the main goals in the design is to prevent people from "gaming" the system. So we've got controls built in to keep people from taking a QB who went 4 for 4 with a TD in his one appearance and using that guy all season as a superman. Same with RBs and other positions. The challenge arises in the fact that it's not a clear demarcation. You can do that with a guy who had 4 attempts, but how about a guy with 50? 100? 150? The 300-carry rule is just one of several governors we've built in to manage any odd cases that may sneak through the system.

This initial season was a good test of cdcox's system, and we (we being cdcox, but occasionally chatting with me) made some adjustments to tweak it. I suspect it'll be an ongoing evolution.

With regards to the specifics of the game system, we don't want to share too much because if we do, someone will eventually use that information to game the system. So I think we'll remain mum on most issues as they relate to the calculations. I will say, though, that things like the 300-carry rule are really more about managing the game mechanics than modeling/modifying future player performance.

One thing we would appreciate would be hearing from people on how they could have gamed the system this year. I never saw anything untoward, but it also looked like everyone was playing the game sincerely and in good faith, and no one was trying to pull workarounds.
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In the final seven games of the 2013 season, the Chiefs averaged 34.6 points per game, scored 38 points or more 4 times, and went 2-5. The NFL has ruined the sport.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:23 AM   #2804
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Originally Posted by topher79 View Post
Congrats to the champs of the Senior and Junior circuits.

When's the draft? lol...jk....no really..when's the draft?
This is where it gets fun. I liked the initial draft, but to me the fun part will be fixing the teams up now that they're created.

I need to chat with cdcox about the rookie draft. We could do it any time, but I'm not sure he's got the mechanism programmed yet.
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In the final seven games of the 2013 season, the Chiefs averaged 34.6 points per game, scored 38 points or more 4 times, and went 2-5. The NFL has ruined the sport.
Posts: 76,220
Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:32 AM   #2805
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CD,

It's probably company property and all, but how does the simulator even factor in the effectiveness of O-Lineman? Is it a PFF style thing where better run-blockers yield a better running team? Do WRs have blocking grades? TEs? Ultimately the whole system seems like it would be hardest to figure out with O-lineman. Conversely, a guy like Jackson that had a nice year in the 'clogging' department on the D-Line; is there any way for the simulator to account for that?
To add a tiny bit to what Rain Man said, I analyze for all of these affects and include them in the game according to the analysis. OL are analyzed by both their contributions to both the passing and running games independently.
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