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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 06-10-2013, 06:07 PM   #3256
sfchief sfchief is offline
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I'm wondering if we could flip the default column sort, I know its a little thing but you have to hit it twice to bring up what u want?
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #3257
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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I'm wondering if we could flip the default column sort, I know its a little thing but you have to hit it twice to bring up what u want?
Can you give me an example?
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #3258
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
Can you give me an example?
If you hit the button to sort by time remaining, it has all the guys who have never been bid on at the top, and all the guys who have been bid on at the bottom. Hit the button a second time, and the guys you'd actually be interested in come to the top.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:09 PM   #3259
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Originally Posted by MagicHef View Post
If you hit the button to sort by time remaining, it has all the guys who have never been bid on at the top, and all the guys who have been bid on at the bottom. Hit the button a second time, and the guys you'd actually be interested in come to the top.
Oh. Yeah. I've kind of tuned that out by now. It's probably a lower priority at the moment, but if you throw it into the sandgestion box I think it's a good suggestion.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #3260
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Good points all.

Technically, teams don't have to be down to 53 players until free agent bidding starts on June 9th. And now that I think about it, they don't even have to be at 53 then. They just can't bid on free agents until then. We may have to make an adjustment to that rule to get them to 53 by the start of free agency for the reason you mentioned.

We're developing a nifty automated system to handle roster cutdowns and contract signings for abandoned teams. It's not in place yet so if someone's abandoned their team I may leap into the fray on June 8th and do it for them. I need to send some reminders to teams first, though, because I'm not sure who's abandoned and who's just bidiing their time, thinking and pondering and paciing in front of their desk as they ponder their roster moves.

So I'm confused now. Are teams allowed to bid even if they're over their roster limit?
The reason this sucks is if you prepared for FA based on the bolded part (like I did), then you are at a distinct disadvantage compared to teams that did not follow the cutdown rule.
Now I'm bidding against people with 65+ players already on their roster?
I'm trying to win a starter's services while other people can decide if they want a player for depth, then cut someone later?
That's just plain shitty.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #3261
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So I'm confused now. Are teams allowed to bid even if they're over their roster limit?
The reason this sucks is if you prepared for FA based on the bolded part (like I did), then you are at a distinct disadvantage compared to teams that did not follow the cutdown rule.
Now I'm bidding against people with 65+ players already on their roster?
I'm trying to win a starter's services while other people can decide if they want a player for depth, then cut someone later?
That's just plain shitty.
No, they're not allowed to bid unless they're at 53 or below. Right now, they can be over 53 if they're not bidding on anybody, which is primarily just the few people who for some reason aren't managing their rosters yet. We need to fix that, but it's an outlier because it's only a problem for people who take over a team and then stop playing or otherwise disappear.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #3262
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No, they're not allowed to bid unless they're at 53 or below. Right now, they can be over 53 if they're not bidding on anybody, which is primarily just the few people who for some reason aren't managing their rosters yet. We need to fix that, but it's an outlier because it's only a problem for people who take over a team and then stop playing or otherwise disappear.
That's what I thought, I just wanted to make sure I didn't screw myself by following the rules.
This process will probably last weeks. There is no urgency to bid on a player until the countdown timer puts you in danger of losing him.
I have a predetermined number of players targeted between the two leagues. I've had to bid on exactly one so far.
There needs to be a random or multiplier FA signing effect.
That is, to say, there would be more urgency to sign players if there was a 7% chance that a FA would accept it's current bid.
The multiplier effect could be something like after a bid reaches the average number for a player at that position, a bid of 30% or higher automatically wins the player. Sort of the whole "they rolled out the red carpet and I couldn't say no" thing.
I understand wanting to avoid bid sniping, but I'll keep bumping in $1 increments and waiting three days to get a player without overpaying.
Now,if I knew that I could go offer Richard Sherman 30% over his current bid and automatically win his services?
That would have been done, and just like in real life, everyone would say after the fact how much higher than that they would have gone.
Since it's not like that, I'll just bid up $1 if he gets to less than 3 hours left.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:14 AM   #3263
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Input taken.

It sounds like people don't mind a randomness and a little mystery in the signing process. Anyone want to make a counterargument against that?
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #3264
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Input taken.

It sounds like people don't mind a randomness and a little mystery in the signing process. Anyone want to make a counterargument against that?
I won't argue against it, but it will change my current approach a lot.

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Old 06-12-2013, 11:30 AM   #3265
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Input taken.

It sounds like people don't mind a randomness and a little mystery in the signing process. Anyone want to make a counterargument against that?
I think we're down the road this year enough that we really can't change it mid-stream.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:34 AM   #3266
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I think we're down the road this year enough that we really can't change it mid-stream.
Agreed.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #3267
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I think you'd be better off avoiding anything that's actually random. I wouldn't be opposed to some algorithm that speeds up the process though, like the "buy now" for X% over the current price idea.

Or have the remaining bid time be dependent on how much the last bid exceeded the previous bid (or on how high the last bid was, without regard to what the previous bid was).

Or have the "buy now" price be set based on a current bid but then drop as the "time remaining" clock counts down.

I'm afraid that if it's random, people who end up getting poor random draws will get pissed off. If it's an understandable algorithm, they'll at least understand why they lost out on someone.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:47 AM   #3268
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I think this should be the least realistic thing about the whole game. I would think a silent FA bidding, where you put what you would bid on the guy and submit it, then it signs the players based on this. This would take out the bidding up guys one dollar, and it would make you really think hard about what that guy would do for your team. It wouldn't be where you sign all your guys really cheap and then explode in free agency taking all the good guys so your team is stacked 2 and 3 deep.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:51 AM   #3269
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I think you'd be better off avoiding anything that's actually random. I wouldn't be opposed to some algorithm that speeds up the process though, like the "buy now" for X% over the current price idea.

Or have the remaining bid time be dependent on how much the last bid exceeded the previous bid (or on how high the last bid was, without regard to what the previous bid was).

Or have the "buy now" price be set based on a current bid but then drop as the "time remaining" clock counts down.

I'm afraid that if it's random, people who end up getting poor random draws will get pissed off. If it's an understandable algorithm, they'll at least understand why they lost out on someone.
Yeah, that thought process occurred with me, too.
Ultimately, I came down on the side of " If you know the % probability, it's understandable.".
I wouldn't want the probability so high that people were anticipating getting the random draw, just enough to know there is a small chance that your bid could be accepted, so don't just sit back and wait.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:59 AM   #3270
allen_kcCard allen_kcCard is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Kansas City
Casino cash: $298193
Quote:
Originally Posted by tambaberry View Post
I think this should be the least realistic thing about the whole game. I would think a silent FA bidding, where you put what you would bid on the guy and submit it, then it signs the players based on this. This would take out the bidding up guys one dollar, and it would make you really think hard about what that guy would do for your team. It wouldn't be where you sign all your guys really cheap and then explode in free agency taking all the good guys so your team is stacked 2 and 3 deep.
This gives me some ideas for the future that I think would be interesting. Have something of a "set the market" period, where people could do a secret process of showing interest in players, and giving an amount of what they would pay for said players. After that, you could take a gross average of the market value for a player, and then set a starting market range, with some sort of an option that is higher (a rather significant % above the market price) than that for people to fight for them in an overpay option. People that try to lowball in setting the market to lower the average with the plan to try to then jump to the buy now option later could offend the player and he won't even accept bids on them, and people that put in a really high price to try to drive the market way up could find themselves somehow forced out of other players because they had heard that their money was already tied up elsewhere...something like that.


After that, for players that no one wants to pay the premium for and get fast, people could bid on the player as we do now, with people haggling over the price over a long term, even $1 outbids, but already above the initial market price that their agent set for them in the secret dealings before.
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