Monday, April 4, 2016

Baseball Mogul 2016: Bug Reports

We're currently working on the first patch for Baseball Mogul 2016, which should be available later this week. There haven't been any serious problems reported, but we'd like to address a few issues:

1) The updated rosters include a player called Pete O'Brien that died in 1937.

2) Injury levels are generally too low for the modern era. The number of trips to the disabled list has increased steadily over the last 50 years. There is a bug in how Baseball Mogul uses this data, causing injury rates to be about 40% too low. You can fix this yourself by with the following changes in the League Editor:
  1. Set "Injury Frequency" to +60%.
  2. Set "Injury Severity" to +20%.
3) We are fixing some bugs with the expansion draft.

4) Some of the help files need to be updated.

5) We would like to build a version that runs on Windows XP. (Windows XP is currently listed as not supported, but we still have customers who would like to play Baseball Mogul 2016 on XP).

If you find any other problems that need to be addressed, please send me an email at bugs@sportsmogul.com.

Thanks!

Clay

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Baseball Mogul 2016: Bringing The Dead Back To Life

It turns out that the updated rosters for Baseball Mogul 2016 included a player that died in 1937. (This happened because the Pete O'Brien who played 8 games for the Diamondbacks last year is listed as "obriepe01" at Baseball-Reference but as "obriepe04" at the Baseball Databank.)

Pete O'Brien
1890 Chicago Colts
(Dead)
Pete O'Brien
2015 Diamondbacks
(Not Dead)
A patch for this should be available this week. But if you'd like to fix it yourself (and learn a bit about how the roster files work) you can follow these steps:
  1. Go into Baseball Mogul and choose 'Open Baseball Mogul Folder' from the Help Menu.
  2. Go into the 'Input' folder, and then into the 'Players' folder.
  3. Edit the file called "2016-Rosters.csv", changing "o'bripe01" to "o'bripe04".
Now, you'll need to rebuild the main database  a file called "Universe.dat" that is loaded whenever you start a new game and choose "Modern".

Note: You will probably want to turn on the feature in Windows that lets you see (and edit) the 3-letter filename extensions.
  1. Start Baseball Mogul.
  2. Click 'Classic' and choose '2016' in the dropdown box. Then click 'Play'.
  3. It will chug for a few minutes and then show you the screen where you pick a team. Pick any team and click 'Play'.
  4. After the game setup finishes, choose 'Save...' from the Game Menu and save the game as 'Universe'.
  5. Go back out to the Baseball Mogul folder ('Open Baseball Mogul Folder' from the Help Menu).
  6. Find the existing "Universe" file ("Universe.dat") and rename it to "Universe.bkp".
  7. Find the game you just saved ("Universe.mog") and rename it to "Universe.dat".
The next time you start a 'Modern' game, it will load your new file.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Baseball Mogul 2016: New Features

More Realistic Simulations - Now 70% Faster

This year's focus was on making Baseball Mogul 2016 better instead of bigger. The first task was ripping out and rebuilding some old database code that caused problems with sims before World War II — and sometimes caused a loss of data when saving games to the hard drive. As a result of this effort, historical simulations are now much more realistic. An added benefit is that the entire simulation is more than 70% faster!

New Player Rating Editor (and new ratings)

You can now directly edit each player's individual ratings (replacing the previous frustrating method of editing the player's statistical projections until the game assigned the desired ratings). All batting ratings are editable versus lefty and right pitchers, making it possible to accurately represent players like Mickey Mantle (who was a better overall hitter when batting right-handed despite having more power as a lefty).

This new format also introduces some new ratings, such as "Gap Power", "Plate Protection" and "Steal Tendency".

Improved Player Aging

In previous versions, ratings like "Speed" and "Power" matured and deteriorated at different rates, but the process was inexact because of the way ratings were derived from player statistics. With the new database format, we did our own research into how a player's skill set improves and declines. A couple of interesting findings:

1) The conventional wisdom is correct that catchers lose foot speed more quickly than other players, presumably because of the wear and tear on their knees.

2) Despite modern training practices, pitcher effectiveness peaks earlier now than it did in the 20th century.

PITCHf/x Data

We've parsed and processed PITCHf/x data for more than 5 million individual pitches over the last 14 years, giving us more realistic pitch ratings and pitch selection for more than 1,400 different pitchers (in addition to the hand-edited pitch repertoire information that is included for pitchers going back to the 19th century.

Plus Many Smaller Changes, such as:

You can now choose either a "strict" or "flexible" pitching rotation for each team.
  • With a flexible rotation, the computer manager will skip the last starter depending on how well rested your ace is. As before, this level of flexibility is still adjustable for every team and every player using the "Start On Short Rest" strategy setting.
Improved artificial intelligence for salary arbitration.

Improved general manager AI (including roster management, drafting, trading and free agent salaries).

New system for "generic photos" (used for fictional players). This fixes the problem where a player's handedness might not match that shown in his action photo.

...

Updates for Opening Day of the 2016 Season

  • Updated rosters for every franchise including more than 2100 active players
  • Complete major league and minor league stats through 2015
    • Includes 1.4 million lines of minor league stats
  • Authentic 2016 MLB season schedule (all 2430 games)

Backwards Compatibility

Baseball Mogul 2016 automatically loads databases from previous versions of Baseball Mogul.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Baseball Mogul 2016 Launches April 2nd at 11:30 pm!

Baseball Mogul 2016 will be available for download from sportsmogul.com at 11:30 pm (EDT) on Saturday, April 2nd.


This year's version includes updated team and player stats through 2015, complete spring training rosters, and an additional 1,000+ real-life minor league players (that's more than 75 players per franchise, complete with hand-edited ratings and vital stats).

More than a hundred beta testers have been putting Baseball Mogul 2016 through it's paces -- with the new rosters, but also with fictional and historical leagues. More than 80% of the reported bugs have been fixed, and I'm pretty confident we can fix the rest before March 31st.

We have also completely re-designed the Baseball Mogul data format, making it possible to directly edit player ratings (as opposed to the old frustrating method of editing a player's "predicted" stats until you got the ratings you wanted).

I'll be posting more info over the next few days and weeks. Thanks for reading!

[Edit: Date and time of product launch updated.]

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Football Mogul: 2016 Mock Drafts

To test Football Mogul 16's improved drafting AI, we ran several simulations of the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. These are the ratings for the top college players going into the draft...


... and here is one simulation of the 1st round:


... and another simulation:


... and another:


As you can see, there is no single prediction for the 2016 NFL Draft. Team needs change over the season (as does their draft position) and college players improve or decline in the rankings (because the Football Mogul 16 aging model affects all players, including college players).

Note: New England forfeited their 1st-round pick because of Deflategate.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Five Reasons You SHOULDN'T Buy Football Mogul 16

Update: We have fixed the problems with Windows 10 and Windows XP that are described below!

1. You are Running Windows XP

We weren't able to test Football Mogul 16 on multiple Windows XP systems. We aren't specifically aware of any problems, but if you encounter any, please post them to the Football Mogul bug report forum.

2. You are Running Windows 10

We are not the only software publisher to encounter serious problems with Windows 10 (an operating system that is supposed to be "compatible with your existing software").

The first problem is that Windows 10 is likely to complain that we are an "unknown publisher" (even though we just renewed our certificate). This document might help with that problem.

We are also getting some users reporting that Football Mogul 16 simply won't run on Windows 10. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to replicate this problem on our own computers.

This is a high priority, so we will have this fixed as soon as possible (my best guess would be next week: September 21st-25th).

3. You're Waiting for Improvements to Historical Seasons

There are problems with the historical databases used in Football Mogul. For example, if you start the game in 1970, ten teams have fictional kickers that were created by our database tool (because of missing kicker data from 1970 and/or missing stats that they accumulated in the 1950s and 1960s).

Football Mogul in 1970: The top 19 kickers are real; the bottom 10 never existed.
This is something we weren't able to address in Football Mogul 16. If you were waiting to upgrade until these problems were fixed, you should wait another year. Being able to play historical seasons is an important feature, and I do enjoy it myself (especially in the 1980s and 1990s). But the rosters and stats still have holes in them, and these holes get bigger the farther back you go in time.

4. You Wanted a New Interface

We didn't create a new background skin for Football Mogul 16. Instead, we tweaked the "autumn" skin that was available in Football Mogul 2014, and we are also including the "winter" skin that was introduced with Football Mogul 15.
Autumn Skin
Winter Skin
You can still create your skin, or download one from our forums (such as the RoboDark Skin Mod).

5. You Would Rather Spend Your Money on Baseball Mogul

It seems like half the comments about Football Mogul sound something like this:
"Football Mogul would be great if you just invested as much effort into it as you have into Baseball Mogul."
The other half sound like this:
"I love Baseball Mogul! Please stop wasting time on Football Mogul."
The second comment more closely reflects reality. Baseball Mogul is our best product and the one that pays my salary.

However, I'm a huge football fan and I love playing Football Mogul. So I want to continue to improve the game and fix problems that you are kind enough to point out. And my brain needs a break from Baseball Mogul every summer anyway (this is what led to the creation of Masters of the Gridiron).

Football Mogul does pay most of Connor's salary, and it's a product where he is able to do most of work (updating rosters and ratings, reading and collecting bug reports, and regressing bug fixes). And we like having Connor around. He's better with customer support than my wife (Dee) and makes it possible for me to primarily focus on Baseball Mogul.




Monday, September 14, 2015

Football Mogul 16 Preview


There's not a lot to see this year, as most of our work has been under the hood. One new feature is that you can now save and resume the game during Play-By-Play Mode (just as you can in Baseball Mogul).

That means you will no longer be seeing any of these messages:




We've revamped the financial engine to eliminate problems with teams running out of money (or hoarding too much of it). And we've improved the AI so that it's harder to wrest away a team's top draft picks.

We've also added two options to the Calendar Page: Point Spread and Over-Under, to give you a better idea of your odds before each game (and to let you know if you covered the spread).


You can now also see each team's record against the spread. In one replay, the 1985 Bears went 13-3 (compared to 15-1 in real life). But they were only 8-8 against the spread.