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#32 Kickoffs


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Hello Coaches!


Welcome to another Dev Diary for NewSim on SimFBA!


This Dev Diary continues to explain the transition to the new game engine. Last time, we talked about defending against the pass. This time, we move over to the realm of special teams and get down to how kickoffs and kickoff returns work and what players you should play on them!


So there are 3 or so important groups of players for kickoff plays right now (a 4th will be added in a later update). They are:

  • Kicker
  • Kickoff Coverage Players
  • Returners
  • Return Blockers (Not currently implemented. Will be in the future)


Kickers start off the play, and so we'll start there. There are two skills that matter to a kickoff kicker: Kick Power and Punt Power. The sim will look at whichever skill will produce the longer kickoff, so feel free to place punters as your kickoff specialists! The main thing to take away from this is, the higher the Kick OR Punt Power, the farther the ball is likely to travel before it can be fielded by a returner. Simple!


Kickoff Coverage:

Players here are worried about one thing: speed. In a later update, these guys will also have to worry about skills like tackling and agility, but for now, speed is the only skill that matters. And even then, it is just used to determine WHO made the tackle, not WHERE. So, faster players are more likely to make the tackle than slower players, but a faster kickoff coverage team (for now, this WILL change) will NOT affect the return distance. When Return blockers are added, then other skills will come into play.



Finally, returners. There are always two returners for the Kick Return team. Kickoffs will be fielded by Returner #1 about 70% of the time, and Returner #2 will handle the other 30%. From there, if the ball was fielded in the endzone, the returners will have to make a decision: take a knee or now? Right now, they will take a knee and go for a touchback about 50% of the time.


Now, if the returner decides to take the ball out of the endzone, or if the ball was kicked short of the endzone, then the returner will try to return the ball as far as possible. This brings us to the skills important to a returner: Speed and Agility. Speed is the most important and you will really want to put a blazer here. The faster a player is, the farther they are likely to go on their return.


If a player is agile enough, and rolled well enough on the initial return, there is the possibility of a "multiplying" roll. If this occurs, the sim will roll to see if there were extra yards gained based on the agility of the returner (higher agility means better chance of breaking away). Once a breakaway occurs, the speed of the player comes into play once again, and determines how far they go with that extra space (faster players will make more of any opportunities created by their agility). So to summarize: high agility translates to more chances to break away, and high speed will translate into doing more with each individual chance.


Here's the part I bet you're waiting for: examples!









I hope you enjoyed this Dev Diary. Please check in next time when we will probably keep the focus on Special Teams!


Until next time,



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