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#117 | SimFBA & SimBBA | Transfer Portal Pt. 1: High Level Overview


TuscanSota

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Hi everyone,

Today's dev diary goes over what will likely be our final new feature this offseason: The Transfer Portal. This Dev Diary is mainly going to be text, as development on the Transfer Portal is still in progress. The goal is to provide awareness on what the Transfer Portal is, how it will work, and what to expect. This document is mainly text.

 

The Transfer Portal for both SimCFB and SimCBB is a management tool for collegiate teams to reload their roster by bringing in players transferring from a different university. It is designed to be high-risk with coaches retaining and bringing in players through commitments of promise. The transfer portal won’t replace the Recruiting system for SimCFB and SimCBB, but is instead complementary. Transfer Portal process begins before progressions and will initiate after progressions are run. Players will range from sophomores, juniors, and senior players that will be looking for a school that meets a specific need of theirs.

 

Why Would a Player Leave Their Program?

There were a lot of questions that were brainstormed when putting together this feature. The first one being: Why would a player leave their program and transfer? To put it plainly, there are a couple; and we needed to put together a design that allows this question to be represented in gameplay and with managing your team. For the initial season of the transfer portal, here were the reasons we came up with:

  • Playing Time via snaps on the field & minutes on the court
  • Coach is using a scheme that is a bad fit for the player.
  • The player is homesick.
  • The player wants to attend a school that they would be a legacy-player in (Previous family member attended, parents attended, etc.)
  • The player wants to follow their coach to a new program (in the event that a coach is out-going)
  • The player wants to find success in their career (See the post-season, winning record, etc.)
  • The player did not want to be redshirted.

Represented as Data

With the above bullet points, we had to come up with a way to represent these reasons as data. Thankfully, we have five data fields associated to players that we've been considering in future releases; but one we will likely use for now: The Recruiting Bias field.

The Recruiting Bias field will be seen as a long-term bias value that the player will associate with when considering whether to transfer or not. Where Affinities we're short-term for high school recruiting, the recruiting bias field will have a small impact in the player's decision to intentionally declare. If the player's bias is already met, the impact will be applied towards the player's reason to stay. If the bias isn't met, the impact will be applied towards the player's declaration of intention.

 

Below are the fields that will now be represented in Recruiting Bias:

  • Average
  • Legacy
  • Open-Minded (Player is more susceptible to promises)
  • Prefers to be Close to Home
  • Prefers to play for a national championship contender (Wants to play for a team that will likely make the playoffs next season)
  • Prefers to play for a recent national championship winner (Bonus towards last season's national champion)
  • Prefers to play for a specific coach (Bonus to the coach that recruited the player, if the coach left for a different program)
  • Prefers to play for a team where he can start immediately (Will check the depth chart/roster by position and look for a top-2 spot)
  • Prefers to play for a team with a rich history (Will consider the overall W/L record of a school)
  • Prefers to play in a different state (Will look for a school not at their previous school's location and perhaps even hometown)
  • Does not want to be redshirted (Will use to indicate that a player does not want to be redshirted and wants to instead play on the field/court)

Any existing biases that are not on this list will be re-rolled, with the majority weight being towards 'Average'. Any players currently redshirting will have their bias set to "Average" in order to avoid getting the "Does not want to be redshirted" bias.

First Stage - Transfer Intention

The first stage of the transfer portal is the intention phase. When a player declares their intention, they are actually not in the portal. This is a stage that will allow head coaches to be aware of players potentially leaving their program and will allow them to act. Coaches will have the opportunity to retain players intending on leaving or allow them to leave. To retain a player, a coach can commit a promise to the player. More on that below.

The base algorithm to indicate a player’s intention is designed to check snap count/minutes on the court, age of the player, the star rating of the player, and if the scheme used in the previous season was a good fit/bad fit for the player. Again, recruiting bias will only be used as a modifier towards the base algorithm and won’t be the main weight. Furthermore, the find success option will only be done if it is the player's recruiting bias. This is to ensure that teams that haven’t found success in the previous season don’t suddenly find half their roster wanting to leave.

We did not want to incorporate affinities into the transfer portal system, and instead wanted to utilize a more dynamic approach based on the current roster and the team's performance. Everything from standings, the state of a team's roster by position, their gameplan is all on the table. Nothing is implemented quite yet, but we are open to feedback.

 

Promises

Promises are a new high risk feature coaches can make to entice players to either stay at their program or enter their program. A promise can be considered a goal to make for the individual player, something to achieve during and by the next season.

Promises have a variety of categories and weights to which can make a “Low Priority” promise, “Medium Priority” promise, and “High Priority” promise. With each level of priority indicating how risky the promise is.

Below are the categories being considered:

Snap Count / Minutes

  • Coach can input a default number of snap counts that will be based on the player’s current position. For athletes, we will need to go by their archetype.
  • The lower the inputted number, the lower the priority of the promise. And the lower chance that a player will consider the promise.
  • A promise can also be made not to redshirt a player. (Low)

Success

  • Can be measured by the postseason status of a team from the following options:
  • Bowl Game (Low/Medium) that isn’t the toilet bowl
  • Conference Championship (High)
  • Playoffs (Honestly, high)
  • National Championship (Very High)
  • Win Count (Dynamic. Lower the number, the lower the promise. Higher the number, the higher the promise)

Gameplan

  • Promise to use a gameplan that is a good fit for the player (Medium)
  • Promise to use a gameplan that is not a bad fit for the player (Low)

Homesick

  • Promise to play a game within the player’s home state (Medium). For CFB, we will be using the recruiting state map when accounting games played in Texas, California, and Florida

Only one promise can be made per player, per team. Promises cannot be stacked and will be designed to make an impact towards why the player intends to leave, and what they want from their next program.

It is also something to duly note that promises will act as multipliers during the duration of the transfer portal. More on that below.

 

Second Stage - Intending Players Entering the Transfer Portal

If a player intending to leave does not have a promise committed to them, they will enter the transfer portal.

For a player with a promise, the promise (based on its priority) will have an impact based on how likely the player will enter the portal (Low, Medium, Priority). Think of the promise as a nudge in this stage to get the player to stay. A low priority promise on a player with a low intention of entering the TP will have a high chance of the player staying. It won’t be a 100% guarantee, but it makes the odds even smaller. A low priority promise on a player with a high likeliness of entering the TP may lower the odds slightly, but it is still likely the player will enter the transfer portal.

Once this stage is complete, the transfer portal stage begins.

 

Third Stage - The Actual Transfer Portal

This stage will run for ten weeks and is designed to be similar to Free Agency, albeit a little different. Coaches will be able to sort the list by position, overall, potential, city, state, and college they were leaving. During this stage, Coaches will be placing offers/submissions on TP players with points and promises as a means of getting the player to commit to their school. Everything from cards, to teams scouting the player can be viewed on the initial page.

Teams will have 100 points available to them, and can make as many submissions as they want. The point system will differ from recruiting in that points aren’t submitted weekly.

When a player is added to a team’s board, they will appear in the Team Board Panel on the Transfer Portal page. Coaches can then go make an offer for the player which can consist of two things:

  • A point submission between a range of 0 to 10
  • A promise, which will act as a multiplier for the point submission

Promise Multipliers will be considered dynamic based on the player’s recruiting bias and the current state of the team submitting the promise. There will be a number of things to check in this stage considering snap count, the state of a team’s depth chart, a team’s success last season, and the location of a team.

Basically, a promise multiplier will be higher if the promise made matches the player’s recruiting bias. Promises also made in this stage are considered a constant and cannot be updated further.

 

Portal Reputation

Portal Reputation is the final multiplier toward points submissions in this stage. Portal Reputation is a long-term modifier that is designed to reward/deter coaches based on the promises committed onto players through player retention and the transfer portal.

If a coach has a high portal reputation, players will be more likely to consider the points submission of the coach and the promise.

If a coach has a low portal reputation, points submissions on players will be less effective.

The starting portal reputation for a coach is set to 100. The range for portal reputation values is between 1-120. Meaning that a coach that successfully promises can find benefits; and a coach that has promises fail will struggle.

Portal Reputation will adjust at the end of the next season during the next season’s Transfer Portal Intention Sync. Any promise that succeeds or fails will adjust the reputation of the coach in the following manner:

Success

  • Low Priority: 5 points (If a coach’s reputation is at 100 or above, 1 points)
  • Medium Priority: 10 Points (If a coach’s reputation is at 100 or above, 3 points)
  • High Priority: 15 points (If a coach’s reputation is at 100 or above, 5 points)

 

Failure

  • Low Priority: -5 points
  • Medium Priority: -10 Points
  • High Priority: -20 points

 

The Weekly Sync

During the weekly syncs of the transfer portal, the point submission * promise multiplier * (Coach’s portal reputation / 100) will be applied to the team’s profile on the player. Below is the formula:

Points within the week = Points Submitted * (Promise Multiplier) * (Portal Reputation/100)

A point submission can be updated after its initial submission, but can only be raised. A point submission cannot be lowered.

An offer can be canceled on the player as a means of getting points back. In the event a team wants to replace an offer on the player, they must meet the point requirement again.

If a player has only one offer after at least two syncs, they will commit to their team. Once a player has more than one offer, the player will make a decision within a 3 to 5 week span starting with the week the offer is placed. If a player hasn't made a decision by the final week, they will decide by that week. The weekly sync will go through all competing battles and conduct a dice roll on the following criteria:

  • Total Points Accumulated on all teams within 66% of points of the leading team.

In the event that no player had any offers through their duration of the transfer portal, they will return to their original team.

 

FAQ

What if I change my gameplan before the intention algorithm is ran?

We're keeping track of the most recent gameplan that was used by a team, so changing your gameplan will have no impact on the intention algorithm. Either way, I would consider changing your gameplan before this stage to be a double-edged sword. If you try to change your gameplan at the last minute to keep a specific player on your roster, you're going to upset other players that you might not have intended to want to leave.

There's 80+ players on a CFB roster. Trying to keep one player despite a bad scheme fit will cause other players declaring their intention to transfer due the gameplan-flip at the last minute. If we weren't keeping track of gameplans used in games, I would advise coaches from doing this.

 

What would stop someone from promising a player that they will win a national championship?

The reworked recruiting bias means that a player will prefer different things other than a national championship, but that kind of promise will be very high risk. The reworked recruiting bias + portal reputation would make this kind of behavior very difficult. A coach could try and swipe all the talented players from the TP for a run, heck they would be SimDeion Sanders at this point. But the burden will then be on the coach to make the national championship and win. And if they don’t, it will destroy their reputation in the long term in the event they try to use the transfer portal again.

 

Is there a maximum amount per cycle that a coach can rise/fall in reputation? A max cap on portal reputation impact?

There's no cap. Commit promises at your own risk.

 

What can a coach do if their portal reputation tanks due to unfulfilled promises?

Make better, reasonable promises? Outside of promises, coaches with a reputation of less than 80 will see their reputation grow by at least 5 points each season.

 

What happens if a coach gets a player to transfer to their school, and then chooses to redshirt the player?

This is a good question. If a coach redshirts a player that transfers in, and if a promise is committed… as it currently stands the promise they made won’t be fulfilled and the player will enter the TP again the next season. And their reputation would sink based on the promise made.

 

What happens if a player is injured for the rest of the season and they have a promise?

I may need to write an algorithm for this edge-case but postponing a promise due to a season-ending injury is something I am considering.

 

What happens if I’m targeting two QBs that are looking for starting snaps, and one chooses to transfer to my school before the other makes a decision. What happens to the multiplier for the second player?

The end-stage for the transfer portal weekly sync would adjust the multiplier on all profiles based on the existing state of a team. Once a player transfers, they will be available to the team on their depth chart. Hence once the end-stage sync checks the roster and adjusts based on scheme, the multiplier will adjust with change from the transferred player in mind.

 

What happens if I’m targeting two QBs and I’m in a battle for both? What happens in the final sync?

This is a good question. I’m not quite sure yet, and I think I would want to leave it to the coach to make the decision on which player they would want more.

 

Why can’t promises stack? Can I promise a player more than one thing?

Not right now. I want to tie promises to the recruiting bias of the player and with the need that matches why they want to transfer.

 

What happens to players that have the old biases that were not considered?

We will reroll for the biases of these players to match of what we will be using for the transfer portal.

 

Why do successful promises reward less points towards Portal Reputation than failed promises?

I'd like to use a bridge analogy for this: building a bridge takes time. Days, weeks, months, even years depending how large the bridge. It takes a single day for a bridge to collapse. Bridges can be built again; but like the original bridge, it will take time. Treat Portal Reputation in the same manner.

 

Why only ten weeks of transfer portal? Would it make sense to add more?

The idea of the duration of the transfer portal is that it would take place in the off-season duration that we would want. So, after the SimCFB national championship and then the next SimNFL Draft. During this stage, we as admins along with the commissioners should be focusing on completing conference schedules and completing OOC. The transfer portal would give users something to do to build their rosters further during the time that we’re working on having next season ready.

 

How will AI behave in the transfer portal?

In previous recruiting dev diaries from this off-season I’ve added some behaviors to coaches that will have set behaviors for how often they will promise, if they will over-promise or under promise. I will need to write the code for this, but I have the AI recruiting stage to use as a starting template.

 

Will there be any differences between the transfer portal in SimCFB and SimCBB?

I think I want both to be similar this time. The only thing I would adjust for basketball is that I am not keeping account the formation or schemes used by the team. I think I need a bit more time to figure that out, and with the end of the season arriving soon I want to provide the most tangibles that I can.

 

What kind of players should I expect to enter the transfer portal?

For the initial season, I would not expect top-caliber players entering the portal, especially in SimCBB. Right now, for basketball the most likely players entering are those that did not make their minutes expectation. And even if a top player does declare their intention, a coach still has a chance to retain the player.

 

When should we expect the transfer portal to begin for CFB and CBB?

For College Basketball, at the end of this season. For CFB, at the end of next season. I'm developing the transfer portal for both CBB and CFB simultaneously, so the feature in both sports will be neck-and-neck similar.

 

Why did my star player declare their intention to transfer? Is he stupid?

Clearly he needs to be sent to the asylum.

 

That's all I have now. Thank you for reading in! If you have any thoughts of feedback, please use this thread for feedback related to recruiting and the transfer portal:

 

~TuscanSota

 

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just off a cursory read of the opening paragraphs, i see some issues that will be exploited by certain people and want to write a coherent and logical (as if it will really matter) response to this. 

For now I am in the Chip Kelly faction on this.

 

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5 hours ago, TuscanSota said:

Players will range from sophomores, juniors, and senior players that will be looking for a school that meets a specific need of theirs.

I'm taking this to mean that players won't transfer even if they get no playing time as true freshman. That's a relief

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Also, I definitely think the injury carveout is a good idea, and want to verify that yes, players can in fact transfer as many times as they want throughout their careers

 

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On 2/6/2024 at 1:16 PM, tsweezy said:

I'm taking this to mean that players won't transfer even if they get no playing time as true freshman. That's a relief

I should specify - but basically when the transfer portal is open for everyone to recruit, the players within the portal will be sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The transfer intention algorithm will be ran for the following players:

- Freshmen

- Redshirt Freshmen

- Sophomores

- Redshirt Sophomores

- Juniors

- Redshirt Juniors

 

Players that will not be in the transfer intention algorithm:

- Players currently redshirting

- Players intending to declare early

- Players graduating

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