In response to our delay, I've promised to keep people updated on my progress with FOF9.
I think everyone understands at this point that these updates are informal. I can't provide screen shots because the pretty stuff comes late in the cycle, right before beta. Also, I want to emphasize, again, that OOTP has an experienced PR team and when it's time for them to go, they're going to do this right. I also don't want to tread on the recent and enormously successful OOTP '21 launch (congrats!).
The idea at this point is to get the FOF8 functionality in place, along with some new functionality, within an entirely new framework. One positive about the delay is that pieces that were planned for FOF10 are trickling into FOF9. Not a huge amount, but I think it's becoming significant. I don't have a list right now - that's more a beta thing to put together and some pieces might not make it in the end.
I will let it drop that I added supplemental picks for the amateur draft about a year ago - that seems like stable code now. The latest piece is full support for 2013-19 real-life player files. Originally, there was a plan to have the community work on player files - as it's done in OOTP. Unfortunately, that work was never organized, and got lost in the shuffle. So I've spent most of the last couple of months getting it done myself - both the files and support within the game for their use. I'll add 2020 when the time comes.
How to do this and exactly when is something that I could go on about for pages and pages. I did 2019 (and added it to FOF8) unusually late this past year, and the benefit there is it's much more tuned to real-life 2019 performance. The down-side is people didn't have it until right around the Super Bowl.
One concept I had wanted to add to FOF9 that isn't going to make the cut is player files including hundreds of fringe pro players. Right now, the game takes a core set of players each season that amount to about 1,700-2,000 - basically anyone over replacement level and a good amount of replacement level talent. That's more than enough for full rosters for every team. But most of the additional players needed to fill out the universe are fictional. The idea was to have enough that fictional was never needed. Getting demographic data on fringe players is incredibly time-consuming. So, FOF9 will be about halfway between.
I've developed an algorithm that captures fringe players from recent seasons to half fill-out the remainder of the initial universe. The rest is still fictional and drafts will remain entirely fictional (having "real" drafts as an option is still an FOF10 plan). I don't know how far back we'll eventually go with past player files. Football has too many players and record-keeping is not nearly as robust as it is for baseball. Plus the game changes much more than baseball changes, because play-calling is everything. A successful FOF9 might well mean we can make that a community plan for the future. It's not an option for now.
Anyway, that's where I am right now. I'll know a lot more in upcoming weeks, because with OOTP '21 out and allowing for a bit of rest afterward, we'll all be able to set more of a football development schedule for the spring/summer months. I handle the football part myself, but one thing I can't do is the art stuff. I would share my initial beta screen shots from FOF8 to prove this, but I think you'd all be traumatized.
Stay safe out there. Being rather high risk myself, I've been in quarantine mode for several weeks here already. So far, so good, but we've got a long way to go.
Added Reply -
I apologize. I meant compensation picks rather than a supplemental draft. Not sure why I keep typing supplemental instead - it's hardly the first time. I don't want to get into an entire Q&A, but the whole staging (starting out with 90, going down to 53 gradually) of the pre-season isn't going to be in FOF9. It will work like FOF8. The new CBA, with a shorter pre-season, will change all of that anyway, so that's an FOF10+ issue, along with practice squads. But it's definitely something I'd like to do eventually. If 2020 has 14 playoff teams rather than 12, that will be in FOF9.
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