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Q&A with Chris Child

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  • Q&A with Chris Child

    Hi guys,

    I've been working with Chris on trying to answer some common questions from the forum and other sources, along with some of my own feedback that I think would be good to get an answer on.

    1) New domestic leagues have taken priority over new features like moving between teams in a save and an associate career mode, how much effort goes in to these new leagues?
    A huge amount of effort has gone into the new leagues this year. A single player can now play for seven different teams in the same year. We need to make sure that there are no conflicts between the contracts of all these players and that the current series stats are added and cleared in the correct order for each player. With the huge number of special cases for this, it’s probably the most complex code that’s ever been included in Cricket Captain.

    2) What would it take to get all leagues simulating at the same time, and is this likely soon?
    It would be another layer of complexity again, but one of the reasons I spent so much time making sure this all worked correctly this year was so that we can simulate all the domestic competitions in full in all career modes in the future. I hope to do this in the 2018 version, but there is still a way to go to include fixtures correctly. Once we have this then a full career mode with movement between teams would be possible.

    3) I think an associate career mode with promotion to a test side would be excellent, how difficult would this be?
    The general policy is to keep the game as close to real life as possible. Currently, there is no clear mechanism for promotion and relegation for test teams. There is a big call for the international ranking system to be replaced by a league structure. If this becomes a reality we could extend it to include promotion for associate teams. So, one for the future, but no immediate plans.

    4) What about adding an international fixture editor to the game?
    Timetabling fixture lists without conflicts and errors is extremely complex. The call for this is often because lesser teams get fewer matches than the top teams, so it you take a low ranked team to the top of the table, you still only get a few tests. The may be less of an issue of the international leagues come into existence and force a more balanced schedule. One option might be to give maximum slots to the teams and allow the player to pick the mix of test/ODI/T20 within that period. A fully editable fixture list would be too bug prone.

    5) The coaching system hasn’t changed in a while and feels stagnant, have you considered updating this, to perhaps make the coaching system apply general practice to all players (perhaps at a reduced % level to the existing system) and then you “buy” extra practice or technique sessions? Some have mentioned the idea of a help guide/assistant coach to guide you through this.
    The assumption is that players receive general practice already and you are allocating extra sessions. I like the idea of advice from an assistant coach. E.g. a player has already reached his maximum potential for aggressive batting, so there is not point allocating extra training to this. Another option is to record the training sessions that have been allocated to a player during the current year.

    6) We could use funds to buy a coach and physio and these have separate quality levels and could perhaps include retired players like they do in real life?
    This is an extension that could be included in the future. I wrote some code for this a while ago which is used in the back end, but not displayed, so it should be possible and would add a level of interest to the contract section.

    7) There are also some stats needed to support some of the current options in training, particularly in relation to the fielder training options, can these be added?
    We have catches per match for fielders, but there is more we could do there. We discussed adding batting averages against spinners and against short pitched bowling etc. Currently, we can’t extract this information from the databases but we will continue working towards this.

    8) What about new match options, like DRS and perhaps new batting controls, like a Rotate the strike button? It can be awkward to get this working with the aggression bars.
    We’ve had some of these on our lists for a few years now, but they have never quite made the cut against other features. We’re hoping to get the changes to the graphic engine from Tick Tock we need for DRS next year. It would be nice to get this in. We discussed adding a guard option for batsmen (middle & off, middle& leg, etc.). Opinion was split of whether this was too much micro-management and would detract from the flow of the game (which could also be an issue with DRS). One option would be to have the batsman react to this automatically to counteract the 7-2 fields for very aggressive batting.

    9) What about bowler preferences? Like new ball / old ball and conventional/reverse swing preferences? Maybe even to LHB and RHB batsman?
    Another element of the database work we added this year was looking at bowler orders in the stats. To some extent these are deceptive as the best bowlers will generally bowl first for their team, so the orders do not necessarily indicate a new ball preference. We’ll look at this further. LHB/RHB is another element we will try to extract from the data. Some bowlers are clearly better against left-handers than others. Conventional/reverse swing would probably need to be added by hand.

    10) Nigel/Sureshot would love to see rain-affected short format matches and think it would be very engaging for the user, but the AI for this would be very complicated with regards to getting the AI to score appropriately and chase targets?
    The AI for setting and chasing targets should adapt automatically from our current algorithms. The complex elements are, choosing bowler orders for interrupted matches, and D/L calculations (including additions to the RR column in league tables). This is now a priority for the next version.

    ----

    We'd love to hear your feedback on this and if there's any other questions then I'll see if we can answer them.

    Regards,
    Nigel

  • #2
    Wow those are some great questions I think a lot of us were wanting answers to. There are of course going to be a lot if different views and perceptions as to which features should be put in first and which delayed a bit. I think if you wanted to get a good grip on what all of us want a poll would be good as you'd be able to see what matters most to us. Personally for me it's so frustrating when I'm playing as NZ or another country that's not as good as say England and Australia because I basically never get any games against them - I mean heck since I started my NZ save which has been going for like 7 or so game years I've never played a single test against Australia but have like 10 against Bangladesh. Yes I've played some ODI's against Oz but it's never as good as a test match.

    I think an international fixture editor, the ability to move to other teams in the same save and rain affected matches would be the most important to me but in general all of the possible options listed above are great and would be good next steps in the evolution of the game.

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    • #3
      Would it also be possible for the Australian Career that you pick your state, contract players, then pick a squad for the One Day Cup from the contracted players? This would allow for state players not included in the squad to be eligible to play for the CA XI (This is what currently happens, e.g. Mark Steketee and Beau Webster) thus making the CA XI more competitive and more realistic?

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      • #4
        Sounds promising for future releases. I'm sure most of us respect CC isn't made by some massive company and doesn't have the budget/ resources for a huge overhaul every year but 1/2 new features added each release that isn't just new leagues being added would really benefit the game and could take it forward a long way in 2/3 releases time

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        • #5
          WoW a Q&A on why you guys can't implement substantial new features because of the ton lot of work going on the back ground which the end user can't see and how complicated it is to make those changes, how about bi annual release then if its require so much work just to add couple of features?

          Seeing the number of replies I can safely say that people doesn't give a damn to these excuses If you guys really not want to see this franchise drop dead you have to do something substantially. (No adding new leagues doesn't count as features)
          Last edited by muhammad saad; 10-02-2017, 08:34 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by muhammad saad View Post
            WoW a Q&A on why you guys can't implement substantial new features because of the ton lot of work going on the back ground which the end user can't see and how complicated it is to make those changes, how about bi annual release then if its require so much work just to add couple of features?

            Seeing the number of replies I can safely say that people doesn't give a damn to these excuses If you guys really not want to see this franchise drop dead you have to do something substantially. (No adding new leagues doesn't count as features)
            I suppose the obvious answer is this - if you think you can do better, go and make your own game, and put whatever features you want in.
            Nottinghamshire supporter and proud!

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            • #7
              Or i can complain to steam to remove this fraudulent repackaging shit year after year

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              • #8
                Thanks for the feedback folks. I've finally got some time with Tick Tock over the next couple of weeks, so we'll be looking at adding some features to the graphics which will improve some of the rotation animations for 2018 and level of detail element. This should also lay the groundwork for DRS in 2019. I understand people's frustration when the features they want are not included. It's a difficult balance, but we've had great feedback from users who appreciate the new leagues and stats. We're also constantly improving the game so that we can add other features that build on elements we've added this year, so hopefully we'll keep everyone happy in the long run. Thanks again for your continued support and for keeping this game going for nearly 20 years.

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                • #9
                  Wow, 20 years. That's pretty impressive. Well done guys. Appreciate the Q&A too - its nice to get an idea of the direction the game will take from here.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by muhammad saad View Post
                    Or i can complain to steam to remove this fraudulent repackaging shit year after year
                    Hardly fraudulent ... the guys say exactly what has been added and changed each year, down to you if you want to buy it or not. Silly to suggest otherwise.

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                    • #11
                      My questions.
                      1. Would we be able to have a World XI ?
                      2. Can we have some classic World Cups or Test Series that just aren't England all the time ?
                      3. Any chance of doing more with the Legends series of players?

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                      • #12
                        I'm keen to expand on the legends side of the game. There are many things we could do here, so it's important we pick the right ones. I like the idea of historical world cups, though there are potential complications there with regards to the various rules and getting all those players. Will talk to Chris about this, as we have talked about expanding legends.

                        Not sure if we could maybe expand to some sort of custom test league, where the user picks the AI test squads? Might have to see what this real world league format will be.

                        I think you also have to be careful with addition of new players, this could very easily expand in to so many players that controlling the database could be a nightmare.

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                        • #13
                          Good points! And thank you for answering that question. Fully understand the database issues with something like that! If you ever want to create a forum on something like that i would be more than happy to contribute.

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                          • #14
                            Custom test leagues would be GREAT!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Prefect View Post
                              Custom test leagues would be GREAT!
                              Should clarify that I was thinking about that in relation to an expansion of all time greats.

                              If this real world leagues go ahead, they might make the calendar work well enough that we can do something with career international fixtures.

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