Offensive AI

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Goal Line Blitz offers a playcalling engine that allows for almost complete control from a tactical play-calling standpoint. The system is optional, with the ability to just have your tactics run off of your “basic” settings, but most teams use the play-calling AIs in some form or another.

There are a few basics to understand before we dive into the details of the AI interface.

  • The playcalling engine reads top to bottom until it finds an input match for the particular situation.
  • Once the input is selected, the playcalling engine will then look to the outputs for that particular input. The outputs each reflect a percent chance of being called for that given input.
  • If the playcalling engine finds no match for the given situation, it will default to basic settings.
  • Users cannot call for a QB kneel in a situation that would result in a safety.
  • Users cannot call for punt within the OPP 30 yard line.
  • The playcalling AI will not operate unless the ‘Enable Offense/Defense AI’ button is checked.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, punt returns will always be called in the correct situations.


An Offensive AI was created to allow users to specify how plays were called based on the current state of the game. It is not required to use the offensive AI or have an input case for each situation. Some teams have made very extensive AIs that attempt to handle every situation, while others only use it for the bare minimum. Owners with large AIs must use extreme caution to make sure there are no corner cases where the AI would suggest an unwise behavior. An example is a team that may want to go for it on 4th and inches 100% of the time. If this team neglects to put an input in that would have them kick a game winning 20 yard field goal with 30 seconds left in the game, they may go for the first down and run out of time. Many offensive coordinators recommend a minimalist approach to the AI and only use it for small cases where the default AI is not very efficient.


Contents

[edit] General Settings

  • Enable Offensive AI- this turns on the AI. Otherwise the default AI is used.
  • Follow my AI EXACTLY, even when there is no match (use with caution!) - This will force the playcalling AI to follow your settings exactly at all times, even if your settings are incomplete. If there is no matching input to the situation, it will default to your basic run/pass priorities only. Warning: This can cause you to not punt and not kick field goals, etc, unless you have the proper input/output settings!
  • Max Field Goal Range - Used for the special circumstances field in inputs. Leave blank for it to be automatically determined.
  • All teams have 3 time outs for each half. If the game goes to overtime you are given 2 time outs.

[edit] Input Selection

Inputs are the portion of the AI that provides the criteria that all need to be met for the playcalling engine to mark the input as a match (and therefore use your outputs for the matching input). The playcalling engine will pass over your input if any of the criteria are not met.

On the OFFENSIVE side of the AI, the following criteria are used for inputs:

  • Time remaining in quarter
  • Ball spot (yard line)
  • Down
  • Yards to first down (remember not to leave gaps, there should be some overlap)
  • My timeouts left
  • Opponents timeouts left
  • Clock Running (Yes/No)
  • Score Difference (Negatives used for losing, positives for winning)
  • Special Circumstance (based on the Max Field Goal Range setting)

[edit] Output Selection

For each input, users must select one or more outputs that will define what plays are called. Each output is given a % weighting. A random number generator selects which of the groups of plays are called.

[edit] Play Selection

Currently the Offensive AI only allows users to call groups of plays, rather than individual plays. For each group of play that can be called from the AI see Plays By Position and Style.

The following items can be selected for each play:

[edit] Offensive AI Tester

There is also an Offensive AI tester that allows GMs to test the AI against specific situations. This feature resulted from many users complaining to Bort that their inputs were improperly followed. In almost all cases, it was user error. Diligent GMs will have test cases to verify that their AI works as intended and does not have any negative side effects.

It is possible that the AI tester isn't always correct, especially when it comes to field goals. The tester doesn't take stamina into account, so during a game the kickers range might be different from what the tester results show.

[edit] User Owned Offensive AI/Plays

Previously all Defensive Play Creator plays that you created were 'Owned' by individual teams, and there was no built in system to transfer them between teams if you wished. These plays could also be Edited or Deleted by other Users.

With this system you now have the following additions:

- You now have a place to securely back up all your plays. - You can now transfer any play to any team in a few clicks of a mouse in a way that doesn't use GM Scripts. - New Users don't need to be given DC powers to view and play with the DPC. - All players or GMs on a team can create Defenses for that team, without Owners giving out access to DAIs. - Agents don't lose all their hard work when they leave a team, or it folds for some reason. - None of these changes detract from the previous system, its not being replaced, its being improved. - Copy or Delete multiple plays.

[edit] How does it work?

Every User now has a new Tool bar on their home page: http://goallineblitz.com/game/home.pl - on this tool bar is an option for 'Tactics' which opens this screen 'My Tactics' : http://goallineblitz.com/game/team_create_defense.pl

From this window you can do two main things:

- Create, Edit, Copy and Delete DPC plays. These plays belong to you, and you are the only person who can edit or delete them from this location. - Share plays with your teams. If you want to share your plays with a team (or multiple teams) then first you need to be set up as a GM (Note: you do not need to have any powers over that team.)

If you want to grant teams access to your plays you can do this by clicking on the Team Sharing Tab from here you may add access to your plays for the teams you GM. Once access has been granted, it may not be removed until the off-season, unless the team is sold. Any teams you no longer GM for will have access automatically removed at season end. This is to make sure GM's cannot unexpectedly or accidentally remove access from plays in use by a team in the middle of a season. Owners must also give access to their Teams

[edit] What can teams do with my plays?

Teams can use plays from several 'saved locations'. Knowing which location to use in your DAI will stop a lot of errors from occurring.

- Team Plays - these are either created and stored in the team tactics, just like now, or they were created by a GM or owner and copied to the team plays location.

Only people who are granted access by the owner to the team DAI can edit, copy or delete them, just like now. The benefit of copying these plays is there is less risk of a GM accidentally deleting or editing a teams plays without the owners knowledge. The draw back is that if a GM has an improvement for the play it will not update the play saved in the team plays location, someone will have to manually replace the play.

- My Plays - these are plays you have made in your own tactics, these update globally, so if you use a play from this location in a team AI, it will change if you change it in your tactics. This includes deleting. This location is great for backing up all your plays, updating one play used on multiple teams and for transferring from team to team.

- GM Plays - these are plays created by all GMs on the team. Again if you use plays from this location and the GM edits or deletes them that will effect the DAI outputs of teams using them from this location. All plays will have name of the person who made them next to them, to help identify them, and to give due recognition.

There is also a section called Classic Plays -- this is where all the old DPC plays are stored, they cannot be used in the sim anymore but you can copy them to my plays or team plays and edit them there.

[edit] Walk through: how to copy and install plays from various locations into a DAI/package

1. Create A Play

- From your Home Page, click on 'Tactics' on the gray Tool Bar. (This opens up the 'My Tactics' screen.) - Click the big blue 'Create New Custom Play' at the bottom. - Create your play and give it a Name, then click on Save. - The play you just created is now saved to the My Plays location.

2. Share the Play with one or more Team

- From the My Tactics screen click on the 'Team Sharing' Tab - Select the team or teams that you already have GM access to from the list, and allow them access. the team name will now appear in the top list of 'allowed Teams'.

3. Install play into a DAI OR Copy it to a Team. (Note: you must have access to the teams Def Tactics to complete this step, eg DC or Asst DC.)

- From My Tactics screen click on the [Tactics] link for the team you wish. (You can just go into team tactics in the normal way but this is generally the quickest way to navigate)

3a. Copying to a Team or Teams

- In the Team Tactics screen, click on Custom D Plays Tab. - Click on the 'My Plays' Tab to copy a play that you have made (if you wanted to copy a play a GM has made select 'GM Plays' Tab etc) - Click on the words 'Copy to Team Plays' next to the play you wish to copy. This will open that play up in the Teams Custom DPC here you can view all the progressions, edit, rename and save it to the team. - The play is now saved to the Team Plays location as a separate play, now if you make changes to the play you made under the My Plays sections, it will not effect the play saved in Team Plays, but it will effect the plays saved in the My Plays location.

3b. Installing play into the Def AI

- Access the Def AI Tab in Team Tactics Screen for the team you wish to work on. - Either Create and new Input/Output or select the Output you wish to replace. - In the Output click on [Select Play] - There are now 4 blue tabs in the pop up window, select the Tab you wish, remember that plays in Team Plays can only be changed by people who have been granted DC powers, while My Plays and GM plays can be changed by the user who owns, it even if its in your DAI as an Output. - Once you have selected the Tab, all the plays saved to that location are viewable, note that GM plays will have the GMs names next to them to help distinguish them. Just click on the play to select it. - Once you have finished making changes, scroll to bottom and click on 'Update'.

Note: Packages work under exactly the same principles. This might look complicated, risky, scary... or simple, but until you are familar with the system, I would probably recomend copying plays to either Team Tactics (or My Tactics) before placing into a DAI Output. This may take a few seconds longer, but it does give you more control. However I'm sure many Networks will learn to appreciate the ability to 'fix' one play and have it update through all the Network teams using it.

[edit] What is the quickest way to copy an entire DAI from one team to another?

You can Copy Multiple plays by using the check boxes, this is very handy if you want to transfer a set of plays from one team to another. The best option is probably to use the 'My Plays' location, save everything you need there, as you can get access to these wherever you are. Name plays clearly, and utilize packages once the plays are saved into Team Plays, as this makes it quicker to insert plays into your DAI.

[edit] Is it possible to delete plays that might be in use by other teams?

Yes, and No - This is why its important to understand the difference between the 3 saved locations.

My Plays - Only You can delete these. Team plays - Only people with access to Team tactics can delete these. GM plays - Only the GMs who own the plays can delete these.

[edit] What happens if you rename a play? Does this renaming update through all AIs that are using it?

Yes, it updates wherever that version of that play exists (so in My Tactics and in the DAI system, plus anywhere its used in an Output). It doesn't update any copies saved to Team Tactics or someone else's tactics.

[edit] What happens when you edit a play? Does every team using it now use the newly edited version?

It depends which location they are using it from. If the Team wants you as GM to be able to tinker with it through the seasons, they should use it from the GM Plays location which updates automatically.

If a Owner or DC who Owns the play, they can use the play from the My Plays location if they want to be able update the play for teams automatically (This is a real time saver if you are using the play on multiple teams). If not they should copy it to Team Plays so they can have a 'static' copy, letting you update the play for other teams. Team plays can only be edited in team tactics.

[edit] External Links

Screenshots for the Advanced Offensive Tactics Defaults by scarletmbb

Offense AI Quirks and Things to Look For by Bort

Beginning Offensive AI Guide by pestface

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