Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Canadian Football and the PS4

Hi everyone

One of the most common questions asked of us is 'What about the PS4?' While I've addressed that question before, it's probably time for an update.

From the start, this project has been supported via the generosity of Microsoft as they supply development and publishing tools to small development studios at no cost to those studios. Unfortunately Sony does not have such program in place (that we're aware of). And so with that, our focus has been to accommodate the XBox One first. 

But we are also fully aware there are a great number of PS4 players out there that are looking to get their hands on our game.

We are working to make the 2018 edition the first available on the PS4 with a release date  tentatively scheduled for late June 2018.

In October of 2016 we signed a publishing agreement with Sony. Which means all the legal paperwork is completed and Canuck Play is an official Development Partner. But there have been two additional obstacles to overcome;
  1. Time - A small team developing a title for multiple platforms is extremely challenging - especially when one of those platforms is a major game console. Canadian Football 2017 is available on two (XBox One and PC). Trying to include the PS4 at the same time just became unfeasible. There just wasn't enough physical time in the day to do it.
  2. Budget - PS4 development and test kits are very expensive. Combined with that, there are additional costs related to PS4 development that we're working to get some clarity on. To try and offset some of those costs we're consulting with different funding partners, but at the moment it's the most significant hurdle to overcome. An unlicensed title focused on a small market is a challenge for potential partners.
With that said though, after we launched the game on the XBox One, we did go back and look at what we could accommodate for the PS4. As part of our 2018 feature set we're completely revamping the player model visuals. This work is already well underway but it really didn't make a lot of sense to push out a 2017 edition without those new visuals - plus we still hadn't solved the expense of development side of the equation yet - so trying to squeeze something in before the end of the year made less and less sense.

We know that there is a very large PS4 fan base and we're asked all the time about that platform. It's something we're working to get done. We're working to resolve the challenge of it being an expensive platform to develop for combined with the small market size for the title. Once we have that sorted the work of porting the game can begin.

I hope that helps explain where we currently stand in terms of the PS4 platform.

thanks
 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

PC Edition Team Creation

Recently we announced that Canadian Football 2017 would include an option for a subset of American rules and from there one of the most often asked questions was; "How many teams does the game support?" Well there are two answers to that;
  1. The XBox One edition will support the nine current teams in the game. For a large number of reasons, we're not adding team editing or creation to the 2017 edition.
  2. On the PC edition, you can create as many teams as you like. Well, almost, there is actually a technical limit of 2,147,483,647 teams. Although I suspect that covers 99% of game players (because you know there's always going to be one guy that tries it.)
Creating new teams on the PC edition is actually pretty easy but there are multiple steps to do it.

Adding a 10th Team.

Most of the work will be done in the following folder on your Window's PC;
 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Canadian Football 2017\CFB2017_Data\StreamingAssets\Teams

Inside that folder you will see additional folders titled Team1 through to Team9 each team in the game is made up of 3 parts;
  1. The team Folder.
  2. The team data file - teamdata.xml.
  3. The team roster. All players for all teams are included in the single file called roster.xml.
The best way to start the process of adding a team is to simply copy and paste one of the existing team folders;
  1. Select the folder titled Team1 and copy it.
  2. Paste that folder into the same location then rename it to Team10 (no spaces!)
  3. Run the game and go to 'Play Now'. You should see 10 teams available to you on the team selection carousel. Team10 will have the same logo and name as Team1, but we'll change that now.
Exit the game and go back to the folder you just copied (Team10) and using XMLNotepad (available from here: https://xmlnotepad.codeplex.com/ ) open the file named teamdata.xml. You can also use the standard Windows notepad if you wish but it's a bit more difficult to maintain the formatting.

You will need to change the following items;
  1. Change the TeamID from 1 to 10 - The TeamID MUST match the folder number and you can not have any duplication of TeamID amongst the teams.
  2. Change the team city and name to whatever you wish.
  3. The Primary and Secondary colours are in HEX format (web friendly) and must be proceeded by a pound sign.
  4. There are only two divisions in this edition of the game: DivisionID 0 or DivisionID 1. If you use DivisionID's other than 0 or 1, the team will not be shown on the season standings screen.
  5. The StadiumID must be a value between 1 and 9 as there are 9 stadiums in the game.
Also inside the Team folder, you will find the artwork files for team logo and uniforms. These can be edited how you see fit but they must be in png format and support transparency. 

Roster

Once you have the team data you will need to add a team roster. All players in the game are found in a single roster file (roster.xml).

The fastest way to add a roster to your team is copy and paste the players from one team to another. Select all the players in the roster with TeamID of 1, copy and paste them into the same file, then change the TeamID value of those players to 10. This will now assign those copied players to team 10. From here you can change names and various other values as you see fit.

A Few Other Notes

The XML data files have a very specific formatting. Field names are case sensitive, which means that FIELD_NAME is not the same as field_name. Incorrect formatting of xml or png files can cause problems for the game - it expects things to be in a specific format.

Ensure that you have all the team data and roster information correct before trying to play Play Now or Season games. You will need to reset your current season to make new teams appear in the game's season mode.

Keep Backups. Always keep a copy of the shipping Teams folder in a separate place so you can roll back if something doesn't work. It's also a good idea to keep copies of any teams or rosters that you make set aside as well. Game Updates do not check for custom teams or roster files so your work may get overwritten. Keeping a backup allows you to keep your data available to put back.

Canuck Play can not be involved with any projects that are adding teams to the game.

thanks and enjoy the game.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

American Football in Canadian Football 2017


While it was teased at over the past few weeks (a screen shot and a quick mention in the Update notes published on the 21st of September) today we formally announced the addition of another new feature coming in the October Update of Canadian Football 2017.

We’ve added the option to play under a subset of American football rules. So along with the traditional Canadian football rules, you’ll now also have the option to play with a 100 yard field, 4 downs, 11 men per side, 3 time outs per half, goal posts on the dead ball line, and a couple of other minor rule differences are included as well.

But to be clear, this is a subset of rules, it’s not a full reproduction of professional US football rules. While playing under this rule set, you will not be able to score a Rouge or be penalized for No Yards, but you will not be able to fair catch either. A kickoff going out of bounds uses the same rules as Canadian football. Some of the penalties are Canadian football as well.

If the addition of US football rules proves popular we can look at expanding the ruleset in future editions of the game.

One of the first questions we were asked when this was announced was ‘Why? You should keep it Canadian’. Well first, it is still Canadian. The game still supports the full suite of professional Canadian football rules as default. - Canadian Football 2017 continues to be the only video game on the market, for any platform, that uses the complete Canadian football ruleset.

US football rules have been included in an attempt to expand the audience for the title. It’s no secret, and doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize, that a Canadian football game that is not licensed has a very limited market.

The purpose of including these US rule options is to open the game to a larger market and hopefully put the game into a position where we can continue to grow, improve, and add new features that appeal to fans on both sides of the 49th

The first thing game players will notice with this ruleset in place is the game scores are generally much higher. The extra down, the removal of one of the pass coverage defenders, and the shorter field, results being able to move the ball down field faster.
 

The game’s difficulty level impacts blocking duration and pass coverage buffer (how close the defender gets to the receiver). This combined with adjusting the pass percentage slider should allow you to adjust the game to your liking. 

Canuck will be posting more updates and information on this and all the new features as we get closer towards release at the end of the month.

Thanks.
video

Thursday, 21 September 2017

October Update Details

Hi everyone.

I wanted to give you a quick update on what is being planned for the October Update of Canadian Football 2017.

Issues Address

The items contained in this Content Update are a combination of items included in the most recent Certification Report as well as general improvements to the title and are the result of user feedback. Other items may include bugs found after launch or general game improvements.
  • Corrected a game lock issue. If a field goal attempt hit the post assembly, it could still be caught by the kicking team. This would cause the game to lock up. Any play that sees the ball hit the post assembly should be considered a dead ball.
  • Added a full Season Play Mode. This mode allows the player to progress through a full schedule, accumulate statistics and play through a calculated playoff tree.

  • Added a full Practice Mode that allows players to practice executing plays outside of normal game play.

  • The game now allows for playing under two rule sets; Professional Canadian rules, and a subset of American rules.

  • Introduces a new Title Screen design.

  • Corrected an issue with the CPU calling back to back time outs in certain clock situations.

  • Corrected a fairly noticable texture UV problem with the Toronto stadium.

  • General performance improvements.
The update will be pushed live towards the end of October.

thanks

UI Sneak Peak - Work in Progress
video

Monday, 11 September 2017

Season Mode - Development Update

With the release of the September update for Canadian Football 2017 out the door on both Steam and XBox One, it's time to post a quick note on the development state of the game's Season Mode.

At the time of this writing the following features are working in the mode;
  • Full schedule generation, each team in the league plays each other team in the league 2 times. The schedule accounts for odd team numbers. The current 9 teams in the game generate a 16 game schedule over 18 weeks.
     
  • Full playoff tree generation. The game uses the current 9 team playoff structure of 3rd place at 2nd, the winner of that game plays 1st place. Winners play the championship game.
     
  • Full season stats. The game records and displays season stats for both teams and individual players - Team, Passing, Receiving, Rushing, Defensive, Kicking, Punting. These are the same categories used on popular broadcast websites.
     
  • Season play uses it's own game settings allowing for season play games with different game play settings from Quick Play mode.
     
  • It's possible to simulate full games (and stats) without playing them out. This allows you to quickly play through the season.

Simulating games use the same coaching profiles and rosters of the regular game play. Simulated games are 'played out' internally using the same play calling logic the CPU uses for active game play.

The goal is to release Season mode in the October update in time for the Canadian football playoffs.

Work In Progress
Current layout for the playoff tree screen. It's possible to both play out and quickly simulate the selected game.







Work in Progress
Current design for statistical display. Columns are sortable.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Canadian Football 2017 – 1.5.4.3



Canadian Football 2017 – 1.5.4.3
Content Update Summary

Issues Address

The items contained in this Content Update are general improvements to the title and are the result of user feedback, other items are crash or general bugs found after launch. 

1. Corrected a game lock up issue if calling a time out immediately after loading a saved game.

2. Moved the users Time Out button to the pause screen. To call a time out, you must now pause the game and press (Y). The time out button will only be enabled if the team that paused the game has time outs available to them. It’s no longer possible to try and call a time out if you have none left. 

3. Adjusted the speed of several animations allowing the on-field players to  move faster. 

4. Rewrote the CPU QB AI that determines what receiver is the best choice to throw to. 

5. Improved the running logic if the ball carrier is between the tackles. This should reduce the instances of the CPU ball carrier running up the back of a blocker. 

6. Reduced the ‘pop-up player’ animation glitch. This glitch would see the ball carrier snap back into a spin move (popping back up) ½ though the animation of being tackled. 

7. Reduced the amount of ‘pile-on’ tackles that would see an unfair amount of defenders jumping on a ball carrier that’s already been stopped. 

8. Receivers spend a lot less time standing still. Unless the play design specifically calls for a receiver to wait in an area for the pass, a receiver that reaches the end of their route will no longer just stand and wait. A receiver at the end of his route will now turn and look to the QB, then move to another part of the field. This allows a QB to more likely find a receiver in stride. 

9. Rewrote most code for receivers catching the ball. Includes multiple new animations and much improved hand tracking. 

10. General improvements to the offensive line blocking on passing plays. Blockers now do a better job of picking up free defenders. 

11. Defenders no longer get infinitely blocked. 

12. Bullet pass button down time has been reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.35 seconds. This should reduce the perceived ‘slow to pass’ on bullet passes. 

13. Improved the shot gun receive snap animations with better hand tracking. 

14. Adjusted player physics so that there are fewer ‘shoe string tackles’ causing ball carriers to simple fall down at the slightest touch. 

15. Correctly resets the camera prior to the overtime coin toss. 

16. Players were able to abuse the saved game by quitting a game after scoring an Extra Point After Touchdown, then reloading the saved game and redoing the X Point. Now, as soon as the ball is snapped the convert attempt is recorded. Quitting and reloading the game at this point will start at the following kickoff, regardless of the outcome of the XP attempt. 

17. Players that were engaged in a block together will now properly disengage their hand placement if one of the two players is knocked down. 

18. General performance improvements.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Work in Progress – Season Mode.



When Canadian Football 2017 was launched, it included a lone play mode. While a great many people wondered why someone would release a sports title with no season mode, the reason came down to something very simple – resources. Building even the most basic season mode can take many weeks and given the resources available for this title, the decision was made to add some features after launch.
While there have already been a couple of features added to game via updates, the first scheduled post launch feature to be added to the game is Season Mode.

Season Mode should not be confused with Franchise Mode. Season Mode allows you to select from one of the existing teams, play that team through the schedule, and advance through the playoffs. It’s possible to review team and player statistics but there’s no draft, there’s no salary cap, or trades. And unlike Franchise Mode that retains stats over many seasons, Season Mode resets all stats at the beginning of a new season.

At the time of this writing, Season Mode in Canadian Football 2017 has been in full development for only a few days but already it’s possible to access a league schedule, select and play league games, accumulate team and player statistics, and generate division ratings.

For the sake of development quarters are only 3 minutes long and games are set to start in the 4th quarter. The purpose to simply generate stats and results to gain access to and make sure the spreadsheets are loading data. The artwork is not final and what you see here is intended to allow for the coding of the backend systems. Front end graphics will come later in the process.

There is no announced date for when this new feature will be included in an update, but we’ll obviously keep you posted on that one.
WORK IN PROGRESS – This screen shot shows the Season Mode landing page. From here you have access to  the league schedule and you are able to view the standings in 2 divisions. You can also change league settings until the first game is played. You would need to reset your league if you wish to change settings.


WORK IN PROGRESS – This is the team statistics page. At this point in the league schedule, only two games have been played (so only 4 teams have statistics).

   





WORK IN PROGRESS – This is the player statistics page. You have access to Passing, Rushing, Receiving, Defense, and kicking categories.








Thank you