Fantasy League 2.0, back to basics

redlinederby Wednesday, 4/28/2010
Site manager

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After some feedback from you guys and a night spent thinking about what would be fun while staying manageable, I think I have a pretty solid outline for what Fantasy League 2.0 will be. Please read through and submit your feedback. Much like with Fantasy League 1.0, your comments will help shape the league.

None of this is set in stone yet, but I have to start building soon to get things done and ready by July.

Fantasy League 1.0
The current Fantasy League is all about "owning" cars and having them race. This is fun but we quickly ran into some limitations of the system. I also think the concept of adding cars to garages and classes limited accessibility from casual required too much micro management. The current version is a lot of fun but if we want the game to grow, it can't continue down the same path. The next version of the game should take it to the next level without worry.


Fantasy League 2.0
The goal of 2.0 is to simplify things while keeping it fun. I want the hardcore fans (you guys) to have fun while making the game quick and easy enough for passers by, hopefully showing them some diecast fun and getting them involved with the hobby.

Bracket-style racing
There will be weekly tournaments of 16-cars. Cars are selected randomly from The Lot and seeded randomly in the bracket. The first round match-ups will be posted at least 4 days before the race date. Tournaments of this size also lend themselves to themed tournaments, like all-Ferrari, muscle cars only, manufactuer tournaments, etc. Having smaller tournaments like this also opens up the chance of having multiple races per week instead of just one on the weekend.

Players pick the winners
Players will fill out a bracket for each tournament choosing the winners (think like March Madness).
Players will get points for every match-up they pick correctly. Points are tiered per round (5,10,25,etc.)
This voting will also be available to non-players, but obviously they won't get any points.

Buying cars to increase your winnings
Players can "buy" cars off The Lot using their points. Cars are added to their garage.
If a car in your garage ends up in a tournament, you earn double points for each win (10,20,50, etc.)
Garages are unlimited, players want to try and collect as many cars as possible. All cars can be owned by every player, there are no unique owners.
Car prices will be determined by their rating; slowers cars will be less, faster cars more.
And just like now, new cars will be added regularly as I buy them myself and receive donations.

Achievement points and unlockable cars
There will be in-game achievement goals that will result in bonus points and unlocking cars that aren't otherwise available on The Lot. Players will get badges to denote their accomplishments. Some possible achievement goals might be things like, picking a car that wins the tournament, perfect bracket selection, having a combination of cars in your garage, etc.

In addition to the weekly tournament racing, players can choose to challenge other players to heads-up races. Players can place point bets and winner-takes-all. There are also other possibilities here like racing for pinks where the loser has a car removed from their garage and the winner gets it for free.

Trading cars
There will also be open trading of cars between players. This would not have to remove the car from your garage, it would just add it to their garage for free. Trades wouldn't necessarily be one-to-one. You could ask someone to trade two of their cars for one of yours. There's still some thinking to do here, but I think it will work even at a basic level.

Winning the game
I still plan on having the Fantasy League work in seasons but the length may be extended, and the player with the most points at the end will be the reigning champion. Ideally I'd like to offer the champion of one season some sort of perk in the next season, maybe a free car added to their garage or something...not sure yet but that possibility exists.


And that's Fantasy League 2.0 in a nutshell. I tried to boil it down to what is simple and fun while keeping the whole thing manageable for myself given my collection of cars and time available. In this version the number of players that can join is not limited by the size of my car collection, which is what has caused the current 1.0 league to run into some issues.

Let me know what you think. There is lots of room for improvement and changes on these basic ideas, so lets hear em!


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Bandeezee 4/28/10

I love the ideas, probably because it closely resembles March Madness. I also like the idea of themed tournaments. Possibly even like how March Madness starts as four separate brackets, then the winners meet in the Final Four.

You could have each bracket as a separate theme (muscle car, Ferrari, etc.), then have the fastest of each theme race against each other to decide the champion. Man, I'm getting excited just thinking about all these ideas.

My one comment is about the unlimited garage cars, I think a limit would be good. That way you really have to make a choice about which car you want to buy. I'm thinking the limit should be somewhere between 4-10 cars. Cars being able to be owned by all players is fine, just a limit on how many cars you can own I think.

The important decision will be to decide how much each race is worth and how much cars will cost. I like the idea about the price per car varying in direct relation to the rating, but we need to make sure that the really fast cars cost a pretty penny. That way you really have to decide whether to buy it or not because it's really going to set back your point total.

I'm really interested in the side challenges with the heads-up races or racing for pinks, LOL, man this is a lot of new stuff. Again, I'm really excited to see how Season 2 is going to go with all these changes. I don't know you'll be able to get all of these changes in, but I think the main change of the bracket racing will be a nice twist.

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redlinederby 4/28/10
Site manager

Thanks for the feedback. Something on this list will get cut, I almost guarantee it. But for-sure it will switch to bracket races and picking with points. I like the idea of challenges. If anything gets cut, it will probably be the trading. Getting the achievements to work will be tricky, but I love that idea so I'm gonna work hard to making it work.

I went back and fourth with the limited garage too. I agree with you that it puts pressure on you to choose which cars you want, BUT since every tournament is a random pull of 16 cars, there's no telling when a car in your garage may show up.

Lets say a garage has 10 car limit. You save up and pick 10 awesome cars. You could go a week or more without seeing any of your cars in a tournament. That would bum me out. The randomness also effects pricing too, along the same lines...I wouldn't want to save up say 1000 points to buy a hot car and then have it show up only once during the season. But I agree, pricing will be a challenge to figure out. Keep in mind too that there won't be a ton of races each week - 2 at most - so earning points may come pretty slowly. Depending on point values per round, it could take two weeks of good picking just to earn 500 points.

I was kind of thinking the whole "collect em all" mentality might be fun but I think the strategy behind picking cars is definitely fun. I'll have to think about what exactly I want to accomplish given each option.

Having a Final Four type tournament is definitely a possibility...taking theme bracket winners and having them all duke it out. A tournament format does open up a lot of possibilities.

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redlinederby 4/28/10
Site manager

More thought...

Even with having an unlimited garage, you'll need to consider which cars you're gonna buy. Buying cars won't be super cheap, so once you save up enough points to buy one or two, you'll still need to think about which ones you want to have first in your garage compared to last.

Since you'll get double points for each win when a car is in your garage, do you buy two lesser cars or one really good car? One one hand two cars will increase your chances of having a car in the tournament in the first place, but the on the other if you good car gets in the tournament and wins past the first round you'll get some major points.

Would you rather have two slices of pizza now or save up for a full pizza?

I think that type of strategy comes into play even with an unlimited garage. Again, it kind of all goes back to the cost per car. If cars are priced right so that you can't buy too many too fast, then it'll work. But if you can buy 5 cars each week without much risk, then it won't mean much.

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David 4/29/10

Maybe I'm just a little slow on the uptake but if you buy a car, it may or may not be raced? So there is the risk of spending money on a car (ie losing points) with out any return?

Also, what would be benefit of having a car in your garage and it does get raced? You get double the points if it wins. But it has to race to win.

Also if the points are doubled, Rd1 5/10 Rd2 10/20 Rd3 25/50 and you've paid 1000+ pts for a car, in order for you to even break even your car will have to win approx 20 races (if I'm wrong forgive me math was never my strong subject) assuming it even races enough times.

Now I could see some kind of market value.
Buy a car or don't, doesn't matter.
If car wins, its value goes up and can be sold/traded to a buyer for a negotiated value or market value.
If car loses, its value goes down or away and can be sold/traded or put back on the lot.
Or is that what your planning on doing. Again little slow on the uptake and only on my first cup of coffee.

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David 4/29/10

Ok, got another cup of coffee and some more ideas.

Keeping along the "Market Value" idea, how about each car has a value. I buy the car. When I buy the car I am 100% owner (fantasy of course). I have the option of selling shares of my car to other players.

Example. I buy CarA for 1200pts. I sell 50% of my car to PlayerB. That car is now worth 600pts to me and 600pts to PlayerB. If CarA wins and gains 100pts that car is now worth 700pts to me and 700pts to PlayerB. That way multiple players benefit from one car winning and just the opposite if CarA loses and its value drops by 100pts. It would then be worth 500pts to me and 500pts to PlayerB.

Now you're thinking that I bought the car for 1200 points and for me to break even it has to win a certain number of times.
Don't forget that I sold 50% of CarA for 600pts to PlayerB so I still have 1200pts. 600 in the car and 600 in the bank.

Again just throwin' out ideas.

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David 4/29/10

We could still do bracket racing with the bracket picks and the users would not have to play the "Market".

There could be 2 winners at the end of the season. A bracket winner and Market winner. The Market winner would be determined by the amount of money/points in the "Bank" at the end of the season. So they would need to "cash in" their cars for whatever value they are worth.

Players would also be able to transfer points from their bracket winnings to their Market bank.

Please forgive the incessant rambling. I start out with one idea and it just snowballs from there.

I want this to be easy on Brian and fun for everybody.

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David 4/29/10

Oh and you could limit the cars that are raced each season. So not every car is raced and rotate them out from season to season.

This would ensure a fresh start at the beginning of the season and prevent running out of cars.

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David 4/29/10

I hope all of this makes some sort of sense. My brain just kinda started puking through my fingertips all over the keyboard.

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redlinederby 4/29/10
Site manager

Thanks for all your coffee-fueled ideas!

You are correct in your thinking will buy a car for your garage and it might not get any return. It's like a lottery game at that point. You pay in and hope for big returns. Most of your points earnings will come from picking winners in the weekly brackets.

This is why the price of cars is so important. It can't be too high or you won't bother, but it can't be too low or else you eliminate the "chance" in the game.

I don't have anything in stone regarding points per win or car prices. That's a lot of fuzzy math that I haven't tackled yet. If it's balanced then I think it will work. Just gotta figure a sliding scale is best or if just needs to be fixed price per car since it's like buying a lotto ticket anyway.

Ooo Ooo...what if it was like Free Parking rules? So you buy a car at a fixed price, that money goes into a pot. If a car you own wins a tournament, you get the pot. If there's no winner, the pot just increases from week to week. If more than one own it, you split it evenly. Jackpot winngs!


Funny you mention the shared cars because I had that in my plan at one point. My thought was that the first person to buy the car would be the Owner. If other people wanted that car in their garage, they could do so for free, but the Owner would get (additional) points for each person that "rented" the car when it raced and won.

I want to avoid any sort of unique owners per cars because I don't want the chance to run into running out of cars like I have already for this season.

I like the market value ideas. At one point I had a whole stock market gimmick worked into the game but that became too complicated to execute properly. thinking, it might be as simple as the "value" being equal to the rating, so like 1200 points, divided by the number of owners???

Lets say a car is 1200 points. If there are 2 owners, each would get 600 points. If there are 10 owners, each would get 120.

There would have to be a minimum cut off so value doesn't reach zero, but if this game gets more than 100 players then that's a good problem to have. Hmmm....I'm thinking this might work yet. Just gotta think out the best way to handle pay out.

I think I'm set on keeping the "collect em all" aspect of the game.


Believe me, there are a lot of things I had on the list that I have already cut before I even posted this list. I have a very bad habit of over-thinking projects. Not only is time a factor here, but I want to keep things somewhat simple so the game is easy for everyone to dive into...even the casual collector.

You mentioned limiting the population of cars and that's exactly what I plan on doing. Instead of have all 150+ cars available at the start, I'm going to cut that down to less than 100 to start. I will add cars out right as the season goes and there will also be cars that you can unlock by accomplishing achievements. Most of the achievements will be built around the bracket voting since that is something everyone can do without getting in too deep.

Ooof...that's a lot great ideas. I'm gonna have to re-think all these options and see what's possible within the time I have. I guess I'm the one that can dictate the time anyway but I don't want to have too much time between seasons.

I though 1.0 was the basics?

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redlinederby 4/30/10
Site manager

I thought so too until I ran out of cars. An on-line game that has such limit means something was overlooked and not basic enough. Maybe the game is basic enough, but the engine driving it was not - and that's all my fault.

So 2.0 will be taking what exists and making it unlimited, plus a few changes here and there.

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redlinederby 5/1/10
Site manager

How about this?

You submit brackets to get points and you buy cars with points, like we've setup thus far.

To start, since no one will own any cars, the brackets will be selected randomly from a smaller population of cars. As people start to buy cars in their garage, the bracket will shift to always include cars that exist within players' garages.

There will be a point when there are more than 16 players with at least one car in their garage. Once this point is reached, the cars are still selected at random to fill the bracket, but they are ALL randomly selected from the population of owned cars.

As players buy more cars for their garage, the population increases. In situations where there aren't enough garage cars to fill the bracket (less than 16 unique cars) then random cars will be used to fill in the gaps.

This way buying cars for your garage isn't ENTIRELY hope-and-pray that they'll get into a bracket. There is still a chance that the cars in your garage will not be in the bracket, but using the owned population instead of the total population reduces that chance quite a bit.

I understand the concern of spending points to get a car and then not having it pay off, this is just one way possibly around that in most cases.