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Road to 1.0: The Draft gets some much needed TLC

While the amateur draft is an important milestone in every OOTP baseball season, the draft is arguably THE most important event in the game of fantasy baseball. While rosters change and evolve over the course of a fantasy season, the draft is where every team owners hope to land those cornerstone players who will drive their team through the season and lay the groundwork for a successful run to the fantasy championships.

As such, the draft has been one of the areas that has the most potential for success and has generated more than its fair share of headaches for me while coding the fantasy mod. While I didn't actually plan to throw much time at it in the 1.0.5 release (due to plans I've been drawing for a new Live Draft feature down the road), I was forced to put some development time into improving the experience and fixing some serious flaws based on feedback during the beta.

Here's a rundown of what's happened to the Draft process for 1.0.5.

Draft Administration

  • Streamlined Settings Page
    Most draft settings were carried over directly from StatsLab when I incorporated them, so any settings that no longer apply have been removed. The settings screen has been revamped and new explanations of some features have been provided.
  • Improvements behind the scenes
    To streamline the draft admin process, some code changes have separated the generation of draft orders and pick scheduling.
  • Revamped Scheduling Engine
    Put simply, the scheduling tool did not work in prior versions and I recommended it be turned off lest the draft order become corrupted. The scheduling functionality has been completely revamped for 1.0.5. Options more applicable to StatsLab (and online league amateur drafts) have been removed in favor of a more streamlined set of options. The schedule can also be updated and rerun at any time. Commissioners now also have the option to enforce the schedule and auto pick for teams that are past due or simply use the schedule as a guide.
  • Bug Fixes
    Numerous bugs related to draft administration and UI have been addressed and fixed.

Draft Selection Page

  • Improved Draft List Management

    In prior releases, adding, removing and even changing the order of your draft list resulted in real time calls to the server to save your changes. While this helped assure that changes to the draft list were instantly saved and removed the need for a separate "Save" feature, it also relied heavily on the speed of the server (and user's own network) to truly be effective. This feature did not pass the test in beta testing and has been revamped.

    For 1.0.5, the management of the list has been moved to the browser, with all changes tracked locally on the users end, allowing for instant changes without the lag of a call to the server. Each time a player is chosen, they are added to a local browser cache so the page needs only reach out for that information once. When done, a new save list options sends changes to the server.

  • Commissioner's can truly "Act As" any team owner

    There are times when the game admin or league commissioner might need to view the selection page from an individual team owner's perspective for one reason or another (confirm a draft list, review inconsistencies in draft results, make a pick, etc.). The "Act As" feature has been re-coded from end to end to truly allow a league commissioner to completely view the Draft Selection page as any individual owner in that league and even take actions on behalf of that user.

  • Manually Reload Draft Results

    Owners can now manually reload their draft results list on the draft selection page at any time

Draft Results Page

  • Automated Timer and Page Refresh

    A new built in timer allows the user to automatically set the page to refresh in a given time frame (number of seconds. The user controls both the refresh time and ability to turn the timer on and off.

  • New Commissioner Tool's

    Two new dialogs have been added for league commissioners.

    • The Edit/Manual Pick Dialog allows league commissioners to browse a list of draft eligible players and make a selection. This replaces both the broken "edit" feature (which frankly caused numerous problems to the draft) and the old static manual pick dialog that required the commissioner to enter a player ID (and how were they supposed to get that?).
    • The Auto Pick Dialog box presents commissioners with several auto picking/drafting options. Commissioners can choose to auto pick:
      • The current pick due
      • A defined # of picks (which the commissioner can specify)
      • Through the end of the current round
      • The entire draft

This gives commissioner's a lot more control over their auto picking selection(s) and should put an end to the dreaded "auto pick all" bug (a legacy bug that affected the original StatsLab code that was the basis for this feature as well).

The fantasy draft is a very important event in any fantasy game and in 1.0.5 it's received some well deserved attention and some major improvements.

Get the mod today and start playing OOTP Fantasy baseball!

Download the latest stable release version from the official Download page. All the documentation you need is right there with the included Administrators Guide. New for 1.0.5 is the Commissioners Guide which includes all the instructions necessary to run your fantasy leagues.

Give Feedback

Sound off on the forums. Head over to the OOTP Fantasy Leagues forums to let us know your thoughts on the mod. Interact with other users and let us know if you’re running an OOTP Fantasy League.

Contribute to the development

Hack the source!

OOTP Fantasy Leagues is a 100% free and open source project. The source code is publicly available on GitHub.com. If you want to contribute to the development, simply head over to the official Github page, fork the project, hack the code and send pull request with your updates.

Want to help test?

Testing assures everything works as expected and that everyone gets the best fantasy experience possible. You can request to join the OOTP Fantasy Beta team. You’ll get access to join the beta demo season, access to the private development and beta testing topics on the mod forum and exclusive access to features and changes BEFORE they become public. Use the official contact form to request to join the team today.

jfox015

Jeff Fox is an almost twenty year web front end/ digital user experience technology leader. He cut his teeth in the web's early days and has worked for fortune 100 companies, small startup agencies and several companies in between. In addition to being a passionate developer and technical speaker, Jeff is a dedicated tech and sci-fi geek gladly indulging in Doctor Who and Star Wars marathons. He is also a talented musician, writer and proud father of three little Foxies. And don't get him started about his San Francisco Giants.

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