These are simply the philosophical musings of one guy with an inherent love of learning how things work.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The Avalon Hill Game Company made a lot of money off of me in the 80s. I mean, I basically bought just about every sports game they published, and a heck of a lot of their other games. While the wargames were fun (from Stalingrad to B17), I always enjoyed a good sports game.
One of the most interesting games from AH was March Madness, a game focused on the NCAA basketball tournament. The main game was unimpressive and let you roll dice to quickly play out an entire 64 team tournament in under an hour. But it was pretty generic and ... dull.
March Madness, however, had an "advanced game" version included that was pure brilliance. It allowed for players to coach a team from the past final four teams (I always choose Michigan '89, of course), and you ended up with a surprisingly realistic result from an abstract system that hardly resembled a game of basketball. But heck, even the solitaire version worked, and despite the strange system, it felt more like an authentic game of basketball than did any of the APBA or Statis-Pro simulations that took way too long to play (one game usually took five or six hours).
So, with the actual NCAA tournament on TV as background, I'm beginning an attempt to make a computer version of March Madness. I may use Java. I may use Python. I guess I could even use Open Office Spreadsheet for this.... At any rate, I hope to recapture the excitement that this strange little basketball simulation brought to me back in the early 90s, when I wrote up a career mode set of rules that included recruiting and player development.
I teach Computer Science at a progressive public high school, using mostly open source tools. I improvise a lot and spend most of my time working with students and writing code in Python, Java, Obj-C, LISP....