OK, so that I can remember (;)) and people can see/make suggestions, here is the potential/proposed list of features for the race code revamp, which will likely be unveiled at the start of 2010, since it probably wouldn’t be too fair/popular to unveil it in the fall (though that’s fine, too, if it’s done).
Features for racing revamp:
- More advanced equipment handling - right now, your horse gets a bonus if it’s wearing the right equipment, and a penalty if it’s not (the more off it is, the greater the penalty). In the revamp, specific equipment will help/hurt your horse in specific ways, depending on what he’s wearing and what he wants to wear.
- Handicapping - horses will have odds assigned, as well as weights. Each horse as a “maximum weight” - this is the weight they can safely carry and still run at 100%…less weight will allow them to run better, more weight will make them more tired during the race (and will likely hurt their performance). Note: if anyone has suggestions on how to calculate odds/weights, let me know
- Experience - right now, horses have a set rate of experience gain, so after each race they gain the same amount of experience. In the revamp, the experience they gain will depend on the race they ran and how they liked the race.
- Shipping - you will need to ship your horses to the track for races, and this will cost money. You may also need to pay board at the track once you’re there, but I think this will likely be considered as part of what the annual tax money goes to. Shipping will temporarily lower your horse’s energy significantly, so you will need to take this into account when planning a racing schedule.
- Vets - for a fee (likely $1,000), you will be able to consult with a track veterinarian about the condition of your horse. This will have error built-in, just like the training summary, but should give you a general idea of how your horse is doing post-injury.
- Energy - right now, after a race, a horse’s energy is set to 0%. However, in the revamp this will depend on how your horse ran. If he cruised to a 5 length lead over severely outclassed horses, he will come out of the race relatively fresh. If he struggled home in last place after running 3 furlongs past his stamina, he will come out of it exhausted.
- Cumulative Tiredness - this is sort of related to energy, in that each race, workout, or day at the track will sap some of your horse’s “natural energy”. Eventually (after several weeks/months of racing/training at the track), his “natural energy” will be gone, and he will need a few weeks out at pasture (or with very light training, i.e. walking/trotting) to get interested in running again. Obviously you can still run your horse during this time if you wish, but he will likely not be interested in running, let alone winning. (Note: there will not be a gage for this, you will have to use common sense and possible reports from jockeys to figure out if your horse needs a rest. “Rest” would probably be achieved by bringing your horse home to the farm for a while.) I will probably set it up so that each horse has its own rate of “natural energy” loss, so that it’s not just a formulaic every-X-months type of thing.
- Jockeys - There will be specific/individual jockeys available to ride your horses. Each jockey has their own statistics, which will help/hurt your horse in its performance (i.e. a jockey that’s terrible at breaking will hurt a horse that has a great break score, and vice-verse).
At the moment, I have generated 40 jockeys, 3 of whom are female. I’m not sure yet how jockeys will be selected when entering races - you will probably request up to 3, and it will get randomly assigned when entries close.
- Jockey instructions - you will be able to instruct your jockey on how to ride the race (lead early, make your move at this point, etc.). Jockeys can/will ignore instructions, or “override” them if they think they know better than you do.
- Training/workouts - you will be able to train your horses in between races, in order to keep their fitness up. Training will use energy (obviously), but will increase fitness and possibly improve your horses’ stats if done consistently (i.e. 6 months of long, slow gallops may improve your horse’s stamina).
Training can have a negative mental effect on your horse if he has a horrible training session, or a negative physical effect if you push him beyond what he’s capable of (i.e. training a 2yo at 2 miles). Horses can get injured during workouts.
You will be able to select equipment for workouts, but not track condition (fast/good/wet/slow). I have not yet decided if you will be able to train multiple horses together, though that is the goal.
Horses can/will run opposite to the workout goal, as well (spook and bolt, act lazy and refuse to run, etc.).
I think workouts will be available once a horse turns 2, but I may put in something very basic for yearlings.
You will probably be limited to training horses no more than every other day (to prevent people from training a horse 2 miles a day for 8 months straight).
Note: there will be some sort of “auto-pilot” training available, for people who cannot/do not want to login and train their horses “by hand”. This will likely be slightly less effective than training “by hand” (as AI always is), but will not put your horses at a significant disadvantage.
- Jockey/exercise rider feedback - after races or workouts, you will get feedback from the rider about how the horse did. Note: these people may be confused (or stupid ), or flat-out lie! So this will not be 100% accurate.
- Confidence - Horses will have a “confidence” factor in each race, which will represent how good the horse thinks he is compared to his competition. High confidence may help him overcome races that are too long, weights that are too high, mud that the horse hates, etc. Likewise, low confidence may mean that even if the horse is in a race he should win, he might finish 4th or 5th due to low confidence. Note: workouts will affect confidence as well.
A final item on the to do list is race animation. As of right now, I have no idea how I want to do this, if it’s feasible, what graphics/program I’m going to use, etc. I’ll keep brainstorming, though.
I have a feeling I’m forgetting stuff here, but this is what comes to mind at the moment. I’ll update as necessary (I could even be cool and mark stuff complete as it’s coded ). Feel free to make suggestions.
Edited to Add: Race Weights
Here is my planned scheme for weights used in races. I still only have a very basic idea of how weights will be assigned in handicap races, but that’s ok. I’ve got a lot more to code first.
First, the weight allowances: (Note: these do “stack”, so a 3yo filly racing in a 3yo+ open race against colts would get a total weight allowance of 5lbs)
Fillies, in a mixed-gender race: -3lbs (Note: Colts/geldings must be present in the race - entering your filly into an open-gender race will not get her a weight allowance if only fillies enter)
3yos, in a 3yo+ race: -2lbs
Maidens, in a Starter, NW1, NW2, or NW3 Allowance: -2lbs
Maidens, in an Open Allowance: -3lbs
Maidens, in a stakes race: -5lbs
Apprentice Jockeys: -3lbs (Jockeys keep Apprentice status until they reach 100 career wins)
Now, on to the base weights for each race:
Claiming (Claiming Tag: $5,000-$15,000): 122lbs
Starter Allowance: 124lbs
NW1 Allowance: 126lbs
Claiming (Claiming Tag: $20,000-$40,000): 126lbs
NW2 Allowance: 128lbs
NW3 Allowance: 130lbs
Claiming (Claiming Tag: $45,000+): 130lbs
Open Allowance: 132lbs
Stakes (Non-Handicap): 134lbs
Stakes (Handicap): Varies
And, for the record, all horses’ weight limits range from 115lbs-140lbs.