- Extra Points
- Introducing Athletic Director Simulator 4000
Introducing Athletic Director Simulator 4000
Now....WITH GRAPHICS! And other big improvements!
Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
Last July, we announced something truly unique in the college sports newsletter space. We build a whole dang computer game.
We called it Athletic Director Simulator 3000. The game asked players to navigate dozens of realistic scenarios that a D-I athletic director could potentially face, all while trying to balance their department’s budget, Directors Cup ranking, and fan support. Players who did well were promoted to higher-profile jobs. Players who didn’t….got fired.
It was a pretty simple game…but the response surpassed our optimistic expectations. Many D1.classroom partners loved using it in Sports Management classes to help teach undergrads what running an athletic department is actually like. I know of multiple sitting ADs who have played the game several times (and not just the one who agreed to play it on camera with us). And we saw that thousands of fans enjoyed the game as well.
Shortly after launch, we immediately started thinking about how we could make the game more complicated, better looking, and more fun.
Whoa, that’s a difference of an entire thousand! What did you change with the game?
Great question! Here are a few of the new features and changes.
GRAPHICS! ADS3000 was built with a deep retro sensibility, meant to invoke the Apple II and 5 ½ inch floppies. The graphics were green and black, and the game was very text-heavy. This version is meant to look a little more like it came out in 1989, not 1981.
New variables! The previous version had a variable known as “support”, which was meant to be a catch-all term for fan support, presidential support, and administrative support. We have now split that into “Fan Support” and “Admin Support”, with the latter representing how your coaches, staffers, and boss feel about you. After all, some choices may be popular with the suits but deeply unpopular with fans, right? We wanted the game to better reflect that.
School profiles! One of the challenges in writing questions for the last game was that we asked players to represent “a low-major” or “mid-major” school, without providing more detail. Now, players can pick between three different types of schools at each level. These school types have different geographies, different sports profiles, different academic missions, and more. Each profile has a handful of unique scenarios, and scenario results and probabilities are dependent on profiles. It makes the game much deeper!
Dozens of new scenarios!
How can I play ADS4000?
ADS4000 is free for Extra Points paid subscribers and for D1.classroom partners. The link to play ADS4000 is at the bottom of this newsletter.
The game runs in web browsers and has been tested successfully on PC and Mac machines. While the game was optimized to run in a desktop environment, it will run in a mobile browser.
Why can’t I just download the game? And why isn’t it on Steam/PlayStation/Xbox/etc.?
I am unaware of any immediate plans to release the game on other platforms. We spent some time looking into this earlier in the development process, and we decided the economics of publishing on other platforms and marketplaces didn’t make sense, given who the game was originally designed for. I am very interested in pursuing that distribution model for future computer game projects though!
Who owns ADS4000?
The actual intellectual property of ADS4000 is owned by D1.ticker. They’ve agreed to allow Extra Points premium subscribers access to the game. I do not anticipate being part of the development team for future ADS4000 updates, although I am happy to cheerlead and support whatever the ticker team decides to do with the project. I think this is a great little game that I think all of you will enjoy playing.
So if you don’t own ADS4000 anymore, what is the plan for the future of Extra Points computer games?
Not sure yet! Working on this project has made me realize that I actually really like making games, just like I like reporting, making jokes, and telling stories. I really hope to make game development a part of what Extra Points does in the future.
I have a few ideas for a future athletic director simulation game that is significantly different from the ADS franchise, as well as a few other games…including some that aren’t related to college sports. If you have ideas, feedback or ever want to talk about the games industry (something I understand less than newsletters or reporting), drop me an email!
I found a bug! What should I do?
We’ve reached out to dozens of beta-testers and spent weeks trying to catch bugs, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. If you see a bug during your play through, please let us know here. We’ll get it fixed ASAP.
Okay, enough reading. Where do I go to play the game?
Just click the link below!
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