If you’re reading this you are probably aware that Fantasy Movie League has been a thing around here for nearly a year at this point. Over that time it quickly became a weekly post and there is now a TAGN league you can join and all that. It has been fun… for me at least… and has kept me more aware than I have ever really been about movie releases.
But there have been some problematic aspects to the way FML runs its seasons. There are features that sit wrong with myself or others, things like the Friday morning lockout deadline which allows the canny to get the Thursday night preview numbers (which count towards Friday totals) and change their lineup at the last moment to account for any unexpected performance.
However, now just two weeks before the Summer blockbuster season starts up, FML has announced a big upgrade to their league features. You will now be able to alter the parameters of the leagues you create. The options include:
- Lock Deadline. You can keep the lock time at the default Noon ET/9am PT Friday setting, or move it up all the way to 6pm ET/9pm PT on Monday (just an hour after new movies and prices come out!).
- Season Length. You can keep the default 12- to 14-week long season that FML uses for the Season Showdown competitions, or you can select a shorter season length from 2 to 12 weeks.
- Scoring Settings. You now have control over the following options:
- Perfect Cineplex Bonus
- Best Performer Bonus
- Empty Screen Penalty
- Worst Performer Penalty. This bonus category is new to FML! The Worst Performer is the Best Performer in reverse: the movie that had the worst box-office-to-FML-Bux ratio. The value can be set to whatever number is desired, or the feature turned off.
This seems to allow a league to be setup to cover all the various objections that people, including myself, have about the default way FML seasons are run. There is enough there to make for some interesting scenarios. What if, for example, you gave people a reverse “worst performer” penalty, that is to say, a worst performer bonus? I am not sure you can do that, but that might shake things up.
Anyway I am going to propose a change to the TAGN league for the summer season. This is what I am thinking of:
- Earlier Lock Deadline
This is the obvious one. Make people pick and lock their choices before Thursday night previews. The question is how early is early enough but not too early. Part of me would like to see a really early lock, before previews or theater counts are out, which would be Wednesday morning at the latest.
However, I wouldn’t want to lock too early as that makes it more likely that people will forget to pick. As fun/funny as a Tuesday morning lock would be, I wouldn’t want to do it before my weekly post goes up to remind people that the game is on and that they need to pick. So I think the earliest optimal time is Wednesday night. (Or I could move the post to Tuesday, which might not be a bad idea anyway. I generally have it done Monday night.
Anyway, if you’re interested, I’d like to hear what time you think it ought to lock.
Then the second thing I am considering:
- No Bonuses
This is something that triggers a bit of my inner Bernie I think. Giving a bonus to the person who got the best score strikes me a bit as the rich getting richer. You already beat everybody and now you want more? As a DM once said to me, “Gold is its own reward!” when explaining why he wasn’t dishing out xp with gold the way it said he was supposed to back in the era of AD&D 1.0. Winning is its own reward. You don’t need a bonus to extend your lead.
Or such are my thoughts. I’d be good with other people’s input on this. I’ll put up a poll about this in case you just want to click a radio button rather than write a comment.
There is a poll between this line and the word “comment” above. If you do not see it AdBlock may be hiding it or you are using Firefox as your browser.
There are also some complications. If you are in multiple leagues, as I am, you will need to make multiple cineplexes, since each may have to conform to different rule. Fortunately, that is now supported as well. If you’re only in the TAGN league I don’t think you will have to change anything, but we shall see.