EHM Simulation & Detail Settings Explained

A question that has cropped up a few times recently is about what the differences are between the simulation settings in Eastside Hockey Manager 1. Riz has very helpfully posted a very useful summary on the SI Forums setting out the differences between the two. I thought it would be helpful to provide some additional context for those who are perhaps less familiar with the simulation settings or who wonder why there are multiple settings in the first place. So this post will cover two items:

  1. Game size; and
  2. Simulation / game detail settings.

Game Size

You will be presented with two screens when creating a new saved game. The first screen allows you to select which leagues to activate and the second screen provides various database size settings.

League Selection Screen

The league selection screen allows you to choose whether a league will be active. An active league can either be set to View Only or Enhanced:

Screen #1 – League selection screen

The EHM 1 Game Manual very helpfully summarises the difference between Enhanced and View Only:

Eastside Hockey Manager™ provides two different types of leagues: View-Only Leagues, and Enhanced Leagues. Enhanced Leagues allow you to manage and participate fully in day-to-day life in that league, whilst View-Only will run the league using the ‘quick-sim’ game engine. At any time, you may make a View-Only League an Enhanced one from the ‘Select Leagues’ screen. Please note however, the league must be loaded as View-Only as a minimum when starting a new game for it to be changed during your career.

So the key differences can be summarised as follows:

View OnlyEnhanced
Humans can coach in that league?NoYes
Default SimulationQuick SimFull Sim
Simulation SpeedFasterSlower

The number of active leagues you select and whether those active leagues are View Only or Enhanced will therefore have an impact on the speed of the game. If you find that the game is simming slowly then try starting a game with fewer leagues set to Enhanced by using View Only. Alternatively, reduce the number of active leagues (i.e. leagues that are neither View Only nor Enhanced).

Note that you can change a View Only league to Enhanced or vice versa in-game by clicking on the settings icon (the cog located in the top right corner of the screen, near the date) and then selecting ‘Selected Leagues’.

Database Size Screen

The next screen you are presented with allows the database size to be customised. Essentially, each saved game is generated by importing a chunk of players and non-playing staff from the database and by generating extra players and staff to ensure that the overall pool in game is appropriate according to the range of active leagues.

At the very bottom of the screen is a summary of the number of players, non-playing staff and teams that will be added to the game along with the number of extra players and non-players that will be created and added to the game (see the bottom of the screenshot below).

The number of players and non-playing staff staring in the game has a significant impact on the speed of the game. Try reducing the number of players and non-playing staff if you find that the game is simulating too slowly.

A number of factors will affect how many players/staff and extra players/staff will be added as follows:

  1. The number of active leagues selected from the League Selection Screen: The more leagues you add, the more players/staff that will need to be added.
  2. The Database Size (see green highlight below): This has a significant impact on game speed. I typically leave this to Large but you may want to try out the Normal setting if you want to speed things up a little. Setting this to Full will include every player/staff from the database and will greatly reduce the simulation speed.
  3. Extra Staff Options (see yellow highlight below): Adding key non-playing staff will instruct the game to generate additional staff in game to ensure that there is an adequate pool of staff available in-game. This is particularly helpful for smaller leagues where there might not be so many staff existing in the database (it is much harder to research/locate detailed staff data for the lower leagues). Disabling all extra staff will reduce the game size.
  4. Extra Player Options (see orange highlight below): This works in the same way as described for the Extra Staff Options above. Adding extra players will increase the game size and disabling all extra players will reduce the game size.
  5. Retain Data Options (see blue highlight below): Retaining all teams is useful for ensuring that all records/histories are available in game. This will affect the size of the saved game which in turn affects game speed – but it arguably has less of an impact compared with the other settings on this screen. Retaining players and staff from chosen nations allows you to fine-tune the database size. For instance, you could choose the Small database size (green highlight) and then add players/staff from specified nations to pad out the saved game.
Screen #2 – Database size screen

Simulation / Detail Level Settings

There are two types of simulation in EHM: Quick Sim and Full Sim. Here is how Riz summarises them in his post:

Full Simulation (aka Full Detail)

The full 2D simulation engine, which plays out the action in 1/4s [one quarter of a second] slices and simulates every movement and action of the players on the ice for the whole game. Obviously this can be quite time-consuming since it really tries to mimic an actual game in full detail. This 2D engine is by default used for all leagues that have human managed teams in them.

Quick Simulation

A “quick sim” engine, which is similar to the old sim engine in the freeware EHM, that sims the match in much longer “slices”  and the action is modelled in a lot more abstract way based on what unit/players are on the ice for the current shift. This quick sim engine is used by default in the background leagues where there are no human managers.  We also use the quick sim engine to produce the stats for leagues that are not selected to be active at all in the current save.

Riz also mentions some further key differences between the two:

For any game simmed in the full 2d, you can go back and view recaps of the goals and any action in the game for a certain amount of time after the game was played (depends on how many leagues you are running with the full detail). For quick simmed games, you can only review the stats after the games.

As the two engines are totally separate, there may be some differences to the stats they produce in some cases. With every update, I always try and balance both engines to produces as realistic results as possible, but due to the differences in the detail allowed by the two engines, there can be areas where the stats over a full season can vary between the two. This is why the game by default tries to use the same sim engine for the whole league, to keep the statistics constant across the league and between games.

Whether you select a league as View Only or Enhanced will determine the default simulation setting for that league. The game will default to Quick Sim for View Only leagues and Full Sim for Enhanced leagues. This can however be fine-tuned by by clicking on the settings icon (the cog located in the top right corner of the screen, near the date) and then selecting ‘Detail Level’:

Game Detail Level Settings

The Detail Level screen includes a drop-down menu for each active league and international tournament, allowing either the Quick Sim setting to be used or for the Full Sim setting to be used for all games, just the later stages (e.g. play-offs and play-outs) or none at all. The Preset Configuration drop-down menus allow all settings to be changed en-masse, rather than having to change each league or tournament individually.

It is well worth experimenting with these settings to try and find a balance between having a broad simulation without the game becoming too slow.

So in summary:

Quick SimFull Sim
DetailLess detailed simulation based on longer ‘slices’Every 1/4 of a second is simulated
Typical usageBackground leagues and View Only leaguesPlayable leagues (i.e. Enhanced)
Detail producedStats onlyStats, commentary and 2D match view
Effect on game speedFasterSlower

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