This about page was written last year for Madden 17. I will update it as soon as I get a chance. Thanks!
The Madden 17 Playbooks tool is a tool I created for myself to easily view all of the Madden Playbooks and find the same or similiar plays in different team's playbooks. The play names were entered into the database using OCR technology so some will be innacurate, please tweet me any mistakes you notice and I will fix them. Also, the identical plays are detected through image comparison, and is getting better over time (new scans/comparisons still going on (automated)). However if you find identical plays that are not already marked as identical, please tweet me. If I made any huge mistakes like missing formations from a teams playbook or having some that aren't really there, please for the love of God, tweet me. For a more long winded description about the tool, read on...
For years now I have wanted an easy way to browse through all of the Madden Plays and find similiar/identical plays in multiple team's playbooks with ease. I'm the kind of Madden player that likes to build a main scheme around one play and then have a few mini schemes from other formations. That strategy usually ends up limiting me to one playbook for the whole year due to being too lazy to manually search for that one awesome same play in other playbooks to see if I can run that same scheme with different and maybe better mini schemes. So I decided to see how hard it would be to scan in all of the plays into a database myself and make it searchable.
At first the plan was to use an El Gato to painstakingly go through every page in in every playbook and screenshot them (This is what I actually did too). Then from there the plan was to have a python script cut the play images and then I would manually type in the Play names and upload into my database. With over 20,000 plays in Madden I realized this would never get done. So I fiddled around with and employed the help of an OCR Program to read the play names. So the new process was to take the manually scanned pages of all the playbooks and run a Python script on them that cut each play out and fed the play name to an OCR for reading. The OCR is/was highly inaccurate so at the end of all of the uploading I went in and did some mass find/replacing of common mistakes. However, I know there are still mispelled/inaccurate play names. Please tweet me when you come across mistakes telling me where/what they are. After the play name was read the image and play name were then automatically uploaded into a database using manually typed variables for the formations/subformations. During the upload process, images from a subformation are compared against other play images from that subformation to identify identical plays on the subformation level. (A sub formation being the "Snugs" of "Gun Snugs"). One might think you could simply do an md5 hash on the images for comparison but because the madden play menu is ever so slightly transparent, no 2 images are the same. I later realized there were several subformations that are identical with different names. So now...
I have python scripts running on the formations as you read this that are comparing each play in an over arching formation to all of the other plays in all of the subformations in that formation looking for identical plays. It's starting with the "Gun" formation which has by far the most plays in the game. Once Gun is completed the other formations will be run through as well. This will take place over a few weeks time. I'm also open to people finding identical plays themselves and tweeting me and I can manually match them in the tool, because chances are the script will get most but still miss some.
Some play names will be mispelled. Also its highly possible that some plays will appear in the wrong formation due to me turning into a zombie and not changing what formation I was uploading them into. If you see plays in a wrong formation, let me know. Also, after the uploading process was finished, I noticed that I had an entire team's defensive playbook wrong. I don't even know how I messed up that bad. I fixed it but there could easily be other teams I jacked up. If you see it, let me know and I will fix it ASAP.
I bought the domain a while back with the plan to turn it into a blog/strategy type site but then never got around to it. I'm a busy guy working a full time job so I've never been able to keep up with it consistently as a strategy site. Maybe that will change one day in the future. But I had the domain so I figure I'd use it for this!
I threw some ads on the website to maybe make enough to pay for the server but I highly doubt it will make enough, not to mention covering my time spent. Maybe next year EA could provide me with the data/images to make this 1000x easier/faster. Then I could also add way more features. I hope someone finds use for it and it helps take someone's Madden game to the next level!