SkeptiSys

May 19, 2013

OOTP 14 released: the best baseball experience outside of the park

Filed under: Sports, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — skeptisys @ 11:57 am

The software gurus at OOTP have done it again.  They improved their already outstanding in-depth baseball experience software.  OOTP 14 is the newest release of this game, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  As a former Mac and hopeful Linux user, I can appreciate the cross-platform dedication.  There is also an iPhone version (iOOTP) that I have yet to use.  My simulations are all based on the Windows version of OOTP 14.

New to the game?  Out Of The Park Baseball is baseball simulation software that allows the user to simulate an entire career as a team manager, owner, or GM.  Either be the super-user ‘commissioner’ who can change all  qualities, or just a manager who can be fired at the whim of his team’s owner.  If you choose to GM, you will be responsible for keeping your team’s roster and finances in order.  Initiate and respond to trades, watch over the waiver wire, and promote that young player lighting it up on your triple-A team.

Any ballclub in MLB baseball history is available, from 1871 to 2013.  Re-live your childhood by taking over the team you grew up watching.  Using add-on central, historical logos, caps, jerseys, and pictures can be uploaded.  The game also works extremely well using fictional players.  Using their cool FaceGen system, players photos show aging over time.

OOTP 14 startup screen

OOTP 14 startup screen

For me, it took no time before I was completely immersed in this complex simulation.  Is my lineup or pitching staff too imbalanced towards RH or LH?  Do I have good pinch hitting opportunities but no backup infielders to replace my starters once I pinch hit for them?  Should I trade my prospects and draft picks to try and win this season or dump my veterans?  My owner won’t give me the resources to trade for that player, I better dump some salaries.

If at any time the decisions start to become overwhelming or there is a desire for more OOTP information – current OOTP game users gather on a tremendously helpful forum.  The software developers are part of this forum, and encourage suggestions to better their software.

OOTP 14 updates worth mentioning (complete list of updates is here):

1. updated to include full 2013 major league and minor league rosters.

2. while simulating a game, the probability of each team winning the game is updated every plate appearance.  Up 4-3 in the 4th inning with 2 outs bases loaded and 2 outs?  Now you know how likely that you will lose or win this game.

3. updated scouting system.  my scout just informed me he signed a 16-year old Dominican kid with a promising fastball.  I will follow his development closely.

4. better fielding development system.  As player’s age, they more accurately move across the defensive spectrum.

5. better player development tracking.  every month I receive an update on how my players are developing.  My ever informative scout (depending on the scout accuracy level I choose) also tells me which minor leaguers should be promoted or demoted.

6. The complexities and enjoyment of being the GM are enhanced in this new version.

8. Updated game simulation experience.  From crowd sounds to pitch type, speed, and location – the immersion is fun.

recreate baseball history

recreate baseball history

For baseball fans of all ages, OOTP14 is a well-worthy pickup.

1998 mlb career milestones

1998 mlb career milestones

November 23, 2011

OOTP 12 review : the Evolution of the Baseball Simulation

Filed under: Buying stuff, News, Sports — Tags: , , , , — skeptisys @ 1:28 pm

The attentive people at Out Of the Park Development have already released the 5th major update for OOTP12, so maybe I should take a pause from simulating seasons with OOTP12 to let you in on all the fun.  Yes, it is super addictive.   Buy it now, before it gets scheduled like heroin or cocaine.

OOTP12 buy it here.  My quick recommendations, for those who want to avoid the ramblings of a baseball addict:

1. if you never used OOTP before but you like baseball, get it now.  The fictional simulations are amazing!  Your players will age, disappoint and surprise in a vaguely predictable way, just like the major leagues.  You can create every aspect of your league, even team colors and player mustaches.  I use the historical simulation with actual teams and players, so I can make up for the faults of whichever monkeys were running the Mets when I was growing up.

2. if you have played an earlier version of OOTP:  The changes and updates from the prior version make for a worthy upgrade.  The quality of play and accuracy has improved significantly.  Their update system functions by allowing their fanatical users to communicate with each other on the OOTP forum and recommend changes to the OOTP creators, who are very sensitive to the users’ needs.  IOW, if you get OOTP12, you will have input into the changes put into OOTP13.

(End of quick recommendation)

My first baseball high came at a young age.

By the age of 7, I realized I would be a dedicated baseball fan for the rest of my life.  At that age, studying box scores was a morning ritual, except I prayed for a Kingman homerun and not eternal health.  I was obsessed.  What kept me from being put in a home for the mentally ill was the simple fact that millions of other people were just like me.   I was normal!  Soon I found friends who shared this disease.  Together we started slow,  trading baseball cards.  I traded Johnny Bench for Ron Hodges, and was proud of it (don’t you mock me! My friend was a Reds fan, so I could take advantage).  Eventually we found simple game simulations, and we bloodied our fingers flicking at metal spinners while recreating a season.

The evolution of the baseball simulation is not a myth, from board games like strat-o-matic, statis pro,  and pursue the pennant, to computer games like Earl Weaver baseball.  Those were wonderful times, but increased computer power and memory meant improved simulations, up to Diamond Mind Baseball and then OOTP.

The perfect or best baseball simulation is still yet to come.  The way we will reach is through the constant changing and upgrading the product.  DMB used to do this.  They would drastically improve the AI and simulation accuracy with every new version.  Then, in 2006, the company was sold and they appear to have stopped the progress.  So, OOTP took the baton…

OOTP is the best baseball simulation because they realize their audience all have unique ideas about what makes the perfect simulation.   My recent historical simulation starts with the 1968 season and I use the DH in both leagues.  Four teams make the playoffs, I prefer 16 teams but the software does limit the number of postseason teams to 4.  My schedule includes teams from both leagues, and I can take advantage of the upgraded storylines and manage pitch by pitch, or I can regulate myself to GM and only deal with roster moves.

The key to OOTP’s future success is to continue to add user options, and update accuracy of the computer AI.

Here are some other reviews of OOTP12: (reviews)

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