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