Posted in Baseball, Game news, News

Out of the Park Baseball SIM gets Major League Baseball license

 

If you’re a fan and listener of SOBS, our comics, games and baseball podcast, you’ll remember that a couple of months ago we had Brad Cook from OOTP baseball on the show. We consider him a good friend of the show. Not only is OOTP Baseball 2014 a fantastic baseball game for real baseball nerds, but Brad’s also a gracious interview. So, when we received this press release from him, we were super excited. Here’s to more great games and continued success to our friends over there. For more information on OOTP Baseball and their recent news, please read below. There is also a link to our interview with Brad Cook below. We talk about the game and the future of the baseball SIM.

SOBS interview with Brad Cook of OOTP Baseball

 

Out of the Park Baseball 16 Features Official MLB.com, MiLB Licenses, and More

Game Scheduled to Ship in March; Pre-Ordering Begins Now; Launch Sweepstakes Includes MLB.com Shop Gift Certificates

Out of the Park Developments today announced a major milestone in the history of its venerable Out of the Park Baseball franchise: The inclusion of official MLB.com and Minor League Baseball licenses in version 16, which will ship in March. OOTP 16 will feature official league logos, team logos and jerseys for all 30 MLB teams, over 150 MiLB team logos, and historical MLB logos.

A bundle of four screenshots, along with the official OOTP 16 logo, can be downloaded here:

The pre-order newsletter that was sent out today can be found here:

The company’s iOS game, iOOTP Baseball, will be renamed MLB Manager and will be available for Android too this year. It will also feature official MLB.com and MiLB licenses. More information, including its other new features, will be released in the coming weeks.

“We’re thrilled to be working with MLB Advanced Media to provide a feature that many of our fans have requested,” said lead developer and lifelong baseball fan Markus Heinsohn. “This promises to be the biggest year in the history of OOTP, and the best is yet to come.”

For more comments from Markus about how this license came to be, please see the latest post on the OOTP Developments blog:

http://blog.ootpdevelopments.com/?p=523

Pre-orders are now being accepted for $34.99, $5 off the regular price, at this link for the PC/Mac version:

http://store.esellerate.net/s.aspx?s=STR4223435706

Pre-orders for the Linux version are being accepted here:

https://www.pisd.co.uk/sgo/webstore/browse?2,

The special pre-order price lasts through 11:59 PM Pacific time on February 15, 2015. Everyone who pre-orders by then will be automatically entered in a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of three $500 MLB.com Shop gift certificates (or $500 Amazon gift cards).

Everyone who pre-orders will also receive the game three days before its release in March. They’ll also get a free Steam key. All pre-orders after February 15 will still be eligible for the free Steam key and the chance to download OOTP 16 three days early.

New Features

OOTP 16’s full list of new and improved features include:

2015 Opening Day Rosters

The brand new 2015 roster sets will include all Opening Day MLB rosters, via a free update released shortly after Opening Day, as well as the complete minor league system down to the rookie leagues. All major league (and certain minor league) player ratings are based on Baseball Prospectus’ industry-leading player forecasting system, PECOTA. The thousands of remaining minor league players will be rated manually by OOTP’s established research team.

 

New international and independent leagues added

Last year, OOTP 15 introduced seven international leagues in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, Italy and The Netherlands. This year, OOTP 16 will add the Australian Baseball League to that list, along with several independent leagues in the US and Japan. All of those leagues will feature real rosters, with countless hours of work invested in researching realistic player biographical information, statistics, and ratings.

 

New team owner goals

The new team owner will give short- and long-term goals, which may include: winning the World Series within X seasons; fixing a certain weakness on the roster; extending the contract of a star player; and much more. Players’ abilities to meet those goals not only decides if they’ll be fired but also determines if their contract will be extended at a higher salary, another new feature added this year. (The “cannot be fired” option will still exist in OOTP 16.)

 

Improved team finances and reporting

The team finance system has been redesigned, including new season ticket sales, a team finances screen based on widgets, a new accounting screen, and much more.

 

Completely redesigned manager and coaches system

Managers and coaches will have certain personalities and special skills or preferences, which will result in plenty of interesting choices. Managerial choices will include easy-going stat-heads and hard-nosed veterans, while some pitching coaches will excel at working with power pitchers and others will be better suited at overseeing finesse pitchers.

 

Recoded team strategy system

Players will be able to set their teams’ in-game strategies faster and easier than ever before, but if they play in GM-only mode, they may find that some managers won’t allow certain strategies to be dictated.

 

Better playoff coverage

A new Pennant Chase screen will display the strength of the remaining schedule and the chance for each team to make the playoffs. The related news coverage was also improved.

 

Improved 3D ball flight

OOTP 15 introduced support for 3D stadiums and realistic 3D ball flight, which was a big step-up for the series. OOTP 16 improves on that 3D presentation and will include great-looking 3D models of all 30 MLB ballparks.

 

Much more

• New play modes (Manager only, GM only, and GM + Manager)

• An improved simulation engine that incorporates the latest research and trends, such as infield shifts and pitcher usage

• Rainouts with automatic rescheduling (including double-headers), adding the realism that comes with rain-shortened and cancelled games

• Better in-game sound effects

• An enhanced interface, such as a player info pop-up when resting the mouse pointer over a button which links to a player, or automatic syncing between lineups and depth charts when making changes to either of them.

• A new Find-A-Player feature: Define certain criteria (ratings, stats, salary etc.) and find the right player

• Recoded All-Star Game features with real voting (including online league support)

• Realistic OOTP Hall of Fame selection process, including simulated voting and new stats like JAWS, HoF Standards, Black & Grey Ink Tests

• More player awards

• Better playoff history tracking, including career playoff stats for all real players in the database and playoff leaderboards

• Alternate currencies (Euro, Pounds Sterling, Yen, etc.)

• The option to define background pictures for teams and leagues

• And even more: Additional new features will be announced between now and when the game ships in March.

About Out of the Park Developments 

Out of the Park Developments is the developer of the award-winning OOTP and MLB Manager series of baseball management simulations, Franchise Hockey Manager, and Beyond the Sideline Football. German-based OOTP Developments was founded by Markus Heinsohn and Andreas Raht in 1999. OOTP Developments has consistently produced games that have met with critical acclaim, including winning Metacritic’s coveted “Game of the Year” for the 2007 edition of OOTP, which remains the second highest-rated PC game on Metacritic of all time. Further information on the company and its games is available from the OOTP Developments website, http://www.ootpdevelopments.com

Posted in Baseball, Game news

Baseball SIM OOTP Baseball half-off for World Series

ootpScreen0

For some baseball fans, like myself, this time of year is a sad, sometimes bleak time. My Redbirds lost in spectacular fashion to the Giants, and I’ve found it hard to get ready for the World Series. I do have a podcast to do on baseball tonight, so I’ll need to shake it off soon. For those of us that are looking for a baseball fix to ease the pain of our teams not playing, OOTP baseball is offering up their current edition at half off. I really enjoyed my time with ‘Out of the Park Baseball,’ and hope to get up a review soon. It will need to be in the ‘Delayed Reaction’ reviews I’ll be starting. Anyway, enough blabbing. Here’s more information on the game and sale, and look for Brad Cook from OOTP baseball to appear on an upcoming episode of SOBS-songwriters on baseball soon.

 

World Series Special: OOTP 15 is 50% Off, iOOTP 2014 is 80% Off

OOTP 15 Picks Royals to Win a Tense World Series

Hamburg, Germany — Out of the Park Developments today announced its annual World Series Special: Out of the Park Baseball 15 for PC/Mac is 50% off ($19.99) and iOOTP Baseball 2014 for iOS is 80% off (99 cents). In addition, iOOTP’s 10-season bundles are $1.99 (regularly $4.99) and iOOTP’s all-in-one historical season pack is $14.99 (regularly $19.99).

OOTP 15 is also 50% off everywhere else the game is offered for sale, including Steam.

“After Opening Day, the start of the World Series is our favorite time of the year,” said OOTP creator Markus Heinsohn. “We expect this World Series will be an exciting one, so what better way to celebrate than by putting OOTP and iOOTP on sale?”

Bundles of OOTP 15 and iOOTP 2014 screenshots can be downloaded from OOTP’s web site at the links on the games’ names.

OOTP 15’s World Series Pick: Royals

This World Series pits a pair of closely-matched teams, as OOTP 15 showed when the series between the Giants and Royals was simmed five times. A post on the company’s new blog digs into the compiled stats and shows this could be too close to call, but with three wins in five sims, OOTP Developments predicts the Royals will be this year’s champion.

Interviews: Game Designer Goldfarb & New OOTP Team Member

The new OOTP Developments blog, which in the coming weeks will also feature posts about the upcoming Franchise Hockey Manager 2015 and Beyond the Sideline Football games, is already packed with content, including an interview with game designer David Goldfarb (Payday 2, Battlefield 3) and a Q&A with new OOTP team member Matt Arnold.

ootpScreen6_w

New PEBA Novel Published

Finally, OOTP Developments is happy to announce that award-winning author Ron Collins has published Chasing the Setting Sun, a sequel to his novel See the PEBA on $25 a DayChasing the Setting Sun is also set in the world of the Planetary Extreme Baseball Alliance (PEBA), a unique OOTP online league with a strong creative storytelling component. Collins’ first PEBA novel is now free.

About Out of the Park Developments 

Out of the Park Developments is the developer of the award-winning OOTP and iOOTP series of baseball management simulations, Franchise Hockey Manager, Beyond the Sideline Football, and Inside the Park Baseball, a role-playing game. German-based OOTP Developments was founded by Markus Heinsohn and Andreas Raht in 1999. OOTP Developments has consistently produced games that have met with critical acclaim, including winning Metacritic’s coveted “Game of the Year” for the 2007 edition of OOTP. Further information on the company and its games is available from the OOTP Developments website, www.ootpdevelopments.com

Posted in Baseball

Songwriters on Baseball

Richard Paul Davis, Hank Van Hawkins and Kris Walters of SOBS fame.
Richard Paul Davis, Hank Van Hawkins and Kris Walters of SOBS fame.

So it’s that time of year again. The doldrums of Winter have given way to the bright days and crisp and warming breezes of spring-Baseball is here.

There are sometimes divides between people that enjoy sports or physical activities and those of the “nerd” persuasion. I have always been a part of each world and I don’t understand why some say you can’t do both. Baseball is ideal for people that love math, as the amount of statistics and detail and the variables are a nerd’s dream. Anyway, I’m drifting from my subject. Nerd’s unite and don’t discriminate against one another.

As a nerd, and working for That Nerd Show, I’ve decided to expand my coverage to include baseball as well. I play currently, and have loved it my entire life. With baseball and comics, movies and some other things, I also love music and am a songwriter as well. So, naturally I’ve decided to combine these pursuits with a new podcast called “Songwriters on Baseball” or SOBs if you will. It is co-hosted by my good friend and fellow songwriter and baseball enthusiast Hank Van Hawkins. Hank and I have been friends for years and have written several songs together. We’re really excited about our new endeavor. This won’t take away from my responsibilities at That Nerd Show and you can still expect to hear me and read my work in this very spot for a long time to come.

Search for Songwriters on Baseball on iTunes, or go to sobs.buzzsprout.com and have a listen.

 

Posted in Baseball

We are the Yankees

Required listening

We want our heroes like the Yankees. We want them like the Bambino, Joltin’ Joe and Mickey Mantle-even Thurman Munson. Any one that has ever heard “Mrs. Robinson” by Paul Simon has had the feeling-the sensation of something surreal that they cannot quite touch. I never met or saw Joltin’ Joe play, but I have felt the feeling. I felt it reading a giant tome of a book on the World Series as a child. I feel it hearing Costas talk about any Yankee, even Tim Raines. Perhaps especially Tim Raines. I say these things not as a Yankee fan, or someone from the Northeast. I say them as a Cardinal fan. Someone who is keenly aware of my own teams’ place in history. A place that is behind the Yankees. Far behind the Yankees.

We need our heroes to be as black and white as those famous pinstriped uniforms, with the shades of grey developing in between the pin stripes through playing… fighting. Sweating. Willing and bleeding. We need the stark contrast of black lines against a bright heavenly white. It is like the game itself-a crisp, brilliant and innocent white ball against the pits of dirt waiting to be dug. The blades of grass waiting to be torn apart then watered, grown and done again. The oddly shaped white plate within the brown of the batter’s box, surrounded by even more white powdered lines. We need to see that black and white image of Thurman Munson, his jaw clenched in a defiant bust of determination, with no hint of bravado; only of what is to be done. The imperfection of Mantle, the lives of Maris, Gehrig, Munson and Ruth that were cut short. The trials, triumphs and tragedies of Strawberry, Martin and Steve Howe. The possibility of what could have been, and the reality of what was.

Maybe we need to see them in that black and white image before they are elevated to demigod status. That stark image that is part shaded grey, and terrifyingly dull white before they are worshiped. Before they are legend. We need them to exceed and then fail and then in reverse. To battle, and to cry. To bleed and seethe at every missed opportunity, at every perceived injustice. To be just as stern and strong when they are wrong as when they are right. We need them to fight for us, and with us. The Yankees are us. They are you and I, they are America. We need a Bucky Dent for every Babe. We need Brosius and Boone and Leiter for every Posada Berra and Jeter. You see, every plaque that graces Monument Park is as equal as every memory talked about over chess games and dinner tables. Every bust in Cooperstown is no more important than every clipped newspaper or crumpled baseball card wrapper. Bucky Dent is you. Every David Wells is someone you have worked with, or knew. Every role player is like you, and me and everyone we have looked up to that has changed the world is Lou Gehrig. They are our teammates, and we are theirs.

All remember the heroes, but it is the role players that are remembered by the legends. Without those that play alongside the greats, the greats would be a lone star in a blank sky. Though they make history just as we make our cups of coffee, we all sit at the same tables and tell the same stories, and we all play on this team… the Yankees. America has been the bright morning star, that storied house on the hill. America is the Yankees, and we are all playing for them.

I imagine if there is a heaven, then there surely is a beautiful day with green grass waiting, and when we all arrive, Bob Sheppard will announce our arrival. The breeze will blow, and Mr. Layton will go into his organ rendition of take me out to the ballgame. Then the black stripes will stand out further, be more stark, and the role players will once again stand among the legends, and God will welcome all of us Yankees.