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

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Back from The holiday hole

My darling with our new favorite morning coffee containment units
My darling with our new favorite morning coffee containment units

Hey all of you. It’s been a bit here since we’ve done anything. Recovering from surgery and the holidays took a lot out of us, especially me (Richard) but we’re hoping to get on track again.

We’re restarting the podcast SOBS tonight. We’re going to be talking comics and baseball of course, and we might tackle Gotham, though I haven’t caught an episode since they took their little sabbatical over the holidays. A couple comic book that we will discuss are Swamp thing #32, and Gotham by Midnight. We were supposed to talk about Hellboy and the BPRD, but I’m late to that game and couldn’t find the first issue.

I’ve had some adventures here lately, in and around Seattle. I was able to meet with Ed Brisson, an indie writer of comics who was quite an interview. I hope to get that up and available soon via podcast and written transcript. I also have been able to find some neat little places around Seattle. A couple are below.

AFK Tavern.

Everett, WA.

A place for nerds and geeks, and actually people working or reading on their laptops. It’s advertised as the above, and it definitely is that. We were warned to sit in the bar area if we wanted quiet, because trivia was going on. It was a little loud, and brighter than a normal place. It was a lot more laid back and less…”drunky” than most other bars. People were drinking a lot of soda and playing trivia, fighting games with old-school arcade joysticks. There were tables of people playing Warcraft and Star-craft, and working with headphones. The bar area was indeed quiet, with a not-so-interested bartender named Anna. I’m sure that she is a great person, gamer and American. I’m sure that she doesn’t get alot of business in the AFk Tavern though. I’m reminded by my dear Sparrow that, it’s likely that since her bar is tucked away form the restaurant and the action, and that gamers aren’t known for tipping or drinking much, we were moot as a checkbook at an ATM. But, even though we love good customer service and a chatty bartender, we were there to be around some like-minded folks who just wanted to do the same.

The menu is deliciously tongue-in-cheek and is overflowing with game, movie and television references for the names of their drinks and food items. I ordered a Green Goblin ale, which was decidedly NOT-green, and Kris ordered a Naughty Wood-Elf. ANYWAY, this won’t devolve into a personal blog.

Here are some pictures from the evening

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This is the AFK tavern, and the back of our bartender whom was nowhere near us in the bar. Hey, Anna! AAAAaaaaNNa!
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Purple Haze

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So yeah, we found Purple Haze where I was able to procure myself some adult products. I use them for medicine, but, yeah. That’s not really anyone’s business is it?

 

So, on to the podcast; We are back, we are read to write, read and explore all of our favorite things. On to glory!

The management

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Another great location in Seattle-The Comet Tavern

 

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Every place should adopt this credo

 

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Fear and Gaming in Seattle

Yes yes I know that I love to write things from the edges of things, and writers say things are like other things that are like other things, but, so what. I haven’t written in awhile and that’s okay, because you haven’t been reading in awhile. So, here we go, and I’ll fire off some news and bits for your boiling pot of wanton desires. Eat it up!

That Nerd show-Kevin Smith episode

So Marcus Dave and I had some decent discussion on the show. I’ve never met Dave, but things seemed to go alright with him as a co-host. His connection was horrendous and I think there was a ton of lag. What stood out to me in the discussions we had was the different memories all of us have about Kevin Smith. Everyone can quote Clerks, or Chasing Amy, but we all had different points of view on what makes him great. I love the fact that he’s accessible, and is like the big brother you had, or your neighbor. The guy does a ton of things to help his friends, and you know what? I’m okay with that. Unless you have a shit ton of money, or connections, it’s incredibly difficult to break into entertainment. Music, comics, movies -any of it. If someone wants to begrudge him for throwing Walt Flanagan a line to get him some drawing gigs, so what. That’s what friends are for; to help.  So, I like that Kevin helps his pals that deserve it and because he’s still real. He grows and develops, and he branches out into comics.

 

Speaking of his comics, His Cacophony stuff with DC was wicked good. So good in fact, that some enterprising folks in Jersey City, New Jersey have decided to attempt a 3-part fan series about his comic series. I wanted to talk more about it on the show, but Dave wanted to say more sexist stuff (ha, you know you’re in trouble Dave) and I didn’t get enough time to go on about it. find the details and some links below. It’s directed by William Visnosky. 

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Original YouTube Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCTZw37a1FM

Crowd Sourcing Link http://www.igg.me/at/batman

Tweet by Kevin Smith http://www.twitter.com/ThatKevinSmith/status/518120725668851712

Walt Flanagan Endorsement https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=LsDPYqWCLIk

Liveforfilms.com Article http://www.liveforfilms.com/2014/10/06/kevin-smiths-batman-cacophony-is-becoming-a-fan-film/

 

What else? Delayed reaction to Walking Dead Season 2

Ok, so there are a few things I’ve tried to deal with, with the Walking Dead season 2 from Telltale Games. The game really got on my bad, dark and protective side. Trauma has a way of doing that to me. I think they were gratuitous with the treatment of Clem, and it didn’t need to be done. I don’t think any gaming journalist called them out on it, and I thought it was bullshit. I decided not to do a review, and I should’ve had more courage. I think the team ran out of ideas and they had a grown man, undeveloped and poorly written character smack her around in the game as a way to evoke and yank feelings out. It’s an old  method or device. I understand pushing the envelope and I understand it’s a gritty dark world. I also understand that the Telltale team is neck-deep in their own praise hole and overloaded with work. They did well on the first season, and The Wolf Among us was great stuff. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for the entirety of season 2. Gamers and journalists ate it up because it didn’t have glaring weaknesses. It’s bad and I’m saying it. No character that I ever cared about, except for the rabid dog in the first episode, and I began to care even less about Clem. That’s all for now because I may decide to do a delayed reaction article for it.

Tell me what to do! Comic-con Dallas

As if you weren’t going to be there anyway. Instead of leaving after your cosplay showdown with Michael Jackson and a bad Jack Skellington impersonator to wank and jank to the image of that beautifully created female Link you saw, head over to see This Saturday night shindig at The Gas Monkey on OCT. 18th. Details below. Music, clever witty banter, tons of beautiful nerd girls and others of your ilk. I understand there will be dancing and some holy ghost trancing. The last part is only a rumor.

Saturday Night Shindig: One Coultastic Evening

Jonathan Coulton, dancing, DJs, surprise guests, and You

He’s been called the Joss Whedon of music. He’s a mainstay at geek events in New York and Los Angeles, and now he’s heading for North Texas. Jonathan Coultonheadlines the next Saturday Sci-Fi Social, at the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill on October 18, 2014.

https://www.picatic.com/OneCoultasticEvening

Comics-FUCK YEAH

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Ok, so I’ve picked up a few of the New 52 DC one shots, and I feel like a kid again. I have the Batman/Superman and the Superman, and wow, they’re great reads and help get you primed for the next big DC event Future’s End. Who knew that Shazam had taken over for the Caped Crusader? The covers are old school awesome holograms.   Moon Knight By Warren Ellis is top-notch. His writing and panels, use of lettering, or a lack of the lettering and sound really sets the tone quite well. White panels with black text usually stand out like a hippie at a Tea-party rally, but the man’s an expert at using space, and then exploding all over it.

 

 

In other comic news, yours truly is working away hard, long and fast on his graphic novel “Vile: Lost Legends of the American West.” We have a new artist named Francis Nuguit who has a great track record. He did some of the Robert Jordan “Wheel of Time” comics. I wish I could show you something from him, and we will soon. Head over to our facebook page to see some concepts, read the story synopsis and say hello. It’s a dark and emotional tale.

Vile:Lost legends of the American West

Alt logo for Vile
Alt logo for Vile

In future installments in this world named “Thunder Valley,” some of my friends will be appearing. My good buddy Hank Van Hawkins will be a former banker, gunslinger/gambler and mostly decent guy in the story. His name is Prickly Pear Van Hawkins. Many more of my friends will be appearing in and around the boomtown Serpentine including Appaloosa Red, who will play a madame with a dark secret and bright ambitions. Stay tuned for that, because we’re making it into a pen and paper RPG as well. Speaking of my buddy Hank, read on to read more.

SOBS

The boys playing some music together.
The boys playing some music together.

So Hank and I host a podcast about baseball, music, comics, songwriting and whatever else comes up. We need your support and look forward to you guys listening. Hank will also be joining me occasionally on my new Game/comics/randomness podcast. We’ll be featuring indie game developers, comics folks and others involved with things you love. I understand Ms. Appaloosa Red will be guest hosting with me as well. We’re gonna have burlesque, games, comics and mind-maddening music and other obligatory orgy activities. So, here is the link to the buzzsprout page where you will go listen to old episodes of SOBS. http://sobs.buzzsprout.com

 Game news?

I’ve got nothing relevant for you kiddos. Stop by IGN lol. Sorry, but this is the slow season and I’m actually digging on State of Decay again and playing the life in NHL 2014. Hope that covers it all.  Come by the twitter and try to go back and listen to some episodes of the podcasts, and for God’s sake, leave a comment or something. I need something to do while I’m kicking my own ass over not doing a better job of spellchecking. Ugh. I know this blog is ugly, but I’m too horrified to change it.Where’s my bourbon?