Out of the Park Baseball 15 - More stats than you can ever memorize

Announcement: http://files.ootpdevelopments.com/newsletters/nl0133/index.html

The big news?

3D Ballpark Support and 3D In-Game Ball Flight

That’s right, we’ve entered the 3D age and OOTP 15 is the first step toward visualizing full 3D action on the field. You can import 3D ballparks saved in the popular Collada (.dae) format, and the included ballpark editor lets you properly overlay the ball location diagram used by our simulation engine, including adjustment of wall heights, foul territory, and so forth.

The result is a new optional in-game view that renders realistic 3D ball flight in the stadium model. We know that our great community will come up with plenty of custom 3D ballpark models once OOTP 15 is available, so you’ll be able to admire the flight of a Jackie Robinson home run in Ebbets Field, or a ball smashed off the Green Monster in Fenway Park for a loooong single by David Ortiz.

Future versions of OOTP will build on this 3D engine and will eventually feature thrilling 3D animations of on-field play, so you’ll be able to watch Robinson’s home run trot or see Ortiz take a wide turn at first after that single. Exciting times are ahead!

I’ve been playing OOTP since version 9, mainly in online leagues. Each year I read the bullet points of the new version and yawn. Its always small tweaks.

Here’s the rub: the most fun of OOTP is in online leagues where you interact with other players, make trades, etc. In order to keep online leagues with full ownership, leagues really need to upgrade to the latest version each year. There are few leagues that survive on older versions, but its hard to fill vacancies. Therefore the best leagues upgrade each year and you must buy the latest to stay in the league.

I love the simulator, but I hate the business model.

But – here’s the real news (and maybe it deserves its own thread): they’re doing a (US) football sim – Beyond the Sideline Football.

Some bullet points:

A realistic modern day American football experience with all current rules and regulations.
All 32 real American football teams with their real players and current rosters.
A realistic 2D game engine that represents all the action on the field, with the ability to call plays and watch them unfold, complete with the roar of the crowd and other sound effects.
You dictate the action on the field: Set depth charts and develop strategies around your preferred style of play.
FaceGen support allows realistic images of all players.
A complete box score for every game played in the league during its history, so you can always look back on thrilling victories and agonizing defeats.
The ability to sim decades into the future and watch teams’ fortunes rise and fall as dynasties emerge, crumble, and eventually renew themselves.
You call the shots from the front office: Participate in the draft for your team every spring; trade players; and negotiate contracts with draft picks and free agents.

LOL. I created that thread before this one!

Hey, now to be fair: there are still plenty of 6.5 leagues sitting out there, and last I checked there were still some 4’s as well (I think the last “Season Ticket” league died out some time ago, however). The point being, this isn’t Madden where you’re locked out of much of the game if you don’t get the newest version.

OOTP14 disappointed me when I found out it didn’t handle Ryan Doumit/Evan Gattis type catcher-“outfielders” well (then again, playing either of them in the OF is a recipe for disaster)

I’ve never played this, always wanted to.

They should give you a cheap bundle option with a pre-order of 15 so that newbies could mess around with 14 and learn how it works while we wait. I don’t really want to pay $20 for 14 since it’ll be obsolete in a couple of months.

OOTP 11 is completely free. There’s also a demo of 14.

Assuming you’re looking at getting the newest version, I’d suggest doing the demo. There’s enough of a difference between 11 and 14 that you’ll likely want to see the “full” experience (until 15 hits). If you then wind up buying 15, you’ll be able to import your 14 league from the demo and happiness follows.

Oh, sweet, thanks guys. I didn’t even see the demo link.

I have this sinking feeling I’m gonna end up shelling out the $20…

New screens, but unfortunately none of the 3D ballparks.

Mmm… More FaceGen.

Felitti needs to get his act together pronto.

This popped up on Steam. I grabbed it.

Early impressions? The new UI and widescreen support is gorgeous, (I mean as gorgeous as screens of stats can be) and the 3D ballparks are actually pretty nice. I haven’t noticed anything wacky yet, but I barely started.

The reviews are overwhelmingly sploogey. Though interestingly, while the sports blogs LOVE it unreservedly, the gaming sites are slightly (not much, but a little) cooler. Latent anti-sports bias from nerdy gamers or just more focus on some of the game-y bits that don’t work quite as well.

Nevertheless, in my feverish start-of-the-season baseball fetish, I’m gonna have to check this out. I need a new time-consuming hobby like I need a hole in my head.

I don’t think this kind of game excites a lot of people, and certainly not mainstream gaming sites. It’s stats bouncing against more stats. Not very exciting. It also gets compared a lot to Football Manager which is silly because OOTP has never had that kind of budget or publisher support.

I’m in a historic league using OOTP 14, and while most of us now have OOTP 15, we have yet to make the transition to the new edition. Soon, though. I do like what I’ve seen of 15.

The game can be quite exciting. In our league, the Commissioner sims important games in real time. We just watched the first three days of the season, for example, and last year we watched much of the postseason live. Plus, the historic component of our league adds interest. We started in 1876 with the new National League, and we’re up to 1879 now. I’ve learned a lot from it.

But yeah, it’s not for everyone. :)

I wouldn’t quite say never - they were actually owned by SI for a time.

I play every version for about a month, then I get tired of it. I would have killed for OOTP in my youth when I was playing All-Star Baseball and Stratomatic Baseball.

What sort of time commitment do most people look at with their online leagues? How much is simulated in one shot?

That depends on entirely on the league. Some leagues sim twice a week, most sim three times a week, a few sim every day. It really varies.

What also varies is how many in-game days are simmed at a time. Some do a week per sim, others just a few days at a time. There are fast sim leagues which blow through an entire season in one week. The league I was in the longest did seven in-game days per sim, two RL sims per week. It amounted to a new season every six months, and that relatively slow pace was to my liking.

In terms of time commitment, that also depends on the league: how many minor league affiliates, how much trading, how much participation on the forum is expected. Usually just getting your team ready for a sim can take about a half hour of adjusting line-ups and rotations, etc. So, not a ton of time.

Hope that helps. And you can probably find a league to your liking at the OOTP forum, where Commissioners are regularly looking for new owners. Many leagues are very welcoming of guys who are new to OOTP entirely, and will help you get started.

This game is fine solo, but a good online league becomes, IMHO, one the best RPGs ever created.

This is pretty much my exact feeling on it…I used to play a ton of Front Page Sports Baseball back in the day and would have loved this level of detail. But now with two little girls and a job, I’d love an updated FPS instead.